Like all online marketers, I post my monthly income so you can see my Method™ is working.
April started pretty sucky, then got better, and by the end it felt like a really positive month. Gross income from niche sites was my highest ever (though I did buy two new sites in March) and 'profit' was well over 2 grand.
I also got two unexpected emails. More on those below.
Bought: Tech Site
Amazon's commission change still hurts, but in recent times there's also been a lot of talk of advertisers boycotting Adsense. Whether that affected my site I couldn't say, but income was looking bleak for the whole month and never got better.
But when I added up all the income from all the revenue streams, it really wasn't that bad. A few Amazon sales in Canada and in Europe, plus some money from the Chinese company I promote and we're up to 500 dollars.
The only black spot is that my regular writer seems to have vanished, so I have to find someone new. SIGH. Writers are becoming a real bottleneck for me.
Bought: Lead Generation Site
Still a disaster. There was one day when it looked like my hard work in recovering from the 'Fred' update had paid off - my site jumped back to its old position in the rankings and I got one sale. But then it slipped back so that was the whole income for the whole month. Ridiculous.
I'm still working on it. I disavowed some links from a weird site, and I did some great link building. I actually got $1,200 of advertising through being charming and funny. All this work HAS to pay off, or there's no justice in the world.
Bought: Garden Site
This was a pretty cheap addition to my fleet, and when I got my hands on it I gave it a bit of a revamp by getting it changed to https and adding some new content. I think I slightly depressed its rankings in the process but I imagine this being a passive income stream that I'll only have to dip into every now and then.
Bought: Home Site
This was a huge investment, and I started by waiting two weeks before doing much to it to get a baseline. Then it was time for the big bang - changed to https, added 5 major new sections, and started looking around for link building opportunities. My plan is to reinvest at least 10% of its income each month to try to grow it.
Built: Review Site
It's still easing up the rankings on all kinds of great keywords. Well, not 'great' keywords but ones that are great for this niche. It's really kicking ass and it's no shock to see it atop the rankings.
Income was also helped a bit because Amazon was pushing a 12% commission on certain types of ads, and this site does quite well on those.
Built: Education Sites
I stopped looking at the traffic from these because it's crazy how the traffic climbs and climbs and the income stays almost identical month on month.
In terms of work, I spent a few hours making a video and I sent out a newsletter. It's all on autopilot.
Didn't have much time to work on my small sites, but the general trends for them are good. All have the potential to be as profitable as the review site.
Joint Venture: Authority Site
Another big month, with steady ranking climbs on almost every page, steady sales, and a few big-ticket sales thrown in to make it all the more fun.
We're starting to get better at link building and we've got a bunch more content to add. Whisper it, but if this carries on this one site could make enough for us both to live on!
Joint Venture: John Shea
John Shea is the guy behind No Shame Income - you can read about his projects there. I'm running one of his niche sites with the aim of getting it to make decent money. So far I've put in a ton of work and there's only minimal progress.
If this was my first niche site, I'd assume what I was doing wasn't working and pack it in. But it feels exactly the same as the tech site a few weeks after I bought it. In that case, I paid for the site and had no choice but to keep hacking away till it was a success. And a success it eventually was. And I'm sure this site will do well, too. It's just going to take time and more elbow grease.
News: Merge Continues
In March I started merging 4 niche sites into one bigger site that could potentially turn into something one day. It took a while to move the content from the old sites to the new one. It now has a bunch of articles in draft form, and I'm waiting for google to deindex the old sites.
I probably won't mention this for a few months because I won't be working on it except for occasionally making those drafts go live. This site is one I'd work on if I sold a couple of others.
News: I'm a Real Guru Now!
So the emails I mentioned at the start. One was from a guy in Belgium who found this site while looking for info about making niche sites. That blew my mind because as far as I can tell, no-one is reading this.
Anyway, he asked me to be his mentor and I thought 'hmmm that's interesting in a slave labour kind of way' and said yes. We've already chosen a niche, set up a basic Wordpress and got started on the content. I've asked him to write down his thoughts as we go, and if the site does well I'll turn them into a series of articles.
I then got ANOTHER mail like that, this time from a dude in India. I thought it was a joke at first, because why would two people write asking me to teach them in the space of a week? It's nuts.
But the second guy was legit. He actually wants to do VA work for me, and will learn what I do while earning a bit of spare cash. In a few months (if things go well) we, too, will set up another niche site.
The plan with these is that I tell the mentees what to do, and they do it. If they don't know how to do it, I teach them. We split the income from the first site 50/50, then they will know how to go off and make their own.
The good/bad thing is that having three mentees (you might remember me mentioning a German-language venture in a previous article) means I now have a reason to create 'how to' articles or videos.
My main goal in May is to get as much done as possible while the weather is still shit. It's been gloriously shit here in Zurich and these rainy days are my most productive. When the sun comes out, my neighbours get noisy, and when it hits a certain temperature I become a wild, angry creature existing on two hours of fitful sleep a night.
So nothing specific - just doing a meaningful amount of work on all the sites that need my attention.