September was a record month for me for ad revenue from niche sites. Traffic was good (not a record) but ad revenue per 1,000 visitors increases made up for that and then some.
Table of Contents
- Hired 3 in-house writers
- Unexpected organic Facebook traffic spike
- The usual disclaimer
- Revenue for 8 niche sites I own (September 2020)
- Expenses for all niche sites
- Content investment in September 2020
- Learn more
- Screenshots (just a couple of the main ones)
Hired 3 in-house writers
In September I hired 3 in-house writers. Two will likely be full time and one will be part time. I’m paying them hourly which deviates from the usual per word remuneration model.
Why pay hourly?
Because in addition to writing new content they will be updating/improving existing content on my sites. Most editing positions are paid hourly or by salary. Since all positions will involve some editing I thought hourly would be best. I had no difficulty finding good writers inside a few days. I posted an ad on the Problogger Job board (which is a really great place to get connected with freelance writers).
Will I still use WriterAccess?
Yes, but to a lesser degree. I have some writers I work with directly on WA who do a great job so I’ll continue with them but the lion’s share of my content budget is moving to in-house writers.
How’s it going so far?
Better than expected. The content is excellent. New content is delivered daily. They are able to format some of it directly on my sites. They’re a pleasure to work with. I think it’ll be a good content solution.
As for cost per word, it’s early to know for sure but it’s in the $35 per 1,000 word ballpark which is better than expected.
Unexpected organic Facebook traffic spike
A very odd thing happened in September and that is Facebook traffic kind of took off for my biggest niche site. I’ve been posting to FB all along with MeetEdgar barely generating enough traffic to pay for MeetEdgar when all of a sudden I noticed intermittent traffic spikes. I dove into FB page insights and lo and behold one particular type of article routinely drove a ton of traffic. It’s a new type of article that I’m posting on my site.
This is a total accident. A happy accident. Of course I’m taking advantage of this situation.
I stopped posting every type of content except the type that generates traffic. Doing so increased traffic considerably. I’m getting free FB traffic like it’s 2015… well not quite but it’s good.
I also decided to invest in ads to grow my FB page on account of this unexpected windfall. You’ll see a $1,550 ad expense in September. That’s from Facebook ads promoting my page. I’m not going too nuts with ads yet – I want to see if this continues. If it does, I’ll probably increase the ad budget each month.
How long will this FB party keep going? I have no idea, but Facebook took notice because they sent me some notice requiring me to verify my page in order to keep publishing posts. FB said due to my considerable organic reach that they wanted to verify there was someone behind it all. I didn’t notice this for 3.5 days so new posts were suspended for those 3.5 days. Today I mucked around in the bowels of Facebook Business Manager trying to verify what FB wants verify to get the FB party rolling again. After about 90 minutes I figured it out so I’m back in FB business.
The usual disclaimer
Before I get to the numbers, this income report ONLY pertains to SOME of my niche sites. I 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 (September 2020)
Click here to learn more about each niche site featured in my income reports.
All figures are in USD.
- Niche Site 1 Revenue: $72,121
- Niche Site 2 Revenue: $5,148
- Niche Site 3 Revenue: $585
- Niche Site 4 Revenue: $2,021
- Niche Site 5 Revenue: $95
- Niche Site 6 Revenue: $1,192
- Niche Site 7 Revenue: $234
- Niche Site 8 (Cyclebaron.com) Revenue: $92 (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: $81,488 (Aug revenue was: $71,562)
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: $1,785
- Bluehost hosting (for cyclebaron.com): $5
- Amazon AWS (still host some images on this): $107
- Lasso: $80
- VAs: $5,200
- Cloudflare: $200
- Loom: $10
- Onlinejobs.ph: $69
- Ahrefs: $179
- 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
- Problogger Job Board: $70
- Facebook ads: $1,550
Total expenses for 8 niche sites: $10,518
Net Income: $70,970 (August net income was $62,221)
Content investment in September 2020
- WriterAccess: $3,000
- In-House writers: $1,775 (I hired three more at the tail end of September).
- Products purchased for content write-ups: $1,300 (plenty of new smartwatches were released in September so I had to pony up for my fast-growing smartwatch website which hit $1,192 in revenue in September.
Total content investment for September 2020: $4,785
Net income after content investment: $66,185 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 niche 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.