I’m back into building new niche websites. I should say I had a handful of cookers and now I’m devoting money and time to growing some of them.
After selling 7 sites at the end of 2020 and early 2021, I’m working hard on growing a total of 4 sites (not including Fat Stacks). Three of these sites pre-existed my recent selling spree. One site is brand new.
My biggest niche site (cleverly referred to as Site 1 in my income reports) is my main revenue source among my portfolio (not including Fat Stacks). All I do is add new content and update old content. It’s about as simple as it gets.
As for one of the smaller sites, I thought it would be fun to pour a little gas on growth with some link building. I didn’t want to go all blackhat though. I’ve always thought the skyscraper model is good. It’s similar to what I do anyway except incorporates some outreach to get more links. I publish plenty of linkable assets. Skyscraper model revolves around publishing a linkable asset (epic blog post) followed by contacting other websites inquiring about linking to it. Pretty benign stuff that I’m hoping will yield big results.
I hunted around checking out services. I settled on Niche Website Builders (NWB). They advertised in my newsletter which is how I became aware of them. I liked the sounds of their methods so ordered the 4-month BALLISTIC skyscraper service. I also liked working with them. They know this stuff and are nice, personable guys. That goes a long way IMO.
- Why did I go with the Ballistic package?
- Which site am I running this service on?
- The Niche Website Builders Process
- Niche Website Builders Results (after 5 months)
- Website Structure and Internal Links: How I’m Getting the Most Out of this Service
- NWB Skyscraper Timeline of Events
- Ordered NWB Skyscraper
- Confirms my site details
- Topics Pitch
- Article #1 Brief Completed
- Draft Article #1 Completed
- Article #1 Formatted and Ready to Publish in Website
- Skyscraper Article #1 Published
- Outreach for Article #1 Started
- Skyscraper Article #2 Published / Outreach Begins.
- Skyscraper Article #3 Published / Outreach Begins
- Skyscraper Article #4 Published / Outreach Begins
- Skyscraper Article #5 Published / Outreach Begins
Why did I go with the Ballistic package?
For me it’s simple. If I’m going down this road, I might as well go all in.
That was 5 weeks ago.
STATUS: The linkable asset article is published on my site. I believe they just started the outreach process.
Which site am I running this service on?
If you follow my income reports, I assign a number to each niche site. This outreach link-building experiment was for niche site #9.
Briefly, niche site #9 launched in June 2020. I seeded it with 79 articles that I moved from another site and did 301 redirects. This spiked traffic to the site fairly nicely out of the gates. Since then I’ve added a lot of content. In August 2021, the number of published articles hit 528. Word counts range all over the place. Revenue is currently in the $3,500 to $3,800 per month range.
The Niche Website Builders Process
Each month that you stay with NWB’s skyscraper service, they will publish a new skyscraper article and do outreach for it for new links.
Here’s the process in detail for one article. Note that each month you stay with the service, this process is repeated.
I stayed with the service for 5 months and ended up with 5 skyscraper articles. I stopped because while each campaign and article was a big success, I suspect I was hitting diminishing returns. NWB attracted a ton of good links to my site for me. My site is attracting tons of links naturally now thanks to great rankings so it’s time to let my site’s off-site evolve on its own.
Article Topic Ideas: Once you pay for the skyscraper service and provide info about your site, NWB reaches out pitching article ideas. This article is intended to be an informational beast designed to attract links from other websites (resulting from outreach).
They pitched 5 topics. One stood out so I went with it.
The Article Itself: It’s 5,100 words. Purely informational. The included 17 images. One massive table. It’s well written. All in all, it’s a good article. The images used are basic. The writing is quite good. It’s definitely something I’m more than happy to publish on my site. The issue is whether it’s good enough to attract links. I’m leaving that to NWB. After all, that’s what I’m paying for. It’s up to them to ensure the article does what I’m paying to do.
Formatting: The formatting is decent. They wrote it in Classic Editor then converted it in Gutenberg. The table was created with the WordPress table maker which is fine with me. The table is only 3 columns so it works on mobile as well.
There are many headlines and no walls of text.
Clearly, the folks publishing content for NWB understands how to publish for websites.
Niche Website Builders Results (after 5 months)
Without question, I’m very happy with the skyscraper service results working with Niche Website Builders. They attracted a ton of decent links. They published outstanding articles.
The articles are link-worthy. NWB provided some custom graphics. The topics were chosen more on link-worthiness than keyword-based. This makes sense since the articles’ primary purpose is to attract links. In other words, if you use their service, don’t expect them to find some wicked awesome keyword to target. Instead, they choose articles that are interesting and offer good link attraction opportunities.
- Article 1: 5,291 words
- Article 2: 4,003 words
- Article 3: 4,164 words
- Article 4: 4,012 words
- Article 5: 4,018 words
Inbound Links Achieved and Cost Per Link
I started the service on March 4, 2021.
As of August 14, 2021, the five skyscraper articles and outreach campaigns attracted 92 inbound links (92 referring domains). This is the result of 5 skyscraper articles.
Inbound link results for each skyscraper article:
Skyscraper #1: 34 links
Skyscraper #2: 11 links
Skyscraper #3: 24 links
Skyscraper #4: 23 links
Skyscraper #5: 0 links (campaign just started when I published this update).
Total links: 92 inbound links (referring domains)
Cost per link: $8,000 / 92 links = $87. I only include the cost for 4 months because the outreach campaign for the fifth just started.
$87 per link is very good. With most other services, you’d pay double, triple or more.
Website’s total referring domains chart (Ahrefs)
Here’s a referring domains chart. NWB did NOT build all of those links. That’s not the point. The point is that the site is getting decent enough traffic and has good enough content that it’s attracting links on its own. That’s the ultimate goal (other than traffic and revenue of course).
I believe it’s a bit too early to conclude about any traffic growth but a case study like this would be lacking if I didn’t include a traffic screenshot. Traffic has increased nicely since I started the skyscraper service. I can’t say with 100% certainty the traffic growth is a result of NWB’s skyscraper service. After all, the site is only 13 months old and content is still climbing in the SERPs on its own. My hunch is the traffic growth is due in part to the skyscraper service.
As you can see traffic is growing. It was at the 3,500 visitors per day mark when I started the skyscraper service. As of August 14, 2021, traffic is at the 6,000 to 6,500 per day level. Let’s be conservative and say 6,100 visitors per day. That’s a nice 74% traffic increase.
Now, It’s impossible to conclude that the entire 74% increase in traffic is a result of this skyscraper service. I’ve added a lot of content. Older content continues to climb in the rankings. As you can see traffic jumped as a result of the July 2021 Google update. There are many factors at play, but my hunch is the skyscraper service definitely helped. More importantly, I believe I’ll continue getting more traffic from these 5 skyscraper campaigns and my site now attracts a ton of links without outreach.
Service: Their level of service is awesome. I’m impressed and I’m not easily impressed. When I drop thousands for something I have pretty high expectations. NWB’s team communicates enough so that I know what’s going on but they don’t inundate me with pointless emails. The update emails are succinct. NWB knows how to assemble teams and systems because the process and service is very good.
Tracking: NWB maintains a shared Google Sheet with every inbound link built. The specifics tracked include date built, DR, source link URL, target URL (which skyscraper article it’s linking to) and anchor text. It’s a very handy sheet that provides all the data you need.
Website Structure and Internal Links: How I’m Getting the Most Out of this Service
Once the skyscraper articles are published, I link to them from the home page. Then within each skyscraper, I link out to 10 to 15 cornerstone articles on my site. The articles I link to are related to the skyscraper topic. Those cornerstone articles I link to from the skyscrapers link out to many subordinate articles. This way I’m maximizing the SEO benefit of all those inbound links.
While doing this infrastructure internal linking isn’t fun, it’s definitely an important part of the process to ensure you get the biggest bang for your skyscraper buck.
NWB Skyscraper Timeline of Events
Ordered NWB Skyscraper
Bit the bullet and bought the BALLISTIC skyscraper package. Very excited!
Confirms my site details
Within 24 hours NWB confirms via email receipt of my website details provided by me upon payment. They are ready to roll.
NWB team pitches 5 article topics for me to choose from.
Article #1 Brief Completed
The team emailed me with a link to a very detailed article brief (outline) for me to review before article completion. It was great. I approved it.
Draft Article #1 Completed
The article was fully written and a draft was provided for my review. Draft provided in Google Docs. It was great. I approved with no revision request.
Article #1 Formatted and Ready to Publish in Website
NWB team emailed me saying the article was fully formatted and ready to be published. I missed this email.
Skyscraper Article #1 Published
I missed the March 23, 2021 email alerting me that the article was ready to publish. Fortunately, I saw this one and immediately reviewed it. They did a good job formatting it the first time around (impressive actually). I clicked published and told them it was now live.
TOTAL WORDS: 5,291 words
Outreach for Article #1 Started
As soon as I emailed NWB that I published the article, they replied saying that they will start outreach shortly. Very responsive service which I like. I love that my emails don’t go unanswered for days or weeks. They’re on the ball even if I’m not.
TOTAL LINKS: 34
Skyscraper Article #2 Published / Outreach Begins.
Skyscraper article #2 is published and NWB starts outreach campaign.
TOTAL WORDS: 4,003
TOTAL LINKS: 11
Skyscraper Article #3 Published / Outreach Begins
Skyscraper #3 is published.
TOTAL WORDS: 4,164
TOTAL LINKS: 24
Skyscraper Article #4 Published / Outreach Begins
NWB does a good job sticking to a monthly schedule. #4 is published.
TOTAL WORDS: 4,012
TOTAL LINKS: 23
Skyscraper Article #5 Published / Outreach Begins
The fifth and final skyscraper article is published and outreach begins. I could have continued but I figured by this point diminishing returns may set it and I’d rather use the funds for content.
TOTAL WORDS: 4,018
TOTAL LINKS: 0 (Work in Progress)
Is Niche Website Builders’ skyscraper service worth using?
While I can’t know exactly how much traffic growth is a result of their service, I can conclude the following:
- The cost per link is very good coming in at $87 per link.
- The links themselves are quite good. NWB provides a list of every site/URL from where the links are coming from.
- The service is prompt, friendly and very efficient.
- The content provided as skyscraper articles is excellent.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.