It’s time for the August Portfolio update!
August has honestly been a pretty solid month for me! While the overall numbers are down by quite a bit, this was expected. Last month, we saw another 80% drop on the Beauty Site, which is my largest website.
This 80% drop of course caused the overall numbers for this month to be much lower. However, the sites that matter actually grew for a change!
Another factor to the lower numbers is the so-called summer slump. This is the time period (typically July and August) where people tend not to be online as much. This leads advertisers to spend less, resulting in lower RPMs.
Taking all of this into account, August wasn’t all that bad.
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
Overall, August wasn’t too bad. Yes, I would like to see some actual growth for a change, but seeing the cards I got dealt last month, I think I came out pretty well.
As stated before, the Beauty Site lost a large chunk of its traffic, and that really shows in the overall pageview numbers.
But as you can see, the overall numbers aren’t down by that much. I only saw a 14% drop in overall pageviews, which, considering the large drop, isn’t all that much.
Most of that can be attributed to the Accessory Site once again growing nicely. The Home Site is also in an upwards trajectory, but it’s still pulling in relatively low numbers.
As for income, this month saw another drop:
A 27% drop, to be exact.
And that’s a lot more impactful.
Most of this drop is because of the Beauty Site losing its pageviews, but the summer slump is definitely playing a role here as well.
Nevertheless, I’m not sweating it. I know why my income has dropped, and I have a plan to get it back up.
Let’s now take a look at all the sites individually and see how they performed!
Site #1 – Beauty
So, the Beauty Site. One of my best-performing, and worst-performing sites ever. At its peak, this site did 250.000 monthly pageviews with an income of $8000 a month. Nowadays, it’s a shell of its former self.
In December 2020, this site lost 80% of its traffic, which turned out to be a trend. For a year, this site was super steady, but recently, it lost another 80% of its traffic. Insane.
I could speculate for hours on what might have caused this, but I probably won’t get anywhere.
For now, though, this site, although it once again, is still pulling in some decent numbers.
As you can see, the traffic fell of a cliff, and the income followed the same pattern. That said, it still brought in just shy of $500, which is a respectable sum of cash.
This will probably be reinvested into other projects, but it’s nice to still have it.
I don’t have any short-term plans for this site but would like to revisit it in the future.
Who knows, maybe I can turn this site around?
Site #2 – Accessory
This is what I consider to be my most promising project. I started this site right after the Beauty Site got hit in December 2020, and this site took a long, long time to finally get going.
But when it did, it showed some really solid growth.
The Core Update in 2020 did take its toll on me in 2021, so the article production rate for this site was super low. A lot lower than I would have liked.
Nevertheless, this site grew and grew, until May 2022. That’s when a Core Update hit this site, causing a 30% traffic loss.
This wasn’t horrible, but no fun either.
Anyway, as you can see from the numbers, we’re almost back at the all-time high. 34.000 monthly pageviews compared to the 36.500 in May.
As a little spoiler alert, though, this site started to lose traffic starting on August 31st. Another Google Update, as you may have guessed, and it resulted in a 60% traffic loss. More on that in next month’s update, but that really hurt.
August, though, has been great. This site could definitely use a lot more articles, which is why I imposed a challenge on myself. With the latest Google Update hitting my site, though, I started to focus on rewriting and improving old content to hopefully improve the overall quality of the site.
I would still like to grow this site as fast as possible, but the focus right now is on improving what’s already there.
Still, my goal stands. I’d like this site to be on Mediavine as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of Q2 next year.
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 super disappointed by the end result.
Currently, I’m sitting at a $2 RPM…
That said, this is no longer mine to worry about. I’m glad to say I sold this site!
I’ll make an in-depth video on the sale, so I won’t go into too much detail, but I found a direct buyer, sparing me any broker fees.
Since the site is sold, there are no future plans (other than an update on the site in a few months’ time), and it will be the last time you see the site in any of my Portfolio Updates!
Site #4 – Home
The Home Site is my newest website that I started as a sort of case study. Since this was a cool case study (at least in my opinion), I also follow this specific site and its progress on my YouTube channel.
In essence, I wanted to see if bulk-publishing articles would result in a shorter sandbox period.
The site did run into some indexing issues, but that’s all resolved now, so the site is slowly and steadily growing.
Once again, I saw a nice jump in traffic. While the site is growing slower than I maybe would have liked, it is growing nicely. A nice 70% jump in traffic and an upwards trend in September as well.
The plan for this site is to just keep growing it nice and slow. The site is getting a new article just about every week now, and maybe I’ll ramp that up slightly. I hope to cross the 10.000 pageviews a month mark before the end of the year!
Dutch Site #1 – Beauty
As a Dutch guy, it made sense to me to try and start a site in Dutch. I found that Dutch sites typically have way less competition, but also lower RPMs. I wanted to test that tradeoff and see whether or not it was worth it to start Dutch sites in the future.
So I started this site back in June 2019 and it’s basically the Dutch version of the earlier discussed English Beauty Site. I didn’t completely translate it, but I covered similar topics.
But at the time I started this site, the English Beauty Site was growing like crazy, so I rather quickly stopped writing for this site.
That said, although small with only 22 articles, the sire runs profitable in the background and funds about 1 article extra every month.
I’m actually in the process of finally adding some affiliate links to this site, so hopefully, this site will be even more profitable in the future!
Anyway, for now, I’ll leave this site be. This site is funding itself and it earns me a little on the side, so I have no issues with the lower numbers here. I also don’t think that I’ll work on this site in the near future either, but who knows.
Dutch Site #2 – Boats
Since I hadn’t learned my lesson with the first Dutch Site yet, I started this one right here. I do still think there’s a lot of potential in Dutch sites, but I’d need to give it the proper attention.
Anyway, this is a rather seasonal site; it does much better during the warm summer months. And that really shows in this month’s numbers! In fact, we hit an all-time high for this site!
One pageview shy of actually reaching 11.500, but I can’t complain! Aside from the fantastic pageviews this month, the site also hit an all-time high revenue-wise.
With Ezoic alone, this site never made more than $73.50. This month, we made just over $80!
Overall, this site has been a treat this month. But since summer is now over (or almost), I expect the numbers to dip again. It’s a seasonal site, so I expected this, but it’s still no fun.
But just as with the Dutch Beauty Site, I really don’t have any short-term plans for this site. I would love to grow every site to its fullest potential, but I just don’t have the time or the team to do that. Maybe in the future I will, but for now, I need to focus on the most important parts of the portfolio.
What Are The Plans Moving Forward?
Seeing that August 31st is the day the Accessory Site got hit by a Google Update, I do feel like I should include my revised plans here.
The original plan was to get the Accessory site to 175 articles by the end of September. I can say that I did not reach that. I’m not even close.
And that’s because I revised my plan.
Instead of publishing more and more content, I focussed on what was already there. I started to improve old content, I started to interlink a little more, and I started to do some background work on the site.
This took away a lot of time where I would normally write. However, I think it’s worth it.
The Helpful Content Update was a sitewide update, and I think that maybe Google thinks something on the site was not meeting the guidelines.
So I went over all old content and made improvements along the way. Will this help? I have no idea. My history with Google isn’t too good, so if this will help/result in a bounce back, I’m happy. If not, the overall quality of the site is now better anyway.
I’m also not yet done with making these improvements, so the goal is to keep making them until I’ve gone through all articles.
I have also created a couple more clusters around some of the content that used to do really well to support those articles. And other than that, I do need to write more for this site again.
Furthermore, I have some articles that are ready to be published on the Home Site, which should up the article count pretty significantly.
Of course, the long-term plan is 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.
Everything That I Use
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Keyword Research Tools: