Patrick Mahinge

Rank and Bank Update #3: Going from Broke to 6-Figure Passive Income in Just One Year

Have you ever noticed how fast time moves? Today you are on the first week of a new month, then before you know it, the month is over and it is time to do another update.

It is so easy to postpone doing things when time is moving this fast, which is what I have been doing for the last one year and 3 months.

Can you even believe it!

I haven’t updated my “public” niche case study on this blog for more than one frigging year!

And I honestly don’t have any excuses on why I haven’t been updating the progress on the niche site. It probably boils down to classic laziness and procrastination. Anyone with a cure for that?

Anyway, I am honestly hoping that I will change and that I will give you more meaty details about my niche site building process in the days to come.

On this update, I will be sharing more of what I have been able to accomplish over the past one year. From here, I have made a point to be making monthly updates on my niche site challenge.

I have started a journal where I will be recording my daily tasks before I compile them into one huge monthly update. ​Hopefully, most of us will get the gist of what is actually involved in running a successful Amazon niche site.

Moving on.

Revisiting the Rank and Bank Challenge

I won’t be going into details about what an Amazon niche site is.

However, if you absolutely have no clue, here is a post that explains what an Amazon niche site is, and how you can start one in 3 simple steps.

So, back in April 2016, after seeing the monumental success that Al-Amin Kabir (a niche marketer from Bangladesh) was having with his Amazon niche sites, I decided to start my own Amazon niche site.

However, this was not the first time I was starting an Amazon niche site. I had started one in 2014 following some inspiration from Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.Com. And the site was such a beauty!

But needless to say, my first niche site was a major flop. I gave up when the site was barely two months old.

Back then, I was too lazy to write content for the site, and link building was still Greek to me. I had hired a freelance writer on the oDesk freelance marketplace who did a few posts for me. I then ordered a few backlink packages from Fiverr, then I sat back and waited for the money to start rolling in.

I was dead wrong.

The site died after one year, after having earned only $15. At least it paid back for the price of its domain name :-). But I learned quite a few lessons from my first failure. Here are some of those lessons:

  • The look of your niche site is of least concern when you are starting out. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether your site looks like a plain HTML website from back in the 90’s. Don’t spend too much time trying to make your site look like L.A Times.
  • Cheap link building strategies are just that. Cheap. They won’t take you anywhere. Avoid buying backlinks from Fiverr and other cheap marketplaces.
  • Passive income is not really passive. At least not at the beginning. You’ll need to spend quite a lot of time laying down the foundation of your site.
  • Niche and keyword research will make or break your site. If you are not thorough on niche and keyword research, you will spend a good portion of your time trying to rank keywords that are too competitive or ones that do not have a good buyer-intent.
  • Failing is part of the journey. What matters the most is, are you willing to get up, dust yourself, and give it another shot.

Note

My first ever Amazon site (the one I had started in 2014) was a major flop. Then fast forward to 2016. Al-Amin Kabir is posting his success with Amazon niche sites and I get inspired.

I decide to start another niche site. But this time round, I am dedicated to seeing it all the way through. I have learned that it takes time. That I shouldn’t give up no matter how long the site seems to be taking to make me money.

And that’s exactly what I did. I decided to challenge myself and others by starting another Amazon niche site.

Goals of the Challenge

My goals for the Rank & Bank Challenge were simple.

1. Start an Amazon niche site

2. Build it to a point where it makes me at least $10,000 per month

At first, I had decided to go with two Amazon niches sites, but I later dropped one of the niche sites after I realized that I might have been stretching myself way too thin. It would have been hectic trying to build and rank two niche sites from scratch.

I still find it difficult to run two Amazon niche sites and most of the sites I have created over time are out there gathering dust. Others are available for sale. 99.99% of the money I make from the Amazon Associates Program come from just one niche site.

One Year Accomplishments

When I did the last Rank & Bank update on this blog, my niche site had not started earning. In fact, I was still at the planning stage. Planning to hire writers. Planning on content. Planning on everything.

That was back in April 10, 2016.

Quite a few things have changed since then.

1. Content

Posts Published: 130

Pages Published: 48

Snorezing now has 130 posts and 48 pages (An average of two posts per week, which is quite commendable).

I have hired a full-time writer whose work is to come up with new content on keywords that I identify.

She’s been very instrumental on the growth of the site, and I don’t know what I would have done without her.


amazon niche site case study

2. Backlinks

Referring Domains: 503

Total Backlinks: 1.64M

Ahrefs reports 503 unique referring domain names to be linking back to my site. The total backlinks from these sites amount to 1.64 million.

Most of the backlinks are from a 301 redirect that I did some time back. A few are from Web 2.0s, blog comments. My site has also acquired a few editorial backlinks without me having to solicit for them.


Amazon Niche Site Case Study

3. Keyword Ranking

Total Keywords: 3,572

The blog has a total of 3,572 keywords ranking on page one of Google (positions 1-10).

Out of those, 703 keywords are buyer intent keywords with the modifier “best” in them.

Additionally, 416 keywords in that position have the buyer-intent modifier “reviews” in them, while 160 keywords rank for the singular modifier “review”.


Amazon Niche Site Case Study

3. Organic Traffic

Daily Unique Pageviews: 1500

It has been interesting to see the rise of organic traffic on the site.

I currently average 1500 pageviews per day. 90% of this is organic traffic.

While the numbers are definitely something to take pride in, something makes me very worried.

Only 3 money articles in the blog account for over 44% of the traffic. If rankings on these articles were to drop, my site earnings would be severely affected.

I should be working on getting more buyer-intent keywords onto the first position in Google.

4. Earnings

Niche Site Case Study

A graphical representation of earnings since launch

Honestly, this has to be the most baffling aspect of my niche site, and one that I know a lot of you are waiting to read about. So, here we go. Drum rolls, please 🙂

The site earned $10,856 in 2016. While in 2017, I have been able to bank $28,660.

Cumulatively, the site has brought in $39,516 since I launched it in April.

While this might seem like a good reason to celebrate, I have been unable to get to my preset goal of $10,000 per month. I have come closely to closing over the $5,000 mark, but it hasn't happened yet. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if I had reversed my decision and decided to work on two niche sites instead of one... But then, you never know. Maybe I wouldn't have made it this far.

What gives me hope is that I still have 3 more months to bring the site to one and a half years, which is the timeline I had given myself to hit the target.

Earnings Breakdown

$ 10,856

Earned in 2016

$28,660

Earned in 2017

$ 39,516

Cumulative Earnings

amazon niche site case study

Empowered Guys

Niche Sites Created: 20+

My goal for going public with my earnings has always been to motivate and encourage guys (especially fellow Kenyans) to try their hand at Amazon affiliate marketing. And so far, so good.

A few people have tried their hand at it, and some have already making substantial earnings with their niche sites. It makes me immensely proud to see this.

However, I have also come to realize that you can’t please all the people all the time.

I have come under heavy criticism from some people who see my earning screen grabs as a blatant display of pride and arrogance.

I have been called a know-it-all by some people who wouldn’t have known what the heck an Amazon niche site was if it weren’t for me. This, however, won’t stop me from sharing the knowledge to the few who appreciate what I do.


Challenges

The rich are dying of depression

Nothing is without its fair share of challenges.

My biggest challenge came in the form of depression. The colossal success of my niche site caught me by surprise and almost sent me to the highest precipice of depression.

Don’t get lied to.

Coming from almost broke to earning a 5-figure passive income almost overnight can send you bonkers if you’re not careful.

When I got my first big paycheck from Amazon, I would wake up in the morning and wonder what I was meant to be doing. I practically had no reason for waking up. Whether I worked or not, I was assured that I would be making about $4,000 at the end of the month.

Being an introvert, living alone, and getting into some shaky relationships also contributed to my feeling of hopelessness.

I want to believe that the dark days of being depressed are over. Thanks to everyone who stood by me during that trying time.

To myself keep from getting lazy and lapsing into depression again, I have taken on some projects and commitments for the money that I am making from the niche site. This way, I don’t get that contented feeling that I have money lying in the bank and therefore I do not need to work.

These projects have actually taught me that money is never enough, and now, I have reasons to keep working. I guess we should all drink to that.

What the Future Holds

  • Probably a second niche site. It is already in the works and ranking for quite a few keywords
  • Tap into social media and email marketing
  • Comprehensive training for guys who want to take up Amazon affiliate marketing. This is something that I am very passionate about.
  • I am also working on my site to see if it will start earning at least $10,000 by the time this year is over.

12 thoughts on “Rank and Bank Update #3: Going from Broke to 6-Figure Passive Income in Just One Year

  1. Were it not for you, I would not have learnt about affiliate marketing. Keep doing what you are doing– haters will always be there. But hey, you brought the Amazon affiliate marketing damsel home.

  2. We all appreciate your efforts and selflessness Patrick. Let the haters hate while you continue to soar. You motivated me to start an Amazon niche site in the outdoor space and I’m impressed with the progress. Soon it should be something wort talking about.

  3. Congrats man. Keep up. You motivate me to always keep learning affiliate marketing. Although I’ve been procastinating for a while, I’m making baby steps. Thanks Mahinge

  4. You are an full tank of inspiration for me man.

    I’m a full-time copywriter, and it’s people like you and five others I know that encoured me to resign from my day job and fire the boss to become one myself.

    Can’t wait for the affilite marketing course you’ll be enrolling later. It’s priceless to learn from real people who are doing it right.

    Thanks Pat

  5. Hi Patrick ,

    The more ideas you share, the better for all concerned . Great inspiration to me and others. Let’s talk soon .

    Rgds wanja

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