When they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, you can add niche sites to that assumption as well.
All throughout October I spent the majority of my niche website effort getting content and uploading it to both of my sites, NS1 and NS2. As has been the goal for the past 2 months, I’m trying to build each one of these niche sites to be much larger than they are now – 50 or posts or more to be specific.
My current theory (as observed in other people’s niche website developments) is that if I can build them up that high, they will rank for thousands of various keyword queries, attract far more organic traffic, and increase the potential for people to click through on the ads I have placed on them.
So how is that assumption working out? It’s a bit early to tell since we just got started in October, but here’s how our income is looking so far.
Niche Website Income Report:
Since last month, here is how much money my niche websites have made (along with a few other key details).
Compared to last month, income actually went down. But this is a little bit misleading. Last month I had one direct advertisement deal that really helped to boost the profits. In reality my October Google Adsense income was more than it was in September. So that does show some small signs that the “more content, more revenue” theory is working.
On direct advertising: Though I don’t plan to rely on it heavily, I do find it unfortunate that so many advertisers STILL rely on Pagerank as their main deciding factor. Google hasn’t updated the toolbar Pagerank score since February. And according to this tweet from Matt Cutts, they don’t plan to again until sometime in 2014. Unfortunately NS1 and NS2 have a score of 1 and N/A, so most advertisers will pass up working with me on these sites even though they receive just as much traffic or more than my blog here. To combat this, I have been trying to play up some of the other website metrics for my sites such as the domain and page authority ranks. In some cases that gets them to take a look, but so far not a lot of interest.
No one cares when you make a million dollars if it cost you $1.2 million to get there. So as part of these income reports, I thought it might be useful to include a tally of my expenses.
Note that these expenses are for costs that are specific to each site such as hosting fees, writing, etc. I do not include my general link building oDesk costs in here because I tend to have each contractor work on more than one site. Within my personal accounting, I then expense those oDesk hours against the income I make from My Money Design rather than my niche sites. The income I make from this site more than covers those weekly general expenses.
It’s kind of funny, but at first glance when you add everything up as I’ve done in this report, I’ve barely made any money at all!
Again, this is just a little bit misleading. When you treat your websites like a business like I’m now trying to do, what’s really going on here is that I’m taking the revenue I’m making from these sites and reinvesting them into the sites themselves. For example, last month I took $200 from the previous income we made on NS1 and bought 26 new articles for it. That will affectively double the size of that site and this should increase the site’s earning potential for months to come.
If you noticed some bigger expenses with NS3, don’t worry – I’ll get into more detail below with what’s going on there ….
The Battle of the Income Strategies:
I’ve realized for a while that Google Adsense isn’t the one and only way to generate revenue. So I decided to experiment with a few new methods:
- Skimlinks (which I learned about a month ago from Nick LeRoy’s website)
- Media.net (thanks to a suggestion from Alexa over at Single Moms Income)
Here’s how it’s going:
Skimlinks earnings: 26 cents.
Right now I’ve only got Skimlinks on one of my sites (NS2). While at first you might think that that’s the reason my earnings have been so low, I should point out that NS2 has just as much traffic as My Money Design. I’ll probably leave it on there for about one more month and see if things change. But if they don’t I’ll remove or try a different site.
Now to be fair, Skimlinks is really big on Amazon-type products. So perhaps using it on NS2 was the wrong fit for this type of affiliate. If I was using it on a site that was more Amazon product friendly, I might be doing way better.
Media.net earnings: $8.04
I’m testing this one on my blog here. In general I like the appearance of these ads a lot better than Google Adsense. I think they look a lot more natural and less evasive. But despite that, the only thing that matters is how much revenue you earn from them. And compared to previous months with Google Adsense, we still have yet to see how things will work out. Again, I’ll probably try it out for about another month or experiment with other sized ads.
Unfortunately at the moment testing it on my other sites is not an option. The application for my other sites was denied. Maybe I’ll see if I can appeal.
Content creation for NS1 and NS2 has been going great! I received the last few articles from my NS1 article order. Most of the articles have been uploaded and are ready to go.
Concurrently I am still continuing to personally write like crazy for NS2. I’d like to see both sites approximately the same size in number of posts. Right now with all the material I have, NS2 is about 10 posts behind NS1, so I’ve still got some work to do. But I’ve been in a pretty good groove and that shouldn’t been too difficult to accomplish.
My current plan for each site is to schedule 2 posts to go live each week. At that rate that we should continue to keep both sites fresh with new content for about the next 2-3 months until I finally run out of material.
At that point, each site would have about 50 posts on it. That would qualify each niche website as a medium sized niche site or small authority website. According to the pros like Niche Pursuits, this is where your best opportunity lies. This is because the extra content will:
- Increase the number of ranking keywords for the site overall. This will lead to increased organic traffic and potential revenue.
- Increase the page / domain authority and strength of the site. Not only will this feed into the potential for organic traffic, but it will also make the sites more attractive to advertisers or potential buyers.
Link Building and Being Snubbed from the Carnivals!!!
If you haven’t been seeing MMD around the blogger carnivals lately, there’s a good reason: I’ve been banned!
Yes, unfortunately I’ve learned that the webmaster who controls the blogger carnival entry software has made it so that it denies niche websites from being entered. Along with that, My Money Design also became black-listed. It was expressed to me that too many submissions seemed like spamming. Using a VA is also apparently frowned upon.
This is all very unfortunate because I’ve really enjoyed the carnivals for some time now. Not only can I find a lot of good people there to network with, but they also have been a cornerstone to my link building efforts for quite some time now.
Fortunately blogger carnivals are not the only trick I have up my sleeve. I’ve got a few VA’s who are helping me using some other link building strategies with social media, blog commenting, etc.
Anything New with NS3?
As a matter of fact there is.
Now that almost all the content I need for NS1 and NS2 has been created and is slowing being uploaded to these sites, they will eventually go into auto-pilot mode as they auto-post week after week. That will give me time to safely turn my attention back to NS3.
To get the ball rolling, I have recently done a great deal of keyword research using Long Tail Pro Platinum. What I wanted to do was find about 20 or so low competition, secondary keywords that I could use as the basis for the next NS3 articles.
If you noticed up above that the expenses for NS3 were close to $200, that’s because I did put down a deposit on getting another package of 15 articles from Elance. Post your job today.. 15 articles would bring the site up to a total of 20 posts, and that should qualify my site safely above the micro-niche classification that Google seems to frown upon.
I’m choosing not to give up on NS3 because I’m very excited about the income potential. The CPC of the keywords I’m targeting are much higher than any other keyword I’ve used before. That means each time someone clicks on one of the ads, my revenue will likely be a few dollars rather than just a few pennies.
Ironically even though I haven’t really done anything with NS3 other than have my VA make a few social media links, the site continues to creep in rankings for the primary keyword. Last month we were in the 50’s and 60’s. This month we’re at 30.
The Bigger Picture with NS3:
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind with NS3: I want to see if making money off of an outsourced website is possible.
Other than doing the keyword research and uploading the content, I really haven’t done much of anything for it. All of the writing was outsourced. All of the link building has been outsourced.
If NS3 can turn a corner (likely after I’ve uploaded the new content) and have some success in generating revenue each month, this will prove to me that a site without a lick of writing from myself can succeed.
And that may become a model that I exploit for future niche website projects to come. I’ll keep you posted in how that turns out in the next update.
Readers – How have your experiments with monetization been going? Has anyone had any more or less success with one service over the other?
Previous Niche Site Chapters:
- Starting the Next of My Extra Income Ideas – Building a Niche Website
- Niche Website Project Part 2 – The Unveiling
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 3
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 4
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 5
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 6
- Niche Website Update 7 – Site Number 2 Launched!
- Niche Website Update 8 – NS2 on the First Page Search Results Already!
- Niche Website Update 9 – Criticisms of My Second Niche Site
- Niche Website Update 10 – NS3 is a Failure (So Far) and I’m Glad
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net