Niche Site Project 3
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After the huge successes of Niche Site Projects 1 and 2, I've decided to come back with Niche Site Project 3.0.
In this project my team and I will be coaching 3 students to build a niche site from scratch. I will coach one, Perrin will coach one, and Jake will coach one.
As a result, we had 3 sites to share publicly and really 3 projects to share throughout the process.
The Final Project Update (ended in early 2017)
Welcome back to another update for Niche Site Project 3!
Can you believe that it's already been over a year since we started the project? So much has happened in the past year, and I know so many of you have had some cool successes with your own niche sites.
Below you will find the reports from Samara, Colleen, and Ryan.
Before you dive into those updates, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on plans going forward with the project.
I stay in closest contact with Samara of course, since I am her coach. And I know that she is a work horse!
Samara has put in significant effort (when she has time) and I think that is why her site is doing the best out of the 3. You may also know that she has a young child, and one on the way! Yep, Samara is just about to give birth any day now to baby #2.
So, while her effort is there, sometimes she's unable to put in the time with everything she has going on. Having said that, she now has a site making about $200 a month; whereas before she had never been able to make any money online.
It's not the huge “make it rain” kind of money we were all hoping for, but it does prove that money can indeed be made with niche sites. For someone that has never made money online, to having a site she could sell for around $5000, I would call it a nice success story.
Colleen has also put in a lot of effort and I know that now she is traveling the world, running a web-design company, and I'm pretty sure has started a separate site that she is keeping on the down-low.
I actually think if she went back into her site and monetized better she could double or triple her earnings. From what I can see, very few of her articles even have ads or affiliate links on them.
If it were me, I would be adding at least Google Adsense, Media.net, or Amazon Associates ads to possibly each page.
Ryan unfortunately, has just been so busy with multiple jobs from the very beginning, that his site hasn't taken off. However, he did get his first sale…woohoo!
This will be the last “regular” update for Niche Site Project 3. The students have all the basic lessons they need, they just need to go back and apply the lessons that we already shared (over and over again for each article).
I think I will ask for another update in 6 months or so, but that may be it for the project.
So, with that, here are the latest updates from Samara, Colleen, and Ryan!
I hope everyone is making lots of progress and watching the money roll in! Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Tiny Fry lately.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys. I’ve been working a lot on my site and lately I’m very frustrated. I’m just not seeing the results I expected I’d see, especially after a year.
At this point I thought I’d be sleeping on piles and piles of $100 bills. More accurately, I’m sleeping on three $100 bills, because that’s how much I’ve made on Amazon these last two months ($121 in January and $179 in February, to be precise). Not exactly enough to cover my mortgage, or daycare payments, or utilities…
Maybe I’m being impatient. I definitely have good days, when I wake up and think to myself, “This is totally going to work out, I just have to keep at it”, and bad days, when I’m utterly exhausted and publishing a new blog post at 2 am, and I think to myself, “Wait… why am I doing this again?”
You know what frustrates me the most is that I feel like I “sold” my family on the idea that I’m not going to be around as much because I’m going to be pouring all of my free time and energy into building this website, but it’s going to be amazing and we’re all going to benefit from it. And I feel a little bit embarrassed to not have delivered on that promise.
I spoke to Spencer about all this, and we discussed the possibility of selling the website. But, at the moment, I’m not ready to throw in the towel. I suspect that self-doubt is just part of the process, and as they say, the path to success isn’t a straight line. And maybe I’m being too negative. Before this project I had earned a total of zero dollars from my online experiments so, comparatively, I’m killing it!
So what have I been up to? I’ve mainly been trying to publish as much content as possible. I found a bunch of decent writers on Craigslist, and I’ve been publishing at least one article a day, sometimes two.
I have been doing very little backlinking. Every once in a while I’ll reach out to a few blogs to see if I can score a guest post, but the truth is that I have been dedicating 99% of my time to content creation. I have 137 posts up at the moment, and more in the pipeline.
Traffic continues to either increase very gradually or hold steady, which I feel is a good sign.
I’ve added Native Shopping Ads to all of my key posts, and I’m in the process of applying to other affiliate programs with a view to diversifying my earnings.
I’ve also added a few more subscribers to my email list, and I plan on organizing and resuming my newsletter this month.
I’m still dragging my feet with social media, which is probably a mistake. I know I should try and harness Pinterest, for example, which could definitely be an interesting channel for driving traffic to Tiny Fry. I’ve added that to my lengthy to-do list!
That’s all I’ve got to report at the moment. I hope everyone following along is having a ton of success, and for those of you who aren’t, I hope you still hang in there!
The New Year has been busy already, which means both good and bad. Good, because things are going well, but bad because I haven't spent as much time on Coustii as I would have liked. I had the hopes of starting the new year with loads more content and link building, but things got pushed aside all too easily. I’m hoping to kick back into gear next month.
In January I had 14,300 sessions and made $114.
In February, I ran into a reporting issue with my Google Analytics. At first I thought maybe I got hit with the Fred Algorithm Update and I almost had a panic attack, but turns out it was just an authentication issue. Now the traffic is reporting again!
I made $71 in February, a bit lower than January, but I’m not surprised after the cool down of the holiday shopping. I’m hoping that more content in the next couple months will start to show some results.
In February, I was able to meet Samara in Madrid! It’s weird meeting the competition in real life, especially after hearing her voice so much! We had drinks and shared our experiences. Samara and I exchanged some tips with each other (don’t worry Perrin, our secret strategies are under lock and key). It’s was cool to meet Samara and get to know her better!
Well, it took a year, folks.
It took a year for me to finally make a sale! I knew that I would eventually, but at the same time, I had my doubts. Yet it happened, and I’m a little embarrassed to say that I was probably way too excited about .72 cents.
Truth be told, the excitement lasted all of one day. When I didn’t have another sale the next day, I realized that I still had a TON of work to do. Here’s my Amazon stats from the rest of those two months:
Honestly, I didn’t do that much actual work through January and February. But the work that I had put in previously was finally starting to pay off.
It was weird… it was like Google finally recognized me all of the sudden, and since then my stats have just continued on an upward path. My Google Analytics doesn’t show anything too crazy for these two months. Just a slow crawl upwards…
But when I look at my Search Console stats, it becomes much more clear that I’m heading in the right direction.
I can only attribute my small success these two months to good content, and good SEO. Because I did no outreach, and I also posted no new articles.
Google just keeps pushing my position up and up, so they must deem my articles to have value.
So that’s all good. I just need to scale it up… way up… like I’ve been saying forever. I’m going to get there eventually. I really am.
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