I have small hosting coupon and tutorial related website with 35 pages.
I built it 3 years ago.
I tried very hard to rank for one of the most competetive keyword in hosting indusry.
I started giving huge article backlinks to review and coupon pages.
I get panelty.
As I submit article I got few sales for almost one and half months. After it stop giving sales. My ranking genrally on 5th to 6 page of google.(50-60)
Again I start backlinking other pages and continue adding new content.
Last october I succedd to rank 2-3 on google for coupon and promo code keywords.
I enjoy 3 months earning of $5000 every month.
Again in January I got slap.
Now I am getting $450 per month.
I continue trying.
I continue adding new pages, videos and backlinks.
I think the biggest problem for people who are doing seo is they just want to earn money in one day.