June was the second month that Survey Chris has been live (first full month), and I’ve got promising results to share with you.
If you missed my first month, with an explanation of what niche Survey Chris is and the monetization strategy, make sure to check out May’s income report here.
I already touched on my 1KBlog case study when I first published – How to make money with survey companies, but for those that missed it I’m building a blog that generates at least $1,000 per month or more and I’ll be documenting the process here on my blog. Now let’s get into what I did this last month on Survey Chris, what the results where and what they mean.
SurveyChris.Com Month 2 Report
I want to first cover what I did for June on SurveyChris.com, how much I earned, then look at how many subscribers I gained and traffic I received. After that, we’ll look at plans for next month, such as content and SEO strategies.
Month 1 Execution
The goal of June was content creation and increasing organic and referral traffic (not from UpFuel). As I addressed in May’s income report, the referral traffic from this blog will skew the numbers, but only up to a point and not by much in the long run.
The referral traffic from UpFuel alone won’t be enough to hit $1,000 per month. Also, my true goal is to reach $50,000 per year in earnings from Survey Chris.
The goal of this $1K blog case study is not to prove that I can build a blog from scratch up to $1,000 per month, since I already have multiple times. The goal of this case study is to show you every step that I am doing, so you can use the lessons to build sites of your own.
Content Created in Month 2:
In June I published 3 different survey website reviews. One thing to note about these reviews is that 2 of them were negative. Why this is important to note is that the majority of Survey Chris’ income is coming from referrals. If I give a website a negative review, then I won’t be referring anyone to that site and thus losing money.
But then why ever post a negative review?
There are a couple reason why posting negative reviews are important. The first is to get organic traffic. I am trying to get traffic from keywords like “(survey company name) review”, and I am doing on-page optimization on these reviews for those keywords.
To do this keyword research and on-page optimization for SEO, I am using Long Tail Pro (30% off link) and SEMRush to identify what keywords people are actually searching for with these sites. Then I make sure to place those keywords in the title tag, meta description, first paragraph, etc. (again these elements alone aren’t enough to get huge rankings, but I’ll get to that later for now I’m going slow).
Using these tools instead of just guessing is important. For example, it turns out one of the next survey companies I am reviewing recently rebranded in the last 6 months and their original name is getting way more searches than the new name.
The second reason these negative reviews are important is because they build trust with an audience. If I want Survey Chris to reach $50,000 a year, then it needs to become a trust worthy brand. Showing people that I am giving valuable and truthful information will lead to better results in the long run.
Once the visitors realize it is a negative review and survey site they should not be spending time on, I give plenty of opportunities to redirect them over to the survey companies that are quality.
Blog Posts Published:
I published 2 blog posts in June. It will be important for me to get more content out, because these blog posts are going to be easier to rank in google for. They are long tail keyword based, so there is less competition than the reviews.
It is important to keep the content relevant and relating to survey websites, because that way I am bringing in qualified traffic that will have a higher conversion rate.
For June, I was able to create 3 videos for survey companies on my Survey Chris Youtube Channel. I added these videos into the blog posts as a goal to have the most in-depth reviews online.
I published the videos in the middle of June, and here are the views since then:
I am using BetterLinksPro to keep track of how these videos are converting on referral links compared to the blog, email and sidebar.
The CashCrate video referral link has a CTR of 9.25% and is converting at 50%. That is higher than most of my other referral links. However, with 37 views, it is too small of a sample size to get too excited about. The fact that I’ve made money from sub 5 minute videos I filmed in one take with minimal editing is promising. I’m interested in seeing the long term earnings from each of my YouTube videos.
Note: Some people may think I’m goofy in the videos, but long ago I discovered the incredible joy of NGS (not giving a shit what other people think). If I really cared what people thought I wouldn’t be putting myself out there to be judged (silently and publicly through the comments) with my blog.
Sidebar “Top 10” Added:
This month, I added in a my top 10 best survey companies in the sidebar of the site. It includes their reviews and referral links. The links have not been converting very well, but I do think they will help navigate visitors towards the best survey site reviews on my site (which are also the highest converting).
Month 2 Income Results
Here is the income split by survey company. To keep it simple and be able to better line up my results with what I did for the month I’m tracking what I earned in the specific month and not what checks I’ve cashed or Paypal deposits I’ve received within that month:
I made $91.56 less in June in May. This is disappointing, but I will cover the reasons for this drop below.
Month 2 Email List Growth
Month 2 email subscribers: 214 Gain of: 42
Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do for your blog. It is best way to actually own the traffic source and cannot be destroyed by tweak in an algorithm, such as with Google and Facebook.
I have been using Aweber ($1 trial link) to build out an auto responder of the best survey sites. These emails have been converting really well 25%.
This is traffic that I own and converts well.
Also, since these emails are auto responders, I don’t have to do any work once a visitor has subscribed to make money. I simply have to build out more auto responders and get more email subscribers.
Month 2 Traffic Results
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
As you can see from my screenshots from Google Analytics, the total traffic did not grow that much from last month to this month. However, the referral rate (which is almost all from this blog), dropped about 20%, while organic search grew by about 80%.
Not only that, but organic search’s bounce rate dropped by 20% from last month, while the others stayed relatively the same.
While the actual traffic is nothing to be extremely happy about, the rise in organic search and drop in bounce rate means that I am getting more qualified traffic from organic search. This is the direction that I would like to be heading. Again, there isn’t a lot of data to base these observations on with a less than 2 month old website, but the goal now is to grow even bigger in the coming months.
Plans For July
The biggest strategy to continue for July is simply content creation. This is where the focus of my time will go. However, I would like to create and begin a longer term SEO strategy this month as well.
One of the simplest strategies to use is to properly create and promote content. A simple technique for this is to use a site such as SEMRush to look up my competitions blog and find low competition keywords that they are ranking for.
After I identify some of the keywords that they are ranking for that have low competition, I will simply write an article around their keyword that is better than theirs. I will not copy their work obviously. That would be unethical and ineffective. I will, however, look at what they’ve written, do additional research and then write a more in-depth, better written article than they have.
For example, if one of my competitor has a list of “5 survey websites that pay cash”, I could create a bigger list of 10 sites. I would write a longer list, and go into more depth about each site than my competition. This isn’t stealing, but simply providing better value than my competition.
Then I could use a site use as Open Site Explorer to see where my competition is getting backlinks from. At that point, I can analyze what they’re doing to build backlinks and see if I can build the same links from other sources etc. Proactive link building is something I’ll likely need to eventually do but I haven’t decided on a specific strategy. For now I’m just focused on creating the genuinelybest content on the market for my niche.
Blog Content Strategy:
Like I mentioned above, I will be writing content focused around long tail keywords, to begin getting more organic traffic. I will also be rolling out as many survey reviews as possible (only after I have honestly tried out the survey companies).
Video Content Strategy:
With the videos converting at a high rate, I will be working to film more brief 5 minute reviews of survey companies. I’ll host them on SurveyChris Youtube Channel and embed them into my blog posts.
Data Tracking and Implementation:
After a month and half of using Better Links Pro, I do have some data that I can now use to make more money.
Since Better Links Pro has the feature to A/B/C/D/E etc test links, in this case I was able to test two different affiliate companies for one survey taking site. Both of the affiliate companies offer the same payout. However, they use different landing pages.
Looking at the data that one of the landing pages was converting at twice the rate of the other.
Luckily, this is easy to change within Better Links Pro, as I can simply turn off the A/B testing and set it to go to the best converting site.
Overall Month 2 Assessment
While I made $90 less in June than May, looking at the numbers, the blog is moving in the right direction. Less referral traffic from UpFuel and growth in the qualified organic traffic. It was not explosive growth, but growth nonetheless. I said it in my month 1 report but that I would obviously need legit non referral traffic from UpFuel to get to $1,000+ per month and beyond and less than 60 days after starting this website I’m already seeing it happen.
Full Disclosure: I have hired someone to help me out with some SurveyChris.com blog articles and reviews. Sure I could do absolutely everything myself, but I have other businesses I need to be focused on as well.