Income Report for November 2019 (7 Niche Sites)

November Income Report Fat Stacks

Now that the Black Friday smoke has cleared, it’s time to tally up the windfall.

I trust you all enjoyed some above-average ad revenue and/or affiliate commish in November.

I say we implement a Black Friday every month.  Wouldn’t that be great?

While November was good, it wasn’t perfect.

Podcast Version

Video Version

Let’s start with the bad news.

I Suffered a 15% traffic drop from the November 2019 Update (OUCH!)

That dang Google.  The Big G giveth plenty with the one hand and taketh with the other.

My biggest site was a victim of the November 2019 update.  I don’t think it has a name.  Maybe it’s a BERT update extension. I don’t know.

All I know is I’m down 15%.

December traffic will be worse. It’s always bad for me.  I’m bracing.

What am I doing about the traffic drop?

There’s not much I can do other than lift my head high, put my chin up and carry on.  I’m ordering higher quality content from WriterAccess.  I’m also re-inspired to diversify my web holdings.  It’s time to invest time and money in my other sites.  Being so dependent on one site isn’t a great position to be in.  More on this below.

The plus side is it’s only a 15% drop.  It could be worse.

With ad revenue way up I did my annual paid traffic testing to see if I could at least break even and perhaps make a few bucks buying quality traffic.

Sadly, nothing worked.  I broke even on a few campaigns and even eked out small profits on some campaigns but I couldn’t scale it up.  Given it’s a ton of horrendously boring work to launch endless ad campaigns I shut it down after dropping a few thou.

Nevertheless, overall ad revenue was way up (thanks to November being November and Ezoic)

Despite a traffic drop, overall ad revenue was waaaaay up in November thanks to it being November and Ezoic.

November is probably the highest ad CPM month of the year for many sites thanks to Black Friday and the lead up to Christmas.  Advertisers spend like crazy so we publishers earn handsomely.  I had some epic days.  I’m gonna miss them as I always do once they pass.

November was also the first full month all my ad-supported sites were on Ezoic.

Ezoic did not disappoint.

EPMVs and overall ad revenue hit the highest amounts for many of my sites.  Some of my babies are doing better than other.  That said, Site #3 dipped downward.

Expenses were also waaaay up

Below it’ll appear my ad revenue exploded, and while it increased nicely, there is a significant ($9,140) expense attached to it.  This expense is the fee I paid to Ezoic for Premium Ads.

Fortunately, I earned more from premium ads than it cost me, but it’s not quite the windfall that it seems.

I wrote all about Ezoic’s Premium Ad program here.

It’s time to diversify… again

The 15% traffic haircut spurred me to reconsider diversifying by growing my other websites.

I go back and forth on this.

Should I focus on one or two sites and max them out OR should I spread resources around to diversify?

For the last several months, I’ve focused on two sites (Fatstacks being one of them).

While I would prefer to focus on one or two sites, it may not be the smartest move.  It’s time to grow my other sites.

However, I’m going about my other sites differently.

Instead of publishing reams of content, I’m being more methodical focusing on content that stands a better chance of earning more.  Much of it involves affiliate marketing.

I have a game plan.

Game Plan = Invest in Products for Buyer Intent Content

Because I want to focus on high-earning content with affiliate links, I need to publish some fantastic product-centric content.  This means buying products, which I did to the tune of over $4,000 on Good Friday.  Talk about timely.  I developed this plan just as Black Friday rolled around so I bought a pile of stuff for a couple niche sites at huge discounts.  I dropped another $1,000 on Cyber Monday (will be a December expense).

As an aside, I only title content a “review” if I’ve used a product.  This means if I’m going down the affiliate review road and want to cover a product line extensively, I need to buy a collection of the products, which is what I did.  Fortunately, I tend to only do these series on products I like and use.

My game plan:

Here it is site by site:

Site 1: Carry on as-is (focus on ad monetization instead of affiliate revenue), but invest in better quality content, primarily written by WriterAccess.

Site 2: Expand the B2B promotions.  I’ve let this sucker site for a long time. It’s time to inject some more content and promotions into this one.  I was reluctant to pump more into this site because my main affiliate merchant cut my commission from 35% to 20%.  I was severely ticked off by this.  More to the point I thought maybe they’d continue chipping away at the commission until it was history.  However, the commission holds steady at 20%, which is an industry norm. This means I can somewhat safely ramp up promotion with more content.

Site 3: Leave as-is.  I still don’t know what the best approach with this site is.  It’s a testing site that earns okay but I still don’t have a definitive plan.

Site 4: I’m going big on this site.  It’s growing nicely. Earns decent EPMVs and has big potential for both B2B and B2C audiences.  Some of the products I bought will be featured and reviewed on this site.

Site 5: I’m going to publish about 10 affiliate promotion articles and see how that does.  It won’t be a huge earner, but hopefully I can get a little lift-off with this and then leave it more or less alone.

Site 6: I have big plans for this site.  It’s in a niche that I’m interested in so it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.  I have a unique angle for the product-centric content that I hope will work.  The best part is due to my interest in the niche combined with my actual extensive use of almost all the products, I should be able to publish some of the best content online in this niche.  It will take time to grow any kind of authority, but I intend to be in it for the long haul.  It’s a fast trending niche so growth potential is good.

Site 7: Leaving alone for now.

I’m not a big fan of going toe-to-toe with other established sites.  I have and do on occasion, but if I can find a way to parry the competition and make money, I do that.

My usual disclaimer

In addition to the “this income report is littered with affiliate links” disclaimer I also want to disclaim and disclose that this income report does NOT include any revenue or expenses pertaining to  In other words, none of the Niche Sites set out below is They are all other sites I own.

As I state each month, it would be awfully odd for me to report income from the very site that reports income.  The only take-away there is that you should start a “how to blog and make money” site, which is not my intention.  My intention with income reports is to show you that all kinds of sites in all kinds of niches can be a good business.

I also don’t discuss SEO as I do it on unless I do on Fatstacks what I do on my other niche sites which then serves as a visual example.  Too many SEO bloggers tout their SEO prowess solely by showcasing SEO results from the very blog that talks about SEO.  On the surface this might seem fine, but the fact is SEO blogs and “how to blog” sites are very different beasts from most other niche sites which renders much of the info not very relevant and in some cases downright dangerous.  That’s my 2 cents’.

Onto the numbers…

Revenue for 7 niche sites I own (November)

Click here to learn more about each niche site featured in my income reports.

All figures are in USD (which is very good for Canucks like yours truly except with the US Fed dropping interest rates, the CAD is getting stronger against the USD which is no good).

  • Niche Site 1 Revenue: $54,713 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
  • Niche Site 2 Revenue: $5,591 (mostly affiliate commission revenue)
  • Niche Site 3 Revenue: $2,679 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
  • Niche Site 4 Revenue: $1,082 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
  • Niche Site 5 Revenue: $46 (display ad revenue only)
  • Niche Site 6 Revenue: $41 (display ad revenue only)
  • Niche Site 7 Revenue: $59 (display ad revenue only)

Total Revenue all 7 sites: $64,211 (October revenue was: $46,821)

=> Most of the ad revenue was earned with Ezoic.

Expenses for all niche sites

I lump together all expenses for all 7 niche sites because it’s difficult, impractical and unhelpful to spend the time allocating each expense to each site.

Total expenses for 7 niche sites: $17,621

Net Income: $46,590 (October was $38,158)

Content investment in November 2019

I continue to pour money into content, including products for product reviews:

  • WriterAccess: $6,000
  • In-House writers: $2,500
  • Product purchases for product reviews:  $4,300

Total content investment for November 2019:  ,800

Net income after content investment: ,790 USD

I explain here why I extract content costs from expenses.

Proof-is-in-the-pudding screenshot

Since most revenue was from Ezoic and Video ad provider, here they are:

Ezoic Screenshot

Ezoic Ad Revenue November 2019
Note, that I paid $9,140 for the Premium ads.

Video Ad

Video Ad Revenue

Affiliate check (Site #2 – Quarterly Payment)

Affiliate check for Q3


9 thoughts on “Income Report for November 2019 (7 Niche Sites)”

  1. Hey Jon, how’s the traffic in comparison to May? Google did a massive update in June – I’ve noticed that many of the websites that benefited from the June update suffered a traffic drop in November. But it looks like that their traffic just returned to what they had in May. This could just mean the Google reversed some aspects of the June update.

    I just wonder if you noticed this in your websites?

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if this update has something to do with the holiday / shopping season. Possibly Google does something to boost its own income. I have a few theories – Google seems to move away from their “normal” updates and there seems to be other aspects there. I cannot tell more as I have no proof at the moment but there are lots of speculations. All I can say that it doesn’t seem to be just about the quality of your site and there could be other aspects here.

    1. I’ve heard similar rumblings how Google changes the algo at Christmas. Anything is possible.

      I didn’t have a big bump in traffic in June. I didn’t drop either. I usually have big growth Jan. through May or so…sometimes into June. Then it plateaus over summer and drops throughout the fall.

      The good news is that overall, each year, traffic month over month is higher. I just hope that holds true for next year. Fingers crossed.

  2. Jon, thoughts on writeraccess vs contentdevelopmentpros? Just asking because I remember CDP from your podcast over at NichePursuits. Thanks, and cheers to your continued success!

    1. These days I order mostly from WriterAccess because I’m seeking out more expertise. I’m very happy with the results but I publish fewer articles per month because it’s a lot more expensive (almost twice as much).

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