Hello and welcome to my monthly niche website income report and business update.
At the start of every month, I like use this opportunity to share with you, the reader, what’s been going on with my niche site business. The idea behind these websites is to create multiple streams of passive income that I can use to help advance my efforts to achieve financial freedom as quickly as possible!
June marks a special milestone for my niche site business because it signifies that the year is halfway over. Unfortunately this business has met some pretty big challenges over the past 12 months. So if I want to show year over year increases in profits, I’m going to have to work both hard and smart to reach my growth goals. We’ll talk more about this in each one of the sections below.
For now, here are our stats for June.
Niche Website Income Report – June 2015:
Here is my income and expense report for the month:
Here’s a closer look at my income sources for the month:
- Amazon = $85
- Clickbank = $538
- Google Adsense = $324
- Web Hosting = $0
- Personal Capital = $100
- Private Advertising = $0
We’ll talk about this month’s expenses below.
Slowing Down Developments with NS4:
I know for several months now I’ve really been talking a lot about my Amazon –based music niche site #4 (NS4), and investing a lot of time and energy into it.
Unfortunately all that is about to take a break for a little while.
The traffic and keyword rankings still appear to be doing fairly well. As you can see on SEMRush, we’re currently ranking for around 281 keywords (i.e. keywords that are in the top 1-20 Google position).
However, despite that accomplishment, that’s not been enough to drive major conversions on Amazon. My Amazon Associates accounts gets a lot of clicks every day, but the conversion rate is still less than 3%.
This is where traffic and conversions becomes a pure numbers game. The more quality traffic you get, the more conversions you can expect.
That is one major weakness of NS4. The keywords I’m targeting are not exactly “high volume”. They are mostly low competition keywords with search volumes between 100 and 1,000 monthly searches. Though it’s great to rank for these keywords and attract some customers, these organic searches are not necessarily going to bring in the droves of traffic we’ll need to truly get those revenue numbers up where we want them.
What Can We Do About This?
For now, I plan to put the brakes on NS4 and instead focus on NS2 (more on that below).
BUT when I do turn my focus back on NS4, I’d like to do the following:
- Target more “aggressive” high-volume keywords for new articles and content.
- Purchase a HOTH Blitz package to help increase the overall authority of the site.
- Something I haven’t tried before with a niche site – leverage better social media promotion. In particular: Doing more with Facebook to help promote the site. I have been talking with a potential social media manager and I have some ideas about how we could gain more targeted traffic from this source.
Of course each of these things would be outsourced at some expense. So part of “waiting” on the site will be to let the site passively build up profits. We can then invest those profits back into these three potential growth areas.
NS1 HOTH Update & New Steps:
A quick update on the HOTH Platinum package we implemented last month:
At least one of the pages (the one with the highest search volume) does appear to have moved up in ranking from virtual Google obscurity to somewhere around 60, and then leveled back off to position 90. As you can probably guess, this has not resulted in any new traffic or revenue.
The other two pages the HOTH package linked to appear to show no movement at all.
So what does this mean for our HOTH Platinum package experiment?
Unfortunately it means it’s a failure.
BUT before anyone points the finger at the HOTH, I’d like to first take responsibility for a few things. The failure was probably mostly due to the way I went about it.
Perhaps it was my fault for choosing 3 webpages that were way “too deep” in the Google-rank-abyss to try to get them to increase to a decent position among the search engines.
Recall I mentioned that I intentionally choose these three low ranking pages as a safety mechanism because I was unsure of how the HOTH package would affect my results. For example, what if I had chosen three decent ranking pages and used the HOTH package to get them to rank better, but the effects were negative? Then I’d be really unhappy with the results.
At least from this experiment I learned that the HOTH can be helpful in raising ranks by some degree of relativity.
Like NS4, I do not plan to do anything new with NS1 right away because I want to work more on NS2. But when I do, I plan to do the following …
My next big move with NS1 is to update the internal link infrastructure of the site to see if I can improve the SEO of the site.
What does that mean? It means I will be going back through my old posts and seeing if I can improve the internal linking within the content; perhaps linking to newer posts that would not have been there back when the article was first published.
If you do this strategically within each category of your site, this is called link-siloing. And it’s a good thing for SEO because it builds authority among articles that are a wonderful fit for one another.
Since I do not plan to add any new content to the site any time soon, this will be a great time to see if my link siloing efforts really do improve the SEO of the site. I’ll know this by checking SEMrush a month or two after the event and seeing if my overall keyword ranking improved.
Let’s just hope there aren’t any significant Google algorithm updates between now and then!
BIG Plans for NS2!
Well it’s been a long time coming, but I’m long overdue for this one!
One of the next big moves I’d like to make with my niche website portfolio is to start building up NS2 again!
Over the last almost 12 months I’ve done hardly anything new with the site in terms of added content or linking, and it shows. NS2 has slipped in both keyword rankings and traffic, and probably will continue to decline unless I step up to the plate and do something about it.
Yet, despite these reductions, NS2 continues to dominate my income report month after month. If I’m truly being disciplined about my business efforts and sticking to the 80/20 rule, then this is where I should be focusing my attention to get the best possible return.
From a business perspective, it should only make sense that you focus your energy on your prize race-horse and give it everything it needs to flourish. If these improvements we make do help translate into more traffic for the site, this will surely produce more conversations and possibly bring this site up to a level where it makes four-digits per month on its own.
Wouldn’t that be great!
My Plans for NS2:
You probably noticed I had almost $100 in expenses in June for NS2. Aside from annual domain registration fees, those expenses are from things I’ve already started to try.
- Improved layout. I’ve decided to freshen-up the overall appearance of the site by giving it a brand new look with a new theme.
The new layout I purchased is another Genesis StudioPress theme that is crisp and clean with a very simple design. I ditched our old logo and went for something more subtle in the header.
The new theme also has two well placed menu bars which I believe will help me better organize the categories menus for the readers to find more articles to read.
- Better strategic content. This area is going to be huge!
I been reading recently another niche website blog called Rank XL where the author, Chris Lee, is making +$16,000 per month from his niche website!
How does he do that? For starters he gets over +850,000 visitors per month to his niche site, and he does that by being very creative with the way he targets certain keywords for his articles.
I’ve decided to give this a try for myself by adding some new articles (that I had outsourced) to NS2 that are using his suggested approach. If it works out for me, I’ll be sure to explain this method in much further detail in next month’s income report.
- Linking from the main page. Along with #2, part of my strategy for new content will be to write articles that better develop some of the content I have on the main page of the site.
To better explain this, I should first tell you that the structure of NS2 is one extremely large landing page with tons of great content, and then a separate blog section with several smaller articles. This is different from a typical “blog” setup where the landing page is usually just “the blog section” with links to the most recent 10 blog articles (kind of like the website you’re reading right now).
My goal here is to create a unique article for each of the topics we cover on the landing page so that the readers can dive deeper into each topic (if they wish) and take in even more digestible and valuable material instead of clicking off the main page when they are done.
Because the main page has the most domain and page authority, linking from this page to these new internal articles will help strengthen the SEO of these new articles and give them a great boost. I’ll also be sure to link from within a few older articles as well.
- Restructure the internal links (link siloing). Similar to what we just talked about in NS1, at some point I will also plan to restructure the internal linking of the site to silo the content among specific categories.
First I plan to update the categories before I do this.
- HOTH Blitz. If the site continues to make money, I may also use the HOTH Blitz package to send some much needed link-juice to the main page. This will help boost the authority of the site and strengthen those links I plan on building out from the main page.
Phew! That’s a lot of work to do! But I do believe the potential is there, and so I’d like to take the next month or two to really invest some time into this site and see if we can increase its revenue. Hopefully we’ll have some very positive news to report in the next upcoming months!
Readers – How were your income reports for June? Have you been trying any new website development techniques?
Featured image courtesy of Evan Hamilton | Flickr
John @ Frugal Rules says
I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the internal linking changes will work out for you MMD. It looks like you did well, overall, last month though it’ll be interesting to see what impact some of your changes will have. My June went fairly well, though the summer will be a challenge as we have a fair bit of traveling coming up.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the new internal linking strategy goes as well. Hopefully all goes according to plan!
[email protected] says
Great job on all your niche site income! I’m jealous because one f our three sites makes zero dollars right now.
I’ve got one of those too … the forgotten and lost cause NS3 that we don’t talk about any more. I’m sure you guys will find a way to monetize the site soon. If all else fails there are always shady link sales you could do.
[email protected] says
I think over a grand in somewhat passive income is wonderful, but what if you could get it to $16,000 a month! I’d quit my job for sure if that was a consistent source of income.
If I was making $16K per month, do you know ecstatic I would be? Blogging would definitely be my new full time thing!
Eric @ Retire29 says
I generally consider your blog “out of my league,” but I still diligently stop by for great advice. I’ll definitely be working on my “link siloing” for my own little blog. Even though I’m only at 60 or 70 posts, I know that I can probably embed dozens on links in older posts that still generate a few dozen views each day. Great little piece of advice.
In no way are these strategies out of your league! That tells me I’m doing a crappy job making this information easy enough to follow 🙂
Definitely look into that No Hat Digital link I gave above and see if you can use some of that to your benefit. I’ve been trying it with my NS4 site ever since I started it and I think it has really helped. Quick Sprout also recommends doing a lot of internal linking to your new posts from your older posts. I’ve been testing that out on NS2 and hopefully I’ll have some positive results to show for it soon.
Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says
Nice income report MMD! By the way, I love the look of your current website. But, I look forward to the new look of your website. Good luck!
Thanks Jayson. Actually the new theme for NS2 is already up and running. Take a look and let me know what you think.
EL @ Moneywatch101 says
It seems like your niche sites are consistently growing. Good job getting to the 1,000 dollar mark.
Thanks, but I wish it was up higher! I’d love to be at the $2,000 mark by now.
Great results! It looks like NS1 & 2 are still kicking butt. I have a dumb question – what are your thoughts on creating another Niche Site that was the exact same topic as NS2? You would basically be competing against yourself for the next highest spot in google. It seems like a good and profitable niche.
You could probably pay a VA to take NS2 and reword every post/topic into new posts for a lower price than creating absolutely fresh material…
Just a thought…
Good thinking on diversifying with more / similar sites.
It’s a funny thing you ask: NS2 is actually some of the same niche material from MMD, but just expanded and more focused. Ironically I am already competing with myself within the Google Top 10 for the same target keyword.
At this point in the Google game, I believe it would be better to cultivate a current site rather than start a new one. New websites have to deal with a “vetting period” where they go into the Google Sandbox before they start ranking. On the other hand, sites that are already aged and established can get new pages of content to rank much faster. Plus new content also can increase the existing site’s DA, thereby increasing the ranks for already established keywords.
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
Fascinating stuff… Be warned: I’m eagerly taking notes. 🙂
Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! That’s what its here for. I hope you can use some of this info to your benefit.
Jon @ Money Smart Guides says
I need to get around to adding more internal links for my older posts. I did it about a year and a half ago, but need to do it again with all of the new content I’ve created.
I’ll have to check out that site as well. Thanks for sharing!