I’m a little tardy on the Q1 update for the Million Dollar Niche Site Project, I hope you’ll forgive me. 2021 has been off to a busy start for me thanks to a few new projects that have taken my attention away from updating content here at Digital Asset Guy.
The good news is, my niche site project continues to bring more joy than it does heartache. You may remember from my December update that traffic had declined pretty significantly compared to November. I also upgraded my hosting plan at Bluehost which led to site downtime at the end of the year.
All of that combined with an adverse Google search algorithm core update near the end of 2020 led to a pretty weak January when the site’s traffic and revenue numbers were about 50% less than their all time highs.
I stayed the course and continued to feed the site a steady diet of content and links – which led to a February turnaround and a really nice March heading into peak summer season for the niche.
What Got Done This Quarter
- I wrote 1 article totaling 2,145 words
- 17 articles totaling 45,550 words were published from the site’s team of writers
- I spent $2,295 on link building campaigns between The Hoth and nichewebsite.builders
It had been a little while since I wrote an article myself for the site, and it’s not my intention to write many more (if any) going forward. I made an exception in March when one of the site’s affiliates reached out and sent me some of their product – I felt like it was the right thing to do to publish a personal review of the things they sent me. Otherwise I spent as little time as ever managing the site in Q1!
Traffic and PnL
The site’s traffic levels back in January and February were quite concerning at the time. I anticipated a little bit of a decrease in traffic these months relative to November and December holiday highs, plus it’s low season for my niche – but I was not ready for the site’s traffic to drop by about 50%.
It turns out, my site was negatively impacted by the Google December 2020 core update. If you’ve been in the web publishing business for any amount of time you know that these updates can be a roll of the dice – even if you do everything right, a major core update from Google can seriously slash your search rankings.
At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do to reduce this risk – but it doesn’t take away the sting of losing out on traffic and subsequent revenue. The positives I took from the traffic this quarter is 1) my site’s floor now appears to be about 50,000 users per month from organic search traffic and 2) I think the turnaround at the end of February on through march is a major validation of the process I have in place of posting consistent quality content and acquiring links with white hat tactics.
January and February were much less fun than the last few months of 2020, but the site bounced back big time in March and eclipsed 5 figures revenue in a month for the third time. In particular I loved to see the strong revenue numbers from affiliate partners that are not Amazon – I’ve got some brand partnerships available this year that were not around last year that I’m anticipating will bring in some nice commissions over the summer.
Part of the reason I decided to switch to quarterly updates this year is because I felt like there really wasn’t that much going on month to month to make it worth while to put together a recap – and I feel like that’s held true. At this point the game is pretty simple – keep paying writers to create content for the site and keep paying agencies to acquire links to the site.
And that’s exactly what I love about building affiliate and display advertising sites – after you put in work upfront and get your systems in place it’s pretty easy to make solid cash flow month to month without having to babysit the business.
Anyways, I’ll be anxiously waiting to see how the site does in Q2 as we head into peak summer season!