I wanted to provide another update today on one of the new sites that I just purchased. I discussed in a recent post that I've purchased 2 sites; one of which gets most of its traffic from Pinterest currently. That's the site I want to cover in-depth today.
I'm not going to share the URL today, but I do want to provide other details. This is a site in the craft/home projects niche and gets almost no traffic from SEO.
As mentioned in the previous post, this site receives just under 3,000 visitors a day, most of which are from Pinterest. Also, as a reminder when I bought this site, it had nearly 1500 posts; all of which were curated content. And I use the word, “curated” very lightly here…the content is basically copied from other blogs with a link back to the original source and maybe a few sentences written/re-written.
In addition, because the content was copied, the site itself was banned from using Google Adsense, as I recently confirmed from Google. So, I've decided to just ride the current strategy of getting traffic from Pinterest as much as possible and seeing if I can increase the earnings.
I do have a few other ideas up my sleeve for improving traffic and earnings, and I'm going to give a detailed review of those plans below.
Improved Earnings – What I've Done So Far to Improve
When I bought the site, it was earning about $7 to $8 per day. I'm happy to report that over the past few days, its been clocking in at about $12 per day! Nothing is certain and few days could just be a blip; but I still wanted to share what I've done in case the earnings really are permanently higher.
First, I improved the earnings from Media.net Ads. Media.net is like the Google Adsense of Yahoo and Bing. If you can't get in with Google, the next best option is Yahoo and Bing. The ads don't pay quite as much, but they are a great alternative that pays more than many other options.
So, what did I do? Nothing fancy, I made the ads bigger and matched the ad colors to my site.
It wasn't rocket science. In order to get your ads in front of people and clicked on, put them where readers are looking. I now have 2 units sized 600×250 pixels in the content area of my posts; one near the top and one in the middle.
Then I have one ad unit in the sidebar. Two of these ad units are styled to fit my site; I'm testing them all to see what converts better. So, far the units styled to my site appear to be converting better.
The previous owner was making about $3 to $4 per day from Media.net ads. My past couple of days have been in the $11 range. The previous owner had a few other ad options that I've removed which made up the other few dollars a day he was making.
I also have both Info Links and Kontera Ads on the site, that bring in another $1.50 to $2 per day. So, at $12 or $13 per day, I've already improved the earnings of the site by $100 to $150 per month (if things continue as they are)…sweet!
Another change that appears to have helped is a theme change. The previous theme was having issues and I wanted a cleaner look anyway. So, I switched the theme over and that is when I matched the ads to the theme.
So, these 2 simple changes in conjunction with each other, have appeared to improve the earnings. We'll see if it “sticks”.
As mentioned last week, I wanted to try at least one original content article to see if it can rank in Google naturally. We picked a keyword that gets 33,000 Local Monthly Searches on Google and has a Keyword Competitiveness (Long Tail Platinum metric) of 33.
Its an ambitious keyword, but it will be a great test to see if we can rank at all in Google.
The site itself has nice link metrics and carries some authority. So, we are simply going to do internal linking back to that keyword article that we've selected and see what happens. If it looks like its ranking anywhere near the top of Google, we may put some more effort into external page link building.
Plans to Get More Social Traffic…Facebook!
Despite some of the small improvements made so far, perhaps what I am most excited about is the plan that Perrin and I have to start experimenting with Facebook traffic!
As you may have read recently, Glenn from ViperChill.com has posted a couple of times about sites getting traffic almost exclusively from social traffic. In particular he reviewed ViralNova.com, Upworthy.com and others that drive traffic primarily through the use of catchy or shocking article titles that lend themselves well to being virally shared.
Its funny because I kid you not, a few days before Glenn posted those articles I was researching and dreaming about the possibilities of an Upworthy type clone; after reading that they were the fastest growing media company of all time.
However, I suspect thousands of others were thinking the same thoughts; as evidenced by the many clones out there.
So, let me just state very clearly, I am NOT going to create a clone like Upworthy or ViralNova. However, I do want to see if I can apply some of the things that are working well for them into this small site that I purchased, and perhaps to another big project down the road (if these tactics work) in a specific niche.
Overall, what I'm doing with my new site will be small potatoes, but I'm hoping to learn what can be done with social traffic (how to generate more and build a fan base), and then perhaps build a larger site in the near future that has more of a focus on social traffic rather than strictly SEO.
Nearly 4,000 Facebook Fans and a Simple Experiement…
This “Pinterest” site that I purchased actually has almost 4,000 Facebook fans already; but nothing has been posted on Facebook for over 6 months. So, its been a dead page…but I'm hoping to revive it!
In order to start getting more traffic from Facebook, we did something very simple and will be experimenting with it for the next week or 2. Since the site has over 1500 pages of content, we sat down and selected several of the posts and scheduled 3 Facebook posts a day to go out over the next week. So 21 Facebook posts will go out over the next 7 days, all of which is just sharing our old content.
Nothing original other than a simple Facebook headline. Perrin spent about 2 hours writing the headlines and posting them to Facebook. Now we sit and monitor.
Before posting to Facebook, the site was only getting about 9.4 visits a day from Facebook. See the traffic below:
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I only have stats from 2 days so far, and the traffic still isn't that great, BUT it is an improvement. Over the past 2 days, the site has gotten 67 visitors from Facebook. That's a nice increase already!
My 7 day Facebook Prediction
However, my prediction is that by the end of 7 days, we will be getting more and more visitors from Facebook by simply posting on a regular basis.
The reason? Because our Facebook EdgeRank should improve a little by then.
I'm not going to cover EdgeRank in detail, you can learn about it here. Basically, its a formula that Facebook uses to determine if your content will get shown on users timelines and how often. So, even though I have nearly 4,000 Facebook fans; most of those will never see the content I post because of a lower EdgeRank.
As you can see, most of the posts we have made over the past couple of days have a really low “Total Reach”:
However, my prediction is that as we post more content and get even just a few more likes and shares each day, our reach is going to be quite a bit better by the end of the week. I don't know for sure, but that's my prediction: by doing nothing more than posting 3 times a day for 7 days, we will have a better EdgeRank and total reach for each of our posts.
Here's a look at some of the insights from the Facebook page:
We only started posting on the 18th, so you can see that going from nothing to something is a huge % change. I'm really looking for the “Post Reach” and “Likes” graphs to improve by next week.
Building a Larger Socially Driven Site?
If we continue to see improvement with our Facebook engagement, I may decide to test Facebook advertising to increase post reach and fan base. If the returns are worth the investment in a larger Facebook audience, I'll do it!
As mentioned, I know that this site is a small deal. But if I can hone some social media skills that I didn't have before, it could be a huge win. Perrin and I have been strategizing like a couple of geeks over the past week or so about website ideas that we could start that utilize alot of these social media tactics.
In a nutshell, if you can produce content that is worth sharing (doesn't have to be with shocking titles like Upworthy.com necessarily), you can buy an audience and grow it naturally at the same time. Let your mind think about that for a while.
So, the focus is indeed on this small niche site for now, but the long term goal is to take the skills learned here and apply them on a much bigger project.
Overall, I'm excited to see how some of these experiments turn out! And of course, I'll be sharing the results of everything right here on my blog in a future post.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.