April 2015 Income Report

Welcome to my very first income report. If you write a blog about making money via Amazon niche sites, I suppose you should be documenting your successes and failures. So here we are.

In addition to simply proving the revenue and expenses data, I thought it might be helpful for this first report to provide a little background for each site, and what kind of tactics I’ve been implementing for each to rank them in the SERPs, and earn affiliate sales.

Let's hop to it.​


As a special bonus for this post, I have created a  "4 Tips to Driving More Visitors to Amazon" write-up to help you improve your Amazon click-through rates. Click the button below for your free copy.

Note: you will be sent a confirmation email to confirm your email address. You must click the link in the confirmation email to complete your sign-up process.

Overview: April vs March

Here's a top-level overview of how four of my niche sites (I technically own six, but the other two barely earn anything) performed for April, and how they stacked up in comparison to the month prior.

Click the tabs below from one to the next to see details on revenue, total number of orders, total number of unique visitors sent to Amazon, and the revenue-per-Amazon-visitor figure.

  • AMZ visitors


April 2015

March 2015


Niche Site 1




Niche Site 2




Niche Site 3




Niche Site 4








I dive into these numbers in great detail below for each individual site, so keep on reading.

Niche Site 1 (NS1)


This site was launched in early 2014, and was the first niche site I ever created. If you want a lot more detail about the site, check out my post on how this site alone accounted more than $27,000 of the $32,000 in earned in Amazon affiliate income over the past 12 months. (Click the image to enlarge).

But as general background, this site is in the “home & garden” niche (sorry, that’s as much info as you’re getting from me), and features products that sell mostly from $50 to $300+. There are a few main keywords that I target (see below), that range from 1,300 LMS to 14,800.

I haven’t really done much work on this site since October, so it’s pretty much running on autopilot. There are a couple of reasons for this. The biggest reason is that since this was the very first site I ever made, and at the time I really didn’t know what I was doing in terms of backlinks, it has been penalized by Google both via a Panda update and a Penguin update. I haven’t really fully recovered from Panda, but I was able to recover from Penguin via a 301-redirect that surprisingly worked (and took less than a week), and is still holding strong now.

Amazon Clicks/Visitors: NS1

What you're looking at above is a screenshot from my Amazon Associates account, in August 2014 (when Panda hit), showing total clicks and visitors to Amazon from NS1. You can obviously see when Panda started to do its thing. The worst was yet to come.

October came along, and so did Penguin, ravaging my site almost entirely out of the SERPs. I thought I was finished. Turns out, as I mentioned, a clever 301-redirect trick (a post for another time) saved me rather quickly, and continues to hold up to this day.

So basically, I’ve been terrified about sending any new backlinks to the site in fear of it getting penalized again. So it’s kind of just sitting there, earning between $2,000-$2,500 per month, which is just fine by me. That said: whenever Google refreshes Penguin, I do expect this site to get it.


April 2015

March 2015





So NS1 did $2,415.12 in Amazon affiliate revenue in April, which is pretty much in line with how it’s been performing over the past several months (other than December, i.e., Christmas) since I was able to recover it from Penguin back in October.



February 2015


January 2015


December 2014


November 2014


This month, I did do a little rearranging of the order in which the products appear in my pricing tables for each page. I didn’t rewrite or expand any of the written reviews, but simply changed the “rankings” of the products on my pages.

I did some analysis in Amazon to determine how each product was performing over the past five months based on how many times it was clicked from my site, how many times it was ordered on Amazon, the total commission for each product based on its total sales, and then I converted those numbers into a “revenue per click” figure to determine the best-performing products.

So, based on the revenue per click figure, I re-ordered the products in my pricing tables on my money pages. I’m hoping this will put the more popular (and profitable) items in front of my readers’ eyes right away.

Overall, however, for a site which I haven’t built any new links, or added any new content to, I’m pretty happy with how it continues to perform, especially in light of the Penguin and Panda penalties.

In terms of adding any new content or links, I think I may wait until after the next Penguin refresh, to see if it is going to be affected (which I think it will).

Google Rankings

Earnings are nice, but it's important not to lose sight of the fact that making money with niche sites all comes down to how your sites are ranking in Google. Since we are relying 100% on organic search traffic, the only way for people to find our sites (and click on our affiliate links) is to rank well in Google.

That said, here’s what my Google rankings look like for NS1 for my main four keywords, via SerpBook.

I have no idea how that one KW jumped three spots into the top 4 results, but I’m not complaining. Other than that, nothing really to report here. These rankings have been pretty steady for months now.


This screenshot shows my traffic over the month of April. As you can see, NS1 had 13,140 visitors for the month, or an average of 438 per day.

Back in August 2014, before it was hit by Panda, NS1 was getting around 800 visitors per day.​

Amazon Traffic and Revenue Per Visitor

Organic traffic to your site is crucial, but it's also important that your visitors clicking over to Amazon via your affiliate links. That's why you really need to track how many unique visitors you are sending over to Amazon. Their reporting function makes this pretty easy to track.

So for April, you'll see that for NS1, there were 5,597 unique visitors that clicked my affiliate link over to Amazon.

Remember, I had 13,140 visitors to NS1 in April. So if we take the 5,597 figure and divide it into the 13,140 number, we can calculate that my click-through rate in terms of people who clicked one of my affiliate links was 42.6%, which I'm extremely pleased with.

Revenue per Amazon visitor is a number I track as well. Basically, I take how much affiliate money a site earned in a given month, and divide it by the number of unique visitors that that particular site sent to Amazon.​

So for NS1, in April, I drove 5,597 visitors to Amazon, and the site earned $2,415.12, so the revenue per Amazon visitor is $0.43.​ In other words, for each and every visitor I send over to Amazon, that person is worth 43 cents to my revenue numbers. Might not sound like a lot, but it adds up.

Niche Site 2 (NS2)


Niche Site 2 was launched in Summer 2014 and is in the health niche. It took until November to start earning some decent money ($284), did over $1,200 in December (Christmas season), and has since hovered in that $600-$900 per month range, though as you see for this month, it took a pretty decent dip.

The reason for that is basically this: this niche features high-priced items, with low volume. Some of the items I sell result in a $70+ commission for a single sale, so if I sell even just 4-5 fewer items in a given month, that can result in ~$300 less in overall revenue. In other words, part of the decline is just a sample size issue.

That said, I have actively been adding PBN links to the site in April, and hope to see some SERP movement in May.


April 2015

March 2015





So this is a pretty significant dip in earnings here from last month. Because of the SERP drop and the higher-volatile products that I promote (which didn't sell as well as in previous months), this NS2 definitely under-performed in April.

In addition to throwing more PBN links at the site, I’m going to start adding more “articles” as well on a consistent basis. This is a pretty competitive niche and I'll try to make an effort to make the site appear fresh in Google’s eyes.

Google Rankings

Here’s what my Google rankings look like for NS2 for my main six keywords, spread across three different money pages.

As you can see, those last two keywords are still working their way up the rankings, as that money page was only published about a month ago or so.


As I said, this is a low-traffic, high-priced item niche, so I really don’t see a lot of visitors, but their revenue-per-visit is pretty high. NS2 had 1,738 visitors in April, averaging around 58 visits per day in April.

Amazon Traffic and Revenue Per Visitor

Out of the 1,738 visitors that visited NS2 in April, 587 clicked on over to Amazon, for a click-through rate of 33.8%. So my CTR this month for NS2 was nearly 10% lower than it was for NS1.

My revenue per Amazon visitor ($1.01) fell sharply this month, but it really only looks bad because the metric for last month was a ridiculous $1.82, which is an outlier for sure. To still get a dollar per Amazon visitor is pretty great. NS2 may  have under-performed a little, but realistically, with the current SERP rankings, it's a $600 per month site for now.

Niche Sites 3 & 4 (NS3 & 4)


I can bucket these sites together because they basically follow the same trajectory (even though NS3 has been earning better). These sites were also launched in Summer 2014, back when I thought I could just launch as many niche sites as I wanted and they’d all be as successful as NS1. Little did I know that building PBNs to acquire powerful backlinks required a lot of resources (time and money).

There’s not much to report with these two sites, but the good news is that I have just gotten around to having the time and money to build out the backlinks to both of these sites a little bit. And I’m starting to see some results already, especially with NS4, which you can see below.



April 2015

March 2015


Niche Site 3




Niche Site 4




NS3 has been hovering around that $100 a month range for a few months now. Nothing to get majorly excited about, but I’m hoping with more backlinks and adding another money page for another product, that I can eventually get this site up to the $500 a month range.

You’ll see that up until this month, NS4 was basically non-existent. It clearly took 4th place in terms of priority amongst my sites, and I hadn’t been devoting any time or links to the site at all. But in April, I decided to throw five PBN links to the main money page, to see what would happen. And more importantly than the meager income it earned, it actually jumped onto the 1st page on Google, and has been bouncing around that spot.

Google Rankings

Here’s what my SERPs look like for NS3.

Believe it or not, there’s really only one main keyword that I’m tracking for this site right now. Sure, there are some long-tail KWs which it’s also ranking for, but I like to keep my focus on the larger LMS.

It’s not reflected in the SerpBook screenshot for whatever reason, but this KW has actually risen three spots in the SERPs this month (from 8th to 5th), as I’ve sent a handful of PBN links its way.

Here are the SERPs for NS4.

Getting onto Page 1 is always a big deal in my eyes. You’re still not going to see a ton of traffic being at #9, but it’s a big “win” nonetheless. I think a couple of things are helping out this site in the search rankings.

One, even though I’m only getting around to link-building to NS4 now, this site was registered last summer, so it’s nearly a year old in Google’s index, and not just some domain that was bought three months ago.

Two, I've been adding “articles” (more like blog-posts) to the home page, and have five scheduled to post this month. I think this helps with the “freshness” factor in Google’s eyes. And three, as I said, I've built about five PBN links to the site, and as we all know, it usually comes down to links when you’re trying to rank your site.

In April, I also published a brand new money page to this site. Obviously, it’s not ranking yet. But I will closely be watching its progress.


Want to know how little attention I’ve been paying to these two sites? I never even set up Google Analytics accounts for them (though I did do it this past week for future reporting), and even my free Clicky accounts for them were automatically “disabled” temporarily because I had not logged into them frequently enough!

So in terms of site traffic, unfortunately I don’t have anything to show you this month. Next month, however, this will change.

Amazon Traffic and Revenue Per Visitor

Luckily, Amazon never disables its tracking, so I can at least show what kind of traffic I’ve been sending to Amazon for these two sites via my affiliate links. It’s not a lot, but here it is anyway.

NS3 gets decent traffic over to Amazon, 478 unique visitors in April, but the revenue per visit is the lowest of all my sites, just barely over $0.20 per visitor.

The traffic for NS4 is so low that there's no way to draw any meaningful analysis, though it's nice to see the numbers trending upward from last month.


Now that I'm writing this blog, I’m going to have to do a better job of keeping track of what my expenses are related to as I go forward for this blog. For this month, all I have is my total expenses, and what they are generally related to.

And April was a very expensive month.



Hosting & Domains

Tools & Services


April 2015







As I’ve mentioned a few times, I work a full-time job, and simply don’t have enough time to write my own content, either for my money sites, or articles that need to be posted to my PBN.

So between my writer on Textbroker who writes my money page content, and my writer on oDesk who writes my PBN content, I spent $200 in April.

This is higher than normal, as I don’t always publish a new money page (or pages) each month, and that content is more expensive (I pay 2.4 cents per word) than my PBN article writer, who generally pay 1.0 cent per word. On a normal month, for sites that have already been set up and have money pages already published, my content costs are more like $30.

Hosting & Domains

Yep, you read that correctly: I spent $369.06 in April on hosting and domains. Why so much?

Well, I significantly added to my PBN portfolio (I have over 40 now), and I’ve been trying to host each domain on its own hosting plan, to avoid leaving any footprints.

I went a little crazy this month hosting so many domains, but now that they’re (mostly) set up, I shouldn’t have an expense this high for a while now.

UPDATE: I have launched a PBN Service for my e-mail subscribers. 

Tools & Services

I’ve been a Thesis Theme guy for a year now, and I still use their themes for some of my sites.

But this month, I invested in the Thrive Themes “membership”, a package for $147 which includes access to all their themes, Thrive Landing Pages, Thrive Leads (build your e-mail list), and their phenomenal Thrive Content Builder, all of which I am using on this very blog to design, optimize, and publish my posts.

This was a bundled package, but they also sell individual products, i.e., a bundle of just the themes, or just the Content Builder, etc.

I don’t recommend a lot of affiliate products here, but this one I totally endorse as I’ve been completely impressed with their products and support. I plan on doing a full review at some point.

Net Income


Total Income

Total Expenses

Net Income

April 2015




Note: Technically, I own six sites that earn (or have earned in the past) affiliate income, but one site was recently hit with a manual action, and the other I never took the time to get off the ground. I’m going to focus on only four of the sites here, but this is why my monthly earnings for some months maybe not match up exactly with the overall total for my Amazon account, since I’m not accounting for those two sites in my income reports, and they do still bring in a bit of income.

Final Thoughts

I’m pretty happy with my month overall. My expenses were a lot higher than usual (PBN hosting and my Thrive Membership purchase), but that’s a figure that I can directly control, and I don’t expect it to be this high in May.

In terms of revenue, generally my goal each month is to hit $100 per day, so $3,000 for a month with 30 days, like April. I hit that goal, and I’m ecstatic about it.

Besides, my Amazon niche sites are almost entirely passive; I probably work on my sites only a few hours per month, depending on whether I'm adding fresh money pages or not. I have a full-time job and so any extra money I can earn on the side is just icing on top of the cake.

As a special bonus for this post, I have created a  "4 Tips to Driving More Visitors to Amazon" write-up to help you improve your Amazon click-through rates. Click the button below for your free copy.

Note: you will be sent a confirmation email to confirm your email address. You must click the link in the confirmation email to complete your sign-up process.

Mike Bradford

Hi there, I'm Mike, the guy behind Niche Site Azon. I made $32,000 in 12 months with Amazon niche sites. This blog is where I share my tips, tricks, and tactics to building and profiting from Amazon affiliate sites.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 15 comments
Derek Smith - May 5, 2015

Nice article Mike, I like the breakdown of everything with pictures. What do you look for when you are purchasing or setting up a PBN network? I had one of my older “Amazon” sites hit hard by a PBN last year and have been leery about investing in a PBN ever since this time.

    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Hi Derek,

    Yeah, a lot of people were hit. Do you mind sharing which PBN you were using?

    I just look for a clean backlink profile, preferably a PA of 30+, some decent, real backlinks, make sure in archive.org that the site was last used for its intended purpose, etc.

    I am thinking of putting together a semi-private PBN for some readers of the site. Each network would be 5-10 sites and limited to only 5 people per network, so there wouldn’t be that many outbound links going to a bunch of affiliate sites.

    But the honest truth is that no matter how many precautions we take, there is always risk. I can’t guarantee you that a PBN is 100% safe, and neither could anyone else. But with risk, there is reward.

      Derek Smith - May 6, 2015

      Yes Mike,

      It was actually my own network that I created. I think one of my problems may have been that I had different class C ips and hosts, but I had everything under my name. Not sure if that would do it or not. When I created it I just kind of followed the strategy that Hayden laid out at Niche Pursuits, but it was newer back then and I didn’t follow everything precisely. I have avoided using links now and now focus on buying older sites off of owners privately, it is much easier and you don’t have to worry about links as they get tons of old links already.



Mat - May 5, 2015

Hey Mike,

nice report. How long it took for NS1 to generate some steady income? For example from 0 to 500$/month ?
Have you used PBN from begining?


    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Hey Mat,

    This post gives you the full earnings trajectory: http://www.nichesiteazon.com/32k-12months/

    But by month 4 it did $400/mo, then month 5 nearly $1,400.

    I started using PBNs a few months in (once I could afford them), first with a public service, and now with my own service.

Matthew Allen - May 5, 2015

Sweet report Mike! I’m always jealous when I see such simplified expense sections on other people’s reports. Mine has gotten so complicated over the years.

Do you plan to report only your niche site income going forward? No doubt you’re going to start making some decent affiliate income from this blog as well.

Also, are you worried about having all of your niche site income in one basket (Amazon)? State laws change and Amazon has been known to completely disallow their associates program for certain states. Never know. It could happen to you or me or anybody else.

    Mike Bradford - May 6, 2015

    Thanks, Matthew!

    I hadn’t really thought about whether to include any income from the blog. I see that you and someone like Pat Flynn does that, but Spencer doesn’t. I guess I’ll see what I’ll do after I make my first sale 🙂

    Yea, I’ve read about Amazon and the whole state sales tax issue. Honestly I always figured Google would get me way before Amazon itself gave me any issues! I think there are ways around the issue, but I can’t say I’ve looked into it too much.

Julian - May 8, 2015

Hey, Mike!

Just read and commented on your other post. I didn’t mean to sound like I thought you weren’t telling the truth — I just like to see screenshots, rankings and stuff like that. Now that I’ve read this report, it’s obvious you’re telling the truth. I love how you go into detail. I would love to know about those $900 products your site sold. Are those the primary products for the ‘niche’ the site is targeting — or are they ‘stuff people bought when they wen’t to amazon’ products?

Also, how would you say your own PBN links stack up to those of the public service you used, and if you don’t mind, what service(s) did you use? I know it’s hard to measure, but I’ve noticed that my own networks have provided significantly more ranking benefit than public networks I’ve used.

    Mike Bradford - May 11, 2015

    Hi Julian,

    No worries, thanks for your comment.

    1. Yes, those $900 products are the ones that I’m actually promoting on my site. I’ve found its much better to try and promote more expensive items.

    2. My PBN is mostly domains in the PA30 range, which isn’t crazy powerful but when you have 20 or so of them pointing at each money page, they add up. I was using Lightning Rank in the past, which has PA40 domains.

Potato - May 20, 2015

Hi Mike,

Mind giving some more info on the 301-redirect trick? 🙂

Would really be appreciated and would like to give it a test.

    Mike Bradford - May 20, 2015

    I will be covering it in detail at some point!

Josh Escusa - May 21, 2015

Nice Job with the niche sites Mike. Just found your site and I really like it. Looks like my portfolio looks quite similar to yours 🙂 Have you considered selling any of your sites?

    Mike Bradford - May 21, 2015

    Hey Josh!

    I’ve definitely read your site a few times, great work.

    I have thought about selling NS2, but only if I can get it up to $1k/m, which I think I should be able to.

Nathan - May 24, 2015

Wow that’s some good money that you are earning from NS1 even though it got hit with penalties. Look forward to seeing how it does when a refresh happens, plus wouldn’t mind hearing about the 301 trick.

    Mike Bradford - May 25, 2015

    Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, the refresh has me pretty nervous 😮


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