As you may recall, both of these sites are ones that I am using as “case study” sites. I've shared the process of buying the sites, and I'll be keeping the updates coming for the entire year or until I sell them off.
As explained in a previous post, the site I will be covering today is in the craft niche. The site receives most of its traffic (nearly 3,000 visitors a day) from Pinterest. I've also done some experiments with Facebook traffic that showed some promise, but I'm not going to be pursue that avenue for now as I'll explain below.
Pinterest Site Review and Traffic Stats
So, lets jump right into it! I purchased this site on Flippa for $2,100. Before I bought the site, it was making about $200 per month. However, this has been my “trouble” site, and I knew that going in.
A few of the issues the site had (I knew all of this before buying the site):
- It was banned from Google Adsense (see my correspondence with Google here)
- All the content is curated (with almost no original content)
- All the traffic was coming from Pinterest
Now, lets take a look at what I've done to the site so far.
First, I wanted to see if I could start getting more natural search engine traffic from Google. The site actually has great metrics, with a Page Authority over 40 and PageRank of 4.
So, I did some keyword research using Long Tail Pro and found several low competition keywords in the niche. I decided to start with just 1 keyword, write up an original content and see what would happen. I only used internal linking from my own site to that article. (I was hoping the strength of the domain and internal links would be enough to get the article at least somewhere in the SERPs).
Unfortunately after a month, that article is still not ranking anywhere. This either confirms my suspicion that Google is not going to rank content on this site (because most of it is copied/curated content); or that I need to build external links. For now, this site simply does not make enough money to pursue too many tactics.
So, I'm leaving the organic traffic question alone for now and focusing on other tactics.
Here's what the traffic to the site looks like for March (as of March 26th):
The traffic continues to remain great. In order to sustain this traffic, I am paying someone a couple of bucks an article to curate a few articles each week and then pinning images to Pinterest.
Here's the source breakdown of all the traffic:
So, you can see that I DO get some organic search traffic, but I believe its a bit deceiving. I'm pretty sure that most of that “organic” traffic is really from image searches on Google (my site has alot of images).
And here is a breakdown of the social traffic:
Clearly Pinterest dominates.
As mentioned, I did an experiment on Facebook where essentially I just started posting existing articles from my site on Facebook (the site already had over 3,000 FB fans). As you can see from my previous report, this did indeed send some traffic.
However, the amount of traffic is not anywhere close to what Pinterest is sending, and it was taking about the same amount of effort. So, I've decided to just let it ride with Pinterest.
March Earnings – Big Increase!
I made the gamble with this site knowing that it was banned from Google Adsense. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Adsense is going to let this site get back in with all the copied content. With Adsense, I could double the earnings of this site overnight. Unfortunately, that's not an option, so I'm using Media.net as an alternative.
In February, this site earned $179.62 from Media.net ads, and another $20 or so from Infolinks and Kontera ads. So, the total earnings of the site was approximately $200 for the month of February. So, it was earning almost exactly the same as what it did before I bought the site; which is fine.
However, in March (actually near end of Feb) I got a bit more aggressive with the ads. After all, these are visitors from Pinterest just looking for pictures. If you don't hit them with ads in the first 30 seconds they will be gone. So, I basically just started using the largest ad size available on Media.net, the 600×250 unit.
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I'm now using one of these large ads near the top of my post and one in the middle. As a result, my earnings have improved!
So far during March (through March 26th), the Media.net earnings are – $201.68. (That would be $240.46 on a prorated basis for March)
So far (again March 26th) the site has earned $19.54 from Kontera ads. (This would be $23.30 on a prorated basis).
The site also has InfoLinks Earnings of $9.51 (or $11.34 on a prorated basis).
So, overall the site has already earned $230.73 this month, and should earn close to $275.10 for the entire month of March!
I know we are not talking huge numbers here, but a 38% increase (from $200 to $275) in earnings is pretty good! Overall, I'm very happy with the progress the site has made so far.
Plans Going Forward – Build an Email List
Despite the increase in earnings, I'm not satisfied. With 3,000 visitors per day, I feel like I should be able to monetize them better.
So, I'm in the process of getting an opt-in form in place on my site to start collecting emails. Once I actually start seeing some people join my email list, I'll then dig in and write up an emails series that includes some affiliate offers or eventually sells my own ebook (or something).
To generate email leads, I'm giving away a free ebook that I picked up on Master-Resale-Rights.com. This site allows you to buy ebooks that have already been written, but gives you full control over rebranding or selling as your own if you want.
Overall, the progress has been good for this site; but I'm really hoping to dial in my opt in forms and eventually email funnel to see if I can really increase the value of all the visitors to this site. So, be on the lookout for my next update on this Pinterest site!
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave your thoughts below. I look forward to the discussion.