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Niche Site Case Study: 9 Months Old


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My first niche site is 9 months old – wow how time flies!

My big question for this month was whether I could repeat my growth and double my income again. The answer has been both yes and no.

It has been another good month since my last update. My page views have increased a lot. My rankings, site hits and Amazon clicks have improved.

However, my conversion rate in Amazon has gone down. It has nearly halved on each of my three sites that are earn Amazon commissions (my two niche sites plus my travel blog). I am not sure why.

I have also been questioning how honest other bloggers are that write about niche sites.

My best ranking secondary keyword for site 2 is actually the focus on a case study on a popular internet marketing site – I did not know this when I built that site. He was apparently earning over $1000 a month from just targeting this keyword. I rank the same as what they were reporting for that keyword, yet am obviously not making that much from that keyword alone. My conversions are good. My layout is similar. It’s hard to believe that what they reported is true.

It is disheartening how many lies and how much rubbish exist in the internet marketing space. I am not sorry that I decided to build niche sites, but I do wish correct expectations had been set by others.

This is the tenth update in my case study about building three Amazon affiliate sites.

PBN and Link Building

We continue to update the PBN. We have nearly done enough work that it should be right for the rest of the year (with some scheduled posts). We are also strongly considering selling links on the better ones. I have plenty of contacts. It’s just the money is quite low, it does take effort and we are then placing the sites at higher risk of being de-indexed. More money would be good though!

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:

  • 1,434 queries with 42,386 impressions (these are just for web searches moved from 1,255 queries with 35,477 impressions last month)
  • Main keywords average positions are 7.8 and 3.8 (moved from 9.0 and 5.1 last month)*.
  • Secondary keywords: 1.0 (1.0), 2.0 (2.1), 5.1 (4.3), 9.4 (8.3), 6.1 (6.5), 19 (20), 77 (75)*

Page Views: 8,909 (up from 6,807)
Earnings: $309 (up from $303)

It is disappointing to see my earnings for this site stagnate, but I am not surprised. As I have mentioned many times, I did not start with great keywords. In the last couple of months I have added some articles about items in similar niches, so I am still waiting to see if I can earn more money from this site by expanding sideways. I still need to build some links to these pages to help test this out.

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:

  • 3,353 queries with 57,695 impressions on web search (up from 2,766 queries with 44,705 impressions last month) and 2,801 queries and 56,951 impressions on mobile search (up from 844 queries and 21,431 impressions).
  • Main keyword average position is 20 (down from 21)*.
  • All my main secondary keywords are now ranking between 3.3 – 30 (last month was 4.6 – 30)*.
  • Some of the longtail keywords I have targeted in articles are ranking at 3.1 (3.0), 5.6 (5.9), 4.1 (4.2), 3.3 (3.3),  20 (12), 15 (11), 32 (35), 9.1 (20), 24 (29)* and 28.

Page Views: 12,116 (up from 6,887)
Earnings: $1,076 (up from $539)

I am very happy with the improvement in my earnings this month. If only it can double again in the next month and then I will be a very happy woman!

Many of my rankings do seem to be slipping. I think I need to add another couple of links. I really want to prioritise this but it keeps moving off my radar. I have links from my network that were easy to get, so I need to look at new ways to gain more. I have done some link swapping with people in the same space, but they are not very quality links and I would rather play it safe and stick to legitimate sites. That does make it more difficult though.

Other Niche Sites

My original niche site that was de-indexed, made about $5 in the last month. My PBN site that is set up like a niche site made $14.

Next Steps?

I am continuing to add 1-2 articles per month per site. I want to add a couple of more links too, but finding time to do anything on these niche sites continues to be difficult.

We are hoping that we will reach the point soon where J can stop freelancing and then he will work full time on these sites for a month or so trying to optimise everything, build relationships and white hat links. It would be great to see where we could take these sites.

I am hoping that my sites may gain even more hits (and thus more money) with the changes to Google search results for mobiles. I already get more hits to my sites from mobiles than desktop.

You can now read my ten month update! 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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