Niche Site Project 4 Monthly Income Report for July 2019
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Now that my niche site has been revealed, I'm happy to share that the site has continued to grow and progress.
In full disclosure, I didn't focus very much on my site, OwnTheYard.com, because of other things I was focused on during July. I launched Link Whisper in early/mid July which took a lot of time. Then I was on vacation at the end of July.
Despite my lack of focus, it was great to see the site achieve another record month in terms of earnings and traffic!
While the site did have a record month, I have some concerns that August won't be a bigger month than July. I'll share those concerns in a bit, but please rest assured that I don't think anything “bad” is going to happen to my site, I just think there are some improvements that I need to make to keep it growing.
Let's jump into the report!
During the month of July, OwnTheYard.com earned a total of $1,392.11! As you can see from the chart above, that's another record month. The site is now about 11 months old, and I'm very happy with the results that I've seen.
The site made $692.16 from Amazon Associates and $699.95 from Ezoic ads.
Please note that the above screenshot is for Amazon US only. I finally got around to setting up Amazon UK and Amazon Germany last month, so I had a little bit of earnings there as well. About $7.45 in Amazon international earnings. It's not much, but I'll take it!
I have some ideas to increase my Amazon earnings, which I discuss in my revenue concerns below.
As you can see, the earnings from Ezoic continued to grow rapidly! In total, I made nearly $700 from Ezoic display ads alone.
While I'm excited with the Ezoic growth and earnings, as I take a deeper look it raises some concerns about how it's impacting my Amazon earnings and site speed.
My primary way of monetizing OwnTheYard.com has always been Amazon Associates. However, you can see that I actually made more from Ezoic display ads than Amazon (just barely) in July.
While initially, that sounds nice, I think I may have too many ads on my site, which is causing my Amazon Associates earnings to be lower than it could be.
So, here's my 3 concerns with the monetization on the site and how I plan to fix these issues:
- I have too many display ads, specifically on posts monetized with Amazon Associates. So, in the next few days, I plan to go through all my articles that are primarily monetized by Amazon and will remove the Ezoic display ads. This will allow people to focus on clicking over to Amazon and buying. This will result in lower Ezoic earnings, but will hopefully be made up by even more earnings from Amazon.
- I believe a combination of Cloudflare, WPRocket, and Ezoic is causing caching issues with my Table Labs tables (Amazon product comparison tables). As you can see from the screenshot below, my tables are not showing up! This has been an ongoing issue for a few months. The Tables will show up…and then not. Once I clear the Ezoic cache and Cloudflare cache, they show up again. I have tables across several other sites (on the same hosting account) and NEVER have issues with those. As a result, I am going to try disabling the WP Rocket plugin to see if that helps them “stick”. I just disabled the plugin, and hopefully that improves the situation.
- I need to improve the site speed, I'm likely losing revenue because people are bouncing off my site before it fully loads. A few months ago, I had hired someone to speed up my site (from Upwork). I'm going to go back and have them do it again. I believe that a big reason my site is slower now is due to the Ezoic ads. However, I'm hopeful I can figure out a solution that keeps my site blazing fast in addition to having ads on my site.
Tables Not Showing Up
The fact that none of my tables are showing up is a big deal, obviously. These tables are all near the top of my posts, just below the introduction. In other words, these are the first things that readers are supposed to see and it's their first (and usually best) opportunity to click through to Amazon.
So, the fact that they aren't showing up is definitely costing me Amazon commissions, I just don't know how much.
Now, there is definitely going to be some seasonality to my niche. Spring and Summer are most likely the highest traffic months for “yard” related content. As summer winds down, I expect that traffic will decline individually for some keywords – even if my rankings improve or stay the same. This is just seasonality.
We will see how big of an issue this ends up being in fall and winter. I don't know yet.
I do have additional content either out already or coming out soon that should perform well in fall and winter months (snow gear, etc).
As you can see from the Profit and Loss statement above, the site is doing well!
Revenue is growing and EBITDA finally hit a positive number in July! I'll take the $600 in profit.
My content costs were quite a bit lower this month because I only published 6 articles during the month. However, my Pinterest management expense went up to $190, since that is what I'm paying my new Pinterest manager. I'll discuss in detail how Pinterest is going.
Overall, I've spent a little over $19,000 on the site in total and made a little over $4,000 in revenue. As a result, I'm still in the “hole” $15,800.
As mentioned before, I'm not concerned by this at all. This is a long term investment that will simply get more valuable over time as it continues to grow. If I were to try and sell the site today (which I'm not going to), I would expect to sell it for somewhere between $30 to $40k.
I've outsourced nearly every aspect of the site, as a result, my expenses are much higher than yours might be. If you don't have this much money to invest, but you can write articles, do your own outreach, and do your own pinterest management, you would have had to spend very little money.
I plan to publish this detailed P&L statement for one more month so that the entire first year is documented. After that, I will update it less frequently.
I continue to see positive trends in terms of traffic. In fact, July was another record month for overall traffic!
Most of the traffic continues to come from both Google and Pinterest. OwnTheYard.com had just over 47,000 sessions for the month of July, and as you can see from the graph above, that is trending quite nicely!
Traffic from Google continues to be the largest single source of traffic. As you can see, a little over 20,000 sessions came directly from Google during the month of July.
Keyword rankings continue to either hold steady or improve generally speaking. The only concern (as mentioned previously) is that there could be some seasonality that starts kicking in during August. As a result, it's very possible that Google traffic may level off, even though rankings improve.
After a small decline during June, Pinterest had a huge jump up during July!
As mentioned, I've been working with a different Pinterest Manager over the past few months, and he really delivered in July. Pinterest is so fickle though. The spike is mostly due to a couple of pins that really just took off.
In particular, my enclosed patio ideas article did really well on Pinterest, as did the back patio ideas article.
Overall, I'm happy to see nearly 14,000 sessions from Pinterest! (Which is over double last month by the way).
I'm not happy with the amount of content I got published during July. However, it's all my fault as usual :). I was simply focused on Link Whisper and then vacation during July, so I didn't get as much content reviewed and published.
Overall, I added 6 new articles to the site during July. I hope to increase that back closer to the 15 or 20 article range in August and September.
Here's a quick summary of the total articles added:
I have another 50 or so keywords that I've found that I just need to get assigned to an author to write. I did have a couple of my authors basically dry up. So, I have one solid author that can do 2 or 3 a week, but I'd like to get more in the queue as well.
I will likely place another order with Content Pit to help complete some of those 50 pending article ideas that I have.
Here's a shocker…I didn't really put much effort into link building again!
I did hire someone to do some outreach for me in June and I was able to land 2 guest posts in early July, so it wasn't a 100% hands off month. I used Loganix to do the outreach for me.
The links landed were solid and I have some seen some movement with the keyword I was targeting. One keyword has gone from ranking 32 to 26th in Google. The other keyword has gone from ranking over 100 to now 47 in Google.
I imagine as that article ages, it will continue to improve.
Tools I'm Using for My Site
In case you are wondering what I've used to build my site, what plugins I have, or other tools or services I've been using to grow, I've created this list for you below.
- Generate Press Premium (WordPress Theme). Super easy to use and fast loading.
- Long Tail Pro – for all my keyword research and rank tracking.
- Big Scoots Hosting – I moved to Big Scoots a few months ago for all my sites and love it. Managed WP hosting at a fraction of the cost of competitors (and my sites got faster when I moved from the more expensive options).
- Table Labs – To create beautiful product comparison tables for Amazon Associates products.
- AAWP – To create product boxes for Amazon Associates products.
- AmaLinks Pro – To create great looking buttons for Amazon Associates.
- Link Whisper – To significantly speed up the process of building internal links. (This is my product I created that will be released on July 11th, and you can join the wait list here.)
- Short Pixel Image Optimizer – Reduces file size for images and increases site speed.
- Optin Monster – To capture leads with opt in forms.
- Convert Kit – For email automation and email list management.
- Tailwind App – For Pinterest scheduling and image management.
- Content Pit – Content writers that know how to do product reviews and more. (You can get 20% bonus content by using my link).
- Ezoic Ads – Display ad management platform that uses artificial intelligence.
My original plan is workings well, I just need to continue to focus a bit more on the site to see continued growth. In a nutshell, here is my continued plan over the next 12 months:
- Continue to add 15 to 20 articles a month, focusing on low competition keywords that either low authority competitors are rankings for or other opportunities I notice.
- Make site speed improvements.
- Make minor monetization tweaks (I specifically mentioned those tweaks above like removing Ezoic ads from Amazon focused posts, etc.)
- Try to get a couple more solid authors in place so that my keyword plans and spreadsheets get completed and updated on a regular basis.
- Focus a bit more on internal linking now that my site has reached over 150 posts – lots of internal linking opportunities. Link Whisper will make this quick and easy.
- Try to get a few more white hat links through outreach here and there. Maybe every other month, I may try to get a couple of links.
Overall, that's the plan! It's fairly simple, but it's been pretty effective up until now. I've been able to build an asset that is making $1,300 a month in the first 11 months. The first year is definitely the hardest.
Now that I have a site with a little bit of authority and it's growing, going from $1,300 to $3,000 a month should be much easier than going from $0 to $1,000.
I also don't want to get ahead of myself, but the end goal is not to make $2k or $3k a month. I know this kind of site has the potential to make $5k or $10k or much more each month. So, I'll keep growing this site for at least the next 12 months and see where I end up.
I'm excited to have you along the journey with me!
Niche Site Project 4 Participant Reports
Below you will find the reports from other people that have been building a niche site right alongside me. I have to admit that I gave really short notice to get these reports in, so I'm sure a few people just didn't have time to get their reports in. I'll update the reports below if I hear from more participants.
|Real Name or Nickname||Number of articles TOTAL published on your site since inception?||Number of Total “Sessions” your site received in July 2019?||Earnings for July 2019?||
What was accomplished in July 2019 for your site? Feel free to link to your niche site
No new articles. Added internal links using mostly Link Whisper.
I have made 2 site since February and one of my niche site that I worked in my native language was incredible move!. In July it beating 10,000 pv per month within last 7 days. Actually in August it beating 3,000 pv per day and can made around 60 usd per day.
|Justin||12||22||0||Nothing this month|
Got more articles completedand a good workflow.
Setting up systems for content writers and link building to scale it.
This was a good month. Added 10 more articles making it reach 50 articles. I built some quality profile links to my homepage. I outreached to blogs in my niche and successfully received 3 links. Also earnings achieved a growth of 50% compared with March. The site is growing and I think I will hit the 100$ mark by the end of December. Fingers crossed.
Kept those Adsense ads…Written 1 article only
No new articles. Added internal links using mostly Link Whisper.
I published 11 articles, the most I've managed in a month so far.
Its a month old. I have so far published 9 articles that are live and a few more in draft mode.
Here is my site: https://liamrock.com
Just adding more content and links. I’ll spend the next few months adding more links and trying to get more keywords ranking.
The july month was good in term of revenue but bad in ranking. i don't know why our website is not performing well after last google update. we are figuring out the issue and hopefully will recover it in upcoming month.
– Published 6 new product reviews
– Edited 4 massive articles and broke them down into smaller articles
– Built a few links
– Applied for Ezioc but had a few issues with it so I was unable to get set up
I've been working on increasing the content. Published about 50 articles. Also got banned from pinterest. Details here: https://www.nichesitevault.com/100k-project-episode-4/
Keep writting 7 articles per month, linkbuilding in forums pointing to the home and on of the cluster page. Changing some text among the pages trying to avoid cannibalization.
Implemented link whisper, started promoting products in my broad niche, worked on backlink profile. Details here: http://bit.ly/2YNE7uh
i was sick i didnt do nothing this month
No accomplishments on this month, my site artefactoselectronicos.com started back in May, hopefully it will start getting traction soon.
Created a new page for a specific lead I contacted personally. We will test for 2 months, if it works for them it will be a recurring advertising page for a monthly fee.
Site is doing pretty good considering I haven't touched it since April and spent most of the month of July in the woods with no wifi or cell reception. Site earned $95.68 in June.
Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?
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My top recommendations
Can you share the details of the person you hired on Upwork to speed up your site? How much did they manage to improve it by?
I just went to upwork on posted a job for improving site speed, I got MANY applicants. There is nothing special about the person I picked, lots of contractors out there could do the same thing. I don’t want to share who it is simply because I want them to respond to me first :).
Here’s the post that talks about the site speed improvements I made several months ago with results: https://www.nichepursuits.com/good-the-bad-and-the-spammy-links/
…also ContentPit, I’ve never come across them before? Can you share any examples of content on owntheyard that they have written for you?
Their pricing looks very reasonable, I’m just wondering what the quality is like,
Most of the stuff written by “Bryce Carter” on OwnTheYard is from Content Pit: https://www.owntheyard.com/author/bakbakmetz/
You lost all credibility when you admitted that you agreed to watch 4 OTHER kids 🙂
Great post as usual.
Haha, I definitely had to hand in my “cool” card with that one :). Thanks Dave!
Hi Spencer, I think it’s so great how you’re doing this public case study and sharing the actual URL.
My question is – how did revealing the URL affect your site? Did you see any negative effects?
I have been thinking about sharing a new site I’m working on on my blog, but Im worried about what happened with other people’s sites in the past who shared their URL.
Pat and his security guard site saw a huge number of new competitors, I think Perrin faced a bunch of issues as well with his site and claimed he wouldn’t share the url again, and a few others who stated it’s not worth it.
But I do see how valuable it is what you’re doing, and the difference between sharing the URL and not is huge since people can actually go see everything and model their own sites after it.
Do you still see it as a big risk? … in terms of competitors and negative SEO?
Or do you think it’s not as big a risk anymore with the changes in Google where spam links are more ignored rather than penalized?
I have not seen any negative effects yet. However, the true impact may not be known for year – as I gauge whether the keywords I’m targeting get more competitive or not.
So, the risk is competition – I don’t think Negative SEO is as big a risk, Google appears to be better at ignoring spammy links.
I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog but I never posted until now.
I think I can be of assistance. I’m a big fan of website speed.
Last month I’ve bought a small website and only by changing the theme to a faster one I managed to get the load time down from 6 seconds, to 2.7 seconds.
After that, I moved the website to cloudways (get the cheapest VPS, I got the Linode one) and I was down to like 1.7seconds load time.
Last step is installing Wp Rocket (best caching plugin IMO) and tick almost all the options.
Load time requests went down from 72 to 25 and the website is loading now in ~1 seconds.
Of course, if you have many ads you can’t get it down to only ~1 seconds, but I think for your website 3-5 seconds is definitely possible from 16.7 you have now.
If you don’t want to do all the 3 things I did to speed up the site just do whatever you think is worth your time, but you are losing a lot of money (and also a lot of revenue) because of website speed . Slow websites also don’t rank so high.
On the website I bought I managed to grow the organic traffic +35% in 3 weeks only by fixing speed and improving a bit the onpage.
Hit me up if you need help with doing the changes.
Yes, I agree. I wrote about website speed because I know how important it is. I improved my speed dramtically a few months ago, and now it’s slow again. So, it’s clearly not a 1 time job – needs to be relooked at every few months. I’ll let you know if I need assistance. Thanks,
Great post Spencer. Thanks for sharing all this information. Great!
Great work Spencer, this site can really become a big one! Keep it up 🙂
PS: I had a record month in July as well 😀
Hey Spencer, why aren’t you using AmaLinks Pro for your comparison tables?
I’m using Table Labs – the software tool I created.
But…. The tables aren’t showing up?
As mentioned in the article, there have been some ongoing caching issues making the tables not show up. All the issues are now resolved I believe – and everything should be showing up now as of today.
to pick up the speed topic, I just saw some examples from the guys at income school. They published a blazingly fast theme recently. Maybe something to look into.
About seasonality: do you have articles on how to prepare all the nice garden/yard stuff for winter? I am not talking about plants, but covers for the game stuff, how to treat wooden furniture etc.
Would make sense to have something like this now as the days get shorter.
Lots of success in August (and beyond)
Great ideas, thanks!
Great article Spencer! I just stumbled upon your website and I liked reading your articles!
Just a question about Pinterest.
1. Is it worth growing the traffic from Pinterest from your experience, to bring in affiliate sales?
2. Can you recommend the person you use for Pinterest management?
Hey Denise, Spencer is out for today. I’m the content manager and I can answer your questions 🙂
Pinterest has provided a consistent, growing traffic to OwnTheYard. It’s impossible to say where the affiliate sales and ad income are coming from, but Pinterest no doubt contributes. As far as who’s doing the Pinterest management, Spencer likes to keep his talent to himself 😉 afraid you’ll have to find someone
No problem. I thought Spencer engaged with a company to do the Pinterest part.
One more question regarding Ezoic Ads. Is it possible to put it only on blog posts so it won’t affect pages with Amazon ads?
Hey Denise! Great question.
Yep. You can enable/disable Ezoic for whatever posts or pages you like 🙂
Thanks for sharing Spencer!
Just a little heads up; Loads of your pins say “wontheyard.com” in the image. I thought you had somebody copying you, but it’s actually just a typo in the images.
Congrats on such a great success! I get my inspiration from you 🙂
Having such traffic, are you considering switching to Mediavine?
Hey Nadya, thanks for the encouragement 🙂 I’m not Spencer, but I am content manager here at Niche Pursuits and I can answer your question.
Spencer’s initial plan was to switch to Mediavine. But now that Ezoic is doing so well, he’s planning on sticking with Ezoic for the forseeable future 🙂
Hi Spencer, me again!
I keep coming back to this article to action some of the stuff you mention.
My site speed sucks too, I’ve tried all sorts (mostly plugin based) but need someone who is actually good at this stuff, so I’ve put out an ad on Upwork and got some decent applicants.
My question is how do you manage passwords securely? Presumably, I will need to give them cloudflare & server logins as well as top-level admin access.
Is there anyway to manage the risk?
You can use LastPass. I do that alot.
Thanks for letting us know about your niche site. The information you provide is very useful to a newbie like me.
Just one comment – I don’t think the gross income is correct in your Profit and Loss spreadsheet. According to my calculations it should be $4090.81 not $2698.70
Finally, thanks for developing Link Whisper – it is a great help for internal links
Ah, you are right, my formula didn’t capture the last cell on that one…whoops! And glad you are enjoying Link Whisper!
I am going to start a new niche site. I want to create a comparison chart. In the morning, after comparing “Amalinks pro” and “Table labs,” I thought I would use ” Table Labs.” But you have said some issues of Table Labs.
You are using both Table Labs and Amalinks Pro. Should I use Amalinks pro only to get great buttons?
Thanks for your great articles. God Bless you.
I would recommend Table Labs for the Tables for sure. Table Labs has not had issues, there were caching issues caused by WP Rocket…the issue was not table labs.
Many expert thinks PBN is harmful for niche site. What do you think about this can you just shared it? i have been stuck for 1 month because no one really want to talk about it. and Thanks for your amazing case study.
Hey MD, I’m the content manager here. I can help 🙂
PBNs are bad news. Spencer wrote a post about them a while back: https://www.nichepursuits.com/alright-google-you-win-ill-never-use-private-blog-networks-again/
Thanks for the update, Spencer. Your website has been an invaluable resource as I begin working on my own “niche pursuits”.
Just a comment about the Ezoic ads on your site. For me at least, they are appearing in very strange locations. For instance, a large banner ad appears at the top of your main landing page after about 20 seconds of being on the page, obscuring your website title and the image of the children playing outside. On some of your longer articles, there are advertisements that appear in the middle of the text and throw thee page formatting off. Do you think this has something to do with the way the WP was configured? Or does it have something to do with Ezoic?
I was interested in trying Ezoic, but things like this make me nervous.
I am really impressed guys. Great job on the niche site!!!
Hi Spencer & Brady, thanks for the article. Very helpful for a newbie like me.
I was wondering about the selling price you mentioned – $30-40k. You are in the minus of ±$16k, and the site has made ±$4k so far. To simplify let’s say it’s $1k in revenue/month. That makes it the multiple of 30-40x on revenue.
I am a bit puzzled by this because from empire flippers I know they only look at profits. I was wondering what I am missing. Do you perhaps have some articles on this topic or resources you can point me to?
Sites are always valued on profit. I’m basically saying if I stopped paying for content and all the VAs – those expenses go away and I’d be left with roughly 1k in profit per month.