When it comes to making money online with websites, there are definitely pros and cons to building vs buying, but I’m a creator by nature.
This idea that it’s possible to create income, and something of value out of thin air is intoxicating to me – and I love the process of learning, failing, building, tweaking, and improving.
Needless to say, it was pretty easy to put a good chunk of time and energy into month 1 of the Million Dollar Niche Site project. Even though we’re definitely a few months away from seeing any significant traffic.
Here’s a quick look at what’s gone on with the site in November 2019:
What Got Done This Month
- Bought a domain and a hosting plan on Bluehost
- Installed WordPress on my site
- Chose and installed a WordPress theme (I’m using Astra for the site in this project)
- Designed a little logo for the site – I have a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator so I did this myself but you can easily get a logo designed for less than $20 on Fiverr or Upwork
- I wrote and posted 17 articles to the site, totaling 31,835 words
- I ordered a Hoth Foundations package to lay some link building groundwork for building my site’s domain authority
I’m pretty happy with everything that got done in month 1 of this project! It’s off to a great start and I’m hopefully laying the foundation for some serious growth in the future.
Remember, this is a long term play – it can take anywhere from 9-18 months before you start seeing serious results from built from scratch affiliate projects. So pretty much all of the work going in now will begin to pay off down the road.
Outlook For the Next Few Months
For the next 2-3 months, it will be a lot more of the same game plan above. The two main pillars of getting tons of traffic from Google organic search results is content and link building – so that’s all I’m really going to be worried about until the site starts making some money.
After there’s some revenue, I’ll start spending some time tweaking on-page elements to maximize revenue per user and maybe start trying to build an email list.
But those things are “nice to haves” vs “need to haves” – so for the time being the game plan is to post a bunch of content and acquire as many backlinks as possible pointing to my website.
Traffic is almost not even worth looking at for the first 3 months while my site is in the Google Sandbox. It’s essentially a trial period where they won’t rank your site high, even if you’re doing everything right. You can read more about the Google Sandbox here.
The bottom line is, I’m not expecting much in terms of traffic for a little while. If the site doesn’t start to get a bump in traffic by February or March of next year, I’ll start to get a little worried then.
Profit and Loss
It’s my goal here too to be transparent with just what exactly the financials of this site look like, so below is a look at my spreadsheet showing the PnL of the project.
The domain expense was the cost of buying and registering my domain, along with paying for domain privacy. Domain registrars require contact information to remain in compliance with ICANN (so I essentially paid $10 per year to put an agent’s contact information and address in the ICANN database instead of my own).
The hosting plan expense was for 3 years of prepaid hosting with Bluehost – you get a significant discount when you prepay for hosting plans so I went ahead and took advantage of it.
The link building expense was for foundational, low authority links from The Hoth that essentially lay a base layer of links pointing to my website.
I want to reemphasize here that I’m writing content for the site by choice for the time being. If you were building your own site you could easily outsource content creation to freelance writers. Here’s what the PnL would look like if I was going full outsource mode, assuming I’d be paying a writer a rate of $.05 per word (which is more or less the going rate nowadays for the type of content on this site)
You can see that this changes things quite a bit as far as money out of your pocket goes. I wrote about $1,600 worth of content on the site in November – which definitely makes a difference in your cash flow if you were to outsource this part.
The tradeoff of course is that I’m spending time writing – I’m a quick writer and can generally do about 1,500 words per hour on average, so I invested about 20 hours of my own time on the project in November writing.
Overall, I think the site is off to a great start and laying the groundwork for some serious growth in the future! Stay tuned for more updates.