Authority Site Case Study

I’ve always been interested in subsidizing my income with affiliate sites. But, of course, I’ve always found convenient excuses not to start.

Inspired by some other case studies I read, last February, I said eff it and just started my first site. I worked pretty hard on it for a month or two. I knew beforehand that I wouldn’t see any results until much later, but it still bummed me out not to see any visitors going to the content I meticulously wrote. That, along with getting engaged, buying a house, and adopting a puppy really put a damper on my motivation to work on the site before/after my day job.

Fast forward to the last few months of the year and BAM - some pages started to rank. People started clicking on affiliate links. Made my first dollar and that quickly snowballed into around $500/month.

At the beginning of 2019, I challenged myself to 10x my site revenue.

Why 10x? Because it’s intimidating but not necessarily unattainable. Because an extra $5000/month would be life-changing. Because if a goal isn’t hard enough, I won’t push myself to achieve it.

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A Little About Me

I’m a guy in my late twenties (time flies) and work full time as a software engineer/web developer.

Having web development skills gave me a great advantage at the beginning because I knew how to design and deploy sites quickly. I’m hoping to take full advantage of these skills this year too. I already have some ideas for custom tools and automations to help me scale efficiently.

I have a decent understanding of SEO - I’ve done lots of lurking and reading over the past few years. When it comes to digital marketing outside of SEO, I’m pretty clueless. This is something I’ll have to change if I want to 10x my site.

Background on The Site (+ niche)

I chose a niche that I knew would always interest me: personal finance.

I must have been feeling very ambitious (or just plain dumb) when I chose it because personal finance is one of the most competitive niches out there.

But it’s also a very broad topic and has many different niches and audiences that need to be served. I’m hoping that I can carve out a little section for myself.

What I’ve done so far

I started off doing something most people here would recommend against: I designed and coded out a custom Wordpress theme. It was probably my way of putting off the writing, but I don’t regret it. My site looks semi-professional and I’m a firm believer that design plays a huge role in conversion rate and user engagement.

After creating the custom Wordpress theme, I spent all my free time of February and March of 2018 writing. I started off as a very slow writer but I managed to write about 50 articles with a total of ~80,000 words.

I did zero promotion. No link-building attempts. No off-site SEO. My goal was to publish content at a quick rate.

After writing those 50(ish) posts, my personal life got very busy as I mentioned earlier. I then pretty much let my site sit for the rest of the year.

Monthly Income Reports & Reviews:

At the end of every month, I'll post an income report and review of how my authority site did that month. You can find them all here.