December 2021: Niche Site Growth Case Study Update 1

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We’re kicking off a new case study with a goal to increase traffic and earnings for a member of the Niche Site Project community. This is the first update to help set the stage.Here’s are some things to provide context:

  • Arielle started working on niche sites around Oct 2020.
  • She’s been working on about 7 sites — one is not very active.
  • 6 are getting some traffic.
  • 4 are earning a nontrivial amount and are growing.
  • We’ll be working together (like I did with Christy) to help grow her site and earn more. We’ll have podcast (and YouTube) interviews and updates, plus off the record coaching. That way I can look into the details and give Arielle specific and direct advice.

Arielle is a frequent livestream viewer on YouTube and she recently enrolled in Multi Profit Site.

Journey & Goals

As of today, I have a portfolio of seven sites and have been publishing content across them all of them throughout 2021. The oldest site is around 14 months old, so all of these sites are relatively new, however, with each new site I created, I started to learn more and more about niche selection and keyword research.

Shiny-object-syndrome definitely got the best of me, but I am glad that I did it this way and now have 7 sites with a good amount of starter content, sitting there and marinating; this is a marathon for me. Ultimately, I have decided to focus all my attention on just one of these sites going forward.

I believe the site I want to focus on (Site 7) has a lot of potential to grow out and become an authority in its niche. So I will continue to target low competition, KGR keywords.

My goal for this year is to hit 500 posts on the site by publishing 25-30 posts each month. It currently has 170 articles on it so sticking to this plan, I should exceed this amount!

From my understanding, the monetary gains are, in many ways, limitless. Instead, I will focus on following the systems (publishing, SEO, outreach), focusing on a single project, staying consistent, and hitting that initial 500-post goal.

I am sure that whatever monetary gains come from publishing this amount of articles on a single site, with the right keywords and all that I have learned this past year, will be life-changing.

Everything I do, I do for my children – they are my biggest “why”, so securing their financial future is at the top of my list! I am also a full-time, homeschool mother – so not only does reaching this goal mean my husband and I can both spend more time enjoying our family, creating memories, and building their future but how amazing would it be to homeschool whilst traveling around the world?

Moreover, my goal and hopes are that by sharing my journey, process, mistakes, failures, and successes, I will be able to help others out on their journey. I like to think that it will be inspiring to somebody to find these reports one day in the future when I am earning tens of thousands of dollars… 🙂

This Month in a Nutshell

This month I crossed the threshold for Level 2 in Ezoic’s Level Up program. Exciting times! I am now on the premium ad partners subscription so I have to remember to factor that into my expenses.

December has been my best month yet, but I am under no illusion that December or Q4 in general, is a representation of how my sites will perform in the future.

Results Snapshot

Earnings (Portfolio)

This Month: $ 1,027.16

Lifetime: $ 1,929.28

These earnings represent five sites as there is not much to write about or document with the others. Site 2 in my portfolio contributes the lion’s share to my site earnings as it earns the most with Ezoic and also the most with other (non-Amazon) affiliate programs.


Arielle Phoenix Portfolio Ezoic Lifetime Earnings

This is the lifetime graph showing my total portfolio’s Ezoic earnings only. In December, I was invited to Ezoic Premium, which affects all sites on the account. However, as mentioned, going forwards I will only be documenting Site 7.

Earnings (Site 7)

This Month: $ 38.66

Lifetime: $ 68.91

Arielle Phoenix Site 7 Ezoic Lifetime Earnings

Above is a snapshot of my Ezoic earnings dashboard for Site 7 only. My EPMV is still quite low at around $7.50, so hopefully this increases (quite dramatically) in time.

Traffic (Site 7)

This Month: 1,354

Lifetime: 2,355

Arielle Phoenix Site 7 Analytics Traffic

Since I started adding content to this site, I have also been using Pinterest to drive traffic. So roughly a quarter of the site’s traffic coming in is from organic Pinterest clicks while the rest is from organic search traffic.


This Month: $1,229.11

This month, I spent $1,229.11 on content. This is the most I have spent on content alone in a single month. I admit I have not done a great job documenting my expenditure with my sites, so I will not try to break down historic expenses. However, going forwards I will have everything documented and not just content spend.

Activities & Accomplishments

Focus Area: Keyword research

My focus was to create more topic clusters and ensure my writers had enough keywords to cover these clusters. Site 7 is only 4.5 months old and I had always planned to put as much content up as possible in these first 6 months.

I wanted to gather as many KGR keywords to keep my keyword hitlist populated so I never had the issue of running out of keywords and having my writers ready to write but no work.

Focus Area: Hitting publish

I also had to ensure I was keeping up with the output and publishing those articles when they came in, so I didn’t have a huge backlog.

Focus Area: Hiring/Firing 

Sadly, my best writer burned out and bailed on me in the last weeks of December. He was a student and had bitten off more than he could chew. I gave him his last bonus and wished him well but had to get the ball rolling again and hire some more writers on a trial basis.

I actually like hiring as I have the templates and scripts ready and waiting, so this makes it a lot easier to screen. I hired a few new writers from various countries on a trial basis, sent over my templates and guides and that was that.

What’s Working

    • Publishing content frequently: I reckon with consistent publishing, the spiders are crawling the site often and indexing the articles rather quickly. According to ahrefs, more and more keywords are showing up in the top 10 and top 20 spaces.
    • Internal links: In all truth, I cannot say for sure the impact internal linking has had, but I do make a conscious effort to add a few internal links to every post or rephrase things so I can link to other articles more naturally. Pageviews per session continue to rise so I think I can attribute that to internal links.
    • Pinterest: I do not spend too much time on Pinterest and the sharing part is automated so the additional 8-12 clicks per day it is getting on Pinterest seem like a good deal. It doesn’t take much effort to create the Pins in bulk but I will have to monitor all of this to see if it is scaling with the site and worth continuing.
    • Adjusting templates: If the articles I receive back from my writers have errors in common or things that could be done better, I go back and adjust the Google Docs template. These little adjustments have helped me slash the editing time down a huge amount.

What’s Not Working

It is hard to decipher what is not working at this point as I have kept it relatively simple. I think the only thing I could say for sure, is being divided between all of my sites ultimately distracts me from growing this site to its fullest extent.

On the Horizon

Next month I will be doing some soft outreach to the influencers and communities in my niche. This is to help raise brand awareness and build a relationship with them. I will continue to edit and upload articles as soon as they come back (hopefully daily) and add new keywords to the hitlist for my writers. I will also be writing a bunch of the shorter and easier articles myself.

Parting Thoughts

I am really looking forward to how this site grows, particularly as, if successful, this strategy is easily replicable not just across the other sites in my portfolio, but any future sites I might build or buy.


About the Author: Arielle Phoenix is an author, blogger, and business enthusiast documenting her SEO/niche site journey on her blog and hoping to help and inspire as many people as she can along the way.

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