I know I said I may not do another income report, but I created an income report category on this site and now I need to add a few more actual income reports to it. This was also another big month for me, so I felt like sharing.
Before we get into it though, just in case you don’t know me…
Who I am
If you found your way here and don’t know me or what I do, I’ll quickly tell you.
My name is Jesse, and I run this site. I also run about a dozen other niche websites, aka blogs. I publish SEO content (articles) on these blogs that generates organic traffic, traffic that I monetize primarily through display ads. If you do this correctly for long enough, you can build a nice sustainable income by stacking revenue streams and scaling.
I have been building these niche sites over the last 3 years. The intention was always to quit my job and go full time with blogging, I did that earlier this year. Now my job is growing my sites and increasing their revenue or value everyday. You can see by the image above that I reached over $19k in earnings this month, far more than I used to make at my job.
In this monthly earnings report I’m just sharing an overview of these websites and the income streams I’ve created. I’ll also discuss a couple of developments for me in June and what my plans are for the rest of the year.
Many online publishers did well in June, including myself. With that being said, let’s look at my June income report from my portfolio of niche websites.
June 2021 income report
I have 12 niche sites in my portfolio currently. This has changed from last month. Yesterday in fact, I pruned 3 sites. Well, I actually moved the content to another one of my sites and set up redirects. Sometimes you reassess your strategy, I’ve done this before where I combine multiple sites into one. Trimming the fat while salvaging the content.
I now basically have 4 income generating websites, 1 new future authority site, this site, and 6 other smaller niche sites that are all monetized and earning a little. Going forward I’ll be focusing on the first 4 sites and the baby authority site. I’ve also been making an effort to publish to this site as well.
The 6 smaller blogs are just waiting for when I get the time and resources to give them some attention. They’re all just waiting for new content. These sites have anywhere from 5-35 posts each.
The Niche Informer website is not included in this income report, I make very little from this site. It’s more for fun.
With that in mind let’s have a closer look.
June 2021 earnings breakdown
The below 5 sites are what I refer to as my active niche sites. That’s because I either publish to them regularly, or they earn significant money. The word significant is relative, but to me it means earning at least a few hundred dollars/month.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out May’s income report after this one.
Totals by site:
- Site 1 (Mediavine site – 265 posts) – $9,928.58
- Site 2 (Adthrive site 1 – 340 posts) – $7673.84
- Site 3 (Ezoic – 86 posts) – $588.43
- Site 4 (Adthrive site 2 – 318 posts) – $1041.32
- Site 5 (not monetized – 69 posts) – $0
Total from 5 sites: $19,232.17
Totals by source:
- Adthrive – $7454.67
- Mediavine – $8165.74
- Ezoic – $986.63
- Amazon – $2407.11
- Amazon CA – $162.80
- Amazon UK – $59.42
- Awin – $75.52
- Avantlink – $0
Final total for June 2021 from 8 sources: $19311.89
*I have several smaller websites and other sources of income that contribute to the May final total which are not included on this list. This is why the final total below does not match up exactly with the totals above.
These are the monthly services and SaaS tools I use to run this business. You can also check out this post that talks about the software I use for my blogging business.
The only one that’s changed from last month’s income report is that I am trying out Rocket.net hosting for 1 dollar. I’ve been hearing about them so I figured I’d give them a shot. So far so good, there’s a couple of things that I don’t like but they are probably specific to me.
Overall, Rocket.net is super fast host and support has been great so far. As to whether or not I’ll stick with them or now, I’m not sure. I really like WPX as well, and the pricing is lower. In the end though, it’s all about speed.
I’m not including the amount I invested back into new content or what I paid myself in expenses for the purposes of this income report.
- WPX Hosting – $24.99
- Knownhost managed VPS – $42
- Rocket.net hosting – $1 trial (figured I’d try it out at that price)
- Mailchimp – $66.90
- Canva Pro – $12.99
- Quickbooks Online – $47.19
- WP Rocket – $40 (upgraded my license, really helped my site speed)
- Manage WP – $8.78
- Namecheap – $13.16
- SERPROBOT – $19.96
- Photoshop – $10.96
Total expenses: $287.93
Net income after expenses: $19,023.96
I’m notoriously bad for not keeping up with exactly how much I’m spending on content each month. I always know in my head around how much it is and that I’m in the green each month, but I often don’t tally up the exact totals at the end of each month. That’s something I would do at the end of the year for tax time.
I’ve also been writing a lot of content myself lately, like 2-3 articles per day throughout most of June. That’s on top of the content I’ve been getting back from writers.
It may look like I’m not investing back into the business as much as I should, but I’m a full-time employee of the business whose priority is always to create new content. I wish I had another employee just like me…
Having said that, I took a peek at what I spent last month on content and here’s what I found:
- Upwork: $798
- Direct: $417
Total outsourced content investment: $1217
Net income after expenses and content investment: $17,806.96
Notable developments in June
Here are a couple of things that happened in June.
Added a new site to Adthrive
You may have read about the blog I recently purchased, that’s this one. I haven’t given it as much attention as I initially planned to. If you recall, it had about 300 articles on the site at the time I acquired it. Here are some of the things I did in the first 60 days or so of purchasing the site.
- Did a first sweep of all articles on the site
- Changed affiliate links to my own and fixed dead links
- Fixed formatting in most articles
- Totally redid 30-40 articles
- Set up redirects for 10-12 with really bad urls
- Installed Generatepress and gave the site a new look
- Added about 5 new pieces of content
Past these things, I haven’t done much to the site in a couple of months. Since I had another site with Adthrive though, I knew I could add my second site as long as it had at least 30k page views/month. This site literally had 30.7k in the last 30 days when I submitted the application to Adthrive.
If I remember correctly the site was getting 25k page views when I bought it, so it was up a little. As I write this it’s at 37k.
My dashboard for this site just went live a few days ago. Adthrive separates your sites into completely different properties, unlike Ezoic where you can have a combined dashboard. Maybe they’ll add one at some point, if not it’s no big deal.
Current performance and plans for the site
Regardless, the site has been doing pretty good. It’s not quite earning too much more than it was on Ezoic, but I’m confident that’s coming now that it’s on Adthrive. We just hit Q3 and RPMs have dropped. I’ll keep an eye on it in the coming weeks and months.
I’m also pumping a bunch of new content into this second Adthrive site right now. Glancing at my spreadsheet, it looks like I’ve published about 14 articles to this site in the last 2 weeks. The first 300 articles on this site were someone else’s content that I inherited, though I did revise some of them. These last 14 articles, and all others going forward, will be published under my guidelines.
I expect the traffic and earnings for this site to continue to grow. I may or may not sell this site at some point. I purchased it for $7k, if I decide to sell I’d like to sell for 6 figures. At a 40x multiple, which is very reasonable for an Adthrive approved site, I only need to get to a steady $2500/month. I have no doubt it will bring in $1k or more in July, so I’m practically half way there once I get the monthly average up.
Another record month
The overall earnings in June were great, another record month! I was hoping I’d crack $20k this month, but I know it’s just a matter of time if I keep doing what I’m doing. Even when my goal was $100 in a month, I tried not to get discouraged if I didn’t hit it. I have no doubt that my monetary goals will continually increase, meaning I’ll never have an income report where I say: OK, that’s enough folks. I’m gonna stop growing things right here.
Site 1 and site 2 carry the load, but that’s ok. Last year at this time it was just site 1 bankrolling the entire business. Now I’ve added another site that brings in an equally significant income stream. It can take a full year or more to bring one up from nothing, but it’s worth doing.
Sure, you could put all your eggs in one basket and you might be fine. I may also be making more money right now if all of my resources had only gone into site 1 from the beginning until now. I chose a different path though, I chose diversification. This is the path I’m going to continue on.
Over the next year or two I’m going to build up another 3 of my sites to have similar traffic and income to sites 1 and 2. Then I’ll probably feel more comfortable selling one of my sites.
High RPMs with Mediavine
Traffic for my Mediavine site is significantly down from April and May, but the RPMs are through the roof! There was a point in late April where I was getting over 10k sessions per day, now you can see that I’m in the 5k session range.
Regardless of this seasonal drop in traffic, I was able to keep my earnings about the same as the previous month when traffic was much higher. So while traffic is almost cut in half, earnings are only down by 4%.
Mediavine earnings in May: 8,508.44
Mediavine earnings in June: $8,165.74 (-4% from May)
There was only one day in June where my session RPM dropped down to 49, the rest of the month it was in the 50s and 60s. If you translate this to page view RPM, it puts my RPM in the upper 40s/mid 50s throughout June.
Google core update
On July 1, 2021 Google rolled out a core update and right now I’m seeing some volatility in the SERP. Site 2 looks like it may have lost some rankings, but only for new posts. The top 3 rankings only decreased by a few, and the number of top 10 spots actually increased. So basically when it comes to page 1 movements, it’s fairly normal fluctuations. All the movement is on page 2 and beyond.
Unlike site 2, I’m seeing mostly positive activity for site 1. So I guess it’s kind of a wash with my 2 largest sites. For the rest of my blogs, I see nothing particularly unusual. The update will likely be rolling out over the coming days and even weeks though, so we’ll see how things are once the dust settles.
July and beyond
This month (July) I’m taking some vacation time and I’ll not be working for part of the month. Other than that it will be business as usual. I’ll focus on the new Adthrive site, sites 1 and 2, and I’ll try my best to get some attention to the new site.
I expect earnings to slowly decline for the rest of the summer and into Fall. Hopefully I’m plateauing somewhere in the mid teens by the time November rolls around. I’m anticipating one of the best shopping seasons ever for bloggers this year. Now that my Spring rush is over, it’s all about riding the wave until Christmas.
Thanks for reading!