“Starting From Scratch” Case Study – Income Report August 2016


Welcome to the sixth of the monthly income reports for the “Starting From Scratch” niche site case study. In these monthly reports, I’ll go through the income, traffic and rankings of the case study site. Monthly reports are important, not only to let you see how the site is doing, but it helps me to improve the site by analyzing the results. If you’re looking for more posts on what I’ve built and how, you can find them here.

Traffic & Visitors – August 2016

Unique Visitors: 92
Bounce Rate: 24%
Unique Visitors Sent To Amazon: 30
Conversion Rate to Amazon: 33%


We’re starting to see a small trickle of visitors every day to the site, and there was only one day with no visitors at all. Although the site is not yet ranking on the first page for any of the target keywords, it would still be ranking on the first page for very obscure queries that are covered in the site’s content.

I expect traffic in September to pick up a bit more from the extra links that I added in June as they age and have more of an impact on rankings.

Amazon Earnings – August 2016

Items Sold: 8
Items Shipped: 8
Total Amount Sold: $383.93
Commission Earned: $16.89
Average Visitor Value: $0.18
Average Item Commission: $2.11


As I predicted from last month, sales for this month are still low, because the site is not yet ranking for its target keywords. That being said, I’m happy to report that the site has earned $16.89 this month and should continue to grow in the coming months.

I expect the sales for September to pick up a bit more – hopefully between $20-$50 worth of commissions.

Rankings – August 2016

Top 3: 0
Top 10: 0
Top 100: 16
Not in Top 100: 0



Rankings have remained rather steady during this month with a slow but upward trend on the keywords, especially towards the end of the month. The first two days of September have continued this positive trend so I hope to have some good news to share in the September or October report.

Overall Spend & Earnings

Build Cost: $952

Earnings March: $5.71
Earnings April: $4.84
Earnings May: $1.59
Earnings June: $0.00
Earnings July: $9.90
Earnings August: $16.89

Expenses March: $0 ($36.90 for first month’s hosting on Bulk Buy Hosting and Vultr were included in initial case study expenses)
Expenses April: $36.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 15 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server.
Expenses May: $36.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 15 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server.
Expenses June: $44.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server, $55 to PBN HQ for domains, $45 for Domain Registrations, $92.50 to HireWriters.
Expenses July: $44.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server.
Expenses August: $44.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server.

What’s Next?

At the end of September, once I have the Amazon reports for the full month, I’ll share my next post showing the traffic and earnings for this site.

If you have any questions about what I’ve covered so far, or feel that I haven’t covered any specific component in enough detail, please leave a comment on this post – I’ll been answering reader questions in the comments.

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  1. Hey Kevin, thanks for another update. I’m amazed by the conversion you’re getting on this site! It has been fun to see the progress. And the reality of ranking with a PBN… it’s not exactly overnight.

    I’m one of the “new followers” from your Empire Flippers article. I’ve read (and re-read) all of the case study posts and I had a few questions for you.

    Is the VPS for the money site and if so, why did you choose to go with it? I don’t remember you talking about it much.

    Also, can you tell me how BBH hosting plans are different/better than a hosting plan from EBN? It “looks like” EBN might be easier to setup and manage but you are limited to WordPress only. But that’s from the outside looking in.

    Finally, when you setup a hosting package should you slowly add sites to go live or should you add them all at the same time? I’m guessing a staggered setup leaves less of a footprint.


    • Hi Ben,
      The VPS is for the money site – and mostly because I want the money site to have super fast load times, at the best possible price. If you’re not so technical, I’d recommend WPEngine.
      The difference between Bulk Buy Hosting and Easy Blog Networks is the servers that we use and the IPs that you have access to – BBH uses reseller accounts from popular shared hosting providers, meaning that there are other legitimate sites sharing the same IP addresses with your PBN sites. EBN use VPS servers from cloud providers like Linode, Amazon and Rackspace, which means all of their servers have dedicated IPs for their customers, and 100% of the sites on any of the IPs that you get from EBN will be EBN customers.
      As a result of the setup we use, you get a cPanel account for each domain that you host with us, and can host any type of site. All of our cPanels have Softaculous or QuickInstall for easy WordPress deployments.
      I would recommend staggering the build dates of your sites a little bit, the same as you should stagger the registration dates if you’re picking up expired domains.
      I hope this helps.

  2. Kevin,
    I have been building some local rank and rent lead gen type sites and am about to attempt to build out a pbn. As I have been going through your case study here(super valuable, thanks!) I found myself asking the question “if he is going to outsource the building of the money site why not use a service like a pbn fox or similar to build out the pbn?” You could still host on your service but you would save alot of time I am assuming and could potentially do more sites that way, at least it would seem so. If a “failed” amz aff site for you is still in the multiple 100’s of dollars why not outsource the pbn build completely? Thanks so much

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