Like all online marketers, I post my monthly income so you can see my Method™ is working.
Remember, remember the end of November. Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Two of the biggest online shopping days of the year. I spend most of the year thinking about these days.
When I saw how the rankings were going for various keywords on various websites, I told my girlfriend - with some trepidation - that there was a chance we could hit 10,000 USD in the month. As soon as the words left my mouth I knew we'd fall short, but it's nice to dream, right?
Well, in the words of a loathsome The Apprentice candidate - We crushed it.
Let's jump straight into a breakdown of the profit and loss by website followed by a little analysis of some stuff that happened, and I'll leave my BIG NEWS until right at the end because it's about me as a person and you don't care about that.
If this is your first visit here, I split my income reports according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.
|Review Site 1||1343||8||0||1335|
|Review Site 2||589||2||158||429|
Holy fucking guacamole! 13K income and 10K profit? Jesus H Christ. What else is there to say? It's actually absurd.
Bought: Tech Site
I expected it to do well - people get very interested in these products around this time of year. Given that I haven't touched the site in months I'm REALLY pleased about how robust it is. The expenses were me renewing the domain for 3 years.
Bought: Lead Generation Site
Another pitiful amount, but near the end of the month I had another go at disavowing some bad links and it seemed to recover a bit the next day.
I think I've been hit by negative SEO - my main rival buying bad links to push me down the rankings. Which is a waste of money from his point of view because he's definitely not making money from his site, and the ones above us are sites from huge companies that he won't be able to affect with his shenanigans.
I'll keep an eye on it, but mostly to see what I can learn about negative SEO and defending my digital properties. It's basically dead in the water right now and break-even seems as distant a prospect as me 'liking' one of Trump's tweets.
Bought: Garden Site
I'm a bit surprised how well it's doing in the winter months. I would have thought it'd have more traffic in spring and summer, but some of the new pages I added are going great guns. Pleased.
Bought: Home Site
This one is on the disappointing side, but it's possible Google is just struggling to digest all the new stuff I forced down its throat. I added 5 or 6 new topic silos and maybe I did it too fast.
But I suspect the main problem is the hosting. It's AGONISINGLY slow and there are times I can't even log in to Wordpress it's that laggy. I should have taken up a Black Friday deal on good hosting but I'm just too soft. I want these guys to get it right. I want to believe!
Built: Review Site 1
Another thousand dollar month. My goal here is to get it to 2K so I can think about selling it. Adding the new silo has dragged it down from #1 for the main keyword to #4, but we're in the top 10 for the new one, so if Google smiles on us and we get both in the top 3, there's a good chance of me meeting my goal.
But hey, I'll take a thousand bucks any month of the year. It's all profit and I've only logged into the site once in about 6 months.
Built: Review Site 2
This continues to do well. As you'll remember from last month's income report, I moved it up here because it was no longer in the incubation phase and was making consistent money. This month I added a few new articles and replaced all the featured images with classier new ones. The site is quite nice looking now. I like it.
Built: Education Sites
These boomed in November. Boomed I tellsya!
400 dollars isn't a lot given how hard I worked on them, but it's by far the best month ever. Traffic was huge. It's exam season. One site had 25K visitors in the last week and the other wasn't far behind.
When I think about the next steps for my sites beyond articles and links, my thoughts always start here with creating digital courses I could sell. How to Beat Exam Nerves. Master English Vocabulary in 13 Minutes. That sort of thing.
There are half a dozen sites in this pigeonhole. My wannabe authority site is starting to make some money - over a hundred dollars! I spent about 600 on it so it was another month with a big loss there, but the underlying trends are positive. FINALLY.
I also snapped up a domain with some good links pointing to it. It's in the sports niche and I started fleshing out a new niche site. I spent about $500 on it, mostly on articles. But it's already starting to look good and a few months from now it'll be a nice little niche site with not much work needed.
Joint Venture: Authority Site
This site made over 9,000 dollars in November. That's after huge amounts of sweat equity, hunching over keyboards, and worrying that we'd put so much time and energy into a damp squib.
Well, the returns are plain to see.
We sell a few big-ticket items, but the bulk of the business is selling quite cheap things (where we earn less than a dollar per item). A lot of people don't bother with the cheap things, but those people are nuts. I'm happy to hoover up unloved keywords and laugh all the way to the bank.
Joint Venture: John Shea
I think John's girlfriend is pregnant, so he's a bit preoccupied. I don't have the latest figures but assume it's fairly steady.
I'm still adding new articles and refreshing older ones. Traffic has levelled out so the next challenge is to find some nice links to give the site a boost. It's a tough niche though. Harder than it looks!
Belgian: Our first site has been going well. Making money and getting organic traffic! That was really a good niche choice, with some expansion potential. The second site is still in its incubation period.
Indian: The dude vanished.
Swiss: Some good progress this month. Things are starting to shape up, but there's the damned Wordpress learning curve getting in the way. This weekend, for example, we wasted a bunch of time on SSL certificates and getting tables to display what we ask them to display! I suppose the good news is that half the people who try to build websites are put off by how stupid and stressful it is, which means fewer people trying to steal our keywords.
Girlfriend: She had her tonsils taken out and has been moping around the house for what feels like a trillion years. She made some graphics for my new sports site and is still keen to learn, but she is weak and sleepy and basically on opium.
Last Month's Goals
- Have an epic Black Friday - strangely, it wasn't very epic. It was just like a surge across the week before and after and not the one huge spike I expected. I was a bit underwhelmed until I tallied up at the end of the month. Better to say 'have an epic Black Friday period' - which is how it turned out. Woop.
- Balancing real and digital life - yes, a bit. I didn't rush around all the time and was happy to stroll from the shop to the train station instead of trying to break the shop-to-station world record. But not quite enough exercise done. I remain grossly fat.
- Clear backlog of articles - yes! As of today I have none left to upload.
- Look into getting an editor - didn't do that.
This Month's Goals
- Don't change too much until Christmas rush is over (risk of losing rankings)
- Update sites for the new year
- Maybe put a bit more energy into teaching so my final classes are fun
- Find out how to get Canadian payments (talk to Payoneer)
- Don't start any new sites
- Help the mentees more
- Maybe enjoy Christmas a bit instead of being a fucking Grinch
The big news from November is that we finally signed the final dotted line on the final piece of paper for our house in the countryside. And I told my students that I'd be finishing as a teacher at the end of the year.
So from January I'll be semi-retired and from March I'll be out in the sticks with just my websites for company.
I'll be living off my website income (which is only a fraction of what was reported here because of the various partnerships). That means more time to get things done, less time lost to commutes, but also a greater need to really make this thing work. (The mortgage is MAMMOTH and unless I have a lucky punch selling one of these websites I could be in debt for the rest of my life.)
You might think 'oh it's working!' But I don't think like that. I've already learned that these digital businesses can go bad very quickly and I'm not counting ANY chickens.
I'm starting to feel relaxed about life, though. My downstairs neighbours, who stomp around like a fucking herd of wildebeest, seem to be moving out, and we've had a couple of quiet days. Hopefully no-one replaces them before Christmas and we can have a really quiet end of the year. God knows it'd make a nice change.
All in all, I'm looking forward to what my personal future holds, even if the news from the wider world is as welcome as a mosquito in a sleeping bag.