Another month in the books and unfortunately, this one was a little bit of a step back.
I’m not going to sit here and complain about making over $16,000 in a single month, but this month things did slow a little bit and I already have a pretty good idea of why that is.
First, you have to remember that we had the July 4th holiday weekend and that essentially kills earnings for a couple days. Well, it does in my niches anyway.
Second, about six months ago, I started to revise content on Website 1 in an effort to get my traffic numbers back up. While this tactic worked wonderfully for traffic, one of the things that it also did was limit my earnings on a large amount of pages because of how they’re structured.
I realized this after a lot of analysis to understand why my earnings are a little bit lower than I think they should be with my partners and affiliate on Website 1. The good news is that it’s an easy fix and my developer just finished changing some things so that I can adjust moving forward. But, this mistake has probably cost me somewhere around $3000 to $4000 over the last few months and though that stinks, I can still fix it.
Third, Website 3 that I own has a little bit of seasonality built into it and typically May-June are the highest months. In July, earnings have historically decreased and this year was no exception.
This month still had highlights though:
- My new Website 7 made $2.10 from Google Adsense. It’s funny, but I’m more excited about these earnings than I am about everything else in my entire portfolio. The reason is because it’s showing momentum and when things are growing, I tend to get very excited.
- The new Website 6 grew in traffic by about 38% MoM. While revenue didn’t necessarily follow the same trend, I’m very excited to see that traffic is increasing and I know that with this new traffic, more revenue is right around the corner.
- Backlinks to PI and HT continue to come in quickly. I’ve actually been pretty surprised about how successful my back linking campaigns have been for these websites.
- Website 1 had a pretty awesome month and it was the third best month this website has ever had. I look forward to implementing changes this month to (hopefully) increase these earnings and surpass my previous best month ever for this website.
This month my total income after expenses was $16,736.92 which comes out to $539.90 per day.
Personal Life Update
Things were generally okay from a personal standpoint in the month of July.
I mentioned this last month, but I finally took the time in July to get a much-needed surgery for a compressed nerve and severe tendinitis in my right arm.
I have absolutely no idea how this injury happened and I just attributed to being “old”.
I played sports my entire life and I’ve also hyperextended this elbow at least three different times, so I think that also had something to do with it.
But, the good news is that the pain I used to have is pretty much gone and though I’m still healing up, it feels much better than it used to.
For those that want to see a picture of the arm a few days after the surgery, you can see it below.
If you have no interest in seeing this, I recommend you just keep on scrolling.
Other than the surgery, which did take me out for a good 4-5 days, not a whole lot else is new.
My wife and I were able to get a new roof on our house because of a recent storm that caused “wind damage”. To be completely honest with you, I don’t know what wind damage was caused as you couldn’t see it, but I can tell you that our house was built in 2000 and had the original roof.
So, as you can imagine, I’m thrilled with be able to get an entire roof replaced for the cost of our insurance deductible ($1000).
Speaking of deductibles, can we take a second to talk about how much health insurance sucks for the self-employed? I have a decent healthcare plan, not the best but not the worst, and the surgery that I had will probably hit my max out-of-pocket for the year.
How much is that?
It’s insane to me that medical care costs so much in a country that claims to be the number one superpower. As many of you know, I’ve lived in Brazil previously and though the country doesn’t have a lot of things right, their healthcare system is much more efficient than ours.
I won’t go off on a tangent and talk about how we need to fix healthcare in the US, but I find it rather sickening that I pay about $400/month for a premium on my health insurance and my max out-of-pocket is still $8000. It just doesn’t seem right to me.
I’m lucky though because although this does hurt financially, I can afford to pay it.
But, I can only imagine what would have happened if I had to have the surgery in my first year of working for myself. There’s no way I ever would’ve been able to cover it.
I have every intention of trying to negotiate to get my bill down with all of the different providers I dealt with throughout the process, but it just seems to be way more than it should be.
I’m not fully recovered from the surgery just yet and haven’t been able to lift weights for a good month, but I am able to do cardio and I’m told that it will only be a couple more weeks until I can lift like I used to.
I have to give a special thank you to my beautiful wife for taking care of me post-surgery. I was pretty out of it for a few days there and at one point couldn’t even wash my armpit in the shower, which she gracefully handled for me, lol.
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|
|LongTailPro Keyword Research Tool||$10.00||$10.00|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$46.00||$46.00|
|Aweber Email Platform||$74.00||$74.00|
|OHP Course Sales||$97.00||$97.00|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$56.95||$56.95|
|Website 6 Partners and Affiliates||$71.07||$71.07|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$369.27||$369.27|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$1,126.65||$1,126.65|
|Website 1 Partners and Affiliates||$8,379.58||$8,379.58|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$10.99||$10.99|
|Website 6 YouTube Channel||$35.85||$35.85|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$83.42||$83.42|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$34.28||$34.28|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$54.65||$54.65|
|Website 1 Media.net Ad Revenue||$127.96||$127.96|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|Website 7 Adsense Revenue||$2.10||$2.10|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$3.26||$3.26|
|Website 6 Adsense Revenue||$4.93||$4.93|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$17.16||$17.16|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$17.31||$17.31|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$150.86||$150.86|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$2,491.31||$2,491.31|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$8,347.88||$8,347.88|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Mailshake Email Software||$38.00||-$38.00|
|Google Business Drive Storage and Apps||$47.29||-$47.29|
|Intuit Quick Books||$70.00||-$70.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Research, Editing, and Misc. Labor||$1,996.70||-$1,996.70|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Website 6||Website 7||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
|January 2018||$7993.31 ||$467.71 ||$757.59 ||$718.04 ||$14.26 ||$486.99 ||$0||$113.95 ||$67.06
Website 1 Update: July was a really good month of earnings for this website. Traffic was up, but earnings across Google AdSense and all affiliate partners was also up compared to June.
However, I noticed one really big flaw.
Though the earnings were up, one of my largest affiliate partners had a significant decrease in earnings over the last three months.
I tried to figure out why this is and then I realized that when I revised a large number of pages to create fresh content and republish it so that Google would reindex the page and give me favorable rankings, I actually decreased the amount of revenue from this affiliate significantly.
The reason was simple, the content related to the affiliate got pushed down the page quite a bit.
It’s a simple fix, and one that I’ve already started on. But I’m hopeful that by the end of August I’ll have a significant increase in earnings and will be able to have the best month I’ve ever had with this website.
Aside from that, I continue to revise content on this website and haven’t published anything new in the last couple months. Though this seems counterintuitive, all of these revisions are actually increasing traffic and I have no doubt that it’s the right move at this point in time.
By the end of August, I do anticipate being done with most of my revisions and getting back to a regular publishing schedule again.
Here’s a graph of the last 12 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. That said, I did make $35 this month so…..I’ll take it.
OHP Website Update: You guys have no idea how guilty I feel about this website. I know for a fact that if I put a lot of effort into writing here and also focused a lot on my YouTube channel, I’d make quite a bit of money.
But it just isn’t what I want to do.
I’ve realized that I absolutely love starting and growing businesses and I look at each website as a business in and of itself.
I’m pushing hard to get a lot of tasks done as I do still intend on publishing videos on my YouTube, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
I see a huge gap in the market for an individual who focuses more on Display Ads/Google AdSense that I think I could fill.
So, if you’re interested in knowing more about my methods and following along with what I do I recommend that you subscribe to my YouTube channel (but again, just expect a slow publishing schedule).
I’m thinking that if I start publishing videos regularly that I’ll start to get encouraged by the amount of subscribers/views that I get and I know that YouTube pays pretty well in my niche for their ad revenue too, which is another reason to continue pushing forward.
But, at the end of the day, I’m a serial entrepreneur and I love creating and growing businesses.
The good news though is that I really only have two active projects I’m working on so I think I’ll have some extra time this month to start publishing a little more.
Website 3 Update: I’m not really surprised that there was a dip in earnings this month for this website.
The same thing happened last year and I anticipated this in June.
My developer is still working on a project within this website to make our website even more useful, but it’s taken far too long to get this done and though it’s been frustrating, were almost at the finish line.
I can’t get into details about what the improvements are because it would give away the niche, but once I make these changes my hope is that Google will give us higher rankings since we are more like our competitors.
It sounds weird, but I talked about this in the past.
Sometimes one of the barriers to getting the top spot in Google is the fact that your content is just a little bit too different from all of the other top competitors.
One of the best ways (so I’ve heard) to fix this is to make your content more like your competitors.
So, while I’m not going to be removing all of the good content that I’ve created previously, I’m going to be expanding on the page.
Not sure if it’ll work yet, but if it does I’ll see a significant increase in earnings and I’ll be able to confidently recommend the strategy to more people.
Here’s a graph of the last 12 months of progress.
Website 4 Update: I was able to bring earnings back a little bit for this website in the month of July and I’m pretty happy with where it sits.
Truth be told, I absolutely should invest in a writer/editor who’s an expert in the topic to go back and revise articles.
I haven’t published anything new for this website in years and I know that if I were to update the content and republish it with some refreshed information, I’d gain back a lot of rankings that I’ve lost.
I do intend on doing this, it’s just not my highest priority because it will only bring in an extra $200-$300 per month and right now other projects have a higher potential.
But, I will be fixing this website and (hopefully) raising rankings in the coming months.
I assume by the end of the year I’ll be undertaking this project with my team.
That all said, there were still some pretty respectable earnings for a website that I never touch.
Here are my statistics for this website in the last 12 months:
Website 5 Update: It was actually a pretty positive month for Website 5 (FINALLY).
I don’t know that I’m going to see a significant increase in earnings or if this website will ever do what I think it’s capable of, but I was happy to see growth in earnings.
The best thing is that a big part of the earnings increase was Amazon Affiliate Income.
While I’m not sure exactly what is causing this or if it’ll continue, I’m happy to see that the earnings in this area are growing and it makes me wonder if my strategy of doing a mass noindex/nofollow to a large portion of the website was the right move.
To catch all of you up, this website had a lot of growth in the beginning but ended up being categorized as the wrong type of website by search engines. The reason for this is because I created various databases of local businesses on the website and Google essentially saw me as a directory website.
They pretty much ignored all of my informational/affiliate content and just focused on the listings.
While it wasn’t completely terrible because I could make some money, it really put a damper on my real goals for the website and was a very defeating experience.
However, this month showed a little bit of promise and I would be thrilled if this trend continues because I’d be happy to pick this website back up and continue to create content on it.
It’s in the pet niche and has HUGE potential….if I can get it to start ranking for more affiliate content.
Here are my statistics for this website so far:
Website 7 Update
We’re on month four of this website and things are starting to get a interesting.
It hasn’t earned much money yet, but I’m really excited because it made its first $2.10 in the month of July.
What’s even more exciting is the fact that it earned that from a single page where I put an ad on the website to see what the actual EPC is for content related to the niche.
For those that don’t know, every website gets a different payout from clicks on Google Adsense.
It really depends on who the advertisers are and how much they’re willing to pay for the ads themselves. I covered a lot of it in this video on YouTube.
Anyway, the reason why this is so exciting is because the EPC (Adsense Earning Per Click) for Website 7 is (surprisingly) similar to some of my best performing website.
This was a big surprise to me because the content of the website isn’t really focused on something that advertisers would usually bid on, but I’m seeing that it can pay pretty well.
I’m not going to implement ads across the website yet, I plan to do that at about 10,000 visitors per month, but I’m starting to see some positive trends and it’s very exciting.
Aside from the earnings, you’ll notice that I had a big jump in referring domains this month.
This was all because of a Skyscraper link building campaign I ran and all of these were earned links.
My actual conversion for the amount of targets that I had for this campaign was very low, under 1%, but the links that I got were all between a DA of 30-60, which is awesome.
For now, I’m going to let this current campaign do its magic and continue to follow up with potential targets, but it’s already paid off.
The last metric to look at here is the total page views which increased by 52% MoM.
Something really interesting that I noticed this month is that this website is getting almost no love from Google (I think it’s still in the sandbox), but surprisingly it’s doing pretty well in both Bing and Yahoo search.
I have absolutely no idea why this is and in all my years, this is the first time this is ever happened.
But, I’m not upset about it and I think it could be a wonderful thing once Google starts to show me some love.
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
377 Informational pages on the website
21 Informational Blog Posts
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
In August my plan is to continue doing things just as I have been.
Right now, we’re publishing 10 pieces of content to the website each week and I’m starting to see a traffic increase because of it.
This website takes virtually no effort for me at all each week because I have a writer/editor/publisher in place to handle everything.
My hope is that in August I’ll start to see a significant increase in traffic because of the number of backlinks that I got in July.
No idea if Google will oblige, but I hope it does because I’d like to start monetizing this website soon with ads. Also, once I hit the magic 10,000 pageviews a month, I think I’ll be implementing some email marketing tactics to try to connect better with my audience.
I haven’t thought about the email marketing strategy yet, but this will ultimately be how I sell informational products and I know I’m going to have to start collecting emails as soon as I can to make that happen.
Below is a summary of the website so far:
Website 6 Update
It was a small step back for this website in the month of July.
Website traffic increased, but earnings decreased and though I don’t like the trend, I do like the future of where this website is heading.
From a process standpoint, we now have this website similar to where PI is.
We have a writer creating great content, an editor reviewing that content, and a virtual assistant formatting and posting the content.
The difficult thing about this website though is that formatting the posts is a significant undertaking. It’s in the fashion/beauty niche and because of this, there is a lot of work adjusting affiliate links and changing images.
It’s been a unique set of challenges to overcome, but I’m happy to say that right now this website is pretty much on autopilot and were creating 8-10 pieces of content every single week.
In addition to that, my wife continues to utilize her Instagram to build back links and I have to say that I’m blown away at how well this continues to work.
I think this is just the perfect niche for this type of strategy and though I wouldn’t recommend this for most websites out there, it works really well in the fashion/beauty niche.
The only alarming thing I’ve seen with this website is that the Google Adsense EPC is painfully low. As of now, her website is averaging under $0.10/click and this is very surprising to me considering how many companies are advertising in this area.
The saving grace though is that I know once she gets more traffic she’ll be able to join a fashion/beauty network for her display ads which will ultimately pay better than Google AdSense.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
We’re at about $3,176 into this project right now. As I mentioned last month, our anticipated budget here is $15,000 and to be honest, if the website is showing a lot of momentum near the end of the year (and budget) I’ll definitely be pouring more money into it.
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.
129 Blog Posts
20 YouTube Videos
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
Content, content, content, with a side of link building.
As of this point, we’ve done a pretty good job of building links to the website and I expect in the next month or two traffic will increase significantly.
While there is never a guarantee, it would make sense in this case.
Our content calendar calls for 8-10 posts per week on this website and we’re hitting those goals.
One of the bigger problems white this website though is that my wife hasn’t been posting on her YouTube videos like she should be.
And honestly, I understand why.
For those that don’t know, my wife is a social media influencer and had a YouTube channel grow to 2.3 Million followers in Brazil. The problem though is that nobody in Brazil speaks English, so she was making very little for that amount of work. Plus, a YouTube algorithm change all but destroyed her engagement on her channel.
Now, she’s trying to create and grow an English Channel (which will complement the website) and though it isn’t easy, she’s fighting hard to figure out what her strategy is going to be.
We’ve talked at great lengths about it and I think that we’ve nailed down what her process is going to be moving forward, but we’ll have to see if she follows through. I try to motivate her as much as I can, but at the end it’s all going to come down to her determination.
If she does follow through and posts all of the different YouTube videos that we been talking about, plus we continue to grow this website, I really think the sky is the limit for her business.
To be completely honest, I could see it surpassing the earnings of my entire business as the Fashion/Beauty industry is insanely large and we’ll never run out of content to create.
The last thing we started doing a little bit in the month of July was a Pinterest strategy. We’re still at the beginning stages of this, but I think it could do really well in this niche. Time will tell…
Here are my statistics for this website so far. You’ll notice these numbers show a decrease in traffic but that’s because I’m still feeling the impact of when this website was hacked a couple months ago.
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.
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.
- Careful Tweaking Your Website Content: The common thought out there is that when you are losing traffic, one of the things that you can do is revise content and make it better to show Google that you’re updating things to make the content updated and more relevant. While I can say with 100% certainty that this is true based on my experience, the problem is that I got tunnel vision and only focused on traffic and not so much on revenue. This led to a pretty big mistake that’s been impacting my revenue for the last couple months and though I’m going to fix it, it’s a good lesson to remember. Always revise your content when needed, but make sure that you don’t hurt your revenue at the same time.
- Outsourcing Can Make Websites 100% Passive: This isn’t really a new concept to me, but I think that since I’ve been okay with spending more money on editing, I’ve been able to really automate the process of growing a website. While I’m still the man behind the link building campaigns and put a lot of my brainpower into that area, the content for both of my websites that I’m actively working on (PI and HT) is being published at a very quick rate and I do almost nothing to make that happen. There’s no way I could ever write 10 posts per week, and there’s definitely no way that I could do that across two different websites. Forget about the writing, there’s also the editing and the posting which takes a significant amount of time. This is a good learning point. In order to really outsource the creation of content on a website you need a writer, an editor, and someone to post the content. In the beginning, it’s fine for you to be all three of these, but as you grow it’s a good idea to reinvest your earnings into these tasks to take yourself out of the day to day business so you can focus on more important things.
- Gains From Backlinks are Slow: I wish that all the back links I got in the month of July started to show traffic gains immediately, but that just isn’t how this works. Though I’ve seen significant increases in traffic on both HT and PI, neither of them are doing what I’d like but I think that just means I have to be a little bit more patient. Experience has taught me that the links you get today will really benefit you in 1-2 months and though this is tough to deal with, you just need to put your head down and continue on with the process knowing that it’ll pay off.
Did I Meet my Goals for July?
Get 5 Links to Website 7 (SUCCESS)
I absolutely crushed this goal in July and I’m thrilled about it. I really didn’t know what to expect from the link campaign I launched in July because it’s not something that I usually do, but it turns out that the Skyscraper Link building tactic works really well if you go through all the steps properly.
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings (FAIL)
It’s been about two months since I’ve started this project and I’m very frustrated with my developer. So much so in fact that I’ve actually hired another developer, but I want my current developer to finish this task out before I eliminate his contract. I assume that this will be done by the end of August, but I already thought it be done by the end of July’s will see what happens.
Setup Budget/Strategy For Website 6 (SUCCESS)
My wife and I officially sat down and figured out all of the different costs shall have with her business every single month. Based on the numbers, she should clear the $15,000 investment by the end of the year and doing so will hopefully yield a website to make somewhere around $500/month.
That’s quite a mountain to climb considering right now we can even make $100/month, but if the content where creating starts to rank, I think we could definitely hit this number.
What Are my Goals for August?
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings
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.
Implement LinkWhisper on my Websites
For those of you that don’t know, Spencer Hawes of Niche Pursuits recently launched a new plug-in called LinkWhisper that helps with interlinking on your websites. I’m a huge fan of this plug-in because one of the things that I’ve severely lacked in for years is interlinking within my websites. I know it helps with SEO, but I usually have so much else going on and it’s really hard to track us. The good news though is that this plug-in makes it much easier and I’m a huge fan. So much so that I’m going to try to push it to all my websites this month.
Finish Website 1 Content Revisions
In the last few months I’ve been pushing really hard on revising content on Website 1 because some rankings were following. After doing so my traffic has definitely increase, but it’s getting to the point to where I need to start writing new content again. Some of this will be completely republishing current content into more helpful articles, but some of this will also be writing things I new topics from scratch.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!
Awesome update as always Ron. I swear I learn something new every single time you post one of these. The thought of having both an editor and a publisher on top of my writers seems so far away right now and I’m glad that you’ve been able to complete your team. On a side note, you’ve actually inspired me in terms of what MY NEXT website will be. Even though I’m still far away I’m sure, I plan on creating a site in the baking niche which will serve as a content hub, but also a local storefront for my wife’s sugar cookie business. Seems like a fun challenge to see if I can use what you’ve taught me about SEO to outrank the bakeries in our tri-county area. Looking forward to your next update!
Hey Kyle! Thanks for the kind words, as always. And yea, there is no need for someone that is still on their first big project to hire all of these team members. But, once money is there and things are growing, it’s a great way to automate things. Also, I’ve seen your metrics and very happy to see things are still growing…and significantly! Anyway, another website is a great idea but I’d still focus on your current one for some time. I’d say to make a revenue goal that would make you comfortable with moving on to the next project. Don’t do it now, stay on track and keep pushing. You’re on the cusp!
It may be a step back but $16k is still amazing! Congrats on earning that first little bit from Adsense on your PI site. It’s always exciting seeing that first little bit come through to know you’re onto something
Thanks Ant! Just saw this for some reason, but really appreciate the kind words!