Fat Stacks Income Report for November 2018 (7 Niche Sites)

Wall Street NYC

Recently I decided to start growing some other niche sites.  Each are at various stages.  Each have different potential.  Not all have the potential to be huge money makers, but I think they can become decent individual revenue streams.

Many commenters on my previous income reports suggested I add more details to my income reports.  I agree with them that more detail would be helpful.  However, due to AdSense forbidding publishing RPM or other metrics, I have no choice but to not include page view and other data.  I wish I could, but I can’t put my AdSense account at risk.

Another change with this income report is I’m going to include all non-Fatstacksblog.com sites to the income reports.  The newer sites don’t have much revenue, but the point is to hopefully show that with effort and patience, some can grow.  I don’t expect all of them to be a success, but if 2 or 3 are, that’s well worth the investment.

DISCLAIMER:  This income report, like all others, does NOT include revenue or expenses from Fatstacksblog.com.  I only include revenue and expenses from my other sites.  I don’t really see the point of disclosing revenue on the very blog that discusses how I run niche blogs and websites.  Also, there may be some small upward adjustments coming due to soon-to-be-arriving affiliate commission reports from a couple of merchants.  

I enumerate each niche site and will use the same numbers (i.e. Site 1, Site 2, etc.) in each income report so you can see progress or lack of progress.  Some will do well and I expect some to not do well.

All figures are in USD.

Glossary

  • B2c = a site for non-business audience.  An example is a recipe site.
  • B2B (aka Trade Rag) = a site for a business audience such as a marketing tips for realtors blog.

Site 1

Site 1 is a 4.5-year-old broad niche B2C website.  It’s my biggest and highest earning website by far.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $27,230
  • Affiliate revenue:  $2,835

Total revenue:  $30,065.00


Site 2

Site 2 is a 6-year-old B2B (Trade Rag) niche blog.

As part of my expansion recently, I’m adding B2C content to this site. It’s plateaued for years as a B2B.  It’s time to go after the much larger B2C audience and monetize it with display ads.  This blog has decent authority metrics so I’m optimistic it should grow at an okay clip.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $12
  • Affiliate revenue: $4,928

Total revenue: $4,940.00


Site 3:

Site 3 is a very broad-niched B2C site.

Site 3 is the site I bought 3 years ago.  I didn’t know what to do with it when I bought, so I let it sit.  It had good age, authority and content so I knew it could come in handy one day.  8 months ago I slapped up 15 articles (they were quite good) to see how they would do.  They did well.  5 months ago I started publishing on it daily.  Growth has been excellent.  This site has huge potential.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $1,485
  • Affiliate revenue: $185

Total revenue: $1,670.00


Site 4

It’s been about 1 year since I started building this B2C site in earnest.  The domain is approx. 1.5 years old.

I’m on the fence with this site.  I’m not sure it’ll work out, but I’m giving it a shot.  This is both a B2C and trade rag site.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $468
  • Affiliate revenue:  $22

Total revenue:  $490.00


Site 5

Site 5 is a 5-year-old site I used for lead gen in the legal niche for local law firms until recently when the government decimated the personal injury industry with new legislation.

Instead of dumping the established legal lead gen site, I decided to transition it to a general legal info niche site.  It’s turned out to be more fun than I expected.  I have a law degree and practiced law for 6 years so it’s a good niche for me.

This site will be both a B2C and trade rag niche site where I publish general law stuff as well as business/marketing content for lawyers.

I have high hopes for this site, but has limited growth potential.  The reason I’m putting a solid effort into it is the current display ad RPM is the highest of all my sites, which one would expect for a law/lawyer marketing site.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $84
  • Affiliate revenue: $0

Total revenue: $84.00


Site 6

This is a 1.5-year-old domain which I started building but stopped because I was too busy and didn’t care for the original niche.

I’m expanding the niche topically into topics that interest me.  I’ve started to slowly but surely plan out some content for this site.  This will be strictly B2C.  It has reasonably good potential.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks): $3
  • Affiliate revenue: $0

Total revenue: $3.00


Site 7

I registered this domain about 1.5 years ago. It’s a great domain but I did nothing with it until recently.  I’m now growing it as a B2C niche site in a huge niche.  It’s in its infancy at this stage.  In fact, I don’t have ads on it yet so revenue is nothing.

  • Display Ad revenue (all ad networks):  $0
  • Affiliate revenue: $0

Total revenue: $0


Total Revenue all 7 sites: $37,252


Expenses for all sites (except Fatstacksblog.com)

I’m going to put all the expenses together because it’s difficult, impractical and unhelpful to spend the time  to allocate each expense to each site.  I did estimated deductions from the listed expenses below for those that also apply to Fatstacksblog.

Total expenses for 7 niche sites: $3,149.90

Net Income: $34,102 USD


Content investment in November

Another change I’m making is I’m extracting my cost of content for each month from the profit and loss statement because content is really an investment rather than an expense.

If I didn’t publish content in a given month, my revenue would be roughly the same because most traffic is organic search content.  New content doesn’t get much, if any, from search engines.

You may disagree with this characterization of content, but I’ve given much thought on it and decided this is the better characterization.  I’m including the total amount of content invested for each site in this income report so you can see how much I invest in a given month into content.

All content investment amounts below are for November 2018.  Not all articles are priced the same.  I pay a lot for some (lengthy, higher quality) and less for others.

  • Site 1 content investment: $2,722 / 77 articles
  • Site 2 content investment: $60 / 1 article
  • Site 3 content investment: $2,232 / 62 articles
  • Site 4 content investment: $468 / 13 articles
  • Site 5 content investment: $400 / 8 articles (2 of which I had from long ago orders so I didn’t pay for them in November).
  • Site 6 content investment: $50 / 1 article
  • Site 7 content investment: $100 / 2 articles

Total content investment and output:  $6,082 / 164 articles (5.4 per day).

Net income after content investment: $28,020

As you can see, expanding into building out more sites gets exponentially more expensive since the biggest investment needed is content.


Why don’t I include page views and/or RPM?

I wish I could but AdSense forbids sharing RPM data.  I realize that it would be mixed in with all revenue, however, I don’t want to risk it if AdSense forbids any mention RPM at all.  I’m not prepared to put my AdSense account at risk for the sake of income reports.

Why do I only have 1 VA now?

It’s true I used to employ 5 VA’s.  At one point I had more.  I’m down to one because at this point I’d rather invest in content than VA’s.  When I employed 5 VA’s it was for a massive 1-year long project, which is done.  Now it’s all about content.


Screenshots

Here are a few screenshots of the my main revenue sources:

AdSense

AdSense revenue November 2018 Fatstacksblog

Monumetric ad network

Monumetric revenue november 2018 fatstacksblog

Video ad

video ad revenue november 2018 fatstacksblog

Amazon Associates

Amazon associates affiliate commissions november 2018 fatstacksblog



What do you think? Leave a comment!

  • Tristan says:

    Great round-up, I like the two changes (to include your newer sites, and to list content costs per site). It’ll be good to see how your newer sites grow!

    • Jon says:

      Thanks Tristan.

      Like I said, if 2 of the new sites do well, I’ll be happy. That will still be a good investment in time and money. I have one site that I’m really not sure about, but I’ll kick it along and see what happens. The other ones – I think they’ll be good, but you really never know.

  • Paul says:

    Some grocery money. Nice.

  • Nick says:

    Thanks for sharing Jon and congratulations for running such successful websites!

    Could you please tell us the name of the video ad network that you use (screenshot below MediaVine)?

  • Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Jon! I’d love to know more about the number of content items and traffic generated. I understand why you’d prefer not to share them.
    I hope it’s not too bold a suggestion, but if you’re ever interested in mutually sharing stats in private I’d love to hook up via email (you have mine right here).

    • Jon says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for the offer. I can’t share RPM info with anyone. It’s AdSense TOS. I wish I could. I don’t have any reason not to except that AdSense doesn’t allow it. So I can’t share it privately or publicly. As for number of articles, yeah I can add that.

      • Anne says:

        Totally understood. And I actually don’t care about Adsense RPM’s to be honest. I monetize with solutions that apply header bidding, so the overall RPM’s don’t reflect a specific network.

        Anyway, your newsletter from today was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! You mentioned $6.96 per article for one of the sites and said that was the ballpark. I agree. My largest *niche site* makes about $6.5 a month per article if that helps.

        Jim and Ricky from Income School estimate about double that amount but I tend to be more cautious so it was good to see your numbers align with my estimates.

        I’m really curious to see how my new niche sites will perform in about a year from now. Good luck to us both!

  • Ryan says:

    Great success! Should I start adsense on my site? I only have 3000 visits per month…

    • Jon says:

      Hey Ryan, yes, try AdSense. The way I look at it is even if it’s not much, it’s something. It may pay for 1 article. However, if you don’t have an AdSense account yet, be sure your site looks great and has good content before applying.

  • bala says:

    when I see your earnings, it really boosts my energy keep it up.
    but even though I have Adsense it sucks for me, i am trying to learn as much as i can from this blog.

  • Remek says:

    Thank you for your inspiring income report. I would like to ask question about your biggest website and highest earning website. Would you mind telling us how many ad units do you have of Adsense and Monumetric and their locations?

    • Jon says:

      I have several of each ad network. My content is very long so it can accommodate a good number of ads. However, the bulk of revenue is generated by ads toward the top and the sticky units.

  • Remek says:

    Do you have any experience with Newspaper theme? Is it a good alternative for WordX? I’m deciding between themes and not sure which one should I choose. Newspaper comes with great drag&drop visual editor. I need to add some static elements of text on homepage for Seo reasons. WordX unfortunately seems to not have such a customization features.

    • Jon says:

      Hey Remek,

      Yeah, I’ve used Newspaper theme on a number of sites. It’s pretty good. Lots of bells and whistles. It loaded a bit slower than MyThemeShop themes. I like how simple MyThemeShop themes are. I spend less time tinkering and more time focusing on content. The fact MyThemeShop themes load faster is a huge plus.

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