10 Site Case Study Post #5 – May 2022

I’m back from the dead.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this. After finding quick initial success in a slightly different area of SEO, I have focused my full attention there and have left my affiliate sites mostly unattended.

I’m very sorry for leaving you guys hanging and hope to do better from now on, but I don’t want to make empty promises, so I’ll just promise to do my best :).

What do I mean by mostly? Well, I have made sure to have a content production system set up for the top three of the sites to have them running on the back burner while I focus on my other venture.

This other venture allowed me to quit my full-time job and focus entirely on doing SEO, which is what I love.

I still think that affiliate or content websites are a much better business opportunity than the other project I’m running, but with sites, it takes at least 1.5. – 2 years to start earning a significant income from them.

My overall plan is to systematize my other venture so that I have more time to dedicate to my affiliate websites and to keep you guys updated on the progress.

Overall, the sites have mostly declined in traffic and my absence has hurt them significantly.

Enough with the rambling, I’ll get to how the sites have done during the time that I didn’t touch them.

Summary chart for all sites:

PS! I’m comparing the numbers with the last time I did the monthly updates, which is July 2021.

Site 1 – Finance

Traffic: 750 (-697)
Earnings: $22 (-45)
Articles Live: 96 (0)
Links: 1 (0)
Start: February 2021 – when I purchased the site.

As stated the last time, the site doesn’t seem to move even after all the optimizations I’ve done to it.

What I did in specific was:

  • update a lot of the articles, using SurferSEO’s recommendations,
  • added internal links from relevant articles.

What I’ll do in June:

  • Add 10 new articles to target low difficulty keywords.

I don’t want to invest too much into this, because it doesn’t seem to be the best site in terms of ROI, what I’ll do next is add 10 new articles and see how they’ll do.

I’ll try and keep the investments as low as possible while trying to understand if the site is worth doing something with or not.

If I can’t seem to get additional traffic to the site, I might turn it into a link farm. I already get a lot of requests coming in to publish guest posts or add link insertions. It would be easy for me to assign the site to a VA and just start selling links on the site to recoup the investments.

Site 2 – Tech Gadgets

Traffic since last update

Traffic: 214 (-566)
Earnings: $0 (-62)
Articles Live: 54 (0)
Links: 10 (0)
Start: March 2021

The tech site has seen a significant decrease in traffic and also in earnings. I have seen some earnings during the year as the products can be rather expensive, but overall, the site is slowly declining.

One of the major learnings with this site has been that tech sites need constant upkeep and I wouldn’t want to start or work with tech sites again.

The main reason is that the products keep being updated all the time and my review or comparison articles go out of date and people will stop Google-ing for them.

For example, if I’d have an article on Apple iPhone 8 review, I would start to lose traffic as soon as the new model comes out. And the situation would get worse with each year.

Even if people google for the term, they’re not going to buy from the places that I recommend. They are much more likely to buy the products used.

So unless you have a serious personal interest or the resources to update your content all the time and don’t mind the time decay, I wouldn’t recommend going into these kinds of niches.

What I’ll do in June:

  • Do keyword research to find 10 evergreen information keywords to write for the site.

I’ll try and see if I can turn the site into an informational hub instead and monetize with display ads. I’ll start off with a simple test to see if I can find 10 lucrative informational keywords.

Then I’ll create the content to do a low-cost test, which would hint if I should continue on this path or neglect the site entirely, which is also fine.

Site 3 – Tech Home

Traffic: 964 (+721)
Earnings: $ 0 (-34)
Articles Live: 44 (0)
Links: 8 (0)
Start: January 2021

This site started to grow at the end of last year until it was hit with the December core algo update. The update hurt sites that mainly focused on producing affiliate content so it’s no wonder this site was hit with 100% of the articles being “Best X for Y” or “Z review” type of articles.

However, for some magical reason, it recovered a lot of its traffic in February. Traffic is up compared to July 2021, but it’s on a declining trajectory, which would be normal for a site that hasn’t been touched for almost a year.

Last time I wrote that I’m not going to invest any more resources into the site, but I’m going to tinker with it a bit to see how it responds.

I have some articles that feature high-end products ($1,000+ range), so it is worth putting some time and effort into the site.

I’ve also found a VA who is going to help me with improving all my sites, so I’m not the bottleneck for a lot of the changes.

What I’ll do in June:

  • Do keyword research for 5 additional articles.
  • Add proper affiliate tables using Affiliatable.
  • Add affiliate links to all images.
  • Do link gap analysis.

#1 I’m adding articles to satisfy the freshness algorithm. Also, I’ll add internal links to some pages that would need a small push to rank higher.

#2 I’ve bought the Affiliatable plugin to add good-looking products and comparison boxes to the site. I remembered that when I added these boxes to the site that I sold, I saw an immediate uptick in clicks and earnings, but had totally forgotten about it.

Here’s one example how the boxes look like:

Also, for single products, it would look like this:

I know that if I have traffic, these boxes will make a significant impact (+25-30% improvement) based on the tests I did on the sold site.

So I bought the pro version and taught my VA how to use the plugin (I actually just shared two Youtube videos with her to learn by herself) to add these boxes to all website’s top 10 articles.

I’ll report on the changes as soon as we have them implemented across all sites.

Site 4 – Beauty Products

Traffic: 778 (-129)
Earnings: $4 (-45)
Articles Live: 81 (+51)
Links: 13 (+3)
Start: March 2021

If you notice, it appears that this site was also hit with the December algo update.

I noticed the decline only in April of this year and started to divert the writers to produce more informational content. Before that we had 100% affiliate articles at 60 articles. We’ve now added 21 informational articles and the traffic numbers haven’t yet improved.

This niche has a tonne of keywords and doesn’t seem to have too much competition. One of the possible reasons might be that most of the products are very cheap.

However, this makes the site a perfect candidate for earning money from informational content through display ads. This is what I’m trying to focus on now.

As I read from Matt Diggity’s analysis on different niches and optimal informational/affiliate content ratios, the niche would require a 70/30 info/affiliate ratio. The site’s current ratio is at 26/74, so I’m working on adding more info content.

Luckily, informational content is usually shorter so it’s cheaper to produce. Also, it’s easy to find low-cost, but good-quality writers for the niche, so I’m motivated to see this through.

What I’ll do in June:

  • Continue producing informational articles.
  • Add product comparison boxes with Affiliatable.
  • Add affiliate links to images.

I don’t want to spend too much on the site, so I’ll try to focus on low-cost adjustments and continuously monitor the ROI of this project.

Site 5 – Clothing Site

Traffic: 279 (-101)
Earnings: $6 (-19)
Articles Live: 46 (+2)
Links: 34 (+3)
Start: January 2021

This site seems to have done a roller-coaster ride during the year. Unfortunately, it’s now getting less traffic than a year ago and hasn’t reached the numbers that I had hoped it would reach.

The traffic and earnings are low for this site, so I’m not really interested in doing much with the site. Nor do I want to invest money into it.

What I’ll do in June:

  • add internal links,
  • add product boxes with Affiliatable.

I’ll only work on low-cost adjustments to see if I can improve the revenue to make the site interesting for me again.

If not, I will just neglect it and leave it sit on the sidelines for a few years.

Site 6 – Luxury Items

Traffic: 2,500 (+2,189)
Earnings: $70 (+35)
Articles Live: 151 (+120)
Links: 16 (+11)
Start: April 2021

This site has done well traffic-wise, but not so much in terms of income. Luckily, it’s super under-monetized.

It doesn’t have any product boxes, images aren’t linked to affiliate products, and the only monetization method is currently still Amazon. So there are so many optimizations that I can do with it.

I did find many different affiliate offers to promote here but didn’t find the time to add them. This is something that should be fixed ASAP. I would need to find out what other affiliates are promoting in this niche to find some well-converting offers to promote myself.

Also, what’s interesting is that despite also having 100% affiliate content, the site didn’t see a decline after the December core algorithm update.

Over 100 new articles have been added to the site during the year. This is because I have started to like the niche a lot and have transitioned from basically a hater to a keen enthusiast.

What I’ll do in June:

  • continue adding content,
  • link gap analysis,
  • add product and comparison boxes with Affiliatable,
  • find alternative affiliate programs to join,
  • build internal links,
  • build external links,
  • improve the design and build out a proper homepage.

A lot to do here and this site is one of my top priorities now as it has a lot of potential, compared to most other sites.

Site 7 – Yoga Site

Traffic: 1058 (-42)
Earnings: $165 (+92)
Articles Live: 196 (+121)
Links: 131 (+76)
Start: February 2021

This site has gone through a massive set of ups and downs. On top of that, Google Analytics (GA) is continuously unplugging itself from the site, so I couldn’t analyze the data properly.

I started to look for alternative options and found Abralytics. So I’m using that instead, but it doesn’t have the entire data since the last update, so I’m showing GSC data instead.

So as you can see, traffic kept growing until mid-November. We didn’t change anything and continued to publish content and saw a huge spike for one particular keyword.

Most of the traffic came from this keyword and I found a product that offered 50% commissions. This got me to earning $300, to $700 and then surpassing $1,000/month in February.

The 1K/month continued till March, but then the one keyword dropped from position 1 to position 10.

I still don’t know what exactly happened as I didn’t do anything with it. I never touch the articles that are ranking in the first position.

I’ve been trying to figure out what happened and had my writers do Surfer optimizations, add internal links and external links to the page.

It’s likely that something changed within Google’s algo, so there isn’t much for me to do about it, but I’ll still do all that I can.

The earnings helped me reinvest money into the site and build a lot of new content and links. I hired a link-building agency to do broken link building and calculator campaigns for this site.

They managed to build 76 links within 11 months within the budget that I allocated for this.

What I’ll do in June:

  • link gap analysis,
  • build internal links,
  • build external links,
  • add informational content,
  • search for more non-amazon affiliate deals,
  • add Affiliatable product boxes to as many places as possible.

This site has a lot of potential, but it requires a lot of work. Also, despite having 95% affiliate articles and 5% info content, it didn’t seem to suffer much during the December update.

Despite that, I’m trying to focus more on producing informational articles to add topical relevance and internal links to my affiliate articles.

My goal is to get this site to $10,000/month in earnings and I’m going to push hard to get there. Also, when the site starts earning more, it’s much easier to grow it from the earnings.

Site 8 – Make-Up Site

Traffic: 6,120 (+3,955)
Earnings: $125 (+31)
Articles Live: 326 (+216)
Links: 35 (-8)
Start: July 2020

Another site with a roller-coaster traffic graph. This is likely because a few key articles that rank are mainly searched for during the holiday season, which is the likely cause of the traffic increase and drop-off.

If this happens again this year, I’ll know for sure.

Again, this site has 100% affiliate content, so the December update might have played a part in the drop.

The reason behind such a massive increase in the articles produced is that my wife is helping me produce the content for this site.

Once she saw that we earned over $600 in November and $800 in December, she was highly motivated to do outlines for a tonne of articles, which we then sent to the writers.

Thanks to the outlines, we are able to produce good quality articles at a very low cost.

The main problem with this site is that the products are super cheap, so despite having a good amount of traffic, earnings are shite – 2c per visitor or $20 RPM.

I should add display ads to the site, which would probably almost double the earnings.

Another thing that I have to do is look for higher-paying affiliate programs.

What I’ll do in June:

  • look for higher-paying affiliate programs,
  • add internal links,
  • add a few more articles.

Site 9 – Musical Instruments

This site was sold for a small profit in September 2021.

I was approached by one of you guys, who asked specific questions about this site and I ended up selling the site due to lack of time.

In Summary

I’m glad that I now have free time to work on my affiliate sites again and am motivated to do so.

I was hoping to see more progress as the sites gained age. It seems that if you don’t do anything with a site, it starts decaying and the decay is stronger than the growth that you get from site age.

Despite that, I still have a good amount of resources left to invest in my top 1-2 sites. Currently, the top sites seem to be the Yoga and the Luxury items websites.

I’m looking to build the Yoga site to at least $10,000 in monthly income and the Luxury item site to at least $5,000, before I’ll sell them.

Luckily, as the earnings for the sites start growing, I’ll be able to reinvest the income back to the sites to grow the earnings and reinvest even more.

Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions or comments, you can post them under this post or email me directly at wilson@affiliatricks.com.

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