Case Study & Income Report #21 [August 2021 edition] | Skipblast

Case Study & Income Report #21 [August 2021 edition]

As I expected, the overall revenue trend for these sites dropped a wee bit in October.

I knew it would happen, so it wasn’t a surprise.

However, when you compare the revenue to the same month last year, there’s around a $2,000 increase – so I’m happy about that.

That means things are trending in the right direction, and that’s always good news.

Ready to see where the drops happened? Let’s dive in!

Remember, the sites in this report are only a portion of my portfolio and not the only sites that bring in revenue.

**And as always, I’m an affiliate marketer and this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

What Happened In August

I didn’t plan on it, but expenses for these sites were way down because I didn’t pay for much content during the month.

I wrote a lot of content though.

And I worked on my content calendar for site #3 to plan out the next 15 months.

Oh, and I got approved for AdThrive for site #3!

That was a big goal that I’d set for the site, so it felt really good to meet that goal.

The Sites – August Update

Site #1

It’s gone from my portfolio.

So, no more updates on this one.

Site #2

Here’s what you should know about this site:
  • Niche: Transportation
  • Monetization: affiliate (Amazon + others) + display ads
  • Income Goal: I’ll be happy with $1000/mo but I think it has the potential for mid four figures monthly based on a conversation I had with someone in this niche.
  • History: Site has been earning steadily and is profitable. It was sitting, neglected, when I decided to pick it back up this year.
  • Growth Plan: hit it with lots of informational articles to optimize content for ad money (first goal = Ezoic and eventually Mediavine). I also need to update old content & utilize more non-Amazon affiliates with longer cookies. I may end up testing Pinterest on this site to see how it performs.
  • The case study angle: prioritizing links over content prioritizing content over links + expanding beyond Amazon + beyond Google traffic

Despite getting really excited about the potential of this site after last month’s update, I really didn’t do much of anything on the site.

But I did get in some keyword research and I think that I’ve got a pretty good content plan for this site going forward.

Based on some back of the napkin math I did recently, I truly think that this site can rise to be one of my top earners in the next 12 months….if I just do some damn work on it!

Even though I’ve neglected this site, the traffic is still on the rise.

site 2 august analytics

Analytics is showing around a 5% rise in traffic compared to July.

There’s only around 150 posts on this site right now, so just think of the possibilities with doubling that content.

I really should get to work on this one.

And hey, income is on the rise as well!

I know that this one is kind of boring since what’s working are just the basics – good keyword research with good content.

It’s a simple formula, but it works.

New posts for this site: 1 (outsourced to Writer Access)

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $538.21

Last month’s income is a mix of AdSense, Ezoic, Amazon affiliate, and other affiliates. I use the AAWP plugin on this site.

Summary for site #2: A small boost in income with a decent rise in traffic.

Site #3

Here’s what you should know about this site:
  • Niche: Health/Fitness
  • Monetization: affiliate (Amazon + others) + display ads (and maybe products?)
  • Income Goal: Looking to sell once I’m stable at somewhere around $7500-$8000/monthly $4,500
  • History: Site has been earning steadily and is profitable. It is somewhat seasonal, though the niche is evergreen.
  • Growth Plan: Hit it with lots of informational articles to optimize content for ad money. This site has enough traffic for Ezoic, but I’m holding out to qualify for Mediavine and then AdThrive. I also need to update old content & utilize more non-Amazon affiliates with longer cookies/higher paying offers. HARO is the only link building that I currently have planned for this site.
  • The case study angle: prioritizing content over links + building a mailing list + monetization diversification + alternative traffic growth

I knew that income would drop for this site simply because I had some seasonal content that really was performing well.

Of course, I was hoping that it wouldn’t be as bad as the previous year – but I was expecting the worst.

Needless to stay, I’m relatively happy with the month because the income for the month was still an improvement compared to the same month the previous year.

I’ll take those kind of gains every month, please.

The truth is that I was well aware of my seasonality issue, and I’ve been creating content to combat that – but I didn’t get that content published early enough to mitigate the damages better.

I really thought I published in enough time, but the problem was that I was creating content in a shoulder niche that I didn’t have any topical authority for really.

So, ranking took longer than expected.

I expected 4-6 weeks to be the timeline, and it was closer to 8-10 weeks.

Lesson learned, eh?

site 3 august analytics

Traffic for the month was actually down by almost 6%, but I did exceed 100,000 pageviews.

Just a quick reminder that this site is still pulling in around 15% of its traffic from Pinterest. (I just use Tailwind for that.)

And as mentioned earlier, this site did get approved for AdThrive in mid-August with a start date of early September.

I did more keyword research and content planning than I did content writing. So, only around 20 posts went live for the month.

The plan for September is 100% content focused. Just gotta get more articles published.

I’m also spending some time trying to think up a really great lead magnet to grow the mailing list for this site. Right now, there’s around 100 people subscribed and I want to boost that.

New posts for this site: 30 (wrote all of them)

The articles were 100% informational.

New links for this site: none

Total income for this site last month: $3,925.49

Last month’s income is a mix of AdSense, Amazon affiliate, and other affiliates. I use the AAWP plugin on this site as well.

Summary for site #3: Traffic decreased and income decreased a bit. Overall pleased with site performance.

Site #4

Here’s what you should know about this site:
  • Niche: Lifestyle
  • Monetization: display ads + affiliates + products + info products (+ possibility for real world business offshoot)
  • Income Goal: I think I’ll be happy with $2500/mo but I know of a few people in this niche making $20K+/month.
  • Growth Plan: Right now I’m all about content creation. Next up is traffic diversification and this niche does well on Pinterest. For link building, I haven’t decided yet. There are a lot of guest posting opportunities in this niche though.
  • The case study angle: mega authority site from day one to mega status –> building a brand from the beginning with long term growth focus on diversifying traffic + monetization

Honestly, I should be really embarrassed about continuing to include this site on my monthly report when I’m not working on it.

But, here we are.

Another month of nothing.

site 4 august analytics

This site is still chugging along though with no real issues.

August saw almost 2,500 pageviews for the site, or just over 2,000 sessions.

That is a slight increase over the previous month.

New posts for this site: zero

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $8.88

Only has one post live with an affiliate link, and AdSense is bringing in the monies.

Summary for site #4: Zero new posts, traffic is slightly up and income from AdSense went down by a few cents compared to last month.

New Expenses for August 2021

If you want to know about any recurring expenses or previous expenses, then refer to February 2020’s report in this section.

Here’s new expenses for the sites for August 2021:

Site #2

  • $6.50 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)
  • $56.70 in content from Writer Access

site 2 P&L

Site #3

  • $22.45 hosting with BigScoots (this account is split with another site)

site 3 P&L

Site #4

  • $6.50 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)

site 4 P&L

Final Thoughts & Summary

Even though I was expecting a revenue decline from these sites, I’m still not stoked about it.

But the only way to counter that is to keep publishing content.

So, that’s what I’m focused on for September.

For a recap, here’s a look at overall expenses and revenue:

all P&L

And remember, these sites are only a portion of my portfolio 🙂  I also want to remind you that sites #2 and #3 were existing sites that have been earning and ranking before starting this whole monthly update thing.

Got any questions? Requests for other data in future updates? Let me know.

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