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It’s the second-to-last month of the year. Welcome to my November 2022 income report for my niche websites.
October was the greatest income month for my primary niche site, and we’re down a couple of hundred dollars since.
But there’s lots more to discuss in detail. Let’s get to it.
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!
What happened in November
Here are some of the things that happened in November:
- Published 8 new posts on the main niche site. Half were leftovers from my small writing team (that I don’t have to write for me anymore), and the other half were my own.
- Published 5 AI posts on the second niche site just for testing.
- Time spent reviewing products (recording videos and taking photos) sent to me for sponsored posts.
- More time and energy were spent updating older posts and improving them.
- Successfully assisted in a digital product launch related to my niche, which is now a quality affiliate product for my main site.
- I started YouTube Shorts to build the YouTube brand at the month’s end. I re-activated one of my Filipino writers and transitioned them into a video editor for shorts!
(And probably lots of more random bits that I am now forgetting)
Site #1 Google Search Console
Site 1 reached 25,200 organic clicks (-13.99% last month) and 1,030,000 impressions (-17.60% last month).
Overall, traffic has continued dropping (slowly) since its height in September (1.35K GSC impressions, 37.4K clicks.
It wasn’t so long ago that this was bothering me heavily, but now I’m not letting it get to me quite as much.
Around September, I was nearing the 50,000 site sessions requirement to get on Mediavine (one of my big goals). So it sucked hard when September Google updates came in and dropped the site just as it was about to hit 50K.
But now, I’ve accepted what happened and looking ahead.
As discussed in previous updates, much of my focus has shifted to trying to do much better work. A much higher quality of content, effort, unique photography, and even video, and developing the socials. All together to lift the entire brand.
Google has kept up their update regularity in recent months, so there’s something new every few weeks at this point – I can’t even continue naming them all because they are so frequent.
But that’s probably a good thing for Google search, and I need to work a bit smarter (with the intent of high quality) to get on the right side of it.
I know that my site is just one handful of great links – or Google ranking bonus – away from hitting my goals.
Site #1 Analytics
Site 1 had 30,499 sessions in November 2022 (-12.30% compared with last month).
Again, this has been a loss of just over 13K sessions since the height in September, 43K. October was 34K.
I haven’t suffered from any “critical” losses due to Google updates, but there’s something where my site isn’t ranked as highly as others in the same space.
And sometimes, these other sites definitely don’t have better quality articles for competing keywords. So it’s likely partly to do with the lack of domain authority on my site – something I still need to cure.
Site #1 EPMV (Ezoic)
The average EPMV for my main site increased slightly again in November to $8.37 (compared with $8.06 last month).
And hitting an EPMV high in late November of $12.50. Some minor improvements here.
Even though we are in “Q4”, ad rates are terrible. They are comparable with January ad rates this same year.
Sites that depend on ad revenue, at least on Ezoic, are struggling now and should expect it to get even more difficult in 2023.
Site #1 Earnings (Ezoic)
Actual daily earnings for my main site are stable. It seems like where other sites have felt a drop in ad revenue in December (at least compared with expectations), mine have instead been stable.
That stability seems to be because I’ve hit my potential on this site with Ezoic.
There is, hopefully, better ad rates out there for me on other ad networks when the time becomes possible.
Site #1 Amazon Earnings
This site earned $184.24 from Amazon Associates in November.
A bit of a strange drop when compared to September and October, which both saw over $250 in Amazon earnings. But it’s still fairly good.
It’s strange that one of the hottest shopping months of the year presents with fewer earnings, considering Black Friday. I even wrote a couple of posts directed at this, but it didn’t seem to push the income.
Perhaps people are simply getting their holiday gifts much earlier this year (which has been warned by some) because of the increased living costs in the western world. Families are trying to balance out their budgets over several months instead of all at once – perhaps.
Site #1 Total Income
My main site earned $554.60 in November 2022 (-21.83% from last month)!
October was a pretty special month as traffic decreased significantly, yet Amazon earnings went through the roof along with Skimlinks.
For November, Skimlinks dropped off a cliff. Amazon earnings were OK. And a few bumps from other direct affiliates.
November 2022 profit/loss summary for site 1:
|Income (Month Total)||$554.60|
|Expenses (Month Total)||-$291.92|
The site has now been profitable for three consecutive months.
Most of the expenses went on to content via my writing team, as we had a few articles left over. Plus some extra costs on tools for data scraping (PR) and a few other bits.
I did make a big purchase to get a great annual hosting deal, but that cost (along with all other annual costs now) has been split over a month-by-month basis.
As I’ve stopped paying for content and taken up the task myself (at a much lower frequency, but updating a lot of articles to make them better), the costs have reduced significantly each month.
My site earnings have been fairly consistent with some good months recently, so profitability has almost been reached with the site currently -$8.66!
By the end of this year, the site will finally be profitable. What’s the lesson here? It’s easy to spend tons of money on your niche sites, but if it’s not profitable then that kind of defeats the whole point of doing it.
Site #1 Stats & Value
- Articles published: 8
- Total articles: 241
- Blended RPM: $18.18
A reasonable RPM now of $18.18, which includes ad and affiliate revenue.
If I were to value the site at a standard x35 multiple on the last 6 months’ profit, the site would be worth $3,035.73.
If I were to value the site at a standard x35 multiple on the last 6 months’ revenue, the site would be worth $17,029.13.
While I have struggled to get this site to a consistent money-making project, it is an asset that is worth a chunk of change. And that’s something to be proud of.
Site #1 Historical KPIs
November has been added to the KPI sheet to keep a large birds-eye view of the site’s growth since I started recording them.
The site certainly hit a new level by July 2022 when it moved over a million impressions on Google.
It’s still a fight, while Google updates have made it difficult for my site to hold high rankings. But there’s plenty for me to do to improve this.
While I did expect to be much further along by now, I’m still motivated to make this project work and hit my goals:
- Reach 50,000 sessions
- Move to Mediavine ad network
- Reach $1,000 monthly revenue
Site #2 Google Search Console
Site 2 has had similar-ish clicks in November compared with October.
This site is still very much in the background, but I did do one thing and test out another AI article-generating tool and put a few pieces on it.
Again it’s just to use as a test on keywords to see how worthwhile they are – and qualify them further for writing an actual post on site 1.
Site #2 Analytics
Site 2 had 2,182 sessions in November (-1.36% decrease compared with last month).
The site took its biggest drop the month before, in October, when it lost 60% of traffic. It was a mix of adding AI and Google updates, but nothing concerning as I am not trying to grow this site.
Site #2 Income
Site 2 lost $13.65 as it didn’t make enough to cover its monthly double-hosting fees.
As I switched hosts, I had double hosting to pay for these sites. It should be profitable next month.
Overall Profit & Loss
To date, I have reached a profit of $2,705.15 across my niche site’s adventure.
(Sites 3&4 were sold in May 2022, which contributes as a constant profit to the overall)
As you can see, only site 1 is technically still at a loss – but it’s about to break it in December. So we’re likely to end the year on a good note – full profitability.
All the costs I have taken on with the main site (site 1) in the last couple of years, largely due to plenty of tests and mistakes, are about to be recovered.
I’ve tried a lot and worked with various writers, and there’s plenty I would do differently if I were to do it all over again. But that’s the learning you have to go through with niche sites.
The trick is to try not to make so many costly mistakes that you can’t recover from it. Don’t throw all your money at a project if it’s not going anywhere.
My main site has taken time to recover the costs of mistakes, but I was very confident it would get there eventually. The signs were there.
If your sites are earning nada, if you can’t get people on your site, then don’t kid yourself and waste money on AI tools, writers, expensive hosting, and whatever else.
What I’ll Work On In December
I’m going to bullet-list, to sum up my goals for December:
- I’m continuing to write posts myself and update older posts. Plenty of decent articles with good volume need a bit more work to get them to better positions.
- Invest more time into improving current content clusters and developing new ones.
- I will be reviewing content to be removed or migrated to site 2. There are chunks of content that either underperform massively or have decreased rankings since Google updates or they just “don’t fit” anymore. I want to tighten up my content clusters.
- I’m keeping options open for a dedicated writer to join site 1, but I’m not massively in a rush. If I find someone perfect, I’ll hire them and pay a great rate. But I only want to bring someone who is committed and ideally has a personal stake in the niche space – such as a social following or desire to make a name for themselves.
- Putting more effort into creating YouTube Shorts daily for the brand channel for my main site. The plan is to build subscribers quickly by utilizing YouTube’s current algorithm to push for shorts to gain 1,000 subscribers and eventually monetize. Creating a new revenue stream but also building a new audience or improving the existing one.
- Try to find a pitch-worthy idea for PR to generate more backlinks. I did a ton of data work a couple of months ago for one idea that I eventually decided didn’t quite work for the goal, but I still have a chunk of great data that I want to repurpose into new opportunities.
That sums it up. Thanks for reading my November 2022 income report. You’ll likely see my next update in early 2023, so happy holidays!