In this post, we are sharing a case study from James Ackerman, a webmaster who was able to grow his client’s website earnings from $267/ month to $21 853/ month.
This case study covers everything that James and his client did — from building the site to the point where it is now valued at over $1 000 000. Follow along to learn how they were able to increase the site’s earnings by over 50x in just 19 months using strategies that can be easily replicated.
Quick Overview of Site's Valuation
When they started: $13 350
Currently: $1 092 650
This post will take a highly data-driven approach, so you know EXACTLY: what, why, how, when of all the steps taken.
So, let's dive right in...
Background of the website
Quick statistical overview (the month he made $21 853)
Summary of what they did to get here:
Note: RPM is combined for affiliate and display revenue.
Research and Planning
"The success rate of traffic is expected to increase by more than 100% because the search volume of WFH-related keywords has risen significantly due to COVID. Moreover, our rankings are improving due to an increase in DR, aging of content and social shares.", says James.
If you have doubt about two similar keywords, whether they should be targeted in one article or different articles. You should see if there are 3 or more results on the 1st page of Google that are ranking for both these words. Then you can also rank for both these words in the same article. However, if you can't find 3 or more same results for two different queries, then you should also make unique pages for each one of these keywords.
Note: They didn't give a lot of attention to the keyword’s difficulty. Their approach was to completely dominate each registered query related to a certain topic. They went big on the content part because they knew it would work — and it did.
Outreach, PR, and Backlinks
Note: They also adopted other methods like guest posts, PR, and community engagement to drive traffic and build meaningful links.
While building links, they ensured that the site:
Conversion Rate Optimization (A/B Tests)
As the traffic increases, and they collect more and more data, their RPM and conversion would improve even further. The goal is to increase the RPM to at least $50/1 000 visits. This is considered a very good RPM.
"Usually, the RPM on our sites is from $25 — $40 (affiliate + display combined). So, this is an exception. I am referring to other sites in our portfolio which currently has 16 content-based brands.", says James.
An Overview of the Important Numbers, Stats, ROI, and More
The multiple of 50x is applied because the site’s brand is uniquely positioned to be strategically acquired by 3 major competitors promoting similar products in the home productivity space.
The potential buyers are heavily funded and based on prior discussions, they seem more than interested to acquire the media venture.
James says that he won't go through a traditional route of selling via online business brokering spaces. However, he would directly sell it to one of the major players whose products they are promoting.
It is to be noted that, they don't plan to sell the venture till it hits at least 30 000 USD per month. James believes they can hit that figure without further investment but by just optimizing the site for better conversion rate optimization.
In essence, content marketing is the backbone to grow all kinds of online businesses. Whether it's writing an amazing copy to promote ads, or producing content in bulk to drive relevant, highly targeted, and converting traffic.
This goes without saying that the times of making money through content websites by writing a handful of pages and building spammy links are gone. Right now, proper planning and creating content that not only ranks well but helps the user is the way to go.
But, even with those conditions, the kind of ROI that these kinds of online businesses offer is much higher than compared to traditional modes of investment like stocks, index funds, real estate, etc. The passive way of making money, especially around $30 000 a month through a site, definitely requires a lot of resources, but it's not impossible.