Fat Stacks is back!
Many of you told me you missed the Fat Stacks name. I did too. It’s unique. It gets attention. It’s a tribute to Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad (he has a line in there about making fat stacks of cash which I love and thus the inspiration for this blog’s name).
Your feedback was great. I appreciated it. The straw that broke the camel’s back though, is me being a total dolt when choosing a new domain name. The thing is, search traffic to this blog plummeted since the change. I waited and waited, yet traffic got worse and worse.
The problem was I never did my due diligence before settling on a new domain name. MyPerfectBlog.com turned out to be a previously registered domain and live blog that had a ton of content which shut down at the end of 2014. It became another website in 2017. I suspect the domain was penalized. Alternatively, because it was in a totally different niche, that resulted in ongoing search traffic issues. I’m not much of an expired domain expert though… but given the consequences, something was causing problems.
Given search traffic is kinda important, it’s back to Fat Stacks.
Time will tell whether reverting to Fatstacksblog.com will resuscitate the traffic. I hope so, but I’m not out of the woods yet. It’s back to waiting.
My disaster is a good lesson for all of us. If you’re registering a new domain for a website, let this be a lesson to you. Do your due diligence first. Check it in wayback machine to see whether it was once a different site. I didn’t buy this from some expired domains provider. It was available in GoDaddy. I never thought to check whether it was once upon a time another site. Amateur hour on my part.
June Income Report
June worked out well. Traffic and ad revenue grew. Affiliate commissions were down which is a continuing result of a merchant I promoted extensively going bankrupt.
I found a replacement, but the commission percentage is much smaller so I’m not sure I’ll regain those lost commissions. I’ll have to see how it goes.
My focus right now is traffic, traffic, and more traffic. My main approach is going after low competition keywords relevant to my niches and publishing as much content as humanly possible. Rinse and repeat daily.
A word about how I allocate content expense in the income report below:
I allocate content cost based on content published, not ordered. Some months I order nothing, other months I spend $4,000 to build up inventory. I expense it in these reports more consistently because I publish roughly the same amount of content daily.
- Search traffic growing really well.
- Pinterest traffic stuck in a plateau no matter what I do.
- Other traffic sources: nothing worth talking about.
What am I doing next?
I’m going to test Instagram for one site to see what happens there. Now that you can post automatically to Instagram with Tailwind without having to manually post on a mobile device, it won’t take so long. Plus I can do it in bulk. I doubt I’ll get much traffic, but who knows, right?
Surprise recent success
I stumbled upon a slew of keyword gems that rank almost immediately. Actually, I’m being modest. They rank within hours. I’m pretty happy about that. I’m starting five to ten of these types of articles and see how they perform in the long run. It’s another avenue of easy, lucrative traffic.
Losing a key merchant to bankruptcy hit my bottom line hard (to the tune of $3K per month). The commission was 25%. The replacement merchant commission is 5%. You do the math. I’m not recovering that lost income. I had a ton of content promoting the bankrupt merchant so it’s a big hit.
With a good newsletter, I can generate $30 from ad revenue. Not life changing revenue, but times that by 30 days and it’s almost $1K. Do it twice per day, it’s pretty good. The problem is it takes a while to create nice looking newsletters in AWeber. I’m particular about which posts to promote and formatting.
My annoyance is that AWeber doesn’t make it possible to paste a URL in the text field and it auto-populates the post title, featured image and text snippet like you can do with Facebook or in the WP editor. It would be so great if I could copy and paste 2 to 5 URLs and have a newsletter ready to go. I could create 2 per day in minutes, which would totally worth it.
The AWeber RSS feed isn’t up to my standards because the templates are circa 2006. Plus, it lacks control. Some posts I don’t want to include.
So, either I spend 30 minutes per day making nice newsletters or forego $30 to $50 per day. Tough call right now.
New software I’m liking
When I first heard of Grammarly, I never thought I’d use it. It turns out with VAs posting content, Grammarly is super useful. It makes it easy for VAs to perform final edits to content very quickly. I’m a convert. Maybe, just maybe the drivel around here will improve.
The income report numbers (USD)
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER ABOUT THIS INCOME REPORT:
My income reports pertain to two niche sites I publish. One is a broad-niche, wide appeal type of site monetized with display ads and affiliate offers. The other site is a very focused niche site serving a particular business community. It’s monetized solely with affiliate offers via an extensive email newsletter.
This income report does NOT include any revenue or expenses pertaining toor a few other niche sites I own (one of which is growing fast which I’m excited about).
The point of these income reports is to demonstrate that niche sites can be profitable and a good business. They’re also popular articles which helps get more traffic to this site.
Niche Site #1: Broad-Appeal Niche Site (B2C):
- Display ad revenue: $22,778
- Affiliate commission revenue: $3,550
- Total revenue niche site #1: $26,328
Niche Site #2: Narrow Niche Site (B2B):
- Affiliate Revenue: $4,820
Total revenue for both sites: $30,897 (May 2018 = $30,525)
I do my best to attribute a portion of my overall expenses applicable to the 2 sites reported on in this income report.
- Content: $1,700 (approximately)
- Hosting: $750
- VA’s: $1,700
- Software (AWeber etc.): $700 (my overall software expense is a bit higher than this, so I approximate the cost applicable to the two sites in this income report).
Total expenses: $4,850 (May = $4,850)
Net Income for the 2 niche sites: $26,047 USD (May = $25,675)
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.