Outdoor Site Case Study (June + July 2021): 77% Profit Margin, Continued Growth

mushfiq sarker

This outdoor authority site earned $3,644 in June 2021 and $3,208 in July 2021. In the previous update here, the site was placed into the “maintenance phase” of the website flip lifecycle.

I cover the following in this month’s write-up:

  1. Website metrics from June and July 2021
  2. Profit and loss breakdown
  3. Link detox (disavow) service results
  4. Revenue results of adding Ezoic vs Newor Media
  5. Tracking high-traffic pages to perform CRO with a Google Sheet
  6. Next steps

For the previous update in April and May, check out this post, or check out all the posts here.

๐Ÿ“ˆ Site Recap

  • Purchased in April 2020 for $23,000 from Flippa auctions. The site was earning $300/mo.
  • Last-6-month revenue (L6M) average is $4,075/mo
  • 70,000-90,000 pageviews per month on average depending on time of year
  • AHREFs DR of 51 with backlinks from NY Times, Wikihow, Wikipedia, NY Post, Marketwatch, and 2,000 other niche relevant referring domains
  • Website has been active since 2010
  • 863 articles published, 849,778 words total
  • 12 different revenue streams including Amazon Associates, private brand partnerships, affiliate networks, and display ads
  • Email campaign with 32 emails that get sent to new subscribers
  • Two dedicated writers who are niche experts

๐Ÿ“ˆ Highlights

  • 31 published articles in June and 27 in July. Total of 58 new articles
  • Added Ezoic in late June
  • Traffic is stable

๐Ÿ“‰ Setbacks 

  • No internal linking was performed
  • No keyword research
  • Minimal time spent on the site myself

๐Ÿ“Š June 2021 and July 2021 Website Metrics

Traffic Breakdown (June 2021):

CleanShot 2021 08 17 at 11.27.47

Traffic Breakdown (July 2021):

The traffic is more or less stable across June and July:

CleanShot 2021 08 17 at 11.28.06

AHREFs Metrics

Screen Shot 2021 05 07 at 1.02.53 PM

Revenue Breakdown

Here is the breakdown of P&L for June 2021:

  • Revenue: $3,644
  • Costs: $926
  • Profit: $2,717

Here is the breakdown of P&L for July 2021:

  • Revenue: $3,208
  • Costs: $652.52
  • Profit: $2,555

Cost Breakdown

Of the costs, $450 was for a third-party link detox service, which I will cover in detail below. About $840 was for new content written by my two main writers at $30 and $40 per article each.

My VA did a good amount of formatting and CRO work which equated to $254.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Major Updates

On June 28, I submitted a link disavow file with 1,661 domains to Google’s Disavow tool.

I purchased a link detox service from Rick Lomas, since it was being recommended by Matt Diggity and others. Due to the amount of referring domains my site had, the cost was $450 instead of $299.

This was the process:

  • Made the order
  • Rick requested access into Google Search Console
  • Rick used the tool called Link Research Tools to perform the audit
  • Rick sends over his thoughts, a spreadsheet, and a disavow file to upload
  • I reviewed everything and then uploaded the disavow file

My expectations were low as Google has said they ignore spammy links. So this was just an experiment to see what the service was like and maybe if I am lucky, it works out well.

Here is the traffic graph after submitting the disavow file:

CleanShot 2021 08 17 at 12.16.43

As you can see, no significant change in traffic over the last 45 or so days.

Takeaways: This was an experiment to see if disavowing links helps a site recover. In my case, it did not help. Will I be purchasing again? Probably not.

Ezoic is generating $15/day

I added Ezoic display ads to the site in late June. This was in an attempt to generate more revenue from the traffic I already had.

In a previous case study, I shared how I implemented Newor Media advertisement network. Here are the results:

  • Newor Media: $5 per day average, ECPM of $2.74
  • Ezoic: $15 per day, EPMV of $7

With Ezoic and disabled above-the-fold ad placeholders to ensure my visitors don’t see a bunch of ads pushing the content down. I also purposefully removed any ad placeholders next to my comparison tables. The primary revenue driver is affiliate marketing with this site, not display ads.

With Newor, they had a limited of 5 ads per page so that was a limiting factor for this site.

Takeaways: Overall, I am happy with the results with Ezoic. I am not using their new feature, Ezoic Leap, as I do my own page speed optimization. It’s still early since it’s been 45 days since the ads were activated. It may take another 45 days to fully optimize.

CRO on High-Traffic Pages Using a Google Sheet

When you have a site with 644 articles, it can be difficult to know which pages to perform CRO on. I hired a Google Sheets developer from Upwork to create a report that takes the Google Analytics data, flags any pages that get above 50 pageviews the last 30 days, and gives me the URLs.

See the report below:

CleanShot 2021 08 17 at 12.31.14

The process is as follows:

  • Daily the Google Analytics Behavior -> All Pages (Organic Traffic) is analyzed by the Google Sheet
  • Any page above a threshold (can be changed by me, set to 50 pageviews) is flagged
  • If the page has already been CROed by me, it’s ignored
  • Any page that meets the threshold is placed in a master sheet with how many pageviews it gets
  • I copy the list of pages over to Trello to assign to my VA to perform CRO on (add tables, add affiliate links, etc)
  • Once done, I tick mark the “Fixed?” box and it is automatically remove from that list

This process is repeated daily.

Takeaways: The most time-consuming part of the publication process is performing CRO (e.g., adding tables, affiliate links). This process allows me to bulk publish content without any monetizations added to the page and once the right amount of traffic is being generated, my team can optimize.

There is not purpose to optimize an article that does not get enough traffic.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Plans for August 2021

The site will remain in maintenance mode until there is an uptick in traffic. During this mode, the following will take place

  • Writers will produce 3-5 articles per month to keep the site active
  • Affiliate links and CRO will be done on articles that reach more than 50 visitors over last 30 days

My goal was to keep costs down to $500 per month or less. However, June was $926 and July was $652. Hopefully can keep the costs down in August and going forward.

Thatโ€™s it for this update. Stay tuned for next monthโ€™s update.

mushfiq sarker

Analyzed by Mushfiq Sarker

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 218+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. He is the founder of The Website Flip. Check out all Mushfiq's articles, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Join 2,000+ investors in the Website Flip Club on Facebook!

Facebook group

The private Facebook group is an advanced community of website creators, investors, and flippers to discuss strategies, ask questions, and collaborate. Check out the group on Facebook!