As I sit here to write up this report, I can’t help but think, what the hell have I gotten myself into? So, that’s where I’m at — how was your February?
But seriously, this is not only a big commitment but kinda nerve-racking. I mean, normally with a case study if it’s a failure, then it’s a one site public failure. But I signed up for four potential public failures.
Okay, enough about my (potential) insanity, let’s dive right into this.
What Happened In February
Before I share my data and you think I’m a hardcore slacker, I want to remind you that I was out of town for part of the month. Half the month, actually.
I went to Portugal, where I got the world’s laziest attempt at a ham sandwich, and stopped by Paris on the way home.
View this post on Instagram
So, I only got a half-month’s work done on any of these sites. Sure, I took my laptop with me to Portugal and Paris, when I had the best of intentions to get some work done.
But if you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that my time was spent complaining about the state of public toilets in Europe, eating pastries, and drinking cheap wine.
I should’ve just left the laptop at home.
Anyways, I hope this update isn’t too dreadfully boring and I’ll try to pack as much data in the article below as I can to keep you interested.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
The Sites – February Update
In case you missed it in the announcement post, or just can’t remember, I’ll be recapping the basics of each site before I give you the details on what the month looked like for each site.
This is a brand new site that I only recently got the idea for and the site has not been built yet.
That’s right, I made zero progress on this site in February. It’s an evergreen niche though, so I’m not too concerned about that.
Plus, I plan to get the MVP version of the site live by the
end of the first week of March middle of March.
I should also note what is probably the real reason why this site did not get launched in February as planned. I never actually added it to my list of tasks for either week that I was working (before the travel).
Consider this the start of my revival attempt for this site. Though, admittedly, there’s nothing new to report this month.
New posts for this site: one
And since I know that at least one person will ask, it’s an informational post with over 2,000 words. I got the content for free by trading some consulting time for content with a copywriter.
I wasn’t really prioritizing content, so one post for the entire month is an okay goal. But what about the links?
New links for this site: zero.
What can I say? The month got away from me with this one. You may find it interesting to know that the last links built for this site were in September 2019 when I was testing a guest posting service.
Traffic for this site fell slightly in February. Here’s what Google Analytics looks like for the site last month:
The drop from the previous month was around 900 users. Right now I just need to double the site’s traffic to hit the requirements for Ezoic.
Income and RPM were also slightly down for this site. Last month’s income is a mix of AdSense and Amazon affiliate.
Total income for this site last month: $55.30
That puts the RPM right around $14. So, not great but it could be worse. While I’d like to see this one higher, I’m not too concerned right now since I’m just getting started with the rebirth of this site.
The two weeks before I went on vacation I spent some time editing old posts on this site and adding a few new ones. I also identified some new affiliate programs that are a good fit for the site and applied for those (and earned $25 from one already!).
New posts for this site: ten
Considering that I only had two weeks of work last month, I’m happy with this amount of articles. I wrote most of the articles myself simply because the content is on topics that I’m interested in right now.
The articles that I didn’t write were free as a result of trading consulting time for content + one was a sponsored post.
The content was 90% informational content, focused on topics that I think will do well on Pinterest. Average length was over 2,000 words.
As you can see, traffic for this site increased a bit toward the end of the month. I think there was a small Google update mid-month, but the increase may also be a result of the fresh content during the first half of the month.
Compared to the previous month, I’m looking at a drop of around 500 users for the month.
However, income and RPM is up, which is what really matters. And, I only need to roughly double traffic to qualify for Mediavine.
New links for this site: one.
I responded to one HARO request and got a link to the homepage out of it. It’s super niche relevant, which is exciting, but the DR/DA of the site is lower than my site. I still think it will be a valuable addition to my link profile though due to the relevancy.
Total income for this site last month: $608.41
Historically, this is one of the lower earning months of the year for this site, so while under $1K isn’t great I’m not too upset by it.
Last month’s income is a mix of AdSense, Amazon affiliate, other affiliates, and one sponsored post. And the RPM was around $59.
Honestly, that’s a really terrible RPM for this site, so that’s something that I’m keeping an eye on for the future. Normally it’s closer to $80 this time of year.
I am testing out some new affiliate programs (trying out non-Amazon stuff), so that may be the cause of the RPM drop.
Literally the only thing that I did for this new site last month was content. It’s starting out slow, but things will start ramping up soon.
Actually, I did do one other thing. I tried to get a trademark application started for this brand. According to my lawyer, an application for this brand will likely be rejected.
Why? Because one of the words in the brand/domain name is shared by a major organization in the USA. The word is a very generic one, but my lawyer told me that he’s seen other businesses using the same word in their name have the application rejected.
So, I’m considering changing the domain/brand…but I also really love the domain I have now.
But here’s the thing – the idea that I have for a new domain is also awesome and I love it. However, it’s way more niched down than I wanted to go with the domain. Still not sure what I’ll do.
New posts for this site: three
All of the new posts are informational and target the super low-hanging fruit type of keywords. I’d guess that the average length of these posts is just under 1,000 words.
Right now, the total posts for this site has just hit the 15 posts mark last month.
New links for this site: zero.
I wasn’t even thinking about links for this site last month. In fact, I haven’t even taken the time to set up social profiles for this site, which is normally something that I do immediately.
But so far my focus has been exclusively on content. Once I double the amount of posts, I might start looking more into link building. I haven’t really decided what my attack plan is going to be yet.
I’m happy to see that this new site is getting organic traffic. Though, it doesn’t appear that those organic search visitors wanted to stick around too long.
Since I haven’t excluded my IP address in Google Analytics, I thought that this screenshot would be the best view.
Total income for this site last month: $0.00
Obviously, I have not yet monetized this site. Since I’m focusing on informational content right now, I don’t know when I’ll start to monetize it.
Recurring and General Expenses For The Sites
Since I’m sure there will be some newbies who read this, I’ll briefly cover some general expenses for these sites. These are what I consider pre-existing expenses for the most part.
As the sites incur new expenses, I will detail those each month.
Domain names: I buy all of my domain names at NameSilo where it is $8.99 for a .COM
Hosting: I keep my sites spread out on a few different hosting plans to protect my portfolio. The sites in this report are hosted on –
- Siteground (good support and reasonably fast)
- WPX Hosting (a bit faster than Siteground)
- Namecheap (ultra cheap, good for starter sites)
- Cloudways (best I’ve found for site speed + cheap!)
Premium plugins: For these sites, there are a few premium plugins that I’m using right now. And I may end up adding more later, depending on my needs. I’m using:
Other things that I pay for: There are few other things that I use for these sites that you may have to pay for as well:
I’ll likely end up with more things that I have to pay for as time goes on, but for now these are the things that are pre-existing expenses for these sites.
Note that I’m not tracking the expenses above because 99% of them are for things that are shared use with other sites that I own/manage. I just want you to know that these are expenses that you may incur with your own sites.
Thoughts On The Month
I want to reiterate that February was an abnormal month for me since I was on vacation for half the month – and I did zero work while on vacation.
And since I knew that I was going out of town, my productivity was terrible at the first of the month. Normally, the way that I work is with checklists and a weekly task list.
I have an old school paper planner on my desk where at the start of each week I put my task goals and then each day I track what I work on and note any tasks that need done that day.
When I don’t use my planner and this goals/tasks/checklist system, my productivity always suffers.
Additionally, I am in a private forum with yearly writing word count challenge with weekly check-ins. So, it’s sort of like having accountability partners since we joke with each other whenever someone is slacking off.
And, I do a weekly check-in post in my private Facebook group + I share what I’m working on, etc. monthly with the group. So, that’s sort of a secondary accountability thing for me.
Final Thoughts & Summary
So, this update ended up being way longer than expected. Going forward, I’ll be looking for ways to give you even more data while shortening the length of the report.
You’ll probably start to see more stand alone blog posts that detail what I’m doing on these sites and then I can just link out to the relevant posts from the updates.
And as of today, I don’t have any travel planned until June, so the next reports should be meatier since I’ll have more productive hours than I did in February.
Income summary for February:
- Site #1 = $0.00
- Site #2 = $55.30
- Site #3 = $608.41
- Site #4 = $0.00
Got any questions? Requests for other data in future updates? Let me know.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, and (currently) Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.
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