Fat Stacks quote from Breaking Bad by Jesse Pinkman

Niche Site Traffic, Revenue & Content Growth Timeline (2 Niche Sites)


Here is traffic, revenue, content and inbound link data for two niche sites I own over the last 4 years. See the trajectory and correlations.

How fast can niche sites and blogs grow?

Unfortunately, there is no universal trajectory.  It’s not like every site hits the same traffic levels and revenue figures over the same time period or after set amounts of content.

You never know how it’s going to go.

I will tell you this. In most cases, it will take longer than you want.

I’ll also tell you that if you hang in there and hit good numbers; numbers that enable you to do this full time, that you will not regret it.

Running a thriving online publishing company is a very good business and provides for a great lifestyle.  I earn well with no income ceiling, I have no clients or customers, I work when and where I want, I take all the vacation and time off I want, I can pretty much work on whatever I want on any given day… the list goes on.

Most importantly, I like this line of work. I like planning and publishing content.  I like writing it… like this post (and so many others).

Over the years I’ve grown my portfolio of niche sites.  Some are big hits, some moderate hits and some are stinkers.

This post showcases the growth timeline for two moderately successful niche sites.  The two sites profiled anonymously below are good for this because they were not overnight successes.  I published content at a slower rate; a rate folks just getting started can manage.  I’m also excited about the potential of these two sites – I believe they both can hit 1 million plus monthly visitors in due course.

PLEASE NOTE:   These two sites are not my biggest niche sites.  They have not been my focus with respect to time and investment.  I launched them with the intention they grow slowly in an effort to diversify in the long run.  During the entire timeline of these sites, my focus was my biggest niche site… I do not ignore my bread and butter site.

Here are the timelines.

Site 1: Tech niche

This is niche site 6 in my income reports.

Content strategy: Target low competition keywords and publish great content.

Current Site Authority: UR: 17, DR: 12, DA: 18

This site, for now, covers a tech gadget industry.  Most of the content currently revolves around a popular tech gadget product line.  It’s a sizeable industry so potential is great.  Next month I’ll expand into a closely related product line. Over time it’ll grow into a broader tech gadget site but as long as I have content for what it currently covers, I’m good sticking with that.  Moreover, because it’s tech, new products are released every year or so by all the brands which requires new reviews and comparisons.  New brands are entering as well so it’s fast-growing.

This site took longer to grow because I’ve worked on it intermittently over the years.  When I started it, I planned to write the content and I did write a bunch, but then stopped.  I outsourced some content but it wasn’t very good.  I then paused the site.

In January 2020 I decided to resume the site in earnest.  I hired a local writer (former editor of a small-town newspaper) on a part-time basis to review the products and write about them.  I order the products, he picks them up in batches, tests the products, writes about them and takes photos.  It’s a great set up which explains why since I’ve hired him the site has taken off.

Domain registration date:  December 2016

First piece of content published: December 2016

Monetization: display ads and affiliate.  Even though it’s product-oriented, to date, ads earn more.

Display ad networks: AdSense, then Ezoic and now AdThrive

Content source: In-house local writer who uses and tests every product featured.  Currently, he publishes about 2 articles per week.  WriterAccess writes some informational content.

Current traffic levels: 1,200 to 1,400 visitors per day

Number of published articles as of Aug. 11, 2020: 141

Infinite scroll: yes

Link building: 5 guest posts 2+ years ago.

Main traffic source: Google search.  Pinterest is not a good fit for this niche so I’m not bothering.

Videos: No, but there is definitely excellent potential to hire someone to create videos down the road.

Content growth chart

The following chart shows the number of words published by month.  Notice the big gap.  I didn’t start working on this site properly until the end of 2019… but the fact it sat with content for a couple of years likely helped its current rapid growth.

Niche site 6 words published timeline

Content synopsis (as of Aug 11, 2020)

  • Total words published: 269,760 words
  • Number of articles published: 141
  • Average number of words per article: 1,913

Traffic chart

Niche site example traffic chart

Referring domains (Ahrefs)

Referring domains niche site timeline

Revenue chart

Revenue timeline niche site

Going forward

Short term: focus on current product line and will introduce a related product line in a month or so.  I’m also adding informational content to the site for more traffic.

Long term:  Expand into multiple related product lines and if revenue explodes (I’m always optimistic), produce product review videos.  The videos are a ton of work so I’d need to hire someone to do it.

Potential: Based on the competition, 1 million-plus monthly visitors generating $25,000+ per month.

Site 2: Beauty Site

This is niche site 4 in my income reports.

Content strategy: Target low competition keywords and publish great content.

Current Site Authority: UR: 16, DR: 27, DA: 17

Like the site above, I worked on this site intermittently as well.  For the first year or two I used it as a guinea pig site trying different things, most of which didn’t work.  The end result is growth was not very fast, but it’s been decent.  Again, this serves as a good example of what you can achieve starting out.  With focus, you can grow faster than this site did.

I love the beauty niche.  I contribute regularly to this site by focusing on beards (facial hair) and shaved heads since I have a beard and shave my head.

For example, I buy various beard and shaved head products, test them, and review them.  I also write informational pieces.

It covers women’s beauty topics such as hair, make-up and nails as well.

The traffic and revenue potential is ridiculously high.

Domain registration date:  September 2016.

First piece of content published: September 2016

Monetization: display ads and affiliate.  Display ads will be the primary earning source.

Display ad networks: AdSense, then Ezoic and now AdThrive

Content sources: Me and WriterAccess writers.

Current traffic levels: 2,500 to 3,000 visitors per day

Number of published articles as of Aug. 11, 2020: 401

Infinite scroll: yes

Link building: 12 guest posts a couple years ago.

Main traffic source: Google search.  Secondary, Pinterest.  It has decent Pinterest potential.

Videos: Not currently and I doubt it down the road.

Content growth chart

As you can see, I’ve worked on this site intermittently over the years.  I’m currently doing a big push and now that revenue is comfortably above $1,000 per month, it’s self-financing so I hope to continue publishing content weekly.

Niche site 4 words published timeline

Content synopsis (as of Aug 11, 2020)

  • Total words published: 767,018 words
  • Number of articles published: 401
  • Average number of words per article: 1,913

Okay, this is unbelievable and that is the average number of words per article for both sites is exactly the same.  This was not planned.  I order content spanning a wide range of word counts on both sites.  This is uncanny.

Traffic chart

This site dropped quite a bit as a result of the January 2020 Google algo update.  However, traffic has almost entirely recovered since then.

Niche site 2 traffic growth chart

Referring domains (Ahrefs)

Referring domains niche site 2

Revenue chart

Revenue dropped in sync with traffic drop.  Personally, I think this site does not earn very well given the amount of content.  I have some badly performing content.

Revenue timeline chart niche site

Going forward

Short term: focus on informational content targeting low competition keywords.  I’m also ramping up Pinterest.

Long term:  Stick to current topics since they’re huge topics and slowly grow traffic and revenue.

Potential: Based on the competition, 5 million-plus monthly visitors generating $50,000+ per month.

Takeaways

Not all niches earn the same.  The first site above earns far more per 1,000 published words.  I’ve been far more strategic in my content plan with the first site than the second.

Aged and seeded domains works:  The first site above I started, then stopped and when I resumed in late 2019 in earnest, it’s grown very quickly.  I doubt the site would have grown like that had I registered the domain in 2019.  Therefore, if you have a site or sites sitting with content, it’s not a waste.  If/when you resume with a good effort, you’ll be ahead than if just starting out.

This stuff takes a long time:  I did NOT bring my A-game to these two sites because I focus on my biggest niche site.  I only work on additional sites when I have time and money to do so.  This results in intermittent efforts over time.  However, I still believe I made the right decision to launch additional sites, even if they’re smaller and take longer to grow.

Moreover, the above sites serve as good examples because realistically if you’re working a full-time job attempting to start a site, your effort and time may reflect the same effort/time I put in the above sites.  As you can see, while growth may be slower, it can happen.  You just need to be patient.  Now these two sites combined earn almost $2,000 per month and should grow reasonably quickly as long as I can continue working on them.

Content + low competition keywords + time = Traffic and revenue.  

The correlation is strong.  It’s not a perfect correlation but strong to form a viable online publishing strategy.  To increase traffic and revenue, increase content, more low competition keywords targeted and give it time.


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