NICHE EMPIRE PROJECT
Inside what it takes to build a profitable online property.
MONTH 13: NOVEMBER 2019
Well, what a month! Traffic went through the roof right around the Bert Google Update last month. However there were early signs of some good gains a few days before Bert started to roll out. This Niche Empire Project website is riding the wave!
Whilst I can’t attribute this growth to any one factor (including Bert) I think ultimately this growth is down to a number of things.
1. The site hit 1 year old. I’ve often seen sites take a growth leap after 1 year, often referred to as the ‘second sandbox’.
2. The links I’ve been building using the shotgun skyscraper method over the past few months has seen 46 new links added to the site.These are surely starting to kick in now.
3. Constant relentless publishing of content month after month allowing the site to become a great authotity in the niche. 240 articles now live!
4. Bert. Without doubt there were some winners and some losers during the Bert update. Across out portfolios and Niche Website Builders, we only saw winners. I think this just comes down to great content for the most part. The A big part of Bert algorythm update was to do with natural language programming (NLP).
5. Pinterest traffic also starting to take off (see below)
6. I cancelled very intruse Adsense Auto Ads (see below)
These are the headline moments for this month.
- Sessions up 141% from 8453 to 19,898
- Google Impressions up from 167k to 443k
- Keywords in ahrefs up from 5468 to 14,392
- Link campaigns coming to a close but still 6 new links built
- 1 Guest Posts published
- Pinterest sessions up 158% from 946 to 2,443
- What lowlights?! 🙂
Massive increase in traffic to nearly 20,000 visitors. Google Impressions and clicks up from 167k to 443k and 5.1k to 12.9k respectively.
Unsurprisingly, with the large increase in traffic we also see record earnings this month of $232.81 (Previous high – $130.12) with all locales chipping in. Here is the breakdown:
Take a look at the earnings screenshot below and you can see where things started to improve for the site quite clearly.
Adsense, Ezoic and Mediavine
As I mentioned in my update last month, I ditched Adsense. I was using the ‘auto ads’ feature and it started putting ads in places I felt were going to be detrimental to the performance of the site. I didn’t want to spend time with Ad placements for the sake of $30 per month so I just stopped them altogether.
Knowing I was going to hit 10k session in the coming month my plan was to move to Ezoic anyway so removing Ads was only ever going to be a temporary measure. I’ll be honest though, I’ve heard mixed reports from Ezoic with one of the main complaints being site speed. Many Ezoic customers report that adding ads to their site really slows down their page load times which can have an detrimental effect on affiliate income from higher bounce rates (and possibly even effect rankings if the site is deemed too slow by Google).
Long term readers of my updates will know that the path for Ads has always been as follows:
Adsense > Ezoic (at 10k sessions) > Mediavine (at 25k sessions) > Ad Thrive (at 100k sessions).
So, it’s with great releif that I find myself able to miss out the Ezoic step altogether. Traffic in December is likely to be 30 – 35k which is more than enough to apply to Mediavine. In fact you only have to have 25k in the last 30 day period which means I can probably get started part way through the month of December.
Mediavine should give me a decent income at these traffic levels too rivalling my affiliate income (only 50% of my site is affiliate content, the rest is informational). I expect the figure through Ads to be somewhere around $400 – $800.
Therefore I’m hoping that with both Ads and Affiliate income I’ll shortly be celebrating the $1k per month milestone.
Maintaining the throughput of content from last month, I managed to publish 34 articles this month. Once again focusing mainly on the new sub-niche. With 248 artciles in total now the site is becoming a pretty decent size. Let’s hope Google continues to reward our efforts with more traffic!
At the same time as the sharp increase in organic traffic (coincidence?), my Pinterest traffic is really starting to scale up too. This means I am creating some good diversity with my traffic streams making the site more resiliant to changes beyond our control.
This month saw the sessions from Pinterest increase from 967 to 2462! I am really pleased to be getting 2,500 session from social media now! I’ve never used Pinterest before this project but I like these numbers. Hopefully we’ll see this trend continue in the coming months. Next stop, 10k per month from Pinterest. Chooo choooo!
Skyscraper Link Building
I covered the detail around the skyscraper approach in the May blog.
I’m currently not actively building any links, mainly down to the time I have available. In an ideal world I’d never stop link building but in the real world my time is split.
Regardless, I managed to build 1 new link this month as the campaign comes to a close and this represents the last of the negotiations. ahrefs shows the site now has 88 referring domains in total. Not bad!
The image below shows all the links that I’ve built over the last couple of months using the shotgun skyscraper technique. And this is far from going full speed, I foused on link building just when time has allowed.
That said, it’s important to ramp up this kind of outreach slowly in any case rather than starting to send 1,000 emails a day overnight. That’s a sure fire way to catch the attention of spam filters.
During week 1, I was sending around 25 emails a day and I ramped this up an additional 25-30 emails per day each week that passed. The maximum I was sending a day was around 220 but Ideally I’d like to get this up to somewhere in the region of 300 if I wanted to go at full throttle. Given my time allowance I adjust sends up and down as my time allows.
During the skyscraper campaign for this site I was able to build 46 new links for a total cost of:
Link Costs: $159.66
Writer Costs (11 Guest Posts): $185.00
Skyscraper Content Cost: $85.00
Mailshake: $39 per month x 3 = $117.00
Hunter.io: euros 59 x 3 = $163.53
** Total: $710.19 ($15.40 per link!) **
These links were acquired from building a list of around 3,000 prospects. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty cool! The number could be even cheaper if I commited to sending more emails. Also, I put the full cost of the software against this projet when in reality it’s split across the portfolio. I could also acquired more links had I been will in pay more than $25 for a placement but I preferred to stick to my guns and just look forward to the next opportunity.
Purchasing just one DR50-60 link from a link vendor can set you back £1k+. This list of links represents may thousands of dollars of links by comparisson. Okay, it’s more work but it sure is cheaper!
We’re going to keep churing out the content for the new sub-niche and also look to open up other sub-niches too.
The new skyscrpaper content is published and ready to go. It’s pointless trying to reach out to prospects over the holiday period so I’ll begin again in vain on 2nd January.
I’ll be able to get a good list of prosects together over Christmas ready to go.
I still have not managed to refresh any content using surfer but this remains on my list as a priority.
I’m going to refresh my review page templates to fall in line with the Niche Website Builders tried and tested formats we are using with our ‘done for you’ websites.
Using these new templates I should see a higher clickthrough rate than I am currently getting which will of course result in more sales for the same traffic. That’s the theory anyway.
I’m half way through designing the page layout and will use this for all future money content. I’ll also refresh the most popular pages currently ranking.
What a great month! Things are really starting to move now for this ‘new site’ case study. I’ll be focusing more on affilaite content going forward moving my ratio from 50% money / 50% informational to 90% money / 10% informational.
However, given the amount of traffic I’m getting from informational content and the ability to diversify my income with Ads now through mediavine, I’ll be sure to return to more informational content in the future.
I hope that you enjoyed this update. Feel free to comment below or start a conversation in our facebook group.