Why I bought 2 Adsense Websites Instead of Building Them Myself

by Ralph

In my short career (2 years) of online marketing and affiliate marketing I’ve made over 30 websites. Some are doing really well and some are just sitting there and collect digital dust.

The websites that I have a larger passion for, tend to do a lot better than the ones where I don’t really care as much about. Which is actually a shame as I did put a lot of effort into those sites to get them ranked or at least put some content on.

Some of my sites that I do care a lot about and have success;

www.myrun.com.au

myrun

www.myrun.com.au is one of my larger sites as I have a love / hate relationship with running. And I think a lot of people have the same so I thought it would be fun to write about my personal running journey. I’ve made the Yahoo! Australia Homepage twice (through a post on Banzai, which is the sports website of Yahoo!) and generally got a bit of traffic to this site. I get about 1500 – 2000 visits a month on this site. (More behind the scenes on this here)

www.thelongtailproreview.com

long tail pro

www.thelongtailproreview.com is one of the affiliate sites I created for a contest I entered. I was already using this keyword search tool for my niche websites and affiliate sites. So it was a lot easier for me to write about as I was loving the product and could write some good content about it. Since I also have Market Samurai, but I just found this tool a lot better (and faster) so it was an easy win – win to write about Long Tail Pro instead of Market Samurai.

A lot of people use they keyword tool from Google (which is great) but if you set up more sites than one you should try to make the most of your time. You can read about it in my comparison of Google Keyword tool vs Long Tail Pro blogpost. I actually used this website as a case study on how to start your first Niche Website 

www.henrycavillworkouts.com

henry cavill workout

www.henrycavillworkouts.com is one of four sites that I have which are in the “celebrity workout niche” and perform quite well. They did get a hit during the Penguin update (more on that here) but they gaining traffic again which is excellent. I created these with the knowledge that Ryan Magin taught me in a few of his course, one of them Affiliate Blog Empire, is specifically designed to teach you about creating smaller niche websites. Ryan gives a lot of free content via Facebook / Private Webinars etc and I’ve learned quite a few tricks of the trade so check him out too.

As you see the Facebook fans are far over a 1000 which is awesome! These numbers came this way just buying $50 bucks worth of Facebook ads until I hit the 300 fans mark. The rest is posting / sharing something every day and promote new content on the site via Facebook. Currently there are about 10 posts on the site and I haven’t touched it in over 6 months.

A few of the posts I wrote myself and a few I outsourced via Odesk and Iwriter. Each article which was about 500 and more cost me about $5 per post. Which in my opinion was money well spend as I didn’t have to sit and write it myself. I could focus on other things.

Some of my sites that I do care less about and aren’t so great;

www.electricity-comparison.com.au

electricity comparison

www.electricity-comparison.com.au is one of those sites that have a lot of potential but for some reason I’m not doing enough with it. This sites actually earns me about $20 -$30 in Adsense every month but it could be a whole lot more. I only have 1 backlink to this site from a popular forum which 85% of my traffic to this site. Which is insane (as in good)… and stupid at the same time…

So I should spend a sh*tload of time to actually build this site into something that actually converts a lot better and getting a proper theme for it. I actually found a theme that I would love to use and it is this one:

www.howtocleananything.com

This theme looks absolutely amazing (you can download it for free here) but is a lot of customization from the basic layout to the layout above. I read this post on onlineincomelab.com where Trent Dyrsmid bought howtocleananything.com site and goes through on how he is improving the site. The value of the site at the time that he purchased it was $5,000; roughly 10-12x it’s monthly cash flow.. which is something I can’t afford but it did trigger me to actually buy a website instead of building it myself.

www.howtorun.com.au

how to run

www.howtorun.com.au This was (and still is) the only site that I build using an HTML template (you can download it for free here) and just mucked around. Funny thing was that I ranked high in Google on the phrase “how to run” fairly quickly but a few Google updates later this dropped quite a bit. I actually don’t know how I rank now.

But this is a website purely to promote an affiliate product which is for expert runners. I should have done this a bit differently as the market of experienced runners is harder than beginners. And also a lot smaller.. but you learn something every day.

Why I bought two Adsense sites

When I first started out I bought a website which was monetized via Adsense and Clickbank working on a WPRobot (autoposting software) and this failed.. hard..

Why? 

I had NO idea what I was doing. The domain www.fighterbodies.com (expired) was about how to get the perfect fighter body like the guys from the UFC. I do like to watch UFC fighting but with my zero experience of the market and sort of passion for UFC it was doomed to fail.

If I would have bought the website now, I would have done it differently and a lot better. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles and you move on.

I came across this adsblogpost by Adsense Flippers (great website) where they debate Niche Sites vs Authority Sites. The discussion is great, as it is very current with all the updates that Google has put out. Niche sites are becoming more fragile but it also depends what you exactly do with those sites.

Anyway, I came into contact with Mike Thomas from the Mike from Maine website (he was in favour of Niche Websites) and he was actually selling websites on his blog. You can check out the websites that he has for sale here

Since I wasn’t interested in setting up a new website myself I thought I would try and give a already build website a go. Since the website already had traffic (and revenue) I couldn’t really go wrong. I paid about $200 dollars for one of the website and Mike helped me transfer the site into my name.

On a sidenote, Mike did an excellent job in helping me with this. His tutorials are perfect to follow and he was available whenever I wanted on Google Chat. So Kudos for Mike on that front.

There were a few things I was looking for when I bought the sites;

  1. Decent CPC of min $1 and higher
  2. Minimal of 1000 local searches per month
  3. Ability to rank higher (so I could increase my revenue)
  4. Some sort of affiliation with the product / website (Health / Fitness / Workout)
Since I’ve purchased these in the past few weeks it is too early to give a thorough analysis on how the sites are performing. I want to at least add 10 posts per site to get some good quality content going and also to increase my reach in the search results.

So me buying a website saved me quite a bit of time as I didn’t have to do the keyword research and hope the site would perform and actually earn some money.

It is a perfect and low labor intensive way of building your online portfolio (for a lack of a better word). I’m not sure if I keep doing this all the time as sometimes I do like to build my own sites and get them going.

I also wanted to know what Mike was using to build his sites and what plugins. So it gave me a way to pull back the curtains and look what is happening behind the screens. Which was quite interesting I must admit.

So there you have it, my reasons behind buying two Adsense websites instead of building them myself. I’ll go into more detail what is happening with all the sites that are mentioned in later blogposts so you get a feel what is happening behind the scenes on this blog.

Hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to share it with your friends online. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. I wrote a follow up post with details on the MyRun.com.au website here

Talk soon

Ralph

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Shirey August 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Adsense revenue on my site has gone up enough to qualify for a payout, that’s pretty good for me at least. Hope to increase it. I used to do pretty well with Amazon Affiliates, but that isn’t available in Illinois any more

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Ralph August 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Hey Paul,
Well done on the Payout, always nice to get to that stage :)
Don’t we all want to increase it haha ;) I’ve never really ventured into Amazon but perhaps down the track this should be something I should look into.
Thanks for the comment!

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Rob Cubbon August 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Great to see the transparency here, Ralph. I like to buy and sell and experiment with sites it’s interesting to see what you’re up to.

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Ralph August 8, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thanks Rob! Great to have you stop by!

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Matthew Allen August 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Very interesting post Ralph. I love your use of screenshots to show your various sites. Lots of good links here as well. Now I want to go read your Google research vs. Long Tail Pro post. I am a newbie still using the free Google tool, but have heard nothing but good about Long Tail Pro.

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Ralph August 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

Hey Matthew,
Thanks for the feedback! Hope you enjoy the other blogposts too :)

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deborah nixon August 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

Thanks for this and for iwriter. I had never heard of this service and have signed up. I’m anxious to try it and to see if it’ll work for me. I have tried other online services ie guru.com and have not had good success. But always open to try something new.

I’m not sure I understand the business you’re in and the idea behind all of these websites. Why do you take time for all these related websites? For the ads? I’ve been approached once to monetize my site but for $15/mo I didn’t think it was worth it to commercialize a site which reflects my business. I’d be interested in commercializing my site with sponsors but I assume you need to obtain a large following first. Anxious to learn from you.

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Ralph August 10, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hey Deborah,

Thanks for stopping by!
The Long Tail Pro website was/is part of an competition who can get the most money building a site naturally, so not buying traffic.
>http://www.nichewebsites.com.au/category/ltp-case-study/

The workout one was designed to have a set and forget (as much that is possible) website where I get traffic and payments through CPA (cost per acquisition) clickbank offers. This is going ok. I’ve broken even a while ago so no drama’s there.

The Adsense site was / is something I’ve been trying to do for a while. Pat Flynn had great success with his adsense site and I’d love something similar. Even if its a 100 bucks a month that would be awesome. With the sites I bought this should be possible or even get 50 a month with only a few posts on there. Currently they have 3 posts but I’m adding more in the upcoming weeks.

This is all extra money on the side for me and fun to play around with.

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deborah nixon August 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

thanks Ralph. all brand new to me. So the run site, you still had to create all that content and keep it up to date- otherwise people won’t visit. But how do people find you? It seems you still have to do alot of work for the SEO, getting content, competing with other running sites etc. I’ve never understood how people monetize their sites. I have no idea how to do that with mine.

I put out a request on iwriter, so I’m anxious to see if anyone responds. So far, silence.

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Ralph August 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

Ow yeah the running site. Well that is actually the one that is NOT making money .. although it is the biggest site I have.
This month (1 till 10 aug) alone received nearly 580 visits. (last month 2049)
I have about 514 pages (10 per page) of keywords that people find me for.
“Running Socks” , “Crossfit Gym” Garmin vs Polar are a few of these. I get this traffic purely on content. As I have 83 posts where 95% of them are well over 300 words and focused on a few keywords in that post. For instance I knew just from experience that “crossfit gym” “running socks” would be things people look for. So I wrote about that and it got some good rankings.

I’ve just created my own 0-5km course / email thing where I help people to start running. I will use this to build my email list and from there drive traffic to my own site and product posts. This is one of the ways to monetize the site. The SEO side of things isn’t too bad. I don’t go all out with it but I do the basics (right amount of keywords, keyword in your images, etc) and this seems to go well. I use the Yoast plugin for this.

I’m happy to create a post regarding my site if that is something you would be interested in.
Iwriter usually takes about 12 hours.

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deborah nixon August 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thanks Ralph. I’m learning from you and I see I have alot to learn. I have two sites- minimal traffic and figuring out how to get more. But once I do that, I need to monetize and it’s a mystery to me how some people get those big corporate sponsorships. So anything I can learn from you is great. Which is the primary site you want me to visit? Niche goodness.

Thanks for the help!

deborah

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Ralph August 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hey Deborah,
Well I actually wrote a few thing about this here:
http://www.thelongtailproreview.com/get-long-tail-keywords and http://www.thelongtailproreview.com/how-to-monetize-your-niche-website
So see what comes up in your niche when you type “your niche keyword” in google and wait for the autofill and write something about that as that is something people look for. Also look into something to distribute your post as much as possible. (I use triberr.com at the moment)

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deborah nixon August 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

I’ve always avoided that stuff, Ralph, because I don’t want to be a sell-out on my own content. Don’t you risk becoming like one of those junky tabloids where the lousy articles are filler for a paper full of ads for cheap furniture? I’m not sure how to balance quality. Also, the products should be related to your business,right? and if you sell other people’s products, doesn’t that take away from you promoting your own? If you create your own products, how do you get people to sell them for you?

Ill follow your other long tail link. thanks

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Ralph August 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

Your article has to be quality. I should have clarified that. My Running site is more personal and not focused on ranking for content but more running and what I deal with.

You alone know what you want to write, but what you see in Google is something people look for. If you write the baddest (as in good) article about it and you are able to help people with that. I don’t see anything wrong with that. But just filling paper is a bad idea in the long run.

Selling products of others vs own. That is a whole other topic. But to sell you own you can use Clickbank or Ejunkie. Promoting others can be easier as you don’t have to deal with the business side of things, (customer service, updates, returns, payments etc). You can use the product and tell what you think of it and if people want to buy it through your link that is great.

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deborah nixon August 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

I agree Ralph. What I mean is I have a legitimate site with excellent writing. I guess if I run ads, it has to be quality and things I can stand behind. Otherwise, cheapens my site and my integrity.

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Ralph August 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

In that case CPA offers will be an idea. Adsense might work but you have less control over the adds.

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Trent Dyrsmid August 11, 2012 at 12:54 am

Hey Ralph,

Great post. Thanks for giving my cleaning site a mention.

Cheers,
Trent

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Ralph August 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

Thanks Trent! :)
Thanks for stopping by!

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