LowFruits Case Study Site, Month 6: Niche Reveal!
It's time for the big niche reveal!
It’s Month 6, which means it’s time to reveal the niche!
Are you excited?
I sure am! As I write this, I find it hard to believe that I registered a brand new domain name six months ago and launched this case study website. But here we are, and the results are getting better by the minute!
In the last 30 days, I’ve seen:
- 813 clicks (86% increase compared to February)
- 34.6k SERP impressions (123% increase)
- Average CTR: 2.4%
- Average SERP position: 18.5
In October I set out to publish at least 6 well-written pieces of content each month, optimized for low-hanging keywords that I found with LowFruits.
It’s been a wild ride. The results are slowly (but surely) trickling in, which we’ll get back to later.
Now, it’s time to meet the star of today’s show!
Her Majesty: The Niche
The niche I chose for this case study is barbecue.
Why I Chose This Niche
Choosing a good niche is one of the most important things to give your website a high chance of success.
I know because—partly thanks to time, partly thanks to naivety—I’ve made all the mistakes one can make in this step. And I like to believe I’ve learned from them.
I already have a few “cash cow” websites that get hundreds of thousands of impressions each month and bring in a few thousand dollars in revenue.
My goals for this website were different.
I wanted a “side income” website in a seasonal niche that I could build up as a side hustle over a year or two, then decide whether to keep it or sell it.
Last fall, I researched some seasonal niches, and although a few ideas came up, barbecue seemed to be right up my alley:
Barbecue is something I do, know about, and have a passion for.
It’s broad enough that I’ll never run out of content ideas and yet, specific enough to build topical authority on.
The Evergreen Factor
Although there are new cooking techniques and equipment, the niche is generally evergreen.
The niche is seasonal, which, in this case, was exactly what I wanted.
It means fewer competitors and fewer resources needed to compete.
This niche won out because it’s something I do, know, and care about. It’s easier to research and produce better content.
Barbecue is not a YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) niche.
I don’t need to buy an aged domain, redirect aged domains, and/or build many backlinks to be competitive.
Stable Search Demand
Search demand for this niche has generally been stable over the years.
In recent years, many homeowners have purchased grills and smokers to gather friends and family in the backyard.
Good Buyer’s Intent
Outdoor cooking requires equipment and supplies.
To start a fire, you need a bag of charcoal, a bag of wood chips, and some kindling.
All kinds of accessories and gadgets are sold, written, and talked about—some of them a must-have for the self-respecting outdoor cook.
So this is an audience with good buyer’s intent.
The equipment costs between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars. In other words, it is expensive enough to make good affiliate commissions (but not so expensive that no one wants to buy it online).
Different Affiliate Programs
The equipment is sold on Amazon, but that’s not the only place people buy it.
There are opportunities to try out different affiliate programs with higher commission rates (and see if they convert well or not).
Barrier to Entry
The topic is not so technical that no one could write about it.
At the same time, it’s difficult enough to create a barrier to entry for cheap, poorly-researched content.
Other niches I considered included camping, cycling, snow sports, water sports, hiking, and climbing.
Ultimately, barbecue won out because it’s something I actually do. This makes it easier for me to research and produce better content than what’s already out there.
My SEO Game Plan
To date, I’ve been mainly publishing informational content.
I have ideas for commercial content, but it’s too early.
My priority is to get this site to 25k to 50k page views per month, so I can start getting ad revenue. This will give me more money to reinvest back into content and promotion.
It will also give me insight into the subtopics and types of content that bring in the highest Revenue Per Mille (RPM). Then, I’ll create more of it.
Finding and Targeting Keywords
When I decided I’d launch the case study website in the barbecue niche, I made myself a cup of coffee, sat down on my couch, and spent a good couple of hours dividing the main topic (barbecue) into subtopics (grilling, smoking, etc.).
It didn’t take me long to come up with a few dozen seed keywords.
I opened up LowFruits, started entering them, and the hunt for search terms began.
For the first few months, I focused on publishing content for keywords with as many blue fruits as possible.
As everyone who already uses LowFruits knows, blue fruits stand for User Generated Content (UGC) like forums, Reddit, and Quora.
Lately, I have been publishing content targeting keywords with mostly green fruit.
Green fruits represent newer websites and websites with low domain authority (DA). Although my site is one of them, it can compete with others because it has topical authority and good content.
LowFruits Tip of the Month
LowFruits clusters give you a way to bring in more traffic and rank for more than one search term.
The most heavily visited posts on all of my websites cover topics people are searching for in different ways, using more than one search term.
Every now and then, when you open a LowFruits report, you’ll find a question that is asked in various ways.
You can find them by looking at each result under the “Suggestions” or “Questions” tabs.
The good news is: there’s a better way!
LowFruits can do the analysis for you.
Go to the “Clusters” tab and look at the keyword clusters for your starting term.
Then, prioritize content that targets the clusters with the lowest hanging fruit.
This gives you a higher chance of ranking on page 1 of Google’s SERPs, and these clusters also tend to bring in significantly more traffic than isolated terms.
Metrics Over Time
Compared to February, the site had an 86.5% increase in total clicks and a 123% increase in total impressions month over month.
It’s good growth, and I hope it keeps up.
Looking at the growth curve from October 2021, when I first bought the domain name and published the first six articles, you can see the increase in traffic:
The peaks and valleys are because the search demand rises on weekends and falls during the workweek.
Obviously, people find it easier to fire up their grills and smokers on Saturdays—and especially on Sundays.
March was a busy month for me. I was focused on another project and kept the case study to the minimum commitment (6 posts).
To date, the site has 63 posts with an average length of 1,125 words.
I’ve spent roughly $2.5k on content and $500 on guest posting.
|Date Checked||April 8, 2022|
|Avg. Position (Google, USA, Mobile)||10.34|
|Avg. Position (Google, USA, Desktop)||10.69|
|Positions in Top 3 on SERPs||20 (+7 Month-over-Month)|
|Positions in 4-10 on SERPs||17 (+1 Change Month-over-Month)|
|Positions in 11-100 on SERPs||9 (-9 Month-over-Month)|
Since this website was created on a brand new domain without backlinks or topical authority, I’m thrilled with the rankings it’s been able to achieve thanks to LowFruits.
These rankings, according to Ubersuggest’s keyword tracker, include:
- 8 posts ranking in position 1
- 8 posts ranking in position 2
- 3 posts ranking in position 3
- 4 posts ranking in position 4
- 3 posts ranking in position 5
You’ll notice that, in the table above, there are fewer posts in positions 11-100 compared to last month. That’s generally good news because these posts moved up to positions 1-10.
I have 17 posts that have yet to appear in the SERPs (they haven’t moved up or down, they just need to start ranking).
|Time Period||March 1, 2022 – March 31, 2022|
|Avg. Engagement Time||0.53 s|
|Engaged Sessions / User||0.52|
|Pageviews / Published Post (PPP)||25|
Source: Google Analytics
There’s a drop in page views compared to last month.
I attribute this to an unusual spike in traffic from a user who went through pretty much everything on the site, posts and categories included.
This was most likely a competitor who was doing research and came across the site.
|Time Period||March 1, 2022 – March 31, 2022|
|Total Revenue Since Start of Site||$0|
|Total Revenue YTD (2021)||$0|
Of which $0 from display ads
Of which $0 from affiliate commissions
|Revenue / Published Post (RPP)||$0|
Who I Am
Thank you for reading (or scrolling?) this far.
Since 2007, I have been building, buying, investing in, and selling websites. I’ve been in and out of this business, sometimes full-time, other times as a side hustle. Wherever life takes me, I somehow seem to find my way back to this game.
How do you know you can trust me?
I have experienced pandas and penguins. I owned Facebook pages with millions of likes back when Facebook pages brought traffic, and earned passive income from niche sites before it was cool (back then we called ourselves “webmasters”).
More recently, I started a website under a new domain name in August 2020 that reached 88,000 monthly page views and a DR of 10 in Ahrefs in August 2021. Here’s a screenshot of that hockey-stick growth, with a few bumps along the way, that everyone likes to tell you about:
Since, monthly traffic has increased by 15-20%, and revenue (display ads and affiliate programs) has grown at about the same rate.
I am a Certified Ezoic Expert, an Ezoic Premium Publisher, and a member of Ezoic’s Premium Accelerator Program.
I am not the most public person on earth, and I prefer privacy to the spotlight. However, if you like what I have to say and want to get in touch with me, you can do so on my website AskDim.com (ask as in “ask me a question”).
Your case study is really very helpful and informative especially for an SEO newbie like me to know more.
Hey there, Nidhi,
Thanks for following the case study and glad you’re finding it helpful and informative!
Thanks for the case study, it’s really helpful.
Thanks for following along, Deepak! =)
Good insights for SEO campaign for low handging fruit keyword
Glad you found these helpful, mate!