NICHE EMPIRE PROJECT
Inside what it takes to build a profitable online property.
MONTH 1: NOVEMBER 2018
In this article:
How many words?
Types of content
LAST MONTHS EARNINGS (USD)
TOTAL EARNINGS (USD)
MONTHLY GOOGLE IMPRESSIONS
MONTHLY GOOGLE CLICKS
It’s month 1, so I’m not expecting much traffic or anything else for that matter. The graph below shows a little more than a month as the website was launched and sent to Google for indexing on October 22nd, 2018.
The graph shows 45 users visiting the site but in reality, this traffic was probably myself and others setting up the site. Only 5 of those visitors came through organic search. But 5 visitors is 5 more than I had before. The journey has begun…
I’ve blocked my IP Address in Google Analytics so my traffic won’t show up in future reports.
You can see, however, that by the end of November, 5 or so weeks in to the project the number of impressions on Google has started to increase which shows that we’re starting to get some recognition for our efforts. Thanks Google!
Highlights: What I did this month
From 22nd October – 30th November I published 36 articles (only 2 in October). You can’t start ranking unless you have some good content, so it’s important to get a decent amount of content on to your website as quickly as possible. Google doesn’t favor websites with just a few pages so it’s best to get over that initial hump.
This was relatively easy to achieve when you take in to account that I got about 10 trail articles from writers all in one week. These are writers I was trying out to test the quality of their work.
I made the mistake of getting them to write some of the most important articles on the site and in hindsight, I would have just got them to write some short info articles until I could trust their work. Lesson learned.
Some of the writers are great and the editing required was minimal whilst others submitted work I had to virtually rewrite through the editing process. I hired 4 writers with a view that I’d roughly have 1 new article a day at least for the first few months.
In addition, I might lose a writer or two over the coming weeks for various reasons. This will just make sure I still have content coming.
Types of content
As I am writing this content with affiliate marketing in mind, half of the articles are written to promote products. e.g. “Best Running Shoes”. Whilst the other half are informational articles such as ‘How to clean running shoes’. (note: not my real niche)
This is for a couple of reasons. Amazon does not like a website that has only review articles with affiliate links on but would like you to have other pages too that provide useful information too.
Some people also believe that Google has the same standards and will not rank a website so well if all the pages on the site contain affiliate links. In terms of building a brand longer term, I also think it’s wise to have a good proportion of informational articles.
“Longer term we should be aiming to build a trusted brand instead of a quick win. This will ultimately result in a website that converts better.”
Either way, evidence shows that it’s good to have a mixture of content with affiliate links and information only articles.
How many words should I write?
A common question I get when it comes to content is ‘how many words should I write for each article’?
The answer of course: It depends.
I type the primary keyword for any planned article in to Google and take a look at the first page of the Search Engines Results Pages (SERPS). I then check who my competition is for these keywords.
Are they eCommerce sites, other affiliate sites or something else? What is the authority of these sites? How many words are written on each page?
Tools that help with this are LongTail Pro which quickly allows you to view key metrics for the first 10 results in Google for any given keyword and SEO Rambler which provides a complementary set of metrics including the number of words on each page. Whilst the number of words is not always absolutely correct it does give you a general idea of what you are up against.
In general for many of the higher volume keywords, around 3,000 words were required to compete. This is for the bigger review articles that rate the ‘Top 5’ products in a category. For informational articles, most of them are around 1,000 words each.
Some marketers believe that ‘regularity’ is important when it comes to publishing content, i.e. you should always have articles published at regular intervals.
Whilst fresh content is important, I believe that with the amount of content I’m putting out it doesn’t really matter. I’d much rather get all the content on the site and indexed by Google as soon as possible.
There are certain conditions that Amazon Associates has in place which means that you must make a sale every 30 days to keep your access to their API open. If your account gets closed then you have to reapply. So, I don’t plan to start monetizing the site until I have a bit more traffic.
I opened my Amazon Associates account in 2001 and whilst I made a couple of sales back then I’ve not used it since. My API access is still open as I guess rules were different back then and therefore I assume it’s still open for legacy reasons. In any case, I want to make sure that when I start using it again that I have enough traffic to generate some sales.
Hiring writers was more time consuming than expected. Especially proofreading some of the articles. The bad ones took a few hours each, whilst the good ones didn’t take much longer than the time it took to read them.
I was glad to hire some of the better ones and reduce my editing work loads. However, it still takes a significant amount of time to brief 4 writers on the articles that you want, what products you want to promote and advise any other specifics about the articles you want to be written.
Early days and happy with the foundations I’ve set. Bring on month 2.