The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – March

20140419_105136I’ve made myself a challenge. I will be attempting to take my online revenue from $50/month all the way up to $600/month within 5 months. I started this challenge on January 1, 2014 and it will end on May 31. 2014. You see in 2013 I started making about $50 a month in revenue rather consistently, and now I’m ready to take it to the next level. I need this to be my full time job and I need it to happen as fast as possible. I’m willing to put in the effort and hard work it will take, and this challenge will help me to jump start my progress.

This goal is Phase One: Seed Money in my overall long term plan to work for myself. After I reach it, I will use that money to fpuel Phase Two of my plan, which we’ll get into when it’s time.

March Overall Results

Wow … March is over already?! It’s really sinking in how valuable my time is and how important time management is. Although it’s looking good for reaching my goal of generating $600/month in 5 months, I really feel like I’m not getting enough done. I know how much time and effort I’ve put into making money online already just to reach the point that I’m at now, and it’s a bit scary when I think about how far I still need to go and how much time/effort it will take to get there. You better believe that I’m sticking with it until the end though!

My results for March were not as drastic as the change from January to February, which is what I expected. In March I made $391.67 which is just a little less than the month before so I’m not concerned. I think this is good considering that I didn’t really add very much content to my sites or work on backlinking very much.

Once again like in February, I didn’t quite reach my small goals that I set last month due to life happening all around me. I’m also trying to attract a few small web development jobs which took up a lot of my time this month. So although this time wasn’t spent on working towards this particular goal, it was spent on growing my overall business.

What is awesome is that at the end of March I got my first $100+ direct deposit from Amazon and it’s re-investment time baby! About half of it will go to paying for my web hosting, email list software, and domain renewals, the other half plus a few dollars from my own pocket will go to ordering my first 4 outsourced articles from a great writer I found on textbroker.com.

What I’m really looking forward to though is my $400+ payment at the end of April and you better believe that I’ll be reinvesting 100% of that back into my business. So in May I’ll be having about 10 new pieces of content written for site #1 and buying a few of the products I review for a big giveaway I’m planning for June. Since I now have revenue coming in to reinvest into content creation, I will be able to focus solely on copy editing & publishing my outsourced articles, backlinking, and higher level tasks like my giveaway.

It’s exciting to reach the point where I can afford to start outsourcing content and freeing up a lot of my time for higher level tasks.

More about that next month though … I’m getting excited and ahead of myself.

(Side note, I had a really good month on another niche site I own which actually had a record month of revenue, making March my best month ever in total, but this site is not counted in my case study)

March Revenue -  $391.67

Here’s What I Accomplished with Each Niche Site

Niche Site #1

I only added 2 new product reviews this month due to my lack of time. Something really good happened in the last week of this month though, I got a giant boost in rankings across the board! I’m ranking number 1 now for the two largest volume keywords that I’m targeting, and on page 1 for most keywords I get visits form. Since the ranking increase, I’ve see about a 30% – 40% increase in traffic, so I’m hoping that leads to at least at 20% increase in commissions. We’ll see I guess! I’ve been watching my Google Webmaster Tools queries going up, up, up.

Another thing I did was to add a short form to collect email addresses of people who want to be notified of when I start my giveaway. So far I’ve been getting about 1 signup every other day. This is the beginning of my list building for this site. Time to capture an audience!

The final piece I added to this site was a link localizer script – so now my affiliate links redirect to the appropriate country for many users outside the US. It worked great and I earned an extra $8.24 from Canada that I would have lost out on otherwise! Here’s a link to what I added to my site – Amazon Link Localizer Script. So basically I signed up for the Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy Amazon Affiliate programs (I just used google translate) – and now I can earn form my visitors form these countries too. I only earned from Canada this month but did get affiliate clicks on all of them. Excellent addition to my site.

Next month on Niche Site #1 - Next month I will be adding the 4 outsourced articles that I ordered, and planning my giveaway. The giveaway will take a lot of my time but I think it will be totally worth it. I’m going to use the 200 outreach program by Neil Patel to promote it and hopefully score some more high quality backlinks in the process.

Niche Site #2

Unfortunately this one fell between the cracks this month. I am seeing a slight natural increase in traffic and am now getting about 5 – 8 visitors a day. Not much else to say here. I did activate the Amazon affiliate links at the end of March, so we’ll see if I make any commissions off this one in April.

Next month on Niche Site #2 - Since I am having all my content outsourced now, I’ll have more time to backlink for this website. That’s my only plan for April. To create as many manual backlinks as possible. To be clear, I’m not actually having any articles written for this site in April, just the backlinking.

Niche Site #3

My goal for this site in March was to add 2 new articles and backlink. While I didn’t add any articles due to my lack of time, I did get some backlinks created and my ranking for my main keyword went from 110 to 36 – and that’s with only about 8 backlinks created. Not too bad! I’m confident that I will get to page 1 this month and hopeful that I’ll start getting a few commissions once I do.

Next month on Niche Site #3 - Since I am having all my content outsourced now, I’ll have more time to backlink for this website. That’s my only plan for April. To create as many manual backlinks as possible.

Niche Site #4

My goal for this site was to publish 2 new articles and backlink. Once again I didn’t get any articles published, but I did get some backlinks created. I’m only getting a trickle of traffic to this site so far, but it’s a bit more competitive and I’ve only created a few backlinks.

Next month on Niche Site #4 - Backlinking, backlinking, backlinking.

Summary

Although my revenue form these 4 sites dropped a bit this month, I’m still happy with my overall progress. Not completely happy with the time I had to spend on these 4 sites, but happy overall. I’m excited that my rankings greatly improved for site #1, and I’m expecting to earn more commissions because of it. A 30% increase in targeted traffic should equate to more commissions, we’ll see I suppose.

What excites me the most is that I finally have a bit of revenue to reinvest into content creation. Not too much yet, but at the end of April I get that $400+ payment form Amazon and I’ll be spending that on content and buying 3 products that I reviewed on site#1 to give away. That’s gonna be fun.

Earnings for March 2014 and Reaching My Goal of $600/ month Revenue by May 31, 2014

Month Niche Site #1 Niche Site #2 Niche Site #3 Niche Site #4 Total Revenue
January $104.99 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $104.99 
February $392.88 $0.00 $12.02 $0.00 $404.90  
March $391.67 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $391.67
April
May

 

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12 Comments

  • Miggy says:

    Awesome update man! What backlinking methods are you using? blog comments and Web 2.0 stuff?

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Miggy! I’m doing mostly blog commenting and using Neil Patel’s Backlinking Guide to get some more unique links. I also look for blogs I can put a keyword based link in the comment body, I find those here and there. I don’t do any web 2.0 stuff, I don’t have time for creating content based backlinks and I’m not so sure about their effectiveness these days. I could be wrong of course.

  • Jeff says:

    Looking good dave – nice to finally get those check from amazon and actually have money instead of theoretically having some cash. I’m looking forward to seeing your future updates and wanted to know – what do you use for keyword research?
    Also, are you just focusing on site 1 until you get it to some income level then letting it ride, or are you trying to work on them all at the same time?

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for the comment Jeff! It’s definitely a great feeling to actually see the $ hit your bank account and to know that I will be able to increase the performance of my business by reinvesting it, yet actually free up more time for myself to focus on other tasks rather than content writing.

      For my keyword research, I only use the free Google keyword planner, and I also get keyword ideas form studying what others are doing in my niche. For example, I’ll just look to see what 1 or two of the top sites in my niche are publishing, and use those keywords to base my own content off of. I say let them do the work up front and I’ll get the benefit of them “working for me”! That being said, I NEVER copy anybody’s content.

      I’m trying to do a little bit of work on each site each month, but focusing mostly on niche site #1 – my biggest earner right now. I launched 3 new sites in January because I wanted them to go live and start aging right away, now I can create backlinks a bit more safely since the sites are about 10 weeks old.

      I love the background on your site by the way!

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks dave – Sign up for the email list if you’re interested in following along. Right now, my tale is a bit of what not to do (spent too much) but Im starting to climb in the rankings and hopefully I can get everything done and get to the #1 slot. I think I need to beef up content because I only have 15 articles on my site, which might be low.

        Thanks for the idea of looking at others content – I’ll have to give that a try and look for some good writing ideas. Also if you’re looking for someone to do content writing, let me know – I’ve been doing writing for others and have some more time for another client if you’re interested.

        Jeff

  • Bruno says:

    Hi Dave!
    I just arrived at your site and readed a lot of content. I’m starting my niche site path and is really good to see people that is starting to make their living online too, but just some steps above you. I find hard to bring to my reality the teaching that great personalities of the segment talks. They fail, but they fail at other higher sphere. Here, just by looking at the main posts I finded usefull tips and some fails that I could do myself.

    I will follow closely your path from now! It will help and probably motivate me to see this litte steps.

    • Dave says:

      Hay Bruno, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m so glad that you find my articles and story inspirational! I agree that the teachings of the Internet Marketing “Super Stars” is a lot to take in for people new to the industry, I felt the same way. I always wished that I had somebody who was just starting to find success that I could follow and learn form, but never did. That’s why I’m trying to put out there what I would have wanted to see.

      If you haven’t read it yet, check out my post: My Internet Marketing Story to see how long it took me and all I’ve been through to get where i am today.

      Feel free to leave as many comments as you want, I love it!

      • Bruno says:

        Hi Dave,
        I read you Internet Story and what a journey! And you have to much to still come too.

        I’m reading since October, but really started my first site only in January. I thought that I need to be better at this time, but your and other stories keep showing that it’s a long way. We need to make mistakes before learn.

        I will post here, keep maintaining the good content!!

  • Bob says:

    Nice challenge you’ve set up! Im about to put one together myself, but im limited for time at the moment. Great results so far too! Can I ask you, how much content have you put up per site or average? Part of my challenge will be how much content to add. So far what i’ve read from others and depending on the competition, a site needs at least 20 articles to start getting some decent rankings and better traffic. What do you think? Thanks!

    • Dave says:

      I have about 40 pages of content on Niche Site #1 (my main one), and about 7 – 9 pages on the other 3 sites. I think how much content you need all depends on your niche, your competition, and how many quality backlinks you have.

      For example – on my Niche Site #3 – there were 2 niche sites ranking on page 1 with only 5 – 7 pages, and only about 20 backlinks from 10 different domains on each site. That showed me that I can most likely do the same with only a few pages and backlinks. So on this site I wrote 7 pages (about 800 – 2000 words per page) and now I’m just backlinking until I get to the top of page 1. Once I do, if the site makes any money then I’ll add more content. If my backlinking doesn’t seem to be doing the job for me, then I’ll add a few new pages.

      One thing I’ve learned is that there are no rules. Every situation is different and you have to treat it that way.

      Hopefully that helps!

      - Dave

  • Nicole says:

    It’s really great to see a fellow Niche Site Dueler generating some income! I’m also stoked to see that you’re reinvesting most of your income :) Good stuff – looking forward to the next update!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Nicole! I figure if I keep any profit – I have to give the government about 32% – if I reinvest it all I get to keep it all! Definitely know that my latest successful website took a looooong time and a lot of work. I esytimate I put a few hundred hours into it overall.

      Good luck on the authority niche site route – the one I’m on as well!

      Take care and stop by again!

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