In what manner Tomb Raiding web optimization And Ended Domains Delivered 133k Month-to-month Weblog web page Views After Simply 8 Involving

The team over at Niche Website Builders has a fantastic case study to share with us this week. It showcases their own unique SEO strategy that they call ‘Tomb Raiding SEO’ which is a pretty cool name that we’ll cover in more detail in this case study.
Mark Mars from Niche Website Builders reveals how he took one of the sites in his portfolio from 0 to over 130k page views per month in just 8 months.
How? A modest aged domain, lots of informational content, and leveraging the Niche Website Builders ‘Tomb Raiding SEO’ technique.
Mark reveals how he did it below.

The Case Study
For now, the URL of this domain will remain secret, however, we can talk about the results and how we got there.
Here is a screenshot from Google Analytics that shows what has been achieved in the last 8 months.

(Note: Tracking in Analytics starts at the end of February as I originally created a GA4 property but it sucked so I created a Universal Analytics property instead in February. However, as you can see traffic was pretty low at this time with less than 10k sessions in March)
To start from the beginning, the site was built on an expired domain, but a pretty modest one.
The domain had only 104 referring domains with a domain rating of 16. However, this domain had many of the characteristics I’m looking for to complement other sites in my portfolio. Most importantly it had scope for tons of informational content and I could see that other sites with a low domain authority were also doing well in this niche. 
In all honesty, this site is going to be hard to monetize beyond Ads. There might be a few options but I am okay with it being mainly Ad revenue. 
Here is a short timeline of what happened: 

I purchased the domain on the 11th of October 2020. The domain was a little overpriced at $2,480 but by this time I was married to the niche idea and this was the only domain I could find that would fit.
When comparing this option to starting on a fresh domain it was no contest. This price is cheap when you consider how much more quickly you can get to revenue and what it would cost to acquire 104 referring domains. Add to this the fact that it has some really strong links.
This domain was a failed Kickstarter project so it has links from some high DR news sites that are not easy to get. So, I’m not too unhappy with the price I paid.
The site went live with the first 9 pieces of content on the 12th of November. Approximately 13,500 words.
I’ve been adding content regularly since then every month. Slowly at first due to writer capacity and then more aggressively the last 2 months or so.
In March I purchased a website I found that matched the niche on the Niche Website Flippers Facebook group. It was a small site with only 25 posts but generating around 7,000 sessions a month. The site was only a DR 0.2.
This gave me increased confidence in the niche I had selected. If a site like this can generate 7,000 sessions a month from 25 posts, then imagine what a site with many more pages and a more powerful domain can do.
I moved the content across to my site and 301 redirected all the pages to the new site.
The site currently has around 200 posts at an average length of 1,500 words. 
The site grew to around 5,300 page views a day over the last 2 weeks of June before getting a small knockback from the July 2021 core update on the 1st of July. The page views went down to around 3,600 per day but have been gradually coming back ever since and now sit at around 4,800.

The site has recently been accepted into Ezoic and given the traffic levels, it is expected to make $2,500 – $3,000 per month (from my experience).
Here’s how we managed to achieve this growth. 
Keyword Research – Introducing Tomb Raiding SEO
At Niche Website Builders we’re always exploring and testing new SEO strategies and keyword research methods. 
One that we’re very fond of when working with aged domains is what we call Tomb Raiding. 
With this method, we spend a lot of time in Ahrefs finding competitor sites. We dig out a huge list and then score each site against industry metrics such as Domain Rating (DR), Trust Flow (TF), Page Authority, etc.
Simply, we add up the total of all these metrics to give our site a position in the competitor landscape. This is quite a crude way of measuring site authority but these are the metrics we have to work with and we hope that by using metrics from multiple sources we can average out any discrepancies to give us a clearer picture. 
The resulting table looks something like this:

This gives us a picture of where our site exists in the competitor landscape. 
We then take a closer look at all the competitors that are below us in this table. We do some analysis on which articles they are ranking for and pick out any articles that are generating traffic. This may be 15 articles from one site, 25 from another etc… until we’ve gone through all competitors. 
This provides us a list of articles that we should put into our content plan, working on the assumption that if these sites with ‘lower authority’ can rank for these articles then we should be able to as well. 
The end result is that we are much more likely to rank these articles than working with more ‘traditional’ keyword research methods, which work with keyword difficulty. 
Think of it this way. When we do traditional keyword research and then write content, you typically find that most of your content won’t generate a lot of traffic. It’s very common for 20% of the content on a site to generate 80% of the traffic. 

In this instance, we’ve let those sites below us in the table above do all of this testing for us.
We know the 20% of articles that are generating most of their traffic. So we can ‘raid’ their best-performing articles knowing that with a better authority domain we should be able to outrank them.

This means that we have a much higher success rate ranking articles than with other keyword research techniques.

And this is why we call it “Tomb Raiding SEO.” We are raiding competitor websites for all their best gems and leaving the junk behind. 
We then do our best to correlate the content that we write with the competitor articles.
So we try to:

match word count (+10% so that we can add a little more detail and potentially some FAQ content)
add the same number of headings (making sure they are still topically the same)
include the same number of images, etc

We’ve found that this works way better than using correlation SEO tools such as Surfer, Market Muse, and Frase.
When using these tools you pick the keyword first and then they try to correlate the content against the best-performing sites for that keyword. But what if the SERPs are dominated by higher authority sites? In our experience, it’s much better to find the sites first, and the keywords and topics second using competitor research. 
Of course, you can use correlation and optimization tools to optimize your article afterward but generally, we find if we follow the structure of the competitor article then this will give us great results. 
Domain Redirection

The original site that existed on this expired domain did not have a lot of pages, and certainly no blog. But I still wanted to make sure that any link juice that this site had from other sites linking to it was passed to my new site.
Almost all the links were to the homepage with just a couple of others to different pages. So, quite simply I just installed the 404 to 301 plugin to automatically redirect any other links to the home page too. 
If the old site had been larger then I would have been more careful to recreate any old pages that existed on the previous site which had a lot of links and 301 redirect the old page to the new one. 
For any other pages that had a moderate number of links, I’d redirect to the most appropriate page on the new site. This could be a single post or a category page for example. 
All remaining pages would be redirected to the home page. 
Internal Linking

Internal linking is so undervalued by those who do not understand the benefit this process brings. 
I ensure that every page on the site has a minimum of 2-3 incoming links from other relevant pages on the site. In the case of this site, it was very easy given that all the content is closely related to one another and is intrinsically relevant. So, it was very easy for me to link from one page to another liberally. 
Internal linking allows you to pass ‘link juice’ to other pages on the site giving them an improved ability to rank and provides context via the use of anchor text so that Google can better understand what a page is about. 
I use Link Whisper to greatly improve the speed at which I can carry out this normally labor-intensive task.
ROI… so far
Here is what I have spent so far on the site:

Aged Domain – $2,480
Site purchase – $1,500
Content (Of course, I use Niche Website Builders for all my content) – 300,000 words – $18,500 over 8 months.

Total Spend: $22,480
At the moment, this is just speculation as I don’t currently have any Ad revenue. But on the lower end of my expectations, at $2,500 per month the site is valued at around $87,500 – $100,000 (35x – 40x)
So, the ROI so far would be $65,020 – $77,520.
Of course, this will just increase for every month that I keep the site and pocket the monthly income. That said, I’ve no intention of stopping here. I’m going to continue to add content at a slightly slower rate (whilst I plow more resources into other sites) and continue to grow this asset.
This site I’ll be keeping as part of an ongoing project I’m working on to build sites for cash flow rather than quick flips. 
Who are Niche Website Builders?

Niche Website Builders is run by Mark Mars and Adam Smith who are quickly becoming well known for their expertise which they share on their own podcast and industry-leading agency dedicated to helping content publishers get the best results.
They have been building and managing their own 6 figure portfolios for a number of years before launching their agency in 2020. Within 18 months they have scaled to produce over 4 million words of client content and build hundreds of links every month.
They offer a number of services including monthly content subscriptions, one-off bulk content, done-for-you sites (on both fresh and expired domains), and link building.
You can find out more about Niche Website Builders here. You can also reach out to them directly at [email protected]
If you want to learn more about them you can read our Niche Website Builder review or listen to this podcast episode on content creation and link building.

Exactely how a lot Does Google Adsense Pay Every Pageview? (And Three Good Options)

Google Adsense is the way many new bloggers choose to monetize their blogs, but working out how much you can earn from it can be unclear. The big question is, how much does Google Adsense pay per pageview? Well, today we’re going to attempt to answer that question.
Since every site is different, we can’t say exactly how much your blog will earn from Adsense, however, we can offer a ballpark figure to help give you an idea of the earning potential of your blog. We’re also going to be sharing some great alternatives to Adsense, that can help you earn even more money from your blog.

What is Google Adsense, and how does it work?
Google Adsense is an ad network run by Google, which helps publishers monetize their websites and blogs with display ads. Anyone can sign up for Adsense as there are no minimum traffic requirements. This makes it one of the go-to ad networks for brand new bloggers. 
Signing up for an Adsense account is a fairly easy process, but your website will need to be reviewed before being accepted to make sure it is compliant with all of Adsense’s program policies. 
Once your site has been approved, you can start setting up your ads and making money.
Here’s how it works:

Simply paste a line of code into your site and choose the pages on which you are happy for ads to be shown. You can exclude any pages where you don’t want ads to be shown, such as your services page, or your online store/e-commerce pages. 
Adsense matches different advertisers with your site, depending on the type of content you cover. This means that your audience should only be shown ads that are relevant to them. 
Advertisers can bid in real-time for the ad spaces on your site. The highest bid wins, and this is the AdSense ad that will be shown on your site.
Adsense collects the payment from the advertisers, and after taking their share of commission, they will pay out your ad earnings. As a publisher, you will receive 68% of the earnings from each ad.

Adsense is completely free for publishers to use and is a great way to start earning money from a brand new blog.
How Much Does Google Adsense Pay Per Pageview?
The amount Google Adsense pays per pageview varies from one site to another. There are lots of things that can affect how much you earn, including where you live, the type of content you produce, and which niche you are in. 
Google Adsense has created a handy earnings calculator to help you estimate how much your website or blog could earn from Adsense each year.
As an example, a home decor site with 50,000 pageviews per month based in the US could make around $14,010 per year in revenue from Google Adsense.

You can play around with the calculator to see what blogs in different niches could earn. We tested a few different niches to see how much earnings can vary from niche to niche.
Based on 50,000 pageviews per month, and based in North America:

Food and Drink Niche – $8,598 per year ($14.33 per 1000 pageviews on average)
Health Niche – $10,440 per year ($17.40 per 1000 pageviews on average)
Travel Niche – $8,460 per year ($14.10 per 1000 pageviews on average)
Finance – $19,278 per year ($32.13 per 1000 pageviews on average)
Beauty and Fitness – $7,806 per year ($13.01 per 1000 pageviews on average)

It’s important to remember that these are only estimates. And to be frank, these estimates are very optimistic. Take them with a pinch of salt. 
At the low end of the scale, you could be earning $2-$5 per 1,000 pageviews. On the other hand, at the higher end of the scale with a blog in a competitive niche and a high CPC you could be looking at $30+ per 1,000 pageviews. 
If you really want to know how much your blog could be making from Google Adsense earnings, you’re better off looking at income reports from other bloggers in your niche to see how much they are making.
Remember, earnings can vary drastically from site to site, country to country, and also fluctuate from season to season.
The Pros and Cons of Google Adsense
Google Adsense isn’t perfect, and as with anything it has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look.
Google Adsense Pros:

No minimum traffic requirements
Can be used alongside other monetization methods such as affiliate marketing
It enables you to start making money from your website straight away
Free to join
Easy to use – Google handles everything

Google Adsense Cons:

$100 minimum payout threshold
Low EPMV (earnings per 1,000 visitors) compared to other ad networks

As you can see there are upsides and downsides to using Google Adsense to monetize your blog. It’s not perfect, but for many new bloggers, it’s a great place to start.
Google Adsense Alternatives
Although Google Adsense is a great place to start for new bloggers, there are some great alternatives that can boost your ad revenue and make you more money with no additional work. So if you’ve been looking for a better AdSense alternative, you should consider these options.

Ezoic is one of the best display ad networks around. In fact, it’s what Spencer uses on his niche sites, including Own The Yard (Niche Site Project 4).
As an official Google partner, Ezoic requires you to be approved by Google Adsense to apply to the program. Ezoic uses AI to optimize the ad performance on your website or blog, meaning you can make more money from each visitor to your blog. Nice, right?!
It basically continually split tests the ads on your site, and the AI learns from this and uses the data to choose the ads that get the best response from your audience. Over time this results in a higher EPMV as your ad optimization increases. 
When Niche Site Project 4 switched over to Ezoic, the ad revenue increased by an impressive 232%! 

Ezoic used to have a minimum traffic requirement of 10,000 monthly pageviews to join the network, but they’ve recently dropped that, and anyone can sign up now (subject to approval). Best of all, Ezoic has a low payment threshold of just $20, making it perfect for bloggers just getting started who want to collect revenue ASAP.
How much does Ezoic pay per page view?
As with Google Adsense, Ezoic earnings will vary depending on your location, niche, and time of year. According to Ezoic’s 2020 performance report which measured the progress of 300 websites over one year, the average increase in monthly revenue was a massive 93%. 
From the most recent income report, Niche Site Project 4 achieved an EPMV of $19.75. That’s $19.75 for every 1,000 pageviews, which worked out at a total of $2911.78 just from Ezoic ads for one month. That’s a massive amount of extra cash coming in, totaling just over 50% of Own The Yard’s earnings for that month. 
If you’re currently using Adsense to monetize your site, it’s definitely worth switching over to Ezoic. You can join for free, and there is currently no minimum traffic requirement. 
Get Started with Ezoic Here

Mediavine is a full-service ad management platform for content creators. It is popular with bloggers in the travel, food, home, personal finance, and lifestyle niches, and is known for offering a high RPM (revenue per 1k views).
To join Mediavine you must have an established blog with over 50,000 sessions per month, and regularly produce original, long-form content. Your website or blog will also need to be in good standing with Google Adsense, because much like Ezoic, Mediavine works with Google AdExchange.
If you’re an established blogger regularly reaching over 50,000 sessions per month, then it’s worth considering signing up to Mediavine. You will almost certainly see a boost in your ad revenue.
Check out our in-depth review of Mediavine to see how it increased a niche site’s earnings by 80% after switching over from Adsense.
Read the full Mediavine Review
How much does Mediavine pay per pageview?
The amount Mediavine pays per pageview will vary from site to site, depending on the niche, season, and location of your blog.
RPM (revenue per 1k sessions) can vary from around $10 to $50+, and sometimes even more depending on the niche. 

Adthrive is another premium advertising network that allows content creators to monetize their sites with display ads. It is one of the most popular ad networks around with bigger bloggers and is known for its high RPMs.
Adthrive has strict requirements, so not everyone will be accepted when they apply to join this premium ad network.
To join Adthrive you must have:

100,000 monthly pageviews
A majority of your traffic coming from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand
No Google policy infringements and the site must be in good standing with Google Adsense
Unique content

As you can see, the requirements for joining Adthrive are a lot higher than Adsense, Ezoic, and even Mediavine. But if you do have over 100k monthly pageviews, you should definitely consider Adthrive.
How much does Adthrive pay per pageview?
It’s tricky to say how exactly, but Adthrive guarantees that your site will earn more with Adthrive than any other ad network.
Publishers using Adthrive see an average increase in revenue of up to 67% compared to their previous ad network.
Which is the best ad network for new bloggers
When it comes to monetizing a new website or blog, display ads are a great place to start.
The great thing about using display ads on your blog is that you can use them alongside other monetization methods such as affiliate marketing, or dropshipping. If you don’t have display ads on your blog already, then by adding them you will see an instant boost in income, so it’s definitely worth it!
If you’re just getting started, then Ezoic is without a doubt the best option for you. Since they no longer have a minimum requirement of 10,000 pageviews, anyone can join, as long as you have a unique blog with high-quality content.
Ezoic also offers excellent customer service and has loads of great features that can actually help speed up your site. Ezoic users have access to a free SSL (HTTPS) and a lightning-fast CDN (Content Delivery Network) with advanced caching to speed up your site and reduce bounce rate.
If you’ve been thinking about using display ads on your website, Ezoic is the best option for new bloggers. It’s free to sign up, so there’s nothing to lose!
Find Out More About Ezoic Here
How Much Does Google Adsense Pay Per 1000 Views?
There are pros and cons to having display ads on your site, but for many people display ads are an easy way to bump up a website’s monthly revenue with no additional work. In fact, display ads can often be a passive income stream on evergreen content, earning you money for years after initially publishing a blog post.
If you have been thinking of using Adsense to monetize your site, you should definitely check out the alternatives we mentioned in this article. By switching to one of these better alternatives you will ensure that you are getting the most from your display ads, and earning as much as possible.
Mediavine and Adthrive are both great options, but they both have high traffic requirements. If you’re not quite there yet traffic-wise, then you should sign up with Ezoic. Ezoic no longer has a minimum traffic requirement and can give you a massive boost in earnings compared to Google Adsense.


Baker from, a men’s lifestyle blog, joins us for a blog interview.
He shares his website’s interesting and unique origin story, along with the learning curve he had to go through to get the site ranking and start seeing some traffic.
Baker has the goal of reaching 100K traffic per month by the end of 2022 and is well on the way to achieving it. In this interview, find out how he has grown the site so far, including the mistakes he made and lessons he learned along the way.

How did you start your online business?
My name is Baker and I run and manage my website
Heartafact is Men’s Lifestyle, Style, and Hip Hop website. We’re primarily focused on creating content for men around dating, grooming & style. We’re also covering current affairs and hip-hop music. I like to think of Heartafact as a mini GQ or Esquire.
I believe my site was created in one of the most unique ways.
My best friend had been sent to prison and, in order to keep in contact with him, I would write him bi-weekly letters. These letters were styled like a magazine. The paper was broken down into sections from hip hop, fashion, sneakers, current affairs, and more.
I realized my love for writing at that point and challenged myself to start a website writing the same things, only this time to a global audience.
I saw brands like GQ, Esquire, and Highsnobiety writing about the same topics as me so I decided to learn SEO. I discovered my audience’s pain points and created content to solve those problems. Heartafact was born!
You can see the letters and learn more about the website backstory here.
What experience did you have in online business?
Prior to creating I had no previous experience in editorial writing or writing for the web in general.
This was evident in my first year running the site, I didn’t know what I was doing and I treated my first as a personal diary.

Frustrated about getting no traffic to the site, I took an SEO course and it made sense. No one was searching for my trip to Berlin or my thoughts on the sneaker event I attended.

Men wanted to know how to get more dates, use Tinder, or how to style Chelsea boots.
I understood immediately that I needed to treat my site as an access point for information as opposed to a personal diary. The success of my site today (success being relative to me) has given me the confidence to set new goals including wanting to explore other avenues of writing such as TV/Movie writing.
Can you share more about your website’s growth?

My traffic numbers continue to grow with my understanding of SEO and Pinterest marketing.

2019 – 500 per month (no idea what I was doing)
2020 – 10,000 per month
2021 – 15,000 and growing

Do I wish my numbers were bigger? Yes of course, but slow and steady wins the race. I’m happy with the growth and have set a goal to reach 100k in traffic by the end of 2022. This is going to mean publishing a lot of quality content.
My strategies won’t change much during the course of 2022, however, I am going to hire an SEO manager to help increase traffic. I want to target more difficult keywords as my domain authority begins to grow.

In order to ensure I rank and outperform sites with higher DAs, I have to ensure my content is best because content is king.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I felt bombarded with success stories that seem impossible to replicate – people having sites for 6 months and getting crazy amounts of traffic, or having sites that are making money in a short amount of time.

Those stories are great and inspiring but stories like mine are needed just as much! That’s because my growth is much more realistic and should paint a picture for the person reading to stay in it for the long game.

I started in 2019 and for that whole year, it didn’t grow at all, because, as I mentioned, I was treating it as a diary and no one was finding what I was writing. It’s not because what I was writing was bad, it’s because I didn’t understand what I was doing or the problems people were having.
If you’re a celebrity or personal brand like Kim Kardashian and you decide to start a website and write about eggs you will generate thousands of clicks. However, if you’re starting out without that leverage you’re going to need to pull people to your site through social media marketing and SEO.
I understand that now and make use of it. I also intend to do more brand work so I can reach more people through video etc. 
What’s your revenue like?

I have only recently added Ezoic display ads to the site and I believe will generate about $100 per month.

I have also had deals for sponsored posts which ranged from $50 – $150.
However, for now, I’m generating $100 per month with ads. Of course, this amount will increase as my traffic grows.
The screenshot above shows traffic for June and July 2020 – traffic is gradually increasing.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to write for an audience – I can’t stress this enough.
As I’ve spoken about many times in this piece, the whole of 2019 I didn’t know what I was doing and writing about anything. Today I go through a detailed keyword research process to find out the pain points men have in my audience and make sure my content answers their pain.
It’s best to learn SEO, be consistent, and not give up.
But by far one of the biggest encouragements was the discovery of High Snobiety’s first website on Blogspot.
I found this and it reminded me that everybody has a beginning. I looked at this old site and it’s like my letters to my friend – the only difference being the creator put his content online. If you look at the site structure and design and content there’s no SEO keyword focus, it’s more a personal diary.
Look at High Snobiety’s site today – millions of visitors, generate thousands of dollars, and a globally successful site. They have been in business for nearly 15 years. I use this site daily to remind myself to keep going!
How long did it take you to see success?
I’ll consider my site successful once I can go full-time from it. I still have a long way to go but in my mind, I’m successful and have overcome a lot already. A site generating $100 monthly at 15,000 in traffic is a success to me.
Think about it, success is relative and it’s about the journey. Do you know there’s someone out there whose site does 100,000 in traffic and generates $2000 + but they feel unsuccessful and miserable? What a bad position to be in.
I appreciate my small wins, and when I’m up to 100,000 I’ll appreciate it just like I do today. PERSPECTIVE!!
What’s your advice for other online entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can give is consistency.
Yes, you have heard it before and it’s for good reason. Sometimes even I want to stop but I say to myself, once upon a time I was getting 50 clicks a month, today I’m getting 15,000 in traffic a month. I didn’t give up at 50 clicks so it doesn’t make sense to stop now.
Understand your audience, their pain points, and understand how to position your content to be problem-solving. I don’t care if your website is about gardening, finance, music, breastfeeding, fashion, cars, or travel. There’s a group of people who want to hear from you!

Make sure you’re found on Google and serve their need. 

Treat your blog or website like a business/job and not a hobby. That means set aside 1-2 hours every day! Turn off your phone and social media and use that time to research and create.

Today with smartphones and social apps it’s easy to stay online all the time. I’m a victim of this too but I’ve realized in order to achieve my goals every day has to include a portion of time that’s allocated towards production and creation. Your whole day can’t be consumption! CREATE!!

Lastly, study people, brands, and businesses in your niche and learn what they do well and apply those strategies to your own line of work. If the brand or person you’re following is successful remember they have a staff and can produce at a much faster rate so don’t beat yourself up. Start small daily, just like they did.
I’ve chosen to use tools such as teachable for SEO courses, listen to online business podcasts, and be part of multiple Facebook groups which share information about blogging and tips to increase traffic.
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This is you, remember that – slow and steady wins the race baby!