A Detailed Look at My Top Earning Niche Sites

I received a few requests after my last income report to go into some more detail about my top earning niche sites.  Essentially, people want to know why these sites earn more than my others (and believe me – this is something I want to learn too).

Sometimes success is random and can’t be pinpointed on any one factor, but if you can figure out a few reasons why a site is earning well, you’re in a better position to replicate that success.

Top 10 Earning Sites from Last Month

We’ll start off with a chart of last month’s top 10 sites, sorted by earnings.  You’ll notice I’ve included some extra columns…

[Click image to enlarge]

Because “page 1 of Google” is the most relevant ranking information, I’ve listed the rank if the site is on page 1, otherwise I wrote “pg 2″ to indicate the site is on page 2…or I wrote “N/A” if the site isn’t ranked on page 1 or 2 for that particular keyword.  Keep in mind that this ranking data is for the primary keyword - this doesn’t reflect longer-tail, lower traffic keywords that the site receives visits from.

Instead of making overall generalizations about each site above, I’ve decided to tackle each site in some detail.  And yes, I will even tell you what the general niche of each site is!

1) Site #6

Primary Keyword CPC: $0.67

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 720

Broad Niche: Technology

I was surprised to see this as my top earning site – after all, it’s not on the first 2 pages of Google and the estimated search volume is only 720 searches per month.  How the heck did this happen?

I think this site is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t overlook Bing/Yahoo.  One of the reasons why I think this site is successful is because it’s a review site that’s primarily monetized through Amazon, and I think a lot of people turn to Bing when they are shopping online.  Being #1 on Bing allows me to capture that traffic and probably convert it a lot better than traffic from Google (which is actually almost nonexistent right now, so I can’t really compare the two).

Also, I will point out that this is one of my older niche sites (created about a year and a half ago as one of my original Amazon sites).  Because the search volume is low, it may not ever earn any more than this, but $35-40/month is great (that’s $420-480/year) and it only costs me $10 to renew each year.

2) Site #67

Primary Keyword CPC: $0.65

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 2,400

Broad Niche: Shopping – Household Products

The reason this site seems to work well is that it has a high click through rate.  Each individual click doesn’t pay well, but when you’re getting lots of clicks, it almost doesn’t matter.  One of the reasons the click through rate is so is high is because the ads are extremely relevant to the search, to the point where, when you land on the site, it’s difficult to not click on the ads.

This is definitely a site I want to put more of a focus on and add more content/backlinks.  Currently, the site only has 2 “real” pages of content (the other pages are the usual ones – contact us, privacy policy, about us pages).

3) Site #25

Primary Keyword CPC: $1.35

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,900

Broad Niche: Society/Relationship Issues

When I created this site, I never expected it to be one of my better earning sites.  The niche isn’t something that I think lends itself to ad clicks.  My gut reaction to the expected click through rate was right – this site’s click through rate is only 1/5 of site #67′s above.

So why is it doing well?  Even if you have a low keyword search volume, low click through site, you can overcome that by having a good ranking site.  This site is ranking #3 for its target keyword, and last month, it had the 6th highest # of page views of all my niche sites.

The lesson here is that you can actually target keywords and niches you don’t think are great if you believe you can rank highly (top 3) for your primary keyword.

4) Site #51

Primary Keyword CPC: $2.92

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,600

Broad Niche: Technology

This is actually the micro-niche site I’m currently most excited about because it’s for a product I’m very interested in, and I think I can get it to earn $50/month or more, despite the relatively low search volume.

Although I’m ranking #4 right now on Google, this is one site where I’m going to push hard to get to #1.  This is a great example of how it helps to actually be interested in the niche that you choose.  You’re more excited/motivated to work on it.

5) Site #5

Primary Keyword CPC: $0.76

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,300

Broad Niche: Men’s Accessories

This is another one of my original Amazon sites created over a year ago.  What I love about these sites is that I literally haven’t touched them for the past 9-12 months, and they continue to earn money regularly.

One thing I need to start doing is going back to these older sites to add content and make sure I’ve applied all the on-site SEO tactics I’ve learned ever since I originally built the sites.  It’s a lot easier to make more money from a site that’s already earning compared to starting a new site from scratch.

6) Site #69

Primary Keyword CPC: $0.57

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 8,100

Broad Niche: Food Products

Out of my top 10 earning sites, this one targets the keyword with the highest search volume.  As you can see, it’s been more difficult to rank (currently not on page 1 on any search engine).   Keep in mind, this is one of my newer sites, completed less than 3 months ago.

7) Site #9

Primary Keyword CPC: $0.38

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 2,400

Broad Niche: Pets

This was one of the first Adsense-focused niche sites I built, about 8 months ago.  This was definitely an “experimental” site in that I built it before really learning much about how to properly research and build these types of sites.

As you can see, I picked a very low CPC keyword in a competitive niche.  Despite the fact that I don’t think this site represents “good niche site work,” I’ve already just about earned enough to cover the cost of building it – everything I earn from this point forward will be gravy. :)

This takes me back to something I’ve always said – if you do it right, it’s not difficult to build a profitable site (even when you feel like you’ve targeted a poor keyword).  Granted, it might not earn a lot of money, but if you can at least recoup the cost of building the site, you’re in an excellent position.

8 ) Site #43

Primary Keyword CPC: $2.42

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,600

Broad Niche: Auto

This site hasn’t received much traffic (that’s why overall earnings are low), but it’s in a fairly high paying niche and the click through rate has been solid.  This is one niche where I believe the ads are very well targeted (which helps you).  The auto niche is notorious for spending lots of money on advertisement, so you can be sure that they are designed for great conversion.

9) Site #21

Primary Keyword CPC: $3.94

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,300

Broad Niche: Relationships

I don’t need to say much for this site, because it was the focus for my AdSense micro-niche site case study.  You can read all the details here.

10) Site #18

Primary Keyword CPC: $6.94

Primary Keyword Exact Local Search Volume: 1,600

Broad Niche: Health

This was another one of the first AdSense sites I built before I came up with my current “process.”  This site actually wasn’t ranking until the past couple of weeks, so I’m interested to see where the earnings go.

The biggest flaw in this site is that I don’t think it’s going to have a very good click through rate – therefore, the only way it’s going to earn decent money is if I can get it to rank in the top 3 on Google.

Conclusion

I’m sure you still have questions, but hopefully this article gave you a deeper look into some of my better niche sites.  I will definitely acknowledge that none of these sites are great successes.  I still consider them all to be works in progress.  Hopefully though, this gives you an idea of how sites like these can expect to earn after a few months.

Because I’m sure I left out information that you’d like to know, I’ll be happy to answer any questions about these sites, in the comments (except for giving away the URLs!).

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A Detailed Look at My Top Earning Niche Sites

Related posts:

  1. Unexpected Income from Niche Sites
  2. AdSense Micro-Niche Site Public Case Study – Research & Initial Setup (Part 2)
  3. The One Question No One Seems to be Asking About Niche Sites