NICHE EMPIRE PROJECT
Inside what it takes to build a profitable online property.
MONTH 9: JULY 2019
In this article:
LAST MONTHS EARNINGS (USD)
TOTAL EARNINGS (USD)
MONTHLY GOOGLE IMPRESSIONS (thousand)
MONTHLY GOOGLE CLICKS (thousand)
- First month over 5,000 sessions
- 23% increase in organic traffic
- 11 new links built
- 47.51% reduction in earnings
A very pleasing 18.45% increase in traffic this month to 5,252 sessions. The first month that we’ve broken the 5,000 sessions! What makes this even more satisfying is that the comparisson period includes two Pinterest spikes which were not present this month.
As a consequence, when looking at organic traffic alone we can see there has been a 23% increase.
Google Impressions up to an all time high of 99.1k vs 75.8k last month. Clicks up to 3.45k vs. 2.73k too.
Below the graph shows search console for the lifetime of the site and it looks like we might be finally seeing a bit more upside and the final day of the month set a high for the number of search impressions in a day.
Lots of upside this month but earnings was not one of them. Down 47.5% after last month achieving the first $100 month.
A couple of obvious things contributed to this. Last month I had 2 pretty big orders that made up around 50% of the earnings. This month there were no equivalent ‘big’ orders. In addition to that I had a few quite hefty returned returned items from last months earnings.
All locales outside of the US and UK drew a blank and the US alone was down $44.75.
Here is the breakdown:
Adsense was the most positive thing about the earnings this month with an increase of 53% from a 25% increase in traffic. $13.84 to $21.18. I can only assume this is down to the auto ads doing self optimisation (or just a bit of luck). I do lean towards the former.
Content production was much reduced this month with only 6 articles published. There are a few reasons.
Firstly, a lot of my time last month was spent building links using the shotgun skyscraper method. Although much of this process is automated, a lot of time is still required to harvest email addresses and to negotiate and reply to those people who respond to the emails.
Secondly, because of the above, I just didn’t get round to hiring a new writer to fill in for the one that has gone on holiday for 6 weeks. My other writer has become a little less reliable too which just made things worse. The job Ad went out, i just have not researched enough keywords to hand out trial articles for them to write.
Thirdly, 3 articles have been wrtten for guest posts last month in order to get some backlinks though guest post placements.
This is real life and a side project for me. Obviously I’d like to be churning out articles AND link building but given the time I have available, I’m happy to focus more of my time building links right now.
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and get more blog posts published, I am.
The data shows a 15% decrease in trafic but in reality traffic from Pinterest in steadily going up. The reason for this is that the comparison period has 2 Pinterest spikes which were not present this month. Day to day the traffic is up a little overall. Slow steady progress.
Skyscraper Link Building
I covered the detail around this approach in the May blog. If you’re a frequent reader of these updates you’ll know that I’ve had to slowly ramp up the volume of emails sent so as not to upset spam filters and by the end of the month I’ve managed to send around 168 emails per day. So on that basis we’re current at about half speed given that I want to get to 300 per day.
This built 11 links to the site in July which means we’ll be heading for aronnd 20 per month at the same velocity which I’m pretty happy with. I track all the links that I get in a spreadsheet so I can keep and eye on them and more importantly, if I ever decide to sell the site, this outreach data will be a very valubale asset to the new owner thus increasing the worth of the site.
The spereadsheet also includes link URL and contact details which I’ve removed from the screenshot.
As you can see, many of the links are quite a low DR which at this stage in the sites life I’m not too fussed about. These are some of the very first links that the site is getting and even low DR links can make a difference. I think we’re starting to see that already in this months traffic increase but also I can *Spoiler* confirm that I’m seeing significant traffic gains again in August.
The site is currently at DR 10. Once I get to about DR 20 I’ll no longer outreach to domains lower than DR 10 as they just won’t move the needle enough to be worthwhile.
Note from the image above, I also track how many follow ups I had to do before getting a response. This just gives me a guide on how good my follow-up emails are and whether any need tweaking for better results. My strategy for these emails is as follows:
- Send first outreach email asking for a link to the awesome skyscraper article
- Quick Follow-up (4 days)
- Follow-up making it clear that this is the last time I’ll contact them which adds some urgency (4 days)
- 2 weeks later I send another email saying something like “I know that I said I would not be in touch again but…I’d really like to collaborate with you”. Then offer to write a guest post.I want writing a guest post to be a last resort as more resources and cost comes with this approach. Finally, I make it clear that this really will be the last time I am in touch which again adds that little bit of urgency to reply.
As you can see, 2 out of the 11 links acquired in July actually came from the final follow-up so not too bad when ordinarily I would have given up at this stage.
I’m going to try and get as much content published as possible but link building comes first at the moment. So, whatever time I have left I will dedicate to more content. I plan to get round to hiring new writers and researching a whole bunch of new keywords so that the bottle neck is me getting the articles on the site rather than the writers themselves.
I’ve still not published the 2 new skyscrpaer articles that have been written. I need to do it this month as my first skyscrpaer article is going to run dry. I’ve harvested about 700 email addresses for outreach purposes on one of the new articles but if I’m going to be sending 300 emails a day shorty, they won’t last long! (don’t forget I also do up to 3 follow-ups)
So to wrap it up. Really pleased to see the traffic increasing to the site. We’re on a good upwards trajectory. 23% increase in organic traffic this month and if I can replicate that again next month that’s some good growth.
Disappointing to get my first month of decreased earnings but it was going to happen at some point. My bigger ticket items are still not ranking well in Google which will have a great impact on earnings once they do. Hopefully this link building process and ultimately internal linking to these money pages from heavily linked skyscraper content will see our fortunes changes.
Thanks for tuning in. Feel free to comment below of start conversations in the projects facebook group.