Why is the fact my small “side hustle” niche sites hit $15K USD per month such a big deal?
I’ll tell ya.
When I quit my job to go into online publishing full time my goal for my entire business was to hit $15,000 per month. I figured that would be a good living. It is a good living. It’s a very good living. Here’s the screenshot of all Mediavine revenue for the last 30 days.
My Skimlinks and Amazon commissions from my smaller sites push it through $15K:
Total last 30 days: $15,129 USD
I’ve long relied on one site for all my revenue. It’s a great site. It does very, very well. I continue putting most of my time and effort into it. Even Fat Stacks is largely dependent on that site. After all, nobody would buy my courses or pay attention to anything I have to say if I didn’t have successful real-world niche sites.
Relying on one site
can be is risky. The May 2022 Google update is a testament to that. Many pubs lost 50% or more of their traffic. I guess my largest site is at the stage where I’d still be doing pretty well if it lost 50% of its revenue but if that happened three times in a row, that would be bad.
And so, along with other reasons, I’ve slowly grown additional niche sites over the last few years. I’ve sold a few (8 to be precise) along the way as well. I currently have a total of 19 niche sites. 50% of them are one year old or younger. I’ve gone on a site launch spree over the last 12 months. I think I’m good for now but come 2023, I’ll probably launch a few more just for kicks.
As my smaller sites grow, they now together earn more than $15,000 per month. These sites do not include my largest site and does not include Fat Stacks. These are small, newish niche sites that I haven’t put all that much tender loving care into. I kinda run them passively. One month I’ll order content for a few of them. The next month I order content for another batch. So on and so forth. Due to limited resources and time, these sites are slow-growers and I’m okay with that.
Except now that together they’re earning $15,000 per month, they’re getting to the “serious money” point which is excellent.
I see no reason that together they won’t hit $30K per month in a year at the rate they’re growing.
My long-term goal is that most of my online revenue is spread out across 5 to 10 sites. While I have 19 sites right now, I know some won’t work out. While I don’t like ditching sites, I will. Win some. Lose some.
Self-financing niche sites is one of the best milestones to hit for subsequent niche sites
Not only is $15K per month a meaningful number for me, but that also is an amount that makes all those sites together self-financing. $15,000 per month spent on content is about 190 articles. 190 articles for 17 sites is 11 articles per month. That’s not going to spark fast growth but it will slowly grow the entire portfolio over time into a more and more valuable and diversified portfolio without me being out of pocket. It’s a very good milestone to get to.
It really is just the passage of time and reinvesting revenue to grow this portfolio.
I’m sure by next year I’ll identify a few more sites not worth reinvesting in. I’ll be whittling down the sites I focus on. That will help me get more out of my reinvestment going forward. I currently have two sites I let sit idle. I’ve tried and tried to make them work but they aren’t growing. They earn money (one earns $1,000 per month ) so they’re not entirely useless.
Assuming 4 more sites don’t really hit the big leagues in another year, I’ll be left with focusing on 13 sites. In the long run, if I have 5 to 10 big earners, that’s ideal.
Will see how it goes. This business is constantly changing.
One thing that hasn’t changed for me over the years and that is focusing on publishing decent content. That’s been a constant that’s paid off well. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.
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.
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.