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Podcast 158: Niche Site Project 4 Income Report For July

I’m excited to give you an update on Niche Site Project 4. I’m actually going to give the monthly income report for July 2019. Sorry about the delay in this episode. I’m already about three weeks into August as I’m recording this, so if you’ve been waiting anxiously for this report, I apologize.

I published the blogpost on the blog. Maybe you’ve already read that with the monthly report, but due to some vacation time and other things, it’s taken me a little bit to actually record this episode. With that, let’s go ahead and jump right into it. 

Now that the 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 things I was focused on during July.

I launched Link Whisper in early to 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 that the site achieved another record month in terms of both earnings and traffic.  

Full Transcript

Spencer: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits Podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws from nichepursuits.com. Before we jump into today’s episode, I wanted to tell you a little bit about Ezoic. Ezoic is an ad platform that I have been using on my Niche Site Project 4 site and I’ve been very happy with it. 

Ezoic is a Google award-winning technology that everyone from niche website owners to major brands use to grow and monetize their websites. Ezoic is also a Google-certified publishing partner. The platform leverages artificial intelligence to learn from website visitors with the goal of providing more personalized experiences that will improve on page experiences, which is session length, while also optimizing revenue and monetization on a per visitor basis. 

The Ezoic platform features everything from intelligent website analytics to advanced automated visitor segmentation tools that allow publishers to improve visitor experiences and increase overall website revenue. Overall, there really are some big benefits to using Ezoic. It’s more than just an ad platform, but it truly is a platform that allows publishers to implement sophisticated ad operations and monetization practices on their websites using advanced artificial intelligence. This allows publishers to manage as much or as little as they want. You simply drag and drop ad placeholders, and Ezoic will help automatically test thousands of ad partners, ad locations, ad types, and control ad density. This means Ezoic optimizes revenue and engagement for each unique visitor, maximizing the revenue publishers earn. If you want to go and check out Ezoic, you can go to nichepursuits.com/ezoic. 

I’m excited to give you an update on Niche Site Project 4. I’m actually going to give the monthly income report for July 2019. Sorry about the delay in this episode. I’m already about three weeks into August as I’m recording this, so if you’ve been waiting anxiously for this report, I apologize. I published the blogpost on the blog. Maybe you’ve already read that with the monthly report, but due to some vacation time and other things, it’s taken me a little bit to actually record this episode. With that, let’s go ahead and jump right into it. 

Now that the 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 things I was focused on during July. I launched Link Whisper in early to 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 that the site achieved another record month in terms of both earnings and traffic.  

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 on my site. I just think that there are some improvements that I need to make to keep it growing. Let’s jump into the report. 

Earnings. During the month of July, owntheyard.com, earned a total of $1392.11 down to penny for you. As you may remember from previous reports, that is a record month. The site is now 11 months old and I’m very happy with the results that I’ve seen. The site made about $692 from Amazon Associates and $699.95 from Ezoic Ads. Just five cents short of $700. 

I finally got around to setting up Amazon UK and Amazon Germany last month so I had a little bit of earnings there in addition to the Amazon US. Only about $7.45 in Amazon international earnings. It’s not much, but I’ll take it. It’s good to get the ball finally rolling there. I should have done it sooner. I do have some other ideas to increase my Amazon earnings which I’m going to discuss here in my revenue concerns in just a minute. Let’s talk about Ezoic earnings. 

Ezoic earnings 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. Overall revenue concerns. My primary way of monetizing owntheyard.com has always been Amazon Associates, however as I just mentioned, 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 should be.  

Here’s my three concerns with the monetization on the site and how I plan to fix these issues. Hopefully, you can take some of these ideas and apply it to your own business.  

Number one, I have too many display ads specifically on post monetized with Amazon Associates. In the next few days, I plan to go through all of my articles that are primarily monetized by Amazon and will remove the Ezoic display ads. I have since done that now that I’m recording the podcast here. 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.  

Number two, I believe a combination of Cloudflare, WP Rocket, and Ezoic is causing caching issues with my Table Labs tables which are Amazon product comparison tables, as a reminder. As you made have seen if you go to owntheyard.com, sometimes my tables aren’t showing up. This has been an ongoing issue on and off for a few months. The tables will show up then not show up. Once I clear the Ezoic cache, the Cloudflare cache, and WP Rocket cache, they show up again.  

I have tables across several other sites on the same hosting account and never have any issues with those. As a result, I’m going to try disabling the WP Rocket plugged in to see if that helps them stick. I just disabled the plug in and hopefully, that improves the situation. 

Now, since I’ve wrote the report and now I’m recording the podcast, I actually am getting my Table Labs tables to show up consistently. I turned off Ezoic caching, but they still were having issues. They would come back seem more frequently, but WP Rocket was still causing some issues. I inserted some customed advance ignoring logic there in WP Rocket. I basically had them ignore the Table Labs script and now they’re showing up all the time. I’m not having any issues. I believe that I have resolved that concern. 

I actually felt really bad because I’ve been missing out on a lot of earnings. I’m now getting a ton of clicks and sales from my product comparison tables which is not a shocker. I just feel really bad that I waited till the last 10 days of August to do that.  

Back to the report here. Number three concern that I had is that 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. Now, 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 that I can figure out a solution that keeps my site placing fast and addition to having ads up on my site. 

Okay, seasonality. There’s 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 the traffic will decline individually for some keywords, even when ranking improves or stay the same. This is just seasonality. We’ll see how big of an issue this ends up being in fall and winner. I really don’t know yet because it is my first year owning the site. I do have additional content either out already or coming out soon that should perform well in fall and winter months like snow gear, rain gear, etc.  

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Now let’s talk about cost. I’ve done a great job over the last year publishing a profit and loss statement. It’s hard to go over that in a podcast, but if you go over to nichepursuits.com, you can check that out. The site is doing well. Revenue is growing and […] finally hit a positive number in July. It earned net after all expenses, content, and everything about $600 in profit. My content cost were quite a bit lower this month because I only published six 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 here in just a second. Overall, I spent a little over $19,000 on this site. In total, I made a little over $4000 in revenue. As a result, I’m still in the hole over $1500. As mentioned before, I’m not concerned about this at all. This is a long term investment that will simply get more valuable overtime as it continues to grow. 

If I were to try and sell the site today, which I’m not going to do, I would expect to sell it for somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. 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 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 or talk about this detailed profit and loss statement for one more month so that the entire first year is documented. After that, I will update it less frequently or maybe just not at all. We’ll see. I’m going to play that here, but definitely, I’ll give it to you next month as well.  

Traffic. I’ve continued to see positive trends in terms of traffic. In fact, July was another record month for overall traffic which is a very good thing, of course. 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 the trend is going up quite nicely and continues to trend exceptionally well.  

Google Traffic. Traffic from Google continues to be the largest single source of traffic. A little over 20,000 sessions came directly from Google during the month of July. Keyword rankings continued to either hold steady or improve, generally speaking. The only concern as previously mentioned, is that there could be some seasonality that starts kicking in during August. As a result, it’s very possible the Google traffic may level off even though rankings improve.  

Now that I’m actually about three weeks into August, I’m not seeing much seasonality, yet. I would say that traffic is definitely holding steady. I would have to really love to see. I think it’s still actually going up, generally speaking. Not as quickly, so we’ll see. Because I’m going to be continuing to publish new content, I may not see much of a drop at all even though the seasonality starts to kick in. Fingers are crossed on that. 

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Pinterest traffic. After a small decline during June, Pinterest had a huge jump up during July. As I 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 took off. In particular, my enclosed patio ideas article did really well in 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.  

Content. 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 Linked Whisperer and then vacation during July, so I didn’t get as much content reviewed and published. Overall, I added just six 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. I can say that I’ve been hiring new authors. I do think that I’ll get close to that 15 articles here in August and probably 20 in September or more.  

A quick summary of the total articles added. I’ve now added 64 articles to the site overall. I have another 50 or so keywords that I found that I just need to get assigned to an author to write. I did have a couple of authors basically dry up during July. I have one solid author that can do two or three weeks, but I need to get some more in the queue as well. I will likely place another order with ContentPit to help complete some of those 50 pending articles ideas  that I have. Again, you can go to nichepursuits.com/contentpit, you will get a 10% bonus content for the price that you pay. Essentially, it’s like 10% savings there.  

Link building. Here is a shocker, I didn’t really put much effort in the link building again. I did hire someone to do some outreach for me in June and I was able to land two guest posts in early July. I wasn’t 100% hands-off. I used Loganix to do the outreach for me and you can check them out at nichepursuits.com/loganix. The links landed were solid and I have seen some movement with the keyword I was targeting. One keyword was gone from ranking 32 to 26 in Google. The other keyword has gone from ranking over 100 to now 47 or so in Google. I do imagine that as that article ages, it will continue to improve. 

All right, that’s the overall report. What’s next? My original plan is working well. I just need to continue to focus a bit more on the site to see continued growth. In a nutshell, here’s my continued plan over the next 12 months. I’m going to continue to add 15-20 articles a month. I’m going to focus on low-competition keywords that either low authority competitors are ranking for or other opportunities that I just happen to notice. I’m going to make the site speed improvements that I talked about. I’m going to make minor monetization tweaks. I specifically mentioned those tweaks previously like removing Ezoic ads on my Amazon-focused post, etc.  

I’m trying to get a couple more solid authors in place so that my keyword plans and spreadsheets can get completed and updated on a regular basis. I’m going to focus a bit more on internal linking now that my site has reached over 150 posts. Lot’s of internal linking opportunities exist. Link Whisper will of course make this quick and easy for me to do.  

I’m going to 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 plan. It’s fairly simple, but it’s been pretty effective up until now. I’ve been able to build an asset that’s making $1300 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 $1300-$3000 a month should be much easier than going from $0-$1000. 

Also I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the end goal is not to make $2000 or $3000 a month. I know this site has the potential to make $5000 or $10,000 or much more each month. 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. Thanks a lot for listening. 

Thank you once again for listening to the Niche Pursuits podcast. As a reminder, this episode has been sponsored by Ezoic. Ezoic is a Google award-winning technology that everyone from niche website owners to major brands used to grow and monetize their websites. Ezoic is a Google-certified publishing partner. It’s a platform that leverages artificial intelligence to help you optimize revenue and monetization on a per-visitor basis and so much more. If you want to check out Ezoic, go to nichepursuits.com/ezoic. Thanks a lot. 




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By Spencer Haws
August 29, 2019 | No Comments

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