Earnings Report – June 2014

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Welcome to Niche Site Project! If you haven’t visited before, thanks for checking out the income report for June, 2014.

The last report for May was a big one – the most earnings in a month – fueled by the sale of an Amazon site.

This report for June will be the opposite with much lower earnings. I knew it back in early June, too. More on that later.

Why Do I Publish These Reports?

I publish income reports for you. By sharing the failures that I experience and the successes that I celebrate, you can see what is working, what is not working, and what you can do.

This report is an example of a low month that is a little discouraging. I hope I will be able to provide some inspiration to keep on working towards a goal even when there are setbacks and roadblocks.

You will still find some roadblocks on your own, and that’s the only way to get experience. Every roadblock that you find your way around gets you one step closer to success.


Amazon Screenshots & Traffic

This month we will only be looking at two sites. And, unfortunately, one site failed to make even one sale. I will start including some traffic information in this section, too, for each of the niche sites.

Main Money Site – Cumulative Lifetime Earnings

We have been tracking this site for a while. (Here and here via Niche Pursuits.) The earnings are still great overall but over the last couple months the traffic and earnings are just not coming in.


Main Money Site – Cumulative Earnings Since Aug, 2013


Main Money Site – June Only Earnings

Wow…The earnings have really tanked. It is still converting but even less than last month in May.


Main Money Site – Monthly Earnings June

Main Money Site – Monthly Earnings June

Main Money Site – June Traffic

We can easily see the issue with earnings…there just are not many visitors on the site. Over the course of June, there were only 421 users that visited the site. On average they looked at 1.35 pages per session which is a bit low. The bounce rate is 78.5% which is pretty high overall. It would be great to see the bounce rate under 70%.


Main Money Site - Traffic for June

Main Money Site – Traffic for June

The average session duration is pretty low in my opinion for the entire site. If we take a closer look, some of the pages have visitors stay for several minutes. That indicates the content is helping the visitor and they are actually taking some time to read the content.

Main Money Site - Visitor Behavior for time on the site

Main Money Site – Visitor Behavior for time on the site

Niche Site #3 (NS3) – Cumulative Lifetime Earnings

This site made its first few sales back in May which was a great thing to see. However, you can see that the cumulative total is still low…

Niche Site #3 - Cumulative earnings since May 2014

Niche Site #3 – Cumulative earnings since May 2014

Niche Site #3 (NS3) – June Earnings

The cumulative earnings are so low since there were no June sales. Not even one small item…

Niche Site #3 Earnings for June 2014

Niche Site #3 Earnings for June 2014

 Niche Site #3 (NS3) – June Traffic

The traffic is very low with only about 5 visitors per day. If we want to make some sales we will really need to improve the traffic on this site.

We have a similar situation where the bounce rate is pretty high. In addition, it looks like people are only spending just over a minute on the site.

One problem is that there are so few visitors that it is difficult to make a conclusion about  anything specific.

Niche Site #3 - June Traffic

Niche Site #3 – June Traffic

Again, we can see that some pages do get a little more attention. We are on the right track as far as the content goes.

Niche Site #3 - Visitor Behavior for time on the site

Niche Site #3 – Visitor Behavior for time on the site


Overall Amazon Earnings (All websites)

We can see the total earning per month for all of the Amazon websites. It goes all the way back to August of 2013.

Sadly, you can’t even see the $15 from June at this scale!



Monthly Amazon Earnings since August of 2013

Let’s take a look at the same data in table form.



Next Steps to Improve Earnings

The main issue with earning is that we are not getting much traffic on the sites. Both sites seem to have the right general information to help a visitor find the answer to their question or address their problem

So, what is the root problem?

The sites need to rank higher in the SERPs, and going deeper, here is the main issue:

It is taking longer to rank sites right now than it did a few months ago.

I have been seeing this with my own sites. I know several other people that are seeing the same kind of slow movement in the SERPs too.

Spencer and Perrin from Niche Pursuits have referenced that it takes 4 – 6 months to rank a website and Hayden Miyamoto from No Hat SEO mentioned the same thing in the latest Niche Pursuits Podcast. It sounds like this 4 – 6 month period applies to search terms and phrases that have higher search volumes.

Many people call this the “Google Sandbox Period.” About a year ago, this Sandbox was thought to be about 2 – 3 months. You can think of the Sandbox period as a trial period where websites are not able to rank highly, like on the first page of the SERPs, until they exist for 2 – 3 months. It was and still is possible to overcome the sandbox but there is no clear way to do it.

I have seen some websites rank really quickly with thin content using some spammy link building practices. Sure, they fall in the SERPs after some time but the fact is they do rank fast…so overcoming the Sandbox is possible.

Back to my sites…The issue is that the keywords that I have been targeting are not ranking on the front page in the Google results. They are ranking okay, like in the top 30 results, but as we can see the traffic is low.

I will be looking for some very low competition keywords with low search volumes over the next few days. The idea is to attract some of the long tail traffic that have low search volumes in the hopes of ranking for those terms faster.

I hope I can find about 5 – 10 keywords have a search volume of 30 – 50 exact match searches per month. Each individual keyword will not bring in very much traffic but the hope is that the cumulative total will amount to a couple hundred visitors per month. Of course, this is exactly the idea behind the long tail.

Other Projects

case-study-nichesiteproject-1.com 250We are still working the case study on New versus Expired Domains. The results are close to what I expected. However, I was hoping that the expired domain would help to avoid the sandbox and rank even faster. We are about three months in and have pretty limited traffic on all the sites.

I hope there will be some conclusions to draw as soon as one of the sites ranks.


This is the lowest earning month in a very long time. I knew it was coming since the main earning site was sold last month in May.

Either way, it’s pretty dramatic to have several months of at least a few hundred dollars drop to less than $20. I hope I will be able to turn things around and generate some revenue for July and beyond.

One thing that has been successful is reducing the number of things that I am working on. It makes a tremendous difference for the things that I do work on.

It has been a discouraging month in June. I really hoped to have another site ranking by now…

The good thing is that I know several other people that started sites around the January time frame. Those niche sites that have been around for about 6 months now and have started to take off and generate some earnings. The sites are using the same ideas and strategies as before so I feel very good about my chances to have a profitable site again.

If you have any questions or suggestions, just let me know in the comments below.


22 comments… add one
  • Hey Doug, you can’t be discouraged )) What an amazing 1st year you’ve had at this! Just keep plugging away and I’m sure the year ahead will be even better.

    All the best

    • I second that, thanks for all the help this year!

    • Hey Alistair – Thanks for the encouragement. I will keep it going and I am pretty sure things will be turning around soon.

  • John

    Hi Doug,
    I always visit your page especially the income report part, though the main site that attracted me to follow you is not earning that much, you still provide great insights.
    Learning from you, im starting to earn from $8, then last few days a $38 from a single product order, and yesterday, we get another 5 orders, that if i sum it up, the comm at 4% will be $65, so i made a total of $100+ comm in 2 days… there were $4 products, $200, and $1,000+ …. it amazes me that within 2 days and at 70+ daily visitors Amazon can provide that income… i pray that someday ill also experience the $6,000 one month income you did.

    I started the link building with what i call blind archer links, then almost exact match keywords, and yes i too noticed the 4 to 6 months ranking phase. I even noticed that from page 2 which is rank 14, i went to rank 10, then, 8, then 6, then 5, a really slow climb…but i think its good that way than jumping from rank 50 to page 1 then gone in few months….

    my other website which is non-amazon is now on page 3, its a 3 month website but i did not use the blind archer link strategy, i just use the mixed market key phrases for it…. it jump from none to page 5 then to page 3…

    So the 2 link building im using are different, but my 7 domain PBN have really good PA and DA, but not so good TF and CF, but they work really great for me…..what i did is try to focus the post on what it used to be, the content of the old website….

    • Hey John,

      Congratz on the earnings. Could you explain a bit more what exactly is that “blind archer” link building technique? How to you choose those backlinks and on what sites do you place them? PBN or something else?


      • John

        Hi Goran,
        I just called it blind archer but its basically anchor text variation or anchor text dilution .. i tried to explain it here nichesiteproject dot com / anchor-text , i hope it won’t confuse you more, i’m not really organized with my writing or ideas.

        1. Just like some of us, i started with blog commenting
        using different female name (8 in majesticseo at 6% of the anchor text pie) different email add thus blind
        2. Create web2.0 blogs that are personal type of blogs, posting different content, most of this blogs have female author’s name . I let the post get indexed first before posting the second or 4th post with a link to my niche site with an anchor text thats not a keyword-related thus blind
        3. after 2 or 3 months when my 7 domain PBN have posts with no links to my niche site and posts thats been indexed by google, i then post a new content with the link to Nsite. 7 Expired domains still have the same topic as the old and have 2 to 3 posts in them.
        4. Comments on youtube videos related to the products.
        5. i think i only use exact match keyword twice on PBN
        6. total of 25 referring domains

        • Question for you, John… does anyone else call it the “blind archer?”

          • John

            hi doug,
            i think only me but when i used to work as a link builder, the logo was always a target and a dart or arrow … thus it makes me feel an archer ….

      • I work with a small Austrian Internet Marketing firm, that does SEO and PR work. We are now building a domain portfolio and your site (including this article) has answered a lot of questions for us. Thank you

    • Hey John, thanks for the comment. That’s great about your income on that site. I know you’re working hard at it.

      It’ll be great when you have a full month of those kind of earnings. It’s really amazing.

      How long has it been taking for the PBN links to have an impact for you?

      • John

        hi doug,
        traffic came in may but only 20 daily visitors, june 19 it started spiking up at 70+ and this july it skyrocket to another climb. the niche site is going 5 months old and climbing really slow, so it took 3 to 4 months to get affected by the pbn…

  • Yeah, agreed with the others. Keep your head high, Doug. At least you’re not sitting back but took note and trying everything to improve on that.

    In my opinion, these times are the best times we learn anything worthwhile that will eventually get us to that desired point of success. Just keep going, and if for some odd reason you can’t seem to improve these specific sites, you just need to let go and go back to the drawing board, starting from scratch. 🙂

    All the best with your efforts!

    • Hey Ruan – thanks! You’re right. I’m definitely learning a lot now since I have to look for more solutions.

  • Well done Doug for showing this drop in income. Despite being hard to swallow it gives you so much credability and I think thats golden.

    I know you’ve got a lot of ideas and already know you can make some big money with niche sites – I guess it’s time to evolve onto the next stage of your plan and get your hands dirty some more with long tail stuff..!

    Good luck buddy!

    • Hey Lewis, Thanks for coming by. Yeah, I was not thrilled about showcasing the low earnings but it does add a level of genuine credibility.

      Not everyone is *printing* money with “passive income!” I sure hope this long tail effort will pay off.

      It seems like it should work. 🙂

  • Brian

    I think one of the keys here is what you mentioned about reducing the number of things you’re working on and concentrating your efforts on a small number of projects. I have had that ‘sickness’ for a long time and I believe that is the reason I find it VERY hard to break the $200-300/month figure. I’ve got plans to concentrate on 2-3 sites and put all I have into them. Hopefully it will lead to more success than I’ve had in the past.

    Thanks for the open and honest post. It’s nice to see that and it’s the reason I’ll continue to follow you and root for your success.

    • Hey Brian, Thanks for the kind words.

      It’s pretty tough to pare down the projects with all the opportunities that seem to pop up.

      I was talking to a couple guys the other day, smart guys, and they referenced the fact that people that are very successful rarely have several projects going at once.

      It’s more like they are ALL IN on one, single effort for a period. If they need to pivot, they will. But they don’t let up until they exhaust their efforts and really give all they can.

      See you around here….

  • Martin Goldberg

    Don’t forget success can be measured in many ways. Helping so many people (such as myself) to learn and improve on their niche site journey is something you are most definitely accomplishing. Thanks for your great blog and solid advice.

  • Oooof. Rough month doug. Keep working and eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re ranking again. I only have the one money site and going to start building out a few soon so that I will have them ready to rank in a few months and give myself something to continue to work on.

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