It’s time for April’s Portfolio update!
April has been a good month. There is a steady growth on the pageview side and an equally steady increase on the earnings side. April is the first month of the second quarter, and the first months of a quarter typically see a small drop in RPMs, but we managed to keep growing.
In fact, this month’s earnings grew by 14% compared to March, and the pageviews grew by 11% compared to March. You can read more about the March numbers by following this link to March’s Portfolio Report.
I’m sad to say that I still am not feeling too great. Still the same issues, feeling dizzy and lightheaded throughout the day. I think it’s probably an iron deficiency, but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s no fun.
Despite me not feeling all that great, I did get more done than last month. Not by a lot, but things are moving again.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how the portfolio performed this month!
My Strategy & Portfolio
I could talk for hours about my strategy and goals for my portfolio, but it boils down to this:
- Do keyword research
- Write a good-quality article
It really is that simple. I have two videos on my YouTube channel where I go over my keyword research methods (one free method and one method using KeywordChef), but in essence, I look for low competition keywords and questions that aren’t answered properly.
From there, I either write the article myself or outsource it to my team, and the goal here is to give the best answer possible.
As for my portfolio, I currently own 6 websites:
- English Beauty Site
- English Accessory Site
- English Consumption Site
- English Home Site
- Dutch Beauty Site
- Dutch Boating Site
That’s a lot of sites, and if I’m honest, it’s a little too many. Currently, I just cannot keep all these sites up, but since they are all running profitable, I’ll just leave them be for now.
The goal is to keep expanding the portfolio, but in order for that to happen, I need to build a solid team around me.
Total Traffic & Income Overview
As mentioned in the intro, April saw slow but steady increases on all fronts. Most of that growth is attributed to the Accessory Site taking off, as can be seen in the graphs below.
The Accessory Site is really propelling the portfolio forward right now. In the graphs below, it’s the red bar, which is about the only one that’s actually growing.
The Beauty Site has near-identical pageview numbers compared to last month, and so do both of the Dutch sites.
On the other hand, the Home Site is slowly growing. It saw a pageview increase of about 75% compared to March, so that’s fantastic to see. Things are finally getting indexed, which gives me confidence to move forward.
In April, I had a total of 74.551 pageviews, which led to an income of almost $1500.
Here’s an overview of the total pageview levels for April 2022:
And here’s an overview of my April 2022 total income:
It’s great to see both graphs steadily climbing. It’s not as exciting growth as some other people may see, but it’s growth nonetheless. Things are moving in the right direction.
But let’s take a look at all sites individually!
Site #1 – Beauty
This is my first ever site, which I started all the way back in December 2018. I started this site by following the Project 24 course and quickly grew it to great success. It was once at a point where I earned $8000 a month from this site alone.
Sadly, though, this site got hit by the December 2020 Core Update, where it lost about 80% of its traffic and income. This was a huge blow to the business, but also to me personally.
I got to a point where I had 0 motivation to even open my laptop, so in July 2021, I decided it was time to stop working on this site altogether.
But even though the site lost 80% of its traffic and I’m no longer working on it, it still pulls in some respectable numbers.
Currently, there are 405 articles on the site, and they still bring in nice pageview and income numbers:
This site is monetized with Ad Thrive ads and Amazon Associates. And despite the bulk of the articles being affiliate-heavy, about 75% of the income comes from ads.
As you may expect, there are no future plans for this site. It’s dying a slow death, but that’s fine with me. It’s still the only actual earner in my portfolio, so selling it for a low multiple and being left with no income also doesn’t sound like the right choice.
Site #2 – Accessory
The Accessory Site is a site that I started as a response to the aforementioned December 2020 Core Update. I started this site because it became apparent that I needed to diversify. I had all my eggs in one basket, and this site was supposed to be a new basket.
But since I started the site right after such a big hit, I quickly became demotivated, and that showed in the overall article count. Some writers were still delivering a few articles here and there, but the site was updated really slowly.
I even wrote this site off after about a year, as there was literally no traction whatsoever. But all of the sudden, the site started to grow, and this month, it reached almost 30.000 pageviews!
The site is now also monetized and is earning a good chunk of income. An extra $400 is fantastic to reinvest back into the business. More money means more articles, which in turn means more money again.
Of course, the plan for this site is to keep growing it as much as I can. Hopefully I can get this site to 150-200 articles by then end of Q2, which should really move things along.
This site is also about to overtake the Beauty Site as the largest site in my portfolio (pageview-wise), so that’s also super exciting.
Site #3 – Consumption
The Consumptions Site was started in September 2020 with the idea of turning it into the largest site of my portfolio. The overarching niche can house thousands of articles.
But, I think I bit off more than I could chew here. Back then, I was writing everything myself and I still had the Beauty Site going strong. So I quickly stopped working on the site, and to this day, there are only 40 articles on there.
I also wasn’t the biggest fan of writing articles for this site either, for some reason. All of that combined led to me making the decision that this site is probably best off if I sold it. So, I started to prepare this site for an exit!
I started that process in January 2022, and by preparing it for an exit, I really just mean I started monetizing the site. I did that with Ezoic ads, and although the initial results were nice, I’m starting to get a little disappointed by the low RPMs.
RPMs have dropped since January, the supposedly lowest RPM month. Pageviews have been steady ever since January, but the income keeps dipping. Granted, April and March saw similar earnings, but you’d hope to see some growth as Ezoic gathers data.
The plan for this site is to sell it in the future. It’s really not doing anything; I have no plans to work on it in the future, nor does it earn enough money to justify it just sitting there. The low RPMs do lower the value of this site, which kind of sucks.
I wanted to keep the site running and earning money for a few months to paint an accurate picture of its average monthly earnings, but the monthly earnings are going down instead of up.
If the RPMs keep dropping or stabilize at the low number it’s currently at, I think I’ll just have to bite the bullet and sell it off anyway.
Site #4 – Home
The Home Website is a brand new site that I started in November 2021. I started the site to see how front-loading a website with a ton of articles would affect the sandbox period. Since this was a cool case study, I also follow this specific site and its progress on my YouTube channel.
I halted content production for this site because it was running into some indexing issues, but it seems like that’s all fixed now! The way I fixed it was by simply changing my nameservers to Ezoic, and somehow, everything started to get indexed.
Now that everything is getting indexed again, I’m hoping to add more content to the site. I do still feel a little unsure about pouring lots of money into this site, as it hasn’t ‘proven’ itself just yet, but I think I just need to take that leap of faith.
As you can see, pageviews just about doubled this month. Now, we’re still under the 1000 pageviews a month mark, so the site is still extremely small, but things are moving in the right direction. This is what I like to see in a new site.
In the coming few months, I’d like to get this site to 100-125 articles. I think that’s a solid number to get to. From there, I think I’ll just leave the site be for a month or two, just so I can gauge how the site will grow.
It isn’t always easy, doing this by yourself. I still get a lot of doubt about investing a lot of money into a new site like this.
But I mentioned taking that leap of faith, which is difficult to do, but necessary. Anne from Yeys.com wrote a fantastic post about taking the leap of faith, which you can find here. If you’re in a similar boat like me and second-guess yourself or your site’s ability to grow, give it a read!
I know I’m re-reading it after writing this post!
Anyway, since the site is now getting indexed, it’s time to scale up the content production.
Dutch Site #1 – Beauty
Since I’m from the Netherlands, I have the unique advantage of being able to blog in multiple languages. To capitalize on that, I started this site back in June 2019. I wanted to see whether Dutch sites are even worth it or not. Since there are only 20 million Dutch-speaking people, I wasn’t too sure.
I started this site back in June 2019, and ever since then, I only published 22 articles. That’s not a lot. I think this site just started to become a distraction. During that time, my English Beauty Site was going full steam ahead, and it didn’t really make sense to work on this site.
However, the 22 articles do bring in a steady income. The site has been seeing a really steady line ever since I started it. Pageview and income numbers are nearly identical month on month.
There was a slight increase in earnings this month. Well, it’s a 25% increase, but only $5 in the grand scheme of things. Pageviews also saw some growth, but overall, this site will hover around these numbers anyway.
But seeing an extra $20 a month is always good. In an entire year, this site earns about $200 – $250, which funds some extra articles.
But since the Dutch sites aren’t really active sites that I work on, I’ll keep these sections short. These sites are there, they earn some nice residual income, but they’re not included in the short-term plans.
Dutch Site #2 – Boats
Since I didn’t learn my lesson with the Dutch Beauty Site, I started another Dutch site. This time in the boating niche. But once again, I really did not put in the work that I should/could have. I started the site in January 2020 and only added 43 articles since then.
It’s more than I added to the Dutch Beauty Site, but still too few to actually see something happening.
Or so you would think. This site is seasonal, since boating is more of a summer activity, so during the winter, pageview levels are low. But during the summer, this site can get anywhere in the neighborhood of 10.000 pageviews per month!
I say that the site is seasonal, but this site is more dependant on the weather. Here in the Netherlands, good weather isn’t too common. So every day where the sun shines bright, we see an increase in pageviews for that day.
We’re luckily approaching the warmer months now, so the pageviews are starting to grow. Nearly 4000 pageviews this month, which is a good increase compared to last month.
But the main difference compared to last month is the earnings. This site is monetized with Ezoic and Bol.com (basically a Dutch version of Amazon). Normally, we don’t really see many (if any) sales here, but this month, there were a couple of really large sales.
All in all, this site brings in some nice residual income, but there are no plans for expansion in the near future.
What Are The Plans Moving Forward?
Things are starting to look up! The Accessory Site and the Home Site are both growing in an upwards trend. But despite things going well again, I must admit I still suffer from FUD (Fear, Uncertanty, Doubt).
There are no guarantee’s in this business, which isn’t a bad thing, but it can creep in your mind. Core updates can be around the corner, keyword research could be off, etc.
But I’m trying to ignore that voice inside me and keep publishing. In fact, in the past I used to double down the moment I started to doubt myself. Maybe I’ll do that again.
But my future plans are still the same:
- Build up the Accessory Site and the Home Site to about 150 articles each.
- Reassess from there.
- Add articles to the sites in a ratio that equates to the site’s growth.
I’m finally starting to feel better, so I can put in more work than I could the last couple of months. I’m also in the process of hiring a new writer and I placed a $3,600 order with WeWriteBlogPosts for more content.
That’s it for now. I’ll be going back to writing again today, but first, I’m reading the leap of faith article that I mentioned earlier!
Everything That I Use
- We Write Blog Posts (Use code JASPERPIET10 for 10% off your first order)
- Passion Posts (Use code A4U0QMJZ1F for 10% off your first order)
Keyword Research Tools: