I haven’t written on RankXL in a long time – almost 3 weeks. But it’s with good reason. I’m really excited to announce here that I crushed my goal of $10k/month in January (final figures at end of post). It’s an amazing feeling achieving a goal I set for the entire 2015 in just the first month. And it also shows you that you can still crush it with blogging, and that SEO is still very profitable.
It’s also kind of a weird feeling. I’m not going to lie. It’s a bit of a weird feeling. Bittersweet almost. I started the year with this giant overwhelming motivation to reach this goal and work my butt off to get to it. And to be honest, I reached it without doing any work (at least since the time that I set this goal).
The leap was the result of one of my biggest blogs hitting the top spots for its main keywords. The content, links, and all other work towards it was done back in November.
Okay, so I hit my goal. Now what?
I started this year with a bunch of set timelines for new projects that I wanted to start. In January alone, I had originally planned to build out at least 2 new blogs in some pretty competitive niches. I also planned a complete makeover for some of my older blogs that weren’t really running at their full potential.
But I soon found out that would all have to be put on hold. That it would be stupid of me not to take full advantage of this situation. Reaching the top spot for this giant keyword put forth a LOT of very good things in motion, and this has the potential to get very lucrative.
Here’s what happened in January.
My Biggest Keyword Ever Hit the Top Spot for the Main Keywords
In August of 2014, I launched a new blog with my eyes set on a a few very high search volume keywords. The main keyword alone was estimated to get 245,000 searches per month according to Google’s Keyword Planner. If you take into consideration the top 5 related phrase searches (other ways of typing in the search term) it added up to close to a million searches – 745,000 according to my estimations.
That’s not even taking into consideration any longer-tailed searches!
At the beginning of January, I noticed a sudden spike in traffic to the site. The main keyword, which was bouncing around the second page for the last two months finally hit #1, and all other similar phrase searches were in the top 5.
For the rest of January, traffic exploded and it took my Adsense earnings to a whole new level. The blog brought in 578,827 unique visitors and earned $8,236.51. It was definitely my biggest earner for the month.
578,827 visitors is still low compared to my initial expectations and I expect it will rise naturally over the next few months as the site gets more attention in the search engines.
Why the sudden jump in rankings?
I ran a soft link building campaign involving a lot of social links at the end of December. That may be what pushed it up. But I did most of the heavy link building in November, so it’s difficult to say for sure.
I’ll get to the link building process of this site in a future post, as it’s kind of different than what I did for a lot of my other blogs. Because the keyword is so competitive, I tried a lot of different strategies and they worked.
Taking Advantage of Domain Authority & Brand Power
It’s a funny thing to see these days. When you hit #1 for a big keyword, it’s like Google suddenly welcomes your entire domain into its embracing arms and says: “Welcome.”
Suddenly, your site gets found for so many different long-tail searches you never saw before in your analytics. Your inner pages that used to only get a few views per day gets hundreds and even thousands of views per day. Even my CPC went up drastically.
But it does make sense since Google is all about showing results from trusted authority websites now more than ever before. It’s the reason authority sites are more profitable now than ever, too.
So I took advantage of it. Big time
January was all about pumping out content and expanding the site in a lot of different directions. I brainstormed a bunch of different sub-topics I can write about.
The more content I can produce now, the better.
Because I have a lot of domain authority, any new post will get a lot of ranking power instantly without me doing anything else for it. I have an edge over other sites that might be just starting out and needing to be doing heavier link building campaigns.
So I branched out into 3 other categories related to my main niche, and I had 60 articles scheduled for each of them, once per day for the next 2 months. That’s 3 new articles per day on the site!
It took a LOT of my time. But, I know I’ll see exponential growth in the traffic figures over the next few months.
Purchasing a Competitor’s Site
The second thing I did in January was I bought a competitor’s website. This was a complete private deal without the use of any third party site like Flippa. The site was hanging around page 3 for most of the big keywords, and had a lot of great links and great content, but absolutely zero SEO was done on it. On-site structure was absolutely terrible.
My feeling was that fixing the on-site SEO, building a few links, and bulking up the content would easily bring this blog ranking next to my own blog.
The site was old. The design was old. It looked like it was built in the 90’s. The owner was also fairly old school, and had no clue about SEO. He just had a nice hobby site built a long time ago and it was just sitting there and getting a lot of traffic.
To get the deal done, I simply contacted him, and asked if he would be interested in selling the site.
He had Adsense ads on the site so we did have some incoming revenue to base a price range on. I ended up purchasing it for $1500! A complete steal considering the potential value I can see myself growing this blog up to.
I am so excited about this deal, and I really consider it one of my best website purchases.
Seeing from my own site, I know that the niche is extremely profitable and has a lot of room for growth. Also, he had some really good links from eHow and Life Hacker and other really big sites.
Plans to Dominate the Niche
I didn’t buy this blog to simply re-direct it to my own site or to just use it as a backlink. No, I’m going to rank this blog along with my own and just dominate this niche and squeeze every bit of traffic out of it that I can. I found a great niche that I can dominate fairly easily so why not capitalize on it?
So that’s basically what I’ve been doing for January. Hopefully, now you can see why it took so long for me to write an update here. It’s been very busy.
I have really high expectations for February. The next few months are going to snowball and I project February to be my highest earning month ever, and March to be even higher after that.
Of course, there are other factors like CPC which can vary greatly, but I think the level of traffic increase will more than make up for any CPC swings.
So here’s the total income numbers for the month of January.
Blogging Income: $13,939.47
Last Month: $4118.98
It was a big jump for sure, and it was so exciting to earn 5 figures in a single month for the first time.
The best part is, I don’t see any reason for it to slow down at the moment. I definitely don’t see it as a short-term spike. This is not some viral hit traffic spike. It’s steady organic traffic from Google. And as long as I do my SEO and link building right, it will be right up there for the long haul.
What Will I be Working on in February?
For sure, I’m going to be continuing to build out the blogs (now 2 of them after the purchase) in this niche. I already have posts scheduled to go out for the next 2 months, so it’s going to be more brainstorming on sub-niches I can expand the site on.
I think I’m going to have to put my plans for creating new websites on hold for now and just really build out this site into a monster.
Also, of course I’m going to have some fun getting this new purchased website ranked as well. I don’t think it will take too much time as it’s already got good content and good links. I just need to build a few more links, refine the content, and do a complete site makeover starting with the on-site SEO.
In a few months time, I should have 2 blogs dominating this giant niche and that will really take my IM game to another level.