The Stats Behind My $2k Site Build

This site cost me $1965 to build and now makes almost $1,000 a month.

Here’s how I did it:

Quick Site Summary:

I found a low-authority site with less than ten pages ranking for a keyword with over 40,000 searches a month.

I decided to build something better to rank for that keyword and cash in on that traffic using display ads.

I finally got that number one position almost exactly a year after starting the site.

I managed this with a total spend of less than $2,000 & it now makes almost $1,000/month.

  • This site is in a very low competition *boring* niche.
  • 70% of traffic goes to one page which ranks for the big volume keyword (40k+/month) that I was hoping to rank for when I first started the site.
  • Total word count currently on the site is around 54,000 words.
  • The high-volume keyword articles are around 1,500 words, the majority of the remaining articles are between 4-700 words.

The Numbers:

MonthArticlesUsersTotal Revenue ($)
Oct 1922120
Nov 1932630
Dec 19423360
Jan 20525770
Feb 206210130
Mar 207227210
April 207268780
May 207298262.18
June 207512436162.43
July 207518527220.73
Aug 207521585321.83
Sept 207520646358.99
Oct 207728110425.27
Nov 208328201657.87
Dec 2085601401309.2
Jan 218531794738.44
Feb 218731359753.55
Mar 218941168942.84

Total Income:

Ezoic Earnings: $5726.89

Amazon earnings: $184.16

Other Affiliate Programs: $6.93

Total: $5917.98

Total Outgoings:

Content: $1620

Links: $200

Domain + Hosting: $100/year

Total: $1965

Rankings

I currently track 88 keywords for this site:

  • 50/88 rank in position one.
  • 67/88 are in the top 3.
  • 84/88 are on page one.

The reason it ranks so well isn’t because I’m a genius website builder (i’m really not) it’s simply because I found an extremely low competition niche and stuck at it.

The majority of those keywords have search volumes less than 500/month.

They can pretty much all be answered in one sentence which means I get a lot of featured snippets but not many clickthroughs.

Thankfully the high-volume keyword(s) require more than a sentence to answer fully.

Mistakes

One mistake I made with this site was to put one of the big volume articles on the homepage.

My thinking was that the homepage will get the most link authority so it’ll rank better.

I was wrong.

Partly because I barely built any links as they just weren’t necessary in such a low competition niche.

Also because while It did rank, it didn’t rank anywhere near as well as the other high-volume keyword which I set up as a normal post.

My home page article reached a high of position 6, in the meantime the other big volume keyword which was just a standard post climbed to position one.

I decided to move the homepage article and turn it back into a standard post.

You can’t redirect a homepage so I lost that page one ranking for about 4 months before Google finally worked things out.

Plans Going Forward:

I do plan on selling this site at some point, but before I sell it I’d like to do three things:

1. Get it on Mediavine

Traffic is trending strongly upwards over the last couple of weeks, if current traffic levels remain stable I should have the required 50,000 sessions before the end of April.

2. Get the 2nd High volume keyword to position 1

It’s currently in position 4, the bulk of the secondary articles are more related to the other keyword so I plan on adding another 20+ articles directly relating to that keyword to try and move it.

3. Add some affiliate articles

There aren’t a lot of products relevant to this niche but there are a few vaguely relevant product keywords I could try and rank for.

My site may not have sufficient relevancy/authority to rank for best/product-related search terms but I want to at least have a go just to make sure I’m not leaving money on the table.

Key Takeaways From This Site:

  • It is possible to make very good returns on a relatively small investment if you do good keyword research and are willing to explore boring topics.
  • Don’t be scared of high-volume keywords – you can make good money out of them.
  • One of the key ingredients to building a site is time. I barely did anything to this site between March & October, I only added 5 short articles. Yet during that time traffic grew by 10x…so don’t give up too soon!
  • It is important to be aware of the risks of building a site like this. If you make the bulk of your money from one or two main keywords you are at high risk of losing a lot of revenue if when ranking positions change. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are financially reliant on the revenue generated by the “one big keyword”.

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