WordPress Website Case Study From Zero to Seven Hundred Dollars

I know many people who visit this website either struggle to build WordPress websites or simply cannot make any money from this venture. There are many models you can follow when building a WordPress website, and for that matter you don’t even have to use WordPress if you don’t want to. (you must be crazy though :))

You can build a WordPress website into a authority website, an e-commerce website, or even a niche website. Of course there are many more options. Either way, each website can become its own little business, earning you a decent amount of income.

So lets get down to it

If you know anything about me, I generally build authority websites that can go on for ever and ever. Sometimes this means that I pick a more general niche with probably huge competition, divide that niche by categories, and load the website with tons of content. (only great content though) I go for longtail, short tail, highly competitive keywords.

So this is how I make money online, but this is not all there is to my business. I also have many niche websites, review websites, product only websites, and so on.

Today I am going to openly show you a website that I created (or maybe my VA did) about six months ago. I am going to tell you the exact steps I took in making this website and how it has progressed so far.

I have to confess right now that this website is definitely not up to my standard OCD set up as I simply do not have time to fix it at the moment. However the reason I want to show everyone this website is because it is actually making money and it is nowhere near perfect. I want you to see all the good and all the bad and realize that you can do this too.

Here is the website: http://wordpresswebsitehost.com/ Don’t leave though! Take a quick look, see how ugly it is, and then come back!

Why did I start this website?

I was basically building a website to keep my VA busy and I had an idea about making a website that sold Web hosting. If you have never sold Web hosting before, it is one of the most highly paid affiliate products out there. For example if someone clicks on my Hostgator banner and buys even the smallest product, I get $100 commission for bringing them in the door. Not every website can just simply start selling Web hosting though. Trust me I have tried to sell it on some of my authority websites, but the audience needs to be targeted, so that never worked.

How did I start this WordPress website

  1. I searched for a domain name that had something to do with hosting. In my case I wanted to tie it in with my WordPress website group. When I started to research Web hosting, I realized that it was highly competitive niche and therefore I did not research keywords at all. I was not going to rely on search engine optimization to get me traffic in the beginning.
  2. I created a WordPress theme using Artisteer as I probably was not a member of Elegant themes at the time.. ( I will be changing the Theme later)
  3. I created a page for each hosting company that I wanted to promote. Please note that these are pages, not posts.
  4. I created a static front page with a table full of affiliate links and a link to see a full review of the product.
  5. I have researched some keywords to narrow down what categories I wanted for the articles.
  6. I installed a minimal amount of plug-ins, just enough to get me through. For example I installed Affiliatecamo to cloak affiliate links and get every article pointing back to a review page.
  7. I got 10 articles written about Web hosting and scheduled them to post one every four days.
  8. I relied on my VA at the time, to fill the product pages with reviews and affiliate links.
  9. I put a backlink on one of my PR 6 websites and possibly 2 others. That’s it for linkbuilding.

After all this I spent a few days editing mistakes and content, but never finishing to my standards. When you visit this website I do not expect criticism as I am showing this website in good faith. Of course it can be done better and it will be in time. I am totally open to suggestions though! :)

Potential Greatness Kept Knocking?

Unfortunately I lost interest after about a week and was often reminded that this website existed by seeing the odd $100 commission coming in. Believe it or not, this is exactly how this website started as well. I often say that I build websites and wait for the website to show me potential. This website you are reading right now, did exactly the same thing. It showed me potential.

The funny thing is that I still ignored the potential in this hosting website as I was just too busy, but then Google had a good old page rank update. I was awarded with a page rank 4 on this hosting website that I had left for dead. So there was another sign slapping me in the face.

Wake up Mitz!

Ok the PR 4 woke me up about the website. This led me to a little bit more promotion, and when I say little, I mean little. I added a link to the website in an article I wrote on my Tips4PC website and also answered a few Yahoo answers, of course leaving a link to the website. That’s it though.

Anyway I got paid $200 into my bank and was curious as to where it came from. I logged into my Commission Junction account for this website and noticed a balance of $700, $600 for August and $100 just outside. The $200 I had already been paid for was July earnings for this website which occurred before I had woken up with my second mini line of promotion. I rarely even go to Commission Junction as I really make all my earnings from Adsense, Clickbank, some individual affiliates, and now Amazon. All this was a surprise to me.

What caused this website to be so successful?

It is not successful yet but has the potential to be extremely successful! Obviously we can see that.

So what caused this website to be potentially successful?

Here are a few reasons I have thought of:

  • The static front page is a complete affiliate table and there is not many other options on the page and less you scroll right down to the bottom of the website.
  • If a visitor lands on an article on the website, links to the review pages are embedded into the articles. The articles themselves are not interlinked.
  • The only outgoing links are to hosting affiliate websites and to this WordPress website.
  • The articles that I have published are all original content. These have started to be picked up by the search engines and are getting a very small amount of traffic.

In the screenshot below I show you the settings I used to set my static front page. The first thing I did was create a page with no sidebars. Then I chose this page in the settings below.

What are my plans for this WordPress website?

  • I thought about writing some guest posts for this website but have not even got around to it. When that happens that will definitely kick this website onto my earnings radar.
  • I also thought about making a banner for it and buying some cheap advertising space on other blogs..Lets face it, $100 a sale can afford it.
  • I will hopefully have time to answer a few more questions on Yahoo.
  • I could also add a link into my authors bio on the websites that I already guest post on. This means that the link will automatically go want to all the posts that I have already published on other peoples blogs. Can you see the power in this?
  • Schedule more articles to run and keep the blog flowing with fresh content.
  • I thought this would be a small niche website, well kind of small, but it could turn out to be something bigger. This was not my intention.

Can you copy this?

Sure! Just remember that the domain name I chose really has no one searching for it. Therefore you can buy a domain name like these:

websitehostingcost.net

websitehostingcost.org

americanwebhosting.org

andwebhosting.net

bestwebhosting2011.net

bestwebhosting2011.org

domainnameandwebhosting.net

domainnameandwebhosting.net

bestwebhostingnow.net

bestwebhostingnow.org

topwebsitehostingtoday.com

topwebsitehostingtoday.net

…that are available right now and then reproduce what I have done… Then start driving targeted traffic to the website. If you do use one of these domain names then please do your own checking to see if there are any searches for it….

Just remember that this is my WordPress website case study and I do not guarantee your success doing the same thing or offer personal help to anyone. Believe me, I know everyone needs help and it is impossible for me to do so. The best way I can help you is if you follow this blog. :)

WordPress Website Case Study Conclusion

Even if the Page Rank disappears on this website, it is extremely easy to drive some targeted traffic to it and still make sales. The page rank has nothing to do with the success of the website. It does not matter that I placed a link on one of my websites because I could have just as easily guest posted on someone else’s site to get a link.

This is what I call handing you a website example on a platter!

I am interested to hear your comments about this WordPress website Case study??

 

Comments

  1. Mark says

    Thanks Mitz, I really appreciate you helping me out.

    Time to take action!

    Cheers

    Mark

  2. Mark says

    Hi Mitz,

    Just a few questions:

    1. You put an article on Tips4PC and answered a few questions on Yahoo Answers – have you done anything since then?
    2. When answering questions on Yahoo, did you just focus on hosting for WordPress, or did you cover hosting in general?
    3. Do you mind me asking what your name is on Yahoo Answers so I can have a look at your answers for guidance?

    Cheers

    Mark

    • Mitz says

      I think my username is Tips4pc.
      Anyway that would be a waste of time for you to research as I answer Questions for various websites..

      This is what I do though…(if I have time)

      I answer the question thoroughly. 4-5 lines min.
      I give more than one solution to the problem. Not making anyone take my option.
      I tell the truth. I do not just promote stuff as the right answer when it is not!

      When people ask who is the best hosting I give them some reasons and also compare a few options.

      For this hosting site I focused on hosting only.
      For my computer site I focus on computer stuff only.
      For this building websites site I focus on WordPress and building websites only.

      • Mark says

        Hi Mitz,

        Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. Have you done anything more since you put the article on Tips4PC and answered a few questions on Yahoo Answers?

        Cheers

        Mark

        • Mitz says

          Yes guest posting and link building here and there.. Unfortunately this is only an example for me and I had to prioritize with my work. I is on the back burner for now and I was thinking of selling this off because I really do not have a passion for just web hosting.

  3. Will Falconer says

    Great content (linked all over, so folks like what I write), lots of traffic), very few sales. Are you for hire, Mitz?

    • mitz says

      Sorry I am not for hire but I can point you to the information you need. Most of it is on this blog and if it isn’t I will consider adding it. :)

  4. Mark Tesa says

    The site does not look so bad. Maybe you were surprised at how much it made but you should be happy about it because some websites have been around for so long and still they have not been able to make any good money.

  5. Ines says

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.
    Ines recently posted..falling sky

  6. Dave Wilkes says

    Hi Mitz – you are my inspiration!

    Even though I am new to blogging and monetizing (the only money I have made on-line so far is via adsense) I am really tempted to go for a web-hosting site and see if i could make it work.

    The way you have described it, it seems as if it should be a simple process
    Thanks for all of your help. I am an eager beaver student as far as your wisdom is concerned
    Dave Wilkes recently posted..How To Lose Your Pain During Massage Therapy Awareness Week

  7. phillH48 says

    Hi Mitz. I have a site that looks similar to yours. A table full of links and some original content below the fold. It’s just been Panda slapped and has gone from ranking 1st to not ranking at all. I believe It’s because Google doesn’t like too many adverts above the fold so I’m swapping them around…I just hope that people will read my page now to get to the links. So if you restyle your site please let us know how it goes on. Thanks
    phillH48 recently posted..Hamster mites

    • mitz says

      That would not be why it is Panda slapped..You need to look deeper than that. Having Adsense above the fold is recommended by Google..Overdoing it would be your problem and your visitors.

  8. Scott says

    Oh yeah! Your videos are so detailed and straightfoward! Thanks for all you do for our community!
    Scott

  9. Scott says

    Thanks Mitz! You have the best videos on the net of how to accomplish things with WordPress. None better out there!!! Thanks!

  10. Peter says

    Fantastic post! This has really cleared things up for me on how I go about making money online, where Im not making a huge amount of money, I’ve started making nearly 100 dollars a week which for me… is a massive breakthrough, can’t thank you enough man.
    Peter recently posted..Free Porn Pros Password

  11. DiTesco says

    Well, I went over to the web review site you mentioned and with the exception of maybe just the header, I don’t think it is ugly at all. On the contrary, it is simple and clean and most importantly, it has the information that is meant to help users to decide which hosting provider they should use. This in essence is what’s important.

    As for the steps you have taken to create the website, I think that it is very detailed and simple enough. Makes me wonder why there are still many people who don’t take advantage of valuable info such as this one.. go figure :)
    DiTesco recently posted..How To Create A Niche Website Part 2

    • mitz says

      Hi DiTesco
      You didn’t see the site before…It was so ugly. I am not joking..Everything was out of line and it was an Artisteer template. Anyway I have to fix the logo though…I whipped this up for the occasion and forgot to save it in top quality…I will fix that soon… I actually might end up back at the ugly template if the sales drop from this change..??

      I agree that people should follow this example and make some money. I think some people lack confidence and think that they cannot do this…That’s not true though but unfortunately they listen to the nasty voices in their heads saying “you can’t do that”..

      I get this all the time…I say to people look at what I am doing, why don’t you do that too… They often answer with all the usual come backs…”I don’t have the skills” “I am not technical like you” “I can’t work on a computer all day” ” I couldn’t do that” etc etc..

  12. Sheila Atwood says

    Mitz,

    Very well done. I liked your reviews the best…clear and honest. The chart was also easy to follow. It would be interesting to see how you do once you put your attention on the site.

    I do have one question. You are using WordPress in your domain name, aren’t you afraid of being stopped by WordPress policy against using WordPress in your domain name?
    Sheila Atwood recently posted..WordCamp Salt Lake City – State of The Word 2011

    • mitz says

      Hi Sheila
      I probably let too much out of the bag..LOL
      No…not worried about the domain name..
      It is an open source project and I am their biggest fan..If anything did happen that would not stop me..I would just transfer the content to another cool domain name.. :)
      I started this website as a diary for myself but it morphed into something else..

  13. Missy says

    So are you saying that the traffic that did hit came in from Yahoo Answers or possibly one of your other sites that you linked to? As you mention that the site can barely be found in Google, is this correct?

    Great case study. And based on your reply, will seriously consider creating one myself just to test it out.

    Let me know. Thanks!
    Missy recently posted..5 Funny Gifts for iPhone Owners

    • mitz says

      Yes the traffic came from Yahoo answers and a post I put on one of my other blogs which is equal to guest posting.. The website is not ranking in Google and I am totally strapped for time…I like the $100 commissions though.. :)

  14. JonGabel says

    I have never really thought that money making is just around the cornet. I feel so naive and speechless everytime I discover new things.

  15. Naveed says

    Experience in any field is always milestone all for others who are in the same track. It is more effective to knowledge from the place you are working.It encouraging post as income is the entity that invites the people towards hard work.

  16. Murray says

    Web hosting is so boss. What I love about promoting it is that it’s a no-brainer – either you need to get a web host account or you’re not doing a website so if you catch someone at the right moment than it’s going to be an easy sale. I might need to get really active on doing my own web hosting review site since I’ve used quite a few over the years; thanks for the little kick in the rear – gonna add it to my laundry list of things I need to get done ;)

    • mitz says

      Ha Ha Ha yeah add it to the list…I have one of those lists…I even want to make another one of these websites just to show that it can be done…I will but I have to finish a few other projects first! :) OMG my list is so big!

  17. Robert Smith says

    I think that dashes do indeed work when using registering a domain as google treats them just the same as without. Also using exact match domain names for a keyword is a really clever idea.

    For me the issues is learning and finding out whar works and what doesnt etc
    Robert Smith recently posted..Cichlid Species

  18. Rich says

    Thanks for having this shared here, it really helped me a lot. Even though I am still new to this wordpress stuff, I quickly gained knowledge. I have a few things troubling me though.
    Rich recently posted..how to flirt with a girl

  19. Eric says

    A very nice post, indeed web hosting is the primary constituent when you are starting a website. People rarely care about the web hosts but it is one of the most important parameter in the performance of website. I appreciate your post with such informative material. I just subscribed to your post and awaiting for more good posts on web hosting over the coming days. Thanks

  20. SEO Manchester says

    HI Mitz

    love it , how you carve out a section of the web and dont bother to have that aloft I am expert arsehole complex :) loved the section about PR 4 was a slap in the face :DDDD we got pr 2 site wide and was hoping around :D .

    Keep on sharing the knowledge and karma will return it all back 10 fold.

    Belief is everything
    SEO Manchester recently posted..Why SEO Loves WordPress

    • mitz says

      Hi SEO Man
      I try to not get complex because I believe some people make it sound harder than it really is..

      And I do believe what goes around comes around…so I am putting all good stuff out there just so I can be happy! :)

  21. SEO Manchester says

    HI Mitz

    :DDDDDDDDDD This post made me smile so much , sounds like you are a little way further up the road from me :D Congrats ,

    “I was awarded with a page rank 4 on this hosting website that I had left for dead. ” :DDDD love that

    Thanks for the share I am writing some of this post into a case study for a client I am training on seo.

    PS our main site is far from beautiful but we still earn and rank really well , we had the similar type slap in the face with a site wide PR 2 mark up :D the rival we had been chasing is only 2 on front page :D

    May the force be with You
    SEO Manchester recently posted..Why SEO Loves WordPress

  22. Azhar says

    It is a motivational article and have attractions for all those who are new in this. You have planned good strategies for online success.

    • mitz says

      I am putting out a PDF to continue with the one I have given to my list…It will tell you all the nitty gritty setting up stuff…

  23. Paul says

    Amazing result and thank you for sharing this!
    Your website, though it seems really bad aesthetically, it offers visitors exactly what they want and this is a huge point in favor

    Could you tell us how it was classified on google? For keywords you searched, is on the front page or not?
    Paul recently posted..By: network

    • mitz says

      Hi Paul
      You can say its ugly…Go on…
      Lets just say it is nowhere in google… There has been no real promotion to do that…Some of the articles in the background get a small taste of traffic but that is running on luck..
      By the way it has made another $100 now…

      I was actually thinking of repeating this myself so I can come back with a second case study based on the first one….Then people cannot say that they cannot do this…

  24. John says

    WordPress is really a very easy platform that you can build your business idea, but remember that your content is the most important.

    Thanks for useful post !

    • mitz says

      Yes but in this case it did not help me make money!!!!
      Please don’t look for reasons why I can do this and beginners cannot… Just take a closer look at the WHY???

  25. Scott says

    Hey Mitz,

    Hope you are doing well. This is Scott from pctips4all…..long time no talk to…great as always reading your posts. You are a GREAT writer!

    I have a hostgator banner on my pc site…no income yet, but that will come with time. It is amazing how much they offer in affiliate commissions.

    Regarding SEO, is it ok to put something before your main keyword in your domain name or does it matter?

    Hope you have a great weekend!!!

    Scott

    • mitz says

      If you are talking about building a website like the one I have in this example, then I would just make sure the domain name says something about hosting.. In regards to SEO I like to put the keywords in the domain name but I haven’t used a prefix before…So I put the domain name and then the add on… Thats not to say it doesn’t work though… People say long domain names and dashes are no good but look at this website???

      I think the keyword in the domain name definitely makes a difference but in the big scheme of things, with SEO nothing happens anyway.

  26. Gold says

    You have my continuing interest because of your excellent presentation. Thank you!

    P.S. This comment section is confusing

  27. Anne Lyken-Garner says

    Wow. Congratulations to you!
    Though, I have to say I have mixed feelings about this. I spend ages writing original content and researching key words. This makes me think I’m really not cut out for this kind of thing.

    I’ve never made anything near that amount and I work really hard – each day. I’m back from holiday now and am literally going though all my posts to put in keywords etc and make them more SEO friendly.

    I hope we could pick up from where we left off about making money online…
    Anne Lyken-Garner recently posted..Facebook Speaks! Your Favourite Self-Help Books

    • mitz says

      This website has been created with SEO in the foundations but is not using it to get traffic.
      Also this website is full of original content and there is no getting away from this.

      Do not think that this all came easy to me…

      I have been working for years to get to this point and to save you the pain of doing this, I am sharing all I can.

      Why not just copy what I have done here? That does not mean stop your other projects though as they are all learning tools.

      The thing is, I invested money in getting the content written as I am not a hosting expert. You are a great writer though and could research and probably write anything.
      mitz recently posted..7 Reasons Why your WordPress Website is not Making Money

  28. Jamal says

    Thanks for sharing the way on which you are earning. I am confused at one point why you are choosing highly competitive keywords.

    • mitz says

      I should have explained this… Highly competitive keywords do not worry me as I can see what needs to be done to crack them… I have done this too many times to mention…

      Lucky for me…my first website landed me smack bang in the middle of loads of competition as I had no idea what I was doing! I have learned the tough way.

      In this case though…the website is NOT RANKING anywhere… Zero placement but that is not making a difference here… I wonder what will happen when I start ranking for “wordpress website hosting” or something similar? Interesting stuff.
      mitz recently posted..3 Tips for Expanding your Staff with Outsourcing

  29. Bobby B says

    yea thats a great article and is really motivating me to work harder on my websites! If you have the time can you check out my blog on sleeping habits and see what improvements I can make? Sleep Hygiene. its basically a website teaching you good sleep hygiene
    Bobby B recently posted..Common Sleeping Disorders

    • mitz says

      hi Bob
      I think you can spice it up a bit….Add some color….
      Start writing posts that will help people with sleeping problems… Find out what is really important and desperate for them….

      Jazz up your titles as they are making me snore….ZZZZZZZzzzz

      5 sneaky ways to stop your husband from snoring
      How to tell your wife she snores like a pig
      7 ways to convince a two year old to go to sleep
      3 benefits to bedtime stories
      Does and old pillow affect your sleeping habits
      Are the dust mites interrupting your sleep without you realizing
      6 healthy sleeping habits to teach your terrible toddler
      Why can’t I sleep like my cat does

  30. James H says

    This is a real motivator but I need to see the money coming in like you did to feel I should be really spending some time on this, I have just been awared a pagerank 3 on a domain I used to just play aroud with but the truth is I dont care, the site is in the stocks and shares niche but even though I haeve some adverts on there it has never made me a penny.
    James H recently posted..Iphone Spying

    • mitz says

      I know what you mean James…It needs to show some money to get you interested and get you willing to spend time with it. Maybe you should try a different layout, landing page, or product to sell? If you think you have done what you can then I would keep spending time on what works.

    • mitz says

      Yes it is probably time..
      You could change those Wiki links into Amazon links for starters! Your website is about kitchens and people need appliances for their newly renovated kitchen…

      I know I do…My husband just painted the house and now I need new furniture as it looks old compared to the new paint job! :)

      I use this plugin on all my websites http://forum.tips4pc.com/index.php?topic=914.0 as adding Amazon links is a pain.

  31. Ray says

    One thing about hosting affiliate programs is most of them pay a decent amount per signup and the end customer doesn’t have to spend much either. There are a lot of sites out there promoting them – competition and the success rate that they keep their plan long enough for you to get paid is fairly low. But, there will always be someone just starting out looking for hosting, and those that want to switch to a new host.
    Ray recently posted..How fast does Google index your posts?

    • mitz says

      Hi Ray
      I really think that web hosting sales will go up as more services move online. Also there are so many people looking to make extra money online now because they are just realizing you can do it..

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