Knowing When To Walk Away – October Income Report

Have you ever had a project that you’ve wanted to work so bad that you’ve put aside all common sense and just pounded hours and dollars towards? Me too!  In fact, i’ve written about failed projects in the past. So why am I bringing this back up? I’ve run into a bit of a dilemma.  Over the past few months you’ve seen me write about the (what use to be) Amazon niche website You’ve seen the successful months where I was able to pull in nearly $500 in a single month.  You’ve also seen the post Amazon ban months where i’ve pulled in a fraction of that amount (closer to $150 in a month).  Despite being kicked out of Amazon, joining SkimLinks to stay in Amazon and then getting kicked out of that, seeing my traffic crash, then come back up a bit after a full website redesign utilizing Target and Walmart affiliate programs.  In reality, its been a real pain in the ass. I’ve put more effort towards this site then its worth.

I had redesigned the entire website and saw a recovery for what I believe was an over optimization issue.  Life was good. Heck, Penguin 2.1 even went by around October 4th and the site didn’t see any issues.  Life was going to be good right?.  Nope something around October 20th brought the site down to it’s knees.


As a reward – this is what I have to show you in terms of monthly earning for the month of October.

What Happened?

I’m still not 100% sure. If I had to guess its that i’m still teetering on the edge of an over-optimization issue – specifically my backlinks.  I showed you guys a graph of my “recovery” after my rankings dropped overnight for this supposed over optimization issue.  Well the recovery was short lived.  Check out this graph.


Despite changing the anchor text on a few expired domain I was using to pump some link juice into the website in addition to TheHoth to further diversify the anchor text ratios I am only seeing very small improvements.  In fact, I was going to fight the good fight until I woke up one morning and got a lovely e-mail alert from SERPFox saying the site dropped from a top 10 position for a very valuable keyword to 100+.  You’ll see from the graph below it did recover a bit but is now “stuck” at around the 3rd or 4th page of the SERPS.  Fourth page might as well be not listed in Google haha.


Once this happened I kind of threw my hands up in the air.  I have spent more time, money effort on this website simply because it was my public site. Didn’t want to let you guys down.  However, its now at a point where I’m not willing to work on the site anymore.  The traffic I was sending to and converts like crap.  The affiliate commissions are also a fraction of what Amazon offers as well.  In the end the website simply isn’t making me any money.

My goal is to let it sit and hope that at some point in time the state of Minnesota and Amazon can come to some sort of agreement and let affiliate marketers back in their program.  At that time i’ll re-assess the website and consider working on it again.

Walking Away Project TWO!

Yes. I’m walking away from TWO projects.  Well, this second one is more so switching things up.  As you might remember, per your guys request I started a new niche website in the competitive insurance niche. was the end product.  The goal was to get it to rank for the phrase ‘Boston Auto Insurance’ and to monetize through the BrokersWeb lead generation program.  What I didn’t tell you all is that at the same time when I was building out the Boston site I also put together another website targeting the city of Baltimore. The end result was


The strategy for this site was very similar to the Boston website with one rather large exception.  At the very beginning when I was building out the site I found an expired domain that had hundreds of valuable links.  I purchased the domain and then 301 redirected the entire website to this website.  I then continued to build out the website by adding content.  I only added a few pages of content and decided to let it sit.  The results we’re great.  I found this website ranking on the first three pages for various Baltimore car insurance phrases.  My plan is to take the time I was using for the Boston website and redirect it to this Baltimore site.

What’s Next?

As you now know i’m in the process of changing up some of the projects that I openly share on this website.  The goal is that i’ll have some more motivating income reports to share in the near future.  To help combat the less than stellar income reports that will likely be coming these next few months due to the new projects i’ll try to add a few more posts with various tactics or techniques that can help you guys with your income projects!

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Nick LeRoy

I'm a husband, father to three, obsessed Vikings fan and SEO Manager at Ovative/group.. Learn more about me here and consider signing up for the weekly #SEOForLunch newsletter to stay up to date with SEO best practices and industry news.

10 thoughts on “Knowing When To Walk Away – October Income Report

  1. Hey Nick, That’s a pretty big bummer on the vacuum site. I’m interested to see if it’ll come back in the rankings at some point. It’s a good idea to move away from a (seemingly) failing effort.

    How’s the income for the Baltimore site? Or, have you started monetizing yet? How have you estimated the potential income for that site?


    1. Doug – I agree on the vacuum site. I think it will bounce around the SERPS as I let the entire site continue to age. If/when Amazon ever lets me back into their affiliate is when i’ll push forward on that site.

      The Baltimore site never had a monetization strategy attached to it. I simply created a contact form for where the BrokersWeb script sits right now. I only received one inquiry but it doesn’t suprirse me given that its sitting on page 2/3 for many Baltimore search phrases. Hopefully that will change soon 🙂

  2. Good decisions to move on from those sites Nick. I had been targeting .au insurance terms on an auto site and ended up switching strategy and focussing the site on general auto as opposed to specifically insurance because the roi on time to rank the site for general auto keywords was far better. Site has gone from earning nothing to a tick over 1k month. I found it hard to crack first page due to real insurance companies dominating the serps. Interesting to see how you go.

  3. Darn! That’s too bad things aren’t working out for you on those sites. I hate to be one to give up on anything, but sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and focus your valuable attention on lower hanging fruit. Right now I’m in a similar situation where I’m waiting for my most expensive niche site (NS3) to turn any sort of profit at all. That was also the one I emailed you about buying a HOTH package for. Hopefully it can help to put me on the map and get some traffic conversions soon! Otherwise I’ll be writing my own “walk away” post soon …

  4. I’m still waiting on amazon too man! Minnesota sucks and I’ve taken a total hit on this whole Minnesota thing… I’m pissed and had to switch over to mainly Adsense earnings. Who do you use for your CPA programs?

  5. Hi Nick

    Great site keep i just recently found you and i love what your doing. Maybe i missed something but why did you get rid of the boston insurance site? and Hows THEHOTH working out i was thinking about using it as well.



    1. Hey Mike. Thanks for dropping by! Hope to see you around more often. 🙂

      When I launched the Boston website I also built a Baltimore website. When I noticed the Baltimore site climbing the SERPS significantly faster then teh Boston site I decided to make it the public site which i share with all of you.

      Definitely give THEHOTH a shot. I think its relatively cheap ($60) and its great to add more referring domains and further diversify your anchor text. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you want tips on how I use TheHoth for my sites.

      1. Hey Nick

        Ye definitely i got your site bookmarked. Ye i was checking it out and it definitely seems like a great price but have you had any trouble using THEHOTH service with google?


        1. Sorry for the late response. The only time I have seen THEHOTH cause issues with Google is when people use it with aggressive anchor text AND their link profile already utilizes a high percentage of optimized anchor text. My preference is to use naked URLs and “click here” or “website” type general anchors.

          Let me know if you decide to purchase and a definitely share your thoughts. Would love to hear them Mike!

  6. Thanks Nick i appreciate the info.

    Building backlinks yourself is so time consuming IMO your better off just paying that $60 for a good backlinking service and spend your time on other tasks where your getting more value for time like keyword research and competition analysis.


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