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Record Month for Traffic and Earnings! Niche Site Project 4 April 2019 Report

What happened in April with my site was EPIC!

I knew that April was going to be a good month, because I could see the traffic trending up.  However, I was not expecting the site to earn as much as it did or the traffic to increase as much as it did.

Long story short, the site went from earning $128.41 to $565.44!  I was not expecting the earnings to more than quadruple.

Today I'm going to share exactly how the site made its money and why things have really started to take off.  The best part?  The traffic continues to trend up (especially from Google) in the early part of May and I expect that things will continue to grow all around.

Let's jump into the monthly report.

Earnings

In total, my Niche Site Project 4 site earned $565.44 in April!  A record month by far…and I love the trend line on this graph :). 

Where did the earnings come from?  $494.46 from the Amazon Associates program and $70.98 from Ezoic display ads.

Amazon Earnings

As you can see, I had a few really big days.  This happened because someone bought a really expensive item on those days.  I sold a $1,700 item on 1 day…nice! I can't expect that to happen all the time, but when it does it's great!

However, you can still see that most days of the month, people were ordering items.  So, the “small” green bars you see are still close to $10 in earnings, they just look smaller because of the $100+ day I had.

Ezoic Earnings

This screenshot shows how my earnings has grown on Ezoic each month.  (Ignore May, since that only covers the first few days of the month).

I'm okay with the $70.89 in earnings from Ezoic (display ads); however, I can't wait until I can get approved on Mediavine.  My earnings from display ads should at least double when I switch to Mediavine.  And my site is just about at the traffic level where I can apply. 

Hopefully, in the next 30 days I can make the switch!

Costs

Last month I wrote an extremely in-depth post about all the costs associated with Niche Site Project 4.  I'm outsourcing nearly every aspect of the project and so my costs are higher than they would be if I did everything myself.  

I've included an updated P&L that includes my costs for the month of April.  

So, you can see that I spent over $1,600 on the site in April, for a total loss of $1,100.  In total, I've spent over $15,000 on the site since inception.

I do have a plan in place to eliminate some of the Pinterest expenses, so I'll let you know how that goes (if it happens next month).

However, my investment in content is clearly working, so I plan to continue investing in more content and will likely be spending $1k to $2k a month on the site for the next year or more.  The idea is that in the next few months the site is making more than I spend obviously :). 

Traffic

So, where is the traffic coming from?  Well, I can now say that it's mostly coming from Google.

In previous months most of the traffic was from Pinterest.  However, the traffic from Google has really started to pick up and Pinterest has still increased, but not as quickly as the traffic from Google.

Total Traffic

As you can see the site just cracked 10,000 total users for the month…a nice milestone!

And here's the total traffic growth since inception (I know you guys like this stuff…)

Google/Organic Traffic

Organic traffic essentially doubled during the month of April.  In fact, to make the trend even easier to see, here's the organic traffic over the life of the site.

Pinterest Traffic

Now here's the total Pinterest traffic since the inception of the site, it's also still growing, but not as quickly as Google traffic.

So, in total, the site had roughly 4,000 sessions from Pinterest and almost 6,000 sessions from Google.  I expect that gap to continue to grow as the traffic from Google increases at a more rapid pace.

I built the site to primarily perform well with organic sources, so I'm happy to see that things are starting to pay off.

In general, my site is starting to rank higher for my targeted keywords.  A few months ago, I wasn't ranking in the top 10 of Google for any of my targeted keywords.  Now I'm ranking on the first page of Google for a couple dozen of my targeted keywords (and of course for a ton more long tail keywords and variations).

I believe this mostly just has to do with age.  

Here's a screenshot from Long Tail Pro, which I use to track my rankings in Google, that shows a sample of some of the keywords that are ranking on the first page.

Content

Last month I published a total of 13 articles on the site.  I'm not happy with that.

I would like to be publishing closer to 20 to 30 articles a month.  I've asked my writers to increase their output a bit, an I believe that May should be a higher production month.  

My site is doing well and Google appears to be liking the content I'm putting out, so I see no reason to not increase the content production over the next several months (and maybe permanently).

The more articles I write, the more keywords I can target and potential traffic I can capture from Google.  Every single article targets a different keyword or set of keywords, so they each have the potential to help the site grow and make more money.

Link Building

I did not do very much link building in April.  

I got 1 guest post from my own outreach efforts (i.e. my employee did the outreach, writing, etc.).

The Hoth

I also finally got the links that I ordered through the Hoth in March added in April!  In total, I ordered 3 guest post links through The Hoth and it took a bit longer than expected to get the link.  But I guess that's just because they do actual outreach to find the opportunities.

So, I was fine with the waiting period.

With those 3 links from the Hoth, I went from ranking #14 for my chosen keyword to high as #5 after the links.  I've settled back down to rank #8 for that particular keyword.

As you can see, the traffic overall has grown quite a bit for that one page after using The Hoth for links.   The traffic increase is partly due to ranking better for my exact targeted keyword, but also due to ranking better for lots of little long tail keywords that I wasn't specifically targeting.

When I ordered, I asked for links on sites with a DA of 30 or more.  The 3 links I got were on sites with a DA of: 43, 58, and 62.  So, they definitely delivered there.

If you are interested in links through The Hoth, check them out here.

New Plans for Link Building

Overall, my site is growing and the authority of the site is growing as well.  My plan is to try a couple more link building “campaigns” over the next couple of months, and then honestly I might chill a bit with new links.

That all depends on how well my site is performing.

Most of my content is ranking without any links, meaning I haven't built links to the specific pages for most of my content.  In fact, the large majority of my articles ranking on the first page of Google don't have any links pointing to them.  And if they do have links, they were links that just happened on their own without my involvement.

So, is link building needed beyond what I've already done and a couple more “campaigns”?  Probably not, unless I try to target more difficult keywords.

Here's the steps of my link building plan:

  1. Create an epic piece of content based on original research and surveys. I plan to create an original survey and get hundreds of responses from real people using FB ads (as needed) to get enough responses to make the data relevant.
  2. Find websites that are covering similar types of content in my niche or other relevant niches using Ahrefs or Scrapebox. This will likely be several thousand websites.
  3. Use tools like Hunter.io to automatically find the email addresses of all those websites.
  4. Use tools like Mailshake to automate the outreach emails and responses (as much as possible) to find interesting websites in linking to my content.
  5. Additionally, reach out to some targeted contacts and journalists from larger publications depending on how interesting the data is from the surveys I collect.

This is the process that SEOs have used for years…other than step 1.  Yes, most people try to create an epic piece of content. However, my plan is to do some actual original research, survey people, put together beautiful charts/graphs, and make the content quite unique.

It's a lot more work.

However, if I can put together an interesting study related to my niche, it's something that I believe people would be happy to share and link to.

A big part of my plan is to make the survey niche relevant, but also potentially humorous (in certain circumstances) and timely with current events.  Then I open up the potential for sites beyond those just in my niche to get a link from, but larger news outlets and blogs that cover more current events as well.

I won't go into any more detail because at this point I haven't done anything.  This is my rough plan and I'll share more details when I've actually done something and seen some results.

Email List

I've been collecting emails for a couple of months now.  Beyond just a welcome email though, I haven't done a single thing with it.

I'm a little embarrassed.

My goal for May is to build out a longer auto-responder series that drives subscribers back to my site.  I'd like to have 30+ emails that drip out over 90 days or so.

Right now my email list has 118 subscribers.

What's Next?

So, to recap what my plans are next for the site, it's basically more of the same.

I'm super happy with the progress of the site and I expect even better things to come!  The traffic in early May is continuing to grow, so I expect that May will be another record month.

Niche Site Project 4 Participant Reports

As usual, we have lots of people that are building niche sites right along with me.  I love seeing that people are also starting to see more traffic and more earnings for their sites.  All the hard work is starting to pay off for some people.

In fact, it looks like we had a couple more people break the $1,000 earnings mark in April. Keep up the great work everyone!

Real Name or Nickname  Number of articles TOTAL published on your site since inception? Number of Total “Sessions” your site received in April 2019? Earnings for April 2019?
What was accomplished in April 2019 for your site? 
Md Billal Hossain Sarker 8 1267 $99.02 https://authorityaid.com/
Jesse 63 1668 $48.58
Published a couple of articles, did some CRO. Traffic and earnings are still increasing, slow and steady. I created another niche site 3 months after this one that has less than half the content yet is getting more traffic already. I may shift focus.
jac 0 836 $125.44
Kept working on social media. Received first payment from Booking affiliate.
Simon 35 8000 $800.00
Many speed improvements, a few good articles posted. Mostly slacked off this month. But finally getting some good rankings for posts published in December and seeing a huge jump in organic traffic this week (about 200 a day total)
Ashraful Alam 12 0 $0.00
I launched my site in april 25
dan 35 8099 $173.42
traffic almost doubled compared to march
Andrew Courtney 105 50494 $518.24
8 articles published. Most of my earnings are from ads. Disappointing CTR to Amazon and subsequent low affiliate commissions, so will need to work on this. Organic traffic growing strongly. Going to have major content push in May.
Alwayne 86 1386 $33.00
I sold the first site i started in September because it was in the multi niche, so this site is relatively new, i started it in December, so it now 5 month old, i writed all articles myself and i currently have a solid backlink profile, i think i should hit over $100 for the month of may.
Jae Jun 13 1073 $3,027.36
Biggest month.

Drastically improved website design and converted everything into a sales page format. Immediate improvements in website engagement. You can see it at www.gorillaroi.com.

Finally published the emails I was sending out as a blog and posting about our goal of trying to hit $5M on Amazon. You can see it at gorillaroi.com/blog/

Also landed a couple of sales for the our highest paid product which boosted revenue.

Keep in mind that the site and business is still losing money. Way below the investment so far but the future is bright. Trending in the right direction without putting anything into marketing and growth.

Ismail Blogger 102 11650 $1,249.00
our Focused was more on Low competition keywords instead of focusing on comeptitor. outranking them was hard and thus low KD keyword worked very well,.. this month goal is $2000 in earning and 20k ahrefs traffic. for more youtube.com/ismailblogger
Mouad Real 35 1021 $70.00
added 2 guest post and some blog comment also i start a outreach
Ryan K 76 65 $4.38
Month 4: My niche site received 92 clicks on affiliate links, some of which were myself testing links. My site made $4.38 which is slightly up from last month. No purchases have been for the actual products I write about, but still made some commissions. I guess that’s the plus side of amazon associates…
bill 58 363 $25.70
Growth 50% from March. Some of keyword are in top 3
Ryan K 76 65 $4.38
Month 4: My niche site received 92 clicks on affiliate links, some of which were myself testing links. My site made $4.38 which is slightly up from last month. No purchases have been for the actual products I write about, but still made some commissions. I guess that’s the plus side of amazon associates…
Towfiq 52 2019 $34.35
I was expecting to Earn more from the site in April. But the earning is lower than the previous month. The traffic is growing and most of them on the info page.
Rohan 6 14 $0.00
Nothing – my laptop broke…And I finding it difficult to write. Fingers crossed.
Arun 14 200 $3.00
The first sale happened in April. Though I dropped the previous idea, this niche seems okay.. Still not the 100% indexed but the articles which got indexed helped in earning my first penny 🙂
Justin 12 32 $0.00
Increase articles and content on the site
Sakibul 62 25 $47.08
Published new article and created some new links
smshs 37 556 $28.98 NA
Rob 7 221 $26.46
added 2 new review posts
adriprasetyo 0 0 $0.00 don't have a site yet
Chelle 17 1722 $24.62
Just letting it chill for now. Might get back around to working on it one of these days, lol
Dave Clifton 30 515 $0.17
Added adsense to my site.
Jobe 54 2067 $288.00
I could not do much during April because I moved out to another country. From now on I hope to start working more hours on this project as I haven't been able to work many hours but I am very happy with the results. It's been 6 months since I started the project and both organic traffic and earnings are growing constantly. By the end of June, I hope to get to four figures.
Rachel 18 1706 $46.00
Just one new article published. Organic traffic growing and now equal to pinterest traffic. Focus continues to be on creating new content to build relevancy and authority.
Hassane 15 50 $0.00
Didn't do much this month. Was busy working on an older site.
Angela Lewis 24 123 $10.23
I’ve been participating in a daily activity “vlog” everyday that is Videos for the site.
Mr Alexander 6 0 $0.00
I have about 15 articles that are drafted but were never reviewed and published. Published 5 posts and got back on track to actively pushing the site.
Steve Allen 24 86 $0.00
Not a great deal of progress due to other projects. Traffic was down in April also. I explain things in more detail in my latest update on my blog at coffeeshopblogger.com.
Rek 0 0 $0.00
Joined the niche project challenge a week ago.
Jules Amador 23 3792 $20.47
All my stats are down and I'm sure that's because I haven't been publishing much new content. In April I only added 2 new posts and sent out one email newsletter. I added Milotree a couple of weeks ago to try to build my Instagram, and I'll report back after 30 days to see if it's made a difference. I'm determined to turn it out this month, though! I have a bunch of posts planned, and I'm excited to see how it goes!
Lucio 9 123 $2.00 Zero articles
Ben Doyle 58 4943 $91.37
Wrote and published 5 articles and spent the rest of my time link building
Hasan 25 993 $26.17
Not much was accomplished for this month – I drafted a new post which will be published in May and then will ramp up content. NS4 project has helped me rededicate focus.
Ryan Faucher 110 2948 $78.84
Started really researching the best domains for guest posting. Also set up a Tailwind account for Pinterest and Instagram. Full details here: https://bit.ly/2DKwusD
Belal Hossain 31 10 $0.00
I Publish Some New Content
Yuyu 48 1106 $61.37
Trying to create different kind of pinterest images and pin to multiple group boards
Jess 0 0 $0.00
I still have zero articles posted on my site, but I was able to hire my first four writers. From this, I received four article drafts! Onward and upward in May!
Steve K 87 1478 $1,217.78 n/a
Noor 105 17 $0.00
2 more info articles published. Content marketing goes on.



Projects & Case Studies

By Spencer Haws
June 05, 2019 | 36 Comments

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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36 Comments

Join the conversation

Leave a comment
Glen Allsopp

Good to see the updates coming, Spencer.

Congrats on a great month!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Glen! Just saw you published an article on Tech Crunch…what!?! Nice job :).

Helen

Great work and congrats on your progress 🙂
Did you add schema.org to your site and did you find it helpful? (in terms of ranking)?

Spencer Haws

I have not done anything specific for Schema on the site.

Higgins

Hi Spencer, Congrats with the progress, seems like it’s finally starting to go in the right direction 🙂
I have a question for you regarding repixel. You mentioned it in one of your emails so i signed up but at the point where i had to place the pixel on my site i had seconds thoughts…. Do you think its safe? Could it be penalized in any way… Like to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks!

Spencer Haws

Yes, I think it’s safe. Adding a tracking pixel to a site is very common, which is what Repixel is.

Ricky

Congrats on the growth! Also was credited for the sale of a $1,500 item on amazon on Sunday and waiting to see how much commission is coming! Very curious to learn about how the FB ads and survey will play into your affiliate site model. I’ll stay tuned as I have for years!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ricky!

Tommy

Congrats on the high ticket affiliate sale. Hope that the category you are in pays out a good percentage.
I sold a 450 Euro product last month and only got 1% comission (Amazon changed the commission structure to this low value 2 yrs ago).

@Spencer – looks like it is now really kicking off – get going !

Avi Lang

just curious why do you need

pinterest management
pinterest VA
&
Tailwind

isn’t tailwind a management service for pinterest?

Thank You

Spencer Haws

Tailwind is a software tool.

Avi Lang

yes i know that. so why do you need:

pinterest management & pinterest VA?

isn’t a VA just enough?

thank you

Ray Okoyo

I like the progress you’re making Spenser

Just have a few questions

I write the content on my site, and it’s getting a little overwhelming. I also need to scale.

What’s your content writing process like? Do you use freelancing sites like Upwork? How much should I expect to pay for a good writer?

Thank you

Avi Lang

I also want to know this i would like to know what his template and writing style is like

Jae Jun

Keep crushing it Spencer!
Looking forward to May results.

Darius

Hey there Spencer,

I’m glad that you are sharing us almost everything about your Niche Site Project 4.
However, I would like to ask about Ezoic.

I already worked with them last year, and for a traffic of 11,000 sessions like you had in April 2019, earnings of only $70 are quite low.

My green energy blog had 16,000 sessions in April (mostly free organic traffic), and I won $86 even if my ADS impressions are coming from pretty long articles (1500+ words long), which have a very low CTR.

I still have my Ezoic account, but I don’t know if it is a good idea to use it, or I would earn much better using my own ads.

Spencer Haws

Okay, thanks for the heads up.

Jobe

Hi Spencer,

Great work! I’d like to suggest something:

I think that the participant’s reports would be much more valuable if you add a couple of extra columns, when the site started (in months) and what type of site is (affiliate from Amazon or from others, physical products, ads, etc)

I read through your report each month and I’d really know those factors so I can have a much clear picture of how well are people doing without revealing the site.

What do you think?

Regards

Spencer Haws

I might be able to add that. All sites were started after Aug. 2018.

Roland

Damn Spencer! :O

You did great!

This was an awesome month.

I think that Your website will start making a lot of money now. Congrats!

I have a question. Do You have a good tuto on how to use Pinterest to build traffic please?

It would help.

Thanks.

Spencer Haws

thanks! No, I don’t have a tutorial on pinterest.

Roland

I have another question.

What is the total words count of your website?

I mean, how many words for all the 120 articles?

Thanks.

Spencer Haws

I don’t know.

Anthony Beckles

Hey Spence, this was an excellent read. This is my first time reading this project, so I am going to go back and read the rest of them.

Michael

Hi Spencer,

when do you finally reveal your websie? I can’t wait to see it.

I think you are ahead enough now to fight any copycats?

Spencer Haws

I plan to reveal the site when it’s making $1000 a month.

Mathew

Excellent Spencer Really happy to see your progress i want to ask 2 question if dont mind

1: Do think long content performs well in niche projects ?
2: What will you prefer most CPA or Amazon Affiliates and reason also ?

Thanks Advance for your answer 🙂

Spencer Haws

1. Yes, absolutely. Everyone’s definition of “long” is different. But I almost never have an article shorter than 2,000 words. Most are 3k+ words.
2. Just depends on the niche.

Purnendu Das

Continue smashing it Spencer!

Anticipating May results.

Jillian P

Wow, just read through the whole NSP 4, love the warts and all reporting, so refreshing!
My main takeaway is that it’s no longer possible to throw up a 20 page site and be making money next month, now it’s all about authority and trust. Quality content and lots of it.

I’m just getting back into IM after a few years break, and I was planning on putting up a handful of Ama sites, but may have to rethink, and concentrate on one site.
My worry though is that some update, or change of terms etc comes along and bang goes all the time and effort you’ve put into that one big site.
The question I’m asking in my waffly way is would you still recommend just going full tilt on one site, even for those who don’t have the backup of established, profitable sites?

Thanks, looking forward to the reveal, but don’t do it too soon!

Spencer Haws

I would recommend focusing on 1 site. Good luck!

Tom

I second Spencer’s advice: focus on 1 site! If you build something big, you’ll have the power to pivot if/when there are Google/Amazon updates.

For example, if Amazon stops its affiliate program, you can still use ad networks or other affiliates. If Google serves you with a penalty, you can work to remove it.

Chances are, these issues would also affect multiple smaller sites if you had them, but by focusing on a single site, you’ll have the resources to build something that can compete with other sites out there.

(further reading: https://www.amazon.com/ONE-Thing-Surprisingly-Extraordinary-Results/dp/1885167776)

Rohit kumar

Thanks a lot for sharing your report I think there should be at least two websites

aziz haida

great insights here, thanks for sharing.

Just would like to ask if you can recommend good writers for my content, i Tried some sites and I feel Like im wasting money.

Thanks
Azoz

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