Project Tartarus Case Study: Update #1 | Skipblast

Project Tartarus Case Study: Update #1

Month two of this site just recently wrapped, and I must say that things are going quite well so far.

I wasn’t able to devote as much time to the site as I did during the first month, so the gains are mostly a result of month one’s efforts.

And the fact that I’m building this site on an awesome aged domain I got at Odys. (this link gets you a 100 USD/EUR welcome bonus)

Still, I think you’ll be surprised with how things are progressing. Quick reminder, here’s last month’s update.

So, let’s just jump right in, shall we?

**And as always, I’m an affiliate marketer and this post probably contains affiliate links, meaning I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Month Two

I went into month two just a wee bit nervous as traffic was heading down and I was afraid I’d started this case study prematurely.

Luckily, I was wrong and things took a nice upward trend for the month.

case stidy analytics

As you can see, that’s a considerable jump in sessions compared to the previous 30 days. And I am stoked.

That one big spike that you see was Google testing out the site in a few new featured snippets.

Then I lost the top two again. No worries though.

ahrefs top 3 positions alert

Hopefully, I’ll end up securing that one again. But right now, I’m not even worrying about that. Instead I’m still focused on getting content up ASAP.

So, the only new work done to this site in month #2 was content. Oh, and keyword research + competitor research.

I’m not even thinking about link building since this site is built on a strong auction domain.

Content is still 100% focused on informational titles, but one of those articles did lend to the placement of a single Amazon affiliate link.

I don’t think Amazon is going to be the best affiliate program for this site, but it’s what I’m using for now.

BUT – this site has already earned income from a sale on Amazon. Crazy, eh?

All from a single link in a single informational article.

What’s worth noting here though is that these gains are the result of the effort put in during month one. I was hustling like crazy then and you can see the rewards in the traffic graph above and the surprise affiliate monies.


Month Two Summary

Since I didn’t spend as much time on this site in month two as I did in month one, you’ll notice that I’ve still got a decent amount of my original $5,000 budget left.

Here’s how the second month of this new site looked:

  • Traffic: 2.8K sessions
  • New Published Posts: 20 (of which 14 were outsourced)
  • Total spent this month: $641.42 ($3,538.02 to date)
  • Per article average cost of outsourced content: $45.10 this month ($40.22 to date)
  • Total published words to date: 87,937
  • Average word count per article: 1,383
  • Income: $6.36 this month
  • Links built: 0
  • New natural links: 0

So, the income was a surprise, especially since there’s only one affiliate link on the entire site so far.

My goal for myself was to double the number of live articles in month two, but you can see that didn’t happen. Ideally, I’d like to hit 100 live articles by the end of the year.

How many articles am I trying to reach for this site?

Well, my keyword spreadsheet has over 300 keywords for articles right now. And I still have competitors to analyze and mine for keywords, so I expect that list of keywords to grow a lot.


Did you miss how this case study started? Get caught up at the beginning here.

8 thoughts on “Project Tartarus Case Study: Update #1”

  1. Awesome case study Shawna!
    In the previous month’s write up you mentioned that you don’t outsource the content entirely?
    Care to share how you find writers and if you write some of the content yourself?

    • Hi Asen,

      I was using a longtime writer that I found on UpWork years ago with a combination of Writer Access – I used the general pool mostly, but did find a few great writers and make a team of them for direct work. And I haven’t announced this yet, but I’ve just hired Niche Website Builders to create buyer guides (though I haven’t gotten anything back from them yet). And finally, yes I do write some of the content myself. Though I’d say 90% – 95% of this site has been outsourced.

  2. Hi Shawna,

    May I ask if you earned $6.36 from the ads? If so, which ad network were you using? I know all of them require some sort of minimum monthly traffic and how did you overcome it?

    Thank you

  3. Hi Shawna,

    What instructions do you give the writers and what is your editorial process like when you receive content from them? Do you review it or just publish it as-is?

    Does WriterAccess upload it or you do that?

    • I give them an outline, so basically the H2s, H3s, etc. And I always at least skim the articles. I’m not sure if Writer Access offers uploading content, but I just do it myself when I get stuff back from their writers.

  4. Hi Shawna,

    How do you make it sure that your writers are giving you fresh content and the content you received is not copy paste thing from your writers.

    • That’s a tricky one because it’s easy to get around Copyscape. That being said, I do use Copyscape and Grammarly’s plagiarism checker. And checking out the results on the first few pages of Google to see if anything looks familiar in the content submitted by the writer.


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