Justin Cooke

June 2, 2011

Ok, so maybe we’re not really printing money as the picture suggests!  We have seen continued success on all of our sites through May, although from late April to early May earnings growth via AdSense seemed to be stuck.  (We’ve chalked this up to selling off quite a few of our sites and only recently increased production that hasn’t yet been realized.)  Through the end of May, we’ve seen quite a bounce back and had our highest earnings day so far on 5/30/11 at $92.40.  We’ve had a little bit of trouble keeping up and so we’ve hired two additional personnel to assist with website setup and promotion.  We’ll probably be taking our lead agent for site setup and, once the new people are trained, have him help with more sensitive tasks in our GoDaddy account, Analytics account, etc.  This addition has left content falling behind and so we’ll be moving another person into position to assist with content ordering, QA, editing, etc.

One of our real indicators of success so far has been the fact that there’s a huge market for the sites we’ve been selling.  All the networks of sites we’ve listed so far on Flippa weren’t able to make it to the end of the auction and were picked up through the Buy It Now option.  We’ve wondered if we’re selling ourselves short by listing a BIN option at all, but we’re getting multiples that we’re happy with and want to leave room for an ROI on their purchase as well, if they don’t plan to expand the sites.

Additionally, we’ve had a ton of interest, views, and contact over the past few weeks.  We’ve had some excellent ideas posted by a few of you that are worth following up on, including adding additional content to our current sites to see if we can increase their value.  Through our research, we’re going to start by targeting those sites we’d put in a Tier 1 status and are currently our biggest earners.  We’ve dug a little deeper and added our January sites to the spreadsheet to take a look at the numbers, which you can see here:

Adsense

Our average earnings per site, per month have remained consistent.  We’re actually expecting increased growth per site over time, and have bumped our estimates to $12 per site, per month, which you can see below:

We’re expecting much heavier growth in June/July as our Mar/Apr/May sites continue to mature, which is reflected in our projections here:

Flippa

We had another good month on Flippa, selling two networks of sites for a decent profit.  Our last sites included one that had me wishing I wouldn’t have let it go.  (I’d listed the site BEFORE I’d finished my Content ROI research and found it had AMAZING ROI on the secondary pages!)

Although we’ve had great success at selling our sites at auction, we haven’t had any success selling to our site/email readers before listing, although many of them (you) end up bidding on them once they’re on Flippa.  We think this might be due to the fact that we’ve only given 48 hours to respond before listing the sites at auction.  In the future, we’re going to try extending this pre-sale to 3-4 days to see if that helps sell the sites before having to list on Flippa.

Click here if you’d like to be notified of any website sales at a discount before we list them for sale on Flippa. You’ll also get a report showing you exactly how we make these sites, for free!

Summary:

Sites created: 100
AdSense Earnings: $2,026.37
Flippa Sales: $3,390
Total: $5,416.37


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  1. […] the end of this growth phase that Joe and I started to sell sites. (Reflected in our April and May income reports) We still weren’t raking in the profits, but we’d reached the point […]

  2. Gunnar says:

    Guys, I’m anxiously awaiting your monthly income report. You’re not going to bail on us now, are you?

    I have to tell you, your project has been a MAJOR inspiration to me these past couple of months. It all started with me back in April browsing flippa and finding someone selling a network of 50 sites making $900/month for $10,000. Looking at the sites and the listing itself made me realize this was something I was totally able to replicate.

    April saw me creating 11 sites in total. After seeing some early success I decided to go full steam ahead and created 59 additional sites in May and 53 in June. Doing reasonably well so far and I’m actually selling a first batch of sites already on Flippa.

    https://flippa.com/2622482-9-sites-with-adsense-121-monthly-passive-income-no-work

    It’s probably a bit early to sell them off now as they should continue to see earnings growth for a month or two, but I’m really impatient to try the selling part of this business model. Also, it will provide me with a cash infusion to help fund many more sites.

    • jwcooke says:

      Not bailing out…working on income report right now, actually! Great to see you jumped right in…best of luck with the sale!

  3. Steve says:

    Hey guys,

    I have a question about something you mentioned in an earlier income report::: are you still using submityourarticles.com? Could you offer a review? The last piece of my process that I really still need to nail down is backlinking for all these sites I’m creating. I’m looking at monthly, unlimited-type seo softwares from UAW to senukex, so wanted to squeeze ya for any info you might have. Much appreciated and thanks for all the great info!

    • jwcooke says:

      Hey Steve!

      Sorry…we’ve been meaning to get to reviewing the different software and products we’ve tried but have been caught up with other things. SubmitYourArticle is quite useful…we use it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we’ve had some trouble with ezinearticles lately and so have been submitting manually to them and then submitting through SYA. My only problem is a bit of an ethical issue…I don’t really like the concept of spun articles. We do take care to make sure they’re still readable, decent, etc…but spinning just always makes the articles a bit messy and I can’t argue with the fact they tend to clutter the internet. We’ve been using SYA for syndication of some of the posts here and have refrained from spinning. Have thought about doing the same for our sites, but haven’t implemented yet.

  4. Kate says:

    Wow, this is really inspiring! I found this page via Flippa, and it’s encouraged me to put all my efforts into AdSense. I’ve been dabbling in it (and made $30 from one site–doesn’t sound like much, but it is awesome seeing something other than 0.00!!) and have been too afraid to give up the security of content writing for upfront pay in order to do my own projects. Now that I see it’s really a matter of time + effort + testing, I really think I can do it. Enjoyed the email report too :)

    • jwcooke says:

      Hey Kate!

      At $30 you’re already pretty far ahead of many other AdSense publishers! If you get to the point you’re receiving a check each month, you’re probably making more than 50% of those out there!

      We’re interested to hear about your progress…please check back in and let us know how you’re doing when you get a chance! Let us know if there’s anything you had questions about, anything you found to be particularly useful, etc. and we can all help each other.

  5. Hann says:

    Great job on the earnings and in such a short period of time too! I wish I had thought about flipping my xfactor based sites before letting most of them expire. Luckily, I still held on to a few of them so I’m going to work on building those up again and selling once the earnings are more stable.

    Quick question if you don’t mind. You mentioned that you always target exact match domains but what do you do when you find a high search low competition phrase and all the EMDs are gone?

    Do you register a domain with the phrase and modifiers to it, or would you simply just move on to another? I’d imagine that if you would be leaving a lot of good potential niches on the table if you decide to move on.

    Anyway, great blog you have here and I must have read the blueprint at least ten times. I’ve definitely learned a lot especially from analyzing your Flippa listings and actual sites.

    Thank,

    Hann

  6. These statistics are fantastic! I love how much detail you go into when documenting your sites.

    What you’re doing here is a real inspiration for people like me who want to build AdSense earnings!

    • jwcooke says:

      Congratulations to you two on your net wealth gains! You’re an inspiration to many, we like your site, and it’s exciting watching your journey!

      Do you find it to be helpful to lay out your goals for all to see? Do your readers keep you on track and motivated to hit your goals?

  7. peter says:

    great blog, I found it through WF :) I have started to get into this and was wondering if it’s ok that my adsense color pallete is the same color as the categories/menu/post titles?

  8. Rob says:

    I am amaxed at your success! I am getting some organic traffic and I have adsense setup. But my bounce rates are almost all 100% and hardly any clicks. Do you have any suggestions that could help?

    Thanks

    • jwcooke says:

      Hey Rob, thanks for stopping by!

      When you’re getting a fair amount of clicks, those click-throughs to ads are counted as bounces and so you’ll see a fairly high bounce rate in general.

      If you’re getting a high bounce rate without the clicks, I’d question the niche that you’re targeting.

      I see in the link that you have in your signature here that your site is yourlawschool dot com, but the first article I see is about asbestos? As a visitor, that would be confusing to me if I was searching for information about law school.

      Each of your sites should be HIGHLY targeted…that site should be targeted around law schools particularly. Things like how to pass the LSAT, top 5 law schools, etc…not articles about asbestos, personal injury settlement calculators, etc…someone searching for law school probably isn’t looking for that.

      Also, you’re in a very lucrative, but VERY competitive space. Someone looking for more information about law schools might find your site less than appealing. If I were targeting that niche, I would make sure it was very clean, very professional, etc. and understand it would take a bit of time and quite a bit of seo to get some traffic.

  9. Ursa says:

    I started by testing the theme on a few sites only and when I saw a big improvement, I changed all my sites to CTR theme.

    I was testing different Clickbump templates, Heatmap and Flexibility theme (which was completely redesigned).

    I had a really low CTR – around 3%, it didn’t go up no matter what I did, now my CTR is easily 15%, but on average 10-12% (I like the blue/orange template the most).

    I’m heavily promoting my sites now, so we’ll see what happens when I get more even traffic.

    • jwcooke says:

      Yes, we tried a limited release with Heatmap and our numbers were about the same as our current theme so we stayed the course.

      With the numbers you’re stating, that would be quite a significant improvement for us…I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll have the same success you found on the switch!

  10. Ursa says:

    Hey!

    In regards to the CTR theme, you should try it, my CTR improved tremendously after I installed it on my sites.

    • jwcooke says:

      You are tempting us, Ursa! :-)

      It’s always a little scary to test out something new when things are going well, but we have been meaning to do this for a while.

      What were you using before you switched to CTR theme? Were your numbers high before?

  11. Tipjar says:

    great stuff Justin!

    Quick question tho – Do you see the exact-match domain working in the future? Do you think Google will always give a boost to exact-match domains? How are you planning to overcome this if something happens to your sites (like a full network slap)?

    Also, one last question – have you had any luck with .info’s?

    • magnotti says:

      I’ll take this one as Justin is a bit busy!

      EMD will continue to work because it is a good indicator of what the website is about. The next time you are on a news or information site (think CNN, Wikipedia or CNet) take a look at the URL. Domain and URL match is simply the way the internet works, Google can’t stop that.

      As for a network slap we have been very careful to follow the AdSense TOS and do everything we can to please the search team. Original content is key. Also, we are on a shared hosting platform so slapping us by IP would be impossible. If we did see a network wide slap down, we have methods to reduce our footprint. However, I think Google needs sites like ours — they provide a bridge between what advertisers want, what people are searching for, and a lack of content on the internet for very specific subjects. That’s why niche marketing works.

      We have tried .info’s with limited success (actually one is in the top spot now), but it takes extra time and SEO effort (think link building). Unless you have a great niche that you just must go after, stick with .com, .net, and .org without dashes or other words.

      Thanks for stopping by and keep the questions coming!

      • Rahul says:

        I agree, info domain is not worth to buy. But still many of old sites is ranking somewhere on page 1-10. But now, i will buy info domain only if. They satisfy my keywords research.

  12. Randy Valcho says:

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  13. Haru says:

    wow..its so cool to see so much money..

    i still learn a few methods how to create a successful blog to sell on flippa..do u have any tips for the newbie like me?

    • jwcooke says:

      Hello there!

      My 2 best tips:

      1. Earn Income – Sites with proven revenue over the last few months tend to earn more money than those that have not. Buyers want to know that your site is valuable. Show that to them by having it earn money, so that they have an idea as to potential before buying.

      2. Document EVERYTHING! – Give them as many ways to analyze your sites as you possibly can, including traffic, revenue, history of the site, etc. Video proof of revenue is useful if selling a high $$ site. Inform your buyers as best as possible to get the best possible purchase price on the listing.

  14. Justin:
    Great earnings! Thanks for stopping by my site. With the speed you have built up your network of sites, I better work really hard or you’re earnings are going to pass me up!

    Sounds like you have a good system worked out – best of luck with everything…

    • jwcooke says:

      Hey Spencer, thanks for stopping by!

      We found you, originally, because one of our readers is a big fan of yours and was discussing your site with us via email. I took a quick look and got sucked in, actually going back to your old site and re-hashing your deindexing scenario…ugh, that was rough!

      Anyway, we’re big fans of yours as well and I really like your site. Here’s to hoping we can both be at the 20K/month range by the end of the year, eh? :-)

  15. Timwal says:

    I dont know of any. I’m a newby at this. Remember my post on warrior forum “website flippers help needed”?. I’m taking my time to learn and I can see your model is great.

    • jwcooke says:

      Ah, ok…yes, I remember that post! Great to see you here!

      Yes, either ProSense or Heatmap has been effective for us. We’re excited to try out the CTR theme, that was made by a guy we really respect who previously ran: http://www.flipwebsites.com/ but we haven’t yet put it to use.

  16. Timwal says:

    I’m highly impressed you get such amazing results with a simple theme as prosense. Is this the only theme you use for all your sites?

    • jwcooke says:

      We use ProSense pretty heavily, but we’ve also used the Heatmap Theme and own the CTR Theme, although we haven’t used the CTR Theme on a test yet. We found very similar results with the Heatmap Theme across a wide variety of niches.

      In your opinion, do you think there’s a theme out there that would significantly improve our numbers?

  17. Kimberley Karri says:

    No BS and written well, thank you for your income report.

  18. Halfdan says:

    Doing this in danish isn’t exactly the same as in english. As you can imagine, the niches you do in english, won’t work in danish. An example would be one of your sites named something like basketballcourtsize.net – at least something similar. That’s a great niche in english. Thje danish correspondant has approximately 50 local searches / month. ;-)

    My niches may have to target a bit wider for that reason, but it’s definitly possible – and the competition is of course quite a bit more do-able!

    I’ll be sure to return! :-)

    • jwcooke says:

      Yes, that makes sense…you’d have to target niches like “basketball games” or “cordless drills”…to get enough searches and advertisers for it to make sense. Still though, can probably pick up some pretty nice .dk domains, I’m guessing!

  19. Halfdan says:

    All of the posts on both this site and the ones you post on WF are incredibly inspiring. I’m planning on following your footsteps (in a slightly modified version, though, as I’m planning on doing it in danish) – thanks for sharing your wisdom! :)

    • jwcooke says:

      Halfdan,

      We’re so pleased you’ve found some value in what we’ve written! I have to say, we’re a little jealous of the idea of applying this process to non-English sites…how many more niches will you find available, be able to dominate, etc!

      Please do check back and let us know about your success in English! :-)

  20. Darrin says:

    Is the 100 sites created what you have in total? or is this 100 just the number of sites that have been created in May?

    Also, it seems the creation of the sites & finding good domains is the easy part of the strategy. However, isn’t the traffic building process more important?

    What specific traffic building methods are you using? How long does the traffic building process take from beginning to the point where you let the site run on its own?

    • jwcooke says:

      Hey there, Darrin!

      No, the 100 sites are the websites that were created for this project in May only. We currently have just under 400 sites total in our network, at various stages of development.

      For our approach, the keyword research and site creation is, actually, the most important part of our strategy…along with keeping costs extremely low so that we maintain a decent ROI from each site. All of our sites are low competition and extremely targeted traffic. Almost all of our traffic comes directly from the search engines around a very specific niche, which is what we’d prefer.

      Our sites tend to rank fairly easily, so there’s not a ton of traffic building needed. Additionally, we WANT targeted traffic…getting traffic for traffic’s sake would result in extremely low CTR’s and conversions for our advertisers…not something we want.

      It takes around 3 months for the sites to be up, ranked, and earning well on their own.

      • 400 sites that’s pretty incredible. Were you negatively affected by Panda in any way? The funny thing is most of my thin sites did better, my content heavy sites did poorer.

        • jwcooke says:

          Hey Andrew…thanks for stopping by and I like your site!

          We noticed a bit of a change with Panda, but across the board, nothing much changed for us…just noticed some sites ranking better and others ranking worse. I “think” I noticed a change in our image search traffic, but didn’t look terribly closely at it so I can’t be sure.

  21. Rahul says:

    Well done. I added you my link love. Best of luck. I will be reaching to adsense high soon.

    • jwcooke says:

      Great to hear, Rahul!

      How have your sites been coming along? I see that the rankings for many of your sites seem to be doing quite well.

      I hope we can provide you the same, useful content as some of the others on your link love…that’s a good list you have there!

      Best to you…

      • Rahul says:

        Yes First batch did well. Ranking on top but i am waiting for second batch and third batch of websites. I need to promote these 2nd and third batch of sites more.

        Link love is great way to connect similar mind peoples and successful peoples gives you motivation.

  22. Antonio Leonhardt says:

    This is a huge sum.

  23. Nick says:

    Thats a nice start. I’m up to $20k in adsense alone per month. Why flip blogs when you can generate a nice income just by creating a large set of niche blogs?

    • jwcooke says:

      Nick,

      We’d rather have the project fund itself. By flipping sites, we’re able to reinvest those profits into creating more sites…which speeds up the process. If we wanted to continue to ramp up production as we’re currently doing, we’d be stuck coming out of pocket to do so, make sense?

      How long did it take you to reach that level? What other monetization methods do you use?

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