Informational Content Site Case Study Mths 20-21

Informational/Content Site Case Study Mths 20-21

Hey everyone, here is the next bi-monthly update for the informational site I started as a case study on the 1st of Jan 2020.

We’re definitely cruising and enjoying the passive income at this point – no complaints there.

Here is an overview of the important numbers for Aug + Sep for the site:

  • I published 28 posts spending about 30 hours on the site.
  • The site made a total of $7,590.67.
  • Traffic has plateaued around ~160k/mo.

I haven’t don’t anything new or different, I’ve just been publishing new content when I feel like it.

So, nothing innovative or interesting to report, but here is a look at the numbers:

Traffic and Earnings Stats for Jan-Sep 2021

Here’s an overview of the site’s traffic and earning stats for this year:

Month# Articles PostedPageviewsMediavine ($)Ezoic & Adsense ($)Amazon ($)Other Affiliate ($)Total ($)
Jan262,9120.001,051.3519.51243.091,313.96
Feb1261,3120.001,302.9728.66207.781,539.41
Mar2787,4581,183.22161.3564.31347.611,756.49
Apr2099,2221,353.780.0065.22315.311,734.31
May39121,2692,178.420.0087.48247.362,513.26
Jun17131,3302,840.340.00146.74216.573,203.65
Jul13163,9573,338.500.0091.21245.203,674.91
Aug18164,3563,384.520.0093.16282.003,759.68
Sep10161,4003,659.070.0093.5178.413,830.99
Totals1581,053,21617,937.852,515.67689.802,183.3323,326.65

Traffic Stats for Aug-Sep 2021

Aug to Sep 2021 Google Analytics

Traffic has clearly started to plateau. This happened last year if you look back at my stats for the end of 2020, and it’s mainly due to the seasonality of the niche.

This niche involves being outdoors and is quite dependant on the weather being decent. So, it’s no surprise that things slow down over winter.

I targeted a load of winter-related topics last year and always have evergreen content in mind, so I’ve done my best to try and bring some traffic in over the winter.

Mediavine Earnings

Mediavine Aug Sep 2021 earnings

I built the site to earn ad revenue, so it’s no surprise that this makes up the biggest slice of the revenue pie.

I’m super happy with Mediavine, the difference between Ezoic and Mediavine is night and day. I’m not going to get into that in more detail here though.

September was the first month I didn’t drop below $100/day, so RPMs are steadily improving, even if traffic isn’t.

My average RPM for August was $23.89, and for September it was $26.30.

Affiliate Income

Amazon Aug Sep 2021

Over the last two months the site made:

  • $186.67 from Amazon.
  • $360.41 from a different program.

I didn’t add any more affiliate links and the seasonality drop is clearly going to affect affiliate sales, so I expect this to drop some more over the next few months.

That’s about It!

As I said, not a lot to talk about in terms of testing out new things at the moment. I’ve been spending more time on other projects than this one, so it’s nice to collect such a good amount of passive income.

Thanks for dropping by and following along, feel free to let me know how your sites are going. Cheers!


Image credit – Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

33 thoughts on “Informational/Content Site Case Study Mths 20-21”

  1. Hey Phil!

    Thanks for the update! Well done once again!

    Any new case studies on the horizon. Perhaps turn this site into an “Authority” site? Seems like all the rage these days and I guess for good reason…What’s your take?

    An Authority site built on low volume/low competition keywords with no outsourcing.

    What do you say?

    All the best!
    Dave (aka Smutprofit)

  2. Hey Phil!

    Been waiting for this case study for like forever. This case study is a great motivating factor, especially for newbies like myself and others out there. Just one question: what is your long-term goal with the site? Sell it? Keep it and bank the passive dollars?

    Thanks a lot, mate!

    1. Hey Kelvin

      Thanks mate, appreciate it. I’m going to enquire about selling the site at the end of the year. I have other sites I want to spend more time on that I will get a better return from and I’m seeing some high multiples right now.

      1. Will these sites be part of case studies, too?
        I really enjoy reading about your work and would love to get more insights about more of your sites.

        Is your whole portfolio built around the same strategy of content production?

        1. I don’t think I will do another case study around my sites, it takes a fair bit of time to do this.

          I work on all my sites the same, yeah, I just choose very different niches so if something happens to one site the others should be fine.

          Exactly the same approach, long tail questions and <1k word posts. When you find something that works it's best to try and double down on it, right.

  3. Phenomenal case study, Phil!

    I plan to write myself as well as outsource some of the writing. Would it really matter to search engines if you publish 300 posts on your site over a few months, or in a very short period, say a 1 month’s time?

    Can you suggest a good site structure? An online magazine/news site layout with a dynamic home page or one with a static home page and a blog section or something else?

    Thank you very much for publishing your results.

    1. Hey, thanks for the kind words.

      It doesn’t matter if you publish 300 articles, it’s actually a good thing to get them all ranking. Just think what a tiny drop in the ocean that number is to Google.

      I keep my site structures very simple, the same as you see on this site. I use the same theme on my other sites and just have the blog roll as the home page as you see here, then a small number of categories.

  4. Thanks for another update, Phil.

    I was wondering what’s the secret behind your high EPM numbers? πŸ˜… Do you talk a lot about products in your articles or something?

    1. Hi Umar

      I don’t talk about many products, no. I think an RPM in the mid 20’s is fairly normal for Mediavine and not that high looking at other case studies. I have other sites in very different niches and they all get similar RPMs.

      I just write for the US audience as that’s the traffic that pays the most and don’t think about the KWs or any commercial intent to be honest.

  5. Another impressive update!!! Phil you are doing a great job here. I usually get motivated to do more anytime I stumbled on new update here.

    I would like to announce little update about my niche site too. I have 206 published contents on the site. About 187 pages are indexed.

    The sites received 406 Pageviews last month though I ranked on the first page for couple of keywords.

    It seems the Pageviews is low compare to the number of articles I have on the website. I think the site is still experiencing sand box effect, it’s just 4 months old.

    Phil, I want to ask that is it necessary to include videos in all the newly published posts to get them index fast?

    Once you sell this website, are you going to start another case study?

    I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

    1. Hi Aliu, good to hear from you.

      That’s awesome how much work you’ve put into your site. You’re right, it’s still early days, and content does seem to be taking longer to index and rank this year than last, at least I think so.

      I don’t include any videos in my posts. I’ve tried a few things to help posts index faster, such as indexing them manually a few times over a week or so, linking to them from posts already indexed, etc. Nothing seems to be honest, I think it’s best to just carry on publishing more and wait for Google to catch up.

      I’m not sure about another website case study. I enjoyed doing this, but it does take a lot of time.

      I’m thinking about starting a YouTube channel in the New Year, nothing to do with me or marketing, just seeing if I can grow a channel as I would a blog. I might do a case study on that as it’s a lot different to blogging..

  6. Hello Phil
    Great to see your site that achieved a lot of success.
    – If you have just created a site and published some articles on low comp kw as you explained and get indexed on search console, how long does it take to get to page 1 or 2 and get some visitors or clicks from Google?
    – I am confused a lot because people say you have to wait months to see visitors if you are using Google SEO. is this thing depends on the niche or on the person and how they approach SEO and Keyword research?.
    – In a short and final 2022 answer, can I give us the timeline to appear on page 1 for a low comp kw and get some visitors? (Don’t say it depends haha)
    Thanks and good luck

    1. Hi Mehdi

      It’s so hard to answer how long it will take to see a post ranking and visitors. It’s related to competition, of course, though. The lower comp KWs you target, the sooner you’ll rank. But don’t be surprised if it takes a few months.

      I grew this case study site so quickly because I have a lot of experience. All of the sites before this one were a lot slower to grow, I can tell you that.

      To give you a rough idea, I wouldn’t think about seeing reliable traffic until your site is at least 4 months old, if you publish regularly and can see Google is indexing your posts, you can then expect to see new posts ranking on page one with a few days if you’re targeting very low comp keywords.

      1. Good tips…
        Please when you decide to create a new YouTube channel, try to inform us here to subscribe and watch your content that will help us.
        Create a new article to announce your new channel or include your channel in the social media menu here on this blog.

  7. Hi Phil,
    This is impressive… Thank you for sharing all this information.
    Could you share how many words you did write for these 600 articles? Did you publish some pillar contents (maybe to attract links) which may interfere with the calculation of the average word count per article?
    If you already mentioned this in a past update, just say so and I will search for it…
    Thanks

    1. Hi Eric!

      Most of my posts are between 800-1,000 words, this is always enough to answer the type of specific longtail keywords I target.

      I have not written any pillar posts or anything like that, no. I just keep finding low competition keywords and stick to a very similar format for the most part.

      1. Hi Phil,
        Thank you for your answer. Right now I am writing on average 1,500 words per post. I will think this through. I have noticed that some smaller posts seem to get their fair share of visitors… For some keywords that I am targeting, I should definitely cut back on the number of words. I would also save time and energy. πŸ™‚
        Thank you

  8. Hello Phil,

    Congrats on the massive success with your site! It really is a testament to what consistency and dedicated work can bring in a relatively short time if one keeps at it. Your system sounds so easy (no BS) and I think I’ll do good with it, especially as I have a few old dormant domains still ranking in good niches.

    My issue is I love getting bugged down with overcomplicating stuff and looking for perfection, when all thats needed is content google can rank and send over traffic to. Sad, because I know the feeling of seeing new traffic to your new post that would never exist if that page was not published, yet I spend time over researching (stalling) instead of getting to work.

    Quick question, do you do your keyword research in bulk and then scedule your content? It will be nice to read about your actual daily/weekly routine that helps you be so prolific πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I’m done messing around and I’m off to work getting something written now. I’ll try to post in any of your updates how I’m doing.

    All the best, Rob

    1. Hey Rob

      You’re right, more content and less time spent analyzing, perfecting, formatting, etc, is what moves the needle.

      My work flow is pretty simple. I have done bursts of keyword research before and have plenty, but I’m always picking up more just by researching the stuff I’m writing. I’m never going to run out of keywords.

      As for writing, I like to write in batches, usually 5 or so articles that are related. Then I publish them all together as it’s quicker to produce the header images, interlink them as I go, etc. That’s really about it, I just write a few articles at a time across two days or so.

  9. Hi Phil,
    Thank you for all the information you are sharing.
    I have a question regarding the plugins you use. You mentioned, in response to a question (dated May 11th 2020) you received, after your very first post that you use the following plugins:
    Contact Form 7
    Easy ToC
    Monsterinights Analytics
    Imagify
    Rank Math
    Tablepress
    W3 Total Cache

    Did you change anything in the list of plugins you use over the last 1,5 year?
    Thank you in advance,
    Eric

    1. Hi Eric

      Nope, I have not added or changed any plugins.

      Going forward, I’ve started using Gutenberg native table block, so I will not need Tablepress on new sites. I think I will drop the contact form too, to be honest.

  10. Hi Phil,

    I am really happy and excited again to see that your site is growing superbly.

    Traffic and earnings growth both are excellent.

    By the way, I visited your site after a long break.

    You might have remembered that we started our sites at the same time last year.

    But I could not work much on that site due to other project work.

    I want to tell you that I have now started again on this site and have plans to put more content regularly.

    Here is my latest traffic and earnings for that site:

    Total articles published till Oct 2021 – 94

    Site traffic in Oct 2021 – 20K+ visitors

    Total earnings in Oct 2021 – $275 (Ads) + $125 (Affiliate)

    Total = $400

    So, currently my total epmv for this site is around $20 which I think is good so far..

    Lets see how this site grow in the upcoming months as I publish more content on a regular basis..

    Again, thanks for your inspirational work.

    1. Hey Vishal, I remember – yes!

      20k is very good for 94 articles, and it’s good to see some money coming in – a nice split of affiliate and ads, too.

      I hope you do find time to work on that site more because it sounds like it has a lot of potential. Keep me posted!

  11. Hello Phil, please I need an answer from you.
    My website is 2yrs but I’m having indexing issues. Right now I have 56 articles that are not indexed and some are two to three months articles.

    My confusion is that I have 26 articles in draft and because of the fact that I have 56 articles that are yet to be indexed I chose not to publish these articles until the other 56 get indexed.

    Again I found out that someone is scraping some of articles both indexed and not indexed, and this is why I chose not publish the 26 since I’m having indexing issues.

    If you were to be me what will you do. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tony

      I have loads of indexing issues, too, a lot of people do. I just carry on publishing and hold out that Google will resolve it at some point!

      Do you mean competitors are scraping your posts?

  12. Hey There Phil,

    I hope you remember me πŸ™‚

    My new site now has 28 posts, with average word count around 900. It has just crossed 100 impressions every day, with no clicks at all. I guess I just have to keep working at it while Google decides to graduate it from the sandbox.

    My other site, where I plugged in Ezoic, was bringing in around $10 a month with AdSense. With Ezoic, I’m making around $200 a month now, so that’s great.

    But it’s coming at a cost – it has absolutely wrecked my site speed. Could you please do a dedicated post on how you integrate Ezoic. DNS, or plugin?

    Any caching/JS/server side tweaks that can help my site’s speed?

    Unfortunately, I don’t think I can get their support to personally take a look at my site, since I’m not really bringing ton of traffic to them.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Darsh

      That’s good to hear that you have a site bringing in some nice $, and the other will not be far behind now then as you know what you’re doing.

      I wish I could help re; Ezoic site speed, but that’s something I’m pretty bad at. My Ezoic sites are slow, they fail core web vitals, and I get some of the errors and other issues I see other Ezoic users complaining about!

  13. Hey Phil!
    Are you going to post an update either about this site or what you’ve been up to lately?

    Enquiring minds would like to know)

    Anyway, hope all is well!

    I plan on doing my own case study, when I cross the $1000. mark. It’s coming, but there’s a few additional lessons I’ve learned from using your method along the way, which kind of explains the slow, yet continuous upwardly growth I’ve experienced.

    There’s also a few changes I’ve made to my approach, which may be a little controversial as well. But no link building! lol!

    Anyway, I look forward to any updates you may have!

    All the best!
    Dave, aka Smut!

    1. Hey Dave

      Yep, working on an update now.

      Now you’ve really piqued my interest! You’re nearing $1k, which is huge, and you’re experimenting and doing some things a little different?!

      I need to know! πŸ™‚

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