November/December 2017 Update

December 2017 updateI missed the update last month as I have been quite busy with non-IM consultancy work so this meant that my work on internet marketing had to take a back seat.

I did however may some progress on my projects I talked about back in November and I’ll go into more detail on each of these below.

#1 – Authority site

My first task on this site was to get it looking more professional, so I added a professional logo and used Thrive Architect to improve the overall look of the site.

Content:

I added one buying guide to the site in November. The page received 107 unique page views, making it the 18th most visited page on the site. I also added four informational type posts to the site. These brought in very little traffic with a total of only 13 unique page views between them in November (22 in December)! The main idea of these pages though was to dilute the number of affiliate pages and protect the site from future Google penalties. I’m not convinced this really works but I’ll add another four informational articles to the site in January and that will probably be it for these types of articles.

Added another article to test my keyword research method. This is currently ranking #21 and received 25 unique page views in December. Clearly the keyword wasn’t that easy! I’ll add an internal link to see how this improves rankings.

Link building:

No link building to this site was done in November and December.

Site statistics:

(Comparison are December vs. November)

  1. Revenue – £414 vs. £440 (down 6%). This was quite disappointing considering the Christmas holiday period. This is the lowest monthly revenue for the year (November was the second lowest). Number of Amazon clicks was also down significantly – 3,984 vs 6,387.
  2. Traffic – 10,438 vs. 15,867 (down 34%) sessions. November was a good month for traffic but the December traffic was still very disappointing. This clearly had an impact on the Amazon clicks and revenue.
  3. RPM (Revenue per 1,000 Sessions) – £40 vs. £28 (up 40%). As a key metric, happy to see RPM improving in December (for the last six months the RPM has averaged £50).
  4. Rankings – I track 60 keywords for this site. To measure rankings I use Pro Rank Tracker and use their report to compare the rankings on the 1st of each month. Overall, rankings did not change significantly in December v November. Key positions that I track are:
    1. Number 1 positions: 3 (vs. 2 in November)
    2. Top 3 positions: 15 (vs. 8 in October)
    3. Top 5 positions: 15 (vs. 13in October)
    4. Top 10 positions: 31 (vs. 29 in October)

In summary, very disappointed with the revenue from this site in December. It could have been worse though considering the big fall in traffic. Looking at rankings, I have not seen any major changes for some of the higher search volume keywords. There have been talks on several IM forums about a Google update on 22 December and some site owners saw a decrease in rankings and traffic. Looking at the site’s traffic for December and January there is no drop around 22 December and in fact the site traffic has increased in January following an upturn over the Christmas holiday period. Hopefully a better month in January.

Plans going forward:

The #1 goal for this site is to increase monthly revenue to £1,000 by end-March 2018 (3 months time). The fact that, so far, this is going backwards is not great! Looking at the previous few month’s (not counting November/December) RPM of around £50, then to achieve a monthly revenue of £1,000 would mean a traffic target of 20,000 sessions. With current traffic averaging around 12,000 sessions per month (last 3 months), this means that I need to increase traffic by 8,000 sessions….in 3 months.

Looking at unique page views for existing articles (UPV), traffic for my high ranking pages with low search volume is around 500 UPV per month. The article I added in November had 107 UPV in December but this was with no link building. Basically this means that I need to be adding at least 16 articles (based on an optimistic 500 UPV per month) and in reality will actually need to add a lot more.

By looking at some competitors sites (it appears they are actually copying each other when it comes to keywords), I have identified 9 keywords that I can write (or outsource) articles for and the plan is to get these all uploaded by end January. I also have some keywords for informational articles, so I’ll add another 4 of these by end January (these are only to keep to keep the info/affiliate content balanced, as they don’t actually seem to pull in much traffic).

I also need to find a lot of other keywords for articles. I have pretty much exhausted researching “best …” keywords so plan to move onto other “buying” keywords and maybe some higher volume “review” keywords.

In terms of link building, this will need some more planning in January but I will build some Web 2.0 links to the buying guide I added in November. All new articles will be built using a “silo” approach and I will build Web 2.0 links to the “parent” article.

 

#2 – Amazon Niche Sites

I have updated my journey thread on Blackhatworld here. Basically after spending $278 on links the site tanked and revenue dropped. I cannot 100% blame the links but it seems a conincidence. After looking at some of the PBN links in Google Search Console it appears the first few I looked at are now expired. There is no manual penalty message for the site.

Traffic for 2017:

Plans going forward:

As I own a number of other (very low earning) Amazon niche sites, I’ll look at some of these to see if there is any potential to increase the earnings on these sites. One of my thoughts is to combine all this content into two “best of” review sites (one for UK and one for US) but I need to look at this a bit more though in January.

 

#3 – Dropshipping site

I managed to launch this site with 10 products at the end of November then did nothing with it after that! The site was created using the AliDropship plugin (affiliate link).

Even though there was/is a lot of hype over the whole Shopify/Ali Express dropshipping model I still think that business model has some potential. I have also noticed that Empire Flippers are listing more of these type of sites rather than Amazon niche sites.

Here are a couple of sold listings:

  1. Speciality Apparel & Accessories Niche – sold for $138k
  2. Sports & Outdoor Niche – sold for $128k

Plans going forward:

I really need to start Facebook advertising for some of the products on the site. I have very little experience in FB advertising (played around with it with Teespring T-shirts a few years ago). My basic plan is to set an advertising test budget for around £200 and run a mix of product/audience ads for a number of days to get some experience.

I also need to spend some time on the page titles as they don’t read quite right yet.

 

#4 – Amazon FBA

My plan for November was to purchase (a) Andrew Minalto’s Amazon FBA course and (b) the Junglescout tools. The Andrew Minalto course is still to go live but at £990, I think I will giving this one a miss. What I did do was go back to Scott Voelker’s excellent TheAmazingSeller.com FBA site. I started to listen to his podcasts at the same time he was talking about his 5 stage system for selling products on Amazon.

Here are the 5 steps that Scott talks about:

Amazon FBA 5 Step Process

Source: http://theamazingseller.com/start-here/

One of the things that Scott suggests for idea generation is to create a “touch list” of products/items. Basically you write down everything you touch over a few days to use as product “seed” keywords, then research these on Amazon using a tool like JungleScout. So far I have a touch list of around 100 ideas.

I really want to put a lot of effort into this project as I believe it creates a real long-term business. One of the ideas I’m thinking of is to maybe source product in the UK and repacking/bundle to give me an advantage over everyone selling products from Alibaba.

Plans going forward:

My plan for the Amazon FBA project in January is to complete the keyword/project research phase and end up with a shortlist of around 10 potential product ideas. For this I’ll also need to purchase the JungleScout Chrome extension.

 

#5 – ItsMeStew.com

I don’t currently have any goals for this site but I did manage to publish one article in November for my MacBook Air review. I’ve also dropped my link into a couple of forum profiles where I’m active. I also have a Twitter account.

The site hardly gets any traffic at the moment:

October: No data
November: 24 unique visitors
December: 13 unique visitors

I don’t really have any major plans for this site going forward but t would be nice to get a little bit more traffic!

 

Other stuff…

Something I’ve been reading up on a little over Christmas is cryptocurrency trading. I still need to read up some more but I’m in the process of setting up my trading account and will invest a very small among of money to test out.

 

Well, thats it for this month, as always, please leave any comments or questions below 🙂

If you want to get regular updates then please subscribe below.I promise not to spam you with useless information and offers!

Leave a Comment: