Now that the month May is over, it’s time for the monthly report for Project Alpha and Project Beta.
May was a rather weird month. I counted the days until I could leave Isan and go to Chiang Mai on the first of June. I’ll publish an update about that on DigtalNomaddict soon.
To keep my monthly reports somewhat easier to read and see the difference between Project Alpha and Project Beta better, I’m going to split up the sections for these completely.
So, let’s start with Project Alpha, the authority website… Which isn’t an authority just yet obviously.
Last month, I said I wanted to publish 3 money pages of about 3000-4000 words each. Next to the money pages, I wanted to publish 6 more informational/supporting articles.
Here’s what I achieved to do in terms of content in May for Project Alpha:
- 3 money pages – even though the average word count is a little lower, it has the required word count for being able to rank on the top of page 1 in Google nicely
- 1 money page has been written by a writer I hired, yet the page still has to be published
- 3 informational/supporting articles published
As far as the money pages go, I achieved my goal and even surpassed it a little by hiring a writer to write a money page.
For the informational/supporting articles, I didn’t achieve my goal for this month. And to be honest, I’ve been slacking of a little for June already as well so I definitely should focus a little more on this project.
I bought myself an Ahrefs subscription again so here come the Ahrefs screenshots again 😉
As you can see, there is a slow but steady rise in the amount of referring domains. I feel like I definitely have some room to ramp this up a little.
In May, I got a new link through guest posting on a free article submission website.
I also bought a Homepage PBN Backlink and a Content Backlink from a guest post vendor. These links haven’t been indexed by Ahrefs yet and that comes as no surprise. The links actually are quite shitty. I paid €66 for these two links and they are not worth it at all.
Next to these links, I did a little blog commenting which gave me some links.
Rankings seem to go up slowly. I have a few low-competition, low-volume keyword that have achieved positions in the top 3. Even though, most keywords still are a long way from the first page in Google.
Here’s a graph about the ranking distribution from Ahrefs:
It’s nice to see the little spike at the end of May/beginning of June. These are the result of the 3 money pages I managed to publish.
As far as first page rankings (in top 10), no big results worth mentioning :-(.
We broke the record for amount of users that was achieved last month. In April, we had 395 users. In May 424 users.
I almost feel ashamed for this little amount of users though. After all, this project is live for a few months already. Most worrying is that the last few months, the increase has been stagnating.
We can see the same in the amount of impressions Project Alpha is getting.
Here’s the good part. We made our first sale!
Yeah, you read that right, our first sale of many to come. And we got a whopping commission of €12,39. The sold item was a rather high-ticket product hence the rather high commission.
And god, I’m glad that first sale is in. It’s just a sign that I’m somewhere on the right track and just have to continue my content produce and link building.
First sales like this, to me, are the most exciting sales. I think everybody in the affiliate marketing world can relate when I say that I still remember the first sale I ever made and how exciting that was.
Anyway, I’m definitely hoping for a lot more sales like these in the future.
Goals for next month
I’m going to try to step up the content and link building game for Project Alpha a little more. Since this project made it’s first sale, I want revenue to rise as fast as I can. I’ll hire some writers to get the content and I’ll try to dedicate a little more time for linkbuilding.
Concrete, these are the goals for Project Alpha for June:
- Write and publish 6 money pages
- Write and publish at least 8 informational/supporting articles
- At least 5 guest posts
- Go over all the existing content to add extra affiliate links
- Optimize internal links
- Go over at least 3 old articles and give them an update to improve the quality
- Make first outlines for a lead magnet
As you can see, next month I want to take the first steps to create a lead magnet. I don’t have a lot of visitors just yet but I feel like I’m wasting money here but not at least trying to gather their emailaddresses.
If traffic is going to go up, I want to take full advantage of this traffic. That might mean that in the future I’ll add some ads to informational/supporting articles as well.
Last month, I said that little to nothing would be done for Project Beta. And in terms of new content, this is completely true. However, I did do quite some things though.
In terms of content on the website, not much has been added. I’ve published 2 articles and that’s about it.
But! next to these 2 articles, I also created a lead magnet. This ebook has about 6 pages so this content had to be created as well. For the design, I hired someone I knew from the past. He did a great job and I have to say, the ebook looks really nice.
So, since I already have the base content, the time has come to let that content age a little and start shifting my focus more towards link building.
Since this website is only 1,5 month old, obviously I can’t be too aggressive. So I did only a few link directory links, 1 PBN homepage link, 1 in-content guest post and 1 genuine outreach guest post.
Just like with Project Alpha, the PBN homepage link and guest post are from the same provider. And they are sh*tty. But unlike with project Alpha, these links are indexed by Ahrefs.
I also did (very few) blog comments.
In the end, I think I’m definitely on the right path for the linkbuilding of this site and it’s just a matter of keeping the pace up and patiently waiting for traffic to grow.
Something strange is happening here. My homepage is getting it’s first rankings, yet all the other pages (except 2) don’t seem to get indexed. I did have the site on no-index while I was building it and I think that might have been a mistake.
I’ve been trying to get the pages indexed again through Google Search Console but without success. It might be the case that this site just needs more links to get the pages indexed or I just have to be more patient and let it age a little more. But it certainly is something to keep an eye on.
But at least, my homepage is starting to get some rankings now 🙂
No page 1 positions just yet – but hey – who’d expect that from a 1,5 month old site? 😉
Now about the traffic, this is a screenshot of the users from Google Analytics.
Wow, some impressive stats you say? Yeah, that’s right!
But I have to admit, I cheated. Big time. Here’s the thing: when I finished the website, all the base-content was in place and the lead-magnet was ready and published, I was doing some client SEO work.
I had to do some keyword research for this work but had no account anymore that had actual AdWords spend. So, the KeyWord Planner was quite useless since you only get rough estimates if you have no spend in your ad account.
So I set up a campaign for Project Beta to test how traffic behaviour is, what search terms people are using, what the conversion rate is, how my lead-magnet would be doing,… and of course get some real data out of the keyword planner for my client.
I have spend about €130 and I feel so stupid. Not because I spend €130 on this. Rather because I have not done this for every niche site I set up.
There’s so much information you get from this that from now on, I’m definitely going to do this for every new site.
But yes, that’s why I had over 300 users in May. The amount of users from organic search looks something more like this.
Yeah, 3 users in a whole month is not really a big win 😉
However, I am seeing an increase in the impresions in GSC so that’s definitely a good sign.
For now, the ad campaign is paused. However, I might consider starting the campaign again soon. The reason for that, you can find in the revenue section here below.
Here’s a graph of the amount of affiliate cliks I got in May. Not too bad, yet not really impressive neither. Thing is, I actually haven’t set up affiliate links on every page/post yet. So there’s definitely room for improvement there.
And here is the more interesting graph; the commissions!
As you can see, this website generated a whopping €99,17 in commission. And I think that’s really good! Why you might think? I have spend €130 on paid traffic and only got €99,17 in return. That’s no good Return On Investment at all. True – but consider these things:
- The affiliate uses a 100-day cookie time. That means that I might get more sales (and thus commission) in the future that can be assigned to this paid traffic.
- I only added affiliate links on the homepage. All other pages and posts are not monetized at all. A lot of room for improvement.
- The ad campaign only ran for 2 weeks and after setting it up, I haven’t optimized it at all. So with some tweaks and optimizations, I definitely get a lower CPC than I have now.
- I got 5 emailaddresses from people that downloaded my lead magnet. These emailaddresses can be monetized in the future so that definitely has some value as well.
Taking all these things in account, I believe that I could make this paid traffic profitable. And that’s just what I might try to do. I am thinking about waiting until after the summer to do this though. As the niche this website is in, summer actually is low-season, so that might break the profitability quite a bit.
Goals for next month
Just like this month, I don’t want to do too much in terms of content as well as linkbuilding. I think this site just needs some time now and just a little bit of attention to keep everything fresh and updated. So here are my goals for June for Project Alpha:
- Publish 3-4 informational articles
- 2 Guest Posts, 5 directory links & a few blog comments
- Insert affiliate links on all pages/posts
- Some small on-page & design tweaks
So that’s it for this monthly report. I’m happy with the work that has been done and I hope to keep this pace up despite the increasing amount of client work I’m getting.
I’m positive that both sites still have nice potential and I can’t wait to show you guys some better numbers.
Anyway, take care guys!