Table of Contents
I went high-tech in September.
I re-launched the Fat stacks YouTube channel.
I bought a few tech toys such as two mics, a webcam, video lighting and a green screen. And get this, I’ve actually been able to work with the green screen. I’m still surprised it works.
I’m doing things I never thought I’d do. One is talking head vids. Not my thing, but they are undeniably effective at building exposure.
The other thing I never planned on doing was launching a podcast. Reading those “how to start a podcast” posts made me dizzy with all the talk about hosting, equipment, etc. Turned out it was as easy as all the podcast veterans said it was. Good on ’em. How could I doubt them?
While I’m still not big on vid production, the podcast is a real joy. I like doing them; I see the appeal now and already a few people have listened to them. Go figure.
My office is now a studio filled with tech stuff I barely know how to use.
I have reams of Fatstacks articles for video and podcast fodder. It’s time to be everywhere with Fatstacks. Time will tell whether the effort pays off.
Put 2 sites on Ezoic
At the beginning of September, I decided it was time to try Ezoic again for display ad revenue and split testing. I’ve used Ezoic on and off for years. Results were mixed. One site broke even and the other enjoyed some fine gains.
I’m writing again
Another September development was I returned to writing more content for my niche sites. Writing mountains of content is how I got my start. Given my biz income, it’s a good wage for writing. I’m liking it because I’m experimenting with it and having some fun.
I go back and forth on writing content for my niche sites. I write for a few months (I’m talking about digging in and cranking out great articles daily for my niche sites). After a few months I tire of the writing and hand it off to someone else.
I’m writing a mix of stuff. Some of it is straight up bread and butter articles targeting sweet keywords. Other stuff is nonsense, fun stuff loaded with my opinions, wacky stats, naval gazing, and whatever else I conjure up to make it interesting. I’m playing around with content to see what resonates.
One big perk of having fairly stable and substantial monthly revenue is it affords me time to mess around with stuff that will likely earn nothing. I keep my eye on the prize which is ranking low comp keywords, but I’m also squeezing in some unusual claptrap.
It’s a content juggernaut these days. Gotta feed the insatiable Web, right?
I was hoping for a September revenue bump to cover all those back-to-school costs, but that never materialized.
Instead I suffered a revenue haircut of a few thou. I had a good streak through Summer. Summer makes me nervous because rev. can really fall, but I came through unscathed.
Now we’re in the final quarter of the year where I expect traffic to fall but ad RPMs to climb. Watch me be right about lower traffic but wrong on ad RPM rising.
Lets’ dive into the numbers for September.
My income reports do NOT include revenue or expenses attached to the Fatstacks blog or business. It makes no sense to me for me to tell you how much I make from the very website that tells you how I go about running an online publishing business. These income reports are strictly for illustrative purposes showing that niche sites can be a great business. I have no interest in showcasing huge numbers for the sake of posting up big numbers.
Revenue for 7 niche sites I own (September)
All figures are in USD.
- Niche Site 1 Revenue: $33,706 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
- Niche Site 2 Revenue: $5,461 (mostly affiliate commission revenue)
- Niche Site 3 Revenue: $2,377 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
- Niche Site 4 Revenue: $968 (mostly display ad revenue, some affiliate revenue)
- Niche Site 5 Revenue: $32 (display ad revenue only)
- Niche Site 6 Revenue: $19 (display ad revenue only)
- Niche Site 7 Revenue: $22 (display ad revenue only)
Total Revenue all 7 sites: $42,584 (August revenue was: $45,115)
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.
- Kinsta hosting: $1,200: Ever since I ran most of the images on my site through Shortpixel, I’ve cut my monthly hosting by over $500. Talk about huge savings.
- Amazon AWS (still host some images on this): $118
- AWeber: $149
- VAs: $2,761
- Cloudflare: $23
- Techsmith (Jing storage): $8
- Ahrefs: $179
- Shutterstock photos: $400
- Quickbooks: $10
- Jotform: $40
- Tailwind: $84
- MeetEdgar: $50
- Elink.io: $15
- Grammarly: $45
- LeadPages: $79
- Clearscope: $360
- Amazon products for product reviews: $245
Total expenses for 7 niche sites: $5,521
Net Income: $37,063 (August was $38,047)
Content investment in September 2019
For the second month in a row, I didn’t have to invest much in content. Here’s what I spent and where:
- In-House writers: $1,412
- Textbroker: $1,200 (I use Textbroker when I need something specific in a day or two).
Total content investment for August 2019: $2,612
Net income after content investment: $34,451 USD
I explain here why I extract content cost from expenses.
Here are a few screenshots that formed a significant part of my ad revenue in September 2019:
Niche Site 3
Niche Site 4
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.