Hey everyone. In this post, I want to talk about a niche site I’ve been working on lately.
I started the site on August 1st, 2016, and since then, it's experienced massive growth.
Note: I can't show you the URL (to avoid copycats). Please trust that the following information is true. Thanks!
The first 60 days were the slowest. During this time, the site was only getting about 50 visitors/day.
Since all news sites experience the Google Sandbox effect, I wasn't that worried.
I used this time to add a bunch of articles (about 120) and build high-quality backlinks.
About 7 months later, the site was getting about 4,000 visitors per day. Here's a screenshot from March 7th, 2017:
At the moment, the site has 121 articles, and I plan to add another 60 over the next few months.
How much does it earn?
It earns about $30/day with Google AdSense and Amazon. Some days it’s lower, and some days it’s higher.
Based on my calculations, I’ll need to grow the site to about 12,000 visitors per day to achieve a daily income of about $100.
That's 3x the amount of traffic I'm currently getting. Doable, yes, but it's going to take a lot of work.
However, this article isn't about the future of my site- it's about showing you the strategies I used to grow it.
3/16/17 Update: I've got some bad news. On March 8th, 2017, my site was struck by the Google Fred update. I lost about 75% of my traffic overnight (yikes!).
4/2/17 Update: My traffic is slowly coming back. I'm not sure why, since I haven't changed anything. I'll keep you guys updated if/when my traffic fully returns.
4/9/17 Update: My traffic is officially back. Actually, it's better than before (I'm currently at 4,500 visitors/day). Let's hope I can keep the momentum going!
My Strategy - I Focused on Low-Competition Keywords
How did I manage to grow the site so quickly? I focused solely on low-competition keywords.
I attribute 90% of the site's success to finding keywords with little to no competition.
The average search volume for each keyword was quite small (between 500 and 1,000). Which brings me to my next point...
Don't be afraid of targeting keywords with low monthly search volume.
To give you an example, I targeted a keyword with a search volume of only 480.
And guess what?
That article brings in 200-400 visitors PER DAY. Surprisingly, it has ZERO backlinks.
I'm telling you this to demonstrate the power of finding low-competition keywords.
Many marketers are afraid of targeting low volume keywords, but this is a bad approach.
Keywords with high monthly search volumes can take a long time to rank for. Why? Because other marketers are trying to rank for them, too.
I recommend focusing on keywords that have little to no competition- even if the search volume is small.
Remember- just because the search volume is low for a specific keyword, that doesn't mean the article can't attract a lot of traffic.
In many cases, you'll rank for dozens of long tail keywords, which can each bring in a decent amount of traffic.
I Took The Whitehat Approach
The site has 376 backlinks from 116 referring domains:
I'm proud to say that nearly all of those links are whitehat, which means I didn't use any PBNs or shady link building tactics.
Does this mean that PBNs don't work? Absolutely not. PBNs are very powerful when built responsibly.
Despite their effectiveness, I chose not to use PBNs on this site. I've put a lot of work into this site and I don't want to risk getting penalized.
So, what was my backlink strategy? I decided to focus 100% on manual outreach (guest posting).
I'll admit: outreach requires a lot more work than building a PBN, but it's also safer.
I Sent 1,000 Outreach Emails - Here's What Happened
Throughout the past 7 months, I've sent about 1,000 outreach emails.
It might sound like a lot, but it's really not. The guys over at Authority Hacker have figured how to send several hundred PER WEEK.
Anyway, here were the results:
I had an open rate of 50%, meaning 500 people opened my initial email. Of those people, about 100 people (20%) agreed to a guest post.
Overall, that's a success rate of 10%- not bad!
In case you're wondering, I used a software called Ninja Outreach to send my outreach emails.
It's not free, but it allowed me to become way more efficient with my outreach, so it was worth every penny.
The Bottom Line
My strategy wasn't all that complicated. I simply targeted low competition keywords and then built guest post links to those pages.
If you have any questions about my strategy, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!