Each month I like to give you, the reader, a look under the hood of my niche website building business as I attempt to try new things to make it grow. This is all in an attempt to try to develop a number of sustainable streams of passive income that will help supplement my income and help me to achieve my ultimate dream of reaching financial freedom.
Hopefully along the way you’ll be able to use a few of these tricks for yourself and make your income soar! Even if you’re not a blogger yourself, you can still utilize some of these practices to come up with your own money making ideas and turn them from thoughts into real cash in your pockets.
Here’s what’s new this month with my niche site initiative.
Niche Website Income Report – August 2015
Here is my income and expense report for the month:
Income & Expense Breakdown
Here’s a closer look at my income sources for the month:
- Amazon = $54
- Clickbank = $144
- Google Adsense = $255
- Web Hosting = $65
- Personal Capital = $100
- Private Advertising = $167
Expenses were pretty light this month; only one annual domain registration.
A Busy Month for Everything But My Websites!
First off, I’d like to apologize to everyone (and to myself) for hardly investing any time at all into my niche sites this month. Since this is the lowest revenue month we’ve had for quite a while, I think you could probably tell something was up!
August was a big month for me personally. My family and I moved into a new house in a new city, and there were all kinds of headaches that came with managing that process that required my full attention.
If that wasn’t fun enough, I then quit my old job and started a new one about a week after we moved. Naturally when you’re “the new guy” somewhere, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to prove about yourself. So I’ve been trying very hard to come in early and put in a noticeable effort.
All in all, it’s been a rollercoaster of activity. But now things are starting to become more routine, and I’m looking forward to getting back to focusing on my website business development activities here.
Apparent Failure of My New Content Strategy
Not every experiment you try out is always a smash hit. And my latest one with content creation is certainly no exception.
Like I mentioned in a previous update, I was really excited about a cool new content development strategy that was shared by Chris from RankXL.
In case you don’t read RankXL, Chris was using this awesome keyword targeting and content development strategy for his niche site that has been consistently raking in five-figure monthly incomes from just Google Adsense alone! That’s pretty awesome, and as you can guess, it certainly caught my attention!
I tried out Chris’s strategy and really had some high hopes. Unfortunately only about 1 of the +10 new posts I’ve written has caught any organic attention whatsoever. And what’s worse is that it’s been a very low amount of traffic.
Even though this strategy didn’t work out so much for me, I’ll still briefly explain to you how it works (or you can read the whole post here). Basically the core of the strategy is not to necessarily go after any-ole low ranking keywords (like most people suggest you do and I have done in the past) but to go after low ranking keywords with TONS of search volume – like +10,000 searches per month. Sure, these types of keywords will be a little more competitive. But by doing this you’ll attract a lot more organic traffic and search volume that you would with normal long-tail keyword traffic. Thus your number of clicks and income generation should go way up!
That all sounds good, right? The obvious problem here is that if you’re going after more competitive keywords, you’ve got more … competition! That means you can’t just write a cool post and hope that it climbs the Google charts based on your good looks. You’re going to have to put forth some additional effort to build some backlinks to your new content in order to really get things to stick.
In fairness to RankXL and their suggested strategy, the whole backlinking part of the process is where I fell short … and for that I take full blame.
Coincidentally, if you’re new to backlinking, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income recently released an absolutely incredible podcast interview with backlink master Brian Dean from Backlinko. You should definitely listen to it. Even if you think you know how to backlink, you should still hear what Brian has to say.
Organic Ranking is Getting Tougher
As I continue on work on my niche site business, I’m beginning to notice more and more that ranking and holding certain positions within Google for select keywords is becoming a very tough game to play.
For example: With NS1 it used to rank for all kinds of different keywords and variants of the topics I was trying to target. But with each passing Google algorithm update and their increasing preference for articles from the likes of big-name players like “Forbes”, I’m finding more and more of my material slowly sliding down the leaderboard.
Just take a look. A year and a half ago NS1 was ranking high for as many as +500 different keywords! Now … just barely 150. Ouch!
It’s tough because in many circumstances I do feel like some of my content is way better than what I’m finding in the currently ranking Top-10 search results for the keywords I’m after.
But life isn’t fair, and this is business. So if I am to succeed, I’ll have to continue to try to be creative at getting the audience I need to sustain growth.
Why Not Just Use the HOTH?
I’m sure some of you are asking: Why worry at all about link building? Why not just outsource it to some service like the HOTH?
That’s actually a very good question, and one option I may still experiment with / entertain as I’m trying to leverage more positions.
I am happy to report that I did end up trying out The HOTH Blitz to increase the page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA) rankings for one of my other money sites (not one of my niche sites). And you know what? It worked!
They put a link to my site on a couple of +/- DA50 homepages and the PA/DA shot right up. In fact, I’m hoping after the next Moz update here shortly that it goes up even more.
To be completely straight with you, the sites they used to link to my money site were somewhat questionable. Sure, they also had great PA and DA, but they did not seem at all like “real” sites – definitely more on the manufactured end.
So even though PA/DA went up, the real question at hand is whether or not these kinds of links will have any effect on the Google ranks and help to raise the position of my content. For my niche sites, that’s what we’re really after here.
I’m not really sure what the answer to that question is. So more experimenting would be necessary.
Could Social Media Be a Solution?
Another great traffic generation tool would just be to leverage social media. More and more I keep reading about what great success people are having at attracting more audience by grabbing up clicks from Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and more.
For as long as I’ve been blogging I’ve tended to shy away from social media because I don’t personally like it or use it very often. But I also have to always remember that I am in a unique minority when it comes to that stance, and that there is a whole world of people out there who eat it up every second they can get it.
I’d really like to put this tactic to work for NS4; especially in the months leading up to Black Friday (November) and Christmas. If you remember from last year I was making nearly 10x what I’m making now from NS4 during the holiday months. Since then I’ve grown the site in content size and the number of targeted keywords, and I’m hoping we can boost our income up into the four-digit range this time around!
Going forward, my next steps will be to continue to work on NS2, but this time I will use keyword targeting and content development strategies that I know will work. As I found with NS4, I had more luck going after the lower volume, low competition keywords. This is what I will exercise for new material going forward.
I’m still very focused on wanting to build up NS2 because of all the possible revenue opportunities with Adsense, Bluehost, Clickbank and others.
Beyond NS2, like I mentioned, Christmas is coming up just around the corner. So it would be worth the time investment to start taking a look at further content development and traffic generation strategies to get our niche website income report numbers up!
Readers – What are your latest keyword targeting, content development, and backlinking strategies? What’s working for you and what isn’t?
Featured image courtesy of Will Laren | Flickr