March 2022 Site Portfolio Update – Income & Traffic

  • By: Jasper Pieterse
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Time for the March update!

March has been a good month. It’s the last month of a quarter, which always sees slightly higher RPMs, so that was nice. The sites in general also grew nicely, although nothing too spectacular.

My pageview total grew by about 18%, while my income increased by about 17%. They pretty much grew hand-in-hand.

An 18% increase across the board is of course nothing to scoff at. That is really solid growth.

Although my websites were doing great, I was not. I mentioned in my February Report how I started to feel a little unwell. Well, that carried over to March, and as of writing this report, I’m still not feeling all that good.

This once again impacted the article output, but I have been looking at hiring some writers or at least outsourcing to other agencies to keep the ball rolling.

Anyway, let’s look at how the sites 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:

  1. Do keyword research
  2. 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

March saw a nice increase on all fronts. In fact, the rise in income practically mirrored the increase in pageviews, both sitting at around 18%.

This month is also the first month where the Accessory Site was monetized for an entire month, so that really bumped up the income.

Other than that, this month was pretty uneventful. I really didn’t get much done, and the sites were just growing steadily. It’s also good to see that there’s growth on all fronts, or at least on all important fronts.

The Accessory Site of course had a nice uptick in traffic, but so did the Beauty Site. The Home and Consumptions Site stayed relatively stagnant, but that’s okay.

In March, I had a total of 66.000 pageviews, which earned me a total of $1300.

Here’s an overview of the total pageview levels for March 2022:

And here’s an overview of my March 2022 total income:

I really love the last graph. The income shows a rather steady but noticeable increase. Most of that is attributed to the Accessory Site, but that’s okay. The Beauty Site has been stagnant for nearly 1,5 years, so I don’t expect any sudden increases there.

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.

The site got off to a great start, but the effect of the Core Update hit started to get to me rather quickly, bringing me to a point where I got annoyed and irritated by simply booting up my laptop.

It was at that point that I really stopped producing any content at all. Some writers were still delivering some articles here and there, but not much was happening.

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.

However, after those 12-13 months, this site started to show some fantastic numbers:

This is also the first month that the site was monetized for 1 full month, and we made $350! The RPMs of this site are really high, reaching around $18 on Ezoic.

Obviously, the plan for this site is to keep growing it as much as I can. This site has the most potential out of all my sites currently, so it will be the main focus for a while. I now know what does and does not work, so I can really narrow down on the things that are working.

The traffic numbers also creep closer and closer to those of the Beauty Site. Hopefully, in the near future, this will be the largest site in my portfolio!

Site #3 – Consumption

I started this site back in September 2020, but ever since then, I really haven’t put in the work here. This site was supposed to have thousands of articles, as it was by far the largest niche I picked yet.

However, I think I bit off a little more than I could chew. Back then, I was still writing everything myself, and this would be the third site that I would need to write for myself.

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.

Ever since January, my RPMs have actually dropped. They’re now hovering around $5 – $6, which is really, really low—especially considering that this is an English site with most visitors coming from the US.

As you can see, the pageviews did go up ever so slightly, but the income actually dropped. And March is supposed to have better RPMs than January. As I said, I’m a little disappointed by these results, as the lower earnings mean a lower valuation of the site.

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.

But as mentioned, I see no future for this site within my portfolio, so I’ll continue with the plan of selling this one in the near future.

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 is currently sitting at 85 articles, and I haven’t even added a single one this month. I’m super disappointed by that, and that really should not be the precedent going forward.

I did want to scale back article production for this site, as it was running into some major indexing issues, but 0 articles is not acceptable.

As you can see, the pageviews also dipped. This is once again not really something I’m worried about. The site is really young, and nothing is really indexed anyway, so I expect the pageviews to fluctuate.

By the way, these pageviews are coming from other search engines like Bing or Yahoo. They do index my articles.

Hopefully, the articles can get indexed soon, but until then, I’m sticking to the slower article production rate. Other than that, there really is not much to report on here, so let’s move over to the Dutch sites.

Dutch Site #1 – Beauty

My Dutch sites are 2 sites in my portfolio that really are just… there. They run profitable, but I don’t really work on them, nor do I plan to in the near future.

The Dutch Beauty Site is the second site I ever started, and I mainly wanted to test the waters. How will Dutch sites perform?

I started this site back in June 2020, and ever since then, I only published 22 articles. That’s not a lot. I think this site just started to become a distraction. In June 2019, 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.

I say identical, and this month, it really was just that—nearly the same number of pageviews and earnings. And although $15 is not that much, it’s an extra $200 or so a year. Normally I see a little more than $15 a month as well, so that’s more like an extra $250 a year. Not too shabby.

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

The Dutch Boating Site is my second Dutch site, which I started back in January 2020. I was still intrigued by the idea of Dutch sites, but once again, I really did not put in the work that I should/could have.

The site is currently sitting at 43 articles, which is nice, but not a whole lot.

Traffic will fluctuate depending on the season, as boating is a summer activity. We’re currently in the colder months, so the traffic levels are naturally lower.

I did see a 25% traffic increase this month, but I always see significant traffic fluctuations during Q4 and Q1 for this site. Income also slightly rose, but it’s still pretty low.

I’m mainly just waiting for the warm summer months to come back around. During those months, the pageview levels hover around 10.000 per month. That’s also when the income jumps up.

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?

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.

Hopefully, I can finally recover so that I can work at full capacity again. I never really experienced being ill like this. It’s been about 2 months now.

But for the time being, I’ll need to focus on new writers or outsourcing to content services. I’ll probably place an order sometime soon with We Write Blog Posts for about 70.000 words, which equates to about 50-70 articles.

As for myself, I’d like to start writing again. Let’s shoot for that 30-article mark again next month!

Everything That I Use

Content Services:

Courses:

Keyword Research Tools:

Hosting:

Themes:

Plugins:

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