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7 Days, $1,200, 1 Website – Black Friday / Cyber Monday Case Study

In late November, I wrote a quick blog post to give you some tips on how to make money from holiday shoppers. Now as a follow up to the tips I shared I will show you the income results from one of my websites during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and overall holiday shopping rush. I created the website earlier this year, but I won’t be disclosing the URL in this blog post (see why I don’t disclose all of my websites here). In any case, let’s jump into the earnings and then I can explain what helped me accomplish those earnings:

7 Day Holiday Shopping Earnings For One Website:

Google Adsense: $666.74

Amazon Associates: $326.21

Commission Junction + Linkshare: $200ish

I also made a few hundred dollars from other merchants as well

Overall 7 Day Earnings For One Website: Roughly $1,200

Boo Yah! Thank you for shopping America.

How Did I Maximize My Earnings For This Website?

Let me cover some of the specific things I did for these earnings:

Writing Content To Target Seasonal Shopping Keywords:

The first thing I did was write Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc. deal style posts using my standard keyword style i.e. “Cyber Monday -My Niche- Sales” and every time these types of posts cause huge spikes in traffic to my various websites. Millions of people every year search exactly in this manner of “Cyber Monday -Some Niche- Sales” and the first strategy was to write content targeting those keywords.

Result: Gave me traffic spikes and earning spikes on those days.

Monetize The Content Very Well:

This year more and more retailers were doing deals every single day from before Black Friday began, through Cyber Monday and now they’re still doing them every day all the way up to Christmas. I noticed this trend last year and so moving into 2011 my goal was to increase my income from other sources which includes Google Adsense and other affiliate programs like Linkshare and Commission Junction across the board.

Using More Affiliate Programs:

I more heavily promoted Wal-Mart (who had some really good online deals this holiday season), Buy.com and a few other large merchants besides just Amazon.com through Linkshare and Commission Junction. This helped give an extra few hundred dollars for the month.

Google Adsense Strategy:

For Adsense I went for an inline Adsense approach instead of just using out of the way banners (this is a pretty obvious step of course, but normally I’m much more focused on going after the affiliate commissions). The Adsense ad titles and URL’s matched my regular site navigation link color and I left the text of the ad black. I trailed all content with Adsense ads as well which is something I’ve since done on every site I own. The idea is that if people don’t find what they’re looking for after looking through the content the next natural step is to click a link to leave. In this case, the first link they see next being an Adsense ad.

Amazon Associates Strategy:

For Amazon I just focused on linking to products within my niche that were on sale for the entire black friday / cyber monday deals week time period. I didn’t spend a bunch of time focusing on the lightning deals this year because I noticed those products were selling out far too fast to do any heavy affiliate promotion of them. You can see more tips on how to make money with Amazon here.

Email Marketing Strategy:

I sent multiple emails out during this week just linking back to the content that I created above. Email has always been a pretty strong component to making money over the holidays and that’s something that I like to do for my larger authority style websites (I don’t do a ton of email for my smaller niche sites).

Go Create And Promote Last Minute Shopping Content:

If you missed the boat on Black Friday / Cyber Monday promotion on your websites don’t miss the days leading up to Christmas. You can make a lot of money on “Last Minute” style keywords and shoppers for your websites, so make sure you’re creating and marketing that last minute content on your website later this month. Let’s make December a record month for our website earnings :)

Don’t Own Any Websites?

If you don’t own any websites stop reading about all the money I’m making and get started making your own websites. You can sign up for my free course outlining how I make money with websites below this post (or via this link) and that’s a great free way for you to learn more about this business – All I ask is that you don’t sign up and do nothing with the information I’ve provided.

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47 comments… add one

  1. Might wanna remove that amazon affiliate code from the 2nd picture

    Reply
    1. I’m not concerned about that one – it’s for an old Xbox website I don’t run anymore so if someone searches it they won’t really find anything.

      Reply
      1. Surprised by that since it is linked to an adsense id & ip:s for well over 50 related tech domains. But OK.

        Reply
        1. That Adsense ID I’ve already made public and I have a second server with a bunch of other sites using different Amazon, Adsense, Analytics etc. accounts. In any case I removed it lol, I suppose I should at least listen to my own advice.

          Reply
  2. Hi Chris,
    Congrats. I’m curious – after adding Google Adsense to my site I had my account disabled for invalid click activity – I was very careful to of course never click my own links, and my overall CTR was actually very low at less than 1% overall across about 400-500 impressions per day across all of my affiliate sites. Have you ever run into this? I appealed giving all the information I could come up with (not much) but received the standard denial letter about a week later.

    Thanks for all your helpful posts,
    Matt

    Reply
    1. I have had a URL banned after I bought a website (super lame – story for another day perhaps), but in any case I haven’t had an issue with that yet (fingers crossed)

      Reply
  3. Thanks Chris

    Great information and tips, as always

    Reply
    1. Thanks Rich

      Reply
  4. Good article Chris. I enjoyed a nice cyber monday and the rest of the week were pretty nice as well thanks to the same type of Amazon setup and Adsense. Next year I’m going to have 10 times the number of sites up for sure. It’s my goal for 2012.

    ~ Corey

    Reply
  5. Chris,

    What kind of daily traffic does that 1 site get to generate that kind of income?

    Reply
    1. Roughly 500 – 1,000 unique visitors each day during that time period

      Reply
  6. Thanks for the information Chris and congrats!

    Can you shed some light on what tools you used to find the keywords to use?

    thanks.
    Kerwin.

    Reply
    1. Market Samurai, Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Longtail Pro etc.

      Reply
  7. It was interesting that you used several monetization methods. Some people say to use just one on each site. Did you limit to one per site, or use them all or a combination of several on one site? Inspiring case study. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. I used all of those methods on one site. The people who say that you should use only one method per site you should stop listening to immediately as they don’t know what they’re talking about.

      Reply
  8. I was going to focus on a Christmas products related site but only thought about it recently so haven’t had the time to work on one, but I’ve got the domain now so will leave it ticking along and focus on next Christmas and hopefully get some good results. Just need to start thinking ahead.

    Great numbers for this site though :)

    Reply
    1. If I’m building a site out it generally seems like 2 – 3 months before it earns it’s first dollar.

      Reply
  9. What is the mobile theme you are using on this site?

    Reply
    1. WP Touch is the plugin

      Reply
  10. Chris,

    I am not sure what you mean by the following three things you wrote in
    your post:( they are both related to the Adsense section )

    1) inline Adsense approach

    2) I trailed all content with Adsense ads as well

    3) In this case, the first link they see next being an Adsense ad.

    Could you clarify ?

    Thanks. Great post.

    Regards,

    Fred B>

    Reply
    1. http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com/go/oiopublisher.php

      that’s the plugin I use to do all of that

      Reply
  11. Hey Chris,

    You got me VERY interested with your monetization results, just signed to your newsletter man.

    I had this idea of building a micro site about a well known company, just for that black friday and cyber monday days, but then I got lazy and thought maybe it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

    I think I regret not doing something about it just now, but what the heck, I’ll just put more attention to seasonal buying trends.

    Thanks!

    Sergio

    Reply
    1. Seasonal marketing can be huge – I have an acquaintance who does mid – high five figures just during the month of October specifically doing Halloween stuff. So it’s really worth testing seasonal marketing :)

      Reply
  12. Hey Chris:

    A lot of great information here. I agree that diversifying on several selling platforms is the smart way to go While doing some promo work for a couple of my affiliates, I stumbled upon Wal-Mart thru LinkShare and thought what a great opportunity–altho a little late for this year, but exciting nonetheless.

    Next year you can be sure that I’ll be following your blueprint and checking out many platforms to increase my earnings. And developing good copy for each.

    Thanks much Chris for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Yah I’m just trying to overall diversify my income. I’m basically looking for multiple $5k per month income streams from all over the place i.e. Amazon, Linkshare, CJ, etc. etc. etc. so that even if I get hit in one area I’ll still be making more than $10k per month :)

      Reply
  13. 1,200 $ in seven days .. is it possible.. damn u are genius.

    Reply
    1. I made a lot more than that with some other websites. It is certainly possible :)

      Reply
  14. Hello, Chris

    I have a question, for the other products that you promote on your affiliate site, other than amazon. Such as Buy.com, Walmart, etc. Do you place the links for products directly in the content? Or is there a plugin that you use maybe. The reason I ask this because, normally I promote info-products as an affiliate, but just recently I built a new website to promote physical products. And I’m kinda skeptical about placing the affiliate links directly on my site, mainly for SEO purposes.

    I just got the site on the first page of Google for my primary keyword and I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize my rankings.

    Reply
    1. I don’t worry too much about affiliate links effecting my rankings. I have plenty of sites with affiliate links on the home page that get good rankings. If you use my plugin at easyazon.com – at least for Amazon stuff you can use the link cloaking feature.

      For buy.com and walmart I just plain use the text links. I haven’t found any plugins I thought about using yet, but I may buy one sometime soon.

      Reply
  15. Very generous sharing of your knowledge and experience. Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  16. Hey Chris – numbers look sweet!

    Couple of questions if I could:

    1. How many sites did it take to generate these numbers?

    2. How much of a traffic bump did you see over this period (over
    normal periods?)

    3. How many posts during this period – one per day, multiple per day, etc??

    Thanks for sharing

    Jeff

    Reply
    1. 1. That was just one website in my portfolio
      2. Significant – I’d have to look at stats, but very significant
      3. One per sales day, i.e. Black Friday – Post, Cyber Monday – Post etc

      Reply
  17. Very cool keyword suggestion (Cyber Monday niche Sale)!Happy to see it paid off for you. It’s something that’s definitely worth testing for every holiday too as a lot of business have trained people to be aware of “President’s Day Sales, etc”.

    Reply
  18. Very great tips. I had record sale day on Thanksgiving Weekend too. I guess a lot of orders are being shopped in Dec and it goes well this month. I just work hard to keep up the traffic.

    Reply
  19. Hey Chris,

    You definitely crushed it with this example. I wonder, though, if you would have been better off targeting “evergreen” topics with your content. You wouldn’t make as much in such a short period of time, but would those topics/articles ultimately make you more in the long run?

    Reply
  20. I love the info you give out about this process, I just finished going through the 10-day course and the full course you offer (grabbed the $17 price!) Brilliant marketing all around, even on selling me the niche profit course. I am ready to give it a try. Thanks for sharing and teaching!

    Reply
  21. I’ve had my best ever amazon (at least compared to last month and last year) – but fell well short of what I wanted to achieve. So it’s mixed feelings for me.

    It’s definitely doable, but I’m coming to realise that you need to put a lot of content out there in order to stumble upon the 10% that will be winners

    Reply
  22. Writing quality content may be work, but it’s work that we need to do.

    Rose, you might take a look at Chris’s Niche Profits Course V2 which covers the technique of content and crating earning sites in much more detail. I just bought the course and have been thru it once, and now am digging deep into it. I’m firmly convinced that using the techniques Chris outlines, will work, and that next year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be much better for me.

    Reply
  23. Chris,

    Love the analysis and data to back it up. Great concept because once you rank for seasonal keywords you can expect that bump once a year!

    Reply
    1. Thanks Joe,

      Yah I love the seasonal stuff. I’ve been so busy just making money this month I haven’t had a chance to write a follow up post lol… looks like I may pass $50k in profit this month – boo yah.

      Chris

      Reply
  24. Hey Chris – you are truly an inspiration when it comes to taking advantage of holidays and making the most out of the day. Unfortunately for me I haven’t gotten to that point where I can monetize my sites on particular holidays. Well I guess I could but right now I am mainly focusing on getting all my niche sites ranking at the moment. Hopefully once I start to see some great traffic I’ll consider doing things like you are doing here to get a great spike in income over the holidays.

    Keep up the great work Chris.

    Reply
  25. It was interesting to know that you used several methods of monetization but yes I agree diversifying is the solution. ‘Diversifying’ is the solution to get people notice our products and services and you’ve so brilliantly stressed on this point. There has also been a lot of talks on Chris’s Niche Profits Course so I’m also certainly finding out more on this course.

    Reply
  26. Awesome results! Thank you for being so detailing with all your posts and lessons. I have learnt tones=D happy new year to you

    Reply
  27. Nice results you got there. Your methods are backed up with these which means they are working quite well. I might as well try out your tips.

    Reply
  28. Thanks for the info, Chris. I’m planning to be on the prowl all year to prepare me to make some money off holiday shoppers next holiday season. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  29. I have a website getting visitors around 500-800 new visitors each day, i have just started this blog around 2 months ago, and i have apply the Google adsense but my earnings are very low that i can’t describe here.

    Reply
  30. Holiday season and black friday are the two events to bank with Adsense as well as Amazon Associates. I look forward to target US and UK though.

    Reply

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