The case of Spencer House. He is the creator of own the Yard. Spencer's site is narrowly niche - it contains ideas for decorating the backyard of a personal plot or a private house. Reviews of products for landscape design and courtyard decoration are also published.
Monetization of the site occurs at the expense of affiliate programs and advertising. In our article, you will get answers to the following questions:
- How did Spencer build his website from scratch?
- How did he promote his website?
- What was the initial monthly income? And much more.
Below is a list of goals that Spencer set for himself when creating the site:
- Start receiving real passive income in 3 months;
- Start earning $500 per month in 6 months;
- Over time, start earning $5,000+ per month.
September 2018 (1st month)
The domain name was purchased in August 2018. In September, 20 articles were published. The whole month was devoted to the creation of the site and the installation of all the necessary plugins. A quick check for Godaddy and domain name registration cost $4.83. The price of the basic package of virtual hosting Bluehost was $227.76 for 2 years. The logo of the site cost $12. Other upfront costs are the cost of WordPress plugins and an internet connection. House had no income this month.
According to Google Analytics, the first visitor to the site came on September 7. This month, the site received 258 unique visits.
Here's a breakdown by traffic source.
Spencer's main goal was to increase organic traffic in the long run. At that time, most of the organic traffic came from Bing and a little bit from Google.
Earnings on the site in September were not yet there, but clicks from Amazon have already begun to arrive.
October 2018 (2nd month)
12 new articles were published, by that time there were already 32 of them, but the site still did not bring earnings.
Amazon's affiliate links were clicked on 32 times — House in October focused on testing his affiliate links to make sure everything worked.
The site received 342 visitors, which is slightly more than in September. Below is a traffic analysis: 69 visitors came to the site from organic search. Most of the traffic came from the social networks Pinterest and others, which he began to use in October.
While organic traffic was his long-term plan to drive traffic to the site, it went downhill.
November 2018 (3rd month)
7 new articles were published, there were already 39 of them on the site, earnings - $0.
Several Amazon affiliate links have appeared on the site, but there have been no buyers yet. The first goal of this project has not been achieved, since at the end of the third month the planned level of earnings was not achieved. As you can see from the screenshot below, the trend of traffic growth has begun to gain momentum. The orange band shows November compared to previous months. There has been a clear increase in organic and general traffic.
Every owner of a new site is happy with growth trends. So, that was good news for Spencer House.
December 2018 (4th month)
11 new articles were published, and their total number was already 50 pieces. In addition, December was the debut month in terms of earnings - the site brought the first $26.66.
Judging by the screenshot below, 18 products were ordered on Amazon, but only 7 of them were sent. Thus, $23.66 of profits were derived from these 7 shipped goods. Spencer independently placed several orders of goods to test affiliate links. Amazon, of course, has determined that these are fake orders. House did not receive payments for them.
Below is the total traffic, and it dropped slightly in December. The main reason is that in November, only $50 was spent on Facebook ads to drive traffic to the site.
At the same time, if we talk about organic traffic, then there was an improvement.
If you look at the Google impression metrics from the site's launch to December, you can see a significant improvement, as shown in the screenshot below.
January 2019 (5th month)
In January 2019, 32 new articles were published, respectively, there were 82 of them on the site by the end of the month. Earnings this month amounted to $6. The site's organic and advertising traffic has climbed up as shown below.
Below is the increase in traffic from Pinterest.
At this time, Spencer had about 177,000 views on his Pinterest page with 380 followers.
February 2019 (6th month)
In February, 10 new articles were published, their total number on the site was 92 pieces, earnings for this month - $15.51.
On Amazon, he earned exactly $8, which is $6 more than in the previous month. In the second half of the month, Spencer began to try to show ads on his sites. He chose Ezoic, whose ads brought in another $7.51 in just 2 weeks.
Below is a report on the history of earnings.
Here is the history of earnings and the number of articles added to the site:
Below are only organic sessions. Traffic from Google and other search engines has also grown significantly.
The image below is google's impressions, whose algorithms have begun to recognize the site. The situation with the increase in traffic began to improve significantly.
Despite the fact that the site after six months of its existence began to gain momentum, the second goal - to earn $500 from the 6th month, was also not achieved.
March 2019 (7th month)
15 new articles were published and in total there were 107 of them on the site, and earnings for the month amounted to $128.41. The click-through conversion rate with Amazon was 3.62%, which isn't a lot. At the same time, the income from it amounted to $89.25.
The screenshot below was taken from the Ezoic Ads website. Most of the information articles on the sites received income from it. Thus, the revenue from Ezoic Ads in the amount of $39.81 and $89.25 from Amazon Associates totaled $128.41.
April 2019 (8th month)
13 new articles were published, thus the total number reached 120 pieces, earnings for the month amounted to $565.44.
Amazon Associates brought in $494.46 this month. On one day, goods were bought for $1,700, but on the rest of the month people ordered cheaper goods. The short green bars on the chart below are purchases of goods worth about $10.
Ezoic's earnings for the month amounted to $70.89, and site traffic grew to 10,000 users.
The overall traffic growth since the site's inception is shown below.
The site began to occupy higher positions for targeted keywords, and for some of them came out in the top 1 on the first page of Google. Below is a screenshot from Long Tail Pro used to track its rankings on Google. In the photo, only the positions on them, but the keywords themselves are hidden.
May 2019 (9th month)
18 new articles were published, that is, there were 138 of them on the site, earnings for the month amounted to $740.45.
Amazon Associates brought in $512.92 and Ezoic Ads brought in $227.53. Below is a screenshot from Amazon.
Note that around the 17th, Amazon brought in another $135 in commissions, which are not shown in the screenshot above. Several expensive goods were sold for a total amount of affiliate payment of more than $130, but in the last days of the month the buyer returned the goods. Commissions have been removed. Another item with a commission of about $100 was not shipped in May, so the amount was paid out in June. Below are the revenues from Ezoic - in total, the site earned $227.53 on ad impressions from this resource.
Organic traffic from Google is shown in the screenshot below.
The screenshot below shows that Spencer has started using links. The only page in this screenshot he linked to is the second one listed. Notably, the rest of the pages in the top spots were articles that were not linked to.
June 2019 (10th month)
20 new articles were published, a total of 158 pieces on the site, earnings for the month amounted to $1,218.41.
July 2019 (11th month)
Added 6 new, so a total of 164 articles were published on the site, earnings for the month - $1,392.11.
In July, the site brought in a total of $1,392.11, of which $692.16 was earned by Amazon Associates and $699.95 by Ezoic. Below is a screenshot of the revenue from Amazon Associate.
And here are the results of work with Ezoic.
Throughout the site's existence, the main source of its revenue was Amazon Associates, but in July, Ezoic's display advertising generated more revenue than Amazon. The stagnation in Amazon's revenue growth caused Spencer's concern.
House saw 3 problems with monetizing the site. Below are their solutions from Spencer:
- The pages monetized with Amazon Associates had too many ads displayed. Spencer planned to reduce its number;
- There was a problem with Table Labs - product comparison tables on Amazon, they stopped displaying. House thought the reason for this was a combination of services like Cloudflare, WPRocket, and Ezoic. To fix this, he planned to disable the WP Rocket plugin and see if it would help the tables stick again.
- Analytics showed that people left the site before it was fully loaded. This circumstance could mean a low speed of the site. Spencer felt that the reason could be too many Ezoic Ads.
Most of the traffic still came from Google and Pinterest, as shown below. In July, more than 47,000 unique sessions were registered, of which 20,000 users came from Google.
August 2019 (12th month) 15 new articles were published, and their total number reached 179 pieces, earnings for the month amounted to $1,109.37.
Earnings for the 12th month of the site's operation were slightly lower than the 11th and this happened after six months of consistent growth. Below is a screenshot of Amazon Associate.
The site brought House $686.76 from Amazon Associates US. In addition, it earned another $8.65 from Amazon UK. Total earnings from Amazon were $695.41. Ezoic's earnings fell to $413.96.
Despite the fact that Spencer reduced the number of Ezoic ads displayed on his site, the effect of this did not immediately have a positive effect on earnings with Amazon Associate.
December 2019 (the site is 16 months old)
For this month, the site brought in $2,360.98.
Amazon US led to $1,991.96, while Amazon UK and Amazon Germany generated nearly $10 in revenue in total.
Below are the results of Ezoic, which brought in $369 this month.
Ezoic's revenue in December was down nearly $100 from November. EPMV - revenue from 1,000 visitors to the site decreased from $ 21.21 to $ 17.54. The screenshot below shows a decrease in site traffic, which is caused by a seasonal factor. The peak of business is in the summer, when everyone is engaged in the improvement of the backyard of their house.
Earnings for 8 months of 2020
January 2020 – $1,297
February 2020 – $1,498
March 2020 – $3,195
April 2020 – $7,212
May 2020 – $8,290
June 2020 – $6,770
July 2020 – $5,122
August 2020 – $3,304
Here are the main conclusions made by Spencer House for 2 years of work with the site:
- More informational articles should be posted on niche sites. This will allow you to earn more money by running Ezoic ads or any other Google alternatives. According to the recommendations of SEO experts, it is advisable to publish a minimum of 300 articles. This amount of information content will allow you to consistently earn over $ 5,000 of passive monthly income.
- Amazon Associates affiliate payouts of 3 to 6 percent are the worst of any existing affiliate program. It is reasonable to start your business with it, but then it makes sense to move on to working with more profitable affiliate programs.