I can hardly believe that is was six months ago that I created a batch of 20 niche sites in August 2011. I have been disclosing the earnings, rankings, and much more on these sites for the past few months. You can see the earnings after 90 days here and 120 days here. In addition, it has been just a little under six months ago that I created my Authority site. If you need a refresher on my Authority Site Project, you can read about it here.
Now before I dive into this income report, I want to stress 2 things. First, the earnings from these 6 month old sites is not typical. I have created several sites since this August batch, and while they do earn a decent amount, its no where close to what these sites have done. So, that is the first point I wanted to stress: These are not typical for small niche sites! However, this is what is possible.
Just to give you an idea of how atypical these site are; I usually try to shoot for a $1/day (each) on average for my small niche sites; my average across all my sites is closer to $2/day. However, these sites are averaging almost $4/day (each)! That's twice as much as I usually get across all my sites as a whole.
Second, I want to stress that I had created over 200 sites before I created these, and those sites still make me a decent income every month. I have also created many sites after these 20 sites, and those sites are also earning money. So, I just want to be clear that these are NOT the only sites I own…they are just sites that I have been tracking publicly on the blog here for 6 months.
How Did I Create These 20 Sites?
To give a quick review of how I created these sites, I wanted to mention a few things. To find the keywords that I used to base these sites on, I used Long Tail Pro (my keyword research tool). I used some of these methods to generate seed keywords as I discussed here. Then I analyzed the top 10 results in Google to determine which of those keywords were low competition.
I have harped on this over and over again, but the only way to tell the true competition for a keyword is to analyze the top 10 results in Google! Title competition, number of competing pages, red or green lights, will NOT tell you if its a good keyword is. If you want to know exactly step by step how I analyze the top 10 Google results, then you should read or re-read this post on analyzing the competition.
I outsourced content via TextBroker.com. Then I used a couple of different article/blog networks to build links. I used MyArticleNetwork.com to get some links, and then I also used Unique Article Wizard to get additional links. You can read my EXACT step by step guidelines for how I built links to these sites: Ultimate Backlinking Strategy for Niche Sites.
That is essentially everything I have done to the sites. I have not touched most of the sites since I created them (the exception is site #1 below which I've added new content to).
Earnings for My 6 Month Old Sites
As you can see from the image above, these sites brought in a whopping $2,305.02 in the month of January via Google Adsense! So, six months after I created these sites, they are still earning good money, and its all passive at this point. After initially building them and completing my typical link building for the sites, I have not really touched them. For site #1, I have added additional content and I have started a second link building campaign. There is about 25 articles on site #1 now.
You will notice that the sites are ranked by January earnings. The sites were assigned a number in my first income report on these sites, so I have left the site numbers the same and re-ordered them based on January earnings. So, site #16 for example is the same site#16 from the income report 3 months ago.
Yes, I know that site #1 is bringing in the majority of the income. This is part of my niche website strategy. Build lots of sites and find the big winners; read my post here about this.
However, even without site #1 these sites are profitable. I have spent probably right around $2,000 creating these sites, building links to them, paying my Virtual Assistant, etc. However, since creation I have easily over quadrupled my money on that $2,000 investment. So, even if the sites fell off the face of the Earth tomorrow, it still has been an excellent investment. In reality I expect at least the top half of these sites to be around for a few years (if I don't sell them first) only increasing my Return on Investment.
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My Authority Site Earnings
The second part of this report is dedicated to my Authority Site Project that I also began roughly six months ago. You can read about the ups and downs of the Authority Site Project here.
Here is the earnings and ranking report:
How I Built A Niche Site That Makes $2,985 Per Month
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Obviously, the earnings of $130.65 is a bit disappointing considering that I made over $200 from the site last month. The site is also lower in rank. This month has been VERY active as far as rankings is concerned. My site started out at 11, then I started building more links via Unique Article Wizard and Build My Rank. Then the site started to dance around. It jumped down to as low as the mid 30s, then bounced up to the first page for a day or 2 at #10, then dropped to the 3rd page, and then back up to the middle of the second page. So, its been all over the place this month.
To be honest, I am getting very little traffic from my primary keyword. Although when it was on the first page for a day or 2, I definitely saw an increase for traffic from that keyword. However, the majority is coming from hundreds of different long tail keywords from all the content on my site. There are over 100 articles on the site and so I get search engine traffic for various keywords.
Overall, this project is not turning out as well as I had hoped at this point, but the reality is that a site earning $130 a month is not bad at all! I haven't recouped my investment on this site yet, but I will if the site keeps earnings between $100 to $200 per month. But I still plan on working on the site, primarily through link building, and getting the rankings and earnings up.
Overall, that is a quick snapshot of earnings from 2 of my projects: a batch of 20 sites built 6 months ago, and my Authority site. I've done my best to lay out what has happened with these sites, how I created them, and why they are earning money. Do you have any thoughts or comments that you would like to add to the discussion? If so, let me hear it below!