March 25, 2022 0 884

24 Months Timeline of a Niche Website — $0 to $8 290 Monthly Revenue

Own the Yard is a one-stop site for backyard ideas, backyard product reviews, and a place to help build the best backyard experience possible. Spencer Haws is the creator of the site. He is an affiliate marketer. This site is a niche website that generates monthly income via affiliate programs and advertisements. How did he do it? What were the initial monthly incomes? In this article, we are going to show you how Spencer built this website from zero.

Initial Objectives 

  • To start seeing real passive income earning after 3 months.
  • Start earning $500 per month after 6 months. 
  • Over time, start making $5 000+  per month. 

September 2018 (1st Month)

20 articles so far were published and the earning is $0. The domain name was purchased in August 2018. The whole month was dedicated to creating the website and installing all necessary plugins. A quick check at Godaddy, a domain name registration costs $4.83. Bluehost is a popular web hosting service used by many online entrepreneurs, so we will use it as the estimation for this analysis. Its basic shared web hosting price is $227.76 for the first 2 years' plan. Other initial expenses are WordPress, plug-ins, and internet connections expenses. Logo at $12. 

Note: Spencer outsourced many activities which made his expenses very high, but the project was still profitable at the end of the day. However, we will not go into details of his expenses in this article. The focus is on monthly earnings. Whatever the way you choose to do it if you can achieve $5 000 monthly revenue, it is worth the effort.

Here is the Google Analytics. The first visitor to his site came on September 7. The site received 258 sessions for September.

Here is a breakdown of the traffic source.

The main goal was to increase organic traffic over the long term. At this time, most of the organic traffic came from Bing, with a little bit from Google. 

There were no earnings on the site, but it started getting a few Amazon clicks.

October 2018 (2nd Month)

12 new articles were published (32 total), but $0 in earnings.

Amazon associates links got clicked 32 times, this was because he tested his affiliate links to make sure things worked. Earning so far was not impressive. 

342 visitors came to the site which was a little more than September. 

Above is the traffic analysis. 69 visitors searched organically to get to the site. Most of the traffic came from social sources (Pinterest) which he started in October. 

Though the organic traffic was his long-term plan to drive traffic to the site, it took a dip. 

November 2018 (3rd Month)

7 new articles were published (39 total), $0 in earnings.

The site was getting some Amazon affiliate links, but no buyers just yet. The first objective of this project is not met since there was no significant earning at the end of the third month. 

The trend in traffic was beginning to pick up as you can see from the above screenshot. The yellow bar represents November compared to previous months.  There was an obvious increment for Organic, Social, and Total sessions. 

The upward trend is what you want to see in a new site. So, this is good news. 

December 2018 (4th Month)

11 new articles were published (50 total), $26.66 earnings for the month.

The past 3 months were sluggish, but at last, the site started making money.

From the Amazon associates screenshot, 18 items were ordered, but only 7 were shipped. So, the $23.66 in earnings was from those 7 shipped items. Spencer ordered the items that didn't "ship" because he used them to test its affiliate links. He clicked one of our affiliate links to test things out. Amazon was smart enough to know that it was him and he didn't get any earnings credit for those items ordered.

Below is the overall traffic and it was down slightly in December.

However, checking the organic sources only, there was an improvement. 

The main reason was that $50 was spent on Facebook ads to drive traffic to the site in November to help it. 

Looking at the google impression from the time the website was launched to December, we can see a great improvement from the photo below.

January 2019 (5th Month) 

32 new articles are published (82 total), $6.00 earnings for the month.

The site's traffic climbed upward — organic and social media as shown above. Only organic climbed too as shown below. 

Let us take a look at the Pinterest traffic. It is also climbing up. 

Spencer had around 177.7k views at this time on his Pinterest with 380 followers. 

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Despite this improvement, Spencer only earned $6 from the site in January. Also, one of the products from December was returned. So, he lost $0.40. The overall conversion rate from December to January was low. This was as a result of the holiday season. The niche is a seasonal business. Earnings and traffic are always low in winter. 

February 2019 (6th Month)

10 new articles were published (92 total), $15.51 earnings for the month.

He earned exactly $8.00 on Amazon which was better than the previous month of exactly $6.00. 
He started to try display ads on his sites in the second half of the month. He went for Ezoic. 

Ezoic ads brought in another $7.51 for just 2 weeks.

So far...

Here is the earnings history report below. 

Here is the raw history of earnings and the number of articles added to the site:

Let us discuss traffic. Overall traffic was in the upward trend. This is good. 

Below are organic sessions only. Google's traffic and other search engines increased greatly too. 

The image below is the impression for Google. At this time, Google's algorithm started recognizing the site. Things were beginning to pick up. 

The second objective of earning $500 from the 6th month was not also met. Regardless of this, the site was picking up at this stage. 

March 2019 (7th Month)

15 new articles were published (107 total), $128.41 earnings for the month.

The conversion rate was 3.62% which was not that great, but the earnings were $89.25.  Clicks from his site to Amazon continued to increase. 

The above screenshot is from Ezoic Ads. Most informational articles on the sites were the ones getting this revenue. With $39.81 in earnings from Ezoic Ads and $89.25 in earnings from Amazon Associates, the total earning was $128.41. 

April 2019 (8th Month)

13 new articles were published (120 total), $565.44 earnings for the month.

The site suddenly went from earning $128.41 to $565.44. 

$494.46 from the Amazon Associates program this month was good. Someone bought an expensive item. He sold a $1 700 item on 1 day. Most days of the month, people were ordering items. The "small”" green bars are around $10 in earnings. 

$70.89 in earnings from Ezoic for the month. Take note that the  May figures covered the first few days. 
Let's look at the traffic. The site reached 10 000 total users for the month. 

Total traffic growth since inception is shown below. 

The total Traffic for March 

The site started ranking higher for its targeted keywords. The site ranked on the first page of Google for a couple of targeted keywords. 

Here's a screenshot from Long Tail Pro used to track his rankings in Google. Note that the keywords were not revealed. 

May 2019 (9th Month) 

18 new articles were published (138 total), $740.45 earnings for the month.

This was another fantastic income made in May 2019. Amazon Associates brought in $512.92 and Ezoic ads $227.53. Below is a screenshot for Amazon.

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Note that there were another $135 commissions that he earned around the 17th of the month which did not show in the screenshot above. A couple of expensive items that totaled over $130 in commissions were sold, but in the last couple of days, the customer returned the items. The commissions were removed. Another item with a commission close to $100 did not ship in May. So, the commission was added to June.

Below image shows Ezoic earnings. In total, the site earned $227.53 from Ezoic display ads.

The total traffic for the month was encouraging. You can see the from September 2020. 

Below is Google Organic traffic. 

The site kept ranking higher for its targeted keywords. It hit number 1 in Google for 2 of its targeted keywords. Here is the screenshot from the Long Tail Pro rank tracker with some of the top rankings.

Screenshots showed he had started building links.  The only page from this particular screenshot that he built links to is the second one listed.  All the other articles that ranked high were without building any links to them. He had built links to other articles and also had built links to the homepage.  Just interesting that most of his top-ranking articles were ones that he did not build links to.

June 2019 (10th Month) 

20 new articles were published (158 total), $1 218.41 earnings for the month.

July 2019 (11th Month)

6 new articles were published (164 total), $1 392.11 earnings for the month.

In July, the site earned a total of $1 392.11. The site made $692.16 from Amazon Associates and $699.95 from Ezoic ads. Below is Amazon Associate's screenshot. 

Below is Ezoic's screenshot. 

The earnings from Ezoic display ads continued to grow rapidly with total revenue of $700. It seems Ezoic is having some impacts on the revenue of Amazon associates. Here are some concerns about how it's impacting his Amazon earnings and site speed.

Revenue Concern

OwnTheYard main revenue source was Amazon Associates at the time, but  Ezoic display ads brought in more revenue than Amazon in July. (Note this may not apply to Partnerkin's readers as you may have another strategy. More so, Amazon Associates these days have the smallest commission rate. But still, you have to look at display ads very well so that they do not affect your other affiliate programs). 

The 3 concerns with the monetization on the site and how he planned to fix these issues are:

  1. There were too many display ads on posts monetized with Amazon Associates. (Do not have too many display ads on your affiliate program pages).  So he planned to remove or reduce Ezoic display ads on pages with articles that are monetized by Amazon.  (Do the same for your articles that are promoting your affiliate brands. It may result in lower Ezoic earnings). 
  2. There was an issue with his Table Labs tables (Amazon product comparison tables).  

From the screenshot above, his tables were not showing up. He thought that the combination of Cloudflare, WPRocket, and Ezoic is causing it. To correct it, he planned to disable the WP Rocket plugin to see if that helps them "stick". 

  1. People were bouncing off his site before it fully loaded, meaning that the site speed was low. He believed too many Ezoic Ads may be the reason. There may be other reasons which you should check on your site. 

Most of the traffic continued to come from both Google and Pinterest as shown above. There were over 47 000 sessions for July. Google continued to be the largest single source of traffic with over 20 000 sessions in July.

August 2019 (12th Month)
15 new articles were published (179 total), $1 109.37 earnings for the month.

The earning for the 12th month was a little bit lower than the previous month. This was after 6 consecutive months of growth. Below is Amazon Associate's screenshot. 

The site earned $686.76 from the Amazon Associates — US program.  Also, it made an additional $8.65 from Amazon UK. Total Amazon earnings were $695.41. Let us look at Ezoic.

Ezoic earnings were down to $413.96. Earning per 1 000 visitors declined in the month and Spencer reduced the number of Ezoic display ads on his site. Well, the effect of reducing this did not immediately have a positive effect on his Amazon Associate's earnings. 

December 2019 (Site is 16 months old) 

$2 360.98 in earnings for the month.

Amazon US brought in $1 991.96 while Amazon UK and Amazon Germany brought in almost $10. 

Let us look at Ezoic. It brought in $369.

Ezoic was down by almost $100 in December when compared to November.  In addition, the EPMV (earnings per 1000 views) was also down from $21.21 to $17.54. Let us look at the traffic. 

You will notice that the site had a dip in traffic. This was caused because the site is a seasonal business. The peak of the business is summer when everyone is out to take care of backyard gardens. 

More months Earnings 

  • January 2020 — $1 297 earnings for the month
  • February 2020 — $1 498 earnings for the month
  • March 2020 — $3 195 earnings for the month
  • April 2020 — $7 212 earnings for the month
  • May 2020 — $8 290 earnings for the month
  • June 2020 — $6 770 earnings for the month
  • July 2020 — $5 122 earnings for the month
  • August 2020 — $3 304 earnings for the month


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The following recommendations we are giving our readers due to the in-depth research and analysis we made:

  1. More informational articles should be posted on niche websites. This will make more Ezoic display ads or any other Goggle alternatives make more money. He had low numbers of articles on the site. Our recommendation is to publish a minimum of 300 articles to consistently make $5 000+ passive monthly income
  2. Amazon Associates' commission of 3 percent to 6 percent is the worst of all programs out there. Start with it, and move to programs with better offers. Spencer stuck with Amazon and it lowered his revenue. Look for programs with a 25+ percent commission rate. 

To learn more about this niche, visit Spencer's business site.

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