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($377.44) Niche Blog Income Report: February 2023

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Second month of the year. Time to shine. Or time to … brace ourselves.

My niche sites earned $377.44 in February. That’s a 19.44% decrease from January. But there are some good reasons for it.

Keep reading to understand what’s going on.

Everything in these income reports is accurate to the “niche” sites I run. This doesn’t include any earnings or benefits from the “Niche Campus” brand.

To get more insights into my day-to-day tinkering with niche sites and other useful content, follow me on Twitter and get on my newsletter. You can also book a call with me.

What happened in February

February has been a pretty active month for the main site, with lots of ideas flying around and intense work on data, buyers guides, and more:

  • 5 new articles were published to Site 1. Some were heavily detailed product buyers guides which took time and research, some were “news” type articles to see if they work for my site, and one was a splitting of one article to try dominate a secondary keyword.
  • Continuing to go through older product articles and update them with improved research and much better Lasso product CTAs
  • I’ve been working with my assistant to collect a ton of data for one super post coming up.
  • I paid for and set up a USA business address & phone number to use for my site’s location schema and added to the footer to see if this has any effect on trust signals from Google.
  • Improved author schema on my main site, e.g. filling out author profiles with sameAs schema links to social proof.
  • Found new opportunities for buyers guides and began researching and writing those.
  • Testing out a complete disavow file removal to find out if has any effect on rankings.
  • Worked on a visual layout and design improvement to the main niche site.
  • I’ve finally ended my Newor Media (ads) monetization test, which was a big failure.
  • Tons of other minor adjustments, as the same as every month!

Site #1 Google Search Console

Site 1 GSC February 2023

Site 1 reached 15,300 organic clicks (-15.93%) and 688,000 impressions (-6.90%).

The impressions drop has stabilized a little bit, considering last month it had dropped -25%. With February being a shorter month, an almost 7% loss in impressions isn’t as terrible.

It shows that the effects of my content purge in December have almost finished (35 posts moved to Site 2).

Of course, clicks have continued to be affected. The site has still seen a bit of a “lull” whereby not much growth is happening at all.

But I feel like the site is very much in an adjustment phase. I began working on improving things significantly just a couple of months ago, and there is still a lot to do.

I feel that this is the middle of the chasm and I’m just waiting for the site to pop again. Based on the content I’m putting out now and the improvements I’m making, I think that will happen in the next couple of months.

Site #1 Analytics

Site 1 GA February 2023

Site 1 had 19,321 sessions in February 2023 (-15.03%)

Overall sessions have dropped here by 15%.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I must be mad to think this site has a chance to recover, it seems to be in constant decline.

And that may be right. I could very well be mad.

But I do have hopes that things will turn around. I care enough about this project that I will see it work someday.

The content work that I’m currently doing will create a far different potential for being link-worthy and interesting that it can’t be ignored (or ranked badly).

Besides, my attention has passed more on to affiliate based content and improving conversions there.

Site #1 EPMV (Ezoic)

This site still wasn’t on Ezoic in February, so there’s no data to show for this month. But there will be next month, in March.

Site #1 Earnings (Ezoic)

No Ezoic for this site this month, so no earnings. But it will return next month.

Site #1 Newor Media Earnings

Site 1 Newor Media Earnings February 2023

The abysmal rates from Newor Media are here to see.

Site 1 was only monetized by Newor/Adsense during all of February.

The base stats for February ads with Newor Media are as follows:

  • Revenue was $36.77
  • Ad impressions were 119,160
  • eCPM was $0.30

Upon leaving Newor Media, they gave me some insights as to why it was so low. Some of which were having some delays in being approved for certain bidders.

But that’s something outside of my control, and I don’t seem to have these issues with Ezoic. So I’m moving back to Ezoic for ad monetization in March onwards, but I will only be using ads on informational content from here.

Site #1 Amazon Earnings

Site 1 Amazon Associate earnings February 2023

This site earned $142.92 from Amazon Associates in February.

That’s a $100-ish drop from what the site earned on Amazon in January.

Hard to say what was the negative here, but I do think February is one of the lowest buying months of the year.

Ad rates may drop in January hard, as we expect. In terms of people buying products, February feels to be commonly the worst.

And I think that’s just the “New Year, New Me” effect that has worn off. And that would definitely relate to this site because of some of the products recommended.

There could also be some negative effects from working on updating my top-performing affiliate content.

I’ve been improving them and adding in Lasso product boxes to improve conversions, which has worked fairly well already (see total income below).

But it could mean that the rankings of the articles adjust slightly, or maybe I made something worse that was already working fine. But I also changed the retailer options for certain products. Time will tell.

Site #1 Total Income

Site 1 total income earnings for February 2023

My leading site earned $322.14 in February (-19.44% from last month)!

As February only had Newor Media & Adsense ads running on it, the ad earnings sucked! The two only gained $63.02 in revenue for the project.

By comparison, I typically expect $200-300 from Ezoic each month.

So, obviously, I’m moving back to Ezoic to at least keep this site earning and profitable.

While ad earnings were completely wrecked, and Amazon didn’t have the best month for this site, I did have a bonus month with Skimlinks (which is an affiliate aggregator, and links to other buying options like direct retailers).

It was actually a new record month for earnings from that aggregator since it broke $100 last October.

If I was to “add on” conservative Ezoic earnings of $200 (and forget that mistakes were made for a moment with Newor) then the site would have earned over the $500 mark for February.

So, despite the poor earnings this month and last, the site is actually converting well and I think is earning better than ever before, even with a decreasing amount of traffic.

Keeping this in perspective, I’m fairly confident about the growth that my site can have in the coming months.

I’ll be continuing to focus on two types of content to hit my revenue goals:

  • Data-rich and significantly unique informational content that is link-worthy
  • Affiliate content (e.g. reviews, buyers guides, etc.) for conversions

I think I can improve earnings the most with affiliate content. And I am prioritizing informational content if it has backlink potential.

Build the earnings, and build the authority. Both will benefit each other.

February 2023 profit/loss summary for site 1:

Income (Month Total)$322.14
Expenses (Month Total)-$294.08
Profit/Loss (Month)$28.06
Profit/Loss (All-Time)$448.91

Barely profitable this month, but still in the green!

About $60 went into domain renewals (and buying years in advance). And about $160 went on my assistant and some Upwork hiring to get an API working for content improvement.

So, the expenses are still definitely above what they should be. And I am going to be trying to strip that back to increase profitability.

It will mean using my assistant less, and doing more intricate work myself. I’ve already put myself back into the sole writer/editor role, and I need to do that until the content picks up again.

Site #1 Stats & Value

Here are some basic stats for the site for ending February 2023:

  • Articles published: 5
  • Total articles: 213
  • Blended RPM: $16.67

Blended RPM has dropped from what was around the $20 mark, but because of the low ad earnings in January from me, tinkering between ad networks and losing plenty of cash. But it’s all good.

And here are some numbers on valuations for this site:

  • Last 6 months’ profit valuation: $8,440.25
  • Last 6 months’ revenue valuation: $18,436.13

Both these figures use the standard x35 multiplier for niche site valuation.

Site #1 Historical KPIs

Site 1 historical KPIs

February 2023 is now added to the KPI tracking sheet.

From this view, progress is declining across all most important elements; impressions, organic clicks, total sessions, and revenue.

Email and YouTube subscribers are increasing. But I fear a lot of those email subscribers are just junk, so that number might fluctuate wildly to next month.

The numbers tell one story. But I feel that there is another story under the surface here, particularly that I’ve been producing much greater quality content recently that has potential for backlinks or that will beat out competition.

Eventually, those efforts should take off and the numbers will go back in the right direction.

Site #2 Google Search Console

Site 1 GSC February 2023

GSC data shows how Site 2 has had less organic results for February, but it is a shorter month and the graph is going in a slight growth direction (solid purple & blue lines) heading into March.

The content I migrated here from Site 1 in December has helped this site gain more stability, more traffic, more ads earnings, and gives it some potential for the future – if I choose to do something with it.

Site #2 Analytics

Site 2 Google Analytics February 2023

Site 2 had 3,393 sessions in February. That’s dropping -19% since a similar timeframe in January.

No clear reasons why, the content moved here hasn’t performed quite the same. But it’s not a huge drop.

Site #2 Income

Site 2 total income February 2023

I normally absorb the cost of Ezoic Premium into Site 1, because that was the main driver behind it. But now as Site 1 was removed from Ezoic during February for testing another network, I chose to apply the fee to this site which was the only one using Premium during February.

Despite a bit of a higher expense, Site 2 has a small profit again of $16.35.

Overall Profit & Loss

Overall profit and loss for my niche sites February 2023

I’ve improved my overall profit & loss sheet to include month-by-month growth and all-time growth percentages.

So, ending February 2023, my niche sites “portfolio” is:

  • $44.41 profit for the month (-202% decline on previous month’s profit)
  • $3,208.50 all-time profit ending the month (+1.40% increase on previous month’s all-time profit)

Site #1 was $28.06 profit for the month, and is $448.91 profit overall.

Site #2 was $16.35 profit for the month, and is $164.17 profit overall.

Sites #3&4 continue to include the $2,595.42 profitability upon selling those sites in May 2022.

I’m continuing to improve my profitability. It could have been way better this month if I had not chosen to destroy my ad earnings recently. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

March should show a more accurate representation of my sites’ income and the profitability potential.

Final thoughts on February 2023

I’ll be glad to put these last two months behind me for Site 1, as moving into March I will have Ezoic back on the site and earning at least some real money each day.

I expect $5-10 per day on Ezoic for that site.

I’ve certainly picked up my efforts to turn my main niche site into a real business. Lots of energy on improvements, original content, and planning marketing efforts to broaden my viewership.

I’ve been using Trello a lot recently to keep a track of my workload, and that also includes tweaks and improvements. Like “testing” what happens when I change my disavow file, or when I tweak schema, or improve the “EEAT”.

I’ll continue to be working in this way. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to add great content or fresh new ideas with interesting angles to pitch with; and I have plenty of work ahead.

Next steps for March

I’m being very proactive at the moment, so March will continue that effort.

Here are some of the things I plan to work on in March:

  • Set up Ezoic and start pulling in some half-decent ad money again.
  • Keep improving affiliate/product articles with better content, FAQ schema, and improving product CTAs using Lasso product boxes.
  • Publish a huge data piece my assistant has been working on for linkbait.
  • Looking for more opportunities to connect with other sites/individuals in my space for Site 1, to try to do some guest posting or other backlink strategies.
  • Make efforts to reduce costs. That may mean using my assistant less or just more intentionally.
  • I had a crazy idea for a PR project I will deploy in March—more on that in the next income report.

See you next month in what should be a better revenue month!

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