Case Study for Nine Sites: Finance, Tech Gadgets, Beauty Products, etc

10K Case Study Results Overall, it seems that I got hit with the July update. The hit isn't too bad, but some sites seem to have lost traffic. I'm now starting to see which 2-3 sites have the most potential and which sites to just leave to the sidelines.
Moving forward, I will make a decision to focus my resources towards 2-3 sites probably in August.
There may be a number of reasons for the drops. I'm currently only building money content and not too worried about adding information content, but I may start to change this for the sites that show the most potential.
Also, I have to dedicate some time to make sure that the content silos that we've created are well interlinked and divided into silos as needed.
One additional thing that we've worked on with the content team is trying to get our content as good as possible. We're aiming for Surfer scores of 80+ in order to need fewer links to rank.
Right now it seems like content production is going well we have the capacity to do more and we're bringing on another writer to help with the number of guest post opportunities we're getting.
Link building is also going well, we have more opportunities to get links than what I've asked from my team to deliver. We've got a lot of guest posts and link insertion opportunities. Plus we're doing great with Help a Reporter Out (HARO) links.
Managed to receive links from Forbes (no-follow, but still) and a few other Domain Rating (DR) 50+ sites.

Site 1 – Finance

Traffic: 1447 (+286)
Earnings: $67 (-145)
Articles Live: 96 (0)
Links: 1 (0)
Start: February < year > – when I purchased the site
The site saw a traffic spike on July 12th, but other than that, it's going stable. Earnings took a hit as there were only 2 signups this month. Both of which were for a recurring fee, which is nice.
What I'll do in August: Overall, I don't plan on putting too much focus on this site. I do like it, the content is very high quality, but for some reason, it's not moving much. I think that the penalty, which was removed, is still somewhat weighing down on the site.
I'll just leave it be and right now it won't make it into my top 3 sites to put additional focus into. I'll only touch it when I get some good article ideas or link opportunities.
One thing that I will do is optimize affiliate links to add more buttons and work on User Experience (UX) a bit.

Site 2 – Tech Gadgets

Traffic: 778 (-233)
Earnings: $62 (-33)
Articles Live: 54 (+1)
Links: 10 (0)
Start: March < year >
The site didn't get much love from neither me nor Google in July. It probably got hit with the July algo update. Traffic declined and so did the earnings.
The site has 3 informational articles and 51 money pages, so this might be a likely reason for the algo hit, but I'm not sure.
I'll leave it be for now, as it's not growing as fast as I'd like. It won't make my top 3 sites to focus on so I'll only do some minor tinkering with it.
What I'll do in August: add a few additional affiliate programs and improve the website design as it looks hideous at the moment and improving the site's design will definitely help with conversions.
Also, the roundup posts don't currently have summary boxes in the intros, which I've seen to convert well on my previous sites, so I'll add the AAWP plugin, which will make adding amazon product boxes easy. This small change added +20-30% to my fitness site's earnings.

Site 3 – Tech Home

Traffic: 243 (-7)
Earnings: $34 (+22)
Articles Live: 44 (0)
Links: 8 (+1)
Start: January < year >
I would love to tell you that my 3rd site is doing great and everything is looking rosy, but instead, I'm going to tell you how it is and it's nothing to write home about.
Traffic is the #1 thing that I'm looking at and it's stable. Yea, the earnings increased, but at these low traffic numbers, it just means that someone happened to buy something more expensive.
Would love to see traffic growing, but it's not the case.
The site has crossed its $2,000 investment maximum so I won't add any more links nor content at the moment. What I will do is some optimizations.
What I'll do in August: I found a few good affiliate programs that pay way more than Amazon does, through Flexoffers. I'm hoping that I'll see some boost in earnings through doing that. But other than that, the site is now on self-sufficient mode, meaning that I only invest what it's earning into it.
Also, the site would need a redesign and I will try and get to it once I have some free time. What I'll do is just install a clean Generatepress Pro theme and do some tinkering with it.

Site 4 – Beauty Products

Traffic: 907 (-59)
Earnings: $49 (-4)
Articles Live: 30 (+10)
Links: 10 (+3)
Start: March < year >
Unfortunately, the traffic increase has come to a halt in July. I don't know why and I think I can't really tell yet. I will just keep on publishing new content and build new links for now, as the site is currently at $1,400 invested out of the $2,000 that I've allocated to each site.
As with a few of the other sites, I took a deeper dive into Flexoffers to find some good affiliate deals and I did find a number of great offers that pay me from 8-16% per physical product sale. So I'll also try and add a few of those to this site as well.
I'm not really too focused on optimizing the affiliate products and doing Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to the sites at this stage, but as my team is taking care of most other things, I'm trying to find something to do for myself.
Despite the slowdown in traffic growth, I'm considering this site to be in the top 3 sites to keep investing in, but I have to give it some more time.
What I'll do in August: Build more content for the site. I've got 20+ articles in the pipeline and about $600 dollars to invest for this site. Also, as said, I'll try to add a few affiliate offers outside of Amazon and I'll also add product summary boxes with the AAWP plugin to increase conversions.

Site 5 – Clothing Site

Traffic: 380 (-22)
Earnings: $25 (+25)
Articles Live: 44 (+3)
Links: 31 (+13)
Start: January < year >
The traffic is rather flat, unfortunately, but I've now added affiliate links to the site and it made its first $25 dollars this month. Also added 3 articles and 13 links to the site.
As it's still in the sandbox with most of its articles (ranking in pos 100+), I can't be too quick to judge this site. The articles that are ranking and getting traffic are doing quite well.
As it's still in the sandbox phase, I can't make a decision on this site yet. So what I'll do is just wait and see how it goes. The site has used up more than the budget that I allocated to it. I wanted to invest $2,000, but it's taken me $3,000 thus far.
I won't put any more money into it, but the reason I went over my limit was that I found that a particular subtopic is working well and I wanted to expand on that topic. So I built out additional articles to that silo.
Also, I found a lot of good link insertion opportunities. So I did get sidetracked from my initial plan, but I'm hoping that it's OK.
What I'll do in August: Add affiliate offers through Flexoffers, where I found a number of higher-paying offers for the products that I already have featured. I'll also add internal links with the Linkwhisper plugin that I got for all my sites. I'm only adding links from dedicated silos.

Site 6 – Luxury Items

Traffic: 311 (+54)
Earnings: $35 (-19)
Articles Live: 32 (+1)
Links: 5 (+3)
Start: April < year >
Slight traffic increase, but a decline in earnings. As it is with lower traffic, one person buying will already affect the earnings by a lot.
Would love to see a sharper increase, but things are as they are. Most articles are still in the sandbox phase as they're not indexed / not in the top 100 results.
This site is almost at its max investment threshold (as I stopped investing into another site at $1,500) I took the remaining $500 and allocated it to this site so I'm going to $2,500 with this site) so I won't be adding too many links nor content to it. Once I'll stop, I'll just leave it be and do some optimizations.
Having said that, it's currently in my top 3 so I will probably keep on investing in this site, but I haven't made the decision yet. I'm still gathering some data.
What I'll do in August: I found some very lucrative affiliate offers for this site through Flexoffers. I'll add them in ASAP and hope that the earnings will increase. It probably won't have a huge effect on a site with this little traffic, but as I'm near my max investment, I don't want to do much else.

Site 7 – Yoga Site

Traffic: 1100 (+491)
Earnings: $73 (+37)
Articles Live: 75 (+13)
Links: 55 (+21)
Start: February < year >
This site is seeing some good growth and I'm happy about it. Especially because I've already chosen that this is one of my top 3 sites to invest more into due to the potential of the niche and what I've seen so far.
The content team has managed to add a good number of articles and the quality of the articles is also improving.
The number of links is also growing and we're also getting a lot of opportunities to which we're saying no to because I just don't want to invest too much into links at this stage.
As the site was started in Feb < year >, it's still very young and many articles aren't even indexed yet. Sandbox is another issue that's weighing down on a number of articles.
The ones that are working all belong to two separate silos that are doing great. I'm only building content silos for this site and am not looking to experiment with separate lone ranger articles.
What I'll do in August: I'll add a few offers from Flexoffers for this site, which I'll add in. Also, there are a number of roundup articles that are getting traffic so I'll add summary boxes with AAWP. In addition, I need to re-arrange some silos, so I'll do that and change up my internal links. This stuff is actually important, so I'll make an effort to do it.

Site 8 – Make-Up Site

Traffic: 2165 (-487)
Earnings: $95 (+40)
Articles Live: 110 (+21)
Links: 43 (+5)
Start: July < year >
A few keywords were fluctuating, hence the drop in traffic. I'm not too worried about it as I see that more and more keywords are getting into the top 100 and the site is actively moving out of the sandbox phase.
The earnings increase came from my Virtual Assistant (VA) adding more affiliate links to more articles that are ranking in the top 10.
Managed to add a good number of articles and also a few links. Also did keyword research for another 40 articles so I will bring the site to 150 articles.
There's massive potential in this niche. I'm seeing many sites with a lot of content and very few links getting a tonne of traffic.
What I'll do in August: Build more content. I'm not building links atm, because there are so many content opportunities where I don't seem to need too many links.

Site 9 – Musical Instruments

Traffic: 0 (haven't added Google Analytics (GA) yet).
Earnings: $0 (0)
Articles Live: 35 (+3)
Links: 0
Start: May < year >.
We're only building content into specific silos we've created. Already seeing some good potential here, but as it's still very young, I'm just letting the articles age and writers build out the initial content.
In a few months, I'll see how it's doing and build a few links to the pages that show the most promise.
What I'll do in August: keep on building content and do additional keyword research to fill up the category silos in order to cover the topic in as much detail as possible.

A New Sideproject

Instead of going after site 10 so hard, I decided to agree to help a friend and build some links to his affiliate site. I'm doing Help a Reporter Out (HARO), link insertions and Guest Posting (GP)-s for his sites. He is already seeing positive results, but I don't have his permission to share them here.
It's a good way for me to build some additional cash flow and use my link-building team's free resources and help to spread the costs.

Conclusions and Thoughts

Overall I think July was a bit rough in terms of outcomes. Didn't see much growth for the sites that were growing nicely. But again, most of the sites are still very young and maybe I'm expecting too much from them at this stage.
I've hurt a site before by building too many links too soon, so I'll try to avoid that. What that did was prolong the ranking process. Only after selling the site, did I see the links kick in and the sandbox being lifted.
So I don't want to do that. Also, I want to make sure that there aren't too many issues with the sites in terms of site speed, internal links, indexation issues, cannibalization, etc. Indexation can be a significant issue.
A week ago I fired up Omegaindexer to hopefully boost the articles that haven't been indexed yet for my sites. I'm hoping that it'll help.
Other than that, I'm still very excited and am planning to decide on the three sites where I'll focus more resources into. Right now it seems like they will be the yoga site, luxury site and either the clothing site or the beauty product site.

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