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Niche Site Project: From ZERO to Somewhere

This post is a running report of the progress that I make with my niche website. I will add updates as often as possible, but reserve the right to reduce/stop these at any point. Hopefully you find them useful/inspiring.

Daniel Bianchini

 

Month 14: Over 50% month-on-month revenue increase

I am going to come straight out and say it, I am ecstatic with the revenue that was generated by my niche website this month.

Not only was May a record month for revenue, but it was a record month for traffic as well topping ~25,000 visits for the first time.

Until this month, the website had topped £1.700 in April 2020 which bettered December 2019, the best month until that point.

So what are the numbers I hear you ask…

In May 2020, the website generated total revenue of £3,581. This is made up of:

  • Amazon Associates £3,426
  • Ezoic £155

Let’s take a look in more detail at the breakdown of revenue and what we got up to this month!

 

Revenue breakdown

Firstly, I am extremely happy that I have broken the £3,000 per month mark within 14 months of project restart!

This means I am quite literally making a second income during a time where the world is in trouble with the current pandemic.

So, how is the revenue broken up I hear you say?

Well, the vast majority of my revenue (over 90%) has come from Amazon Associates during May 2020, with Google’s core algorithm update having a significant impact – more on that later.

Some of the new guides that I created over the last two months have started to rank well and are beginning to generate revenue. What is pleasing to see, is the revenue is split well across a large number of pages, not just a couple which I hear a lot of people talking about.

One thing that people don’t seem to consider when moving away from Amazon Associates is the amount of monthly revenue that you make from indirect sales.

As you can see from the above graphic, I have made 10% of my Amazon Associates revenue from indirect sales. That is a much higher portion of revenue than I would expect and could be a significant loss over 12 months on a different program.

So I decided to implement Ezoic at the end of April 2020, and to be honest it hasn’t been the smoothest integration.

I initially implemented Ezoic using the WordPress plugin as I felt that was the simplest and cleanest solution. Oh how wrong was I!

The first few weeks saw a very inconsistent tracking of the website from low traffic levels to high ePMVs that has badly skewed my metrics as shown in the images above.

So I decided to bite the bullet and point my Nameservers to Ezoic with the hope it resolved the issues. Thankfully it did.

Since then, I have to admit that I have been underwhelmed by the return considering I had ~27,000 visits in May 2020.

There has been improvement week-on-week, and I expect this to continue over the coming month as I look to build traffic from different channels.

How you doing traffic?

May was a great month for traffic, specifically Organic Traffic!

As you are likely aware, Google released a core update to the algorithm that according to reports has negatively impacted a lot of Affiliate websites.

I am never usually too bothered about algorithm updates as I try and provide value to our users, and it seems to have paid off during this update.

As you can see above, organic traffic saw a steady increase from the 4th May 2020 and this continues for a couple of weeks. It was then on 28th May 2020 that the niche website’s organic traffic took off!

Organic traffic increased from ~550 visits a day to between 800-900 visits a day, that’s a 63% increase.

As with the revenue, traffic has been nicely split across a large number of pages. This has been growing since I started to improve the internal linking structure that I have on the website with the use of Link Whisperer.

I am hopeful that the increase in organic traffic will continue into June 2020 and beyond, especially considering the amount of content that I am creating at the moment.

Content, lots of content!

During May 2020 I put a lot of focus on content creation, and I mean a lot.

We created and published a total of 38 new pieces of content that was fully focussed on informational queries.

These terms were “How to’s”, “What are”, etc that we are looking to answer the users queries. The aim here is to drive traffic that will lead to Ad publisher revenue whilst also enabling us to link internally to our money pages.

The amount of content created this month was the most that I have been able to produce in a single month. This meant that the cost for content in May 2020 topped £700 for the first time.

Whilst I will continue investing in content, I aim not to spend more than I made two months before. I want to remain in a position where the website remains self-sufficient rather than spending a fortune.

Alongside the content creation, we continued our link acquisition campaign. Our focus this month changed to another target within the website so that we keep things looking natural.

So what ya make!

As you know from the rules that I set out at the start of this niche site project, I am only spending money that I have earned previously.

So that meant that I have ~£1,000 to spend if I felt it necessary in May.

As you can see from the PnL chart above, the largest expense was content. I mentioned above that it topped £700 and you can see it was actually £740.68.

Now if you consider that I managed to get 38 pieces of content written for that amount, it is extremely good value for money, especially as this will drive further revenue in the months to come.

The only other expense and it is still considerable is link acquisition. I have been outsourcing my entire link acquisition program so it will be costly.

I am often asked why I outsource my link building and why I don’t do it myself. The honest answer is two fold:

  1. I don’t want to do it. 🙂
  2. I value my time more than I am paying someone else to do the link acquisition for me.

So with the £1153.68 spent this month, I have generated a profit of £2,428 in May 2020. That’s a net profit margin of 68% which I would take all day long.

Next month’s plan?

First and foremost, I am going to continue creating content at the level that I have been over the past few months.

I have identified hundreds of terms to target over the coming months, enabling me to create different content types. Alongside this, I am starting to do research into other areas that I feel will be beneficial so that niche website doesn’t become one dimensional.

During the last few months, I have got into a rhythm with my team and it is working like clockwork, so as long as I am making profit I will keep investing in content creation.

The other big project for me in June will be to focus on building out different traffic sources. Currently the website is completely reliant on Google and I am not comfortable with that.

This will involve me looking into Pinterest and Tailwind to see if we can build a following that will lead to increased traffic and ultimately revenue.

Hopefully the above gives you some indication into what I am doing and the success that I am currently having. Things do take time and investment whether that is money or grit, so keep going!

Until next time!

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