March was pretty a laid back month for me. I took a small break from blogging and didn’t really do much work. That doesn’t mean nothing was done for my blogs. Content was already written and scheduled for the month, and everything was set in place so that I could take some time away without having to worry about anything.
I’ve worked so hard on my blogs for the first two months of this year, and I felt it was time to step back for a bit and prevent myself from burning out. I do a lot of the work myself without outsourcing (except for content) that it can get pretty intense at times.
I still check traffic daily and make sure that all sources are performing well, especially search.
What happened in March?
My big blog crossed 800k visitors for the first time this month, an all time high for this blog and any other blog I’ve built in my life. Total is 804,370 unique visitors with over a million and a half page views. I can safely assume that by the end of the first half of this year, I’ll have had my first million visitor month.
Apart from getting to $10,000/month, that’s always been a big goal of mine: to run a big blog that gets a million visitors per month.
It hasn’t been a major increase from the 779,193 unique visitors it brought in last month, but traffic is rising steadily now as it continues to bring in more long-tail traffic.
The strategy of continuously pumping out more content and using my site’s established authority to rank for long-tail terms is working, and traffic keeps rising every month. This is why I love the authority blog model so much. Once it’s up and running, it becomes so much easier to grow and scale the business.
Adsense income hit a new record as well, and I’ve also added a new income stream for the site which I’ll discuss in a minute.
First, I want to touch on a question that I’m hearing a lot these days.
A note about CPC
This is a topic I’m seeing quite a bit these days, and it’s something that new Adsense users should keep in mind. At the beginning of a new niche site, your CPC will not be as high as it’s supposed to be.
I hear it all the time: I have a website in X niche and get X amount of traffic. Why is my CPC so low?
At the beginning of a site’s life, don’t stress out about CPC. It will get to where it’s supposed to be once you establish some credibility. It’s just the way it works.
If it wasn’t, then you would see people throw up sites all the time in the insurance and legal niche, plaster it with ads, throw a bunch of traffic at it, and thrive off of $20 clicks.
Think of it this way: Your site needs to be high quality and actually be worth something to advertisers. At the end of the day, Adsense is just a network where Adwords advertisers can place ads on your site without having to deal with you directly. If it’s a low quality site with low quality content, then don’t complain if your CPC is low.
So until your grow the site into something actually useful, don’t pay so much attention to those puny 8 cent clicks and get stressed out about it.
Just keep working on your blog, and know it will start earning in the future.
For the first time, I had someone contact me privately to place advertising on my site. I have no experience in selling private advertising and have dealt with all ad placements using Adsense in the past.
I have a really well placed ad block within my content and they wanted to purchase that one. Their business was relevant to my site and they gave me a mockup of their ad, and it looked professional.
However, the financial proposal wasn’t high enough where I estimated it would exceed what I would make if I put Adsense in that position.
The ad block gets a lot of clicks, and it would be more profitable for me to stay with Adsense for that one.
Therefore, I ended up selling an ad spot in the header of the site. There’s now a leaderboard ad right next to the logo, which I never use for Adsense anyway, so it was win-win.
I wouldn’t have to replace any existing Adsense positions, and it would add another income stream for the site.
Purchased Blog Finally Gets Going
When you have 2 blogs in the same niche, it can get quite systematic to produce the content. It’s pretty much a replica of my original blog – in terms of targeted keywords.
Keywords are targeted based on my best performing pages on my original site, and content is similar but completely re-worded and re-formatted.
That being said, I was finally able to get some work done on it this month, and it’s finally starting to gain some momentum.
Just a brief update for anyone who may not have read the past post when I discussed it. After my own blog started doing really well, I purchased a competitor’s blog in the same niche competing for the same keywords.
It’s been sitting around ever since I bought it, but I finally put up a new design, revamped the on-site SEO, and structured the site similar to my own site. I added a few backlinks, including from my own site, and rankings for the main keywords jumped shortly after, most of them sitting just at the bottom of the first page.
I also added a bunch of new content, taking keywords from my own site. I took the most visited pages from organic search from my own site, and targeted new pages on the purchased blog around them.
I haven’t seen a big traffic spike like I have for my own site yet, but hopefully that will come soon as I do more heavy link building to the site, and continue adding more content.
First guest post
I’ve been following Hayden and his team long before I started RankXL, so it was really cool to be able to write a piece for their blog.
March’s Income Report
Okay, so now on to the income report.
Here’s the total income numbers for the month of March.
Blogging Income: $14,774.09
Last Month: $11,541.86
Everything is growing steadily so that’s a good sign.
The purchased blog helped out a lot in reaching this record month, and it’s so awesome to dominate a niche and actually feel like you’re #1 with no real close contenders.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me if it’s just one blog I operate that brings in this much money.
The one big blog does bring in close to 90% of this total income, and I have about 10 others that bring in the rest. In total, I have about 30 more smaller ones that I have stopped working on, but are still getting a fair amount of traffic.
I’m currently in the process of selling almost all of these off on Flippa.
What will I do in April?
Starting new blogs
In April, I’m just going to continue what I’m doing and work on my existing blogs. Nothing exciting to report here.
I have a few new blogs that I have planned to get started, but they’re really big projects and I want to get started on them when I’ll actually have the time to work on them.
April is one of the busiest months for me personally so it’s not the best time to be diving into new projects.
I’ll leave it aside for May.
Continuing to grow my big blog
My big blog has already been expanded now to 4 additional categories. There’s not nearly as many posts in each topic as I would like but it’s getting there.
I’ve written the content for all of them targeting the biggest keywords, and need to do a little bit more backlinking to these pages specifically because they’re pretty competitive keywords.
I also need to start filling them with posts and taking over the SERP’s for long-tail keyword searches.
Which brings me to my next point.
Choose branded domains to take advantage of authority
This is one of the biggest reasons I advocate choosing branded domains for your blogs.
If you plan to grow them out into authority blogs, which I always recommend, then choose branded domains knowing this is a strong possibility from the start.
I still see people talk exact match domains, but it’s really useless now to go after them. Choose branded, always. It’s more professional, and it allows you to target a wider variety of topics.
When your blog really starts gaining momentum and authority, it becomes so profitable to pump out content. Most of my new posts jump to the first page for long-tail keywords as soon as they’re published.
Of course, they’re not insanely competitive terms – but it’s something that can’t be done with a brand new blog and should be taken full advantage of when you reach that level.
For example, if my site was named something like “bestkitchendesigns.com” it wouldn’t make much sense if I started talking about front porch renovations and garage organization.
Even if I were planning to focus only on kitchen designs for a while, I would still name my site something more along the lines of blissfullhome.com or hometobe.com. I have no clue if those domains are available, they’re just used for example’s sake.
Obviously, you won’t be able to expand the blog to hundreds of pages in various categories for a long time to come. It takes a long time to grow out a site to hundreds or thousands of pages. Unless you’re a 100 person team or have employees to help you, it’s just not possible.
Still, consider it a long-term project and plan for it in the long-run.
Writing more on RankXL
Getting back to what I’ll be working on in April.
I’ll also be committing myself to writing more on RankXL.
I don’t update this blog nearly enough as I should be. I have close to 20 posts in draft at the moment.
I also get a lot of emails with specific questions on how to do things, and they’re usually great questions. Sometimes the responses get over 500 words long.
For some of these questions, I’ll be writing about them here on the blog so that everyone can learn from them. That allows me to get into more detail and provide a better resource on the topic.
If there’s anything you want me to write about specifically, you can always contact me and leave a short note.