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


Welcome to the ninth 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.

New Links (Mostly) Live

The site is now just over seven months old – I took delivery of the site from Human Proof Designs during March 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. There’s one more domain that I’ll use in December, which will bring my total up to 25 links.

Traffic & Visitors – November 2016

Unique Visitors: 185
Bounce Rate: 28%
Unique Visitors Sent To Amazon: 73
Conversion Rate to Amazon: 39%


We’re seeing a steady trickle of visitors every day to the site everyday.

I expect traffic in December to pick up more, as the site gets first page rankings for more terms as a result of the additional links.

Amazon Earnings – November 2016

Items Sold: 22
Items Shipped: 11
Total Amount Shipped: $1044.31
Commission Earned: $45.52
Average Visitor Value: $0.25
Average Item Commission: $4.13

The isn’t on the first page of Google for enough of its target terms, so the earnings for this month have been about the same as they were last month.

The extra links that I’ve added in November and the one that will go live this month may start to have an impact this month, so hopefully we’ll see slightly better earnings next month.

Rankings – November 2016

Top 3: 0
Top 10: 1
Top 100: 15
Not in Top 100: 0


We’ve had another trial for one of the keywords in the top 10, but still nothing has remained there steadily yet.

In November, I built more links and hopefully we’ll start to see the site remain on the first page more steadily during the coming months.

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

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

Lifetime Expenses: $1508.57
Lifetime Earnings: $173.14
Profit/Loss: $1335.43 loss

What’s Next?

At the end of December, 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. Awesome case study Kevin.
    Keep it going! It’s always informative to be able to follow a case study like this over this length of time.
    Thanks for sharing all the tips along the way. I know some SEOs reading this will be like…”dude you should have been using Diggity links, or IFTTT, etc. etc…”
    However the whole point of a case study is not always to get the best rankings or uncover every possible stone. It’s to develop a plan and stick to it….so that everyone who follows along can glean some insights from that plan….and how it turned out.
    Another thing I would add is of course if you were just getting started and this was the only site you were focused on in order to build up your empire. Then of course you would have been doing more blog commenting, forum engagement, outreach, along the way…..also researching more products using “jungle scout” and adding more money/informative content to your site. This would have all added a lot more income and growth along the way.
    Anyways thanks for sharing this with everyone, keep it rolling!

    • Kevin, one question I have regarding your PBN domain selection for your niche sites. How tight are you sticking to themes? For example when you are ordering a list of 40-50 from HammerHead are you only adding domains with very close topical relevance? Also how close are you paying attention to this “new news” from Google Webmasters Hangouts about all old links from auction/expired domains will be discredited if the domain is inspected and it’s found that it’s not similar or “matching” the old domains focus/topic?
      Thanks man!

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