Case Study: New Site vs. Ready Made Blog – Part 2

Almost two months have passed since my first update on this case study where I compare the performance of a ready made site that I bought from Human Proof Designs with a brand new blog built on a domain that I own.

Due to personal circumstances – but mostly the entire madness that’s happening in the world these days – I didn’t have enough time to focus on building the websites as much as I initially wanted (or hoped). Still, it’s interesting to see the results and potential progress in these last two months.

I set a goal that I didn’t have before: invest $1,500 in each of these blogs, but nothing more. I can spend my own time which is counted in the price, though.

The thing is that, at least in theory, with $1,500 you could buy a blog that’s already generating ~$50 per month. If 12 months from now these blogs are not making any money, it will be clear for me that it’s better to invest in sites that are already generating something instead of starting from scratch, but being in full control.

Quick details about the case study

I started these two projects in November 2019: I bought one ready-made site and launched a new one in two different niches that I have interest in. My main interest here is to see if it’s really worth investing in a ready made site or doing everything yourself is cheaper/better.

I intend to spend the same amount on both blogs and see in 12 months which does better. I know that it’s not insanely relevant and what works here might not work next time, but it’s still better than nothing.

Second Update (Four Months In)

I will update the stats below every few months in future case studies to show progress (or lack of it). The visits/organic visits are since the last update:

1. Ready-made site
Published Articles: 12 (+1)
Visits: 40 (+9)
Organic visits: 31 (+27)
Costs: $1,280 (+$242)
Earnings: 0
Profit: – $1,280

2. Self-made site
Published articles: 7 (+4)
Visits: 26 (-25)
Organic visits: 3 (-1)
Costs: $190.40 (+$190.5)
Earnings: 0
Profit: – $190.40

Here are the organic traffic stats for these past couple of months on the ready-made site:

And here are for the self-made blog:

Important things since the previous update

The ready-made site is doing much better in terms of traffic and growth, although it’s still very low. One article (that I wrote) gets most traffic at 62%. It’s an informational post, not selling anything.

Surprising that it’s already getting some traffic from Bing and Yahoo, not only Google.

I am happy with the quality of the articles on the self-made site, even though there is no progress so far. I found a writer that I am really satisfied with and I plan to work with her on future articles as well.

Both websites will rely on affiliate income, heavily, but right now the few product review pages are not getting any traffic. It’s not a big surprise for websites that are 4 months old, but I wouldn’t mind to see some progress.

One thing is clear so far, though: the ready-made site costs more than what it costs you to do everything yourself.

But even though the quality of the outsourced articles on the DIY website is better (in my opinion), this doesn’t seem to matter much right now. We’ll see how things change in the future.

In late February, I got some guest posts published on related blogs and I am hoping to see if there’s any impact on traffic. With just 2 links for one blog and 1 for the other, I don’t think there will be a huge jump though.

Progress on goals since last update

Last update, I set these goals for me. Let’s see if I managed to complete them:

  • create a Facebook page, a Twitter page and Pinterest.FAIL. Nothing done here.
  • create more content: ideally 3 new articles on each site (outsource, ideally)PARTIAL WIN. I ADDED A TOTAL OF 5 ARTICLES
  • build some comment links: WIN. I commented on a couple of blogs and got some post backlinks as well.

Plans until the next update:

  • create a Facebook page and a Twitter page
  • start working on an email list
  • publish more articles (at least 2 on each site)
  • create a list of articles to be written based on existing keyword research

So this would be it. Nothing impressive to report so far. We’re waiting for the blogs to age and start ranking, while publishing more content. I don’t think that the next update will show huge jumps in traffic or income, but we’ll see!

UPDATE: Check the next entry in the series here (third update, 8 months in).

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