Earnings Report – August 2014

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This is the August edition of the earnings report for Niche Site Project. Thanks for stopping by to check out the site if you haven’t been here before.

Last month, we saw a positive trend last month in July – up from a couple of very low earning months in May and June.

I think the earnings have turned a corner…

Why do I publish these reports?

I publish these earnings reports each month for you. I share all the earnings from my Amazon Associates based websites so that you can see what’s really possible.

When I got started a little over a year ago, I looked at earnings reports from guys like Pat Flynn – of course, these earnings are just a fraction of the reports published on Smart Passive Income.

The goal is to show what’s working with niche sites…and more importantly what’s not working. You can learn from my mistakes.

I get many questions about the specific details about creating Amazon Sites – If you want to see the full process, check out the Niche Site Project Management book.

Amazon Earnings and Traffic

The earnings reports here only cover the Amazon Associate earnings. This month we’ll continue to just review 2 websites that are driving the earnings – the Main Money Site and Niche Site #3 (NS3).

The main money site has been the most profitable to date, netting over $12,500 over the last year. Niche site #2 was sold back in May so that’s why we’re skipping it in this report. (You can read about selling NS2 here: Sold $10k)

Main Money Site – Cumulative Lifetime Earnings

This chart from Amazon shows the earnings over 13 months, since last August. It’s been an exciting roller coaster ride with really high and really low earnings. The biggest month was last December with over $6000 in affiliate commissions.

An aside about the retail season: Curt, from Domain Colosseum, just posted at Dumb Passive Income how he made over $8k in a month, also December of 2013. So that’s just another data point of how big the retail season can be.

Overall Earnings from the Main Money Site. This is cumulative since last August, 2013.

Overall Earnings from the Main Money Site. This is cumulative since last August, 2013.


Main Money Site -August Only Earnings

Here’s the good part. The trend is very positive. We did see very low income over the last few months.

But it looks like we have turned the corner. We actually jumped from $16 to over $80. This is the same kind of trend that I’ve seen on my niche sites plus I see that with many other people’s sites.

Earnings from the Main Money Site.

Earnings from the Main Money Site.

Main Money Site -August Traffic

The traffic is trending up.

August Traffic for the Main Money Site.

August Traffic for the Main Money Site.


This next graphic shows the improvements from July to August. This is great to see!

Sure, I’m happy to have more visitors on the site but I’m more excited to see the Avg. Site Duration and Bounce Rate improving.

August vs July Traffic for the Main Money Site

August vs July Traffic for the Main Money Site

Here are the stats for the top 10 pages of content on the site. A few of the pages have a pretty darn high bounce rate but people are spending a pretty long time on the various pages.

Top 10 Pages August for the Main Money Site.

Top 10 Pages August for the Main Money Site.

Here was can see the number of Search Queries & Impressions from Google Webmaster Tools. This is over the last 90 days since that’s all we can see.

Last time, there were only 1,459 Search Queries & 44,313 Impressions. So this looks great.

Search Queries as reported by Google Webmaster Tools for the Main Money Site.

Search Queries as reported by Google Webmaster Tools for the Main Money Site.

Niche Site #3 (NS3) –August Earnings

This site is still struggling in the rankings. It ranks in the top 50 for several search terms and a few visitors do check out the site each day.

As you can see, this site isn’t pulling in the big bucks yet. 🙂 The July earnings were about $10 so this is a small drop.

August Only Earnings for NS #3

August Only Earnings for NS #3

Niche Site #3 (NS3) –August Traffic

The traffic is pretty darn low, less than 10 visitors per day.

August Only Traffic for NS #3

August Only Traffic for NS #3

Overall, there is an improvement from July to August. Unfortunately, we see that the Bounce Rate is going up!

Uh, oh. I should probably try to work on improving that Bounce Rate.

August vs July Traffic for NS #3

August vs July Traffic for NS #3


Here we see the top 10 pages for the site. Not great.

Top 10 Pages August for the NS #3.

Top 10 Pages August for the NS #3.

Lastly, the Search Queries and Impressions from Webmaster Tools. There is a slight improvement since July but not very much. Overall the graph is fairly flat.

Search Queries as reported by Google Webmaster Tools for NS #3

Search Queries as reported by Google Webmaster Tools for NS #3

Overall Amazon Earnings (All websites)

Overall Earnings since August, 2013

Overall Earnings since August, 2013


Next Steps to Improve Earnings

For the last couple of months, we’ve been doing two main things:

  1. Target long tail, low search volume keywords
  2. Focus solely on the main money site

I talked about #1 in the July Income Report. Basically, the long tail keywords should be easier to rank in Google search results, and the pages targeting those keywords should rank faster.

That’s the theory anyway. And, it seems to be working to some extent. Check out the SerpBook report below.

Main Money Site Rankings – Long Tail Efforts

Main Money Site Rankings – Long Tail Efforts

In July, I mentioned that we need to target more long tail keywords. We haven’t done a very good job at that.

#2 is all about focusing. We have NS3 and the other couple of case study web sites (more on the case study below) but we only have so many hours in the day to work on the various sites. We actually made this decision in early July and the results were positive.

What’s next to improve earnings?

There are 3 main areas that I will be focusing on…

More Backlinks

We will be getting more links from a PBN service. This time I am working with Lewis Ogden (from Cloud Income) and Rank Source.

Improve the Bounce Rate

We will try to improve the bounce rate further. Curt mentioned at DPI (the same article as above) that he has a couple strategies to keep his bounce rate low.

It’s simple – just have a link above the fold that says something like, “click here to see the top rated product.” It’s ridiculously simple and I can’t wait to make the change. The site that Curt is talking about has a bounce rate in the low 60s.

The hope is that the rankings will improve with a lower bounce rate.

Add More Content

I was talking to Perrin from Niche Pursuits and he’s seen great results with adding more content to a well ranking site. So, thanks for the tip, Perrin!

We will be adding more content – a lot more. I’m planning on doubling the number of posts on the site. The one difference from the current content is that the new posts will be more blog style and less product review based. I am hoping that will bring in more long tail keywords, plus the new posts will be more likely to draw some natural, white hat links.

I have an idea to interview prominent people in the niche. Not only will that provide very valuable content but that kind of content will be easier to share than product reviews.

Other Projects

I do have a few on other things going on that we didn’t cover above.

Case Study

case-study-nichesiteproject-1.com 250The case study is moving along – slowly but it’s moving. Ranking a new site just takes longer now.

The rankings have been stable this month which is good. It’s better than seeing a drop in rankings.

Just as the graphic says, the case study is comparing new domains to expired domains for brand new niche sites. You can read more about it here.

The Ultimate Private Blog Network Course

ultimate-PBN-courseWe continue to get great feedback from the members of the Ultimate PBN Course. There is still room for improvement though.

Lewis Ogden and I have been working behind the scenes and will be rolling out some great changes.

We’ll be creating a mastermind Facebook group for members. This should be a great improvement over the current forum in the course.

We’re also looking at expanding some of the content, including a section about starting your own PBN service.

Video Course on Niche Site Project Management

This is something that I’ve been talking about for months. I finally set my priorities straight.

I don’t have a specific launch date yet but it will be very, very soon.

Instead of rolling out an expensive video course, I’m going the other way. This will be priced very reasonably so most anyone that is reading this post will be able to check it out.

The content will be drawn from the Niche Site Project Management book but it will be distilled down to only the most important, essential activities. It’s basically an action plan to build an Amazon Associates website.

There will be no fluff – just the bare minimum to get a site up and running.


Overall, August was a decent month. The earnings aren’t breaking any records but the trend is good. For the main money site:

  • Rankings are up
  • Traffic is up
  • Earnings are up

We’ll keep working and focusing on the main money site for now. The main goals will be around:

  • Add more backlinks
  • Better visitor engagement by lowering the bounce rate
  • Add more content

I’m really looking forward to launching the video course to demystify the process of building a new niche site.

As always, let me know if you have any questions below or if you have any suggestions.
7 comments… add one
  • Roberto

    Hey Doug, thanks for the update. Do you think it’s still worth it to focus on your main site… wouldn’t it be better to focus on other sites?

    Do you think you’ll have some good sites making money for christmas?

    • Hey Roberto – I hope I should be focusing on the main site!

      I don’t claim to have all the answers but I know the niche is profitable. And, the trend is good…so I think it should be worthwhile again.

      So, how would you convince me that it’s better to work on other sites.

      I hope to have at least one site that ranking in the top 3 over the holiday season…

  • Awesome, Neale. Thanks for the tips!

  • Mine is $980 Doug, its still September 20.. guess ill reach $1,500 end of month, its really amazing to learn from you… im starting my second niche site, its already set-up but no content yet

    • That’s amazing, John. I can learn a thing or two from you! Cheers

      • nothing special its just im selling high end products and i do make the homepage different from most of the niche sites..
        like i try to make it a page that chooses or tells the visitor which really is the BEST product …

  • Awesome Dog!

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