If you have been following the Niche Site Project 2, you know that each month Perrin and I post an income report for aPennyShaved.com. This is the niche site that we developed from scratch, and we've seen some awesome success!
So, today, I'm excited to share the income report for March. The earnings from March are the biggest yet, and I see no reason for the earnings to stop at this point.
For today, I'm simply going to let Perrin take over and discuss the latest for aPennyShaved. My wife and I just had a baby last week, and so I'm happy to let Perrin put in all the hard work here! 🙂 My wife and our new baby are both doing great…
Overall, I just want to say that I'm thrilled with the success that this project has had. Perrin is killing it…and I've heard from many of you stating that this project has really helped out your business as well. So, this project has been even more successful than I could have initially imagined.
Thanks again everyone for following along! I'll let Perrin take it from here…
Perrin's Income Report for March 2014
Hey guys! It’s me again. And I’m here with a bitter-sweet income report for aPennyShaved. It’s sweet because (as you’ll see below) the site had an astonishing record month. But it’s bitter because I think this is going to be the last income report I do for a while. We’re going to put a hold on the earnings mostly to reduce the risk of the site in case I want to sell (in the event the earnings hold steady), so this should be a final, awesome picture of the success we’ve had with this site.
So let’s go!
Overall, the traffic this month has increased quite a bit, even though it may not necessarily look like it from the graphs. But it did! Last month, the site saw about 24,000 unique visitors. This month, the site brought in just over 32,000 unique visitors. That’s an increase in traffic of about 33%.
Why did this happen? Long-tails, of course! At least, that’s my guess. When the site really started earning money in December, I had about 20 new articles written for the site. As we’ve seen in most of our sites, it takes any given keyword about three months to rank in Google. Some take longer and some don’t take quite as long, but as a general rule, most keywords rank in about 3 months. Now that my articles have been incubating for about three months, they’re starting to rank for a bunch of different long-tails, which has resulting in about 8,000 new visitors. Pretty cool!
The lesson here is pretty simple: if you see your site is earning (i.e. a site that has shown it can bring in a few hundred bucks a month), blast it with great content. aPennyShaved has about 35 total articles. For my next sites, I’m going to step this up even more and shoot for 50 total articles – or even 100 articles in good markets. I think that’s probably a good way to maximize your earnings in a 6-month timeframe.
Now for the fun part. You’re probably not going to believe this (because I certainly didn’t). Around the 15th of March I started to realize I had a monster month on my hands. My traffic was picking up, and so were my sales. At the pace I was going, I knew there was a pretty high ceiling on my earnings, and it was super, super fun to check my Amazon account each morning.
Alright, alright. I’ll stop jabbering. Here are the earnings…
The site earned a grand total of $2,191.89 in March. That’s nearly $1,000 more than it earned in February! I’m pretty floored by this. It probably won’t sink in until I actually get that $2,000 check in May, but man… it’s just… crazy! Needless to say, I’m super happy, and I hope these trends continue.
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What work did I do this month?
Nothing! Aside from fixing a few technical glitches, I did absolutely nothing to the site in March. So, that big $2,000 payload was 100% passive. Now, THAT’S what we’re all in this for! That big, fat, totally passive paycheck. Yeah, buddy!
Top 3 lessons learned
One of you awesome Niche Pursuits readers (shout-out to Barry L!) emailed me and asked me what my top three tips would be to someone getting into this business. I wrote this in reply, so I’ll just quote myself, since it’s probably a good way to wrap up this process:
- Keyword research is king; everything else is an experiment. Keyword research is the one thing that will almost never change. On-page, off-page, link-building, etc. Those things are going to change even at the level of the site. You're going to be doing things differently for every single project. Keyword research mostly stays the same, and it is about 80% of the puzzle. Good keyword research will do more to help you rank than anything else.
- When doing keyword research, competition is a GOOD THING. I used to be scared off by the competition. If I saw another niche site, I'd get freaked out because someone was already doing what I wanted to do. This is 100% backwards. If you see another niche site in the top 10, it only means one thing: Google is happy to rank niche sites for this keyword. Nowadays, it's my #1 criteria. I ONLY go after keywords that already have a niche site in the top spot — because I know I can beat it.
- There's a tool for everything. I have basically zero technical skills. However, I've always been resourceful. One of the lessons I learned really early on was that there is a tool for everything. There's a tool for making tables. Tools to research your competition. Tools for quickly creating Amazon links. Tools for making squeeze pages. There is literally a tool for everything.
- BONUS TIP! Buying links is totally fine. SEO is virtually impossible if you're doing it white-hat only. Well, it's not impossible, but it takes a long, long time. And you will likely need about 1,000x more content. So, good purchased links — stuff like Rank Hero — should be embraced. For me, Rank Hero was the difference between making $0/mo and $2,000/mo. I'll take it.
- BONUS TIP #2! Outsource to people you know. I have a ton of colleagues who outsource via Elance/Freelancer/etc. It's never worked for me. Why? You can't talk to people you don't know! Now that I work for Spencer, I manage half a dozen different writers. Each of them is someone I know. It just works a lot better, especially if you're paying a fair price.
Let’s close this project out
So, team, we’re about done with this one. It’ll still keep earning, and I may decide to sell it (heck, you can even email me if you’re interested!), but for now, this is the end of a very awesome chapter of my career.
Building this site was literally the beginning of a new life for me. It’s the tool through which I pried myself out of the toxic, soulless corporate world and started doing something I loved. It also facilitated a working relationship between myself and Spencer that eventually lead to a professional partnership in which he hired me full-time and became a cofounder at Vylo.
So, really, I’m just super grateful. I’m grateful to you guys, who’ve been incredibly supportive, engaged and enthusiastic about this weird world of SEO that we all love – I’ve made a lot of great friends here. I’m grateful to my girlfriend, who’s never said anything except “I believe in you!” And I’m grateful to Spencer, who’s invested in me and has become a good friend.
So we’re closing this one out, guys, but we’re definitely not done. Not by a long shot… not when there’s sites to build, markets to disrupt, worlds to conquer. So let’s get back at it; eh? Til next time!