Fridays with Vicky 152
It is one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to shopping. In November we had Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the shopping season leading up to Christmas.
Looking at my own shopping habits, November and December is definitely the time I shop the most. I must admit that I love online shopping as well. No need to stand in line, you get the products delivered to the door and you can find the best deals often with free shipping… Can you relate?
According to emarketer.com, online shopping and e-commerce accounted for 10.6% of total retail sales in the US during the holiday season 2016.
This is a number I only see growing.
According to the same site, Amazon had 38% of US online shopping during the holidays season 2016. That’s a HUGE share of online shopping.
This is a great time of the year to be doing affiliate marketing and a great time to be recommending Amazon products.
Let’s dive into the case study…
Why Share This Case Study?
This case study site is 8 months into year 3. It has for sure been an interesting journey. The reason I started the site was that I was curious if you could make some decent money with the Amazon associate program. Some said yes, some said no, I wanted to try for myself.
I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for a while now, with no prior computer background I learned all the basics through this program here. Today I do online marketing full time. The reason why I got into online marketing was because I wanted to find something that would work well with my family. I wanted to stay home with my kids AND work.
Online marketing was the perfect solution for our family.
It has given us the freedom and flexibility we need. You can read how I got started with online marketing here, and how I made my amazing first commission of… drum roll, please…
Let’s get back to this site though. When I started with this case study site I had a few things in mind.
I wanted this case study site to be…
• Hands off, with mostly outsourced content.
• Based on evergreen content, I chose the health niche.
• Monetized with Amazon.
Let’s dive into the November traffic stats.
Traffic November 2017
The site has a few sub-niches focused on content and products related to the colder months. That in combination with the holiday season I expect an upswing in traffic. I’m excited to say that November had the best traffic yet for the site. Even better than December last year.
• Sessions 25,250
• Users 23,098
• Page views 31,586
• Session duration 50 sec
• Sessions 34,424
• Users 31,316
• Page views 43,624
• Session duration 56 sec
This site drives the majority of visitors from organic listings in Google and other search engines. The increase in traffic shows that the content is ranking and attracting visitors, a great confirmation that we are doing the right thing for the site.
Well-researched and well-written content, slightly keyword optimized allow traffic to grow naturally over time.
Looking at the increase from previous years, it’s been a good organic growth.
• 2015 – 2,458
• 2016 – 17,427
• 2017 – 34,424
Since the traffic is based on organic listings, it’s important to submit great content on a regular basis. I outsource most content but occasionally I write an article myself as well.
Most my content is slightly keyword optimized. I make sure I have the keyword in the title first and last paragraph. That’s it. The key is to find good keywords and I do that with the help of Jaaxy a great keyword tool.
When I have my keywords ready, I send them to one of my weekly writers with clear instructions on what I need. If it’s a product review, an informational post, how long I want it to be and what the post should include… Clear instructions are key for writers.
When the content is submitted I save a ton of time using EasyAzon for my Amazon links. Not all posts will include links but the ones that do, I will use EasyAzon for. I can get links, images, accurate prices with the click of a button, a huge time saver for me.
What kind of posts ranks well and drive visitors to the site?
These are the top 5 posts in November.
• Top 5
• 5 Best
• Top 10
• Top 10
• 5 Ways
List posts really do work! Now I should say that I do have general posts pointing to these list posts, helping drive traffic to them. Internal links help direct traffic to your main money making pages on your site.
Since the site is based on organic rankings I like keeping an eye on them as well. We all know that Google has their own rules… my philosophy is that if you provide great content on a regular basis the rankings will come…
My to-go-to rank checker program is SemRush. It allows me to check rankings, new and lost rankings and see how the site grow over time.
The site is ranking for 15,352 positions. Not too bad. The goal is to increase the top 10 rankings and most importantly the top 3. Top 3 usually get clicked the most so that’s where we want to be.
We can here see the ranking progress over the last two years.
Case Study Income Report and Sales Result in November 2017
The traffic is up but what about the sales and income? Last month we talked about how the new Amazon commission structure made a dent in the income and December is not an exception.
I’m excited though to see that this site, that started out with me wondering if it was possible to make money with Amazon, had almost 1K item sales in November, that’s great!
It’s also interesting to see how beneficial it is to promote more expensive products. I had only 20 sales with the independent affiliate program but made $1, 1K I like that!
Let’s look at the numbers…
November 2017 Earned Commission
- Amazon, 976 shipped items. $1,986.34
- Affiliate program #1 – 20 sales. $1,169.22
- Total Shipped Items: 996
Total Commission: $3,155.56
Almost had $38K in Amazon revenue making almost $2K in November. Last year the site had around $28,7K in revenue making $2.3K… I miss last year’s commission structure BUT I am glad I took on the new affiliate program adding to the site income.
$ / 1000 Visitors
To be able to compare apples to apples I like the earnings per thousand visitor’s formula. That way we can compare these numbers with other projects, other sites and more. I’m glad to see that the site up to a $100 per thousand visitors. We have some ways to go to reach last year’s December numbers… We’ll see if we get there.
• Dec $217.98 / 1000 visitors
• Jan $139.96 / 1000 visitors
• Feb $128.6 / 1000 visitors
• March $93.68 / 1000 visitors
• April $92.04 / 1000 visitors
• May $157.23 / 1000 visitors
• June $81.75 / 1000 visitors
• July $93.77 / 1000 visitors
• August $65.05 / 1000 visitors
• September $78.07 / 1000 visitors
• October $85.15 / 1000 visitors
• November $100.76 /1000 visitors
• 9 Outsourced articles ($7 each) $63
• 5 Outsourced reviews, (these are longer in-depth articles 1000 words at least, $12.5 each) $62.5
This site is on shared hosting, there for the low cost.
This is the hosting I suggest if you are new.
List building: $5
Aweber list building, shared cost with other sites $5
Total Expenses: $132.5
Total Result November: $3,023.06
• November 2015 – $108.94
• November 2016 – $2,198.46
• November 2017 – $3,023.06
Although the increase wasn’t as significant as the one from 2015 to 2016, I’m still happy with the increase. I’m excited to follow the journey of this site for sure.
Total Result for the Site
• Result Month 1 – 6: $–265.36
• Result Month 6 – 12: $817.13
• Result Year 2: $15,767.08
• Result Year 3, 9M in: $14,224.65
Total earnings for 2017 this far is $18,768.45.
November is the best month yet 2017.
I had high hopes for this site starting out the year. Although we are far from $100K… (if you have followed this case study you know how the discussion went earlier this year) 2017, I’m sure we’ll eventually get there. The only month better than this November is last year’s December. Hopefully we’ll beat that next month!
The year is almost to an end, and I’m thinking of ways to move this site forward.
I will continue with the content creation and possibly improve weekly submissions.
Social media is another area the site needs improvement.
Another thing I want to explore 2018 for the site is adding services, possible in directory form. This is something that I’m still working on so we’ll see where that will take us.
A bright future ahead.
A lot goes into a site and I’m forever grateful for these helpful tools…
- 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.
Follow the Journey of this Case Study Site, November was Good, December Should be Even Better – Sign Up for the Newsletter…
Have a great December and a great holiday!