It’s time for a quick recap of March!
I want to start this report on a grimm note: playing by Google’s rules doesn’t pay. Period.
Specifically, being 100% white-hat when it comes to SEO will take you on a journey where you’ll grind constantly for little to no results.
You might be wondering why the sudden change of tone compared to previous monthly reports…
First of all, my website WS2 got absolutely destroyed by the Google update that rolled out on March 12, 2019. (More about this below).
Secondly, my other website WS4 that is now over 1 year old is barely receiving any traffic from Google (a couple thousand visitors per month).
That website has over 100 articles that blow out of the water all of its competitors. The content is helpful and clear. The UX is decent… And yet, it receives very little traffic compared to other sites with the same age.
I have always treated WS4 as an experiment to see if following all Google guidelines (mostly about link building) was worth it in the end.
I have never begged other website owners for links to this website, I have not used any private blog network, I have not done any shady guest posting… As a result, I am not receiving much traffic.
My point is this: in 2019, it is not worth building a website if you’re not going to break Google’s rules one way or another.
When you see case studies being published every month about websites making between $1,000 and $10,000 per month after being online less than 6 months, something is clear: being 100% white-hat will get you nowhere.
After running this 100% white-hat experiment for over a year, I have to call it like it is: Google is misleading people.
The number one factor to increase your traffic (and make more money) is link building. It’s as simple as that.
It doesn’t matter if you have cookie-cutter content and use Tablepress like every other affiliate website. As long as you build links, Google will send traffic your way, and you will be making money.
You can stop investing in stellar content that actually helps people. If you want to make a good living from your websites there is a simple recipe that every case study follows:
- First of all, keep in mind that you don’t need hundreds of articles (10-15 articles will be more than enough),
- Spend as little as you can to get average content (the quality doesn’t matter) in very long form (at least 4,000 to 5,000 words),
- Spend all of your money on link building (mostly low-quality guest posts, private blog networks, and expired domains),
- Watch your traffic and revenue soar like never before.
There is a tiny caveat: you’re running the risk of getting caught by Google and get penalized. But if you do some simple math, you’ll understand that it’s a non-issue.
By spending your money and time on link building, you can quickly reach 4 of 5 figures income each month. This means that you will most likely recoup your whole investment in just a few months. Even if Google catches you quite fast (in about 12 months), you’ll already have recouped your whole investment and made a massive profit.
If you ever get caught (which will mostly likely never happen if you don’t push the envelope too far with crappy links) you can simply rinse and repeat with a fresh domain.
WS1 Website (Launched 2013)
There is not much to report about this website for the past month. I haven’t touched it since Augst / September when I updated the website design to improve my click-through rate.
The first few months of each year are generally the worst for this website, so I am eagerly waiting for Spring / Summer to see if the changes I made last Fall will improve the website revenue.
WS2 Website (Launched 2015)
March was a bad month for this website.
As I explained in the last report, I invested about $1,200.00 in content for this website in February.
All the content was live on the website at the beginning of March after it was reviewed and formatted.
Then Google decided to roll out a major update on March 12, 2019… And this website got crushed: traffic dropped by 90% overnight.
To be clear, I have never done anything shady with this website: I never built any links, and I have never posted guest articles on low quality blogs.
The website gained links organically over time, simply because the content was high-quality, and it is helping visitors solve their problems.
The problem is that, even though this website isn’t technically about a medical topic, it is somewhat related to some medical issues.
As it is in the fringe of the “Your Money or Your Life” genre, I suspect Google classified it as a medical website, and since the content is not written by health professionals, it was crushed in the latest Google update.
I’m afraid there is no point reporting about this website in the near future unless it starts getting some traffic from Google again.
WS3 Website (Launched 2015)
To my surprise there was a small uptick in the visitors number this past month. As with WS1, I have made some changes on this website in August / September.
I’m still waiting for Google to pick up on these changes and hopefully send more traffic to this website.
As you can see, the click-through rate is still solid at almost 20%. It means that the changes I’e made to teh design are effective in making more people click to actually purchase products.
WS4 Website (Launched 2018)
This website is still my main focus. After a very slow February in terms of traffic and revenue, it is picking up some momentum again.
In March, there was almost a 50% increase in traffic compared to February!
March was the 3rd best month for this website since it was started. It is only topped by November and December, which is not really a big surprise since these months are the biggest shopping season of the year.
RPM (revenue per thousand visitors) also increased nicely and got very close to $200. As long as it stays in that range, I’m very satisfied with the conversion capacity of this website.
The main issue still remains traffic… The growth pace is ridiculously slow, and it’s getting me quite discouraged after putting in so many months of hard work to help people get the information they’re looking for.
The impressions on Google are still going up, but the number of clicks is not increasing at the same pace. In other words, this website is in more search results, but it’s not ranking well.
In March, this website had 183,188 impressions on Google. These impressions resulted in 894 clicks, which means an average click-through rate of 0.49%. The average position in Google results pages was 50.
The following chart shows the cumulated revenue and expenses to date for each month. Additionally, it shows the current website value as well as the return on investment before and after selling the website (if I decide to sell it).
From the start of this project until the end of last month, this website generated $3,111.14 in revenue. I spent $16,323.10 since this website’s inception, which means a net loss of $13,211.96. In other words, that’s an 81% loss so far.
However, by using a conservative 25x multiplier on the average revenue of the past 3 months, we can calculate this website value: $8,399.42. By selling this website, I would make a significant loss of $4,812.54. That would be a 29% loss on my investment.
Of course, I’m still years away from a potential sale for this website, but I’m keeping track of these numbers to know the trend, as well as the evolution month after month.
It’s been a slow month for Dukeo as I have not published any new content.
I am starting to refresh some old pages that have been sitting idle for several years but I don’t think it’s going to improve traffic significantly anytime soon.
On a different subject, here is a list of the 10 most popular articles from this blog during last month:
- entrepreneurship is living a few years…
- how to make money online generating leads for local real estate agents
- how to make money online with arbitrage
- how to make money online creating an home inbound call center
- how to make money with an online local business directory
- Shopify partner program
- how to make money online building your own custom search engine
- Travel Payouts review
- how to make money building your own online forum community
- make money online
In March I also didnt publish any sponsored article on Dukeo. I am getting a fair number of inquiries, but either the quality of articles is way too low and it doesn’t meet my standards, they try to lowball me on the price, or both.
I’d rather not post sponsored articles rather than posting very low quality content just to make a quick buck.
What about the money?
Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.
To make this report easier to understand, I’m using a simple color code: green numbers are positive, red numbers are negative.
Please keep in mind that these figures may not be 100% accurate due to various factors such as refund requests and network adjustments. The terms for each payment may also vary. As a result, these numbers may differ from the actual payments issued and received.
|Cost of Goods||-$114.00||▼ $63.77|
|Payment Fees||-$19.20||▼ $3.88|
|Niche Sites||-$1,247.94||▼ $236.80|
The 2 biggest expenses for March were content for “niche sites” and for WS4.
Since I am fairly disappointed with how Google is treating WS4, I am now considering slowing down this website’s content production for a few months to see if it finally starts receiving some search engine love.
There isn’t really any point spending thousands of dollars every month in content for a website that Google doesn’t appreciate.
The content spending for “niche sites” was a starter content package for a new website that I’ve been thinking about for almost a year now. I’ll tell you more about this new project in the next few months.
Red here, red there, red everywhere. Not much to say besides the fact that the past 11 months have been horribly unprofitable for me.
What’s happening next?
The plan for next month is to keep pushing forward with WS4 and keep improving it to hopefully start getting more traffic from search engines.
I am also considering taking some freelance work next month to finally get a cashflow-positive month.
Stay tuned for the next update!