May 2015 Income Report

Welcome to another Income Report here at Niche Site Azon. The purpose of publishing these reports is to document my successes and failures with my niche sites, and to hold myself accountable. 

May was another solid month in the books. How good?

Well, my niche sites held pretty steady from last month, and combined with a little income made from the blog, I made $3,783.32 in (mostly) passive income.​


First, a screenshot from my Amazon account showing the combined income from my four niche sites for May.

So $3,369.55 in Amazon affiliate income for the month!

The craziest thing about this number: I didn't even hit my 8.0% commission tier this month (I missed it by 49 items), which I usually do, and that cost me about an additional $250 in commission since I was only paid out on the 7.5% tier.

So when we're comparing these numbers to last month (when I hit the 8.0% tier), keep that in mind.​

May vs April

Here's a top-level overview of a couple of basic metrics that I like to track with each one of my sites.

Click on each of the tabs to jump from one metric to the next.​

  • AMZ visitors


May 2015

April 2015


Niche Site 1




Niche Site 2




Niche Site 3




Niche Site 4








What's interesting to me is that overall, revenue was up, traffic to Amazon was steady, but the total number of orders was down quite a bit, which affected my ability to hit the 8.0% commission tier.

Let's dig a bit deeper into Niche Site 1 (NS1) and Niche Site 2 (NS2), and we'll also take a look at the bit of revenue this blog was able to generate after being live for only one month.

Niche Site 1

While it looks like NS1 had its usual stellar month (and in a way, it did), when we look into the rankings and traffic numbers, we can see there's cause for some concern.

First, though, the income.


May 2015

April 2015





NS1 has been on cruise control since it recovered from Penguin back in late October. This is the sixth straight month it's passed the $2,000 mark, and I've probably put in a combined two hours in total work on the site during the time.

It looks like that neglect, however, may be starting to catch up to me.​

Google Rankings

Two of my keywords fell this month. One, from #2 to #4, and the other from #3 to #4. 

And while that first keyword shows that it's up a spot this month, it's really just been bouncing back and forth between #3 and #4 in the Serpbook tracker these past couple weeks.

Remember what my rankings looked like in my April Income Report.

So what's going on with these rankings? Why are they starting to fall?

Well, it probably hasn't helped that I haven't really spent any time at all on the site.​ 

As some of you know, and as I've gone over in detail before, NS1 has been hit by both a Panda and Penguin penalty. It was the first niche site I built, and I didn't really know what I was doing at the time in terms of link building and content creation.

I was able to recover from Penguin with a 301-redirect, but ever since then (October), I've been too paranoid to do ANY link-building to the site whatsoever. So it has been more than seven months since this site has seen any fresh links.

Surely, that has something to do with the drop in rankings. The sites that have surged ahead of me, by the way, are also niche sites, and you can be sure they have active link building campaigns going on, as this is a very profitable niche.​

The other issue here, and there really is no excuse, is that I haven't created ANY fresh content for the site. At first, I think I just assumed that Penguin was going to get me again, so I didn't want to waste any efforts creating content that was going to be penalized eventually.

But I really should start building new money pages to this site, to see if I can rank them too. There are definitely untapped additional money keywords that I should be able to rank for.

The question is, what to do about link building?

What would you do with a site that recovered from Penguin that is earning $2,400 per month? Would you just let it ride, like I have been doing, or would you get a little more aggressive and start building some more links to it?​


This month, I finally upgraded to a paid Clicky account to keep track of my traffic. It's about ten thousand times more user-friendly than Google Analytics, it's not even funny.

Unfortunately, I changed the tracking codes for my sites from the free account to the paid account in the middle of the month, so I don't have an accurate measure of my traffic from Clicky. So for this month, we'll have to settle for Google Analytics. ​

So 13,583 sessions for May, which is pretty much in line with 13,140 visitors last month, though the tracking differences between GA and Clicky make it tough to compare exactly, but it's close enough.

That averages out to around 438 visitors per day for May.​

(One other thing I can't stand about GA: their bounce rate and ​average session data is just horribly wrong).

Amazon Traffic and Revenue Per Visitor

In addition to traffic coming to your site, it's always a good idea to track the number of people that are actually clicking on over to Amazon.

So of the 13,583 people that landed on NS1 in May, 5,407 of them clicked on over to Amazon from one of my affiliate links, for a click-through-rate of 40%. This is basically on par with last month's CTR (42.6%), and as far as I'm concerned, anything 40% and up is excellent.

And how much was each of those Amazon visitors worth to my total income?

Well, NS1 did $2,456.27 last month, based on 5,407 visitors to Amazon. That gives us an average revenue per visitor of ​about $0.45 each. Last month, for reference, was $0.43, so we're right on track.

Niche Site 2

As I discussed in last month's income report, Niche Site 2 is in a low-volume, high-price niche. The site doesn't bring in a lot of traffic, but it's very targeted, and the items I promote are several hundreds of dollars. 

So when looking at things like income, there's a bit of a "sample size" issue going on. Basically, if I sell only three more items of one particular product, my commissions could go up $200+, just on those three sales alone. So, it doesn't take a lot to move the income needle in either direction.​

That said, Niche Site 2 had another solid month with earnings. ​


May 2015

April 2015





So you can see that NS2 shipped only 44 items, but earned nearly $750 in commissions. That's nearly $17 for every item shipped, which is very good.

NS2 has been performing quite well ever since December (i.e. Christmas season), when it did nearly $1,300. In the five months after that, it has averaged $684 per month. Over the past three months, $752.

Unlike NS1, this site has never been hit with a Google penalty. And with the consistent earnings, I have given some thought to possibly listing this site on Empire Flippers.

You can usually get 20x your last three month's earnings when you sell on EF, which for this site would be $752 x 20 = $15,033. (Of course, EF takes their 15% cut, so the take-home amount would be closer to $12,778). Not a bad haul for a niche site which I spend maybe two hours on per month in upkeep.

Am I going to sell the site? Right now, no.

I think I can grow this site to at least a $1,500 per month earner, if not higher. I'm also in the process of trying to rank a third money page on this site (see SERPs below), which can bring in additional revenue. It just takes time these days to rank new pages.

Google Rankings

The SERP results look great, at first glance.

​Five of the six keywords up for the month, some significantly so. That jump from #6 to #2 for that first keyword is extremely encouraging.

You also see the third money page I discussed above.

To give you a brief timeline: that money page was published on March 30th. Since it's on a domain that's more than a year old, I didn't have any problem sending some links it's way rather quickly.

So, a week later, I pointed the first PBN link at it. In total, it now has six PBN links, and the page has been up for just over two months now. And as you can see by the monthly ranks view, it's moving up in the SERPs. But the climb to page 1 is a long one, and it just takes patience (and more links). 

Let's talk quickly about that first keyword. ​I want to show you the power of just a few, moderately powerful PBN links.

So on April 8th, around two months ago, I was ranking #8 for this keyword. Not terrible, but as most of you know, most of the money is in the top 3.

And over the course of the past two months, slowly but steadily, my money page for this keyword has risen. Today, as I type this, it's ranking #2. ​

How did this happen? Easy: I pointed some more PBN links to the page. ​

What you're looking at here is a screen grab from a Google Docs report where I track all my links, the dates they went up, their Page Authority, and the SERP rank at the time.

​So on April 8th, again, I was ranking #8 for this keyword. And over the next six weeks or so, I built 7 PBN links to the page (the 8th link was created after it had already hit #2). And slowly, it started to climb in the ranks, all the way up to #2.

The great thing about these links? Check out the "PA" (Page Authority) column. These are not the most powerful links on the internet, just solid PA30 links, most of them under that actually.

So, yeah: PBN links still work. Really, really well.​


Again, we'll have to use Google Analytics for traffic this month.

You can see the nice bump in traffic around the third week of May, once my rankings boost started to stabilize.

For the month, GA tracked ​2,904 sessions to NS2 for May, or an average of 94 visitors per day.

Again, it's tough to compare GA metrics vs Clicky, but this represents a pretty good increase compared to April, where NS2 only had 1,738 visitors, or 58 per day.​

Amazon Traffic and Revenue Per Visitor

Here is where things get a little depressing. (It's never easy in this game, is it?)

You would think with such a nice bump in traffic, that the number of visitors that I sent over to Amazon would go up as well.

Instead, that number actually went down.​

In April, I sent 587 unique visitors over to Amazon, out of the 1,738 that landed on my niche site, for a click-through-rate of about 34%.

In May, however, I only 571 ​unique visitors went over to Amazon, out of 2,904 visitors to my niche site, for a CTR of only 20%! Whoa. 

It's not like visitors are just hitting my site and immediately clicking back, either. My bounce rate and average time on site are pretty good; here's a screen grab from Clicky based on the past two weeks.​

I think those are excellent numbers, actually. Heck, some bloggers with "real" websites would take a bounce rate of 15%. For a niche site? I think it shows that my written content is on point.

So what's going on?

For this site, the entire front page consists of "blog posts", which are also linked to from the sidebar. None of these posts are monetized, but they make up a small percentage of the overall traffic.

So that's throwing off the CTR, as we really should only be counting the two money pages for our conversions (the third money page doesn't even have affiliate links on it yet).​

I upgraded to Clicky in mid-month, so I am able to look at the data from May 16th - May 31st for NS2. When we factor in the traffic for only the two money pages on the site, we get 1,122 visitors for that time period.

And in that same time period, 290 of those visitors clicked through to Amazon. That's a more accurate CTR of ​26%. Which is obviously better than 20%, but still not great by any means.

The good news is that my revenue per Amazon visitor number surged in May, all the way up to $1.30 per visitor

Yes, every time a visitor to my site clicks over to Amazon, that's worth $1.30 to my bottom line, which is remarkable. Last month, this number was at $1.01, so we have a pretty big increase for May.

Compare that to the $0.45 per visitor metric for NS1 to give you some perspective on just how targeted and profitable this niche is.​

Niche Sites 3 & 4 (Quickly)

So I've made an "executive decision" of sorts regarding NS3 and NS4.

Since they are earning so little income, and since I'm not really adding any new content or links to those sites, I've decided that I'm not going to bother writing about them on these reports.​

I'll still provide the top-level numbers like I have in the table at the top of this page, but I'm not going to bother going into great detail breaking down those numbers.

Why? It takes too much time, really. These reports take me a couple of hours to write up, and I don't want to waste any time on sites that a) aren't earning a lot of money, and b) I don't plan to devote a lot of time to improving.

The thing with niche sites is that you really only need one site to make it a success. I think I have two winners on my hands at the moment, and that's what I'm going to focus my time and energy on.​

Part of this game is being able to identify your winners and your losers, and then focusing all your attention on the sites that are generating the income. In the meantime, I'll continue to happily collect the ~$150 in revenue that NS3 and NS4 are creating each month with virtually no effort required on my part.​

Niche Site Azon

In April's income report, my internet friend Matthew Allen jumped into the comments section and asked me this question. 

It was an interesting question and one I really hadn't thought about at that time. It's funny, some IM blogs (like Matthew's) report on the income that their actual blog generates, while others (like Spencer) do not.

I didn't see any reason NOT to report on this, so here we are.​


May 2015

April 2015





So, just one month into this blog's existence, it earned a nice little side income!

Where did this revenue come from? Three places.​

Thrive Themes ($103.00)

I've mentioned a few times here that I have been ridiculously impressed with Thrive Themes and their excellent Thrive Content Builder.

This blog uses the Focus Blog theme, and I think it looks and performs quite nice. I also use Thrive Themes on some of my niche sites, and couldn't be happier.​

l also use Thrive Content Builder on this site to create every single element you find on this blog, from post creation, to images, to any pop-ups or sidebar opt-ins that you see.​ I'm not prone to exaggeration but it's the best piece of WordPress software that I've ever used.

​It really is a joy to use, and makes creating posts in WordPress kind of fun, which is saying a lot.

And two of my readers were kind enough to use my affiliate link when they made their Thrive purchases, netting me $103 in the process. Thanks, guys!

The Hoth ($192.75)

Link-building is a huge pain point for people building out niche sites, and it always has been the case with me as well.

I gave The Hoth a nice little shout out in my very first post here, and it resulted in 20 affiliate sign ups, and ​$192.75 in affiliate income. 

Just to be clear, a "referred user" is not the same as a sale; it just means that someone signed up for The Hoth using my link, not necessarily that they made a purchase.

Either way, though, it's good to see that my readers are finding value in The Hoth; it's my go-to link-building source when I'm starting out a new site or new money page, and I've always had a good experience with them.

In fact, I just recently ordered a new package with them to test out on a new niche site I created, and plan on doing a full review of the service​ soon.

PBN Service ($123.02)

As I mentioned, link-building is a big pain point for niche site owners. By far the most common question I receive is how to build links.

After talking with a few readers, I decided to create a PBN Service, exclusively for members of my e-mail list.​

I did a soft launch to my list last week, and have already made several sales.

I even made one sale before officially launching the service, after communicating back and forth with one of my readers over e-mail.

That accounts for the ​$123.02 (after PayPal fees) in income for May.

I'm not going to rehash all the features and benefits of the PBN Service here, so be sure to check out the Sales Page for a lot more information if you're interested.​


Considering this blog only launched at the tail end of April, I've been pretty happy with the traffic numbers.

So 3,903 visitors in May, which averages out to 126 visitors per day.

What excites me most about that first image are the average time per visit metric of almost 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and the bounce rate of only 15% (which apparently was almost 300% worse than April?). ​

If you're wondering what that spike in traffic was in early May, it's from Tung Tran featuring me on his excellent blog.

I try to be generous when linking out to other blogs, and it's always nice to see other IM bloggers return the favor, because it isn't always the case. Thanks, Tung! 



Hosting & Domains

Tools & Services

Niche Site Azon







May was another expensive month, though not quite as bad as last month's $716.06 tally.

The thing is, when you have a couple of profitable niche sites on your hands, you want to keep improving them, and investing some of the money back into their growth.

In my situation, this is the case with NS2, as I continue to add new backlinks and content to the site.​


As I touched on briefly, I'm launching a brand new niche site.

This is more for experimental purposes to show some techniques to my readers, rather than to try to make a lot of money off of it. I think I can use it as a good learning tool for readers of the blog.

I'll be writing a lot more about it in future posts, but I did have to order some content for the site last month. I also ordered some fresh content for NS2, blog-type posts to stick on the front page to make it seem that it's continually updated.​

Hosting & Domains

When you run a personal PBN for yourself consisting of more than 40 domains, you're going to have to pay hosting and renewal fees every month. That's just the way it is.

Tools & Services

As I explained previously, I decided to finally pony up for a paid version of Clicky. $79 for a year of service, and I can use it on all my niche sites, plus this blog.

I was just getting so tired of Google Analytics and their horrendously appalling user interface, I thought it was time to make the switch.​

Niche Site Azon

With the opening of the PBN Service, I took on some expenses that I'll attribute to the blog, mostly domain registration and hosting for the PBN Service, plus I provide all of the written content for my clients, which eats up some of those expenses. 

Net Income


Total Income

Total Expenses

Net Income

May 2015




So all-in-all, a pretty successful month.

​Last month's net income was $2,452.60, so this month represents a nice little bump.

I'm also excited to see the hard work I've been putting into the blog start to pay off a little, and I thank you guys for reading and supporting the site.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below.​

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 26 comments
Tung Tran - June 8, 2015

Congrats on a good month Mike! Love the kind of details you went into in your reports.

You’re gonna be the next IM famous blogger real soon 😛

And no worries about the featuring. It can only make the whole industry better. In fact, I’m gonna link to you in a new roundup soon 😛

    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Thanks, Tung!

    Appreciate the great feedback, and thanks again for featuring me on the blog 🙂

Sheyi - June 8, 2015

I quite agree with Tung, you’re the next BIG thing in the niche site arena.

Nice report here. Gives hope to those who still believes in Amazon Niche Sites

    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Thanks for stopping by, Sheyi!

    Amazon niche sites never stopped working. Yes, Google will slap you down from time to time; but it’s always been that way, and it always will be. Just have to keep coming up with new techniques to beat the algorithm 🙂

Jonathan - June 8, 2015

Hi Mike,

I just found the blog, and already I can’t get enough! 🙂

I’ve tried Amazon niche sites in the past, but never made a penny. However, I’m planning to start buying some low-income already-established niche sites soon to get my feet wet, so discovering this blog is a really timely coincidence!

Love the transparency of the income reports; you’ve got a brand-new fan here. 🙂


    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Hi Jonathan,

    Appreciate the kind words!

    Best of luck to you with your niche sites. Just remember, ranking and earning money takes a little while now with Google, so stay patient!

Paul Gray - June 8, 2015


Great to see the income from NS2 jumping up.

Your last few posts have inspired me to take a look at affiliate marketing once again – just hoping I can catch you up over the next few months mate!

    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Good luck to you, Paul – and thanks for the comment!

Colten - June 8, 2015

Another great income report Mike! Stoked to see the success. I’m actually starting to see a slight increase in my visitors to my main site I’m using your PBN service on. And it hasn’t even been 2 weeks yet haha. I’m launching another niche site this week, and hopefully another one in about 2 weeks from now. I swear, niche sites get quite addicting! I’ve also been building up my personal site and it looks way better now thanks to Thrive. I will be writing new posts on there soon (where does the time go?) including the journey of my main niche site and it’s progress so far, including what your PBNs have and will be doing in the future. When that’s updated I’ll let ya know! Keep the writing up!

    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Hi Colten!

    Great to hear about the PBN working out for you a little so far – keep me updated!

Jane - June 8, 2015

Hey Mike

I totally agree with everyone! You are going to be the next big thing in Amazon niche sites. I really hope to emulate your success! I’m interested in your PBN services. When will be a good time to add PBN links for a new niche site?


    Mike Bradford - June 8, 2015

    Hi Jane!

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I generally like to wait 3 months or so before adding PBN links, but everyone has their own strategy 🙂

john - June 9, 2015


you said you have 40 pbns now, right ? do you still use hoth and blog commenting for your ns1 ? or purely pbns ?

    Mike Bradford - June 10, 2015

    Hi John,

    I only use The Hoth (and sometimes, though rarely, blog commenting) on NEW sites – basically, in the first 3 months once a site is live. They are the initial links that I build.

    After that, it’s exclusively PBN links.

      john - June 10, 2015

      hi Mike,

      thanks for the answer. for my first niche site i did use blog commenting but the problem is that the comment backlink was placed on the sidebar of that website so as i check my majesticseo profile, the name of that girl ( i use for commenting) takes the largest part of the pie. luckily i just build about 12 new pbns and just few days ago, from rank 9, my site is now rank 5, but the earnins is not as it used to.. it used to have 300+ daily visitors not the max is 270 ….

      my new best electric toothbrush money site was up this march, i ordered gigs ( social signals) for it but i think i overwhelm it with pbn links and i even think the fiverr gigs are damaging its ranking..

      last time it was ranked 130th, then 90th, now its gone but when i search for it using other keywords i still see a high ranking result.. not sure if its getting penalty

        Mike Bradford - June 10, 2015

        I don’t mess with the social stuff and definitely not Fiverr anymore.

        I usually give a site about 3 months before adding any PBN links, and then take it slow from there, maybe 5 links per month.

          john - June 10, 2015

          i also ordered those .edu and .gov links that luckily i have the username and password so i re-point the links to other supporting sites.

          those .edu and .gov were supported with blog comments from spammed blogs… and worst, my pc got virus so i reformat. those were russians i say it cause the email is .ru

          the 2nd niche site was up by march so by may and june i started point out pbn links, maybe i used too much on May… and i must delute my anchor texts luckily they are all pbn so i can change them anytime..

          i cant afford 5 links per month for now. but i do but new exp-domains by june 16 ..

Vusa - June 10, 2015

Hey Mike,

I first saw your comments on Spencer’s Niche Pursuits. I have since subscribed to your blog, and I am impressed about your hustle so far. Keep up the good work!

    Mike Bradford - June 10, 2015

    Thanks for stopping by, Vusa!

Codrut Turcanu - June 12, 2015

Hey Mike

What a great month you had, congrats!

I love your table of contents and the May vs April metrics

How did you create these, is there a WP plugin available for such a beautiful display in table format?

Thank you!

    Mike Bradford - June 12, 2015

    Hi Codrut!

    Thanks for stopping by, and for putting together that excellent roundup post on Empire Fippers!

    The table & table of contents are both elements from Thrive Content Builder – awesome tool!

Raj @ Blog Insights - June 16, 2015

Hi Mike,

Nice income reports.

I’m currently putting together an income report roundup on my blog and would love to include you in it if I may?

I’ll let you know once its published but in the meantime keep up the good blogging!


    Mike Bradford - June 16, 2015

    Hi Raj!

    Yes, feel free to include me, and let me know when it’s up!

Stuart - June 17, 2015

Nice earnings report Mike and looks like a good month. Blog is coming along nicely too.

    Mike Bradford - June 18, 2015

    Hi Stuart!

    Thanks for dropping by! Yes, earnings are steady, which is always niche.

    Thanks for the feedback!

Skinny - April 14, 2016


Have you written about the recovery by 301 redirect somewhere? Would love to see how you managed to do it.

Also, on a side, you should limit your sign up popup boxes to once per user on this site, as it gets pretty annoying the 10th time.


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