Niche Case Study - Final Report
This is going to be my final report on my Niche Site case study. Around June time, my domain will expire and I'm not 100% I'm going to renew it.
This case study started out with the best intentions of creating a site on the side, writing a couple of articles here and there and hoping to make progress. The problem was that I just didn't have enough time to dedicate to it. My main priority is this blog- and I love writing on it- so after writing some articles for my niche site, I often didn't want to write on my main blog.
As such, the niche site definitely felt like more of a hindrance than a cool science experiment.
Back in the last report, I had mentioned I was going to stick at it- and I did for about a month but slowly my motivation for it dwindled again to the point where I barely checked the site. I still have some articles written that I haven't posted on the site too.
That's not to say I haven't learnt a lot from doing this case study. I still recommend anyone who is into SEO to practise doing one because you'll learn so many different techniques about blogging that you never knew existed. I would spend hours and hours researching various areas and seeing what worked and what didn't.
I could continue doing this niche site. The site is starting to get a bit of organic traffic now (around 1-4 hits per day) and the DA of the site has gone up to 11. But I think I prefer to work on just one blog - this one - and build on that. The same techniques and issues are still present on this blog too. I still have to come up with interesting content, build links and all that stuff.
One of the hardest parts of the niche site was building backlinks. It's easy enough to post on forums and blog comments, but guest posting was very hard. I felt like I was writing all this good content for other sites and the link was being wasted on my niche site.
I may have also over-estimated my niche in terms of keyword difficulty. I had chosen my topic because it was quite obscure anyways, but after doing some keyword research, a lot of the sites covering it were very high authority and to make any kind of impact would have taken a much bigger effort.
Let's take a look at the final stats for the site.
I did manage to get on page one for one of my target keywords. It's a very long-tail keyword so it probably didn't have much competition. The rest of my target rankings didn't really change over the last few months.
I did try and make backlinks for some of these keywords. I posted on forums, made guest posts and blog comments, all using variations of the anchor text. But in some cases, the SERPs went down and most of them didn't move.
I feel if I had dedicated my time to it, I definitely could have improved the search results more. Working an hour or so a week on this project is not enough time. With programming, products, customer support and writing for this blog, I definitely couldn't find anymore room to squeeze in this project.
If you want to test your own SERPs for keywords, check out SerpLab. It's free to use and you can upgrade if you need to search for more keywords.
My last report was in December, so I decided to show the traffic from the last four months. You can see the site is getting some hits and it slowly increased up to this month. Looking at my acquisition page, most of my traffic is coming from referrals. Organic search traffic is third in the list, so I don't actually get much from google search.
Overall, I did not commit enough time to this case study. I think a good 10 hours a week or more would have made this case study a bit more interesting. I had the idea that I could do maybe one or two hours a day, but even that I found hard to accomplish because of all the other side-projects I was working on. I would have had to sacrifice my social time (the time I spend away from the computer) to do this case study, and since these things can go on for months and months, it wasn't something I wanted to commit to.
I think if I didn't already have this blog, I could have done this project better. I spend around 10 hours a week on this blog (probably more to be honest). And I don't think doing this case study was a waste of time at all- I learnt lots of valuable lessons and introduced myself to a brand new section of tools for SEO.
I didn't make any money from this site. I got around a total of 7 clicks on my amazon affiliate links and none of them converted to sales.
I was and am spending $5 a month on web hosting and I also spent $10 on the domain. With it coming up for renewal, I have to decide whether or not I want to keep the site. It could still have it's uses to me, and I may want to just update it every now and then without pressure, since it is a topic I'm interested in.
Since last post the total cost was at $34.84 and it's been four months since then, the total cost for this project is now at $54.84.
The webhost I used was DigitalOcean.
It was a great experience. I definitely recommend anyone who is interested in amazon affiliates, keyword research or SEO in general to give it a go. It doesn't cost much to get started, and it relies on your ability to be crafty, write good content and build links.
Maybe one day I'll give this a better shot. If I were to do it again, I would look for a much smaller niche with greater potential. It might also have been a good idea to spend money on hiring writers to help keep content on the site. But then your costs go up and if you end up with a situation where you lose motivation before you make any money, you risk losing a lot more than I did.
Finally, I want to point you in the direction of other niche site case studies. I loved reading them on other blogs and it's what inspired me to try it myself. So check these ones out if you're still interested: