Damn, welcome 2021.
It’s been over 7 months since I posted an update of my $100K Project.
If you are new to this series, the project is simply my attempt at creating an online business that makes $100,000 in profits every month.
Initially, the project was started as a niche site. However, the grand scheme of things has always been to make it a real online business that’s an authority in the industry.
The goal is still the same.
Since the last update, not a lot has happened with the website. In fact, I left the website on a free roll, with the occasional updating of existing content.
When I’m not working on this project, I’m usually doing other stuff, like the Build to Flip website, whose case study series is available here.
However, this isn’t to say I wasn’t doing anything related to the $100K Project. In fact, I was trying different experiments of driving traffic to the site as I don’t want to rely entirely on Google traffic.
The major thing that I was focusing on was YouTube.
Well, I really started focusing on YouTube in April, 2021.
And from the looks of things, focus brings results.
Here’s the stats of the channel at this time:
If you are interested in the watch time gathered, we currently have 1,400 hours of watchtime and 641 subscribers.
It’s only a matter of time before we reach 1000 subscribers and then get the 4,000 hours of watchtime required for the channel to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) a.k.a., be monitized.
I have high hopes for this YouTube channel not only as a traffic generation channel for the business, but also as a supporting income generating platform.
I’ve been seeing people doing big things making YouTube channels and I want in.
Just in case you are interested, here is the YouTube course I’m following.
Yes, I actually buy and implement courses that help me to build my business.
SIDE NOTE: This YouTube thing looks really good. I’m building a business side hustle that I may just write a case study about.
Would you like a 1-year YouTube side hustle case study written? Vote below and let me know.
So, we know that essential no major update was made on the website. Let’s see some stats and wrap up this article.
The overall website’s traffic has been fluctuating up and down over the last 7 months. Generally, the site has been getting from 8,000 to 10,000 visitors a month.
I think this number is really small compared to the articles that I’ve written. I mean, looking at the site now, I have about 340 articles published. These should bring more than just 10,000 visitors a month.
The recent Google Core Update of June did not majorly affect the site. The traffic corrected to where it was before after the 2-week’s roll out.
The July update is already on and the site’s daily traffic has grown threefold. However, we all know this is just a dance. We’ll have conclusive results in the next one week or so.
For all you stat nerds, here is how the SEMRush graph looks like:
And for those who swear by Ahrefs, this is what we have:
For the good ‘ol Google Analytics, the graph looks like this:
Now, don’t let the huge increase from June 6th to June 14th excite you. There is no traffic leaking that I was doing at that time. Instead, that was the June Google Core Update.
As you can see, during the update, I got loads of traffic, which eventually corrected when the updated was fully rolled out at around 15th June.
You can see the total visitors to the website from the chart.
So, enough with the traffic stats.
Let’s look at some earnings.
Like I mentioned before, the site has been its earnings fluctuating over the past 7 months.
For June, the total earnings of the site surpassed $2000!
Some claps please!
I’ve made a graph below so you can see how it’s been performing.
Here’s how Amazon earnings looked like:
And here is breakdown of the site’s earnings since the beginning of the year.
If you love charts, here is how things have been looking like:
Majority of the income is coming from Amazon Associates.
Now, if you do the math, you can see the total earnings for June, 2021 was $1976 yet I indicated that the site made $2000.
Well, I also got a guest post request that I charged $200 to publish on the site. I took that.
Guess it just goes to show that my effort of making the website look more like a brand than a typical affiliate marketing website works.
By the way, there wasn’t really any haggling or negotiations as other low-budget bloggers typically have.
I plan to increase my guest posts/link insertions rates up until all those SEOers that contact me just say I’m too expensive!
I think it was Gary Vee who said you should raise your prices until customers complain!
To do this, I’m creating a media kit. You know, something that will make the website seem more professional and in essence, allow me to charge higher rates.
It’s nothing personal against SEOers…it’s just business.
Now apart from the above income, I mentioned in my previous post that I was creating a store for the website. Well, the store is 90 percent done.
I’m saying 90 percent done because I still have things that I need to iron out.
Despite this, I still managed to make some sales on the store. Just 10 orders over the past 6 months.
Well, you may say that’s negligible amounts of products to sell. But the way I see it, someone in Fort Pasadena trusted my website enough to the extent that they pulled out their credit card and bought what I’m offering.
That’s validation! Just what I need at this time.
At the moment, I’m spicing up the store in terms of design before I put a big banner on the front page saying, “HEy You, We’re Open for Business!”
There we go, that’s all the juicy stuff I got.
But if you want to know my next moves, read on.
Onwards, diversification is the game.
I’ll be diversifying everything related to the website.
It’s folly to rely on a single source or traffic or income for your business. So, to cushion myself from the platforms that I’m playing ball in, here are some of the things I’m diversifying going ahead.
At the moment, the majority of the site’s income comes from Amazon Associate’s program. Well, this is great but given that Amazon can wake up one day and decide to lower the commission rate of the products I’m recommending, I’m looking to diversify the income sources.
At the moment, I’ve already signed up with a few companies whose products are sold via Amazon but they also have their own affiliate programs.
I’ve signed up for the programs at affiliate networks such as Impact, Sovrn, and Ascend.
Apart from affiliate income, I’m planning to grow the display income generated by the website.
In May, I set up Ezoic on the website and got an extra $92 from the switch. I haven’t optimized the ad placement yet and my EPV (earnings per view) is very low at just $3.
I reckon that with optimization, I can get Ezoic earnings to $1000 a month.
Ezoic has an extensive video library that covers the best practices of using the ad network for the best results. I’ll be taking time to go through the content and implement the suggestions.
By the way, if you haven’t signed up for Ezoic, do so today. There’s no minimum traffic requirements to join the network. Here’s the link to join.
I’m also running Google Adsense ads on the site.
From other updates, you may already know that I’ve set up a store on the site and I’m dropshipping some items to customers.
I have not been putting a lot of effort on dropshipping because I have challenges with the shipping times. Moreover, there are some legal issues with the product, especially with regards to returns, that I have to sort out.
I’m slowly but consistently building other sources of traffic for the website. In particular, I’ll be focusing more on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Email.
I already have the social media pages of the website set up. At the moment, I’m working on a content strategy for Instagram and Facebook for the site.
For YouTube, I already have the keywords around which I’ll be creating videos.
And for email, I need to come up with a nurturing sequence to warm the leads and keep them engaged.
For perspective, I have an email list of about 3000 visitors, most of whom I got from a giveaway I ran by using KingSumo.
I’ll review the tool some time in the future.
So, the majority of the articles on the website are “commercial intent” articles. You know, the best x for y types of articles.
In the coming months, I’ll be doubling the publication of info-based articles. The goal here is not only to get the website to be known as a formidable player in the niche, but also increase the display ad income.
If you don’t know, info keywords are typically less competitive than commercial intent keywords. So, I’m coming for those advertisers’ dollars.
The products I’m promoting can be considered low ticket items. I mean, I don’t think there is any product that is over $100.
Most of the products cost from $10 to $90. I’d say majority of them are in the range of $30 to $40. Therefore, to increase my earnings significantly, I ready need lots of buyers. The commission rates suck but it is what it is.
But then again, I guess this is a blessing in disguise.
I’ve been looking at the major players in the industry and I think with some tact, SEO growth hacking and proper branding, I can slide in the list of the major brands.
Yes, it’s going to take time. But it’s doable.
I’ve even been thinking of starting to get cozy with the major brands in the space, just in case they decide to do some acquisition in the future.
For perspective, one of the major competitors I’m going against raised $55 million from investors a couple of years ago and is valued at about $1 billion.
Of course, taking them head-on is a dream at this time.
Interestingly, I’m their affiliate and they’ve been watching me.
I guess establishing a good rapport with them can make a future acquisition easier.
We’ll see about that.
So, back to the diversification thing.
I’ll be adding some more products into my arsenal. These are complementary products that the target market uses and are relevant to the niche.
I’ve already checked a couple of products and I can see their commission rates are quite high, some as high as $120 per sale.
These need to be added and promoted to the website visitors ASAP.
Damn, seems I have a lot of things to do.
Of course, there’s also the FBA thing.
I’ve been thinking of creating my own private label products and selling them to the target customers. I’m still scared to venture into private labeling because it seems there are so many moving parts.
Perhaps I should just wait and scale the site to $5000 before putting out my first private label product? I don’t know. Let me know in the comment section below.
Okay, this article is becoming quite a thesis so I guess I’ll just leave it here. If you want to know the nitty gritty stuff that I’m doing every week before the next major update, make sure you subscribe to my VIP email list below.
I have my work cut out for me.
Damn, I feel for my opponents!