Hello, today I will share with you a case study I did back in 2015 about how I grew a site from 0 visitors all the way to about 7000+ visitors a day. This case study can be replicated in other niches but it will require some tweaking for it to work. Without further due, let’s get straight to the case study.
This strategy is a specific traffic generation method and requires some timing, consistent execution of the plan and speed.
To give some background, this website is in the mobile gaming niche and caters to a very specific audience that loves collecting pets/monsters/toys. The term that gamers like to call this niche is “Gacha Collector” games. Basically, it revolves around breeding or collecting characters or monsters, make them stronger, create a team to defeat the enemies. Pokemon is a good example here.
Since there are many new mobile games coming out, a few of them are bound to be popular and I can capitalise on the opportunity by creating a fan site around that specific game that will attract visitors to the site. The game I chose was called Summoners War Sky Arena.
Back when I started to site, I loved that game because it has complexity, a lot of managing of your monsters and it also requires strategy to beat the hard content the game offers. What that means is that gamers will need some guidance on how to improve their monsters and they want to look for information on how to do that.
When picking a specific game or niche, here are some indicators of high interest and traffic:
- Has a dedicated sub-reddit with plenty of subscribers and readers during pre-launch and post launch. (2k subscribers and 50+ active readers pre-launch, the higher the better)
- Google trend has high interest
- Track the installs of Google Play -> 100k+ installs in the first month is the minimum
The next step would be to create a website and buy a suitable domain name for it. I chose the name of the game – summonerswarskyarena.info. I did not put much thought into it. Next, in order for me to create content, I installed WordPress, which is a platform that allows you to create content easily without needing technical coding knowledge. It does help if you know some simple code though.
After having the website installed with WordPress, I started to create content about the game. The topics included things like guides to progress, monster reviews and gear recommendations. This is how the site looked when I first built it in 2014:
Compared to the current site design, it doesn’t look as nice since there is an actual web developer transforming the site into a stellar and cool looking game site.
Feedback and Results
After having the site with 4-6 useful guides and 30 monster reviews, I launched the site by sharing a useful guide on the sub-reddit of the game. It was well received and I was able to get a lot of visitors on the first month, as you can see from the google analytics below.
As you can see, the first year was full of visitors. However, the second year, the traffic started dropping due to the following factors:
- New competitors appearing
- Slight drop in users searching for information of the game
- My inability to make swift changes to improve the site (lots of web technical issues – I was not a web developer)
So the above picture shows the traffic stats of the site up to the present day of writing. From 2015 to 2018, I was just using my WordPress skills to keep the site afloat, but I was suffering a lot on traffic as I did not put in the resources to improve the site. It was not until 2018 where the site was re-hauled. It was done with smooth user interface in mind that we were able to change the long traffic downtrend of the site.
The overall average visitors over the course of 5 years was around 7356 session per day and roughly 21,000 page views per day.
Maintaining and Providing Content
Once the site is established for a year or so, I started to seek out writers who loves the game and would like to contribute to the site. I paid them a flat fee to write about the game monthly and also have them maintain the latest news and updates of the game. This will free up a lot of time for me to pursue other ventures.
Time Spent, Revenue and Expenses
During the beginning stages of building the site, I was spending up to 2 weeks of roughly 120 hours producing guides, dealing with technical WordPress issues and getting the search engine optimisation set up. Although I did not track the total hours spent to complete automation, I know on average how much time is invested on a website starting from scratch.
- First Month – About 200 hours total monthly
- Second Month – 60-80 hours monthly
- Third Month+ (until automation) – 40 hours monthly
To fully automate the site to just spending 1 hour a week to make sure everything is running smoothly, I did the following:
- Hired an enthusiastic writer from reddit or discord using this template: https://summonerswarskyarena.info/hiring-summoners-war-writers-we-need-you/
- Trained the writer to help with the database for updating monsters and writing a monthly article about the game, which took 2 weeks and roughly 10 hours of training
For monetization, I have used the following:
- Ads – Google Adsense, Playwire, Playbuzz, YouTube
- Affiliate – Bluestacks
- Game Guide E-book – Amazon, SWmasters
The banner and video ads makes up the majority of the income, with the affiliate and E-book being roughly 30%. However, I recently dropped the E-book as it was a constant time sink in keeping the book updated and also SW Masters as I felt that the guide was not good enough for me to keep promoting.
So currently, the site is 90% from banner/video ads and 10% affiliate product. Here are some earnings reports of the current month:
During the peak of the site during the first 2 years, I was able to generate $3000/month in revenue. After that, it averages around $1500/month.
For expenses, it includes:
Starting the Site
- WordPress Theme – $29
- Host – $40 per month with Digital Ocean
- UI/UX – $8000 one time fee
- Writer and Database – $250 per month
It was not until the third year where I started to hire a writer and upgrade the site via a web developer. The first 2 years was just me updating the site without other people helping.
This sums up the entire journey of how I was able to generate 7356 visitors per day to my website.