I think the meme below represents how last week went for a lot of people.
If you are following along with NIche Site Twitter/X, it would seem that the world is burning down around us for a lot of websites with the latest Google update.
So, how is the Project Phoenix website doing? Has it been hit by the latest update? Is a once dead website even deader. Is that even a real word?
Well, the Project Phoenix site so far as been unaffected. Hopefully I didn’t just jinx things writing that as the update is still rolling out.
Is that a result of good planning, awesome SEO, fantastic content?
Honestly, no. I think it’s a case of the site is older, hasn’t been updated in a long while and gets very little traffic from Google. Any real change from recent updates to ranking signals would not be enough to move the needle either way with this site.
I have a lot of theories about why other sites may be getting hit hard, but that’s a story for another time.
So let’s take a look at our week 3 stats and see how the site is doing. Here are the numbers for this week. (more stats can be found in the tracking Google sheet here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wbxif8m4Qb2vKHI5huDDLGGtGWaQKpWfVinmPusU8Lw/edit#gid=0)
- Sessions : 1,010
- Page views : 1,168
- Revenue : $4.36
- Pinterest views : 73,660
- Facebook reach : 50,965
- Facebook Followers : 529
A fantastic week! Even though we are only on week 3 of 4, the website has already passed last month’s figures in traffic and revenue.
It’s safe to say that it would not have done that naturally without the focus the site is getting from Project Phoenix.
So is Project Phoenix a success? You will have to wait until next week to find out. (Who am I kidding, of course it’s a success!).
Am I going to keep working on the site? Well that’s something you will have to wait until next week to find out. There are a lot of things to weigh up.
Show me the money!
In a utopian world, the reason we all build websites is because we love the work and really enjoy sharing our knowledge and joy to all of our visitors.
In the real world, with the exception of a few cases, while the above is true, the ultimate goal is money.
Most side hustles are born of a desire to quit the 9 to 5 and become financially independent, which includes niche website building.
The Project Phoenix website is no different. As much fun as it is, without a monetization plan that is viable, there are other things I could be doing that I enjoy as much and earn more money.
Please don’t waste your time sending nasty emails about being a slave to capitalism, I have a beach house to save for.
So what are the plans for monetization for this site?
If you follow along with the stats spreadsheet, you will see I have 2 listed there currently.
The first is display ads, AdSense to be precise.
The second is the Amazon affiliate program.
Why these 2? Well AdSense because there isn’t enough traffic to get into Mediavine or Raptive yet, and Amazon because I haven’t spent the time applying to all of the other affiliate income sources out there.
My philosophy on incomes sources for a site is the more the better. My other mature sites have between 5 or 6 different incomes sources per site. The more income sources a site has, the lower the risk is of loosing big chunk of revenue if should something happen to one of them.
So other than display ads and affiliate income, what other income sources is this site suited for.
Social Media Income
This is the new kid on the block. Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram and TikTok all have monetization programs that will pay you for adding content on their platforms. Does this count as niche site income?
Absolutely! Your website is your brand destination but is not the only part of your business strategy. If Facebook wants to pay you for advertising your content and brand on their platform, take that money and run!
YouTube has a very mature monetization program that gives creators a share of the YouTube ad revenue. This site is a perfect candidate for video content. It could benefit from both short form and long form video.
Selling Content Spots.
This one is a controversial one and not one I normally go towards. There are a lot of niches where sponsored content doesn’t allow for impartial reporting. Sponsored content spots however do fit into the Project Phoenix website easily without compromising the integrity of the website.
What Won’t Work
While I haven’t tested it, I can’t see a way in which I could sell digital products or website memberships to this site. While not a deal breaker, I know how well these income sources do on my other sites so not having that option does count against it.
That’s it for this week’s email. Next week I will be wrapping up the project and announcing my plans for the site. Will I moth ball it, will I continue to work on it, or will I sell it. Make sure you read next week’s email to find out.