Project Pyxis: The making of an authority site!

I’m starting a website with the goal of building it into an authority in a specific niche, so it becomes the go-to resource for a sub-category of that niche.

Aside from it pulling in consistent traffic, I also want the site to be making me around $500/week in passive income by August 31th 2017, and grow from there (with passive I mean once it’s setup, I can theoretically go on holidays and it will keep making me money without me having to intervene, completely on autopilot).

Once it hits $100/day consistently, each month I’ll donate 10% of the income to a charity of my choosing, giving something back to the community. So the more I’ll earn, the more I can donate.

Update 13/02/2018: I did not achieve the goal, but the project is still ongoing.

Update 16/05/2019: Stuff happened, over 10x-ed revenue, check the post about it here.

About The Strategy

While I will not be revealing the site, the niche, or go into too much detail about the strategy (standard protocols in the SEO industry, to protect the asset), I will be giving monthly overviews of expenses (categorised), income, & and what I did that month (high-level overview, though if you’re in the industry, you’ll definitely pick up some gems to use in your own projects).

How The Site Will Make Money

Monetisation will be through affiliate marketing (I promote products/services for a third party that pays me a commission per sale). The niche itself is pretty lucrative but also very competitive, & I’ll be targeting a national audience.

Like most services I promote, it’s a subscription-based service, as the affiliate programs tied to subscriptions offer either recurring commissions for the life-time of the client/sign-up, or a pretty high one-off commission per sign-up (depending on their average client retention rates).

I don’t expect to start earning anything until around the 7 month mark (June-ish) because of a high chance of a 6 month Google sandbox. I could get lucky and get out of the sandbox after 2/3/4 months, but highly doubt it. Once the site starts earning money, I expect to break even after about 8 months (ideally 16 months into the project), then it’s almost all profit from that point onwards (I’ll have maybe $200/mo costs, so a very small overhead).

How Much Can The Site Make Per Month

The average commission per sale for the industry I’m targeting, minus a 25% dropoff rate, is around $100. So 1 sale/day would make me $3000/mo.

Why a dropoff rate you ask? Affiliate commissions on subscription based services, however high the payouts might be, come with a few downsides. Aside from credit card fraud, which happens in every industry, this specific type of affiliate programs only pay out if they see that the user is serious about the service they subscribed to, meaning that if the user doesn’t do anything with the subscription within 30/60/90 days, there’s a high chance that the user will cancel that subscription… and the service makes a loss if they would have paid the commission. It’s a clever way to protect themselves, which I don’t mind, as it enables them to grow with the help of affiliate marketers, with minimum risk.

As for the question of how much the site can make… the ceiling is pretty high (we’re talking 6 figures/mo), but that would be on a global level with insane competition. For the purposes of Project Pyxis, phase I could reach $5000/mo pretty easily (yes the project has various phases I’m planning to roll out). If I can finish phase II, we’re talking around $10000/mo (shouldn’t be an issue but will take a while), phase III would probably be as far as I go with this one, and could get up to $20000/mo (but it’ll be a challenge).


Because I have kids, other side-projects, a business (MangoMatter), and am SEO Director (at Matter Solutions)… time is a luxury. So 90% of the work will be outsourced to other companies (overseas – India, US, Philippines, UK, Thailand, etc.).

I know what the completed puzzle looks like, so I break it up into the separate puzzle pieces, hand those pieces to different companies to build, then once I get the pieces back, I put the pieces in place and complete the puzzle.

Quick Recap:

  • I’m building an authority site
  • The goal is to make $500/week passively by August 31th 2017
  • Once it hits $100/day, 10% will go to a charity
  • I’ll be posting my expenses/income/progress monthly
  • Monetisation through affiliate marketing
  • a LOT of outsourcing

I better get to it!

Tom Profile Pic

Tom De Spiegelaere

I started as your average web designer, then found affiliate marketing as a biz model, and am now building my own assets on a full-time basis… I kinda like it :)

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