Damn this month went by fast. We’re already 16% into this year...
If you haven't read it yet, here's part 1 of my case study.
The gist is that I challenged myself to 10x the revenue of my affiliate site from $500/month to $5,000/m in one year.
As I mentioned last month, one of my articles started ranking really well and brought in ~90% of my traffic which was a little worrisome but also amazing. Luckily, my rankings held this month and it again brought in lots of traffic.
I wrote around 7 articles this month totaling around 10,000 words. Not great to be honest. Honestly, I’m just not a big fan of writing “affiliate” content.
Anyways, before diving into the weeds, here are the stats for January and February:
As you can see, not bad. A 50% increase in revenue is great in my opinion - especially if I can keep that up month over month. I’d hit my goal by June if I increase my revenue by 50% every month. It’s not very realistic though.
My one article is still bringing in around 90% of all my visitors. Disconcerting, but my top rankings haven’t budged a bit in February for that article so I’m hoping it will stay up there for a while. There are a few ways I can improve the article but I’m afraid of doing anything to it incase it affects the rankings somehow.
Both my affiliate and ad income increased this month. I’m still not happy with the ratio between the two. I would love to get to a point where I can remove ads from the site altogether. Unfortunately, the fact that 90% of my traffic goes to an informational post without affiliate links is skewing these stats.
One of the affiliate programs that I was using had around $60 in earnings and they just cancelled my account (deleted my account altogether) because I wasn’t “active” enough in it. No warning or anything, so that was annoying.
Expenses were low this month - just the basics. I did start paying to use SerpBook to track some rankings.
My expenses next month are going to change a lot.
While I’m happy with the income earned and traffic stats in February, I’m not happy with the amount of work I put into the site.
I only wrote 7 new articles (~10,000 words) this month. No link-building was done.
So what did I do?
Well, I optimized a few pieces of content. One of the articles I optimized jumped from rank 2 to 1 for a keyword the next day. Coincidence, maybe?
I also did a bunch of keyword research and content strategy. I created a master spreadsheet of 100 keywords and topics I want to write about. It looks something like this:
I modeled this spreadsheet after the spreadsheet in this article about KOB analysis.
Basically, I did keyword research by looking at the top pages of nearly 50 competitors using SEMRush. If the page had decent amount of traffic, relevant topic, and a low(wish) KW difficulty score, I would add it to this spreadsheet.
The topic column is the topic of the article (most often the main kw); the traffic column is the amount of traffic the competitors page is getting; the cost of the traffic is just what SEMRush has listed (I included this just because it gives a good indicator of the commercial intent of the topic); the top kw is the keyword generating the most traffic for that page; the kw search volume is the search volume for the top kw; the kw difficulty is self-explanatory; the KOB score is just the traffic divided by the KW difficulty. I wanted to keep it nice and simple. Source link is a link to the SEMRush page and the URL is the link to the actual page on the competitors site.
This spreadsheet will keep me busy for quite a while in regards to content.
I also thought through more of a concrete content marketing strategy thanks to this article.
I have a vision for the direction of the site. The site is not even close to it in regards to design, structure, content, etc. But my plan is to slowly move towards that vision every month.
Now that I have a content plan and more of an idea of the end-state of the site, I’m going to go hard on content.
I’m going to try and publish 3 articles and 1 guest post every week. I doubt I’m going to be able to hold that kind of consistency by myself, so I’m going to be reinvesting some of my profits from last month towards content. I’ve never outsourced writing, so it’ll be interesting. I imagine finding a good writer at a decent price is going to be hard.
Every article I’m publishing is going to have a specific goal. It’s either going to 1.) drive traffic, 2.) drive conversions or 3.) drive authority. Basically, I’m going to try and publish one of each of these every week. This roughly translates to one review article, one how-to article, and one informational, keyword driven article a week.
I’ve also never done any kind of guest posting outreach, so that’ll be an interesting challenge too.
I’m also going to start work on a piece of interactive content, think something like investmentcalculator.io or whydoiprocrastinate.com, for the purposes of getting some links.
Any free time I have this month is going towards redesigning the site to align with my vision - that means a custom “review” template, a custom “top 10” template for round up posts, a custom “comparison” template, etc. Plus an update on the author page, about page, home page, etc to make the site more of a “brand”. I think this will help with outreach, trust, conversions, and general "authority-ness”.
So goals for March: