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Welcome to my income report on the progress of my niche sites in October 2022.
My main site is still feeling the effects of all these Google updates recently, but luckily affiliate commissions are continued to improve with the traffic I’m getting.
Let’s get into the income report!
Everything included in these income reports is accurate to the “niche” sites I currently run. This doesn’t include any of the 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!
Watch the income report
What happened in October
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing in October:
- Published 16 new posts on the main site; a combination of my own work (physical product reviews), my writing team, and final content from Hands Off Publishing sponsorship)
- Worked heavily on a PR campaign that’s almost ready for my leading site
- Worked with a partner on a digital product launch relevant to my niche (and now become a major affiliate for it)
- A tiny bit of reviewing older underperforming posts and editing them
Site #1 Google Search Console
Site 1 reached 29,300 organic clicks (-21.66% on last month) and 1,250,000 impressions (-7.41% on last month).
Well, there you have it. We’re still in a downward trend. It’s been frustrating, of course, but I’ve lately stopped myself looking at it because it’s out of my control.
The things that are in my control are doing the work that can change things like Google search impressions and clicks.
Things like better content production, unique value, social/community building, PR & link building, etc.
The reality is, there have been multiple Google updates going on in the last couple of months and it definitely seems that my site was adversely affected in some way. Not in a huge way, but a little from each update – which adds up to a gradual downward trend.
Site #1 Analytics
Site 1 had 34,777 sessions in October 2022 (-20.35% compared with last month).
The trend graph is noticeably lower, though there isn’t any sudden drops. Things are stable-ish.
For that I am pretty thankful, because plenty of sites out there have been hit with 50-80% drops after all these updates.
Site #1 EPMV (Ezoic)
The average EPMV for my main site has increased slightly in October with $8.06 (compared with $7.70 last month).
And hitting an EPMV high in early-mid October of $11.60.
Generally there hasn’t been a ton of development in the ad rates I can achieve per thousand visits. But I haven’t been expecting there to be, either.
Now that we are in the final quarter of the year, you expect ad rates to increase heavily. I’ve only had a slight improvement, which is perhaps a sign of the markets globally right now (recessions, advertisers pulling funding, destabilization, etc).
Site #1 Earnings (Ezoic)
When looking at the earnings graph for Ezoic display ads, it feels like there has been a chunk loss of base Ezoic ad partners revenue.
Again, maybe it’s just a sign of what’s going on globally right now.
Site #1 Amazon Earnings
One great thing for October is that the Amazon earnings have continued to increase.
October saw $279.18 in Amazon Associate earnings (compared with $253.29 last month).
Amazon affiliate revenue is going from strength to strength towards the end of this year, and I expect that November and December will be even higher as they usually are in the spending frenzy months of the year.
The site has also started earning more across other affiliate programs, as you’ll see in the full income breakdown below.
Site #1 Total Income
My main site earned a total of $709.51 in October 2022 (6.45% increase from last month)!
Although traffic has dropped significantly between September and October (-20%), the traffic I am getting has continued to be consistent across affiliate/product based content on the site.
Despite all these updates, my “money”/”commercial” content has retained healthy positions on the SERPs.
A helpful increase from extra product affiliates via Skimlinks and direct relationships has helped the site continue to increase earnings.
This is a new record for the site, so that’s something to be pleased about!
October 2022 summary on income for site 1:
|Income (Month Total)
|Expenses (Month Total)
It has now been a healthy profit for this site for two consecutive months!
Looking back to August, I was $341 in a loss due to still lower earnings on the site and spending a lot on my writing team.
But my writing costs have decreased significantly since then. Largely, my writers have been unavailable with other commitments during October. My total spending on my writing team was $108.95 for the month.
With the affiliate earnings on the site really picking up, I have overcome the $1K+ loss the site was in just a few months ago, and we’re now down to an overall net loss of -$483.99.
Potentially as soon as by the end of next month, the site will finally be completely profitable.
Site #1 Stats & Value
- Articles published: 16
- Total articles: 234
- Blended RPM: $20.40
The site has now reached an impressive (for me) $20.40 RPM (combining display ad & affiliate revenue).
With the low-ish sessions (34K) and the affiliate earnings continuing to improve, the revenue generation of that traffic has been fairly good!
Although I’ve been hopeful of hitting 50K sessions for many months now, there have been these various other wins coming in, and I’m happy with those.
Site #1 Historical KPIs
Another update to my KPI tracker (with a few additions/modifications) helps to put everything in perspective.
Although my site has continued to see troubles during nearly every Google update this year, it has bounced back relatively quickly and continued to convert commissions on affiliate content – helping the revenue grow consistently!
For several months this year, the site was only getting between that $200-300 mark. But in the last few months, it’s considerably higher… $400, then $600, now $700.
Got to be happy with that.
I have often expected my site to “take off” like everyone says they can. That just hasn’t happened to me, it’s been more progressive and has a delayed effect.
But I know that once I hit 50K sessions and move to an ad network like Mediavine, I am confident the earnings of display ads will be considerably higher. Still working my way there!
Site #2 Google Search Console
Site 2 is still hammered through recent Google updates because of the AI content I put on it, and I haven’t done anything else to it.
I will likely use this site as a testing ground for programmatic SEO next. But only when I’ve got some free time.
Site #2 Analytics
Site 2 had 2,324 sessions in October (-63.07% decrease compared with last month).
Site #2 Income
Site 2 lost $2.89 as it didn’t make enough to cover its hosting fee. If the site stays that way, it’s better for me just to kill it and revive it later.
Overall Profit & Loss
Now, bringing it all together. I include the earnings from each of my sites, including Sites 3 & 4, which I sold earlier this year, to understand my overall profit or loss for my niche site endeavors.
Thankfully, I continue to have an overall profit. It’s actually increased to $2,231.57 overall profit (up from $1,869.32 by the end of September).
My main site is the only detractor left, but it’s also where consistent revenue comes from and increases each month.
At least by the end of this year, all my niche sites will have been profitable – and it only took me 24 months! Sigh. Nah, it’s all good. Here for the long game!
What I’ll Work On In November
Recently, I had a call with Jamie I.F., a fellow niche site builder who is generating eye-watering numbers like $44,000 per month with his selection of niche sites.
In that call, Jamie helped me to reconfirm my own doubts and opportunities for my site.
These considerations have helped me to define a new motivation for getting my site to grow exponentially over the coming months.
Here are some of the things I will be doing in November and onward…
As I described last month, I was working on a PR campaign for my site. It is almost complete and ready to go. I expect it will be out there by mid-November.
This whole effort (that took a month to get right) will be to build the kind of links that you can’t buy. These golden links can completely change the trajectory of a site and its authority in its space.
Aside from that, I decided on my call with Jamie that I would start to reduce the time I’m spending working with my current mini-writing team.
I’ve felt progressively more drained from the level of editing and feedback I need to give my writers to help them improve. Sometimes, they just can’t understand what I’m trying to teach them.
These are writers I hired from OnlineJobs.ph. Their work can be good and very affordable if you are willing to train your writers. But it takes plenty of energy and time.
As non-natives of the English language, or at least in the American/Western style that I need, it’s a struggle for me to improve their conversational or entertaining writing style. And sometimes, it’s just plain poor grammar or misspellings.
My main site has also struggled significantly with Google updates this year. And some of those can’t be for my writing team to be blamed on. E.g., May’s core update was before I hired them.
But one thing I want to pursue from here on out is a commitment to quality and unique value.
The articles that I personally wrote and created and added my own unique imagery or video always stay ranked high and stable, which others can’t compete with.
But for any content whereby it’s just mostly words, competitors have been able to steal my spots and outrank me (or Google finds it easy to de-rank it during recent updates).
Now that my site has beyond and above the 200-post mark, I want to take my energy and time and spend it on doing quality work.
That could be building quality by editing previous posts and improving them and adding custom photos or video, it could be by investing my time into YouTube content to start building a secondary traffic source or doing even more PR campaign work that I described to continue building strong links.
I’ve been stubborn this far to make my main site (in a niche I love) my main project. And now that the site is actually earning reasonable revenue, I can begin committing even more to that aim.
So, I will heavily reduce the work I offer to my Filipino writing team. Instead, I will focus on writing myself. At the same time, I will start looking around at options to hire a niche-relevant authoritative writer.
If I’m going to hire someone next, they’ll need to be American/Western natives with a name already being built in the niche space. It’s just finding the right person at the right rate I could afford to pay for regular work. We shall see.
I’ll reassess existing content and update it whenever I can, digging through my photo albums to look for the additional value I can add with custom images.
Generally, I’m going to try and slow down a bit and focus on doing great work. For most of this year, I focused heavily on pumping out more content. I don’t think that’s going to cut it from here.
I’m still trying to build my main site into my full-time job, and then I’ll be able to stop doing client work on the side to keep afloat.
Most of the time, I have several jobs/projects, and balancing work and life is extremely tricky. But I can tell that I’m getting closer each month to that goal.
I started doing income reports as “the road to $1K monthly revenue”. And I’m actually quite close now! If I can hit that and the 50K monthly sessions (to get on Mediavine), I’ll be a very happy chap.
See you next month.