This question comes from the SBI forums, for webmasters who use SBI hosted websites. EelKat.com is hosted by SBI, in case you did not know that, now you do.
If you are confused by some of the lingo, it's because we are speaking in terms of SBI's tools, (such as BrainstormIt)and various programs we use within SBI.
The "Ken" we are talking about is Ken Evoy, another member of the forum, as well as the inventor of SBI.
The research numbers give you a rough idea of how many people are searching and how much the advertisers are paying Google and how many sites are competition. But these numbers change every day. Numbers that are good today, may be terrible next week. Numbers that are bad right now, may be the best money makers a month from now. Trends, seasons, weather, news reports... these things all affects what people search for.
Take for example my site. Traffic is what most would consider pretty low most months. 14,000 to 20,000 page views is what I can expect most months. Certain seasons have a spike and then it's around 40,000 pages views for a few weeks.
However... in February of 2017, I had a week, not a month, but one week, with 70,000 page views. It was crazy, because I never get views like that. I couldn't figure out what had happened. I asked several people, asked on various forums, and I just couldn't figure it out. WHY was I suddenly getting insane amounts of traffic?
It lasted about 2 weeks, then as quickly as it started it stopped. My traffic went back to normal.
At first I wondered if somebody had bought fake traffic and sent it to my site, but in tracking traffic sources, that didn't seem to be the case. A lot of traffic was coming from social media and a lot of it from America...
Wait... America? I don't often get large amounts of traffic from the states. I started checking American search trends... and then I found it.
Here's what happened...
I'm an author. While I write lots of things, the bulk of my fan base revolves around one series, so most of my website is built for those fans, and thus focuses on that set of novels and it's main character... a transvestite.
Because very few people (almost no one) knows the difference between a transvestite, a transexual, and a transgender person (yes, they are 3 VERY different things) and a common question from my fans, is to ask me: "If he's a transvestite, why doesn't he use female pronouns and pretend to be a female?" The answer is because transexuals do that, but that's not what a transvestite does. Then they ask: "How is a transvestite different then a transexual, aren't they the same thing?" So, rather then answer this same question over and over again, I wrote a page for my website titled: "Transvestite, Transexual, Transgender, or Intersex - What is Quaraun?" Which explains the difference between the 4 types and then explains which one Quaraun is and why.
Well, that page normally gets maybe 10 views a month. No reason to expect it to get more, because it's not a topic many people search for. It's not a page that has any goal of getting traffic from Google. It's just a page, that exists, so when a fan asks the question I can say: "I wrote a detailed answer here...." The niche of my site is "how to write fantasy novels" so, the page does not relate to my niche, other then to teach people how to write alternate genders accurately.
Okay... so back to those 70,000 pages views I gt in one week in February. Can you guess what page all of those views went to?
Yep. "Transvestite, Transexual, Transgender, or Intersex - What is Quaraun?"
At first I didn't know, but I found out in May 2017, when I found out that the night before the traffic spike, Pres. Trump had posted a tweet about a transexual. Someone else tweeted a rebuttal, telling Pres. Trump that the person was not a transexual. The tweets ended up in the tv news.
People, Americans, saw news reporters saying that Trump didn't know proper terminology of trans people. People who say the news report then wanted to know, "Wait... Trump used transexual the wrong way? But that's what I thought transexual meant too! What exactly is a transexual?"
Confused these people ran to Google in mass hoards, hours after Trump's tweet... and Google sent them to the ONE and ONLY page on the internet, with the answer... mine.
Once all those people found the answer, they left. And as my site is about an author and her novels, they had no reason to come back, thus the traffic, went back to normal, rather then continuing to be 70,000.
Why do I tell you this?
If you search BrainstormerIt for trends in the keyword "transvestite" you will see that the word gets fewer then 100 searches per month, has very low profitability and over all is not a good topic to try to make money with. HOWEVER, had you searched Brainstormer that word in February, you would have seen that MILLIONS of people were searching for it, and fewer than 10 sites exist. The profitability would have said to expect to make something around $30,000 a month.
Yet, this high demand vs low supply, and super high profitability, was a fluke. It was a spike in search trends that lasted about 14 days then died.
In order words... if you search for your niche numbers today and get great profitability, that doesn't mean the numbers are steady or long term.
This is why it is important to search your keywords, build a MKL - save them to a text file on your computer, then delete them out of BrainstormIt. Then 30 days later. Search again. Compare the new numbers with the previous numbers. Repeat this for 6 months in a row, and you'll be able to see if the numbers stay profitable consistently over time, or was the high profitability a fluke caused by a search trend?
This is why Ken keeps telling us not be become "numbers bound". Because the numbers are fluid. They change constantly. Every hour of every day, the numbers are changing and if you become to focused on the numbers, you could end up expecting very high results, based off a fluke in trends that is not a normal search pattern.
I agree with Sheri. There are variables that will be affected by the niche, the amount of hours per week you put into the site, the type of promoting/marketing you do, and loads of other stuff.
As Sheri says all sorts of variables affect your end result.
But can you expect to reach $2k to $5k a month?
How hard is that to do?
I can't speak for others, but I can tell you what I do and how much I make and perhaps it'll help you with planning your site goals? Maybe? I don't know.
My BrainstormIt numbers are pretty low. Both low supply and low demand. My keywords are various things related to writing fantasy novels, such as world building, character creation, building a magic system, writing dialogue, etc. Most of my keywords have numbers under 1,000 demand/searches per month (20,000 to 60,000 is recommended) and only 10 to 14 sites supplying.
Normally, building an SBI site with my numbers is not recommended, however, I did not go into SBI intended to built a typical content site. My site is an author home page, a place for my fans to find me online and get more info about me, my life, my books, my characters, and learn how to write novels like mine. So I did not go into this looking to earn an income from a website.
My site as of today, has 1,532 pages published. It's been on SBI since September 2013. I publish at least 1 new page a day. Most days see 3 to 5 new pages. My site ranks #1 for 52 keywords, #2 to #13 for another 300 more...on both Google and Bing. I don't count the ones past page 2 of Google because who searches past page 2?
I know a lot of people get hyped over reaching #1 on Google, but reaching #1 is very easy. Getting people to search for that exact keyword is the thing that's hard to do. So really reaching #1 on page 1 of Google doesn't mean much. For example I'm #1 on page 1 of Google for: "Gerault chasing pigeons"... but how many gamers playing Witcher are searching for "Gerault chasing pigeons?"
Again... this is why Ken warns "Don't be numbers bound."
I'm #1 for that, because I did a whole series of YouTube videos, where I played the Witcher gamer and had Gerault run around not fighting monsters like I was supposed to, and instead just searched for pigeons to chase. Yes, I play games weird.
And then if you ask... what the heck does that have to do with your site niche? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And I bring it up to show you that, my site, does NOT follow the standard advice SBI gives. Like I said... money was not the goal... interacting with my fans was the goal. If money is your goal, you probably want to stick closer to your niche and not stray so far away like I do on my site.
Google says on their help blog, that as a general rule, most sites can expect around $1 per 1,000 page views, and recommend having 100,000 views per month before expecting to see $100 per month from AdSense. I have found this to be true with my own site. My site with 14k to 20k views most months, can plan on $20 to $80 a month from AdSense, usually on the lower end.
My high month is right now - October is my busiest month of the year (due to the nature of my novels which feature vampires, zombies, and monsters... my wizard is a Necromancer; thus Halloween season is my peak season... and is also why I've not converted to https yet, as we are right now in my biggest traffic week of the year. I'll be changing to https next week after my busy season ends.) So far this month my AdSense is at $182 for 134,000 page views so far this month.
Affiliates are all over the place. I don't know much about them, as they were not allowed where I live and it was only in April this year that the laws changed allowing us to sign up for affiliate accounts. From what I've learned so far, it takes a lot of trail and error to find one that both matches your niche and makes an income for you. I've not yet found one that fits yet. Most months $20 to $30 is typical. I had one $78 month.
As already mentioned, I write Fantasy novels (the transvestite mentioned earlier is an Elf wizard, the series is 130 novels each 300+ pages about him and his unicorn and the monsters they meet). Obviously, this means a lot of my income comes from, not my site, but from my books, which happen to be listed on my site.
As a general rule, I don't get many sales of my books, from my site. Most sales of my books come from direct sales at conventions and book signings. I do not count these book sales as income from my site. Most people going to my site, already own my books and are not looking to buy them. The end result is, book sales that were a result of someone visiting my site, result in $30 to $50 income per month.
The bulk of the income from my site, is sales of my art on Zazzle. I do watercolour and acrylic painting, have 32 Zazzle shops, and a grand total of 20,000+ products for sale on Zazzle. Nearly ALL sales are a direct result of someone finding my products featured on my website. This is about $300 a month, but in peak seasons reaches $600.
In the end, my site can expect to bring in around $400 most months, with some months lower and some months higher depending on seasonal fluctuations, for around 30 hours of work per week.
So, that gives you some stats to look at and compare to your own.
I could probably increase my website income if I focused more on the monetizing side of it, but, as I said, I did not build the site with a goal of using it as an income. If I had picked keywords looking at income as a goal, I do think it would not be too difficult to increase my income from my site. However, my pages are largely me answering my reader questions and so I almost never have a keyword focus for any of them.
In the end, my site has very low MKL numbers, with no real expectation for profitability (according to BrainstormIt); it has very low traffic, it doesn't stick to it's niche well and frequently strays far from its topic; the monetization methods are flimsy and tossed on as an afterthought; and still, it does pretty well in terms of a side income.
With that in mind, I would think a site with better numbers, that stayed on a more narrow focus, and implemented a large focus on monetization... I would think it possible to reach $2k or more a month. It work certainly take time and effort, dedication, and motivation, but based on what I've see of the results from my own loosey-goosey methods, it seems logical that someone who put in the focus on doing so, should be able to reach those numbers.
Not sure if any of this helps you out or not. Comparing 2 different niches is like comparing apples and oranges, but hopefully something here helps.
Good luck with your site.
What do you want to become?
What did you do today to step closer to that goal?
Whatever you do, be your best at it!
And remember to have yourself a great and wonderfully glorious day!
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