When you have niche websites that are aged and bringing in traffic, increasing your income is substantially easier than building out new sites and repeating the process you’ve already gone through with your existing sites.
Scaling your niche websites involves a fairly straightforward process.
Today, we’re going to break down the 5 steps you need to follow when you’re trying to increase the income on your sites.
Each step helps compound the effects of the previous step, so you’ll want to take your time as you work through them. In the end, your traffic (and income) will increase exponentially.
The steps below are how you take a $100 per month site and scale it to $1,000 per month, and from $1,000 per month to $10,000 per month.
Step #1: Increase Your Conversion Rates On Earning Posts
The first step to scaling your earnings is to look into your existing traffic and where the site is currently producing revenue.
You’re going to have pages that produce the bulk of your revenue, so you need to begin working on them if you want to quickly increase your earnings. The one area that you want to focus on is increasing your clickthrough rate to Amazon.
Driving more clicks to Amazon from pages that are already making money is going to be the easiest way for you to earn more from the same traffic levels.
There’s a few different ways to increase your conversion rates.
First, you need to remove other forms of advertising.
If you’re running them on the same pages that contain links to products on Amazon, you’re going to end up costing yourself money.
For instance, Google’s Adsense program is commonly run alongside links to Amazon.
Many niche marketers believe that having Adsense ads gives them more opportunities to make money from their sites when, in the majority of tests, it shows to actually decrease the amount of clicks generated -- both on Adsense ads and on Amazon affiliate links.
If you’re running any types of ads, other than links to products you’re promoting on Amazon, you’re going to want to remove them from the pages. The goal for any page on your niche site should be to funnel as many visitors through your content onto Amazon’s site as possible.
The more people you can drive to Amazon, the more money you’re going to make.
Trading clicks to Amazon for clicks on your Adsense ads rarely equates to the same earnings level. Driving more traffic to Amazon without distracting your visitors with Adsense ads is going to make more money for you in the long run.
You’re also going to want to limit the number of links that you have pointing to different products on Amazon. If you’re giving your visitors more than 3-4 options (as far as different products are concerned) on the same page, you’re probably costing yourself lost revenue.
There are some exceptions to this rule, though.
If you’re using a plugin, such as TablePress, to present multiple different options for your visitor and they can easily sort the list by different metrics you have available, you may not need to worry about reducing the number of links you have pointing to Amazon on the same page.
However, if you’re not using a plugin to sort the information and help your visitors easily digest what you’re putting in front of them, you could be costing yourself conversions.
In general, pages that feature a single product are going to convert higher than pages that have multiple products listed, because giving your visitor too many options can overwhelm them and keep them from making a purchase at all.
For some keywords and content types, like “best” style keywords, having multiple top-rated products will increase your conversions, as long as you don’t present too many different products.
When you’ve sorted out the amount of products you’re promoting on each page, you’re going to want to go back through the content and create more links to those products (or single product) on Amazon’s site.
The goal with this step is to give your visitor more chances to click through to Amazon so the affiliate cookie is placed on their computer and you get credit for any sales you’ve generated.
You can link to Amazon in your content with contextual links, and link the images you’re using to feature the products over to Amazon, too.
Then, tell your visitors what to do next.
Finally, you’re going to want to create “calls to action” that explicitly tell your visitors what they should do next.
Here’s an example:
While most visitors won’t need help, and will click through to Amazon to purchase the products you’re recommending, using a call to action gives you a way to sum up the problems that your visitor is having and let them know that the product you’re recommending will solve that problem.
If you implement these 3 micro-steps, your income should increase without you needing to drive more traffic to the pages on your site.
Here’s what you need to work on now:
- Step 1) Remove other forms of advertising that interfere with your clickthrough rate to Amazon.
- Step 2) Reduce the number of products you’re promoting on each page to keep from overwhelming your visitors.
- Step 3) Create calls to action that tell your visitor what you want them to do next.
However, we’re not content with simply increasing conversions on the same traffic levels. We want to drive even more traffic to the site. That’s for later, though.
For now, we also want to reduce the bounce rate so that more visitors stay on the site and give you even more opportunities to make money.
Step #2: Improve The Design & Reduce Your Bounce Rate
If you’re not familiar, “bounce rate” refers to the visitors that land on your site and “bounce” back to their previous destination.
Major search engines, like Google, actually use this information to determine how worthy your site is and how relevant the information is to the keywords that you’re ranking for.
Let’s go over another example.
Let’s assume you have a page ranking for “blue widgets” but your visitor typed in “red widgets” into the search engine. When they land on your page, they’re not going to see red widgets, and are going to bounce back to the search results page to look for another site that is relevant to their search query.
That’s just a rough example, and Google does a fairly good job at only ranking relevant content for their keywords, but if you do happen to find yourself ranking for a keyword that your page has nothing to do with, you may want to create a new page specifically tailored to those keywords that you’re ranking for so that your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for.
I gave you that example to show you what bounce rate is. Another area that greatly affects your bounce rate is your website’s design.
If visitors land on your site and see an ugly design, or a design that’s hard to navigate, full of popups and advertisements, or slow to load, you’re going to deal with a high bounce rate.
We’re not all designers, though.
If you don’t have an eye for design, you’re going to need to hire a designer to help clean up the site and make it easier to navigate, and easier on the eyes so your visitors want to stick around longer.
Let’s look at the math so you get an idea of how much money you’re leaving on the table by having a high bounce rate.
For the purposes of this example, we’re going to assume that you have 100 visitors coming to your page each day. We can also say that 5% of your visitors convert into a sale, and that you make $5 for each visitor that converts.
With an 80% bounce rate, you’re losing 8 out of 10 visitors. That means roughly 20 visitors per day are reading your content, and at a 5% conversion rate you are making 1 sale per day, or $5 per day in income.
At a 40% bounce rate, you’re only going to be losing 5 out of 10 visitors. That means roughly 60 visitors are going to make their way through your content, with 5% of them converting into a sale.
In the second example, you’re going to make 3 sales per day, and at $5 per sale, you’ll be making $15 per day from the same post.
That’s an additional $300 per month from the same content, by simply updating the design of your site, making it easier to navigate, and more attractive to visitors landing on the post.
Redesigning your site will have a huge effect on reducing your bounce rate for every single post you have, so not only are you going to see an increased income from the single post used in this example, but from every piece of content on your site.
It’s time to start reducing your bounce rate.
Here’s what you need to do now:
- Step 1) Run your traffic, bounce rate, and conversion numbers through the formula we gave you to determine how much money you’re leaving on the table.
- Step 2) Hire a professional designer to liven up your site, reduce your bounce rate, and increase the “stickiness” of your pages.
Step #3: Target More Keywords
Once you’ve reduced your bounce rate, you can start working on expanding your site to target other keywords and bring even more traffic into your content.
When you first started building the site and performing keyword research, you didn’t have nearly as much data as you will have in your Analytics when the site is 6 months, 12 months, or even 2 years old, with an established history in the search engines.
By mining your Analytics and Webmaster Tools data, you’re going to uncover new keywords that you can work into your existing content, and figure out keywords that you haven’t yet targeted that can have new content created around to increase the keywords you’re going to rank for.
You need to spend time working through the data.
You don’t necessarily want to start creating new content for keywords that can be worked into a page that you’re already ranking for. Not only will it cost more money (or time) to create new content, but you could cause problems with your site’s traffic when you’re trying to rank for 2 very similar keywords.
If there’s a big enough difference in the keywords that you can legitimately justify creating a new piece of content, by all means create a new piece of content and start sending some internal links to it.
You’ll also want to go back through keywords that you’re ranking on the bottom of page #1 or top of page #2 of the search results and optimize your posts to rank higher.
If you don’t have the keywords included in your images on the page, work them in. If the keywords aren’t near the top or bottom of the page, get them worked in.
Make sure your keyword density remains natural, and the increased relevancy (by including the keywords (think LSI) in more areas of the page) should help push each post higher up the search results.
Here’s how to get started targeting more keywords:
- Step 1) Mine your Analytics and Webmaster Tools data to uncover new opportunities to rank your existing content for other keywords that you didn’t target when you created the content.
- Step 2) Create new content targeting keywords that cannot be worked into your existing blog posts or pages, to allow it to start aging and moving up the search results.
When you’re depending on search engines to deliver traffic to your site, there’s two things you’re always going to want more of: content, and links.
There’s a great way to generate new links to your site that hit your competitors right where it matters most.
Step #4: Target Your Competitor’s Backlinks
Getting new links can be a time-consuming, tedious process, though. Finding new websites to reach out to, especially when you’ve already exhausted most of the opportunities in your niche, can be a frustrating experience.
Thankfully, there’s an easier way to get new links that will almost guarantee that you’ll start ranking higher than your competition: dissecting your competition’s links.
Certain tools (namely, Ahrefs) will let you dig into your competitor’s link profile so you can start replicating the links they have.
This, when combined with the links you already have is a recipe for increasing your rankings across the board, bringing more traffic into your site from the search engines, and making more money in the process.
Here’s how to do it.
First, you’re going to need to get on Ahrefs and have a list of your top 5-10 competitors handy.
While you’re on Ahrefs, you’re going to want to enter in your URLs into the search box. Hit “Search” and then you’ll be given a list of options on the next screen.
From here, you’re going to want to click on “Competing domains”.
Pick 5-10 competitors, go through their backlink profile and create a detailed plan of attack ;).
This is going to give you a new target list of sites that you can reach out to, offer some content to, or come up with creative ways to get a link from their site pointing to yours.
Since your competitors already have these links, you should have a good chance at being able to duplicate them into your own link profile. When combined with the links you already have that your competitors do not, your site should end up stronger -- giving you better rankings (and more money).
Repeat this process with your major competitors first, and then go through some of the weaker sites in your niche to work on duplicating their link profiles, too.
Here’s what you need to do to start targeting your competitor’s links:
- Step 1) Gather a list of your major competitors. 5-10 should be sufficient to get started.
- Step 2) Jump on Ahrefs, enter your competitor’s URL, and then browse through their backlinks profile.
- Step 3) Start contacting sites that have linked to your competitors to work out how you’re going to obtain the same link.
There are ways you can avoid doing all of this work yourself, and since the site is already earning each month, you can reinvest some of your profits to help quickly scale it to bring in more traffic, and money.
Step #5: Hire A Freelance Writer And A Link Builder
When your site is already earning, you probably aren’t going to have the same motivation levels you did when you first start building it out.
That means creating new content and building new links may be too tedious for you to handle on a daily basis.
You will also have more income to devote into reinvesting back into the business, and be able to afford having other people help you continue growing the site.
If your niche is large enough, you may benefit from hiring a freelance writer and a link builder to help you with your scaling efforts.
When it comes to generating new content for your site, you have two different options: either hire a writer directly (generally the best idea) or use a content creation company.
Content creation companies are a dime a dozen these days, and give you a way to quickly create content, but, unless you’re very specific with your instructions and are comfortable with rejecting work if it doesn’t meet your specifications, you’re going to have a hard time getting the same quality writing that you can get through working directly with a writer.
Hiring a freelance writer directly gives you a chance to build a more personal relationship, and by working together your writer will have a better understanding of what you’re looking for.
Working directly with a writer does require more work upfront, but when you’re trying to keep the quality of your content high, having 10 different writers work on your project (which is what you get when you work with a content creation company) makes it nearly impossible to keep a consistent flow on your site.
How To Hire A Freelance Writer
To get started hiring a writer, check out the blog post we’ve created that helps you outsource your entire business, with templates that you can use to hire your first writer. You can read the blog post by clicking here.
Hiring a link builder is a little more involved than hiring a writer.
When it comes to link building, you need someone that isn’t going to cut corners, understands how to build “whitehat” links that can generate traffic on their own, and won’t use software to build automated links or spam to your site that could get you penalized.
You can use the same process that you’ve used to hire a writer, but digging into your link builder’s experience is going to be more critical. With a writer, you can look at their portfolio and how knowledgeable they are on the topic to determine if they’re a good fit.
How To Hire A Link Builder
With a link builder, however, you want to know what methods they’re going to be using to generate new links to their site. You may also need to train them how you want links built, and be patient while they’re learning the ropes.
Guest posting is, by far, one of the best ways to build new links to your site, so you can have your link builder get started by learning how to reach out to other sites and present new ideas for content that your writer can put together for you.
Here’s another blog post we’ve created that teaches you how to nail your guest posting campaigns so you get more links for less effort. You can even use that blog post to start training your link builder.
Ordering infographics for your niche site is another great way to build links, and you can have your link builder use the infographics and link bait you’ve created to drum up new links, too.
When you’re ready to start outsourcing some of your site’s growth, here’s what you need to focus on:
- Step 1) Document the systems you use to create content and build links, so that you can easily train freelancers that you’re going to be working with.
- Step 2) Jump on Upwork and use the templates we’ve given you to hire your first freelance writer.
- Step 3) Work with your writer and designer to have an infographic created to use as a linking asset.
- Step 4) Hire a link builder using the templates we’ve given you to start promoting your existing content and your new infographic.
You don’t have to blow your budget or spend every dime you make on these steps.
With smart shopping, and spending time to find the perfect writer and link builder, you will end up making more money than you’re spending, and create 2 new jobs in the process.
Build More Sites
There will come a point in time where you have completely covered your topic and you’re ranking near the top of the search results for most of the keywords you’re targeting.
For times like those, you may have no other option but to start building another site.
Depending on how tightly you’ve narrowed down the niche when you started building the site, and the domain name you’ve chosen, if you’re unable to expand into other verticals, repeating the process you’ve already taken to get to where you are now is a great idea.
Scaling your income by growing your existing sites is always going to provide a quicker ROI than building out new sites will, but niche sites are sometimes too narrow to continue scaling once you hit a certain point.
Diminishing returns on your investment are real when you’re working with small sites.
Because you already have experience and understand what it takes to grow a niche site from nothing to a healthy income, though, you may want to also look into building out a new site that has more room for expansion in the future.
Niche sites are excellent ways to make money online, and provide a great “end point” that allows you to move onto other projects.
Larger sites, on the other hand, are constant moving objects that grow and expand as time goes on, requiring more creativity (and effort), but also provide much higher earnings potential than what most smaller 10, 20, or even 50 page websites do.
If you want to scale your niche sites, follow the 5 step plan we’ve laid out for you here, and then consider starting up new sites and follow the blueprint you’ve already created for yourself so that you can see the same success you’ve seen with your first site.