How To Revive A Dead Website: A Case Study 

Last Modified: February 9, 2021

By: pitin

I have long studied how to revive a dead website but will implement it only now.

I created several websites as a newbie back in 2015. As a beginner, I didn't know any better. I blogged and blogged and see what works. I wasted a lot of my time but in the process, I learned a lot.

One of the websites I decided to keep is the firsttimeparentguide.com. If you read my "About Me" profile, I posted there that I was averaging $1,000 per month for 2 years, in a passive income mode.

As of writing this post, firsttimeparentguide has been "abandoned" since 2019.

By abandoned, I mean only updating a little bit of text and pictures here and there - just so the "last modified date" info will reflect a more recent, and therefore relevant feel.

If you are following my training pages, we will try to follow the lessons there as I revive firsttimeparentguide blog.

How To Revive A Dead Website

For Lesson 1, I am going to set a SMART Goal:

  • What do I want to accomplish? Narrow down the niche and only focus on "Convertible Car Seats."
  • Why is this goal important? It is easier to manage a niche site since I do not have to focus on a lot of topics.
  • Who Is Involved? Me.
  • How much is involved? Just my time.
  • How will I know it's accomplished? When I have rebranded the website to make it look like it is geared towards convertible car seats only.
  • How can I accomplish this goal? Demote posts not related to convertible car seats (remove them from the menu but not from Google index - I will decide in 2022 if I will totally remove them from Google index). I also need to update all the remaining articles and make sure the products are still available on Amazon. If not anymore, I'll create an updated review reflecting the most recent applicable products.
  • How realistic is this goal based on other constraints? I have 191 car seat articles. Given that I am a one-man show nowadays, and I still have this blog to run, I'll give it a year to finish. 191 divided by 12 months = 15 articles to update per month. That means I have to update one post every other day starting in January 2021 until December 2021.

Does this seem worthwhile? Yes. I'll revive it to earn just enough to afford outsourced reviews again. Then I can again run it by doing the SEO myself but using the outsourced reviews from my trusted writers. Niche websites with good product reviews can earn a lot when done right.

Is this the right time? Yes. I think whoever is following my training will learn based on my past mistakes. By learning what I did, what I should have not done, and what should I do instead, you can avoid potential pitfalls and therefore progress faster.

What can I do 6 months from now? See the top 10 best selling convertible car seats on Amazon. If I already have the reviews, I'll make sure it is updated. Then make comparison reviews of Top 1 Vs Top 2, Top 1 Vs Top 3, and so on until I finish comparing the top 10.

Goal by December 2021: Make it profitable enough to again afford outsourced reviews.

For Lesson 2, I am going to define a target audience:

Target Audience: Laura

This is Laura. She is a first-time parent. Her daughter is almost outgrowing her existing infant car seat. She is looking for a convertible car seat that can be used for rear-facing the longest (the longer the rear-facing capacity, the better).

There are candidates on her list - most of them are in the top 10 best selling car seat category on Amazon. However, Amazon reviews can be confusing. Most of them are contradicting each other.

She is confused on what to choose. She needs comprehensive comparison reviews of the car seats she has in her list so she can make an educated decision.

As of starting this case study, firsttimeparentguide looks like this:

I have infant car seats, convertible car seats, cloth diapers, diaper bags, strollers, and random guides for first-time parents. We are going to rebrand it to be a niche website for convertible car seats.

For Lesson 3, I am going to aim for monetizing that blog not just thru Amazon Affiliate Marketing, but also from high-quality ads.

High quality ads usually come from platforms (such as Mediavine) that requires more page views. As of writing this post, here are the requirements for displaying ads from Mediavine.

Good Standing with Google Adsense - this means you need to apply for Google Adsense first (which I already have in place). Here are the requirements:

Starting Statistics:

firsttimeparentguide 2019 vs 2020 statistics

Average Monthly Income: $1,000/month - Passive!

The drop in Google rankings greatly affected my passive income from Amazon averaging to only $362 per month for 2020!

The drop in income is also because the baby products category commission went down from 4.5% to 3%. That means, the revenue of the shipped items for 2020 if the commission was the usual 4.5% should have been $5,321 for the whole year or $443 per month. Still, it's a massive 50% drop in passive income!

With this, we need to investigate what Google updates might have affected this site, aside from the above-mentioned main issues:


History Of Google Updates from 2019 to 2020:


Upon investigating, it seems that the site was not affected by any 2019 Google algorithm update.


For 2020, here are some of the potentials...

1. Website quality signals such as links. 

It was only in the first week of December 2020 that I decided to investigate what links are pointing to my site. 

According to the SEMRush backlink audit tool, my backlink profile was 95% toxic! I can't imagine how I let those links link to me for almost the whole year of 2020!

2. It seems that the site is also affected by the following mobile usability issues:

  1. Text too small to read - it's my theme's default font size!
  2. Clickable elements too close together - I have tables with up to 6 columns that have clickable texts!
  3. Content wider than the screen - tables' widths not properly formatted

mobile usability issues

3. Page speed! Another vital element that can drop rankings...

Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for the largest element of content (e.g. an image) to be painted on your page. It should be 1.2 seconds or less.

With these, we now have lots of starting points.
Join me as I revive this dead website and increase its earnings by the end of 2021!

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P.S. Here Are Some Mistakes To Avoid When Blogging As A Beginner

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