Niche Site Project 4 Update for May 2019: Another Record Earnings and Traffic Month!
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Another record month!
I'm excited to share the results for my niche site for Niche Site Project 4 for May 2019. Overall, I'm very happy with the results, but I'm also a little disappointed that the earnings were not even more than they were.
I'll share why in a minute.
In a nutshell, I was able to ramp up content production a bit more (18 new articles this month) and the traffic from both Google and Pinterest continued on a nice upward trend. My site is now 9 months old (started in September 2018) and I fully expect to hit the $1,000 per month in earnings before it's a year old.
As a reminder, I plan to reveal my niche site once it earns $1,000 in a month.
Let's jump right into the results!
In total, the site earned $740.45! This is a nice increase from April (which was a record month) of $565.44.
Amazon Associates brought in a total of $512.92 and Ezoic ads brought in a total of $227.53.
Alright, here's why I was a little disappointed in my Amazon earnings this month. What you DON'T see on this screenshot above is another $135 is commissions that I had earned around the 17th of the month.
I sold a couple of expensive items that totaled over $130 in commissions for me. I was “banking” on these commissions all month. Then in the last couple of days the customer returned the items and the commissions were “taken” from me. Ouch!
So, my earnings WOULD have been about $650 from Amazon.
But it gets worse. I sold another really expensive item on the second to last day of May. This would have been close to $100 in earnings. However, the item didn't ship in May…so I'll get those commissions in June. So, it's not all bad…just means my May could have been significantly better if a couple of things had happened differently.
To recap, my earnings COULD have been: $750 from Amazon + $227 from Ezoic = $977. I was actually thinking I might break $1,000 in earnings for a couple of days there.
So, while I'm happy with the nice increase in earnings from May to June, I was kinda expecting to earn a bit more. However, don't worry…June should be another record month and I think $1,000 is a very real possibility.
In total, the site earned $227.53 from Ezoic display ads. That's a 3x increase over April!
I'll be honest, the longer I use Ezoic, the more impressed I become. In full disclosure, the CMO of Ezoic has reached out to me via email and I've done a couple of calls with him.
I now understand how their company and platform work a bit better.
Ezoic is a platform that does more than just find and display ads on your website for you. Turns out they have some pretty advanced artificial intelligence working behind the scenes to learn what ads and what ad positions are going to make you the most money.
As the team at Ezoic has explained to me, it can take a little bit of time for their system to “learn” the best configuration for your site. However, the smarter the ads get over time, the higher your earnings should grow per visitor.
This appears to be the case with my site. As you can see from the trend line of the Ezoic screenshot above, my site is starting to earn more and more each day. This is partly due to the increased traffic of my website, but it also has to do with the increased earnings per visitor.
Earnings Per 1000 Visitors (EPMV)
This screenshot shows the trend line of the Earnings Per 1000 Visitors (EPMV). As you can see my site has gone from earning around $5 EPMV to $16.63 EPMV. Over triple the earnings per 1000 visitors in the past 3 months!
So, I was initially saying that I wanted to leave Ezoic and head over to Mediavine as soon as possible…I'm now walking back that statement a bit. Now that I understand that Ezoic is using artificial intelligence to help my site earn more money…and that it takes time, I'm going to stick around for now.
I actually think that my earnings from Ezoic display ads could eclipse $400 in earnings for the month of June.
If you want to give Ezoic a try, I would be honored if you signed up through my affiliate link right here.
As I've explained in the past, I am outsourcing nearly every aspect of my niche site. I am not writing any of the content. I am not doing any of the link building.
I make the strategic plans and put the right people in place and then I just monitor and tweak the business as needed. So far this has worked pretty well. However, it does come with higher costs than if I were to do everything myself.
So, in order to be 100% transparent, I am also sharing all the costs associated with running my Niche Site Project 4 site. The screenshot below shows all the income and expenses.
As you can see in May, I spent a total of $1,549 on the site, for a total loss of $808 for the month. Yes, I lost money; however, the trend is that I'm now losing less and less money each month.
I expect in a few months that instead of a net loss, I'll be in the black and growing.
I also wanted to point out that I eliminated a couple of expenses for May: Pinterest Management and Pinterest VA. I was able to eliminate this nearly $400 a month expense by finding someone new to work with.
Long story short is that a Niche Pursuits reader reached out to me and offered to manage my Pinterest and create new pins for me for free for a couple of months. After those 2 months, we will figure out a rate going forward if he does a good job.
So far he's done a good job and I've already hired him to work on a separate website that I own.
Overall, I've invested a little over $16,000 to date on the site. I fully expect to make all the money back and then some, but only time will tell.
The site keeps growing really well each month! Traffic from both Google organic and Pinterest keep growing rapidly and I expect the trend to continue as I add more and more content.
As you can see from the graph above, the traffic continues to trend in the right direction. With just over 20,000 sessions during May, I love what I'm seeing.
Google Organic Traffic
The biggest source of traffic is Google – which is what I planned all along with the site. As Hannibal from the A Team used to say, I love it when a plan comes together!
Over 10,000 sessions from Google Organic sources in May! And yes, June will be higher than that based on what I'm seeing so far.
As mentioned, I “hired” a new Pinterest manager (he's working for free for a couple of months) and he is producing great results.
The site had just over 7,500 sessions from Pinterest last month; hopefully, things will continue to grow!
In general, the site continues to rank higher and higher for it's targeted keywords. In fact, the site hit #1 in Google for 2 of it's targeted keywords! (Technically this happened int he first couple days of June, but close enough).
Check out this screenshot from the Long Tail Pro rank tracker with some of my top rankings.
The only page from this particular screenshot that I've build links to is the second one listed. All the other articles are rankings without me building any links to them.
I should be clear that I've built links to other articles and I've also build links to the homepage. However, I just thought it was interesting to note that most of my top ranking articles are ones that I've never built links to.
I should also be clear that some of these articles DO have links, I just didn't build them. Any links that occurred to these articles happened on their own (maybe someone copied an image from Pinterest and linked to me, or just referenced my article on their own).
I'm happier this month with the level of content production vs. the previous month. Since I'm seeing great results in terms of traffic and rankings from the content I'm producing, I want to keep the number of articles published each month high.
Here's a quick screenshot that shows the content production for each month.
I also expect that June will be closer to 25+ total articles published because I just ordered 20 articles from the content writing service, Content Pit. Content Pit has done a good job for me in the past and so I went ahead and placed a bulk order with them that they will finish up in the next week or so.
Last month I wrote about how I was planning on doing a big outreach campaign and trying to generate a bunch of links. Unfortunately, I never got around to it. As my site continues to grow without lots of link building, I become less and less concerned with building new links.
I'll let you know if that changes.
I got a few links from The Hoth in May. I had ordered these in April and they were completed in May.
I've been tracking 6 keywords that I've built links to using The Hoth. The results are below. Please note that keywords 2 – 5 I did not build any links to until AFTER April 7th. (Keyword 1 got its first set of links from the Hoth on March 6th though).
Like I said, the results have been pretty good! I like the fact that the Hoth uses real outreach techniques to find the guest post opportunities. From what I can tell, these do appear to be on real websites with real authority and traffic.
If you want to order guest post links through the Hoth, check them out here.
Even though I didn't order any new links from Authority.Builders during the month of May, I thought it would be worth posting an update on how those pages have done that I got links to.
Here's the results:
Overall, ranks continue to be higher than before I got the links. You can check out Authority Builders here.
The email list for my niche site went from 118 subscribers to 230. While that's great, I have yet to do anything with the email list.
My plan was to build out an email sequence, but I have yet to find the time or desire to do that yet. Just being honest.
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 is not publicly released yet, but 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.
- The Hoth – Guest Post link building
- Authority Builders – More link building
- Ezoic Ads – Display ad management platform that uses artificial intelligence.
I don't plan to change much of my process for the foreseeable future. What I am doing is clearly working, so I'm going to just keep doing more of it.
Namely, I plan to continue to publish 20 or so articles each month. I continue to try to find low competition keywords and focus very little on search volume. In other words, I don't care if it only says it gets 20 searches a month…if it's easy to rank for and relevant to my niche, I target the keyword.
I will likely add a few links here and there when I find time, but it likely won't be a big focus. I'll mostly just focus on new content and improving the site overall (speed, ad optimization, etc) as I have the time.
As a reminder, I DO plan on revealing the site when it reaches $1,000 a month in earnings! I'm hopeful that will happen in June. So, hang in there, we are getting close (I think) to when I'll share the actual domain of the website I've been building for the past 9 months.
Niche Site Project 4 Participant Reports
As usual, I've allowed those that are following along building their own niche sites the opportunity to report on their progress as well. You can see their reports below.
It's exciting to see the Jae June continues to grow his business! In addition, there are a couple of others earnings similar amounts to me with their niche sites and many are making great progress!
|Real Name or Nickname||Number of articles TOTAL published on your site since inception?||Number of Total “Sessions” your site received in May 2019?||Earnings for May 2019?||
What was accomplished in May 2019 for your site?
I only focus on high volume keywords to attract more traffic, the traffic is trending up, hopefully I'll get to 200 visitors per day next month
Not a lot. I think I published 2 articles. Focusing much more on my second site that had 15 new articles published in May. Traffic and revenue still slowly increasing for this site though.
|Moudex||32||1154||99||i added 2 new post|
Not a lot to be honest. Couple good round up articles. New hosting…. a few natural decent link and one print publication.
Started writing in it again, after focusing on another site for the last 6 months.
Integrated ezoic, improved ux, published 1.5 articles/day on average
Finally got started on my own niche site 🙂 12 articles published, but no visitors yet
Getting good traffic results, and everthing is still building ´organic´ at this moment: Links, content, shares, etc. We got an low season at this moment with the website, so i better be building backlinks before the season starts around August/September! Brand building is focus more on this moment..
Here are the amazing Facts for May 2019
– Sessions 2320
Amazing results, but still the Earnings are way too low, but it is still low season…
Started making money after lot of hardwork. Still need to add lot of articles
Just letting it chill, pretty happy considering I haven't actively worked on the site in a few months.
Added 13 new articles, secured 8 new guest posts, most of my main keywords are now on the first or second page of google. Target of $2000 by the end of the year.
Just added 6 new articles. Google clicks doubled this month. Struggling to generate traffic from Pinterest (only 2-3 clicks a day on average)
|Lucio||12||170||35.75||Five rewritten articles|
|Justin||14||54||0||Published more articles|
Added new articles. Try using CDN to decrease page loading time. Overall traffic is doubled but earning still same as last month.
As I stated in previous report – I folded my site because I decided to change the niche. Now, I have started fresh. The only accomplishment right now is 14 articles each of 1000 words.
The goal for next month is to have at least 10 more articles.
Published few more article and create some backlinks.
Got back to working on the site. Full update here: https://www.nichesitevault.com/100k-project-episode-2/
Site Started December 10, 2018. Added 10 Pages and 10 Guest Posts in May. http://cubiclehoudini.com/1000-per-month-affiliate-site-case-study/
|Comprar Mejor Smartwatch||29||3178||17||
Keeping writing. I could publish 7 new articles. Apart from that I bought a link in Unancor and put a few more of them replicables in foros and so on.
The niche is in Spanish and the url is https://www.comprar-mejor-smartwatch.com/
I can not dedicate so much time as I would like, so, I am publishing slow. I did not have a clear link building strategy (even now I do not… :S ). but… step by step! I wont give up so early! hehe.
Increase Social Media Followers
Nothing at all. I plan to work in the niche harder from this month 🙂
No work at all… Check http://PinterestMakesRich.com for experiment details.
Did the following: 7 new articles published, fixed all broken links, added comparison tables for 11 blog posts, audit and disavowal of spam links, replaced some hero images, & 2 new guest posts. Goals for June include ramping up content production and more link building.
Started link building in May and and got some position jump. 1st and 2nd position of 2nd page for some buying keyword. Noting positive in earnings. Most of the traffics are from info pages. Using only Amazon affiliate monetization method.
I am still working on building my website with having ready 10 articles each 3k words.
Got the second article out. Even if June is way more busy in my day job I hope to do more this month.
Published two very in-depth buyers guides, both 4,500 words each. Built 20 links and took a week off to go on holiday.
I have put my original site to the side as that is not progressing and i have started a new site using the lessons learnt from my original site.
Acquired a few good authority backlinks. Reached out to two prominent figures for interviews. Traffic is up but earnings are down. Details Soon: https://bit.ly/2HXDqoY
Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?
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Learn How I Built My Niche Site Empire to a Full-time Income
- How to Pick the Right Keywords at the START, and avoid the losers
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My top recommendations
Hey spencer, your link here: https://www.nichepursuits.com/thehoth seems to be broken.
Thanks for the heads up. There was a typo, fixed now.
Wheres the best place to start if I wanted to build my first nice site?
I would read all the posts in Niche Site Project 4: https://www.nichepursuits.com/projects/niche-site-project-4/
Hey Spencer, thanks for the update!
I have a semi-unreleated question. I was wondering what related post plugin you use for NichePursuits? Where it says MY TOP RECOMMENDATIONS?
Did you custom build that or is it a plugin available to the public?
That’s a custom widget built specifically for my theme.
Love the updates as always. Going to give Content Pit a try, always looking for new writers. Thanks!
Great update. I am planning to order links from AB. What anchor texts do you use for the guest posts? And do you order like 2 – 3 links at once to target a money page ? For example:
Target Keyword Anchor – 1st Guest Post
Branded Anchor – 2nd Guest Post
URL – 3rd Guest Post
Yes, I would do something similar to what you suggested. I don’t do everything with my targeted keyword anchor text. I do order all at once.
Hey Spencer. Thanks for sharing your progress and tactics as you build your site traffic. It’s really helping me get my head around the components required for steady growth, and a sense of the timeframes too.
To say thanks for your sharing your knowledge, I’d like to offer mine when it comes to email comms and follow up flows.
You said you dont currently have any emails going to your list. Would you like me to build and manage those for you?
If so, just drop me an email and let me know how I can help.
Good luck hitting the $1000 this month!
Thanks for the kind words, Mark! I’ll shoot you an email regarding the list management.
Looking at your screenshot for your Amazon earnings, can you tell us the number of clicks that you got and your conversion rate for the month? Do you worry about conversion rate or is your primary focus on clicks and earnings? Thanks.
1769 clicks, 8.48% conversion rate. I worry mostly about clicks.
Great update. This is something always motivating me to do blogging seriously.
Thanks for a great update. Very helpful.
Is there a point where you stop creating content for a new niche site? or at least reduce the creation?
As long as the income is increasing, then no.
This is mad lad.
I hope that you reach your goal of $1000. The main reason people who succeed is because of their mindset and the willingness to push through the tough times.
Out of 500 people who started the niche project, very few are left.
But still, it is a success because so many people got their site up and running and in few cases, dollars rolled in.
another amazing post. Following you, since the days you started this website journey. Great followup. Thanks again for sharing it. Looking forward to seeing more updates in the future.
Wow, really excited!! Almost there and would love to see the site you made once you reach 1000. Would be a great learner for me! Great Spencer!
Hi Spencer, good job. I have got questions about content outsourcing. Do you find and give ContentPit list of products that you want to review or you leave all on them? How much you pay per word? Thanks.
Hey man! Great article. Is there a way to find out what’s wrong with my website or what is missing because this year I didn’t drive any conversions. I mean I get around 100 clicks per month (redirects to Amazon) but no conversion. For example last year I made around 70$ when I started and now nothing new is happening.
hey spencer, how many words do you usually write for each article?
I’m not Spencer, but since I wrote several articles, I have an idea 🙂
On Niche Site Project 4 it can range from 2000-11,000. Spencer has a couple of monster skyscraper type articles that cross the 10k mark. Most of his stuff is in the 2500-3500 range though.
Who are you? JK. Thanks for getting back to me.
I’m the new guy on scene 😉
Spencer, I have just received your latest email, the one in which you tell us how you expect to break the $1000 mark tomorrow.
It is great to know the number of articles that you have on the site (155) but can you tell us the total number of words on the site? Also what is your balance between informational and commercial articles? Thanks,
Hey James! It’s tough to say. Some of the posts have about 2000 words and others go all the way up to 11k. The majority of the articles on the site have 2500-3000 words. A rough estimate I’d say 450k-500k total words.
80% commercial until this month. A lot of recent posts have been informational, so now it’s probably 60/40 commercial/info
Looking good Spencer! Onwards and upwards from here.
And well done to all the participants who are doing their own case studies. Love it!
It’s actually inspired me to kickstart another case study myself. I’ll share this in my group, I’m sure it will help others 🙂
We’re excited to read it 🙂
You did a great job this month. I always reading your progress on this NSB4 journey. I too able to generate organic traffic without building links, I just follow what you do, targeting long tail keywords with low monthly search.
By the way, what hosting company your using? Just curious 🙂
That’s super exciting about organic traffic! Long tail keywords are awesome, and there are always more to target 😉
Spencer used Bluehost for a long time, but changed his hosting to BigScoots not too long ago.
Great Article SPENCER. BTW one of your link (https://www.nichepursutis.com/authoritybuilders) seems to be broken. Not opening at my end.
Got it fixed. Thanks Chirag 🙂
Have you done any tests to determine how Ezoic affects the CTR of your Amazon money pages? I’ve been considering adding just Adsense, or even Ezoic, to several Amazon affiliate websites, but I run the risk of losing out on Amazon earnings, which is always a higher CPM than any contextual ads.
Good thinking there. We haven’t done any tests on it. I’d recommend go ahead and put Ezoic on info pages. That’ll make sure you don’t have pages that aren’t monetized – an easy and immediate earning boost. At the same time, you could start running tests on pages earning affiliate commissions.
To do so, it may be a good idea to make a new tracking ID in Amazon. Use this new tracking ID on pages that are getting tested with ads, and then compare the CTR to your regular tracking ID. It’ll help you figure out if your Amazon earnings are dropping and then compare it with what you’re making from ads 🙂
Can you share more about your Pinterest strategy?
For ever post, he finds 2 stock photos, edits them in Canva where the photos can be pinned, and then pins them on Pinterest 🙂
Thanks for the update! damn, I really need to get started on Pinterest. (trying to get my wife to run it for me…)
Pinterest is a beast nowadays. Good luck with the wife 😉
Hey Spencer & Brady,
Loved the webinar yesterday. Just curious, I see that you ordered 20 articles from Content Pit, but their pricing is done by the thousands of words. About how long is each article that you get back from Content Pit?
Hey Kris! Thank you 🙂 I just checked – most of the articles from Content Pit were the image idea posts that Spencer mentioned. They’re about 2k words each, but all have about 1 picture per 100 words. You can tell Content Pit how many words you want for each article when you place your order.
If you do use Content Pit, you can get 30% more words using our discount code at checkout: NPREADER30