Case Study & Income Report #18 [May 2021 edition] | Skipblast

Case Study & Income Report #18 [May 2021 edition]

This time of year is usually when I start to see my portfolio of sites pick up, and the sites in this case study are no exception to that.

Just these few sites alone saw a revenue increase of $1,000 for the month.

So, that’s exciting.

Ready to see which of these sites are responsible for the revenue boost?

Let’s get started.

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 May

I know that saying I was super busy and don’t remember is becoming a trend. But it’s true.

Part of the month was spent working on May’s course, Building Your Own HARO Team, but then I had to delay that release a couple of weeks due to some health issues in my family.

I also spent some time struggling to find a new hire to work on my agency’s HARO team because I don’t want to have to raise prices since profitability is already tight.

Other than that, I just hustled writing a lot of content and trying to find a good solution for outsourcing that content (still failing at that).

The Sites – May 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.

Site #1

Remember, I got a surprising offer on this site in February and I sold that shit.

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

Things are going really good with this site right now. All that content I’ve been putting up is really starting to show some returns.

The site has gained around 3,000 sessions compared to the previous month, and the articles that are starting to rank are getting higher RPMs that the older content.

site #2 May analytics

Needless to say, I’m excited about this growth.

And I don’t think I mentioned is previously, but this site is the same one that I’m doing the Ezoic content marketing case study on. So, the gains are a result of a new type of content focus as part of my quest for higher RPMs.

New posts for this site: 30 (final batch of content from Word Agents)

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $258.15

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 nice boost in income with a good rise in traffic + lots of content to marinate in the SERPs.

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’m so happy with the growth this site saw in May. In fact, it hit the magical 50K sessions that qualifies you for Mediavine.

When you sign up for Mediavine, they require a 90 day contract at the start. After that, you have to give them 30 days notice to leave.

But I seriously think it might end up qualifying for AdThrive sooner than 90 days.

Needless to say, I’ve got my eye on applying for AdThrive as soon as this site hits 100K pageviews. So, that’s something to look forward to in future updates.

I *really* want to get in AdThrive because their requirements after your first site are only 30K pageviews – so, lower than Mediavine’s 50K sessions for every single site.

site 3 may analytics

Traffic for the month of May was up by around 5,000 sessions overall.

While I think seasonality is partly at play here for the traffic increase, all the fresh content I’ve been adding is probably the real catalyst here.

Also, this site is still pulling in around 15% of its traffic from Pinterest. (I just use Tailwind for that.)

I spent a lot of May working on this site and thinking about it and I’ve decided that I’m going to lower my monthly income goal because I want to sell it by year’s end and be able to focus on other sites in my portfolio.

Sometimes you get get tired of a niche, despite how the site is growing.

Honestly, unless something crazy happens with the income, I can’t see myself holding onto this site past January 2022.

I’ve now got my sights set on around $4,500 as the target income goal before flipping. That would put me listing the site at around $200K, which is a nice exit.

 
New posts for this site: 29 (none outsourced)

The articles were all informational.

New links for this site: none

Total income for this site last month: $3,135.72

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 increased and income went up quite a bit. Overall a good month for this site.

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

Yeah, you know the drill here by now.

I did absolutely nothing on this site in May. It’s just not a priority right now.

But, despite the neglect, traffic is up almost 30% compared to the previous month.

may analytics site 4

So, nothing really new to report here.

Though I am pleased that traffic is continuing to grow with no real work.

New posts for this site: zero

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $3.23

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

Summary for site #4: Zero new posts, traffic up by almost 30%, income from AdSense slightly down.

New Expenses for May 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 May 2021:

Site #2

  • $6.50 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)
  • $487.35 in content from Word Agents (final batch from them)

May income site #2

Site #3

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

may income site 3

Site #4

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

may income site 4

Final Thoughts & Summary

Overall, I think it was a good month for all of these sites.

Expenses were down since I’d transitioned back to writing most of my own content. And income was up by around $1,000 for the month.

Considering how many sites I have to work on in my portfolio, and that I do this without a team, I’m quite pleased with the progress.

Anyways, here’s a quick glance at revenue and expenses for these sites.

Month summary:

all sites income may

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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6 thoughts on “Case Study & Income Report #18 [May 2021 edition]”

  1. I am new to your site & I am addicted to your content already. Managing so many sites is difficult & I can relate to that one. But you’re doing more than managing – you’re growing them. I wish you all the best Shawna.

    Reply
  2. Hey Shawna! I just discovered your site and this is the first article I am reading and I already like your style! Thanks for sharing!

    Those gifs from giphy are free to use or you have to pay for them?

    Are you also using giphy images for your content sites?

    Reply

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