Another couple of months have passed, and Samara, Colleen, and Ryan have been hard at work. Below you will find their updates for both November and December.
As you can see, they are started to see varying degrees of success. I'm very happy with the effort that they have put in, and I expect that their sites will continue to grow.
Remember, this is the first time that any of them have really attempted to build a niche site, so the fact that they are starting to make money and get traffic is a good thing. Below you will find the updates written by each of the students.
Samara Update for TinyFry.com
Happy New Year! I hope everyone and their niche sites went out with a bang in 2016.
I have been busy these last few months working on TinyFry.com. In truth there’s not a ton of new info to share, as you already know the strategy I’m using: publish good content, do some outreach, get a few backlinks. I’m also pleased to report that it seems to be working.
Traffic continues to grow, as you can see from this screenshot from Google Analytics.
In other positive news, I had my best months yet selling through my affiliate links on Amazon in November and December, earning $149 and $284, respectively. I’m obviously excited about this, but I also fear that my good performance was attributable mainly to holiday shopping and doesn’t truly reflect the growth trend I’ve been seeing. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in January.
I took some time out to redesign and reorganize my home page, and I think it looks pretty respectable! I’ve also reformatted almost all of my articles, so that they all follow the same structure, for the most part. This was time consuming, but I think the feel and look are more coherent now.
On a negative note, I’ve realized I completely suck at social media. Theoretically, it doesn’t seem that difficult to find something interesting and relevant to post on a daily basis, but it actually is. I was able to get my act together for maybe a few weeks in the last two months, but then I just put social media on the backburner again.
I’ve also dropped the ball with my monthly newsletters. Embarrassingly, I actually forgot to send them on more than one occasion! At the moment they’re kind of like an afterthought for me, so now I’ve programmed a reminder in my phone to make sure I send them out. I haven’t made much of an effort to get new subscribers, although they continue to trickle in, and now I have about 50.
Overall I’m super pleased, and I feel like I’m seeing results from all the content creation, linkbuilding and outreach I’ve been doing. But to be perfectly honest, I thought I would see faster growth and better results sooner. Realistically, there are only so many hours in the day, and like lots of you, I’m also juggling a family and a job, among other things, and sometimes I don’t even sit down at my computer until 11 pm!
The real truth is that it’s an uphill battle that takes a lot of time, patience and perseverance. That’s okay though because, as I’ve said before, I’m in this for the long haul! I hope you guys are too!
Colleen Update on Coustii.com
It's been a short couple months since our last update, or maybe it feels a bit longer for you. Things have been busy, but in a great way! In the past month I've started my own business in the Web Development realm AND am getting ready to jetset off to Southeast Asia for a few months. Nothing like the sand in your toes and a cocktail in hand while you work, am I right?
Enough about me, let's talk about Coustii! November and December were big months for my site. If you remember, back and July I switched my link building efforts to content creation. Selecting keywords in Long Tail Pro that had low competition and good traffic.
In October, I received about 4,500 sessions. In November I had 6,700! Then things got real in December when I received 12,500 sessions! That means I practically doubled my traffic from November to December. I also noticed a slight increase in my DA from 32 to 34.
Of course November and December are prime Amazon affiliate months. With people buying presents for friends and family, I received a nice little check from Amazon. In November I made $92 and in December $111. I know that the holiday gift giving will subside in January, but I'm looking forward to seeing how my increase in traffic impacts my Amazon earnings.
I do have to thank Spencer and Perrin immensely, because these skills and opportunities that I've gained through the Niche Site Project 3 is what is allowing me live the lifestyle I've always dreamed!
Until next time!
Ryan Update on FiveToolSchool.com
Oh man, do I dread these write-ups.
They are a reminder that time flies, and that excuses build walls between you and your dreams. But, it’s not all bad this time around.
I do have some victories (small ones)! And everything is still trending in the right direction – just very slowly. So, I’m going to choose to look at things being positive in general.
- I think I’ve published three or four articles since our last check-in. I know that is pathetically low, but it’s a lot for me – especially considering how long it can take me to finish just ONE article. Maybe it’s actually time to outsource a few. I’ve been trying to avoid that because money is tight as it is, but I think I’m finally going to bite the bullet and see if I can find a decent writer at a decent price.
- I wrote my first guest post. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a guest-poster now. I actually think I wrote a really great piece that’s going to (hopefully) get a decent amount of traffic for this person’s site. I also allowed a guest post on my site. I wasn’t expecting to do that, but I trusted the person, I need content, and it’s kind of hypocritical to be a guest-poster and not a guest-postee, no? So, I did it, and I’m glad I did.
- I’ve reinstated my Amazon Affiliate links. I was starting to get some actual traffic, and I figured it was time to see what kind of clicks I was getting. No sales yet, but I’m getting clicks. Just waiting for that first person to order! You can see my pathetic Amazon stats below. Here’s the thing… I only have two affiliate articles right now. Everything else is informational. After I finish the big article that I’m working on, I’m going to transition to writing 2-3 (killer) money articles. Maybe more. I don’t want the site to become lopsided, but I’m definitely out of the sandbox and it’s time to see if I can get some sales.
I have a concern about my market…
I’m a little worried that a large portion of my market is going to be under age. When I think about who’s the most interested in baseball products, it’s definitely kids. Most adults (with the exception of me, and awesome people like me) don’t play baseball.
They used to, but they don’t now.
That means that a lot of the traffic to my site may be kids that have no means to actually make a purchase.
I’m not naive enough to think that parents don’t search the same things their kids do, in an effort to buy them the best gear. But I also know that kids are going to be driving these purchases, and how does that work, exactly?
I really don’t know.
Do teenagers put stuff in their parent’s Amazon cart and then beg them to buy it? Do they research this stuff and then show their parents the screen and say, “this is what I want”! Only to have their parents ignore them for weeks at a time until they’re ready to make a purchase?
I don’t now how modern e-commerce works. When I was a kid, you went to the sporting goods store with your parents and showed them what you wanted… and then they bought you something cheaper.
So it’s a legitimate concern, I think. Do any of you guys have niche sites that fall into this category? I’d be interested to hear.
As you can see from the stats below, I’m not exactly blowing the doors off of Google. I’d say I’m doing okay considering the lack of backlinks and the lack of content. Keyword planning and on-page SEO are the only things garnering me traffic right now.
But, as I say every time we have an update, I’m not giving up. This is just what my pace has been. I was never in this for a quick buck, anyway. Authenticity was probably the most important thing to me.
It just kinda sucks that I’m authentically slow. I hope everyone else is crushing it!
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the progress of Samara, Colleen, and Ryan. Each of them have been putting in effort and starting to see some results, and earnings!
I believe that they all have the skills now to more or less do everything on their own. So, whether they continue to work on these existing sites or whether they decide they want to build something new, they have the knowledge and ability to do so.
I look forward to seeing the progress they make over the next couple of months.