“Starting From Scratch” Case Study – Income Report October 2016
by Kevin Graham
Welcome to the eighth 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.
6 Months In & We’re Not Where I Wanted to Be
The site is now just over six 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.
After seeing some of the site’s target keywords appear in the top ten towards the end of September and not stick there solidly during October, I realized that the mini network of 20 sites that I had been using was a failure.
What I’m doing here is a little bit different to the normal way I’d rank a site. In this case study, I have been testing out whether I could potentially use less domains in a PBN to rank a single site because they’re only linking to that one site, instead of up to 10 sites. The theory being that the link juice would be less diluted and so less might be needed.
However, in practice this hasn’t worked as well as I’d hoped. I added 5 more domains from PBN HQ a couple of months ago to bring me up to 20 domains which has pushed me close to the top 10 and while the site popped in quickly, it didn’t stick on the first page so I believe it needs a few more links to give it some more power.
That being the case, I went back to Hammerhead Domains towards the end of October and picked up 5 more domains to add to the network for this case study site, spending an additional $67.87 in registration fees and bringing the total size of the network to 25 domains.
Four of these five domains have now been indexed by Google, and I will begin rebuilding them with new content from HireWriters and adding links to my main site during the month of November. It might take another month or two for these links to take effect and help push the site onto the first page.
Why am I spending more on this site and pushing more links at it? Because I have seen the site on the first page and know that it won’t take much more to get it to stay there.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming and on to what you came to this post to read – the numbers from this month’s update.
Traffic & Visitors – October 2016
Unique Visitors: 188
Bounce Rate: 31%
Unique Visitors Sent To Amazon: 64
Conversion Rate to Amazon: 34%
We’re starting to see a steady stream of visitors every day to the site everyday. The site has spent a few days during the month on the first page for some of the smaller target keywords from the expansion content, which has started to help increase the number of visitors and therefore conversions to Amazon.
I expect traffic in November and December to pick up even more, as the site gets first page rankings for more terms as a result of the additional links.
Amazon Earnings – October 2016
Items Sold: 21
Items Shipped: 21
Total Amount Sold: $1033.48
Commission Earned: $44.23
Average Visitor Value: $0.24
Average Item Commission: $2.11
The site didn’t stick 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.
This month we were just 67 cents shy of covering our operating expenses for the site. The extra links that I’m adding in November will probably take another month or two to take effect, so we’ll probably see similar earnings next month.
Rankings – October 2016
Top 3: 0
Top 10: 4
Top 100: 12
Not in Top 100: 0
We’ve had some more trials for some of the keywords in the top 10, but still nothing has remained there steadily yet and that’s why I’m going to build more links to this site.
For November, I’ll be building 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
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: $4.90 – Bulk Buy Hosting 20 Accounts Plan & Vultr VPS Server, $67.87 for Domain Registrations.
Lifetime Expenses: $1455.67
Lifetime Earnings: $127.62
Profit/Loss: $1328.05 loss
At the end of November, 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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