Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Niche Website Profit Report

Profitable Pets?
My pets-themed niche website, which I started just over two years ago, is doing very well so far. It always picks up in the spring and summer months and slows down considerably in the winter. March earnings are outpacing last month, so I'll be sure to report on it again in April. But I thought I would share my income sources for the site in case it would be helpful to anyone working on niche sites for residual income.

Pets Niche Site Earnings in February 2011
  • Google Adsense:                                                            $373.11
  • Clickbank ebook sales commissions                               $60.09
  • Amazon book & product sales commissions                   $20.10
Total                                                                                         $453.30
    When I say "pets theme," I'm being intentionally vague as to the exact niche. It's a site on a specific type or breed of pet, and my url is a three-word well-searched keyword phrase in that niche. Currently, I have 22 content pages (articles with unique urls) published on the site.

    Encouraged by my pet site's success thus far, I've made it one of my top priorities for this spring. I'd love to have it earning $1,000 a month this time next year. To that end, I have some work to do.

    Niche Site Plans and Goals
    • Site redesign: I built this site on a free template back when I was brand new to website creation. Seriously, the site is not pretty, and its template is a bit bulky and problematic to work with. Whether I buy a quality template or hire a designer to create me something practical and attractive, this is one of my top priorities for the site. 
    • More content: Its earnings are impressive for having a couple dozen pages, so adding more content both to improve my readers' experience and to add income possibilities is a no-brainier.
    • Forum posting: I have a profile on a niche-specific forum and need to increase my posting there to drive traffic and create backlinks to my site.
    • Social media interaction: Adding a Facebook Like button is one thing I'm hoping to implement and currently researching. 
    Are you building residual income through niche sites, or planning to start? What are you working on this week?

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Strong Google Adsense Earnings

      There's been a good deal of chatter in the online writing world regarding Google's recent algorithm change, which basically penalized sites with low-quality content and gave more search engine favor to sites with original, high-quality material. Places like, and numerous "content farms" with duplicate content, PLR articles, spun articles and other cheap content saw their traffic suffer and even nosedive.

      Conversely, websites with good and excellent quality control and all original material received a boost from the changes. My own niche site on pets was one of these -- its Adsense earnings for March are stronger than ever. My total Adsense for March is projected to be my highest month to date and should close at $700 or more. I'm still working on my goal to get that up to $1,000 a month by the end of the year.

      How can online writers, especially those working to build up their residual income through niche sites and blogs, stay on Google's good side? What do you need to know to "write for Google"?

      Don't write for Google. 

      That's the simplest way to put it. Your website, whether monetized with adsense units, affiliate links, paid ads or a combination of these and other models, should have its audience (real live humans) as the primary focus when creating content, not Google (the robots).

      Is your site helpful? Funny? Informative? Will the people who find your blog based on the keywords you're targeting find what they need -- whether its information, resources, product reviews -- if they land on your site?

      Do you publish only original, creative, quality material, whether it's written by yourself or a paid freelancer? You should be -- for the sake of your readers and for your own success. I have never paid for PLR articles (the ones sold in packs to multiple buyers who then tweak them to make them "different"). I have never "spun" articles myself or with a program to turn copied content into something "unique." About 95% of my content, including the articles I post on article directory sites, was written by me. I've paid for a few articles but only from US-based freelance writers.

      Ensuring the best of quality control on your site, in addition to a pleasing template and tasteful ads and links, is the best thing you can do for your online business and to increase your residual income. Position your sites so that these quality control checks by Google and other search engines improve your ranking and boost your earnings, not the opposite.

      Did Google's changes affect you, for good or bad? What's your strategy to improving your online residual income?