“Starting From Scratch” Case Study – Income Report March 2017

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Welcome to the thirteenth 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.

The site is now just over twelve months old – I took delivery of the site from Human Proof Designs during March 2016 and posted links during April. I added 5 more links by purchasing extra domains for the network in June and posting links during July, and four more links by adding domains to my network in November 2016.

Traffic & Visitors – March 2017

Unique Visitors: 664
Bounce Rate: 23%
Unique Visitors Sent To Amazon: 315
Conversion Rate to Amazon: 47%

Our visitors have stayed steady from February, which has me considering adding a few more domains to this site’s PBN and reinvesting some of the site’s earnings to continue to grow it. The PBN domains that I’ve used for this aren’t super powerful, so I believe this is some of the reason that it’s taking more links than I may have expected it to take – but every niche is different and it’s always hard to guess how many links it will take to rank any given web site.

I expect traffic in April to continue to stay steady, although it may pick up more if I add point some more links to the site.

Amazon Earnings – March 2017

Items Shipped: 94
Total Amount Shipped: $3,692.24
Commission Earned: $151.59
Average Visitor Value: $0.23
Average Item Commission: $1.61

The site still isn’t on the first page of Google for enough of its target terms, and while the site just had its largest month ever in February, which is generally a slow month, it’s still quite a way short of my initial goal.

Rankings – March 2017

Top 3: 0
Top 10: 3
Top 100: 13
Not in Top 100: 0

 

The rankings still aren’t quite where I’d like them to be, so I’m going to try and find a few more domains to expand the PBN that we’re using for this site. Some of the domains that I’ve picked up don’t have a many backlinks, which is probably some of the reason that it’s not ranking as well as it could. If we’d used auction domains or domains that had more backlinks pointing to them, then the rankings would have likely been a little better than they are right now.

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
Earnings September: $44.46
Earnings October: $44.23
Earnings November: $45.52
Earnings December: $138.75
Earnings Jan 2017: $97.14
Earnings Feb 2017: $159.91
Earnings Mar 2017: $151.59

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.
Expenses September: $44.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS server.
Expenses October: $44.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server, $67.87 for Domain Registrations.
Expenses November: $52.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 25 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server
Expenses December: $52.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 25 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server
Expenses Jan 2017: $52.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 25 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server
Expenses Feb 2017: $52.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 25 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server
Expenses Mar 2017: $52.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 25 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server

Lifetime Expenses: $1720.17
Lifetime Earnings: $720.53
Profit/Loss: $999.64 loss

What’s Next?

I’m going to try and find 5 more domains that I can use to link to this site and improve the rankings and therefore earnings of this site. At the end of April, 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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Comments

  1. Enjoying the updates keep up the good work. I’m really impressed by the conversion rate you get clicking over to amazon. I have a site with 5x the amount of traffic but the conversion rate to amazon is nowhere near what you are achieving. Would you mind sharing some tips on your page layout and cta. Thanks

    • Page layouts were done by Human Proof Designs as part of their “Done for You” site package and feature a product comparison table as well as individual product links.

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