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Case Study: Building An Audience With DataFeed Sites Part 3

If you missed part 1 & part 2 of the Building an Audience With Datafeed Sites, make sure you go back and catch up.

After I built the site & got some links I just let it sit around for a while and get indexed.  It got indexed pretty fast.  Initially a couple thousand pages were indexed.  After a bit that fell down to 271 pages.  I suspect there was some sort of duplicate content penalty that caused me to lose those indexed pages.  Regardless, the total number of indexed pages has remained around 270-300.  The site has been online since approximately January 2010.  Over that course of time the traffic has grown steadily month over month.  Below you will find traffic stats since January.

I hope to see this traffic grow continually month over month going forward.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that this site has not converted well AT ALL.  Here are some stats since January 2010:

Clicks Through a Product Affiliate Link: 659
Click Through Rate: 7.58%
Sales: 6
Conversion Rate: 0.91%
Gross Sales: $197.40
Commissions: $29.61
Total Cost: ~$27-$30

As you can see this has NOT been a super profitable venture to date.  I’ve made back around what I spent to create the site.  The positive side is that since this is organic SEO & the traffic keeps growing, i’m sure that more sales will trickle in over time.  The site certainly won’t lose money.  The question becomes can you create more of these sites and scale them?  I think that you can.  Although i’m basing that on theory alone, I believe that if you make a lot of these types of sites you are eventually going to hit a profitable one.

This site is getting traffic so i’m going to work on getting a better conversion rate and figuring out other ways to monetize the traffic and report back to you with what I find.

Please post your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. What would you think about selling luxury or premium items that have a higher price point, and therefore a higher commission?

  2. conv3rsion conv3rsion

    Thanks for posting the stats, they look very similar to my attempt at a datafeeder site. Right now you are getting an epc of $0.045, I’m wondering if something like prosperent would help supplement the earnings.

    Adsense would probably pay more per click too but there is that whole thing of not having a lot of original content that they don’t like.

    Also as traffic grows, maybe it would make sense to build a list and periodically email coupon codes. I haven’t done this but I bet that would increase sales.

  3. Chris Chris

    Buy an aged domain name and do this. Trust works wonders …

  4. Datafeed sites are tough because of the duplicate content filter.

    I built a shitload of datafeed sites back in the day (6 or 8 yrs. ago), and churn and burn was the name of the scaling game. We mashed rss feeds, scraped reviews from amazon, matching ebay items, etc… whatever we could get in there. Most affiliate datafeed sites only had a shelf life of about 6 months to a year before a slap.

    Without getting into alot of heavy lifting you could find what products or pages are getting the most search referrals and build them out a bit. Spin or expand the product descriptions.

    Take the top x converting/visited pages and write (or have someone write) comments/reviews on those pages, include more keywords related to the product or keyword variants from your referral logs/keyword suggestion tools. Mix up some buyer intent keywords etc… in those reviews to build out the content on the most popular product pages.

    If you can get by the dupe filter bots, the fake comments/reviews might survive a human slap.

  5. Jason Venters Jason Venters

    I could totally see how a bit of uniqueness would turn this site profitable. Yea, all the pages would be hard to get even a bit more unique and maybe not worth it but the more pages indexed over time will result in more sales. Good advice from cape to look at certain pages that are ranking and concentrate on those. Then those can turn into your main focus and make this site worth some time. Then rinse and repeat to build a nice stable income stream.

  6. Wow, its nice to see a strong community of blog comments that are supporting AdHusler’s affiliate tip sharing.

    I can’t top the advcie, but would think you’d want to build profiles on 3rd party sites using link building toolkit from searchandsocial or a Paul & Angela type list you could get on wicked fire. This would help these data feed sites to have a baseline of seo backlinks to show some credibility & get some easy camtasia screen capture videos on TubeMogul, Q&A’s to social media traffic until the SEO kick’s in. Not as scalable as cranking out these sites, but there’s plenty of hungry offshore folks willing to work for pennies, if you can afford to shell out some dough.

  7. itchy itchy

    multiply site * 1000 or build one big site and multiply feeder sites * 1000 …

  8. Lowly Affiliate Lowly Affiliate

    Great case study. This is something I want to try since I have wfreview but I’ve been working on other things.

    You mentioned that the bulk of your pages were deindexed, possibly due to duplicate content, from a couple thousand pages down to around 300. That’s a huge drop in indexed pages. I’m no expert but I think in future tests you could try adding some unique content or changing up the content in the feed somehow to keep more of your pages. Easier said than done, but I think that would really help increase your traffic.

  9. I had the same thing happen to my first data feed site. Thousands of pages were indexed, then a bunch were dropped from the index later. I agree, this is probably a dupe content filter. However, I also think dripping posts slowly vs. throwing them all up at once might also help avoid this.

  10. ALM ALM

    No bigger than the website is that is pretty decent profit. I’d sign up for webmaster tools so I could see why the other pages got deindexed. Then look at analytics to see what’s converting. Then build more pages with unique content based on that. My 2 cents. Hope it helps. Thanks for sharing your stats!

  11. Next 202 sit down with me for a few I’ll show you a couple tips/tricks.

  12. Beau Beau

    I heard that Google had recently changed things around in their algo to counter these intermediary sites. Is there any truth to that or are you just fighting against the duplicate content filter?

  13. fm1234 fm1234

    To echo CapeLinks, the autofeed site is only the beginning of a venture. With the kind of traffic and clickthroughs you’re getting you should seriously consider putting a new site up there, use your analytics to determine which pages are getting the traffic and clicks and build a smaller, higher-quality site around those concepts.

  14. nimbledigit nimbledigit

    Hey Ad Hustler-Do you have any updates on the health and profitability of this datafeeder experiment? Any news would be appreciated.

  15. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @Nimbledigit – I am posting an update on this today 🙂

  16. How has this site fared w/ the most recent google algo changes? still messing w/ datafeed sites & have you done anything with unique content on them?

  17. This saddens me. Cons is so dope and I loved what he was doing with GOOD music. I’m tiankg a wild guess here but I think he’s probably bitter because of all the artists Kanye signed to GOOD getting more sales and shine than him like Common and Cudi for example. He’s making himself look bad with these disses, especially when nobody is even responding to him.

  18. I have two favorites from my childhood!! Busy Day Steak (which is round steak baked in gravy cooked on low for like 4 hours)and my Auntie Rene’s chicken legs (which is just chicken legs brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with seasoned salt and then baked to perfection with a little extra butter in the pan, beware this recipe can create a messy oven from the butter splatter). Now my kids love these recipes!

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