Written by: Dominique Jackson

Niche Site Case Study: Month 1

Last week I announced that I started a new niche site.

This week, I’m going to share all the numbers so far.

I won’t be revealing the site itself for obvious reasons, but I’ll try to share as much as possible.

Let’s jump right in.

Expenses

I launched the site in April, but I started creating it in March.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how much I spent March-May:

March

My plan with this site was to front-load it with content and test a few different content providers.

As a result, I spent significantly more in March than in April and May.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Lowfruits: $50 in credits for keyword research. This was my first time using the tool so I wanted to test it out.
  • Semrush content marketplace: $2,372 for 18 articles.
  • BuySellText: $1,100 for 17 articles
  • Upwork: $809 for content - explained below *

Total: $4,331

As you can tell, most of the expenses went towards content.

  • I already had a domain name I bought in 2020. 
  • I used my Thrive Themes License for the design.
  • I put the site on a shared hosting account.

Upwork Expense

$500 was a partial payment. I hired a freelancer to write an in-depth pillar page that required a lot of research. I paid them $1,500 for the entire project, broken up into three $500 payments over three months.

$300 was for an article from a subject-matter expert with credentials. It’ll lend credibility to the site and the writer also gets quotes from other experts, which makes it more trustworthy.

The rest was Upwork fees.


April

April was all spent on content:

  • BuySellText: $1,656 for 33 articles
  • Semrush content marketplace: $238 for three articles
  • Upwork: $824 (same services as March)
  • Freelancer: $237 for 3 articles

Total: $2,955

One change from March was I started having one of my long-time freelance writers write for this site.

She’s an amazing writer and she agreed to do a few articles per month for the site going forward.

As I mentioned, April is when I made the site live and published all of the content I had written in March and started publishing the content from April as it was completed.

The site had 37 pages of content when it went live.

May

May was very similar to April. All the money I spent was for content:

  • BuySellText: $1,120 for 27 articles
  • Upwork: $824
  • Freelancer: $316 for 4 articles

Total: $2,260

One major difference is that I stopped using the Semrush content marketplace in May.

The quality of the content was a bit mixed and tends to be on par with what I get from BuySellText.

May was also the final payment for the $1,500 pillar piece, which I published in May.

I also decided that it’ll probably be the last month I work with the subject matter expert for now.

$300/article is a bit much for a brand new site. Hopefully, I can restart that relationship later on down the line though.

So the total amount I’ve spent on the site over those three months is $9,546.

I realize that’s a lot of money. But there are a couple of things to note:

  • I outsourced 100% of the content.
  • I front-loaded the content in March, which inflated my expenses a bit.

If you’re new to building niche/content sites, I do not recommend spending anywhere near this amount of money on a brand-new website.

In fact, I don’t recommend outsourcing any content. I’ve been creating content for nearly a decade and have written tons of content so I’m able to just focus on editing and formatting now.

I highly recommend writing the bulk of the content yourself for your first site or until the site is making enough revenue for you to pay writers.

Content Published

So far, I’ve published 102 pages of content to the site. This doesn’t include the homepage, about us page, contact us, etc. It’s 102 pages with educational content.

So far, all of the content I’ve published is informational and the majority of the pieces answer questions (how to xyz, does xyz, why does xyz, etc.)

Most of the articles are 1,500-2,000 words, but some are longer or shorter depending on the topic.

I plan to do some commercial content in a couple of months.

However, I’m going to write those myself because I’ll be personally testing all the products we recommend and review.

Traffic

So, how much traffic have I generated from spending nearly $10,000 on this site??

I’m just going to focus on organic search traffic for this report since that’s my main traffic channel.

google analytics graph of organic traffic from march-may
  • April: 16 users
  • May: 221 users

Keep in mind that in April, most of the content wasn’t indexed yet.

In May, the pages started to get indexed, but there are still some that aren’t yet.

For a brand new site on a fresh domain, I’m pretty happy with the results so far and the progress looks promising.

I’m starting to see some ranking increases.

Here’s what Ahrefs shows:

ahrefs organic traffic report for niche site

My hope is that as more of these pages get indexed and Google learns what my site is all about, the snowball effect will happen and the results will compound.

Revenue

As I mentioned, the site doesn’t generate any revenue at the moment and I don’t anticipate it generating any for quite some time.

But my monetization plans are:

  • Ads: Ezoic or Mediavine once the site starts generating traffic
  • Affiliate: This will be the first niche site I create that doesn’t use Amazon as a primary affiliate program. Many of the products I plan to review or include in buying guides have their own affiliate programs so I plan to go that route instead and may mix in some Amazon here and there.

Monetization isn’t a priority for me for now though.

Right now, I only care about creating content and growing traffic. Once I get that down, the revenue will come.

Plans For June

Since this site is brand new, I can’t tell if there was any impact from the recent algorithm update, but hopefully not.

If I continue to see positive growth in June, I’ll feel even more confident that this site is heading in the right direction.

As for what my plans are for the month:

  • More content: I’m planning to publish another 25 articles in June
  • Publishing cadence: Up to this point, I’ve just been publishing my content as it comes in. Going forward, I want to spread the content out throughout the month.
  • Link magnet: I want to create a piece of content that can potentially generate some backlinks and/or press. I’m going to start the planning process for that this month.

Stay tuned to find out how this site progresses!

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