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Niche Site Case Study: 8 Months In


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It’s now been 8 months since I published my first niche site and 7.5 months since my second.

It’s been another good month with rising page views, search rankings and income. I am excited to see how much more money these sites can make over the coming months. It has also been great to apply what I have learned from these sites to my travel blog.

This is the ninth update in my case study about building three Amazon affiliate sites. You can also read my last update about how my sites were progressing in February.

PBN and Link Building

I have been keeping my PBN updated and looking genuine. I have not done any link building to my main sites, although I have switched a couple of links in my PBN from the primary keyword page that I was going after initially to a secondary keyword which has been ranking well on site 2. I would love to switch more of the links, but I’m worried that this might look strange to Google – I am very Google paranoid.

The numbers in the brackets below indicate the result for that criteria last month. If there is no number in brackets, this means I have just added an article focusing on this keyword in the last month.

Site 1

My rankings over the last month:

  • 1,255 queries with 35,477 impressions (these are just for web searches moved from 1,105 queries with 31,512 impressions last month)
  • Main keywords average positions are 9.0 and 5.1 (moved from 9.2 and 7.2 last month)*.
  • Secondary keywords: 1.0 (1.2), 2.1 (2.0), 4.3 (4.7), 8.3 (9.9), 6.5 (8.0), 20, 75*

Page Views: 6,807 (up from 5,815)
Earnings: $303 (up from $140.07)

I continue to rank well and it’s nice to see that my income has doubled in the last month. I have started writing articles focusing on keywords that are related to the topic of this site but are not directly about it as I have run out of good buying keywords directly related to this niche.

Site 2

I have previously referred to this site as site 3 (as I did have a “site 2” that was de-indexed by Google). 

My rankings over the last month:

  • 2,766 queries with 44,705 impressions on web search (up from 2,151 queries with 33,704 impressions last month) and 844 queries and 21,431 impressions on mobile search (up from 618 queries and 14,581 impressions).
  • Main keyword average position is 21 (down from 22)*.
  • All my main secondary keywords are now ranking between 4.6 – 30 (last month was 7.7 – 35)*.
  • Some of the longtail keywords I have targeted in articles are ranking at 3.0 (3.0), 5.9 (6.0), 4.2 (4.8), 3.3 (3.3),  12 (25), 11 (11), 35 (36), 20 (23) and 29 (35)*.

Page Views: 6,887 (up from 4,730)
Earnings: $539 (up from $199.81)

I am very happy with the improvement in earnings this month. Some of this has come because I have changed my focus on what should be my primary keyword. I am disappointed that despite building lots of links to my primary keyword that I have not been able to rank well. However, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.

I have focused new links and changed a couple of PBN links to point to one of my secondary keywords instead that was ranking on the second page two months ago and is now cracking the top 3. It does not have as many searches as my primary keyword – just over 1000 per month – but the product is far more expensive and it is great to be selling some items that are worth over $500.

Next Steps?

I am adding an article a month to both sites based on keyword research. I would love to spend more time to try to optimise my use of keywords and conversions, build more links and add more content. However, I just don’t have the time at the moment as I work on building up my affiliate income from Where’s Sharon.

You can now read my next update – 9 months on! Find more posts on my case studies and niche sites here.

* = All of the rankings that I list are based on the average search ranking over the last month. They are usually all ranking higher than this right now.

All dollar amounts are in USD.

I would love to hear your thoughts and advice…

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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