How This Old House Earns Money From a Nice Variety Of Income Streams
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This Old House is the online arm of the venerable home improvement brand, and it’s a great resource for anyone looking to tackle a home project. It's packed with helpful articles on topics like choosing the right paint color, installing crown molding, and tiling a backsplash. And for site owners like us, it's packed with tons helpful tips on monetization and UX choices we can try to replicate!
The site appears to have been started in 2016, and has grown to over nine thousand pages, attracting an estimated 6 million views per month, according to Ahrefs.
So let's dig in!
How This Old House Gets Its Traffic
A massive 82% of their traffic comes via search, so they dominate the SERPS for high-volume keywords in their niche. Another 13% of their traffic comes directly, showing This Old House to be a strong brand with a loyal audience.
Just 2.6% of their traffic comes from social media, and while that's not a massive percentage, in raw numbers, that's still six-figures per month.
Two-thirds of their social media traffic comes from Pinterest, which is no surprise. Pinterest is particularly popular in the home improvement niche, as it’s a great platform for sharing before-and-after photos and tutorials.
What Types of Keywords Does This Old House Target?
Their top traffic keywords include evergreen terms such as "tankless water heater", "kitchen island" and "electric fireplace", as well as more seasonal phrases like "how to get rid of gnats". This shows that This Old House covers a wide range of topics, from general home improvement tips to more specific advice on seasonal pests.
This breadth of coverage is a competitive advantage likely thanks to their strong authority and high DR. And it's certainly one of the reasons why This Old House is so successful. They’re able to attract traffic from a wide range of keywords, which means they have a constant stream of traffic coming to their site.
This Old House also benefits from their own branded keywords, with the term "this old house" bringing in significant traffic as their fourth-highest volume keyword.
How Their Pages Look
The site is very well organized, with articles arranged in an A-Z directory, so it’s always easy to find what you’re looking for.
The articles themselves are well written and comprehensive, with clear step-by-step instructions, short paragraphs, plenty of photos, and fonts that are easy on the eye.
What's Their Link Profile Like?
TOH has attracted links from other home and lifestyle websites such as HomeBNC, The Spruce, and Builders Surplus, as well as encyclopedia sites like Wikihow and Wikipedia.
This shows that their content is seen as authoritative and trustworthy, which is no surprise given the This Old House brand's popularity and longevity. Similar to another big site in the home improvement niche Bob Vila.
They also have a strong link profile because they produce a lot of evergreen content that is relevant all year round. This means that their articles continue to attract links over time, even if they’re not actively promoting them.
For example, one of their pages which has gained a lot of valuable links is about "how to hire a contractor" which has been linked to by over 500 referring domains.
What's Their Social Media Strategy Like?
This Old House is very active on social media, with Pinterest being their main platform. They have nearly a million followers on Pinterest, getting over 10 million monthly views and they use this platform to share photos, tutorials, and tips.
They also have a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where they share similar content to what’s on their website.
They seem to be focusing their social media efforts on platforms where they can share visual content, which is smart given the nature of their brand and target audience.
What Does The Site Do Well?
This Old House has managed to build up a huge online following, and it’s no wonder their website is so popular.
The site is packed with useful information for anyone looking to tackle a home project, and their articles are well-researched and thorough.
How Does This Old House Make Its Money?
This is where things certainly get very interesting. They're earning income in a wide variety of ways:
- Affiliate marketing
- Merchandise such as sweatshirts, bobbleheads and housewares
- Magazine subscriptions
- Monthly and annual subscription memberships giving access to live online Q&A sessions and other member benefits
- Sponsored content
- And good old display advertising!
Just about the only thing they're NOT doing is selling houses!
These diverse income streams mean they're not relying on any one particular source of revenue.
This is a smart move, as it means that they're less vulnerable to changes in the economy or shifts in consumer behavior.
What Can We Learn From This Old House Website?
This Old House is a great example of a website that's getting things right.
There are a few things we can learn from their success:
- It pays to be niche: This Old House has been able to dominate the SERPS because they've focused on a specific niche. Home improvement is a popular topic, but it's a huge niche with a lot of competition. By focusing on home improvement specifically, they've been able to stand out from the crowd and attract a loyal following.
- Quality content is key: This Old House produces content that is well researched, well written, and easy to follow. They understand their audience and what they want to see, and they deliver.
- Links are still important: Despite all the changes to Google's algorithm over the years, links are still an important ranking factor. This Old House has built up a strong link profile by producing high-quality, evergreen content that is relevant all year round.
- Social media matters: This Old House is active on social media, and it's paying off. They have nearly a million followers on Pinterest, and a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- It's important to be optimized: This Old House has a well-optimized website that is easy to navigate and user-friendly. They understand the importance of being visible in the search engines, and they've made sure their site is up to scratch.
If you're looking to improve your own website, then This Old House is a great example to follow.
They've got everything right, and they're reaping the rewards.
So take some inspiration from their success and see what you can do to improve your own online presence.
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