Site #1 Stats:
Niche: Health Care / Holistic
The original baby that started it all! Like many enthusiastic people, I too got into affiliate marketing for the passive$$$. I saw that some guy was making thousands of dollars from living on a beach somewhere while I was slaving away at my 9 to 5. So figured why not?!
~3 years (Aug 2016). Brand new domain, exact match domain with main KW – 12K/month.
Reason for choosing this niche:
Beginners move, lack of proper knowledge on keyword research. I picked the main KW based on the monthly searches and KW difficulty defined by the Longtail Pro ,I believe Spencer Haws had still owned this tool when I was using it( In reality I was competing with DA >50 on top 10 SERPS). Did all the due diligence ,read all the guru sites and decided I needed a huge home page article.
This being my first site and eager to make that passive $$$, I got the best of the best. Got me a 2 year Hostgator hosting ($560), Domain and Privacy ($24.99), studio press unlimited life time access($240), home page content from iwriter ($120 – 6K word), Longtail PRO (~$150),Site scanner and SiteBack ups ( $89), WP expert t setup and post my articles ($125).
All in all I was $1309.99 in red before I even had my site up.
Goal: Make $100-$200 /month
At this point I was still a newbie and was a frequent reader of all the guru blogs and success stories from reddit. So like a typical newbie I got cocky,started focusing on number of words on a site than quality of the content.
Note: At this point, I had no knowledge of on-page or off-page SEO, all I knew was to get my site to 50K words in review articles and info articles, then put affiliate links and boom passive money!
More content every week ~$600
To me link building meant scraping google to find do-follow blog comments. After a while of doing some crappy job, I hired a VA ($560). She did her thing and there was no anchor KW or anything just random links and random words hyperlinked.
Then came directories, paid directories ($25) ,social media ($100) and blah blah of non hyped up garbage link building methods for free.
Eventually, google started de-indexing my pages and I lost interest in the site as I had no traffic and tons of work and no money.
So it was abandoned.
Cost so far: $2595 in 15 months
ROI : $0
Update: March 2018
Basically two years later I’ve learned some new tricks and stuff, so I decided to reboot this site.
Challenges with the site:
- Site speed
- KW cannibalization
- Images are not optimized and no ALT
- No On-Page or Off-Page SEO
- No Social Fortress
- Bad Spammy links
- No Organic traffic
- Rebuild the site with clean framework : It was housed on genesis frame work but still lacking in speed, so I switched up the theme to Generate Press, adjusted the cache mechanisms and it boosted the site loading speed to under 2 seconds.
- Remove cannibalized articles competing with main KW: Bit of on-page and off-page SEO process involved.
- Image were optimized and ALT description added: I used image optimizer (helped the speed as well) and added the ALT desc for SEO purpose.
- Social pages were created with FB,Pintrest,Twitter and G+
- Spammy links disavowed.
- Link building with proper guest posts and some PBN’s: Little bit more complex than just throwing the links but rather make sure you have proper anchor KW ratio. There are good articles written up about them, google them.
Cost to reboot: $45
haha two years of failures with Affiliate marketing had thought me to do things well with out spending $$$.
Results As Of 10/1/2018:
- ROI: $15 for 6 months on Google Adsense.
- Organic Traffic : There was spike in mid july but it was brought down to 20/month.
- It still jumps around for some KW, it needs more link building and juice. But google “EAT” and latest update made us pull the plug on this site, as there were site that had potential to make more money and in season. May be we visit in the future if we’re bored.
Reasons for failure:
- SEO wise this site has issues with too many shitty pbn links to disavow and keyword cannibalization, which caused most of the KW to get stranded on page 2. Since there are around 80 articles ,it is just not worth spending more time and resource on this site.
- Strictly from a monetization point of view and no ROI , it just sucks. I wish I could make some money but SEO wise I screwed it up so much that it’ll take 3 times the effort to disavow, rebuild, rewrite the articles.
Total Cost : $2640 – $15 = $2625
- Proper thorough KW Research and competitors research will help you avoid all the pain in the ass scenarios in the future.Spend as much time as possible in this phase!!
- If you’re starting off, conserve your funds and do a test run on small sites.Learn quick and fail fast!
- If you can afford,then try out a course or two to get the proper ropes.
- Don’t believe the hype! some of these people making $$$$ passive got there after numerous trails and tribulations. There are few that got lucky on first try but don’t count on it, especially with SEO.