Another month has flown by, and its time for another monthly income report for my Niche Site Project site – BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com.
For the past few months, I have been building this site from scratch and have shared the entire process along the way. In addition, I have been sharing an in-depth income report on the site for each month.
The primary reason for sharing these income reports is to demonstrate that you can still make money with niche sites. I am very happy with the way this project has turned out (to say the least), despite some ups and downs along the way. So, let's jump right into the meat of this income report and see how the site did in July!
Earnings for July – Record Month!
I know if I listed the earnings at the end of this post, you would just scroll down to look at them…so I'll just reveal the earnings first!
In the month of July, BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com made $649.87!
This is an increase of $242.48 over the June earnings…(the site made $407.30 last month); and by far the site's best month. This also means, that I easily exceeded my goal of making over $500 in one month from the site within the first six months!
And the best part, is that I've publicly shared before, during, and after all my plans, procedures, and methods for building, ranking, and earning from this niche site.
Now that the site has been up and earnings for a few months, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the month to month earnings since the inception of the site. So, I went back and input all the data into excel and created this nice chart for you.
Earnings Since Inception
I am loving the nice upward trend that I see overall! Yes, there was a small decrease in June, but things are moving along just fine now.
I actually found it pretty interesting that the number of items I've shipped has increased each month! So, even though I shipped more items in June than I did in May, my earnings actually decreased. This is obviously due to shipping less expensive items.
My theory, is basically that I received less traffic from Google in May; and so less survival knives were purchased. However, I continue to have lots of direct visitors from my blog or other places and these visitors are not buying knives; but do randomly buy small items from Amazon.
So, in other words I'm getting random purchases from my readers here on NichePursuits.com; but these purchases are not very valuable. The real visitors searching and buying survival knives are the kind of purchases I want; as they are more valuable.
I could try to not discuss the fact that some of the money made is from readers of my blog; but we all know it happens…even though I wish it didn't. However, I can say that I am by FAR making more money from natural Google traffic. Most of my money is being made from survival knives or relating camping/survival purchases.
Here is a look at all the stats I've collected since the site started:
Around July 6th or 7th, my traffic started to really pick up. This was due to me regaining some rankings in Google for various long tail keywords. I also went from ranking about 5th for my primary keyword (best survival knife) to the 1st or 2nd spot in Google.
However, honestly most of my traffic is coming from long tail phrases now; so whatever happened to make me gain some of these rankings is really what contributed to the traffic increase. (I discuss some of what I did in July below that may have helped these rankings).
My site received traffic from 1,648 different keywords in July…here's just a few of them:
In addition, here are the Google Analytics for the site's traffic since it was created.
As you can see, the past couple of months have been up and down…but I'm really happy with the overall growth of the site. In fact, even if the traffic simply levels out at this point; I'd be completely satisfied. The site is pretty passive for me right now, so I'm happy with the extra $600+ per month!
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What Happened in July?
In my income report from June, I mentioned that I wanted to try a few things to both regain my Google rankings (I was ranked about 4th of 5th for “Best Survival Knife”) and increase traffic to the site. Those things that I planned to do were:
1. Add My Site to Google+. I did indeed add my site to Google Plus; but I am unsure as to what affect it has had. When you type in “Best Survival Knife” into Google, I still don't see my profile picture showing in the SERPS. However, when I type in other keywords, I often DO see my Google Plus profile showing. Here's an example:
So, I'm not sure why its showing up for some queries and not others.
2. Add More Content. During the month of June, I only added about 2 new articles to the site. However, in July I was able to get 15 new posts up on BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com. Again, these are articles written by an author that I've hired on Elance.com . I believe this new content is bringing in new search engine traffic; which is why I am getting visits from so many different long tail keywords.
This new content is really my main focus for the site now.
3. Test Different Ad Placements . I moved some of the ad units around to try and find the optimal earnings for the site. This will be an ongoing process. However, I'm happy with the updates I've made to my chart – in particular making the images click-able. This seems to be a nice improvement.
4. Add More Links. I actually did not do anything links wise during the month of July. The site is holding its own right now, and I've actually noticed a few “natural” links coming my way. These are real links that I did not ask for and are not spammy :). So, I actually have no intention of doing any more “link building”. I think I will continue to let the site grow naturally, unless I see some large decrease in rankings.
Want to start your own blog?
I also made some speed improvements to the site in July. Its actually possible that these small speed improvements helped my site more than anything else…but of course that's really hard to measure. I installed these 2 plugins to help improve load time and overall speed of the site:
Google is very concerned with the overall speed of sites; so I think these plugins and others are useful in keeping your site's performance where it should be.
I have no drastic plans for the site at this point. I will continue to add 10+ articles to the site each month – focused on different survival knives or related survival items. Because I am not writing these articles myself, my time spent on the site is only a few minutes for each article that gets posted.
The fresh content should keep my rankings where they are and continue to get me traffic from additional long tail keywords. As simple as it sounds, this is basically my long term strategy for the site.
As mentioned, I have no major plans to go out and acquire new links; I'll continue to enjoy the natural links that come my way…and this could actually increase as I continue to add fresh content.
My only other real plans besides adding new content will be to continue testing different Amazon widgets or finding optimal affiliate link placements. You may see some changes to the survival knife comparison chart over the coming month or 2; but again it won't be anything major.
Overall, I'm excited to get started on Niche Site Project 2; which is just around the corner!
As always, I've done my best to reveal just about everything related to this site. However, I'm here to help with any questions or thoughts that you might have. So, if there is something I missed, that you would like to know about…please ask away in the comments below. I look forward to the discussion.