This article will specifically let you in on why I picked the jewelry niche, how I'm building the site, and how I plan on growing it into my next biggest asset.
Why I Started LearningJewelry.com
I started LJ.com in February/March of 2019 as a case study site for a small group of students I was working with. I wanted to showcase how to find a niche and build a blog that doesn't use Amazon Associates as its primary monetization channel.
At the time, I was still primarily running my pest site preparing to sell it during the next busy season, so I needed to replace it soon.
That said, I really liked jewelry as a niche because:
- Most products (like diamonds) are high ticket
- There are established affiliate programs outside of Amazon Associates
- I could find only a few large competitors (diamonds.pro) and many smaller sites with relatively weak backlink profiles ranking
- There are lots of informational content topics to create content around to generate revenue from display advertisements
At the same there were some drawbacks to the niche:
- Getting niche specific backlinks (diamonds, jewelry, etc) can be difficult
- Getting someone to buy a high ticket product through an affiliate link can be hard
- Finding writers who are experts in jewelry will be a challenge
Overall, the pros outweighed the cons and I saw enough competitors that it made me feel comfortable to launch it, so I did!
How I Built LearningJewerly.com
As you know from the previous section, I started LJ.com in Feb/March of 2019. When I started the site, I immediately hired 2 expert writers at around .04/word and started cranking out content related to diamonds, gemstones, jewelry, gold and a few other categories.
You'll notice I built LJ.com with a specific hierarchy and structure to ensure Google sees topical clusters of similar content. Think "hub and spoke" as it helps Google understand and crawl your site better resulting in better rankings.
Below is a mind map I use to help outline and visualize how the site is going to look as content is published.
If you fail to plan you're planning to fail right?
You can see it follows a relatively flat structure organized by piece of jewelry. In the gemstones hub, you can see how I go a level deeper and split that hub into colors of gemstones (the spokes).
The reason for this is to create topical relevance around gemstones such that Google sees my site as an authority on the subject.
As you can see from the image below, this strategy is working perfectly with steady traffic growth month after month.
Also, in the below screenshot you can see how each "spoke" in the hub is growing according to plan with each version of the word (yellow, green, etc) gemstone growing in-step.
It's worth pointing out, that the purple gemstone piece of content was the first one I published. Overtime, I fully expect green and yellow to float to #1 or #2.
And as I'm writing this post on May 2nd, 2020, here's what the analytics look like for the entire site.
That's about 92,000 sessions in a year and to-date, I've generated about $19,000 in revenue from this blog.
If you're a frequent viewer of my public income reports, you'll know that I've built this site by outsourcing 100% of its backlinks and content to vendors and freelancers I trust.
Below is a screenshot from one of my biggest affiliate partners, James Allen, to give you a sense of the revenue my site is driving for James Allen's business and the commissions I've received.
That's $319,460 in revenue for James Allen and $12,915 for me, which is about 4-5%. For reference, the other affiliate partners I decided to use for this site are:
- Amazon Associates for cheaper jewelry (~4% for jewelry sales)
- Blue Nile as it is the 2nd most popular online jewelry shop (5% for jewelry sales)
Overtime, I'll add more like Zales, Kay, Jared, and other similar jewelers to see if I can convert people on some of those massive outlets.
Below you can see that those programs are availble on CJ.com, so it's just a matter of me applying and creating content for those offers.
The reason I didn't START with them is because their online shopping experience is nowhere near as optimized as James Allen's as they are 100% an online only shop with maybe 1-2 physical locations where Zales/Kay are primarily brick and mortar.
That's one of the reason Amazon is so dang great as an affiliate partner is that their shop is hyper optimized to convert traffic into buyers.
Of course, I also recognize I might be totally wrong and Zales/Kay are GREAT programs. I won't know until I test their offers, but my gut tells me they will underperform James Allen/Blue Nile.
How I Plan On Growing LearningJewelry.com
As you can see, jewelry is 100% a niche you can make money in as an affiliate. Initially, I was unsure, but now it's validated and I can start investing real money in its growth.
So how do I plan on growing it? Couple different avenues:
- Look for additional affiliate partners
- Add display advertisements
- Optimize existing content for conversion
- Publish more content
- And build more backlinks
As you can see I have a grand master plan for what content I want and where I plan to put it on the site. Nothing is done by accident or without intention.
Every piece of content has its place and is supporting the overall mission of the site, which is to establish authority with Google that LearningJewlery.com is a credible source of information on diamonds and jewelry related topics.
At the same time, every piece of content has a monetization strategy tied to it so I know how I'm going to get a return on the money and time I spend on creating it.
What This All Means For You
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, my intention with sharing this site publicly is to teach aspiring bloggers how a site is built and all the little things I do to grow it.
On top of that, I'm also using LearningJewelry.com as marketing for my personal brand and this site "ShaneDutka.com".
The great thing about SEO and teaching people to blog, is that it's really easy to prove you know what you're talking about when you can prove it with a real site.
And truthfully, I can think of no better way to help the most people build their own blogging businesses but also help build my consulting business at the same time then by sharing LearningJewelry.com with the world.
That said, I'm not giving you a pass to copy my site and its content (please don't do that), but look at it, learn from my strategy, watch my videos, and hopefully it inspires you to build something of your own and eventually hire me to help you build it 🙂