16 Mar 12 9:18 pm
Don't lose hope, you're well on the right track by the looks of your sites.
I'm guessing that you haven't done much in the way of building backlinks, or you need to be more patient to wait for the effects of those backlinks to help build your search engine rankings up. The reason I say this is that you say you have zero newsletter subscribers, which even if you have poor conversion rates, must mean that you must not be getting any/much traffic.
If you aren't getting much natural search engine traffic, that has to do with 2 things, your on-page optimization, and your link building efforts.
Also make sure that you are using traffic travis to track your search engine rankings. It can easily get disheartening if you are only looking at how many sales you are making, but if you look at see your rankings that can show you how far you are improving.
For instance, if for a particular keyword, you start out not being in the top 100 in google, then 3 weeks later you are in position 76... that is progress. Then 3 weeks later, perhaps you are in position 21, that is progress. People often give up without even tracking this kind of thing and yet they are so close to actually achieving their goal. You need to be tracking your rankings so that you can see your progress, you need to be doing the link building in order to help boost your rankings.
I'd stick with a simple link building plan if I were you, involving article and blog network link building (if you can't afford a blog network, then join Content Facilitator through this link here http://www.contentfacilitator.com/in.php?a=3
(which you should join anyway) and use the code: TrafficTravis to get $100 in free credits for you to use. It's a network of bloggers that allow you to guest blog on their blogs in exchange for a link back to your website using your preferred anchor text.
If you are strong at link building then of course do other link building methods too, but if it's a struggle, then just keep it simple and do the guest blogging, the blog network link building and the article marketing to build links. I will be releasing some very strong training in link building etc, which is up to date for 2012 when I launch the new version of AffiloBlueprint, however that won't be out until May as I'm still in the middle of recording it etc.
Regarding your Japan blog, if I were you I'd use http://www.ibuildapp.com
(it's free) to build an app for it, put it on your website, and charge 99c for it. Just say something like "Support Japan Guy and download the Official Japan Guy app for just 99c" then put some bullet points of the benefits of the app below it. If I were you I'd put in the main page of your app an rss feed from your posts from that site, and then in other tabs in the app put some rss feeds from some other tourism sites in japan. Maybe even add some custom articles that are helpful for japanese tourists and even links to some great restaurants etc. Name the app something that people will be searching for in the app store, e.g. JapanGuy's Japan Travel Guide (playing on the search term Japan Travel Guide). Heck if this goes well, you could release several apps like 'Tokyo Travel Guide' etc for each city in Japan.
Hope you like these ideas, keep at it and remember that it's not a magic formula to make money. If things aren't working then there is either something not right in your conversion rates, or your traffic and you just need to keep working on one or both of those things.
All the best!!