Building on the momentum in 2016 I had with my third site, I put all my focus into this one and started seeing some real results.
I also had some luck with landing a guest post from a trusted Authority in my niche in March.
Later in the year I took a class on link building which really helped things take off.
Take a look below as I get into the details.
- Adsense – $72.17
- Amazon – $1,473.57
- Amazon UK – £10.44
- Amazon CA – CDN 57.67
- Total – $1,613.85
In February I started seeing regular sales on Amazon from my third site that I was focusing on and they doubled for several months in a row.
This also correlated with the traffic increases I was seeing.
It seems my site broke out of the sandbox and the rankings started climbing.
In February I had been reading about building links to increase rankings and I had sent out a few guest post request emails.
To my amazement, one of the guys I had reached out to (who had a DA 40 site!) said he would take a look at my post!
After a few back and forth emails he committed to posting it…but I had to wait until March 3rd.
As you can see from my analytics, that is when my traffic really started taking off.
Now, whether that was from the guest post or jumping out of the sandbox, only Google knows that!
As the year went on I was seeing steady growth and even ranking for a few bigger keywords but around July the growth slowed, which I expected.
Having feeling a little more confident and seeing how long it took to get consistent sales, I started a fourth site in June in hopes that it would start getting decent traffic for the November/December shopping season.
I signed up for a class in August that taught link building. I knew I needed more than a couple guest posts to see success.
The class was intense but they gave us spreadsheets to keep and included standard operating procedures that were really easy to follow.
You could even hire a VA or freelancer to fill them out if you had the money for it, allowing you to scale your link building process.
In the class I earned about 20 new links and the growth came back by September. In October, I had over $400 in sales!
Immediately following the class I repeated all of the exact steps for the fourth site and again, grabbed about 20 links for it. Traffic was growing and I had made a couple sales.
The class was starting to pay for itself and I was pumped.
- Domain registrations – $29.98
- Hosting – $359
- Professional Fees – $2,228.25
- Themes – $146.95
- Software – $340.83
- Advertising – $89
- Total – $3,194.01
OK so I had purchased a domain for my fourth site and another one for an idea I had but have done nothing with yet.
Like I mentioned in the last report, my hosting will only be $359 a year going forward, it renewed in September.
As to the elephant in the room…what the hell did I spend over $2,000 on professional fees?!?
When my sales were stalling out around $200 a month, I was constantly wondering how I could scale.
In the class I took they offered a small tidbit on using Upwork to hire freelance writers including a job description template as well as how much to pay.
This was all I needed to get started.
So $997 of that was the class I took and the rest was I began aggressively hiring writers to pump out content, especially for my fourth site that was pretty new.
I don’t have an exact count but I probably paid for around 60 articles between August and October.
Since my sales weren’t really there yet I used a credit card, faithfully believing, “if I build it, they will come!”
Well, while October, was my best month yet, I really needed to have a $1,000 month in November to justify the money I was spending!
Especially according to my wife!
Moving on to other expenses
I noticed many of my competitors were using a premium theme called Genesis. After doing my home work I went ahead and paid for it.
Was it worth it?
Yes! The functionality of it is great and it allows you to accomplish many things without the use of additional plugins which keeps your site nice and fast.
Plus, once you buy it you can use it on as many sites as you want so that helped justify the cost.
As to the software, Long Tail Pro renewed, and I was also using Genius links for a couple months ($9/month) to take advantage of the different countries on Amazon .
However, Amazon came out with their own One Link (free) so Genius was no longer necessary and I was able to stop paying for that.
I was paying for some high DA link directory sites ($8.9 per month) after reading about them somewhere.
Was it worth it?
I don’t think so, I have not signed up for these with my fourth site and it has been the fastest earner so far.
If anything, they may have helped my pages index in Google faster.
The link building class was not only great for learning three solid techniques to build links, but I also learned how to effectively use Upwork to outsource my writing.
Persistence is key! When my third site hit the six month mark the traffic really started climbing. Hopefully, my fourth site will follow the same path.