Niche Site Case Study 1 – Update Nov-14

This is the fifth monthly 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.

What Happened In November?

I was quite looking forward to seeing how the site performed in November, giving that Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to whip everyone up into to a product buying frenzy!

SERP Movement

SERP Rankings Nov-14Overall things look pretty stable on the SERP front, just one big drop for a keyword that seems to be doing a bit of a dance whilst Google decides where to rank it.

One of the keywords I am ranking #1 for (the 590 search term) is for “best [insert product]” which seems to be driving some nice targeted traffic especially as I have a comparison table on the site, the sole focus of which was to target this keyword.

It looks like that’s working!

Traffic

Let’s take a look at the October & November comparison to see what’s happened since the last update.

October

Clicky Basics Oct-14

November

Clicky Basics Nov-14

On the whole, every metric is moving in the right direction.

Traffic increased by almost 100% to hit 8,500 unique visitors. The bounce rate was down 2% and the average actions and time per visit were also up compared to last month.

Earnings

Having the right metrics moving in all the right directions is very well and good, however, if that doesn’t equate to an increase in earnings…well, what’s the point right?

November saw yet another record month for income set (which seems to be happening each month recently).

The site made a total of £510.90 ($794.93), with more than 100% more items shipped vs the previous period. This month’s earnings are greater than the 5 months previously combined.

Amazon Commissions Nov-14

I am putting this large jump in earnings down to a couple of things.

  1. A positive movement in the SERPS for some keywords is causing an increase in traffic
  2. Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the upcoming Christmas period increases all Ecommerce spend
  3. Increasing the number of pages which are targeting longer tail keywords is proving to be a great tactic so far

In December, things are still looking strong with a very good start over the first few days. It is looking like the site could end the year on a high note.

Total Earnings To Date

  • June-14 – £47.53
  • July-14 – £64.54
  • Aug-14 – £25.77
  • Sept-14 – £208.63
  • Oct-14 – £263.89
  • Nov-14 – £510.90
  • Total – £983.42 ($1,530.15)

Suggestions from You

Last month saw some great comments and a lot of outside the box thinking.

I wanted to share and expand upon my thoughts for a few of them as we saw some really great ideas thrown out and they deserve more thought.

Dropshipping Products

Is there no way to dropship the product you are selling as an affiliate on Amazon. Maybe even buy it from Ebay and sell it on Amazon or visa-versa?

This was a comment made by Rob and it jogged my memory back to when I was doing keyword research for this site. I like to plan out what an ideal scenario would be 12-24 months down line for any site before I start.

For this niche site, Dropshipping or holding my own products did get a mention back in the planning stage.

The reason I cannot see me going down that route is the sheer cost and size of the products themselves.

If I was going to sell on Amazon or eBay (which I have done on the past) then I would go for small, lightweight products that are easy to ship and cost much less to source and store.

I would also go Amazon FBA (which is where Amazon store, pick, pack, and ship your items for you form their own warehouse). This would eat into your profits, but the amount of time it would save would be incredible.

Plus when you take a holiday you can be comfortable knowing that orders can still go out the door.

Reviewing Products

As you are essentially promoting a product that is ‘owned’ by a seller on Amazon I wonder if you contacted that Amazon seller and told them that you will do a review on the product, whether that would be an easy way to increase the number of backlinks and traffic to your store?

Most Amazon sellers are keen to get extra backlinks to their products, and will often use press releases and coupon codes to drive traffic into their page listings. I would think they would be happy to hear from you about their product, and would possibly push the page on your store as well.

This was a great comment from Kat, thinking about getting quality backlinks along with products to review that could be used on my site to generate some buzz etc.

Kat is absolutely right in that this is the way the site would need to be taken in the New Year for it to grow beyond just a smaller niche site.

If you can get on the radar of these retailers/manufacturers and become a reliable voice for their products they will treat you well and provide ample for your site to talk about.

This also lends more credibility to your site which is passed on from the retailers themselves. Getting backlinks would be the cherry on top.

Selling The Site

Do you have a number you want to reach before trying to sell it?

This question came in from Alistair and whilst not a suggestion it did make me stop to think about what would be a nice number to hit before selling.

When selling niche sites timing is everything. You want to sell whilst the site is performing well, but not too soon or too late.

Sure you want a good price when selling but it is equally important to ensure that the end buyer gets immense value from your asset long term. This will help to build up trust in the community amongst other buyers which makes selling sites in the future much easier.

Key Takeaway Points

  1. Adding content to an existing site is a great way to increase traffic by going after the long tail phrases
  2. Know your game plan and stick to it, if you have no idea of what the end game looks like – you’re shooting blind.
  3. I have said it before and I will say it again – GREAT KEYWORD RESEARCH IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD.

What are your thoughts on building niche sites to flip?