This month’s report is only going to feature statistics for the most part. Why? I got married and went on a honeymoon! There was a lot of preparation and planning for my wedding which left no time to work on my niche website. When I wasn’t in wedding mode, I was busy finishing website projects and tying up loose ends for my clients. Hence the title of this latest Niche Dreams edition, The Auto-Pilot Month.
I’m sure many other niche site builders have similar situations where life happens and important events take priority. Reading other case studies, I even see that some people abandon their websites once they deem them completed. In my opinion, I don’t believe a website is ever truly finished. Like a plant, they grow and need to be cared for in order to truly blossom. Sure, a website can still rank after becoming stagnant, but you’d be missing out in increasing traffic if you’re not posting well-written content on a somewhat regular basis.
The way things were trending, I thought November was going to be a huge month in earnings and growth. The statistics would lead you to believe that if it weren’t for the dramatic drop in the most important one, Amazon sales. Some members in Niche Pursuits Facebook group have reported also having an abysmal month. This leads to speculation that Amazon is not accurately crediting sales. There is no definitive proof of this, and Amazon certainly hasn’t admitted as much. However, with the increase in traffic, clicks, and keyword rankings the lack of sales is perplexing.
Current Metrics and Statistics of my Niche Website
Trust/Citation Flow and Domain/Page Authority
No change in any domain statistics this month. Since I didn’t do any link building that was to be expected. Well, I take that back. I did have a guest post I wrote and published on a website with a reported 100k monthly unique visitors. This website is in English but is not a US-based website. It fits my niche, features good use of grammar and spelling, and did not cost a lot to advertise my guest post. Only $50 to be exact.
It hasn’t been a smooth process. There has been a lot of back and forth between myself and the editorial team. The different time zones and communicating solely through email have led to a slow process. In fact, even though my post has been published for over a week, I’m still waiting on a proper way to send payment through PayPal. I was given a merchant ID when all I need is an email address to send the money.
I’ve received very little in referral traffic from this website. That’s disappointing, but it wasn’t the primary reason I wanted to acquire a backlink. As explained in Climbing the Organic Keyword Mountain, the value I place on reported traffic of a website for backlink purposes is extremely high. My long-term goal for building backlink profiles is to have the majority of linking websites consist of medium-to-high volume traffic supplemented with links from Web 2.0 properties.
The 4,400 singular/plural keyword made some nice gains with the pluralized version coming close to cracking the top 20.
Not much movement for keyword rankings this month. However, since November was essentially an off month, I can’t really be too disappointed. The 4,400 volume keyword variation got a nice boost of about 10 spots from a month ago. Maybe if I can rank it on the first page of Google within the next two to three months, that particular product page will start converting into sales.
The 140 volume keyword is still by far the most successful one on the website. The low competition and inexpensive products result in the best selling category for my niche website. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it is earning me a ton of cash, but it is nice to have some consistency and reliability from one of my product categories.
Amazon Affiliate Earnings
A large gap in sales with decent average daily clicks led to an extremely frustrating November.
I truly believe something strange was going on with commissions for the month of November. The 8th and the 9th were huge days for earnings and then nothing until the 28th. In total, I earned $30.40 in fees. Traffic and clicks remained steady throughout the entire month so it was not a technical issue on my end. I also don’t think that those two days of relatively high commissions were earned in the day prior. Perhaps they were delayed from the span of a previous period?
Since another Niche Pursuit member brought the issue of a bad month in Sales in a post (and several commenters chimed in with similar claims), it is hard not to point the finger at Amazon for some sort of problem. A new global report dashboard was rolled out for affiliates and some people speculate that this might have caused a glitch in tracking orders.
Over the last week, things appear to be back on track and within the normal conversion percentages that I’ve been accustomed to since earning my first affiliate sale. As upsetting as it is not increasing my monthly earnings from the month before, I still have faith in the Amazon affiliate program. I haven’t lost sight of the fact that this is a journey and not a sprint. My website is a small fish in a very large pond and time, effort and patience is necessary to be successful.
Google Analytics Traffic
A slight increase in users despite losing a day and the spike in traffic at the end of October from an interview post.
Looking at the raw filter above shows a roughly 8% increase in users this month from the last. Since I’m only comparing calendar months and not the exact same number of days, one might expect a loss in users. The fact that nothing significant was done on the site should further emphasize that point.
There was no spike in traffic like there was at the end of October from my interview post. Instead, the average number of daily unique visitors has moved from the low 20’s to the high 20’s. When the filter for excluding myself and bots is applied, that increase jumps a couple of percentages to 10%.
In order to understand this better, a closer look at acquisition sources is needed. With the exclusion filter still applied, a 42% increase in organic Google traffic occurred. My site netted almost 100 users from October to November (222 to 317) which is very encouraging! Like many of you, my goal is to have the majority of traffic coming from the Google search results.
On a smaller scale, referrals from Pinterest increased over 100% going from 27 to 55 users. One of my pins took off for a brief period getting close to 10,000 impressions in the span of a few days! This was back in the very beginning of November as I haven’t posted or created any pins since then. Going forward, I’ll definitely be ramping up my efforts for sustaining a successful Pinterest campaign.
Wrapping Up Part 5 Of My Niche Dreams
That’s it?! Yep, sorry! Normally, I would be expanding upon certain things that were accomplished for this month. However, priorities in life took over and my affiliate site took a back seat for the month.
For December, I’ll be doing a lot of catch up on design and SEO work for clients. I hope to create some new content and roll out new strategies. Although, realistically, I expect to go full steam ahead in the new year once the holidays are over. At that point, the website (and this series) will hit the 6-month mark and hopefully eclipse $100 in earnings per month.
Since nothing too exciting in regards to my niche site happened this month, I figure, why not make things interesting for part 6?! I wanted to reach $500 a month in earnings before revealing my website, but that could be a while. So I’ll leave it up to you guys. Below is a poll on whether I should unveil the website or keep it a secret for now (the worst kept one!). As long as there are no voting shenanigans I’ll honor the results!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote another Niche Dreams post titled Climbing the Organic Keyword Mountain. Since many of you are following my monthly updates from Niche Pursuits, you've probably missed it....
I had high expectations of having another stellar month for commission earnings from Amazon. In last month's report, The Turning Point, I thought I had made a breakthrough. A couple of months in a row...