Believe it or not there is a website online right now that has less than 40 pages of content, but somehow makes an estimated $82,000 per month (at time of writing) on display advertising with traffic of roughly 200,000 visitors.
And it’s only been in existence for 2 years!
This is an incredibly specific niche that most people wouldn’t even begin to think could produce this type of viewership and return on investment in such a short amount of time.
What’s the niche?
Condolence messages. Yes, a website about sympathy notes that contain lists of things you should say to someone when a loved one has passed. That’s it.
Many people don’t know how to express their sadness, empathy, and regret over the death of friends and family so they turn to the internet for help finding the right words and this website is here to meet those needs.
How Can I Make $80,000, Just Like Them?
Assuming you don’t have knowledge of how to acquire a domain, host a website, install WordPress, create content, and monetize with display advertising; you’ll want to first acquaint yourself with those basic building blocks.
In addition, you’re going to need to understand a few things about target keywords, your competition, and how to overthrow them.
Since I’ve already given away the farm on which term we’re trying to rank for, let’s look at the AHREFS data and figure out how to enter the space. Let’s also identify which accompanying terms we should build pages around for the phrase “condolence messages”.
You’ll see that the exact match search is quite significant at 88,000 searches a month with a steep drop off to the long tail terms. This means that in order to get to the $80k mark any website we build is going to have to be competitive for the specific search, “condolence messages”, or it likely won’t succeed in producing significant revenue.
It appears that there’s an opportunity to rank for condolence messages targeted at specific types of relationships with the deceased (ie son, father, wife). In addition, there looks to be a spiritual component to some searches. Also, pet condolence messages.
We must also consider that condolence can be rephrased as “sympathy” as well.
We’re well into the era of content marketing and unfortunately “easy money” SEO websites left the conversation a few years ago.
In order to build a website that ranks for “condolence messages” there will be a fair amount of upfront work to do, but remember there is a handsome reward at the end.
Big e-commerce websites that specialize in custom messages, printing, and keepsake gifts tend to dominate the top of the search engines. They’ve learned searchers with this intent may also be looking for a gift to accompany their message so they created content to get people on the site and then attempt to sell them stuff.
In addition, exact match domains (ie sympathymessages.com) have made a play for the top ranking; targeting all their resources at this specific term. Obviously this is the route that I’ll be advising you to take since it’s much easier to accomplish with little to no money or previous knowledge.
I hope you’re with me in feeling the opportunity that exists just by looking at the homepage of this website.
This is our main competition and yet to the casual web surfer you’d never in a million years guess that the site owner is making $80k/mo.
Diving into their top 10 money pages you’ll see the majority of the traffic does indeed go to one page that ranks particularly well for the target keyword.
Just this single page on the website accounts for 1/3 of the perceived value and 1/2 of the traffic. In order to top them the most important factors are creating better content that has a better user experience and has more relevant links pointing.
What Should a Better Post Look Like?
First let’s look at a the sitemap. I want to see how long it’s been online, the last time it was updated, and how many images are on that page.
For most websites you simply need to type in /sitemap.xml behind the root url in order to find the sitemap. If it’s a WordPress site you can add /post-sitemap.xml or /page-sitemap.xml and see data specifically by those publishing parameters. We’re going to look at the post sitemap.
It looks like there are 17 images on the page and that it’s modified frequently given that the most recent update was 2 weeks ago.
Knowing that, let’s look at the word count, too. I usually just copy the text from the body content of the web page and paste it into WordCounter.net for a rough idea of how many words I’d need to write to be on par.
In this case we’re looking at roughly 7,000!
This is a bit surprising given Google’s more recent algorithm changes seem to reward shorter, more concise content. It would be interesting to return to this site in a year and see if they’ve managed to remain viable just based on that.
Before we commit to creating our own long, drawn out post lets look at the other contenders quickly.
|Website||Word Count||# Images||Links to Page||Last Updated?|
|rd.com||1,750||7||32||1 month ago|
|goodhousekeeping.com||1,375||3||46||6 months ago|
|plantmemorialtree.com||1,050||0||12||3 years ago|
Wow. You can see this term has websites all over the map. Some from huge publishers and some from tiny websites with no authority.
Based on what we’re seeing here I think the way to go would be to create a website on a domain name that hits on sympathy, but could be expanded to other areas with ease in case the search Gods want more variety in the future.
The content should be between 2-3k words with links to a variety of similar, but uniquely different topics (ie sympathy for loss of son vs loss of mother).
I’m also noticing that some of these sites have significant links from Pinterest which means the images that they have on page have been purposefully pinned by someone (I’m guessing within the organization). I can’t help but think this is helping the rankings.
Making $80,000/month is completely attainable in less time than you might think. From the example above you’d need to put 40+ articles online with images, link them from Pinterest, and obtain backlinks from various websites with low authority.