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 algorithm change that hit my main site at the end of September wasn’t a blip - we lost half our traffic and income. On October 24th another round of tweaks hit one of my review sites and that looks in a bad way.

All very annoying and baffling. Why these two sites? Why not the others? Why can no-one find any pattern behind what Google is doing?

Anyway, life in general is good. Remember the Pine Martins that were living in our roof eating all the insulation and screeching all through the night? (I sold Review Site 1 to pay to get the roof filled with cellulose.)

This week the insurance told us they’d be paying out more than their initial estimate. If they’re so generous it’s no wonder there are so many professional insurance scammers!

We also got a third mortgage! As if we weren’t buried in enough debt. The bank is going to finance our energy efficiency project, which will include solar panels, insulating loads of walls, all-new windows, and stuff like that. We’ll get more living space from it, which we don’t need but will hopefully add to the house’s value.

In terms of websites, I still haven’t cleared my backlog of new articles - it’s quite demotivating when your income gets cut in half for no reason.

I did start taking a really good look at how my sites look on smartphones. I found some tables that look shit and started to try to improve the mobile experience in general.

I split these report cards according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.

Bought: Tech Site (C)

I’ve switched developers, again, and hope that doing the project through Upwork will lead to some accountability. I haven’t touched the site for a year so I’ve been ordering articles to fill the gaps.

Bought: Garden Site (D)

Rankings have been steadily slipping, which is weird because there just aren’t that many sites in this niche! I should be ranked 5 at the lowest. Some kind of algorithmic penalty?

Anyway it’s paid back 70% of what I paid for it, so as long as it breaks even eventually I’ll be content.

Bought: Home Site (E)

Another ‘bad’ month. It’s been a while since it made a healthy amount. We’re about half way towards break even. Might be a long wait for the rest.

Built: Review Site 1

SOLD!

Built: Review Site 2 (B)

All the great new content I recently added was doing the trick - daily visitors were on the up. Then it got punished by Google. For what? There are no dubious links and the content is better than most rivals.

Pages went from ranking #7 to not even being in the top hundred.

So income this month was fine, but next month is likely to be horrible.

Built: Review Site 3 (A)

The only really bright spot! Another great month.

Built: Education Sites (B)

Highest income ever! Only a few dollars more than the previous best, but it’s a decent chunk of money.

All these Google slaps are making me look into creating some courses for these sites so I won’t be so dependent on affiliate marketing. I found a guy who makes really cool educational games and want to collaborate with him.

Built: Others (C)

This is my basket of deplorables - 7 sites too new, small, or shit to warrant their own section.

My failing authority site has actually started to appear on the radar in terms of income. It made over 300 dollars! Totally feeble compared to how much I spent on it, but better than nothing.

2 of the other sites made money, and the rest I’m thinking of shutting down.

Joint Venture: Authority Site (E)

As mentioned, income was cut in half. You guys are being so unfair!

so unfair.gif

All in all I’m still making enough to pay the bills, but it’s a bit too close for comfort.

Last Month's Goals

  • I didn’t lose any weight. I started trying intermittent fasting. Just means skipping breakfast and my early morning cup of tea. Not too hard. I’ve only done a few days so far.

  • Didn’t have many alcohol-free days. What’s nicer than a couple of beers of an evening?

  • Didn’t understand what the Google updates were about. Seems to be no pattern to them and they are rewarding really shit sites.

  • The bank financed us!

This Month's Goals

Might as well copy-paste from last month…

  • Lose a few kilos YOU FAT PIG.

  • Have some alcohol-free days (the next days are always super productive - e.g. today). Might also help to lose some of that ENORMO-BELLY.

  • Try to learn what the latest Google update was about.

  • Try to get more non-Amazon income that isn’t going to be so dependent on Google. Probably the exam tips courses.

Last Words

It’s been a bad time in terms of Google but there really isn’t a lot I can do about it. Hopefully in the coming weeks either G will tweak their algorithm back in my favour, or someone will work out what is being punished.