I first started the Niche Site Duel about 5 months ago after hearing Pat Flynn’s successful story when building a niche site of his own. However, after the first few weeks, I ended up putting the project aside in order to pursue other goals – I just didn’t have a lot of time on my hands to dedicate 100% to the challenge. Now though, I’m ready to kick things up a notch, and my plans are to have Complete Betta Fish Care ranking well (on the first page of Google) by May 13th of next month.
But first, let’s look at how well the niche site is performing with only 4 published posts basically set on autopilot while the project was put on hold. To do that, we’ll take a trip through my Google Analytics account and then through the Market Samurai (ref link) rank tracker data. Once we’ve gotten a feel of how things are going, I’m going to talk about my monetization goals for the site and what I’ll be doing right now to boost income.
Betta Care Niche Site Results
It’s important to see where you stand at the present moment before you start making improvements to your site; this helps to better track growth, and it also gives you a clearer picture of what aspects of your site you need to work on most.
In this section, I’ll talk about where my niche site is standing right now and which areas I need to work on in order to increase overall results.
Visits, Page Views, Bounce Rates
Since my last update here on Cash Campfire (4 months ago), my betta site has received 337 visits (88.13% new), 705 page views, a bounce rate of 58.75%, and an average time spent (where visitors stayed on the site) of 2 minutes and 5 seconds (click the image to enlarge).
All-time (since 5 months ago), this site has received 400 visits, 945 page views, a bounce rate of 57.75%, and an average time of 2 minutes and 55 seconds. In the last month (from March 12th to April 12th), it received 70 visits, 113 page views, a 68.57% bounce rate, and an average time of 1 minute and 22 seconds.
First of all, before I move on, many of you may be wondering why I have a somewhat high bounce rate. Well, there are many factors contributing to this, but I believe the two main reasons are: 1) I don’t have many articles up on the site yet (only 4) and 2) my whole monetization strategy now is to get people off of my betta care niche site and onto affiliate sites like Amazon, ClickBank, and so on. There are also the Chitika ads to consider.
So, with this in mind, I think the site is doing pretty well in terms of page views, bounce rates, and the average time a visitor spends browsing.
Out of those 400 all-time visits, the top visitors to my site are: 1) direct traffic (visitors who typed my url in the address bar – most likely Cash Campfire visitors), 2) Google organic traffic (visitors from Google search results – my main focus), 3) Google referral traffic, 4) Squidoo referral traffic, and 5) Yahoo organic traffic (visitors from Yahoo search engine results).
As for why I’m getting referral visits from Google, I have no idea. I neither host the site on Blogger, nor have I posted any links to it from other sites owned by Google (at least, not that I know of). So if anyone can uncover this mystery as to why I’m seeing traffic from this source, I’m all ears.
Keep in mind that “referral” is different from “organic,” which mainly refers to search engine traffic.
Keyword Phrases and Ranking Stats
I have received a total of 137 search engine visits since the site went live. After looking at the keyword phrases visitors searched for to get to my site, I seem to be mainly ranking for long-tail keywords, but the site did see a few hits from several of the main keyword phrases that I’m trying to rank well for.
So far, the top keyword phrases used by search peeps are: 1) betta tank, 2) betta fish, 3) betta fish care, 4) betta discolored patches, and 5) betta disease scales puffed droopsy (sadly, this person will probably have a dead fish on his hands soon – dropsy is lethal).
To recap, the main keyword phrase that I’m trying to rank well for is “betta fish care,” so I think the site is doing pretty well considering that I had the site on hold for all this time while I focused on other projects (I only had 4 articles up with a few backlinks pointing toward each article and the main domain name).
Secondary keywords that I want to rank well for include “betta fish,” “betta tank,” “betta aquariums,” “betta care,” “caring for betta fish,” and “care of betta fish.”
With that in mind, below are my rankings for both my primary keyword phrase (betta fish care) and my secondary keyword phrases when using the Market Samurai tool.
Income – Did I Earn Any Money?
Before moving on, it’s important to note that I haven’t really worked on the site much at all since after a few weeks from when the site went live. So I view any money that I earned up until now as pretty good, even if I only managed to make a little bit.
Below are the various income sources I’ve earned money from since making the site live.
- Chitika: $0.07
- InfoLinks: $0.13
- Amazon Affiliates: $2.70
- Total: $2.90
Key Areas that Need to Be Improved
From the looks of things, I definitely need to work on actually making money with my site (after all – that’s one of the main purposes of launching the niche site). I’ll get to the money aspects in a moment.
I also need to add more content and continue my backlinking strategy (you can view my niche site content strategy here and the actual backlinking strategy here). Above all things though, adding more content will be my main priority, since it will not only help decrease the bounce rate, but it will also give my readers more info for further reading, adding to the value visitors receive.
But, while I have been keeping bettas for a number of years now, there are still tons more that I still need to learn in terms of betta care. So I figured getting more knowledgeable about the subject would be my first step – and you can’t really trust some of the information that you read on the Internet these days. For this reason, I took it upon myself to purchase several books from Amazon on betta care, and I’ll be going through them one-by-one while also writing about what I already know.
Once I’m done reading, I can then recommend the most valuable ones on my site to further my earning potential.
How Waiting Worked in My Favor
While, by waiting, I wasn’t able to get the results that I wanted in the quickest fashion, putting the site on hold did have one major benefit and that was it allowed my domain name to age some. Many SEO gurus believe that an aged domain has a decreased chance of getting sandboxed, simply because of the belief that domain names with the most years (or in this case, months) under their belt have been given a chance to grow and acquire a larger following of people who would then link to your content through other sources. In other words, an aged domain name presumably has more authority in a particular market.
So, if I decided to increase my backlinking efforts, Google wouldn’t view more incoming links as very “odd” behavior and so my chances of being sandboxed would be reduced (I understand a few Niche Site Duel participants were faced with this problem).
Now, I’m not saying I’m going to suddenly go crazy with backlinks (actually, that would be a surefire way to get your site sandboxed); I still plan to add backlinks as I slowly move along. I’m just saying that I can technically view my aged domain name as an advantage, along with the other 2 niche site domains that I have allowed to age.
Betta Care Monetization Strategy
I plan to monetize in a number of ways. First, I’ll be taking advantage of affiliate marketing and selling products (that I’ve used and tried) from several different sources to diversify my income. The major sources will be Amazon, ClickBank, Petco or PetSmart (I’ll contact each one to see if they have an affiliate program), and possibly Commission Junction if they have related products.
I don’t believe in promoting a product or service unless I’ve personally bought or used the product or service myself, so the majority of products that I promote will probably end up being from Amazon, PetSmart, and Petco, since I regularly buy from those stores.
My long-term aims are to eventually write and sell my own ebook on owning and caring for a betta fish – and possibly even raise betta fry to sell when they mature (I’ve heard of many people selling their fish on eBay, so that’s definitely something I’ll look into). Breeding fish and raising the young are also pretty exciting (at least for me), and I have multiple mini tanks (1 gallon and up) just sitting around collecting dust that I can use for keeping fry.
To make this niche site work, I need to put the time into the content creation and initial monetization stages. So, (starting immediately) I’ll be setting aside 1 hour each day to work on the niche site until it sees page 1 of Google for its primary keyword phrase. I’m also seriously considering outsourcing some of the articles for backlinks (most likely content for EzineArticles and GoArticles; I’ll still be writing the content for money sites – like InfoBarrel or Squidoo – myself).
To top that off, I’m thinking about investing money for professional photos to give the site a more professional appeal. I’m still going to go for the occasional Flickr Commons photo, but I’m also going to include iStock in the mix. I really want to make this site useful and the most valuable betta care site out there; having professional photos along with awesome content will help me achieve this aim.
So what do you think? Do you have any suggestions or feedback? Are you currently building a niche site of your own?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!
Niche Site Duel Series
- Niche Site Duel 01: Will I Rank #1 in Google with My Keywords?
- Niche Site Duel 02: Tackling Content Strategies for All 3 Niche Sites
- Niche Site Duel 03: Betta Care Monetization Strategy