Niche Site Case Study: Update 8 (Amazonaggedon Effects) • Skipblast

Niche Site Case Study: Update 8 (Amazonaggedon Effects)

Another three months have passed and it’s time to share how my case study sites are doing after the Amazon commission structure change. Spoiler alert: both case study sites are in Amazon categories that payout less than 5% for products 🙁

What’s Happened Since The Last Update?

If you’ve read the previous updates, then you know that I’m not actively working on site #2 right now as I’m choosing to focus on growing site #1. So, it’s been about six months since I’ve posted any new content on that site. This means that the earnings you see since December 2016 are completely passive due to my purposeful negligence on the site.

I have been adding new content to site #1 and I’m choosing to focus on money posts instead of informational content. Why? Two reasons – 1)Adding new money posts is an easy way to boost the income, 2)Due to my high number of informational posts my current earnings per visitor (EPV) is painfully low at just $0.09 per visitor for May.

For site #1, I have also been focusing on doing outreach to gain links via guest posting. That is going well and I’ve managed to add a total of eight new guest post links pointing at the site in May.

Case Study Sites Status

As previously mentioned, nothing new has been added to site #2, since site #1 has been getting all the love 🙂

Site #1: 

  • Number of posts live as of May 31 = 64 posts
  • Number of posts added since Feb 28th = 14
  • Niche: seasonal
  • Number of keywords per SEMrush: 3.3K
  • Backlinks: mixture of blog comments, web 2.0s, natural/editorial/guest post, and my PBNs
  • Content: mixture of outsourced and written by me
  • Income status: profitable

site1 semrush May

Site #2:

  • Number of posts live as of May 31 = 52 posts
  • Number of posts added since Feb 28 = zero
  • Niche: evergreen
  • Backlinks: mixture of editorial, guest posts, scholarship, and web 2.0s
  • Number of keywords per SEMrush: 3.8K
  • Content: 100% outsourced
  • Income status: profitable as of Feb. 28, 2017

site 2 semrush may

What’s interesting to note here is that the number of keywords went down for site #1 and up for site #2 (see last update’s numbers). I can also tell you that for site #1 I lost a featured snippet in late March for a good ‘best PRODUCT’ keyword that cause a dip in traffic and earnings. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful in reclaiming that featured snippet.

I’ve had some requests for more data on the two case study sites, so I’ve taken screen shots of each one from Google Analytics. What you see below covers the period of Jan 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017.

For site #1:

site 1 GA

For site #2:

site 2 GA

So, for those of you who requested this data – hope it’s all that you dreamed it would be! 😉

Case Study Sites Income

As you’ll see below, the Amazon commission decrease for my product categories is taking its toll on my income. You can also notice the drop in site #1’s income when I lost the featured snippet. Quite the decrease, eh?

Case Study Site #1 Income

  • April 2016: $14.19
  • May: $22.07
  • June: $185.11
  • July: $273.17
  • August: $390.37
  • September: $260.14
  • October: $339.17
  • November: $608.91
  • December: $1,266.01
  • January 2017: $532.15
  • February: $929.63
  • March: $876.39
  • April: $677.53
  • May: $684.64

Case Study Site #2 Income

  • March 2016: $0.02
  • April: $1.77
  • May: $2.26
  • June: $75.42
  • July: $156.37
  • August: $199.14
  • September: $196.08
  • October: $186.60
  • November: $371.08
  • December: $673.09
  • January 2017: $414.32
  • February: $342.79
  • March: $338.36
  • April: $329.70
  • May: $379.74

While these numbers are decent, I won’t lie and say that I’m happy with where site #1 is right now. Though I am happy that the commission decrease doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on site #2’s income.

Though I’m not happy about where site #1 is at with it’s earnings (especially considering my income goal), I’m not really all that worried about it. Site #1 still has around 70 product categories for me to make money posts about, so I’m still confident that I can get the earnings up. Plus, I’m working on getting new backlinks for the site, which will help boost rankings and income. Mostly I’m just annoyed that it’s going to take me a bit longer to reach my income goals for the site.

And, thus far, I’ve had little to no luck with my attempts as using other affiliate programs on site #1. So, I’ll still be tweaking that and seeing if I can get some diversification going on.

What’s To Come With This Case Study?

Though it’s really boring, my focus right now is on adding more money posts to site #1 and getting more “white hat” backlinks for site #1. And, I keep testing new changes on my money post that lost the featured snippet. Hopefully one of the changes I make will help me get it back soon since my highest trending month for it is approaching. Honestly, I’d really love to hit my income goals sooner rather than later cause I really hate the niche of site #1 and don’t want to work on it!

I’m also considering starting a brand new site in a different niche with my students that is completely white hat from the start. If you’re interested in that follow-along, then you’ll want to get on my email list (link in sidebar) to be notified when I open my course again (sometime in the next couple of months). Students who are in my Insider Facebook group will see the actual live site and everything that I do with the site from the start. Currently I’m only offering access to the Facebook group for students in levels two and three of the course.

Got something else you wanna know about the two case study sites above? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see if I can include it next time (or just give you the answer below).

P.S. A quick shout out to Tim Gouw for this CC0 license photo at Pexels that shows just how I feel about site #1’s income levels!

Other updates to this case study:

Shawna

Hey, I'm Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok and (currently) Las Vegas. I share how I do some of that on this website.

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10 thoughts on “Niche Site Case Study: Update 8 (Amazonaggedon Effects)”

  1. Congrats! To me, both of your sites look great in terms of traffic and earnings, both of them likely to increase in the coming months.

    May i ask you something in the motivation standpoint? How do you keep yourselves motivated to write this many articles (other than the ones outsourced + you have your own sites in parallel)?

    How many hours do you work on your site(s) per day? Would you mind sharing your workflow?

    Thanks for the update!

    • Thanks, David!

      The easy answer is that I never want to be forced to return to a cubicle job again. Of course, once my sites started making 10K+/mo regularly, it was easy for me to get a little lazy. So, since I love to travel, I started using it as sort of a reward system – 3 months of good hustle and I go to Europe or somewhere else that interests me. I’ve been hustling extremely hard the past few months, which is why I’m about to take 3 weeks off to do a National Park road trip 🙂 But if I get too far off track with my work for a long period, then I don’t get that “reward.” You can do this with anything though – reward yourself with new gear for your favorite hobby, or a weekend winery tour, new Lego set, concert tickets, or whatever you’re into. I know one of the Authority Hacker guys has a similar system where if he doesn’t meet his productivity goals, then he has to donate $1000 to a charity that is 100% against his beliefs 🙂

      I normally work at least 6 days/week most of the time. I get started by 11am and end by 6pm (with breaks for lunch and coffee). Sometimes my “work” is listening to industry podcasts and reading SEO articles to keep myself educated on the latest things in the industry – so I’m not creating content or sites every single day. A few months ago I created a system where I work on my five most important sites as my core focus. (I have almost 30 sites earning, but I focus on two I’m closest to being ready to sell and three that I’m growing for the long term). I also have 3 sites that I work on with partners. I have a list of keywords for each site and I start with one site, get content up, then move to the next site, and so on. Some of the sites are 100% outsourced so all I’m doing is formatting and posting content, others I prefer to write on own. Basically, I have each site written on an index card and when I sit down at my desk, whatever card is on top is the site that I work on, then that card goes to the back when I’m done. It’s a simple system, but I find that it’s what works best for me cause I used to get overwhelmed as to which site was most important to work on when I sat down.

      I didn’t mean to basically write a small blog post in response, but I hope my ramblings answer your questions! Let me know if I didn’t though 🙂

      • Oh Shawna, that was impressive.. TBH, this was the kind of reply that I desired for, but i was so doubtful about that since you have no reason to spend your time explaining it all.

        You have indeed much more on your plate than I thought. It’s quite impressive for someone of your age to cram in those hours like that 😛

        Drive, that is!!! Keep up the great work. Thank you very much…

        • haha, wait a minute now, I think you’re calling me old! I’m not even 40…yet 😛 Good luck with your sites 🙂

          • Oops!! Double Oops!!! For some reason, that pic of yours made me think you are well over 40
            (That was the dumbest comment ever in the history of blogging.. Spoiled the first-impression. Eww!! 😛 )

  2. This is my first time reading your work and I’m so in love with you or your work, not sure. My first site is struggling but reading this post has renewed my determination and I don’t know why, so Thank you!
    PS: I cannot afford to pay for your consulting service right now but the moment I have cash to spare, I ‘ll be reaching out to you.

    • Hi Sunday, Thanks for the kind words! Working on sites can be de-motivating since it takes a while for them to start earning a lot of the time. Keep adding content and working on it, and eventually you should start to see some results. And I got your email and will let you know when my course re-opens. I think it will probably be the better value for you instead of the coaching. Best of luck and talk soon!

  3. Great article. Happy to see how the gurus keep on it because it motivates a beginner like me to keep on it for the long haul.

    • Hi Daniel, happy to see that I’m helping to keep you motivated! It can be a grind for sure, but it’s all worth it for the freedom.

  4. You are doing absolutely great Shawna! I was just searching for someone who is doing a case study on amazon (currently) and saw yours. Thank you for sharing. The scholarship links is what I will be looking to implement on my own niche site case study.
    keep grinding.

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