Back in 2019, I was writing 8-9 hours a day for a client and simultaneously working on my first website/blog that I never thought would turn into something so BIG.
In January 2021, I flipped my $500/month site for about 12 grand – that year, I learned two essential things:
- Age is not just a number, at least in terms of SEO
- Cash flow is important
Things started becoming dull when I realized there was no cash inflow. Although I had the resources to start a new site, a blog needs time to get that authority to bang the SERPS.
Yes, I was aware of expired domains, but back then, I didn’t find them reliable enough; therefore, I started up again. This time, I registered 3 domains to work on simultaneously, and this case study is about one of those three domains. A few months later, those 3 domains became 30, and here I am dodging the May 2022 Core Update.
By the way, the update is finally over and has bashed some quality sites too. A few blogs of mine depicted a decline before the week Google announced the update, but everything seems pretty good now. How was it for your projects?
1744% ROI from A Single Blog In 8 Months
There are times that you panic and find basic/everyday things uneasy. And the thought that it took more than 13 months to earn a stable income from my first blog caused panic as I hadn’t even started then.
Due to the previous sale terms, I had to find fresh keywords. So I wasted no time procrastinating and started up with my research.
Tip: If you have a niche in mind or an idea to work on, book the domain, host it, publish 2-3 relevant articles and leave it for a month or two. Doing so will give you age & some authority advantage, resulting in better results (for me, better indexing and position)
Publishing & Revenue Explained
- January 2021 – booked the domain & posted 3-4 articles.
- April 2021 – started publishing 6-7 articles a week (this is the key)
- May 2021 – built some foundational links
I used to only monetize the blog with Amazon affiliate (which later I realized is good, but there are better options available). After publishing 30-35 pieces of content – I spent about $250 and made $3.
Next month (June), the blog got 625 unique visitors and made $17 from Amazon. Publishing content regularly is not as easy as it sounds; therefore, I had to put 2 writers on a single site.
The Unexpected Growth
From $17 in June to $170 in August, I realized that publishing frequency is what most bloggers lack, and instead of working on ten blogs working on one is better. We published around 70-80 articles in three months – I say “we” because two of my friends helped proofread and draft the content.
Money months (last quarter of the year) were close, but september did something unexpected! WE CROSSED $500! Yes, we made $548. But how did this happen? Because there was a 250% hike in organic traffic – I analyze the search positions every two weeks and build contextual backlinks on pages with good potential (volume and $ I can bank). I have comprehensively shared about the backlink strategy in the Backlinks Strategy section below.
In total, I published 255 posts over 9 months.
I never liked display ads on an affiliate site; I mean, it didn’t make sense until I realized that there are posts where we are plugging amazon products as an alternative just because the prime product was not on Amazon.
On 15 October, things changed when I plugged in Adsense, and the site made $12 on the first day. I knew it would affect Amazon’s earnings & site traffic, and it did.
- 15 days Amazon Earnings without Adsense: $292
- 15 days Amazon Earnings with Adsense: $202
$90 down, but was it worth it? YES! Overall the blog made about $800 ($245 from Adsense & $50 from JumbleBerry)
I wanted to understand the fluctuation, so I removed Adsense in November (only for the first 15 days) — After 15 days, I again turned on ads, and the graph says it all.
Like anyone, I was afraid to test monetizations, but it was a pretty good move, as in December, the blog made $910. I still put ads on my affiliate blogs but limited.
If you are starting up, let your blog grow and plug display ads later.
Backlinks Strategy & Expense
Past 3-4 years, I learned that consistency could beat anything except powerful & relevant Backlinks.
As mentioned, I made a few foundation links that primarily include a few profile links, web 2.0, and some relevant forum links —- all to the homepage.
The ONE that Works
After 2 months of regular publishing, I started outreaching relevant prospects in the same niche (I’ll reveal the site’s niche on YouTube.)
But Samad, I don’t have a BIG budget to spend on links. How can I build those expensive contextual links?
I spent $177 and cracked 22 contextual backlinks (from 22 unique sites) — people who are already in the game know how difficult it is to get a single contextual link.
Cutting this short, outreach is the only way to get good quality links, but the cost depends on how well you pitch. If you are looking to drive traffic through social media, I suggest reading the Pinterest Case Study I wrote in 2020.
Here’s what I did:
- I created a list of relevant prospects – starter sites in my niche and scraped referring domains of my competitors.
- Not gonna lie, but I used fake names to outreach these prospects.
- 10-12 mails with different subjects and templates will save you from landing in spam.
Once in a conversation, I barter content (instead of paying their $50-$150 guest post fee). besides, if you run multiple blogs, you can pitch a three-way link exchange (a to c, c to b)
I never calculated the success rate, but the right prospects & right pitch will save you 4-6 contextual links in a month without much effort.
The Part that Turns Me On — THE SALE
In September, I decided to do good in the last quarter and flip the blog by January. November was when I started looking for buyers, but it is the second most challenging thing to do; convincing people to subscribe to your channel remains the first — Would you subscribe to mine?
75-80 days of contacting brokers, and direct investors, fantasizing about multiples, and negotiating, I got a call while I was on a trip with my mates. 2 weeks later, I sold the site at 36x ($813 avg), and after clearing the escrow and 14% broker fee, I got about $25000 and that’s how I got a 1744% return on an investment of about $1450 & 8 months of dedication.
Unlike most sellers, I did 2-to 3 (after-sale) meetings and helped him & his team with keyword research and link building process. I have shared everything with true faith, and to help the people start up fresh. Would love it if you could drop a comment down.