A successful blog raking half a million page views monthly and multiple revenue streams
In this week's newsletter, you get to know the inside scoop on a thriving birding blog that started out as a side hustle and now provides some of the best resources in its niche.
You will discover the unique way that the founder's passion for his niche helped his side hustle become so successful and fulfilling that he left his high-paying career in insurance to run the business full-time.
Our analysis covers a detailed breakdown of the business' revenue sources, the techniques and practices that attract traffic and how this business has scaled and evolved over time.
This business gains traction and stands out by providing relevant, unique content that provides real utility for users interested in birding. If you further, you will find out exactly why this blog stands out from its competition.
Furthermore, the blog is able to pull in readers by creating articles that are optimised with relevant keywords, enabling it to rank high on search engines and increasing its visibility.
Top SEO pages for this site from Ahrefs, our recommended SEO tool for pretty much everything.
The articles that are featured on this blog are tailored to bird lovers, bird watchers and lovers of nature. It includes over a hundred relevant posts on bird feeders, bird seeds, how to attract birds and other wildlife to one's backyard, etc.
There are multiple income sources for this business including affiliate commissions, display ads, e-commerce, and Youtube ads.
Display ads account for up to 75% of this business' earnings. Using Adthrive, relevant ads are displayed to users plus this blog has an average RPM (Revenue Per Thousand Impressions) of $40. This simply means that for every 1,000 views on an ad, the business earns an average of $40.
Display Ad at the bottom of the website's page
Amazon affiliate commissions contribute a significant 15% to the business' revenue. Affiliate links and discount codes are placed in product review articles in the form of headings, buttons or CTAs.
Affiliate links attached to a heading and CTA button
Other affiliate networks that generate revenue for this business include JCS Wildlife and Netvue.
With the help of affiliate links and links to this business' e-commerce store, users can find birding equipment like binoculars, birdfeeders, and cameras among others.
We can attribute the success of this business to a number of factors which include:
A combination of passion, great understanding, and laser focus on the birding niche helped this business go from a side hustle to a six-figure full-time job.
Niche passion can benefit a business by helping to create a unique selling proposition, establishing authority, and making it easier to target and retain customers, ultimately leading to higher profit margins.
It is a powerful tool that has helped this business to create content that truly resonates with customers such as live cam footage showing the real-case use of some equipment recommendations found on the blog.
Altogether, this has helped the business to differentiate itself, build brand loyalty, and achieve long-term success.
In the early months of this business, there wasn't as much traffic because an important step was skipped which was keyword research. The owner wrote about birding topics that interested him and hoped that such content would attract his target audience.
You guessed right, it did not. However, after using a Keyword research tool to find relevant keywords, the traffic gradually went from 20 monthly views to 20k monthly views and now over 500k.
SEO Report from Ahrefs, the #1 SEO Tool I recommend
By targeting high-volume keywords with low to medium search volume, this site is able to rank impressively high for multiple keywords.
The use of intriguing and engaging content also helps to make articles more reader-friendly. This includes the use of captivating titles, easy-to-read grammar, and a skimmable writing style.
One approach that sets this business apart from its competition is the value users get from an interesting combination of educative content, utility and live bird cam footage.
Live bird cam footage gives users a unique perspective on bird behaviour and helps birders to observe rare or elusive bird species that they may not be able to see in person. It is a valuable resource for birding blogs in general and enhances the content and experience for readers.
The use of enticing CTAs also draws readers' attention, ensuring that they do not skim over the offer.
This unique offering is also a major source of content for the business' Youtube channel which has over 91,000 subscriptions. Overall, this approach enhances the customer experience, attracts new customers, and increases traffic and revenue for the blog.
It is also important to note that this business conducted competitor analysis to determine what others in its niche were doing right and wrong and how to beat them at both.
Lead magnets are free resources and incentives that a website provides to its visitors in exchange for their contact information, in this case, their email addresses. This website uses a variety of lead magnets to attract and convert visitors which include
2. An opt-in form
3. A pop-up quiz—the results can be obtained in exchange for an email subscription
Together, these lead magnets are a visually appealing solution that fulfils the need of the audience and helps the business build its mailing list, leading to more revenue.
These efforts are clearly paying off as this business sends email marketing content, twice a week to over 50,000 email subscribers
In order to reap the full benefits of SEO efforts, proper off-page SEO must be adopted, and while this business has a good backlink profile, more work can be done to achieve long-term success.
Acquiring high-quality backlinks from other authoritative websites can significantly contribute to improved search engine rankings, organic traffic, referral traffic, and domain authority.
Off-page SEO goes beyond link building, it also involves leveraging social media to promote content and maintaining a positive online reputation.
This business already leverages the power of social media for business growth, visibility and engagement with its audience. It has an impressive presence on Pinterest and Facebook with thousands of followers and a consistent, up-to-date content output.
However, as a birding blog, the use of Instagram can be incredibly beneficial as it is a highly visual platform, which is perfect for showcasing stunning images and videos of birds in their natural habitats.
This business currently has no presence on Instagram and incorporating it into its social media strategy will aid in increased discoverability, higher engagement rates and increased earnings.
Expand E-commerce Offerings:
This business' choice to opt for an e-commerce store is a brilliant way to increase its revenue stream, however, it faces the challenge of competing with Amazon products.
Since this site is monetized with the Amazon affiliate network, products featured on its e-commerce store are also often found in its Amazon affiliate link. This has led to the business taking a step back from running its e-commerce store.
A great way to tackle this issue is to offer exclusive products from the brand that can be shopped only on its e-commerce store. Products like customised birding gear, unique birding art and photographs, and even reservations for top-notch birding tours and experiences can be sold on its storefront.
By offering unique and specialized products, this birding blog's e-commerce site can differentiate itself from Amazon and appeal to its niche audience of birding enthusiasts.
The exceptional enterprise under the spotlight in this week's analysis is Bird Watching HQ! established by Scott Keller.
Scott had a high-paying job in the Insurance industry but was gaining little satisfaction from it so he decided to start blogging as a side hustle back in 2016. He focused on recommending high-ticket affiliate products on his website and eventually opted for binoculars
His target audience for binoculars were basically hunters and bird watchers and since he had a passion for bird-watching, he came up with the idea to write binocular reviews for bird watchers. This is how Bird Watching HQ was born.
In a birding niche dominated by personal and journal blogs, he made his blog stand out by creating educative, reader-focused content backed up by keyword research and SEO best practices.
He went from writing about just binoculars to using live cam feeds, clever lead magnets and great content to create some of the best resources on birds, animals and nature that can be found on the internet.
Let's review the important and actionable key points from this week's evaluation:
Thank you for reading.
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Bye for now,