Today it occurred to me that over the nearly 9 years I’ve been blogging and publishing online full time, I’ve not once run out of topics to cover on my niche sites. I’ll publish on the most obscure topics. Today’s email explains how and why this works.
I’m often asked the following type of question:
Hey Jon, I found a keyword that’s reported to get 100 searches per month in Ahrefs. I know you say you go after such keywords if they have low competition, but I just don’t see how it’ll pay off.
If ad revenue is $18 per 1,000 visitors, this article in a best case scenario will earn roughly $18 to $22 per year and that’s assuming it hits number 1 in Google.
If I spend $80 for the article, it’ll take 4 years just to break even. That doesn’t sound like a good return for me. Am I missing something?”
My response is the following:
First, a well written article will target more than just that keyword so the potential traffic is usually much higher. Not always, but often.
Second, articles that are narrow in topic that fill out article clusters strengthen the cluster. Successful clusters can earn very well. Some articles might not be great on their own, but as a part of a larger whole, they do their part.
Third, well written articles on obscure topics can attract links which not only help the article rank but help the entire site.
In other words, a niche site’s whole is more than the sum of its parts.
That’s a very important aspect of this online publishing business.
Let’s do a little math.
My biggest site has roughly 3,500+/- long form articles. The other 3,000 are not geared for search engines. Don’t ask, it’s a long story.
The 3,500 search-friendly articles are published for search traffic.
I’m just guessing here, but if I had to guess, those 3,500 articles cost on average $150 per article totalling $525,000.
Over the years I’ve also had to invest in:
Images: I use Shutterstock mostly.
VAs: Put together a great team thanks to Onlinejobs.ph.
Let’s call it $800,000+/- spent on that site since it launched.
This is very rough math but it still gets the point across.
That $800,000 was invested over 7 years.
Yet in 2020 alone, that same site earned roughly $650,000.
Plus the site is a valuable asset that I could sell.
In the beginning, paying for content didn’t make sense because it couldn’t earn a return fast enough. I wrote it all. I didn’t have the funds to invest and wait.
However, over the years, the revenue grew faster than necessary reinvestment to spur that growth.
And that’s because as I added more and more content, the whole became much more than the sum of its parts.