Unexpected Income from Niche Sites
We spend a lot of our time focused on driving conversions on our niche sites: testing ad placements, building e-mail lists, strategically placing affiliate links, etc. Although some people make a lot of money doing this, results almost always fall below expectations. You create a site, work hard at building backlinks, but are ultimately disappointed by the actual income earned. Either our expectations are too high, or we simply aren’t working hard enough to reach those expectations.
That’s why when you’re hit with unexpected income, it’s really exciting, no matter how small the income. I decided to share three short examples with you today from my own niche sites, where I’ve run into “unexpected” income.
Each of these examples is different from the other, and great thing is, these were all brought to my attention (i.e. I did not seek out these opportunities). It’s important to note that none of these sites receives a tremendous amount of traffic. Generally, each of these sites receives 10-30 unique visits per day. So when I receive an e-mail from someone looking to pay me for exposure on my site, it is pretty unexpected.
Passive Income via Advertisements
I have one niche site about a particular type of “exotic” pet that I spent maybe 3-4 hours building. It has a few pages and was only monetized with AdSense, so I hadn’t been making too much money with it (around $5/month). The site is, however, currently ranking at the bottom of page 1 on Google for its targeted keyword, and it has generally received 20-30 unique visits per day. I was still shocked to receive this e-mail:
I blocked out any identifying information, but you can see the gist of the e-mail. After a little bit of back and forth discussion, I agreed to put an ad block up for her site at a rate of $35/month while the site is ranking near the bottom of page 1 on Google, however the rate will increase to $85/month if/when the site ranks in one of the top 2 spots on Google.
This may not seem like much, but that would amount to over $1,000/year for a site I only spent a few hours building! Because the search term isn’t terribly competitive, I have put in very little backlinking work – the high ranking is mostly due to the strength of the exact match keyword domain. The best part is, this was unexpected income for me!
Income from a Written Review
This one was less passive, but nonetheless, it was unexpected. For one of my Amazon sites (in the gaming niche), I received an e-mail from someone who wanted me to write about their game. After a bit of negotiating, here was the deal:
Although this technically isn’t passive, this was a tremendous deal for me! It would take approximately 30-45 minutes to do a write-up of this site, and I would receive $150 just for keeping it posted for 12 months. Again, this was never anything I sought out – it came to me, just for having a site that ranked highly on Google (this site actually ranks at the top of page 2 for its target keyword, but may rank higher for longer-tail keywords).
This One Really Isn’t Income, But Still Cool Anyway
I have another niche site (one of my Amazon niche sites) that focuses on reviewing smaller electronic gadgets. To my surprise, I received this e-mail:
Although this opportunity was neither passive nor income, I figured it would be fun to go for it anyway. So, I agreed to test out some samples of their products, and here’s what they sent me:
Again, it’s nothing special, but it just goes to show you that there are various unexpected opportunities that can come from even very small niche sites. Although this particular site ranks #1 for its target keyword, traffic remains fairly low (10-30 unique visitors per day). And as you’ve seen through my income reports, these sites have yet to earn substantial income.
I’m not sure if you got much out of this, but I wanted to share these few examples with you of situations where I received “unexpected income” from my niche sites. Hopefully this will help motivate those of you who worry about having a site in a niche that doesn’t receive a ton of traffic. It’s important to not think of your earnings in absolute terms. For instance, my example above where I’m earning advertising revenue of $35-85 per month doesn’t seem like much, but when you compare it against the amount of time I put into the site (not too many hours), it’s actually a very rewarding payoff.
Do you have any examples with your niche sites where you received something unexpected? Please share them in the comments, I’d love to read about them!