($447.24) Niche Blog Income Report: January 2023
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It’s a brand new year and often the worst month for niche site earnings.
Well, let’s see. Keep reading to learn more about January’s lower-than-usual earnings of $447.24.
Everything included in these income reports is accurate to the “niche” sites I currently run. This doesn’t include any earnings or benefits from the “Niche Campus” brand.
Before you read this income report, you might be interested in my workshop:
What you will learn in my workshop:
- How to find good niche ideas in several techniques
- How to qualify those niche ideas with a simple formula
- How to pick the best option for your first niche site
- How to plan for your niche site’s content and monetization
All over five hours of theory, presentation, demonstration, and Q&A recording!
Table of Contents
- What happened in January
- Site #1 Google Search Console
- Site #1 Analytics
- Site #1 EPMV (Ezoic)
- Site #1 Earnings (Ezoic)
- Site #1 Newor Media Earnings
- Site #1 Amazon Earnings
- Site #1 Total Income
- Site #1 Stats & Value
- Site #1 Historical KPIs
- Site #2 Google Search Console
- Site #2 Analytics
- Site #2 Income
- Overall Profit & Loss
- Final thoughts on January 2023
- Next steps for February
What happened in January
As the new year kicks off, inspiration has grown as I get back into the swing of things with niche sites. Here are some of the things that happened:
- I accepted an opportunity from a new ad network, Newor Media, to test their ads between January-February.
- Working on crafting content based on APIs for dynamic content, but struggling.
- I worked on YouTube Shorts consistently with my assistant, publishing a Short daily.
- Published one affiliate-intent post to Site 1.
- Updated posts on Site 1 across affiliate content and some informational content. I’m constantly looking for tweaks to make to older content, whether outdated or needs refreshing.
- Removed several posts from Site 2 that were made with AI (to test). I decided to give this secondary site, in the same niche as Site 1, a chance to grow with genuine content.
To stay in touch with me and see what I’m tinkering with daily, follow me on Twitter.
Site #1 Google Search Console
Site 1 reached 18,200 organic clicks (-15.35%) and 739,000 impressions (-27.55%).
A pretty big drop in impressions has been felt into January. There will be several reasons, one of which is how 35 posts were migrated from Site 1 to Site 2.
Other reasons could be that my niche generally has been slow. Plus, Google is still on a downturn with ranking this site. You can also see the average position dropped.
Less content and fewer clicks is coming because of it.
Site #1 Analytics
Site 1 had 22,739 sessions in January 2023 (-10.25%)
Another drop of 10% in traffic in January. It’s a lull period for my niche, but Google also hasn’t been giving the respect.
The site is down around 20,000 sessions since its high in September 2022. That’s A LOT.
Nevertheless, I’m not letting it take over my mentality and will be pushing on. I’m in for the long game, and that is my strategy.
I have officially given up on pushing for the 50,000 sessions goal (that would have got me to the Mediavine ad network). For now.
My focus for early 2023 is on affiliate content. And later, you’ll see why.
Site #1 EPMV (Ezoic)
This average EPMV for site 1 in January was $7.84 (compared with $8.45 in December).
BUT Ezoic monetization was turned off by January 6th, as I began testing a new ad network: Newor Media.
Why? I expected January ad revenue to be abysmal, particularly as the market has continued to drop. What better time than to test another ad network to see if any gains can be made elsewhere?
That will become clear below.
Site #1 Earnings (Ezoic)
Earnings stopped here after January 6th. What you’re looking at above is December and January, just to keep the record and see how it ends there partway through the month.
Site #1 Newor Media Earnings
Site 1 finally migrated on to, and started earning, on January 12th. So there was close to a week with no ads earnings at all.
The way earnings from Newor Media are accumulated and shown is slightly different than Ezoic.
The base stats for January’s ads with Newor Media are as follows:
- Revenue was $32.24
- Ad impressions were 69,596
- eCPM was $0.46
Ad networks always take time to “ramp up” to their maximum potential. As long as weeks for the initialization.
But after a couple of weeks of these ads running on the site, the earnings – so far – have been far worse than Ezoic’s.
It is worth noting that the optimum setup wasn’t in place until nearer the end of the month, so February may present something better.
With Ezoic, my average daily earnings were between $4 and $ 10. With Newor Media, so far, it has been more like $1-10 per day.
Site #1 Amazon Earnings
This site earned $244.24 from Amazon Associates in January.
Not too bad for January, considering last month the site earned $268.80 from Amazon.
As a reminder, the record month for Amazon earnings was $279.18 back in October.
It has become abundantly clear to me that this site has a lot of affiliate potential. I have not explored it nearly enough, and it’s time to change that.
I plan to seek out new opportunities, and improve existing ones, to optimize for conversions and direct people to buy products through my recommendations.
Display ads have sucked for this niche/site since forever, but affiliates has some better potential.
Site #1 Total Income
My leading site earned $399.86 in January (-21.27% from last month)!
The earnings are much lower than normal. But it’s worth noting that this is largely because of my decision to try out a new ad network.
I lost up to a week of display ad revenue completely and up to an additional two weeks of “ramping up” time on the new network (plus, the rates are still bad after that).
My affiliates for this site show up as the redeeming factor. Amazon earnings are greater than they were in November (which has a Black Friday in it!?), I had a bump in earnings via Skimlinks (other retailer stores) and a little more from some direct affiliates.
Site 1 generated $338.34 from affiliates overall – that’s 84.59% of the total revenue for this month!
If I had a typical month of earnings for this site from Ezoic/Ezoic Premium/Adsense, let’s say with the last 3-month average of $274.21, then the total earnings for January could have been around $612.55.
Which would have been the site’s third-best month ever.
So that’s important to keep in mind here, as, despite an overall revenue drop, all the signs point towards a revenue-growing project. Mostly one which excels from the affiliate content.
So that’s what I’ll be doing, much more affiliate content work.
January 2023 profit/loss summary for site 1:
|Income (Month Total)||$399.86|
|Expenses (Month Total)||-$273.93|
The expenses went up a fair bit this month as my assistant has been doing a lot of work producing YouTube Shorts and social media content as I strive to build out the brand beyond just a niche site.
The “VA” cost makes up the majority of expenses for January, $190.71 total.
I can’t say I’m the most ecstatic about spending this much on an assistant when the project is only just starting to see all-time profits.
Although I learned a lot, going back to mid-2022 with my knowledge now, I wouldn’t have spent so much on hiring writers to do work for me.
It would have always been better to write it all myself – BUT – there would have been no way to produce the same amount of posts each month on my own. I was averaging 30 per month for a while, one every day.
That said, my VA/assistant is doing great work that would otherwise take up a lot of my time and become frustrating.
I think I am the best person to do all the work because I know what I want the output to look like. But there’s only one of me, and I have limited time between life, clients, and my site.
It’s not all doom, though, because the site is now at an all-time profit of $420.85, and it should only be consistent profits from here. I don’t plan to invest considerable money into anything that would bring it under profit.
The only slight chance is if I come across a perfect expired domain/niche site to buy and redirect to this brand. But from what I’ve seen so far, it’s slim pickings (and it takes up a lot of energy if you want to find a needle in the haystack).
Site #1 Stats & Value
Here are some basic stats for the site by end of January 2023:
- Articles published: 1
- Total articles: 208
- Blended RPM: $17.58
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: $7,055.65
- Last 6 months’ revenue valuation: $18,908.40
Both these figures use the standard x35 multiplier for niche site valuation.
Once again, closing in on a $20K (revenue) asset. While I want this project to start paying me a real income ASAP, it’s good to know it’s worth something if I ever want to sell it. Which I probably never will.
Site #1 Historical KPIs
January 2023 is now added to the KPI tracking sheet.
With some new additions, I’m starting to track additional results of all the hard work: Email subscribers and YouTube subscribers.
I will probably try to back-date these stats for previous months too once I can do some deduction, so expect that in future updates.
I see both of these markers as necessary KPIs for the long-term success of this business. It will become more than just a niche site but a robust brand business.
YouTube is growing slowly but surely with the YouTube Shorts strategy, and email subscribers have been growing each day recently since we started doing more social posts.
I think that is mostly because I have an automation setup on tweets to recommend readers subscribe for a free guide.
Zooming out for a second to take in the broad picture, the site surpassed 1 million monthly impressions last July 2022 – which it has now fallen quite far under.
That could be a bad sign for future traffic levels, but a good chunk is because of migrating content away from the site. 35 primary keywords are gone, and probably hundreds of secondary ones.
Everything is dropping when looking at these stats/KPIs. But I strongly believe this isn’t a complete indication of where the project is.
I actually think it’s improving simply because of the affiliate revenue being generated with around 25 posts that are affiliate-based. The other 170+ are all informational. Seriously!
This is why affiliate content will be my focus for the first half of 2023!
Traffic doesn’t mean anything if it’s not converting, and having display ads there when someone lands does not mean you’re making much money from them.
But if you can convince someone to buy something, you’ll see 3-30% commissions for your effort. And I seem to be pretty good at convincing people to buy stuff.
Site #2 Google Search Console
As a reminder, I migrated 35 pieces of content from Site 1 to Site 2 (above graph) around 8th December. You can see the immediate spike in impressions and clicks on the dotted line (previous month, December).
Since then, impressions and clicks have been at a fairly consistent level. I expect up to 100 clicks per day from Google for this site now.
There was also AI content on this site, which was also removed. Now, this site has content that mostly came from Site 1 at varying stages of its life.
Sometimes the content doesn’t perform so well on Site 1, and I want to keep the clusters tight, so it gets moved here. But over here, it’s continuing to run display ads via Ezoic & Ezoic Premium so it can earn a little bit of money.
With some slightly better legs to stand on, this site might have some potential on its own. It’s in the same niche as Site 1, so potentially gives me ability to try things out or separate keyword strategies (or double-up).
Site #2 Analytics
Site 2 had 4,598 sessions in January (+5.85%).
The biggest jump recently was between November to December, as when the cluster of content was migrated so did all the traffic metrics.
But seeing a slight improvement again from December to January is a good sign, too.
I’ll let this site tick along for now, but I have a few ideas about what to do with it, more below.
Site #2 Income
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 January for testing another network, I thought both sites should fairly half the cost. That’s the $29 in “Other” for expenses.
Despite a bit of a higher expense, Site 2 has a little profit of $8.43
But the site has hit a revenue high of $47.38 for January, most of it coming from Ezoic Premium. It’s clear to me this is from the migrated cluster.
Overall Profit & Loss
Ending January 2023, I am in a profit of $3,164.09 since beginning to build niche sites.
Last month was a $3,019.73 in total profit. Improvement.
Having all my niche sites result in being profitable each month is a nice feeling. Now I just need to keep increasing those revenue numbers and even bigger profits will come!
Site 3&4 continue to contribute to my overall profit from when I sold them in May 2022.
Final thoughts on January 2023
A month that had its downs because of some display advertising mistakes. I definitely left money on the table. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The holy grail is that affiliate revenue continues even into January. Notably the worst month of the year for selling stuff because usually, all holiday spending has dried up.
Perhaps it’s my niche, and it isn’t exactly a big niche to buy things around the holidays – but more of “when you need them”. Which could mean it’s year-round and not so seasonal, which I would prefer.
I can test that theory by continuing to work hard on affiliate content. That is improving what affiliate content I have (with better visuals/product CTAs, more options, custom images, FAQ schema, etc) and writing whole new ones for juicy keywords with fat commission potential!
I started using Lasso at the end of January to improve my product boxes and it’s already having a positive effect on sales.
Next steps for February
Towards the end of 2022, I felt pretty disheartened with my niche sites because of all the Google updates. But with the shining light of affiliate revenue potential, I have a burst of motivation!
So, here’s what I’m planning to do for February:
- I am continuously going through older affiliate content on Site 1 to improve it with Lasso product boxes. I love the design and ease of making attraction product boxes as well as comparison tables. I am confident these will make a big difference.
- At the same time, I’m adding more options to roundups, custom images I may have, and adding RankMath FAQ Schema to throw in some PAAs and boost the on-page SEO. So far, it’s allowed me to improve rankings for a couple I’ve completed so far.
- While I keep doing product research, I’m finding plenty of new options for high-priced products that I can include in more roundups or product reviews. I have my eyes set on the prize of high-ticket items as much as possible, and I am finding more of those in my niche!
- I am still crafting some informational content but focusing almost entirely on link bait. My assistant is currently compiling a huge database of content that will make a very link-worthy piece when finished.
- I’ll also be looking into using public APIs to obtain dynamic data that will prove to be either A) authority building for Site 1 with Google and/or B) have some link worthiness.
- I’ll constantly try to develop the success rate of YouTube Shorts to keep growing the YouTube channel for Site 1. Right now, I am beginning to try AI voiceovers, which are very high quality with Play.ht
There are plenty more small and medium-sized tasks that I have set aside in my Trello. It’s my web app of choice right now for keeping on top of all my ideas and progress.
Google has had its fun with me in 2022 because my informational content wasn’t good enough to satisfy its demands. But product/affiliate content seems to work really well, so that’s where I’ll focus my time.
See you next month!
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