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).
I broke my tech site and had to rebuild it from scratch (6 years of articles…).
Bought some software in the Black Friday sales and have been rolling that out across my sites.
Decided to create a course I can sell on my English exam websites.
Moved most of my Wordpress sites to WPX Hosting.
Got carried away with our insulation project and are looking at adding a second AirBnB flat.
Thanks to YouTube’s algorithm, been listening to Kate Bush and Tears for Fears on an endless loop. (Could be worse.)
Basically I’ve been spinning plates like a boss.
Okay let’s get into the websites and how much money they made.
I split these report cards according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.
Bought: Tech Site (A+++++++)
If you’re new here you won’t have read the last 12 income reports where I talk about migrating it from Joomla to Wordpress. Basically as a Joomla site it was really hard to get the site working on mobile and I had no clue how to migrate it.
So I hired a series of developers to help me do it. The first guy did a runner, but I’d only given him a tiny sum so whatevs. The next guy seemed more professional but took months to do anything then kept fobbing me off with reasons he hadn’t started. With the deadline looming to make a Paypal complaint, I tried one last time and he didn’t reply. Obviously thought he could string me along and once passed the deadline the deposit would be his.
Well, I complained just before the deadline and this week Paypal resolved the case in my favour. Nice.
The third developer was on Upwork so I would have had good protection through the platform - that’s how I’ll be hiring people in future - but before she could get started I had the bright idea of changing the PHP version on all my sites (to make them load faster).
Great. Except this old Joomla site couldn’t handle it. I rolled it back to the old PHP version but it stayed broken. How does that happen?
Anyway I roared ‘fuck this shit!’ and started migrating it to Wordpress myself even though I didn’t have the first clue how to do it.
Long story not much shorter, I not only got all the old data showing (and mobile friendly) but also added some cool new functions. It looks fucking GREAT now and I can grow it for a bit and then sell it on.
Interestingly, as soon as I had a mobile version that worked, Google spotted it and started sending me traffic. I thought it’d take weeks or months.
I made the big move on the 12th/13th - I forgot to put the analytics code in the new theme so the 13th looks like a drop. You can see that traffic actually doubled, instantly.
As for money, it made double the previous month, but that’s normal for Black Friday. It was actually quite a lot down on 2017’s figures.
But it’s such a relief to have a modern site I can work on and to get my money back from that scammer that this goes in the books as a huge win.
I’m also quite impressed with myself that I made it work. The third developer is a Joomla and Wordpress expert and was sceptical that it was even possible.
Bought: Garden Site (D)
Ranks are still way down but I used my new tools to give it a big makeover. I expect a recovery soon.
Bought: Home Site (E)
The third bad month in a row. Partly my fault - when I changed the PHP version I didn’t check the site and the Amazon widgets weren’t loading. So I missed 3 days of sales.
Spectacularly stupid! Don’t make changes to the site and not even fucking load the site after!
Built: Review Site 1
Sold in summer 2018.
Built: Review Site 2 (B)
Rankings are still in the toilet but strangely it made decent money. Just a bit less than my target.
It also got a makeover, like most of my Wordpress sites. Looks great now!
Built: Review Site 3 (A)
The 5th month of making 4 figures. Apart from being very handy income, it’s good to have a site with stable earnings history in case we need an influx of cash. (We’re going to be doing tons of building work next year and the third mortgage from the bank might not be enough.)
Built: Education Sites (A)
Another high point! Exam season is nearly over so Dec/Jan won’t be anywhere near this much, but it’s very handy money.
Meanwhile I’ve started building an online course that will help students with one aspect of English. Each unit will have videos, activities, online games, viral quizzes, animations - it’s going to be really full of stuff.
The first steps, just building the platform, have been a total pain in the ass. I went with LearnDash and Paid Memberships Pro because they had Black Friday sales and I’d seen them recommended. But neither includes some basic features I expected and I had to work out how to get things done myself. Bad! Annoying!
But let’s see how the course turns out and if anyone buys it. This could be a big waste of time or a real cash cow. No risk, no fun, as they say here in Switzerland.
Built: Others (D)
This is my basket of deplorables - 7 sites too new, small, or shit to warrant their own section.
All pretty feeble. 2 have had quick makeovers (logos, branded colours, elegant fonts and all that).
One was on Squarespace costing 8 dollars a month. I spent a day moving it to Wordpress (bit by bit). That way it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make any money, and I can use that Squarespace account to host my girlfriend’s website.
There was a lot of that kind of ‘spade work’ this month. Both with websites and with my actual garden. I dug several holes that will be filled in spring and will look good in summer. Long-term planning, bro.
Joint Venture: Authority Site (E)
It actually wasn’t much worse than November 2017, but it feels like there’s a big hole in my pocket and I’m walking around leaving a trail of cash everywhere.
Yo, Google, where are my RANKINGS? Why are there articles above mine that were written by monkeys chained to typewriters?
I’m not going to starve but I was hoping to make enough this winter to buy a jet pack.
Last Month's Goals
I’m always a bit surprised to review last month’s goals and see that I told myself to lose weight. Then why do I eat so much pizza and drink all the wine?
Still not seen anyone explain the latest Google updates. I’m just ploughing ahead as before.
Still a long way from getting substantial non-Amazon income, but this English course I’m creating is a good start.
This Month's Goals
Don’t use Christmas as an excuse to hoover up all the food and alcohol
Makeover any sites that have a future
Have a substantial chunk of the English course finished for the New Year
Not the best month in terms of income but I did a lot of work. A lot of 12-hour days. Will it pay off? Come back in half a year to find out!