May 2021 Niche Site Income Report ($15,645.50)

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I’m typically not one for doing income reports, but I think every once in a while it’s fun. So this probably won’t be a regular thing for me. Publishing income reports is kind of like having to turn in an assignment, and I just don’t like to do that. On top of that it does feel a bit personal, telling the world how much money you make. So it’s possible that this is the last full portfolio income report, I’ll likely just share income of various individual sites going forward. But then again, who knows what I’ll do.

I’m also not going into specific details for each site and income source, but I’ll give you overview of earnings for May of 2021. Honestly it was an exciting month for me, and I’m glad I can share it with you.

Let’s have a look!

May 2021 income report

I have 15 niche sites in my portfolio currently. I’ll break these down into 3 categories with 5 sites each.

  • The first 5 of them are pretty small and don’t make much, if any, money.
  • The second set of 5 are also small, but are growing and get some traffic and earn a little bit. A few of them make as much as $50/month. I honestly don’t track earnings too closely, I focus on the bigger sites.
  • The third category of 5 sites are what I’ll talk about in this income report. These 5 are where I focus most of my attention.

The 10 “non-active” websites are just waiting for when I get the time and resources to give them some attention. They’re all turnkey in every way, and ready to start publishing to again. These sites have anywhere from 5-60 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.

May 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.

I’ve only done one other portfolio income report and it was around 7 months ago from the time of writing this, a lot has changed. It was on YouTube, and I was making less than $5k/month at the time. A lot has changed since then. My plan has unfolded and things continue to fall into place. Here’s a link to that video if you want to check it out.

Totals by site:

  • Site 1 (Mediavine site – 250 posts) – $9341.08
  • Site 2 (Adthrive site –  330 posts) – $4,496.96
  • Site 3 (Ezoic – 85 posts) – $411.29
  • Site 4 (Ezoic – 300 posts) – $514.16
  • Site 5 (not monetized – 25 posts) – $0 (new site)

Total from 5 sites: $15350.99

Totals by source:

  • Adthrive – $2320.29
  • Mediavine – $8507.93
  • Ezoic – $2533.31
  • Amazon – $2084.84
  • Awin – $142.69

Total from 5 sources: $15589.06

*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 with the totals above. 

Final total for May: $15645.50


Expenses

These are just a few of the monthly services and SaaS tools I use to run this business. I’m not including the amount I invested back into new content or what I paid myself.

You can also check out this post that talks about the software I use for my blogging business.

  • WPX Hosting – $24.99
  • Knownhost managed VPS – $42
  • 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: $286.93

Net income after expenses: $15358.57


Content investment

I don’t have the numbers handy for how much invested back into the site. In all honesty I haven’t tallied up the numbers yet, but it’s likely in the range of $1k-$1500. On top of that I’ve also done a fair amount of writing in the past few months. So that’s also been helping content production.

Speaking of content production, I don’t have those numbers in front of me either. I usually crank out 20-40 articles/month though, and I plan on ramping that up very soon.

Estimated content investment: $1500

Income after expenses and content investment: $13858.57


Notable developments in May

Here are a couple of things that happened in May.

Adthrive

I recently partnered up with Adthrive, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Here’s an article I wrote on the blog recently about my journey to 100k page views and becoming an Adthrive publisher. I’m very happy with everything so far and am even about to add my second site on their platform.

My RPM in the above screenshot is skewed because the first few days had very low RPMs while the dust was settling. I’m now well into the $40 range for my average RPM and things are looking great.

Record earnings (and climbing)

The above screenshot is of my Mediavine dashboard. I am still very pleased with Mediavine. They consistently remind me how much you can earn from just display ads on a medium sized blog. This is a record month in earnings not only overall, but also from just Mediavine. Though I think it’s peaked for the season and is on the downtrend now. I’ll likely see another spike during the shopping season in Q4, then again next spring.

I track my income daily and also track daily averages for all income sources. I closely watch the daily income, and try to put my energy into wherever has the most impact and keeps it growing. Here’s a screenshot of my spreadsheet towards the end of May. (Adthrive’s daily average is low because it’s only a partial month of earnings.)

Even though traffic is already down some for site #1, earnings are still on the rise. RPMs are high, for now. Once Q3 starts, RPMs will be down. Hopefully traffic continues to increase for site #2 as I’m really publishing a lot of non-seasonal evergreen content to it.

Other sites will eventually see some seasonal traffic slumps but I’m used to this and I plan for it the best I can. Earnings should remain fairly steady throughout the summer while I’m adding new content and growing the sites.


Next month and beyond

I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing for the rest of the summer. I’ll publish as much new content as I can, primarily to sites #1 and #2. I’ll focus on publishing content that I know gets traffic and makes money.

I want to put some more effort into the Niche Informer brand and in the YouTube channel, but I have to prioritize my time. Niche Informer isn’t making me any money, so I have to put my energy into things that are. I am trying to write more on the blog here though.

I expect June earnings to be slightly higher than May. Then I expect July through October to slowly decline and eventually plateau just before the December spike.

January is usually the lowest month in earnings of the year, by May we’re at a seasonal peak, and I do the whole thing over again.

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