Case Study & Income Report #23 [November 2021 edition] | Skipblast

Case Study & Income Report #23 [November 2021 edition]

Another month in the books with these sites.

During this period we had Black Friday sales (yay!) and a Google update (boo?).

So, let’s see how things went, shall we?

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 link

What Happened In November

I actually spent most of the month working on a site that is not included in these updates.

And that site was seeing crazy impressive gains…until the fucking product review update started rolling out and now I’m right fucking back where I started in terms of traffic with that site.

The worst thing about this site getting hit by the product review update is that the site has more informational content than affiliate content!

But what it does have is a lot of articles that are things like “best mexican restaurants in X city’ and I think the algo is confused by “best” in the title, even though it is an info title.

I did manage to add some content to the sites in this report though.

Other than that, I didn’t do much on my sites overall as I took some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Sites – November 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

RPMs for this site are continuing to blow me away.

I honestly had no idea just how great they could be, and yeah I know that Q4 is the best time for high RPMs, but this is still pretty exciting.

I mean, I was ready to flip this site once it hit $1,000 average monthly income, but now I’m gonna be holding and growing this one for a while longer.

Managed to boost the content production for this one only slightly, but better than heading in the opposite direction!

Here’s how traffic looked for the month –

analytics site 2

As you can see, traffic for this site is showing a slight decline.

The biggest dip you see in that chart was for Thanksgiving, so no big surprise there.

Overall, the drop was around 1,000 sessions compared to the previous period, so I don’t think it was an algo hit but just the holiday.

So, I’m not worried about that traffic drop and I know that if I’d done my job and gotten more content up that I likely wouldn’t have even noticed a holiday traffic drop.

Unfortunately, the site also experienced a slight income drop as well, which is never what you want to see in Q4.

But I’m not worried about that yet. Gotta see how December shakes up before I know if it is time to worry.

New posts for this site: 6 (2 outsourced to Writer Access, rest written by me)

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $839.01

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

Summary for site #2: A slight drop income and in traffic, but not worried about either yet.

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

Only managed to add around 30 new posts to this site for the month, but I’m still happy about that.

None of that content was outsourced, which is why I mentioned last month how tired I am getting of this niche.

That being said, I may start some new topic clusters to give myself some fresh topics instead of writing about the same shit.

Here’s how the traffic looked –

analytics site 3

That almost a 7% drop in traffic compared to the previous period, which was expected.

No one wants to think about working out and getting fit around the holidays and this traffic drop always happens.

But I am celebrating this traffic drop because the drop this year is actually better than it was last year.

Almost a full one percent better, so that is a big win.

Another big win is that traffic for this period was almost double what it was this same time last year.

That means all the work I’ve been putting in for new content in the last year is showing some rewards.

Income for the site increased compared to the previous month, but the big news is that when you compare it to the same month last year the income increased by $1250!

New posts for this site: 27 (wrote all of them)

The articles were 100% informational.

New links for this site: none

Total income for this site last month: $3,112.02

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

Summary for site #3: Traffic decreased as expected and income improve a good amount. Overall quite 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

Despite attempting to make sure that I did at least one new post a month on this site, I did not publish anything new to it in November.

Even though I neglected the site, the traffic and income are looking good – especially when you consider the lack of effort I’ve been putting in on this one.

Here’s how the traffic looked –

analytics site 4

I guess the algo update was good to this site or something because the traffic is up 34% compared to the previous month.

That equals around 1,000 more sessions in November.

And that additional traffic also resulted in more income for the site!

The end result is that income almost doubled, so that is pretty great news.

New posts for this site: zero

New links for this site: zero

Total income for this site last month: $29.80

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 up and income from doubled

New Expenses for November 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 November 2021:

Site #2

  • $6.50 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)
  • $181.40 in content from Writer Access

site 2 nov PandL

Site #3

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

site 3 nov PandL

Site #4

  • $6.5 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)

site 4 nov PandL

Final Thoughts & Summary

Overall, I’m pleased with how things are going with these sites.

Sure, it would be nice if site #2 hadn’t dropped in revenue, but I know it’s likely just a temporary blip in the life of this site.

And overall it’s really nice to look back and compare the year-over-year growth for these sites and see all that hard work resulting in revenue and traffic boosts.

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

all sites nov PandL

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.

1 thought on “Case Study & Income Report #23 [November 2021 edition]”

  1. Have you considered moving your sites to Ezoic free hosting to cut expenses? I recently moved a bunch of sites there from Kinsta and it is saving me more than $100/mo. Also, super-fast … getting 96/mobile 100/desktop on Pagespeed Insights and 100/speed 98/structure on Gtmetrix. However, it is definitely DIY and takes a little more effort to get up and running.

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