Time for February’s update!
February has been a somewhat slow month, but what did you expect? There are only 28 days. That’s 3 less than January. Or in percentages, that’s almost 10% fewer days to pull in traffic.
Despite the month being 10% shorter, our income has risen. On the other hand, the pageviews slightly dipped.
Last month’s update was the very first one I shared on this site, and we started the year off with a total income of $871,22. That’s fairly decent, considering I really hadn’t put in any work in 2021.
This month, we saw about a 27% increase in earnings, despite an 8% decrease in traffic. I guess that can be blamed on the low January RPMs, but I’m not complaining!
But not everything was good this week. I started to feel pretty unwell, which really cut into the article production rate. Mind you, I’m still writing a lot myself, so if I get sick, the article production rate drops.
Guess that’s a bottleneck I need to work on.
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, this month saw an increase in earnings but a decrease in pageviews. I think this can be attributed to the low January RPMs. Not that February usually is much better, but in my case, it was!
Another significant factor in the higher earnings is the fact that I finally monetized my Accessory Site. This one was pulling in 10.000+ pageviews a month but wasn’t yet monetized, so I finally connected Ezoic and now it’s earning some extra income.
Other than that, there was mainly an increase in ad income, so once again, I’ll have to revert back to the RPM explanation.
In February, we had a total of 56.000 pageviews, which translates to $1102.70 in earnings.
Here’s an overview of the total pageview levels for February 2022:
And here’s an overview of my February 2022 income:
As you can see, the red bar, which indicates the Accessory Site, is growing nicely! On the other hand, the Beauty Site and Consumptions Site are both in decline due to their seasonality.
But let’s take a look at each site 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.
I initially started the site with lots of enthusiasm, but after a few weeks, the effects of the Core Update really started to show its actual impact. I was getting annoyed by just opening my laptop, let alone even getting to work.
This halted the site’s growth, and I think that’s why I saw a longer than usual sandbox period for this site. It took about 12-13 months before I started seeing some traction. Usually, I’d like to see that after about 8 months.
I even wrote this site off as a failure and moved on to new projects. Until out of nowhere, this site reared its head. It started to rank, and month after month, it started to pull in more and more traffic.
In January, we crossed the 10.000+ pageview mark, which meant the site was ready to be monetized. I connected the site to Ezoic, and it’s now earning me a very solid income.
RPMs hover between $16 and $20, which is a lot higher than I thought they would be. And that’s on Ezoic. Eager to see what Mediavine or Ad Thrive RPMs will look like.
The plan for this site is to keep growing it as much as I can. There are 82 articles on there, but lots of potential. Let’s try to get this one to at least 200 articles asap.
I’d like this site to be the staple of my portfolio somewhere in the coming few months.
Site #3 – Consumption
The Consumptions Site was started in September 2020 with the idea of finally starting a second English website. I picked a rather large niche, one where I could easily find thousands of articles to write about, but after 40 articles, I just kind of… stopped.
I’m still not really sure why, but I think I just overstepped my boundaries. At the time, I was still writing everything myself, and having a second site that could be updated with thousands of articles was a little too much for the time.
I also didn’t particularly enjoy writing for the site, so I just kind of left it in the corner somewhere. For about 1,5 years. I haven’t added an article to this day, so the total is still at 40.
The site is also fairly seasonal, with November and December being the peaks. Put all of this together, and I decided to prepare this site for an exit.
I started that process in January 2022, and I mainly just started monetizing the site. Weirdly enough, January, so far, has seen the highest RPMs for this site. Typically January is the lowest, but not for this site.
The pageview levels also dropped, and so did the RPMs, so in total, this site just declined across the board.
I don’t really see a future for this site in my portfolio, so I hope to sell this website in the coming couple of months.
The plan, for now, is to let it earn some money for a few months so I get an idea of its monthly earnings and its value. From there, I’ll be looking for potential buyers.
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.
The site had a total of 79 articles in January 2022, but sadly, the site ran into some indexing issues. Not a single article could be found on Google, even after 3 months. So I’ll keep this section short, as there really isn’t too much to report on.
The pageviews that are there came from other search engines like Bing or Yahoo. There was a slight dip this month, but I really do not look at the numbers for the first few months. This is perfectly normal.
Hopefully, the articles can get indexed soon, but until then, I’m slowing down the article production rate for this particular site.
Dutch Site #1 – Beauty
The Dutch Beauty Site is the second site I ever started, and I mainly wanted to test the waters. See how Dutch sites perform. Are they worth it? Or not?
I started the site in June 2020, and it’s the same niche as the English Beauty Site. As I said, I wanted to see how Dutch sites fare, but I did not put in the work that I should have. To this day, there are only 22 articles published.
This site really became a distraction. My English Beauty Site was going through the roof, and it didn’t make sense to work on this little side-project.
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.
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
My second Dutch site, a slightly larger one this time. I started the Dutch Boating Site in January 2020, and once again, I sort of quit before the site could actually grow into something substantial.
Currently, there are 43 articles on the site and no plans to expand anytime soon.
This site is also highly seasonal, with the summer being the peak and wintertime at the lowest. Currently, we’re still in winter/fall, and those aren’t really seasons where we Dutchies can use our boats.
That’s reflected in the traffic levels as well. In fact, we dipped pretty substantially compared to January.
The site still brings in some extra income, and it is luckily running profitable, but there are no short-term plans to expand the site.
What Are The Future Plans?
The future plans haven’t changed much since January. There’s still this little demon inside me that eats away at my confidence. I am trying to ramp up production again and push that voice away, but my getting sick didn’t particularly help.
The focus for next month, and probably the entire year, will be to grow the Accessory and Home Sites. Especially the Accessory Site is showing potential, and now that it’s earning good money, we can hopefully reinvest more money back into the business.
Next month, I’d like to add 30 more articles, which I failed this month.
These 30 articles will once again be divided between the 2 aforementioned sites, with the majority going into the Accessory Site until the Home Site starts getting indexed!
Everything That I Use
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Keyword Research Tools: