To be completely honest with you, this month absolutely sucked.
It was one of the most challenging months I’ve had with my online business and I’m astonished that my earnings are where they are considering how big I screwed up this month.
It all started when WordPress announced they wanted my website to upgrade from PHP 7.0. If you’re wondering what PHP is, so was I.
Basically, it’s server site script language that helps a website load. I’m sure there is a more technical and better explanation than that, but it’s not really something I’m all too familiar with so I’ll leave it at that.
Anyway, I have a wordpress theme that I’ve used for YEARS on my Website 1 and it’s been very stable.
But, this change required me to create a staging website to test the new version of PHP, see if it broke anything (I didn’t see any issues) and then launch it to the live website.
Sounds easy, right?
Things were going great until August 11th and I realized that my ENTIRE website had a noindex/nofollow tag on it.
And remember, Website 1 is my #1 revenue earning website so this was a HUGE problem.
Basically, what I found out is that my theme for some odd reason added a noindex/nofollow tag when I updated to PHP 7.3 and I never knew it. I then pushed the staging version to live on August 6th, everything seemed great, and then Google figured out what I did and started pulling pages off the SERP about a week later.
I quickly changed everything once I saw the issue, but I feel like I’m still trying to recover from this technical issue.
Aside from that, I’m still working on a tech issue with Website 3 to try to make it better for the search engine results.
And I’m also STILL deindexing weird URL’s made from when HT was hacked.
All in all, just a whole bunch of annoying work that I wish would come to a conclusion. I’m working towards completion for all of these tasks, but this month took a whole lot of patience from me.
Though this month was a struggle, it had some positives as well:
- Website 1 had the best month it’s EVER had. This is truly amazing because it basically got taken off the SERPS for 4-5 days, but it’s a positive sign.
- Website 6 had a decent bump in earnings and it showing a pretty solid EPM across the entire website.
- Backlinks to PI and HT continued to rise. We actually stopped the HT links 3 weeks into the month because I feel like we might be doing too much too quickly.
This month my total income after expenses was $17,131.22 which comes out to $552.62 per day.
Personal Life Update
On a personal level, this was a pretty standard month. My elbow is starting to feel better which is a pretty good feeling considering it hasn’t felt good for years.
My wife and I hung out with our friends and I guess the biggest event of the whole month was that my wife hosted her birthday party at our house.
It was a little stressful, but overall it was cool to have a full house and see how many people we could host at a time.
In total, we had about 40 people here at one time which was pretty crowded, but that’s because most gathered in the kitchen/living room area.
When we first bought this house one of the things we intended on doing was having house parties for people to join and now that we threw our first big one, I feel good about the whole process and know what we can handle.
That’s all for the personal update.
Before I begin the actual report, If you’d like to begin a similar journey as myself and try to create a passive income online business, I recommend you read this write-up I did.
It explains the truth about online business and should help educate you before you move forward with anything.
If this is your first time on my website let me explain a few things about my detailed income reports each month that outlines the money I made (or lost) each month.
I’m doing this for a number of reasons:
1) I strive to be transparent about what it takes to make money online.
2) These reports help me keep track of my own progress.
3) These reports hold me accountable.
Keep in mind, I don’t create these to gloat about my earnings. I create them to help you understand the true “earning curve” of online business.
On a side note, I don’t disclose my actual website URL’s on my reports because I’ve had bad experiences with copycats in the past.
So, in my income reports, you’ll see website generalizations like Website 1, Website 3, Website 5 Website 4, etc.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the report.
How did the Income Report Turn Out This Month?
|PRODUCT OR SERVICE||REVENUE||EXPENSES||NET INCOME|
|Aweber Email Platform||$20.70||$20.70|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$46.43||$46.43|
|LongTailPro Keyword Research Tool||$91.70||$91.70|
|OHP Course Sales||$147.00||$147.00|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 2 Partners and Affiliates||$10.92||$10.92|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$54.35||$54.35|
|Website 6 Partners and Affiliates||$96.28||$96.28|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$360.09||$360.09|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$693.75||$693.75|
|Website 1 Partners and Affiliates||$9288.26||$9288.26|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$11.29||$11.29|
|Website 6 YouTube Channel||$49.29||$49.29|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$95.42||$95.42|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$22.51||$22.51|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$53.56||$53.56|
|Website 1 Media.net Ad Revenue||$113.46||$113.46|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|Website 6 Adsense Revenue||$0.98||$0.98|
|Website 7 Adsense Revenue||$2.57||$2.57|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$14.22||$14.22|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$12.75||$12.75|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$79.57||$79.57|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$140.17||$140.17|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$1,874.66||$1,874.66|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$8,415.56||$8,415.56|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Tailwind Pinterest Marketing App||$14.99||-$14.99|
|Mailshake Email Software||$38.00||-$38.00|
|AppSumo Deal - Clearout||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Google Business Drive Storage and Apps||$57.61||-$57.61|
|Intuit Quick Books||$70.00||-$70.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Research, Editing, and Misc. Labor||$1,246.57||-$1,246.57|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Website 6||Website 7||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
|August 2019||$17,817.28||$2,590.92||$414.58||$553.82||$23.67||$133.92||$97.26 ||$2.57 ||$275.00 ||$40.00 ||$156.00
|January 2018||$7993.31 ||$467.71 ||$757.59 ||$718.04 ||$14.26 ||$486.99 ||$0||$113.95 ||$67.06
Website 1 Update: I was really surprised to see how well this website did in the month of August all things considered.
As I mentioned in the intro, I had some serious issues occur in this month and it’s never a good thing when you accidentally noindex your entire website.
Truth be told, I was furious with my web host once this happened and tried to blame them for the entire problem. After all, the issue occurred because I pushed a staging website to a live website, right?
I fixed the problem by simply reverting back to the original PHP version and going back a few days to what the website was previously.
It was annoying because I needed to redo some work that was already done, but I was able to get it fixed pretty quick and submitted everything for reindexing.
As of now, traffic levels are similar to what they were before my big screw up.
I’ve also assigned my developer to update the theme we’re using and update the PHP version. This is an ongoing project that’s nearing completion, but it’s been a huge pain to deal with and I’ll be excited when it’s over.
Other than that, we continue to revise pages on this website to get our rankings better on the SERPS. That seems to be working, so I’ll be sticking to it for awhile.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress:
Udemy Update: I no longer focus on Udemy and have no intention of going back. They sell my courses for $10 each and I’m just not okay with that. This month they brought in $40 though, and that’s not too bad for doing nothing at all.
OHP Website Update: I’m still working on getting the YouTube channel more content in the coming months. Truth is, every time I publish a video it seems my revenue increases $5-$10 per month.
Logically, I should probably just create 10-20 vides and make an extra couple hundred dollars every month, and I plan on doing that over time, but for now I’m going to slowly publish videos.
Another thing I’ve been contemplating with this YouTube channel/website is re-recording my Thrive Themes tutorial as mine is still very good, but a bit dated.
They have made quite a few enhancements since I originally recorded everything and the money was pretty solid when it was doing really well as an affiliate, but I’ve been busy with everything else since then.
At one point, I was consistently making $500 per month and I think I could get back to it if I made a couple more videos showcasing new functionality. That all said, it’s not my highest priority at the moment but definitely something I’m considering. We’ll see what happens.
Website 3 Update: There was another big drop off for Website 3 this month and while I’m not surprised at that, I am a bit concerned because last year at this same time I had about $750 more in earnings.
I am working with my developer to add some content/functionality that should help get my rankings up here, but I’m really not sure if it’ll work and the only way I’ll know for sure is once I publish the changes.
Other than that, this website is sitting stagnant.
I’ve never felt like this thing hit it’s full potential and know I could make it even bigger if I could just figure out exactly what Google wants and adjust my pages to make the Google gods happy.
I’m working on it, but I haven’t figured it out just yet. Hopefully by the end of this month I can push this project live.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress.
Website 4 Update: As usual, I’ve done next to nothing for this website and it still continues to perform reasonably well. It made about $980 last year at this time and has dropped down to $553 for the month, but considering I haven’t really touched it in years, I’ll take it.
Eventually I will have someone come in and rewrite a bunch of content and resubmit it to get rankings back up. But, for now, I’ll still let it sit.
Here are my statistics for this website in the last 13 months:
Website 5 Update: Website 5 had a decent month and one thing that I’m encouraged by is that the income from affiliates was consistent.
The problem with this website before is that it only made Google Adsense revenue and while that was fine, it was never the intention of the website.
Now, after making the changes I did to try to get affiliate content to rank, it seems I am able to make income from Affiliate and Ads, which is what I always wanted.
Hopefully September is a better month for this one as everything is running on all cylinders, but we’ll see how it turns out.
Year over Year, the revenue for the website increased pretty significantly so we’ll hope we see that trend continue in September.
If I see that affiliate income is maintaining or growing, I think I may hire a writer to create more affiliate content to try to rank it. I still am not doing too good with rankings on this website, but maybe a new round of content will perform better.
Here are my statistics for this website for the last 13 months:
Website 7 Update
It’s officially month five and I continue to see some encouraging growth for this website.
It’s by no means killing it yet, but traffic increased roughly 29% month over month and I’m happy to report that my link building efforts have been incredibly successful here.
As of now there are 40 referring domains, but even better than that is that the average domain authority for each backlink is somewhere around 40.
For those that know link building, that’s a pretty awesome stat and something to get excited about.
I’m still waiting to get the magical “pop” from Google that should increase website traffic quite a bit, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
That said, I hoe that it’s right around the corner as these links start to pass authority and help Google understand that this website is here for the long haul.
I have a resource page link campaign that I’m holding off on right now as the website is showing consistent growth without additional links being added.
Once things slow down, I’ll push that campaign and then do another shotgun skyscraper campaign in an effort to bolster the link profile even more.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
How Much Content is on the Website:
Keep in mind that this is an informational type of website, not affiliate related at all. My plan is to monetize with AdSense and info products I create.
375 Informational pages on the website
30 Informational Blog Posts
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
September I will continue to publish 10 informational pages along with two informational blog posts each week.
Obviously, I’m investing a LOT into this website and now that we’re nearing a $10,000 investment, I’m starting to realize just how much of a leap of faith this really is.
Truth be told, there’s a chance that this website doesn’t work out at all.
However, thus far I’m very happy with the trajectory I’m seeing on Google Search Console. I haven’t seen much of a return on investment yet, but I know that it’s coming and I think that in due time, I’ll start to see some return here.
I’ve decided that I’m going to wait until I hit 10,000 visitors every month before I implement any ads on the website.
Though there was some nice traffic growth MoM, we aren’t there just yet.
Below is a summary of the website so far:
Website 6 Update
This website is annoying me.
I built a ton of links to a lot of different pages with my wife’s Instagram and though that worked well, a lot of the content we’re creating still isn’t ranking.
I’m not sure why that is and feel like things should be going better for this website at this time, but my wife and I agreed that we’re going to see this through till the end of the year and that’s my intention at this point.
I am still expecting to see a big increase in website traffic and earnings, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened yet. That said, patience is a virtue and I think it will still happen.
I did make a decision to pull Google Adsense ads off of the website for now because we were only making a couple bucks a month and it didn’t make much sense to keep serving those to our visitors.
At first it seemed like a bad idea, but now I’m seeing an increase in affiliate income so maybe it was the right move.
We’ll see what happens with this website.
The verdict is still out on whether or not it’ll be successful and I’m hoping the hack that happened a few months back isn’t negatively impacting it’s performance.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
Technically speaking, if I turned around and sold the website tomorrow at 30x monthly revenue, I’d probably get around $3000 for it because it makes about $100/month, so not a bad investment at this point.
We still have a lot of time till this website hits it’s peak and my hope is that this happens by the end of the year.
How Much Content is on the Website/YouTube:
This website is mostly focused on affiliate content with some informational content. There is also a big play for sponsored brand content.
151 Blog Posts
30 YouTube Videos
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
Content is the plan.
We’ve stopped link building at this moment because I feel like too much of a good thing could possibly end up being a bad thing.
Considering that, all we’re going to be doing is having content created in September.
I’ll be focused solely on low searched terms that have buyer intent and we’ll see if we can start ranking for those articles.
Also, I think it’s important to note that I expect a huge uptick in investment for the YouTube channel related to this website in September.
Long story short, the website and Pinterest are virtually running on autopilot because we have much of that outsourced or have tools to help, but YouTube is a big money maker and something my wife did incredibly well at in Brazil.
So, the plan is to hire a video editor for her and to publish a ton of videos from now until the end of the year. The goal at this moment is 5 videos every single week.
That would mean 20 videos each month, which would mean we would eclipse 100 videos by the end of the year.
The scary thing about that though is we are expecting to spend around $50 per video with editing, so it’ll be a $5000.00 investment once it’s all said and done.
But, I know from my wife’s previous channel that you can make a TON of income with YouTube with a lot of views so we’ll keep on pushing forward with this as well till the end of the year.
The hope is that between the website and her YouTube we’ll start to see revenue trickle in and if we are able to hit a consistent $500/month by the end of the year for her business I’ll be happy.
I really want her website to make more so we can continue to invest at the current rate, but only time will tell if that’s possible.
One thing I did notice these last few weeks is that the only content we seem to rank for is the stuff that has a search volume between 0-10 each month.
I tried to focused on keywords with higher search volume and almost none of it is rankings, so we have to stay with the low hanging fruit for now.
Below are the metrics of the website so far since I’ve tracked it. Keep in mind, this website is just over a year old, but we only really started working on it in May of 2019.
I think the following table is much more accurate as it omits all of the weird pages that are registering in Google Analytics as traffic because of the hack we experienced a few months back.
I am a little alarmed that I don’t see more pageviews for the website, but as long as earnings stays about the same or increases, then I’m okay with it.
You’ll also note the increase in referring domains and that is accurate. Our link building here has been extremely successful, but for now we’re holding off as we try to get more content up and see if anything ranks.
Every month, I’m going to reflect back and tell you a few different lessons that I’ve learned. My hope is that the lessons each month will be a cautionary tale for you that makes it so that you don’t make the dumb mistakes that I do along the way.
- Always Check For NoIndex/NoFollow After Launch of Major Website Changes: This month a scenario played out that NEVER should have, but it was a sobering moment for me. Moving forward, whenever I make a push from staging to live, I’ll always check to make sure there isn’t a sitewide noindex/nofollow tag. I really don’t expect this to ever happen again, but it likely cost me thousands of dollars so it’s worth checking to make sure I don’t ever repeat it.
- Websites Still Take Patience: Even after being very involved in online business for five years, I’m realizing that websites still take a whole lot of time to get going. Both HT and PI are growing, but it’s painfully slow and I can only hope that one of them catches fire soon. That all said, make sure you stay patient while you build a website. This is a long-term goal and the idea of overnight success is a fantasy at best.
- Intuition Pays Off: One of the things that I’ve noticed is that usually my intuition steers me in the right direction when I follow it. The latest example of this was the noindex/nofollow tag. Basically, one day I woke up and all of my pages were removed from Google’s search. I didn’t know this and there was no penalty listed in Google search console, and couldn’t figure out what the problem was, but I kept digging. Within an hour I figured out what had happened and made a plan to fix it. Damage was limited and although it hurt, I was able to mitigate the losses. I wouldn’t advocate that everyone just randomly makes huge changes every time they see a traffic drop, but it definitely pays off when you know something is wrong to dive into the numbers to identify the issue.
Did I Meet my Goals for August?
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings (FAIL)
Though I didn’t get this all fixed in August, I do have a solid plan moving forward and a better developer who’s very responsive to get this done. I’m confident I will have this completed by the end of September.
Implement LinkWhisper on my Websites (FAIL)
Though I do intend on doing this still, it wasn’t my highest priority considering everything else that happened. That said, I will push to get this done in September.
Finish Website 1 Content Revisions (FAIL)
I failed here. Not because I didn’t try, but because there are many more content revisions that I anticipated.
What Are my Goals for September?
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings
REPEAT: Yet again I’m putting this goal on my list for the month. I’m really going to push hard on my developer to make sure this gets done as it’s been going on for far too long.
Fix Website 1 PHP Issue
This was the task that caused a bunch of problem in August and by the end of September, I intend on getting it all 100% completed and fixed.
Implement LinkWhisper on my Websites
REPEAT: Internal linking is a big deal with websites and Link Whisper is a tool that REALLY helps to make it reasonable and possible. This month I will have it on my task list to work on this and get it implemented. It’s actually really affordable too right now, so if you haven’t gotten it yet then I recommend that you do. I imagine that over time the price will increase as that only makes sense as it becomes trusted in the industry as the best plugin there is. And, with a guy like Spencer Haws at the helm, I suspect it will considering his past successes.
Publish Two Videos on YouTube
I know I need to keep pushing forward on YouTube, so in September I’m going to push really hard to upload two new videos. It’s really not a whole lot of work, but it’s always difficult to make it a priority with everything else I have going on.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!