Like all online marketers, I post my monthly income so you can see my Method™ is working. These report cards tell the story of how my niche websites are performing (in a way that doesn't get me in hot water with the taxman).
While people are making and losing fortunes on Bitcoin, I'm quietly earning a full-time income from a bunch of websites. It was my second best month of income ever, and much of the money came in while I was sleeping.
This article isn't about how cryptocurrency is the new Tulipmania - it's about the top quality digital assets I invested in - winners like top5bestiphonecovers.net
So let's get into January 2018 and how my websites got on. Most of the cornerstone articles my sites need are already done, so growing the sites means adding 'long tail' articles or improving the articles already published.
At the moment my focus is on the latter. Not very exciting, but excitement is over-rated - just ask anyone who was in Hawaii when they got an SMS saying there was a nuclear attack on the way.
I split these report cards according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.
Bought: Tech Site (B)
I was going to give this a C based on the pure numbers, but it's all profit and real passive income. I haven't touched the site in ages and it still says '2017' on the front page. Any income is money for old rope and I will never complain about that.
If you've been following these reports, you'll know that I want to move the site from Joomla (agonising) to Wordpress (not agonising). I found a developer willing to make the migration for cheap, but progress is pretty slow. When/if that happens I'll then hire a VA (virtual assistant) to help me update the site and add new content.
Oh and there was a weird thing, not sure if it was December or January, where some company emailed to try to buy the site. We set up a call but they never rung. All very weird. Some elaborate scam? But what's the point?
Bought: Lead Generation Site (F)
Zero income, again. I have a plan to move the site to a branded domain but I haven't found the motivation to actually do it.
Bought: Garden Site (C)
It's settled into the number 2 slot for most keywords (was 4 or 5 when I bought it) and now that it's 'done' I tried to sell it in January. The potential buyer liked the quality but was a bit suspicious of some comment links that are in the link profile.
Comment links are where you leave a comment on a website and there's a link back to your site. When I leave a comment on some SEO blog I normally put my name as Andrew and put andrewgirardin.com in the website field. It's nofollow normally and not spammy at all in 99% of cases. But we all have different ideas about what's risky or not.
The site gets a C rating because income was only 50 dollars in January. Not worried about that - the niche is a quite seasonal. I think it'll pick up nicely when we get closer to spring.
Bought: Home Site (A)
The best month since I bought the site. As soon as I got my hands on it I started dicking around with it - radically changed the theme, the logo, added tons of new content and even new silos. In hindsight I've have done the same but much slower and maybe not started the new silos.
But hey ho, it's starting to do well despite me and fingers crossed it continues like this.
Built: Review Site 1 (A)
In December I made a bunch of little tweaks to the site and while doing that I noticed some of the older articles were quite shit. And 2 years after starting the site I understand the niche a lot more and realised I'd made some poor choices when starting out. When the site started making money those choices became fossilised because I was scared to change what was working.
In early Jan I started to explore the possibility of selling it. It's making over 1,000 USD a month so it's in the range where Empire Flippers would broker the sale. We're moving into our new home in the countryside in March and we're being ploughed in the ass with bills of all kinds. This site is a real cash cow, but getting a chunk of money would be quite handy.
I got to the point where it was really 50:50 whether I should sell or keep it. The rationale behind keeping it was the giant new silo I added that hasn't quite kicked in yet. If the site is making 1,000 a month now, it might make 2,000 a month in the near future.
So do you sell the sell site for a very healthy amount of money, or do you wait and see if you can double that? (And potentially get nothing if you lose a few spots in the rankings...)
I decided to wait, so a big chunk of my time in January was revamping some of the oldest articles on the site and making those changes I feared to make. About 10 of the old product reviews are totally rewritten now, the home page got an update, and I added two pages based on great long tail keywords I can't believe I only just found.
I'm feeling good about the site and will revisit selling it in 6 months or so.
Built: Review Site 2 (B)
After investing some time and money into it at the end of 2017 I didn't touch it in January. It's ticking along nicely. Chipped in about 500 bucks.
Built: Education Sites (C)
January is one of the lowest times of the year for these sites, so I wasn't shocked to see income go down again.
But I found an article about Squarespace SEO which suggested I had made a minor technical mistake with certain pages. It would certainly explain why some very shitty pages still outrank me even though my sites are the most beloved in the whole world.
It only affects 4 pages but they are the most important ones on the site. I've tweaked one of pages based on the guide and I'm very interested to see how that plays out. I'm quite intrigued at the possibility of tweaking one little thing and having traffic double.
Built: Others (C)
This is my basket of deplorables - sites too new, small, or shit to warrant their own section. One site made over 400 dollars, which is very acceptable. A+ for that guy. The rest are in various states of youth or struggle. Fortunately I don't have time to stress about them.
Joint Venture: Authority Site (A+)
After the magic money tree that was December I thought January would be a real drag. But some Christmas spirit seemed to carry over into the new year because we had some big days early in the month. Then it slowed down, of course, but not by as much as I expected.
We actually made more in January than in November, which was a nice surprise. We're using the money to rapidly grow 2 other sites.
Joint Venture: John Shea
The site I run for John is really struggling - I've been doing it for almost a year and it's improved in that time but man, it's tough.
On the positive side, the new site I created for him to use in a webinar looks awesome. It's going to take some time for Google to show it some love but it's one of the best-looking Wordpress sites I've built. I think it's great.
Belgian: Another payout! Quite a tidy amount, in fact. Inspired by the invisible hand of the free market chucking money at us, we started on the second silo and the mentee has promised to add one new article per week. The site is looking great. It's a real winner. We have another small site I want to do a content strategy for but I just haven't had time.
Swiss: Another site that's really coming along. I had an idea for a possible article and my mentee took it to the nth degree! She made it extremely epic and it picked up 2 nice links and I'm sure it will attract more over the coming years.
Girlfriend: My girlfriend is not suited to making a niche website. There, I said it. It will never happen. She doesn't read these articles so don't think this is reverse psychology. I will support her if she tries to kick on but ptsch. Don't hold your breath.
Last Month's Goals
- I actually made a lot of progress moving websites into my company and getting things set up. The company now has its own Amazon account, Payoneer, Transferwise, Paypal, and I started buying things using the company credit card.
- I sat down and worked out all the website income for 2017 and worked out how much I owed my girlfriend (she's an investor in this whole project). Accountancy is fun! It was actually comical and shameful us trying to work out simple sums, but a relief to get it done.
- The site I built for John Shea is finished. Not fully fleshed out by any means, but the core is all there, and pretty good quality.
This Month's Goals
- Probably won't be my most productive month - we're getting ready to move at the start of March. Making that a success is probably the main thing. We've started packing boxes and taken some old stuff to the tip.
- Keep plugging away at improving old content.
- Don't drink 2 bottles of wine and feel so sick it takes 36 hours before you can turn sideways without feeling nauseous.
- Do all the shitty real-life paperwork that I have to do (taxes, work permits) that is taking my time and mental energy that I'd prefer to use on websites.
This was a pretty decent month. I invested a big chunk of time into the websites but also had a few lunches with friends and some evenings out. It was pretty chill and nothing went wrong, and that's all I can really ask for.