Fridays with Vicky 112
This case study site is now 2 years old, still a baby. I was a little concerned about the down trend after the holiday season, but the site is doing ok.
It didn’t quite reach the income that I wanted for February, but compared to last year we did increase quite a lot.
This is sure a journey, ups and downs, excitements and disappointments. All though the site didn’t earn quite as well, something else really cool related to this case study site happened.
Company Contact #1
I reached out to one of the companies that I’ve been promoting via Amazon. I asked for some images to put on my site since Amazon are really strict with what’s allowed and what’s not. They got back with me and provided me with images and they also asked if I wanted to try their products.
I said, sure, I would love to.
They send me 3 big items plus a pack of small ones, to a value of over $2K. Yes, a bunch of products for me to try out.
This is of course not only going to benefit me. It will help me provide great information to my readers and of course, give this company some good exposure. They also provided me with a giveaway price… so I will be doing a giveaway competition.
Exciting, something I have not done yet. I will for sure let you know how things go.
Company Contact #2
I also had another company contact me, they wanted to do a guest blog or add links to already submitted content. After a few e-mails back and forth I decided to decline their offer.
It was just not going to be worth my time. It always takes a lot more time than what you think, the amount just didn’t make it worth it.
It’s ok to decline offers, don’t be afraid to value YOUR time. It’s your site, you put a price tag on it and don’t sell yourself too cheap.
Ok, just wanted to share that success with you. Let’s get back to the case study.
Some have asked WHY I do them, so let’s look at that.
Why Do I Share the Numbers and Stats of this Site?
This site was first created as a side project, to see if it was possible to make money with Amazon. Obviously, when I first started out I didn’t have much to show as far as income and traffic but it was still a great way for me to share the journey and keep myself accountable. It’s kind of cool to be able to go back and look at the small increases and successes that over time really snowballs…
Today, I want to continue to share the journey, the ups and downs the celebrations and disappointments of being an online marketer. Many happily share the ups but go quiet when the down hits, I want to share it all. Yes, even the income numbers for this month (even though they were a little disappointing).
I get a lot of great feedback from you readers so I want to continue to provide value to you!
If you have your own site, you know it’s not just a curve pointing up, the key is to make the downs high and very comfortable when it comes to income. That’s something I’m still working on with this site.
If you don’t have a site set up yet, you can go through my video course here to get it done.
Cause even if there’s ups and down, being in charge of your own time, working for yourself is the best thing ever at least it has been for me and my family.
The Case Study Site
If you are new to this case study, I just want to really quick share some of the things that the site is based on:
- It’s a health related site.
- It’s monetized with Amazon only.
- It’s based on mainly outsourced content.
That brings us to traffic, how do I get traffic to the site…
This site is getting the majority of traffic from organic listings in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
There’s a drop in traffic this month compared to January. If we look at the average daily user count, January had 550 and February 498, so it is a significant drop.
January 2017 (Month 23)
- Sessions 18.984
- Users 17.074
- Pageviews 25.461
- Session duration 1.07
February 2017 (Month 24)
- Sessions 15.245
- Users 13.939
- Pageviews 20.358
- Session duration 1.11
If we look at the numbers compared to February 2016, we have increased over 10 K monthly in a year. We had 3.013 users February last year. So that’s good, but I need to figure out how to stop the drop in traffic.
I know some has to do with the holiday season that we just had. There will naturally be a drop after that. It might also be due to one of the major niches that are winter related.
I plan on increasing the content submission going forward, I’ve got to do something to stop this downhill trend…
I’m a big believer in well-researched content that truly helps people. Most content on this site is outsourced, but I make sure the people writing the general content for me have some kind of medical background since it’s a health related site.
My main writer, she is amazing, she’s a nurse and a fabulous writer I’m very grateful I found her. If you outsource and find a great writer, hold on to them!
Looking at the top 5 pages that receive the most traffic on the site right now, I have:
- Top 5…
- Top 10…
- 5 Ways to…
- Top 5…
- 5 Best…
These kinds of pages work and can bring in a lot of traffic to your site. Most of these link to in-depth reviews and from there I send them to Amazon.
Great content convert!
My Content Plan Going Forward
I’ve been thinking about how to stop the decrease in traffic since the holiday season. I know it only makes sense to have an increase during that period of time but I still like when the curve points up in the right direction, right.
Since content and organic listings are such a big part of this site, it only makes sense to increase in this area.
So going forward I will be…
Adding an additional blog post weekly – I will go from 3 weekly posts to 4. Right now I submit one product review and two general articles. The fourth article will be different every week. It can be event based or holiday based. It can be a push for a product group. It can be a general health article… whatever I feel the site needs that week. Some will be outsourced and some will be written by me.
Another thing to look at is…
The site is starting to get more and more traction and others are starting to notice it. How do I know? Others link back and use the site as a reference.
The other day, I was looking at some stats in my Google Webmaster account and got happily surprised looking at the backlinks. I never “built” any backlinks, it all came naturally…
1785 links back to my site, a lot of them came from Pinterest that was another surprise since I’m not very active on there.
It gave me a push to more actively get in front of other bloggers and sites for better exposure.
So going forward, I will be looking into both free and paid marketing opportunities on other sites, I will keep you posted.
Giveaway contest – all though I’m not really sure how the giveaway contest will plan out just yet, this will be another great way to get visitors to the site and increase exposure.
Work more closely with brands – I’m definitely open to working more with brands. Starting out my main goal was to monetize with Amazon, which I have been, but I’m not opposed to working directly with the brands.
Consider other Affiliate programs
I might consider taking on a few independent affiliate programs. Some offer 20% commission and with the new commission structure that Amazon is taking on, I’m not 100% sure how that will plan out for my site. For the month of February, I earned 7.5% on most items.
There’s, of course, pros and cons with this… If I stay with Amazon I get paid a commission on everything purchased via Amazon. We know this can really benefit especially around the holiday season.
If I go with an independent affiliate program, I earn commission for that specific sale but it’s 20%…
This is absolutely something to consider going forward.
When basing traffic on organic listings another thing to keep a close eye on is the rankings…
I use SEMRush to keep track of the ranking results and although we saw a little drop in traffic, there is still an increase in rankings. Yay!!
When the rankings are pretty steady it makes me feel a little better about the traffic drop. If we were losing here as well then I would be very concerned.
We won some we lost some…
We also need to keep an eye on what Google is up to and in February the giant search engine might have had a Phantom update… nothing they will confirm, though.
There was also a Google update targeting PBNs and black hat methods reported. Personally, I never believed in these methods and I believe Google will catch on.
I can’t see that these updates affected my site in any way.
Let’s look at the numbers…
Case Study Income Report and Sales Result from February 2017
Now to the income and money part. Something I must say I’m always very excited about.
I was hoping to make the 2K mark but didn’t quite make it…
February 2017 Earned Commission
- Ordered Items: 580
- Commission Summary: $1791.22
That is a drop of more than 200 sales, not good. I can see how this is related to the traffic drop, though. February is just not a big shopping month.
To see the connection between traffic and earnings, I looked at the earned $ per thousand visitors by doing that we can kind of compare apple to apple.
- Dec $217.98 / 1000 visitors
- Jan $139.96 / 1000 visitors
- Feb $128.6 / 1000 visitors
This only confirms that December is a great month to be in business with Amazon. I have to go back to October of last year to “beat” February’s numbers, October had $123.39 / 1000 visitors.
- 8 Outsourced articles ($7 each) $56
- 4 Outsourced reviews, (these are longer in-depth articles 1000 words at least, $12.5 each) $50
This site is on shared hosting, there for the low cost.
List building: $5
Aweber list building shared cost with other sites $5
Total Expenses: $113
Total Result February: $1678.22
- February 2016 – $259.79
- February 2017 – $1678.22
Even though I don’t see the same BIG jump I still made $1418 MORE this February than last, I’ll take it.
Total Result for the Site
- Result Month 1 – 6: $–265.36
- Result Month 6 – 12: $817.13
- Result Year 2: $15.767.08
Total result after 2 Years: $16.318.85
Entering Year 3 of this site I have high expectations and I’m very excited to see where it will take us.
Looking at the History, What Will It Tell Us About the Future?
Last month I shared some exciting numbers and expectations for this site, with an estimated earning of $100K IF it follows the same progress as last year.
Here’s 2016 pie chart describing monthly % income of the site.
Two months in, how are we doing?
The total amount of $3942.45 for January and February, leave us playing catch up with $57.55, which is totally doable.
I could not do all this if it wasn’t for a few helpful tools.
These are some of the tools I depend on:
- Wealthy Affiliate for training and updates (Free and Premium membership)
- BlueHost (starting from $3.95 monthly)
- Jaxxy for keyword research (Free trial)
- WpZoom Theme I use for the site (Premium theme)
- EasyAzon to fast and easy include amazon links on the site (Premium plugin)
- Aweber to collect emails (Premium tool)
- SumoMe (Free and premium for social share)
- Crowdfire for Twitter growth (Free and premium)
- Google Analytics (Free)
- SemRush (Free and Premium)
These tools are awesome, saves me time and help me maximize earnings.
Don’t miss the progress of this site! Will it make 100K this year? Don’t miss the updates, sign up for the newsletter below…
Did you miss the related posts in this case study series?
Now it’s your turn, please share how your site did in February. Did you increase earnings? Did you drop in traffic? Please share how things are going for you!
To a great March 2017!