The downside to hitting record revenue and traffic as I did last month is usually the next month is down. That’s what happened in October.
Traffic and revenue dipped a bit across most sites including my biggest niche site.
In the big scheme of things though, the numbers are very, very good. As usually the case, as revenue climbs, so too do my expenses and content investment. I can’t help myself… when the numbers are decent, I tend to open the wallet more than I should.
Before the numbers, here are a few developments.
New content service
In August 2020 I started with yet another content service. I went with this service because of the very low rates. It was a gamble. I didn’t do a test article. I just paid a couple of hundred bucks and placed some orders.
The returned content was outstanding. The rates ridiculously low. I still don’t know how they do it.
If you’re up for trying another content service in the neverending search for the best content at the lowest rate, click here.
Facebook is still driving traffic
Well who woulda thunk? Facebook is still driving lots of traffic to my biggest niche site. Here’s a screenshot of just Facebook traffic in October:
In the beginning of the month, it looked like traffic was going to disappear but then it leveled off to around 10K visits daily which is not bad. I’m not sure what I did to goose nearly 30K daily visitors at the end of September… wish I could figure that out.
In fact, I don’t really know why this is happening. If I knew what was working and how to replicate it, I’d tell you.
All I can say is if you have some FB fans to post your stuff on FB and see if anything works. FYI, I automate posting with MeetEdgar.
It’s not all profit though. As you’ll see under expenses below, I shelled out $1,500 USD for FB ads to grow the fanbase. I’m not sure this is money well spent but as long as traffic is at this level, spending $1,500/mo. is worth it.
I don’t care much for the pagespeed score metric but I also don’t want to lose traffic because I’m an idiot and disregard them. I’ve invested a great deal of money improving scores and actual speed of my largest niche site. However, I’ve ignored my smaller niche sites until recently.
In an effort to improve speed and pagespeed scores, I’m testing Nitropack on one of my higher traffic smaller niche sites. I’m using Nitropack as a result of AdThrive suggesting I use it. I don’t have any solid results yet but the pagespeed scores can’t go any lower. My pagespeed scores on my smaller niche sites are atrocious and they’re pretty simple sites. Not a lot of plugins. I use Shortpixel to optimize the images. I use Cloudflare and Kinsta hosting. Go figure. Here’s to hoping Nitropack helps.
The usual disclaimer
Before I get to the numbers, this income report ONLY pertains to SOME of my niche sites. I also do NOT include any revenue or expenses from Fat Stacks. Fat Stacks is a different type of site altogether. This report does not include several other newer niche sites I’ve launched in 2020 as well. These reports are merely to demonstrate that niche sites can be a good business. Profiling a handful of sites is sufficient.
Revenue for 8 niche sites I own (October 2020)
Click here to learn more about each niche site featured in my income reports.
All figures are in USD.
- Niche Site 1 Revenue: $68,122
- Niche Site 2 Revenue: $4,666
- Niche Site 3 Revenue: $458
- Niche Site 4 Revenue: $1,823
- Niche Site 5 Revenue: $93
- Niche Site 6 Revenue: 966
- Niche Site 7 Revenue: $210
- Niche Site 8 (Cyclebaron.com) Revenue: $51 (this revenue is primarily due to Fat Stacks readers visiting. It’s not based on organic search traffic… that will take some time).
Total Revenue all 8 sites: $76,389 (Sept. revenue was: $81,488)
The lion’s share of revenue is from display ads.
Expenses for all niche sites
I lump together all expenses for all 8 niche sites because it’s difficult, impractical and unhelpful to spend the time allocating each expense to each site.
- Kinsta hosting: $2,064
- Bluehost hosting (for cyclebaron.com): $5
- Nitropack: $32 (trying it for one of my niche sites)
- SurferSEO: $59
- Amazon AWS (still host some images on this): $110
- VAs: $5,200
- Cloudflare: $200
- Cloudflare APO: $5
- Loom: $10
- Ahrefs: $179
- Convertkit: $29 (building my own database of experts for niche site 1).
- AWeber: $19 (still use AWeber for my small B2B site)
- Shutterstock photos: $800
- Quickbooks: $10
- Jotform: $40
- Tailwind: $120
- MeetEdgar: $50
- Grammarly: $45
- Canva: $48
- Buzzsprout: $12 (this is the podcast hosting platform I use for niche site 1 podcast).
- Adobe Spark: $20
- Answerthepublic.com: $99
- Facebook ads: $1,500 USD (approx. I get billed in CAD so it’s around $1,500 USD). Running FB ads for niche site 1 (fan acquisition since I’m driving a lot of traffic from FB posts).
Total expenses for 8 niche sites: $10,656
Net Income: $65,733 (September net income was $70,970)
Content investment in October 2020
- CleverGhosts content service: $3,000
- WriterAccess: $1,000
- In-House writers: $4,978
- Products purchased for content write-ups: $600
Total content investment for October 2020: $9,578
Net income after content investment: $56,155 USD
I explain here why I extract content costs from expenses.
If you’re interested in learning what I do in detail, grab my entire bundle of courses here.
Screenshots (just a couple of the main ones)
AdThrive (Site 1)
EX.co video ad (all sites):
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.