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Websites I Acquired: Growth Update

As you know my apartment got sold and I moved to a new place last Saturday, July 9th. It was more than a week ago, but I still do not have the internet there 🙁 I believe I will skip a post the next Monday – the internet will be available only in one week. My Internet provider set up my new address incorrectly and when I called to tell about it, they said that it would take another 10 days to fix it.

I know some of you guys were waiting for this post so I tried hard to finish it despite this big obstacle 🙂 I stayed late at work, I hunted for free WiFi spots… and I did it!

Here, read an update on the websites I have acquired.

Acquired Websites And How I Planned To Grow Them

There are two of them: Elephant 🐘 and Horse 🐎.

Elephant 🐘 Website is my biggest website (in total, I have 4 niche sites) that brings in up to 85% of the niche website income. Its revenue model consists of two parts: AdSense and Amazon Affiliate. You can read how I bought it here.

Horse 🐎 Website is my second biggest website. It contributes about 12% to the total revenue. Its monetizing model has only one component: AdSense. You can read about how I bought it here – the comments are worth to be read, too.

In the end of 2015, I decided to seriously improve the websites so I created a growth action plan. I planned to reach some particular revenue goals by 6-7 months after writing the post.

Six months ended in the end of June 2016, and that’s why I am writing this post.

Let’s see if my plans came true!

Elephant 🐘 Website

Status

The chart below represents how the projected (expected) revenue compares to the real one.

The blue bars show the expected income. I calculated it before buying the website based on the historical revenue and the traffic for the previous year. Using this data, I then calculated the “fair” price of the site, which I offered to the seller and the seller accepted it.

The green bars show the actual income I have received from the website. As you can see, the green bars are much taller than the blue ones 🙂

By the end of June, the website had paid 53% of the original price. If it goes like this in the future, it will pay for it itself by March 2017, which will be 7 months earlier than projected.

elephant website revenue from start to June 2016.png

Here what I did with the website:

  • added 3 more articles of 3500 words total for the AdSense part of the website;
  • added 7 more Amazon product links to the most popular page with Amazon links;
  • added 1 comparison table with 4 Amazon products to another popular page with Amazon links;
  • added 4 more products to an existing comparison table with Amazon products;
  • ran 3 AdSense experiments; however, I was able to finish only one of them. The original ad won. As for the rest, so far they show that the old ad variations are as good as the new ones.

The update of the pages with Amazon links produced amazing results. As you can see on the chart below, my Amazon revenue increased a lot. It has grown by pretty much 400% – I take $100 as a baseline result based on the average sales the previous owner reported.

I do not show the Adsense numbers in order to comply with Adsense User Agreement.

elephant website revenue breakdown adsense vs amazon

But did I accomplish my goals for this website?

Did I Achieve My Goals?

Goal #1: Increase the Amazon revenue up to 10% of the total revenue

YES, I did.

The Amazon revenue has increased by whopping 400% in average. I took $100 as a previous result based on my sales and on the sales the previous owner reported.

The good number can be explained by the high season for the niche the website is in – however, I am very sure it grew thanks to my efforts. I can see that visitors buy the products I have added, and it makes the majority of the sales.

How did I find what products to add?

I simply looked at what the visitors bought using my links. Apart from that, I did a bit of research and found relevant products that would go well with the ones what were already in the posts.

It proved to be a good tactic.

Goal #2: Increase the AdSense revenue by 15%

UNKNOWN –  I have no idea.

If I take the AdSense revenue from December and add 15% to it, here is what I get:

$637.58 * 1.15 = $733.217  – my expected number

Well, technically the AdSence revenue did grow by more than 15%. But I believe it happened because of the high season of the niche the website is in. It is really hard to see whether my efforts brought any true increase.

I did not think in advance how I would measure it and I did not even created separate AdSense units for the new articles.

A lesson for the future – always think about how you will measure your goal BEFORE creating it.

Horse 🐎 Website

Status

The chart below shows how the projected (expected) revenue corresponds to the real one.

The red bars represent the expected income. This income was used by the seller to calculate the website price. It was an average revenue for the three months before the website was put up for sale. This time, I did not negotiate the price because it was pretty low (less than $2000).

The yellow bars represent the actual income I have received from the website. As you can see, the yellow bars are always taller than the red ones 🙂

By the end of June, the website had paid 56% of the original price. If it goes like this in the future, it will pay for it itself by the middle of February 2017, which will be 6 months earlier than projected.

 horse website revenue from start to June 2016

I did pretty much NOTHING to grow the website.

I did not add any new content and did not try to get new sources of revenue. I did not add any backlinks.

What I did was simply:

  • started 3 AdSense experiments in order to optimize the display ads. This did not produce any results. Both the old and the new ad variations were equally good so I could not do any improvements.
  • activated Online Gaming type of ads. AdSense suggested me to do so, and I did. I do not know whether it had a real impact on my revenue – I had no reliable ways to measure it.

Despite the lack of work, the website revenue grew. But did I accomplish my goals for this website?

Did I Achieve My Goals?

Goal #1: Increase the AdSense revenue by 100%

CLOSE, but not every month.

As I said, the AdSense experiments did not give any results and I did not try to improve in any other way.

I got lazy – why bother if the revenue grows on it own? It did reach 200% of the projected one once in a while. On its own 🙂

Goal #2: Start getting a revenue from the affiliate program

NO, I did not.

Again, lazy! The revenue is good on its own, why bother?

Conclusions

So far, I am very happy with the websites I acquired.

Both of them are not only giving a steady income but having a ROI that is higher than I expected. I managed to grow the revenue pretty quickly.

I can see that the more efforts I put in growing websites, the better is the return. And if I do not put in any efforts, the return is still pretty good 😉

I think I will buy more websites in the future, at least one, for sure.

And, of course, I plan to grow these ones too. Maybe I will create another action plan soon!

 

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