Niche Site Case Study 1 – Update Aug-14

This is the second update for the Niche Site Case Study, where I will show you how I take a niche and attempt to rank a website that earns a passive income. With the ultimate goal of flipping this site for a 16-20x multiple.

The Quiet After The Storm

So after last month’s blackmail attempt, to say I wasn’t hopeful for this niche site was an understatement. I was predicting negative SEO and to have to abandon this case study before it had even got started!

Still, I decided to stick it out as many of you wished me well in the comments and I even received a number of emails from you (thanks guys!) letting me know that you appreciate what I do here on the blog.

If that’s not motivation I don’t know what is!

What Did I Do In August?

To be honest – very little.

Sometimes in SEO you need to slow down and take a step back and think. I asked myself the following questions;

  1. Will I continue to disavow links if the negative SEO attack happens again?
  2. If there are no further issues – what needs to be done to grow the site?
  3. What can this site realistically make per month?
  4. How much time do I have to focus on this site?

I like to keep my answers short and to the point, they were;

  1. No
  2. Content with slow and steady PBN links
  3. $500-$1,500
  4. Very little

With the answers to those questions, I was able to make the decision to stop, continue or pivot – regardless of the outcome by the end of the month.

Let’s see what the outcome was shall we…?

What Happened In August?

SERP Movement

SERP Rankings August-14

Well the picture above tells a thousand words. From 8th spot at the end of July down to 80th or so for the best part of August, then in the final week a nice jump back up to 11th.

This graph represents just a single keyword I am targeting with this niche site. It’s the same story for some of the others too;

Keyword 2 SERP Rankings Aug-14

Keyword 3 SERP Rankings Aug-14

Traffic

Clicky Basics Aug-14

Traffic has dropped which is to be expected, but just look at that hockey stick growth in the last week of the month!

The bounce rate is still low which I think is a mix of the theme I’m using and the type of visitor this niche attracts.

Earnings

I don’t normally share income on this blog, however, for this and other niche sites I am willing to break that rule!

Amazon Commissions Aug-14

The site made a total of £25.77 ($41.88) in August, which is a drop of 40% from the July earnings of £64.54.

To be honest, this is not as bad as I expected as most of that income was from that last week in August as the first 3 weeks were spent way out of the SERPS.

Total Earnings To Date

  • June-14 – £47.53
  • July-14 – £64.54
  • Aug-14 – £25.77
  • Total – £137.84 ($223.99)

So nothing amazing but that’s still good considering the ups and downs the site has had so far!

September To Date

What I can tell you is that September so far, has surpassed the highest earning month already and we are only a 3rd of the way through the month!

I believe this is down to the disavow and also the possible Google Algo update that occurred around mid-end of August..

In the comments of my August Monthly Report, Jeff suggested this could be a contributing factor;

Jeff Comment

Jeff makes a great point and one which did slip my mind given that the algo update had not been denied nor confirmed by Google. It sure looks like something happened around that time…which seems to have benefited the site!

Next Steps….

Given that the site seems to be on the up-and-up and no longer of interest to my blackmailer, I shall reiterate my plans for the coming months.

More Content

Content, content and more content.

I will be looking to publish around 2-3 articles per week to the site based on a number of factors;

  • Keyword search volume
  • My highest traffic pages
  • Product Brands
  • Product Categories
  • Price Ranges

I really like to add brands and price range articles as its a great way to get that long-tail traffic.

e.g “Best XX for under $300” etc

Mini 5-10 site PBN

Last month I mentioned building a mini 5 site PBN that will serve as a good source of powerful links that I have full control over. This is super important for the future of your sites and SEO and can add a great deal of extra value to your web properties should you sell them in the future.

Limitations

There are some limitations to operating an Amazon UK affiliate site – and that is the £7 maximum commission payout.  Check out the paragraph below straight from Amazon.co.uk

Limitations on Advertising Fee Rates for Certain Products

Notwithstanding the advertising fee rates described on this page, advertising fees for all Qualifying Purchases of Products are limited to a maximum of £7.00/€10.00 (as appropriate) per Product regardless of the Qualifying Revenues received from the sale of that Product, except where that limitation is specified expressly as not applying to certain categories of Products below.

See here for more details – https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/join/compensation.html

Whilst this won’t stop me from developing Amazon niche sites, it does pose the question – is there anything better out there? At the moment, Amazon converts at an amazing rate for me so I will stick with it.

If you are looking to build a niche site that promotes products via Amazon UK, take a minute to think about your product and especially it’s price range. Most advice is to push higher price point products, that convert less but you get paid more.

Whilst that is true in most cases, for Amazon UK you will only be getting a maximum of £7 regardless of the product price.

Just something to think about.

UPDATE – Amazon UK has since dropped the £7 cap and you can now earn a larger commission on product sales. However, be sure to look at the category you wish to promote as they all have their own levels and caps.

Key Takeaway Points

  1. Sometimes doing nothing is the answer
  2. Niche sites are still as exciting as ever
  3. Asking yourself simple questions and providing a simple answer can clear your mind

Are you building a niche site of your own? I would love to hear about it in the comments

– Lewis