Well, the time has come for another monthly income report for 2 sites that I purchased at the beginning of this year. In addition to simply reporting on the 2 sites that I purchased, I also want to make the monthly post a more well rounded picture of what's going on in my business.
I've got quit a bit going on, but I'm still in the trenches buying and building out niche sites as hopefully this monthly report illustrates.
Buying websites was a goal that I set at the beginning of this year, and so these posts keep me focused on sharing the results of this process and lessons I've learned along the way. I'm happy to say that due to a recent site acquisition, I've now hit my annual goal of spending $25k on buying websites!
I've learned a great deal since buying these 2 sites in January that I've been reporting on each month. I'll continue to report on these 2 sites at least until the end of the year, or until I sell them.
However, I'll also be sharing some more details on 2 other sites I've purchased this year as well (I bought 4 sites this year…so far). These additional sites are doing more significant revenue and also have more upside potential.
In fact, Perrin and I have been seeing so much success with some of the sites we bought, that we are considering basically focusing on buying, expanding, and perhaps flipping those sites…rather than always just building brand new sites.
So, with that quick intro, lets jump right into the numbers of the 2 sites I've been tracking all year, then I'll share a few more details on my more recent purchases.
Adsense Site Earnings
As always, I'll start off by reporting the traffic and income figures for what I'm calling my “Adsense” site. I purchased this site in January 2014 for $5,000 and its primarily monetized by Google adsense.
Here's the overall stats since I bought it:
The site had a nice increase in earnings for last month! As you can see it earned $370.52 in August ($304.94 from Adsense and $65.58 from Amazon Associates).
Here's the monthly earnings trend:
The earnings have been consistently climbing for the past 5 months, and I've very happy with the results! In fact, the earnings in August were over 12% higher than July.
Here's the cumulative earnings since I bought the site:
The site has earned $2,189.38 for the year. So, I'm really close to making back 50% of my investment already.
The best part is that they traffic is clearly trending up in a big way, so the earnings should continue to increase.
Check out the traffic charts:
In June I saw a nice jump in traffic, and now in August I just got another big bump in traffic when compared to previous months. The work we've been doing on the site is clearly paying off.
Here's the Google analytics for August:
Just as a refresher, the site is getting TWICE as much traffic as it was back early in the year. I went ahead and got a screenshot of the monthly traffic since February, just so you can better visualize the huge trend upward of the site.
Monthly Traffic from Google Analytics:
This is the kind of chart you want to see with your sites :).
So, overall, I'm quite pleased with the increased traffic and earnings of this website. I've made back about half my investment at this point, and could sell the site for about $7,400 ($370 x 20) if I were to sell it on the EmpireFlippers Marketplace.
Why has the site improved? We've consistently been adding new content and links to the site over the past several months. As a result, we've moved up in Google and are ranking for more keywords now.
We only added 2 new articles in August and plan to do the same in September.
Pinterest Site Earnings
As you may recall, I bought another site in January for $2,100 that gets most of its traffic from Pinterest.
Here's the overall stats for August and previous months:
As you can see the site was down almost $20 in earnings for August, but still managed to pull in $270.66.
The earnings are still higher than the average over the past few months, so I'm not too concerned.
Here's the cumulative earnings:
The biggest reason for the drop in earnings is the drop in traffic.
So, the traffic is still quite a bit lower than it was in January and February, but I think that trend will be reversed in September (as I'll explain below).
Here's the Google analytics for August:
Yes, the traffic still seems to be trending down for the month; however, I really do think I can reverse it.
Over the past few months, I've mentioned several times that we've been having issues with different Pinterest plugins that we've tried. This has caused traffic to go way down because we have not been able to pin our images to Pinterest.
I actually didn't know the depth of the problem for a couple of months, because I've had a VA pinning images. The VA finally informed me that the images were not getting placed on Pinterest properly.
As a result, we finally found a solution that appears to be working. We are no longer using any plugins to pin the images; instead we are using a simple Chrome extension.
The tool we are now using is called Pin It Button from the Chrome web store. Its free and its working great for our purposes.
In addition to hopefully getting some traffic back, we are also trying a CPM ad network to hopefully increase the earnings. The network is in addition to the other ads we are currently using to monetize the site (Media.net, Infolinks.com, and Kontera).
So, far the site has made $1,819.54; which is getting close to what I paid for the site!
Other Sites Purchased
As mentioned very briefly in the my past 2 monthly reports, I also purchased a site a couple of months ago. And now just last week, I made another site purchase!
Lets call my purchase made a couple of months ago “Site 3”. That site has been hugely profitable for me so far. In fact, in a period of about 3 months, we've basically DOUBLED the earnings! It went from earnings about $1,700 in the month I bought it; to about $3,400 in August!
One interesting tidbit about this site is that its earns really well from both Amazon and Google Adsense. Because I know everyone loves earnings screenshots; here's the Amazon and Adsense earnings for “Site 3”:
The recipe for success again has been fairly straight forward here: move ads around for better conversion, add new content targeting low competition keywords, and build new links.
Purchase of “Site 4”
Just last week I purchased another site; lets call it “Site 4”. This is another larger site that made about $1,900 last month; primarily from Google Adsense.
I do believe that there is alot I can do to improve the earnings of Site 4 as well over the next few months. This site gets quite a bit of traffic and therefore I can test out different ads, layouts, or other tactics.
Check out the traffic from Site 4:
As you can see with over 5,000 sessions a day, we can test out lots of different ways to improve the earnings. In addition, it's in a market that I believe has almost limitless long tail keywords that we could be targeting. So, I'll be busting out Long Tail Pro once again to do some serious keyword research for this one and start adding new content.
Perrin and I are really starting to see the potential of buying sites, and plan to put more time, money, and effort into buying more properties, growing them, and eventually selling them.
Buying vs. Building
In fact, we feel like it's a better use of our time and money than building new sites from scratch at this point. We have about a dozen sites that we built at the beginning of this year, and some are performing well; however, the time of 6 – 8 months that it takes a site to really start seeing much income is a big hurdle.
So, I have no plans to build any new niche sites in the foreseeable future (of course things could change). But I do plan on growing my existing sites, building out our 1 huge authority site, and then building our portfolio through site purchases.
Perrin and I are still relentlessly working on our Authority site. The plan here is to build a huge asset over the next couple of years. I don't expect the site to earn too much money in the first 12 months as we built it up.
So far the site has 26 in-depth posts of 3,000 words each (all targeting long tail keywords of course). In addition, the site has almost 60 news articles that are much shorter current events type posts. We are not messing around with this site!
We are also taking a “white hat” approach to link building. We are doing a lot of outreach to connect with others. Its a very slow process, but as a result we've been able to get a link from the Huffington Post, University of Phoenix, and a couple other colleges!
The number of links is very small, but the quality of links is through the roof.
A big part of our monetization plan for the site to start is with Kindle books. We are in the process of finishing up the first book and should have it up and selling in the next month or so. If all goes well, we will get a few sales and kickstart our brand.
The plan is to do many more kindle ebooks as many Kindle experts have recommended (such as Jonny Andrews that I recently interviewed).
Also for marketing, I am going to start running ads on Facebook to build an email list. This initial email list will be how we launch the first Kindle book and of course future books or products.
Perrin and I had a long discussion about this, but essentially since we have money to invest…why wait for Google to start sending traffic? So, we are going to invest a bit to build up an email list and initial audience, and then hopefully we'll already be making money by the time Google starts to send us lots of traffic (hopefully) in several months.
So, this month should be fun! We should have lots to report on in the next month or two as we optimize and learn strategies for using paid traffic, and then as we launch and sell our first kindle ebook. So stay tuned. 🙂
Other Business Updates
As mentioned last month in my report, I'm starting to a get more involved with my local business community. As a result, I may be moving into a new office (currently working out of my home) by the end of the month.
I've also partnered with 2 others in Tricities, WA to start up a software development firm. More details to follow on this.
I thought I'd also mention that a new design is coming soon to NichePursuits.com! The deployment is probably still 2 months away; but I've hired a developer who is actively working on the project.
So, far we've gone through and revamped the logo and basically finalized some photoshop mockups for the site. I'm excited to bring a fresh look to the site!
Overall, I hope you enjoyed this income report and business update from my end. I have to admit that I'm more excited about working on “Site 3” and “Site 4” than I am the Adsense and Pinterest site. In addition, I'm on the lookout to buy another site or two because I see a lot of potential in the business.
So, if you are looking to sell a site that is making over $1,000 per month, please contact me.
Perrin and I are also excited about the Authority site that we are building; especially since we've been able to land some outstanding links. However, the love from Google probably won't come for several months, so we will just keep plugging along and will give you updates as they occur.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to join the discussion below!
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