Earnings are down.
But it’s not a surprise at all.
Let me rewind for a minute, though. Jim Horner learned about niche sites back in January of 2016. By late February, I took Jim on as a coaching student for a case study where the goal is to make $2,000 per month. Jim saw guys like Dave, Josh, and Rob, and thought
“Hey, I want to do that too!”
Jim knows it’s going to take a while to accomplish and the path to $2,000 would be more like a roller coaster.
And you can see below, that the earnings aren’t breaking any records, but what cool is that Jim beat all 3 of the Niche Pursuits students through July and August in terms of revenue. It’s because of 3 things:
- Keyword Golden Ratio
- The Content Traffic Profit Sprint
- A Focus on Early Small Wins
The combination of those 3 things help a lot in the first 6 to 12 months of a niche site. I get so many emails from people asking “why isn’t my site ranking?” and it’s because they didn’t do the 3 things above.
Back to the Starting From Scratch Update
Jim had a good summer where revenue was up and traffic was up. Here are the earnings for the quarter, July to September.
Here are the traffic stats from Google Analytics. You can see that the average time on the site is a bit low at under 1 minute for Organic Traffic. The referral traffic stays on the site for a lot longer, almost 6 minutes.
The thing is the site targets a seasonal niche and the interest in the topic drops off like a cliff once fall arrives. To hedge that decline, Jim created another site which is covered in this post. I would normally oppose starting a new site so quickly after launching your first one, but because of the seasonal aspect starting a new site made good sense.
Over to Jim…
Well it’s official, I’ve been hit with the seasonality bug… When I first launched the site I was so new that I hadn’t considered the effect that would have on my niche and how I would combat it.
After chatting with Doug about I think I’ve come up with a couple good workarounds and am still publishing content, in fact I’m trying to increase my output.
Another thing that I’m facing and that I’d heard about early on was the 6-8 month timeframe when the work becomes rote and you struggle with finding the passion that you had in the first two months. I’ve definitely had my days when the last thing I wanted to do was get on the computer and start writing.
And you know what?
I took a few of those days, jumped on the bike, took a day off and recharged. It’s so important to set realistic expectations not just for you business but for yourself too. It helped, I came back and got to business.
Jim still accomplished a lot over the last few months…Here is a summary:
- 1st Niche Site
- 11 Articles went live
- 2 Guest Posts accepted
- 2nd Niche Site
- 39 Articles went live
- 3 Guest Posts accepted
Niches With Seasonality
Seasonality may have hit my business but the cold and rain that we’re starting to see now here in Montana has given me every excuse to get deeper into my work. Posting up in a coffee shop, finding writers, editing content, doing keyword research, doing some guest post outreach and just putting all of my energy into the site while it’s 40 and raining is actually really nice.
With the most recent Moz update my site’s DA has increased to 23 and I’m able to start ranking a lot quicker with new content especially since I’ve got keywords with great Keyword Golden Ratios (KGR).
Here is the overview from SEM Rush:
Backlink Profile and Anchor Text Distribution
Here is the summary from Majestic. We show 32 referring domains with a decent number of them close to the Trust = Citation Flow line.
About 75% of the links (about 24), are do-follow links and that’s why this site is ranking in Google and getting traffic.
Fall Strategy – MORE Content
So my Fall Strategy has been to crank out a ton of content while I’ve got a lot of motivation to do so. I’ve used the techniques that Doug taught me on hiring new writers to bring a couple more into the fold to start getting more content up.
With all things on UpWork you have to wade through a couple less than ideal candidates but my approach is to be as clear as possible. I had a writer submit work with no keyword phrases in it, 0. I explicitly stated that I needed it’s exact match 7-8 times, short answer, he didn’t get more work.
I’ve also approached a writer that I have been working with about becoming a content manager, she said she would love to and now the game is going to be getting her work. Back to UpWork we go to find some good writers.
Upcoming Goals for the Next 60 Days
[Doug’s Note: It’s really important to have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic goals with a Timeframe – SMART Goals. I talk about it a lot in the productivity masterclass. If your goals are weak, like “publish more content,” you’re likely to fail. So when you have goals, be sure you follow the SMART Goal methods.
1st Niche Site
- Really ramp up content output to combat seasonality – The goal is 20 articles.
- Keyword research – find new and creative ways for more content.
- 4-6 GP’s (secondary to more content right now but that would be my ideal scenario in two months).
2nd Niche Site
- Hire 4-6 writers to get content that the new content manager can process.
- Train the content manager to work on the back end of WordPress without direction.
- Publish 10 – 15 new articles.
- 4-6 more Guest Posts.
Overall the last few months have been good. The height of my earnings were above $340 in August, that was with a new site and I’m thinking that with some hard work this winter I’ll see some significant gains.
That’s all for now! Go forth and conquer!
This is Doug again. So Jim lifted the gas on the project of niche sites a bit and the result was less published content and fewer guest posts. Distractions happen to us all: family, friends, job, or whatever.
Sometimes other, very interesting projects are the distraction. Jim got distracted by something interesting and we’ll share a video next week all about that – stay tuned!
Now Over To You
What do you think of the progress on the journey from $0 to $2,000 per month?
Do you think Jim is doing well?
What would you do if you had 2 niche sites growing at the same time?