This is a continuation of the monthly case study updates on my WordPress-focused website built on an expired domain. The previous update for May and June 2020 can be found here, and all archives here.
Let’s get to the numbers.
🆕 July 2020 Update
July was the third full month of ownership. This month, I continued adding content and hired a VA to manage the site. Let’s review the stats:
May 2020 vs July 2020 AHREFs comparison:
The growth in AHREFs is promising. More organic keywords are ranking over time. New backlinks are showing up.
Why is the growth slow? That’s a good question. The niche is really tough. It will take much longer to rank an article in this niche than for example, in a product-based niche like kitchen products.
📈 Search Engine Rankings
I track keywords in real-time using SerpRobot. Here is the growth since May 2020.
The Daily Average Position (i.e., taking the average position of all keywords I am ranking) is going up. That’s the metric that’s of importance to track. In real-time, individual keywords will go up and down; but the goal is to have the average positions always growing over time.
The traffic is not that interesting to look at. The rankings are not significant enough to have organic traffic (yet!)
I added 13,939 words of content equivalent to 8 articles to the site in July 2020.
I continue to use the agency at 2 cents/word.
If you want a guide on different content agencies, then please leave a comment. If there is enough interest, I will put together a list with some pointers.
Hired a VA for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
My motivation is strongly tied with the income growth of a site. If a site doesn’t earn any money, I hate working on it… I know it’s a bad problem to have.
This is one of the reasons I buy income-generating sites as opposed to starting a site from scratch.
However, I started this WP site because I really wanted to enter this niche and you do not usually see profitable WP sites for sale on the market (at reasonable multiples and within budget).
To ensure the site keeps up with conversion rate optimization (CRO), I decided to train a VA I’ve been working with. He is based in Vietnam.
My theory is if I can train up a few VAs to do CRO, then I can focus on high-level strategy on sites. I already have a VA that does article formatting and will train up one in CRO.
CRO includes the following at a minimum (in my opinion):
- Setup affiliate links (e.g., using Pretty Link plugin)
- Create and add Call To Action (CTA) buttons in articles
- Create and add Comparison Tables in articles
- Add affiliate links contextually within the article
If a VA can do these tasks, my sites can start to earn a little money to subsidize the costs for growth. Once the pages start to get much more traffic, then I can put more focus on those to really improve the CRO.
I never expect my VA to do the same level of CRO job that I would do. They are being used to get 80% of the work done; I do the remaining 20% when the time is right.
Full Cost Breakdown by Month
Here is a breakdown of my ongoing costs by month:
So I spent a total of $419.8 this month. To date, I’ve spent $1,731.63 with an initial domain cost of $4,000.
I am in the hole a total of $5,731.63.
- Continue researching keywords and adding content
- Register for affiliate programs in this niche
- Train the VA: most of my time will go into training the VA so he can format the articles with affiliate links, tables, and buttons. VA will CRO at least the top 15 pages getting the most traffic.
- Site redesign: I utilized the basic GeneratePress setup for the site. Now it’s time to customize the site by adding various features (e.g., author pages, floating widgets, related links, a new logo from Fiverr) to flesh it out.
The roadmap is fairly simple.
So far, the project is showing promise.
I am glad to be slowly getting away from low-commission product-based niches (e.g., Amazon sites). It’s soul-wrenching (at least for me) when you put in so many hours and you earn pennies on the dollar.
Caveat: Amazon Associate monetized sites are great for beginners. They are easy to get started on, easy to monetize, and easy to sell. I highly recommend beginners to get started on Amazon-based sites and over time branch into higher-paying programs.
Let me know if you have any questions!