Ongoing Earnings for March 2014

push-earnings-feb-2014-nichesiteproject w280It is time for another earnings report. After receiving some feedback from the most important stakeholder – you, the readers – I see that income reports with real income amounts are very interesting to read.

I find Perrin’s reports (via Spencer) especially intriguing and I certainly spend a little time checking out income reports from Pat Flynn.

More pictures…
I added even more charts, tables, and screenshots.

Let me know if you like the extra details – just leave a comment below.

If you are new to Niche Site Project, you might be wondering why I am sharing these earnings from the Amazon Associate program.

Here is why…

You, the readers, are investing time here by reading content. You might even be taking action based on what you learn here. (I hope you are!)

I present ideas, strategies, and methods that I am executing. I owe it to you let you know what is working and what is not working. It is my responsibility to be transparent and honest with you, and to let you know how I am performing each month.

This month we see the effects of the traffic and rankings issues for my main money site. The drop is significant when you consider the exceptional earnings back in 2013. Overall, the cumulative earnings are impressive and I’m proud to publish the figures even with the smaller earnings in March.

That said, I spent a pretty decent chunk of time and effort working on improving the rankings to my main money site. Did it work?

Generally, yes, but only a little bit. The site was ranking from #10 – #13 for a while in February. In March, the site made it up to #7 – #8 for a couple days before settling back to #10.

There is a nice addition in this report for March – a second money site will be featured too. I mentioned the income for this Amazon Affiliate last month but skipped over some details. The second site will get some more attention since I will break down the figures for both sites.

Let’s get to the report for March!

Amazon Screenshots

Let’s look at the cumulative earnings for both of the websites that we are tracking here.

Main Money Site – Cumulative Lifetime Earnings

Of course, this is the website that we have been watching for a while. (Here and here via Niche Pursuits.)

I can’t believe the stats.

Let’s check out all this data in another form – tables and charts. We’ll be able to see the growth over time as well as the decline in some cases. 🙂

I can’t believe over 3,000 items were shipped since last August.


Overall Amazon Earnings (Both websites)







Next, let’s look at the main money site all by itself.

Overall Amazon Earnings (Main Money Site)




And, here we can review the new, second money site. I like the trajectory on this…Very consistent.

Overall Amazon Earnings (Second Money Site)





The traffic has been an ongoing issue with the main site…You might remember the issues with rankings in January and again in February.

I’ve tried to repair the issue but it is not apparent if that will work. I still have a respectable spot at around #10 – it’s the first page but it might as well be page 3.

That drop that you see is when I had a small issue with the 301 redirect. Whoops!

Main Money Site Traffic – March 2014



Main Money Site Visitor Engagement – March 2014

We can see the visitor stats are much lower than we like to see. That bounce rate is pretty high.

At one time the bounce rate was around 69% which really isn’t great either.


Main Money Site Traffic – March vs. Feb 2014

The traffic is much lower overall. It’s not hard to see in this graph. The rankings have been relatively consistent, aside from the 301 problems…

However, don’t forget that this particular niche has the lowest search volume annually during this time of the year.



Second Money Site Traffic – March

It looks like we are averaging over 100 visitors per day. On the weekends, more people seem to be visiting peaking close to 200.

Nice…  I did not include a comparison graph for this site but I can say that the visitors overall for February versus March are just about even.




Overall, March went pretty well. The end result is positive earnings and a few lessons learned.

What did I learn?

You can’t always pull a site back up in the rankings with killer backlinks. I thought that I would be able to pull my main money site back up over the fold on the first page of the search results by now.

However, my strategy of adding more links and content has not provided much of an impact. Some other external factor must be coming into play – something that I haven’t accounted for.

I took some drastic action with the 301 redirect tactic. It was a good learning experience! But it didn’t work…at least, the site didn’t improve in the rankings as dramatically as I hoped.

The biggest thing is that I realized I need to take more massive action.

The lack of rankings improvement inspired me to do something a little bit bigger.

Something that is outside of my comfort zone and that is overwhelming in many ways.

This is exactly why I kicked off the Expired Domain Case Study.

I am confident in my project management system. It will be challenging but I will be able to start 4 new sites.

This one should be interesting. Stay tuned…

As always, your comments are welcome and very appreciated! Just ask below…
31 comments… add one
  • Charles Marabella

    thanks for sharing. Super interesting and good to see whats working and what isn’t.

    I have an amazon site with about the same traffic but not as high of earnings. I definitely need to pick premium priced items in the future like you have!

    • Hey Charles, Thanks! I have been really happy and a little surprised about the earnings. I guess the traffic is very well targeted so that’s a plus.

  • John

    May i know if your main site have some exact content from Amazon like product description. Not summarized or edited customer comments ?
    1. Using some of the Customer comments at the bottom that appears at the front page of amazon product instead of using the customer comments on the next page -> See all 37 customer reviews (newest first) .. ..
    do you think at some point it triggered a penalty a little ?

    • Hi John – I am not sure. Anything is possible. 🙂

    • Doug, sounds like you’re problem continues to parallel mine.

      John, thanks for the idea! I’ve been trying to play with other options, and I forgot that I tested a plugin that pulled content directly from Amazon and re-published it. I’ll take those posts down right now, and let you know if that makes a difference.

      • John

        hi Jared,
        I think — exact list of product description takes about let say 2% plus let say 1% for exact customer comment from the entire content word count, will at some point trigger an on-page seo penalty..(not tested though) … so summarizing or editing them might help a little…

  • Roberto

    Great Doug! Your 2nd project surprised me.

    100 to 200 visitors a day and $600 in profit: sounds like you found a great niche!

    May I ask you what your conversion rate is on your new site?

    Keep it up the great work, and keep posting these kind of articles!

    • Hey Roberto – how’s it going?

      Thank you.

      I am surprised too! The conversion rate is about 5.4% as reported on Amazon so that’s pretty good.

  • Well done Doug.

    I have a suggestion to include expenses incurred as well as time spent.

    • Thanks!
      Good idea about the expenses. I will most likely be integrating that for next month.

  • wow 14k! niche site #2 has a nice upward trend in earnings, too bad site #1 is dropping off…I wonder what the cause of the rankings drop really is?

    • Thanks, Nathan. I appreciate it.

      Uh, yes, that’s the question. I may not track it down exactly…that’s the fear. It might just show back up on the rankings or drop off completely from the after a panda refresh.

  • Dave

    Awesome report Doug!

    Have you considered creating a new site in the same niche (the same as the one that made $6K in december). Perhaps there was something about your link building strategy that google didn’t like.

    You already know the niche well and you already know which keywords are profitable, to the tune of $14 grand earned so far. Why not just manually rewrite the articles and create a whole new site on a new URL and start over? (but not deleting the original site and just wait and see if that gets anywhere, if it does it’s a bonus). is there any reason why you wouldn’t do that?

    I’m considering doing this with one of my sites that has taken a dip.


    • Hey Dave – thanks!

      There is no reason not to do that. 🙂 You are scooping some future posts – and that’s really good thinking!

    • John

      Hi Dave,
      I suggested the same to Doug, … i believe this is a much safer and fast strategy …since everything was learned its easier the second time…
      BUT, i saw one website that was also penalized, what the owner did is just use another expired domain, use the same content.. and wahhlahh his site its now on top 3 again ….

      • John, I have seen that too. As long as you de-index the old site there is no problem with duplicate content.

        • John

          Hi Doug,
          De-index the old site from Google webmaster you mean?
          I just realized how powerful unrelated expired domains are, that old domain was way back 2001, used to be a website for his son who loves racing.. and the domain has his sons name on it, yet its ranking for a niece keyword very unrelated..

  • Doug is there any seasonality with the sites content?
    Did you do the same link building for site 2?

    • Hey Scott – there is no seasonality inherent with the niches. However, there is a peak and valley for the search volume over the course of the year. I use google trends to check that out.

  • Theodore Nwangene

    A very impressive and inspiring report Dough,
    It feels so bad to hear that your main money site haven’t picked back its ranking yet despite all your efforts.
    However, I think I agree with the suggestion Dave gave you. Setting up another site on the same niche might be a very awesome idea since you already know the niche. It will be all about replicating your initial process while being careful this time because, none of us can tell why the ranking dropped.
    But overall, you did wonderfully well last month and, I’m wishing you success and pray that you will regain your ranking soon.
    Have a fabulous weekend.

    • Thanks, Theodore. It’s not so bad for the main site…It had a really good run and was really profitable overall.

      I learned a lot about being able to re-rank a site – or NOT being able to in this case.

      No worries here because as Dave, John, and others mention below, I can use the content elsewhere. I know the niche converts sales and I know my content does as well.

      Hope things are well!

  • Doug, great job on the 2nd site. It’s awesome to see you have another $ site coming along. I’m a big fan of your Niche Site Project Book!

  • Great report Doug – love all the numbers! Thanks for sharing so much!

  • I can’t believe you’re having an almost 5% conversion with your traffic on Amazon. That’s incredible! I’m going to have to go back through your old posts and see how you were able to build up your traffic so much.

    Remind me again approximately how many posts your money site has and what your target keyword traffic volume is?

    • Hey MMD – one thing to note…
      That is 5% of the traffic that makes over to amazon. The number of visitors that go to Amazon is about 10%.

      So overall, it’s 5% of the 10%.

      (10% is a very rough estimate since I don’t keep very good stats in that regard for this 2nd money site… Shame on me – I should have better conversion stats.)

    • There about about 20 posts total.

      The main keyword that is drawing the traffic is between 600-1000 exact match searches per month. That one is actually a secondary keyword.

      The primary keyword has a over 4000 exact match searches and is on the front page. It is not drawing a great amount of traffic from what I can tell.

  • Hi Doug! congrats on the new website making 600+ in just 4 short months. Keep it up! Looking forward to more reports.

  • Nice job with the second site there. Did you spend a lot trying to get that main site back up there? I haven’t worked with many sites that have tanked before. If a site falls, I feel like I would rather rebuild a new one.

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