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).
The big story in March was getting the Google ban on my main site lifted - it was offline for 6 weeks all told, and I 'lost' a pretty big chunk of change because of it. But it's back, lessons have been learned, and I can relax in my big garden trying to learn all the things I need to know to live in the countryside.
About half the month was spent settling into the new house - things like furniture shopping, putting up shelves, painting walls. I'm not used to physical work so if I start the day doing that, I'm too exhausted to write or edit. Fortunately, Easter is over so my girlfriend is going back to work and I'll be able to work on my own projects again.
On the website front, when I snapped out of my ban depression I focussed on creating a small number of really long articles. I was inspired by a fellow website maker whose method is to create ridiculously deep silos - like 35,000 words on a single topic. It seemed over the top to me, but also makes perfect sense in tough niches.
I've hired him to create one of those silos for me. Expensive but if I did it myself it would take me a whole month.
These long articles get expensive, so while my income was okay in March, costs were very high too. I couldn't afford too many more months like this one.
I split these report cards according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.
Bought: Tech Site (C)
This is a site I bought for just over 5,000 a couple of years ago. I have barely logged in for 6 months and the info is getting dated. Despite my neglect, it burped out 290 dollars last month.
Bought: Lead Generation Site (F)
This is basically dead until I rebrand it. Which I haven't had the energy to do. Why dick around with a failed project when you can potter around your garden looking at birds, or play video games in your awesome cinema room?
Bought: Garden Site (A)
Another great month (relatively). Spring is the peak time for sales of these products, so I just hope we get another couple of months of good sales - I want to get to break-even on this site asap.
Bought: Home Site (B)
This site got 2 of the super-long articles, so while it had a month of good sales the profit was on the low side. Oh and the hosting renewed - it was horribly slow for a long time but they seem to have got their act together.
Built: Review Site 1 (A)
Contact with the top American retailer didn't lead anywhere, but sales were great - I love this site. It's just a cash machine.
The second major silo that I added a few months ago is going well, too. I'm in the top 5 for several of those keywords.
It lost some rankings at the end of the month, but you can't lose your shit about every setback.
Built: Review Site 2 (B)
Another standard month. It's very consistent! I'm content to leave it as it is and focus on other projects for now.
Built: Education Sites (B)
A decent month. 2 of the affiliate offers on the site each chipped in with 80 dollars, which is about as good as it gets from them. Is this a low return for all the time and work I put in? Probably, but I did that work in 2015 and I'm still getting paid.
Built: Others (C)
This is my basket of deplorables - sites too new, small, or shit to warrant their own section. [One of them makes a steady 500 bucks a month and should probably get its own section above.] Another has settled into making 65 USD a month. Handy income when money's tight. The rest do 0 and are basically placeholders.
But the one I've invested the most in - a substantial amount - made 75 dollars. What the actual F. After a lot of agonising, I decided I wasn't ready to pull the plug on it. It's a tough niche and the half-hearted pages I've thrown up aren't enough to compete. We have to really go for it.
So I took one semi-good silo and added 5 new articles to it. Something like 10,000 words of content. It's now a very deep, very solid block of articles that all connect to each other and all support the main 'money' article. Very interested to see how that goes.
It was also the site where I hired the dude to map out and create a new silo.
Joint Venture: Authority Site (D)
Last month I gave this an 'E' rating because it got banned, but it gets a higher mark this time because the relief of getting it unbanned was like slipping into a warm, salty bath.
The great news is that when it came back online, it very quickly went back to its old rankings for almost every keyword. That means number 1 or 2 in most cases, so the money started pouring back in.
To get unbanned we had to remove a lot of links and disavow hundreds more, so at some point the Google algorithm is going to say 'huh why is this site number 1?' and we'll probably slip down.
Belgian: Not much to report here. Still slowly growing. Everything's on track.
Swiss: The article I proposed last month has attracted some nice links. From that point of view she's way ahead of where I was. My new house is fairly near hers and we're going to meet later this month - socially, but I'm sure we'll talk about the site.
Last Month's Goals
- Got Google penalty lifted.
- Went through other sites to see which ones were most at risk of getting a penalty. I don't really see much risk but took some steps to clean up things that aren't against the rules but probably wouldn't help me in the case of an inspection.
- I still have a tiny cough, but am basically over whatever virulent strain of manflu I had.
- Went for a couple of walks to explore my new area. It's basically empty though!
This Month's Goals
- Get some links to the authority site. Shouldn't be too hard - it's a great resource!
- Continue building deeper silos with longer content.
- Losing a couple of kilos would be good.
- Get this big translation project done so I can focus on websites.
In a twisted way it was a sort of a good time to get the Google penalty - I had enough distractions with the move and the new house so that it wasn't preying on my mind the whole time.
Now that the penalty and move are over I'd like to have a few months of solid website building with as few distractions as possible. I need a 5-figure income so I can survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.