Okay, so I’m two months behind on posting these reports, which means I’ll try to keep this update as brief as possible.
So, instead of wasting your time with meaningless banter, let’s just jump straight 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 September & October
Basically, just more of the same.
I focused on content, and did not build any links.
And as usual, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped – but all progress is a move in the right direction, no matter how little progress there was.
The Sites – September & October Update
It’s gone from my portfolio.
So, no more updates on this one.
- 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 contentprioritizing content over links + expanding beyond Amazon + beyond Google traffic
I’ve been seeing some really good RPMs on this site, so I wanted to get more content up to take advantage of high Q4 earning potential.
But, alas, I only got around to getting up a total of 4 new posts in September and 8 new posts in October.
Better than nothing though, eh?
Here’s a look at how the traffic has been going for the site.
Looks like compared to August, the traffic is down by around 2,000 sessions.
Not ideal and not sure what’s going on simply because I have not had the time to investigate it.
The good news about October is that I didn’t lose any more traffic.
The bad news is that’s because the traffic was rather stagnant with barely any change compared to September.
This is one of those situations where I know that if I can make a big content push that I will be rewarded with a traffic surge.
I just need to take the time to plan out a new topic cluster and outsource some articles.
Now, the really nice thing that has happened with this site is that the income has taken off like a rocket.
It’s even looking like the site will cross the $1,000/month mark before the year’s end.
You may be wondering how this happened with the traffic declining and then being stagnant?
I was able to get this site on a premium ad network as an add-on site.
New posts for this site: 12 (9 outsourced to Writer Access, 1 written by me, the rest created using HARO to get expert quotes)
New links for this site: zero
Total income for this site last month: $860.89 in September and $952.57 in October
Last month’s income is a mix of AdSense, Ezoic, premium display ads, Amazon affiliate, and other affiliates. I use the AAWP plugin on this site.
Summary for site #2: A nice boost in income with a slight decrease in traffic, followed by stagnant traffic.
- Niche: Health/Fitness
- Monetization: affiliate (Amazon + others) + display ads (and maybe products?)
- Income Goal: Looking to sell once I’m stable at somewhere around
- 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
With this site, I decided to set a goal for myself at the end of August to add 500 new posts to the site within 12 months.
That means I need to average almost 42 posts monthly, but there are going to be some low months and high months for me.
I say this because I always take most of December off each year and I already have some travel planned for the first half of next year.
Anyways, I’m curious if I can get close to doubling the sites income simply by adding 500 new posts in 12 months.
Why am I attempting this?
Because this is the site where I was testing my content vs links ROI experiment.
If you recall, or just don’t want to click above and read that post, I added 236 posts to this site within 12 months and saw a revenue boost of $2,500 monthly.
It would be badass if I could repeat that and see an almost $5K increase in revenue.
Part of the content that I’m creating over the next 12 months for this site is going to be part a membership program that I’m planning to add to the site in November 2022. (I’ll disclose more about that once we get closer to it going live).
Speaking of revenue, this site is still crushing it when you compare it to where I was at with the site last year.
But I gotta admit that I am wicked tired of working on this site.
So lately my struggle is motivation.
I have to keep reminding myself about the goals I’ve set for the site because once I add the membership program, I think the revenue will increase to the point of a $500K+ site valuation.
September saw this site lose around 10K monthly sessions, which tracks with with the historical performance of this site.
However, I have lost slightly less traffic than in previous years, which is nice.
I think with school starting back in September and people starting to think about the upcoming holidays, that no one is really focused on working out – hence the traffic dip.
October saw the site lose another 6K monthly sessions, but again this is completely normal for this site.
And again, I have lost a lower percent of traffic month-to-month than in previous years, so even though it’s a drop the signs are still pointing in the right direction.
New posts for this site: 56 (wrote all of them)
The articles were 100% informational.
New links for this site: none
Total income for this site last month: $3,532.27 in September and $2900.54 in October
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 and income decreased a bit. Overall pleased with site performance.
- 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
So that I did not have to continue reporting to you guys that I’d made zero effort on this site – I actually did some work on it.
But let’s be serious – I did the bare minimum.
I wrote two posts – one in September and one in October – just so I could say that I worked on the site each month.
It’s better than nothing though!
In September, the traffic did increase a wee bit – by around 100 sessions.
So, not much but at least it did not decline!
October saw the site gain almost 400 sessions, so clearly the fresh content (even though it was only two posts) is having a positive effect.
Though income dipped in September, it rebounded for the best ever month in October.
New posts for this site: two
New links for this site: zero
Total income for this site last month: $5.48 in September and $14.81 in October
Only has one post live with an affiliate link, and AdSense is bringing in the monies.
Summary for site #4: Two new posts, traffic is slightly up and income from AdSense went down and then up.
New Expenses for September & October 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 September & October 2021:
- $13.00 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)
- $393.64 in content from Writer Access
- $44.90 hosting with BigScoots (this account is split with another site)
- $13 Vultr server at Cloudways (two sites on this server, so I split out the cost for just this site)
Final Thoughts & Summary
Overall, I’m pleased with how things are going with these sites.
It’s really nice to look back and compare the year-over-year growth and see all that hard work resulting in revenue and traffic boosts.
For a recap, here’s a look at overall expenses and revenue:
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.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.