Niche Site Case Study Update #3 (December, 2022)

By the numbers, December was rough.

Didn’t hit my goal of 30 new posts. Didn’t have any visits to the site. Lost keyword rankings.

I’m aware this is the early stage when growth seems impossible and when the vast majority of people would call it quits.

But I’m going to see this through.

I have the luxury of knowing without a doubt that this can still work out, since I’ve been on this journey several times in the past. It’s discouraging. But I know that in the future, I’ll be thankful I kept going.

The silver lining this month is that I learned a lot and have a clear vision of what to do moving forward.

Here’s what I learned

First, I need to build topical authority.

I started out by targeting the easiest-looking keywords in my niche that get decent search volume. A random troubleshooting keyword for a specific brand here, a review of a little-known engine part there.

My site has no real topical structure. Just a bunch of random articles that fit within the overall vehicle niche.

After reading more and more about the importance of topical authority – especially for new sites and for surviving algorithm updates – I decided to change my strategy.

I picked a specific sub-niche within vehicles to focus on, and within that sub-niche, I picked another sub-niche. Within that sub-sub-niche, I’m building topical clusters around three sub-sub-sub-niches. đŸ™‚

My strategy is to fully cover each of those “sub-sub-sub-niches”. I’ll target every viable keyword and try to make each article the most helpful resource on the topic.

I just ordered $1,500 worth of content from Click Vision (affiliate link), my favorite content agency so far.

Click Vision order confirmation email

I placed the order on December 31st, but didn’t send the keywords/instructions until later since I was still deciding what topical clusters to build out.

The second thing I learned is that I need to work on EEAT.

My niche site currently looks very basic. Stock GeneratePress theme, a blogroll as the homepage, the author is the name of the site, and there’s no “about” page.

Obviously no effort put in to make it a brand. I was going to fix those things at some point, but until now have solely focused on publishing content.

It’s time to fix those issues.

But I plan to take it a step further.

I recently listened to this Niche Pursuits interview with Kyle Roof who gave lots of actionable tips on EAT:

To start, I’ll work on the “about” section and put myself as the author, though I’ll use an alias for privacy reasons.

And of course, I’ll establish good topical authority like I said before which will help.

I’ll also beef up the contact page with different emails for different departments (like support, complaints, business inquiries, website suggestions, etc – I haven’t fully decided what departments I’ll have yet).

And I’m seriously considering buying a phone number and virtual address exclusively for this site as well. I may wait on that until I start ranking consistently though.

Lastly, I’ll create an HTML sitemap in addition to the regular XML one I have right now. Watch the video (start at 20:54) above to learn more about why that’s a good idea.

Even if I don’t hit every point Kyle talked about in the interview, I’ll be better off than I am now in terms of EEAT.

December progress

Here’s where the site stands:

Niche Site Growth December 2022 report

My goal was to publish 30 new posts. Obviously that didn’t happen. I had a lot of family-related things come up in December that took time away from this site.

Now that I have a new batch of content from Click Vision on the way, I should be able to finally hit my 30 post goal in January.

I have a few other goals for January as well, relating to EEAT. Here are all my January goals:

  • Publish at least 30 new articles
  • Add an about page
  • Put myself (alias) as the author
  • Add HTML sitemap
  • On the contact page, add email addresses for different departments
  • Find another 30 keywords to target within my new clusters

I can’t help but feel discouraged by the lackluster results so far, but I’ll continue moving forward doing everything in my control to help the site grow.

I shared this graph in November’s report, and I’ll share it again since it’s important to understand the bigger context:

traffic projection chart Dec 2022

The truth is, I shouldn’t be discouraged. Growth will eventually come with consistent action.

In other news…

I’m launching something big soon. A new challenge. It’s not another niche site, but rather a daily newsletter + website. Much like what Scott DeLong is doing.

You’re the first to hear about this. I’m preparing for the launch which is taking awhile since I’m doing this in my spare time, of which I have very little.

I plan to share the updates for that here on this site despite the name “Niche Site Growth” lol. I’ll also share them on my email list and on Twitter.

Stay tuned.

That’s it for this month’s update. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or questions.

Last thing: if you want to get these reports as soon as I publish them, subscribe to my email list!

Leave a Comment