May 2022 Site Portfolio Update – Income & Traffic

  • By: Jasper Pieterse
  • Time to read: 10 min.

It’s time for May’s Portfolio update!

May has been a bit of a mixed bag. Up until May 25, the entirety of my portfolio was growing steadily. Or, in the case of the English Beauty Site and my 2 Dutch Sites, performing as they have been for the last few months.

After May 25, Google finally announced the much-expected Core Update. They creatively named it the May 2022 Core Update, and although it was officially announced on May 25, there was a lot of chatter about changes in the Serps a week prior.

Overall, 5 out of my 6 sites stayed unaffected. However, the one site that did get affected, the Accessory Site, got a pretty substantial haircut in traffic. You can check out my video about the Core Update by following this link!

Of course, the one site that I’m most passionate about and most invested in is the one that got hit, but it is what it is.

But since the update only rolled out near the end of May, I did see a nice growth trajectory for most of the month. So let’s dive into the numbers!

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

Most of May has been really good for me. The Accessory Site was reaching new highs, and surprisingly, the Beauty Site was also growing once again. Overall, the portfolio saw a 20% increase in pageviews and a 14% increase in earnings. Not too shabby.

Aside from my largest two websites, the Accessory Site and Beauty Site, the smaller and newer Home Site also grew nicely. It looks like it’s finally ready to show some movement, and although the numbers are still small, I’m super excited.

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

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

The total number of pageviews my portfolio got in May is 90.000, which lead to a total income of $1700.

When we compare the numbers to last month (read last months report by following this link!), we can see a 20% increase in traffic and a 14% increase in earnings.

I’m a big fan of how the portfolio is growing, but I do expect the figures for June to be lower. The Accessory Site has now lost about 30-40% of its traffic, which is going to show next month.

Anyway, let’s look at all the 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:

As you can see, there was a sudden increase in traffic. About a 15% increase, to be exact. I’m not sure where this extra traffic is coming from. It’s not the Core Update (I checked), but for some reason, there’s this nice bump in traffic. I’m not complaining.

The bump in traffic also made sure that this site finally crossed the $1000 a month mark (again!), so that’s nice!

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.

Despite the sudden growth, I have no plans to work on this site in the future. I’m not going to lie, seeing the numbers go up again does kind of draw me back to this site, but let’s stay focussed on the sites that actually matter!

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 it’s currently about the be the largest site in my portfolio!

This month, the site was just shy of overtaking the Beauty Site as the largest in my portfolio, by about 1000 pageviews.

Sadly, this site did get hit by the May 2022 Core Update, which really sucks. I lost about 30% of my traffic, and it looks to be going doing a little more. With that said, I expect that June will give much lower figures.

Of course, the plan is to just keep working on this site. A 30% drop sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. The Beauty Site once had a 30% drop when it was small, and that turned into an $8000 a month site.

So for the next few months, I’ll keep soldiering on, publishing more and more content on this site.

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.

As you can see, January was by far the highest-earning month. Yes, the traffic was also higher, but just by a little bit. RPMs have dropped from around $10-$12 down to $4. That’s a big drop and it also lowers this site’s value.

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.

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, I’m seeing a slow growth in traffic. This site is still in the early stages, but it crossed the 1000 pageviews a month mark and shows no signs of slowing down.

I always get excited when a site crosses the 1000 pageviews a month mark. It’s one of those arbitrary numbers that get me excited, as I see it as the first sign of success.

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.

Getting to 1000 pageviews per month is something I think most sites will reach eventually. Whether it grows beyond that is the real question. And with 125 articles, I hope to see that the growth continues for a little while.

If it does, it’s time to double down on content production.

Dutch Site #1 – Beauty

Since I’m Dutch, I not only have access to the English blogging market but also to the Dutch blogging market. I started the Dutch Beauty Site as an experiment to see how Dutch sites would perform.

This site is basically the Dutch version of the English Beauty Site, but I stopped writing for this site rather quickly. I started the site in June 2019, and at that time, the English Beauty Site was growing like crazy. It just didn’t make sense to write for this site when the other one was way more profitable.

So this site ended up with only 22 articles. And it has been that way for a couple of years already. But still, the site does pull in some respectable numbers.

In May, I saw a sudden increase in traffic. There were a couple of days where, for whatever reason, the pageviews just doubled. Of course, I’m not complaining, but I would kind of like to know what happened.

Anyway, despite the traffic growing by about 40%, the income stayed fairly similar. The RPMs dropped a little this month, so the site stayed at its normal income, around $20.

I am still of the opinion that Dutch sites are a fantastic opportunity, and I would like to explore that opportunity again in the future.

However, I think it’s best if I focus my attention on the English sites for a little while. I currently have no plans of expanding this site in the near future.

Dutch Site #2 – Boats

The Dutch Boating Site is the second Dutch site I started, back in January 2020. But just as with the Dutch Beauty Site, this one was quickly abandoned. Although, this site did get more articles; a total of 43.

Since this site is about boating, the site is very seasonal. During the summer, boating is much more popular, and I can always see that back in my traffic levels. We’re currently approaching summer here in the Netherlands, and my traffic is gradually rising.

During the summer, it isn’t uncommon for this site to reach 10.000 monthly pageviews. I typically see those kinds of numbers during August, so I’m excited to see what’s ahead.

In April, this site made a couple of large affiliate sales. This month, not so much. Still, the income is actually really nice. The $44 is all ad income, and I’m super happy with the current numbers.

Once again, just as with the Dutch Beauty Site, there really aren’t any short-term plans to expand this site. It’s currently paying for its hosting and leaves some extra money to reinvest in other sites, and I’m fine with it that way.

What Are The Plans Moving Forward?

In all honesty, the Core Update has definitely demotivated me a little bit. Although a 30% drop is manageable, it’s no fun.

Luckily, I had a trip to Athens planned literally the week that the update rolled out, so I got in some nice fun time.

Now that I’m back, it’s time to stick to the original plan:

  • 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.

It can be difficult at times to push through when you know things aren’t looking up, but quitting won’t get me anywhere either.

In fact, I’m going to double down, just to fight that inner voice and show it just how wrong it is. This month, I’ll try to get more articles published. I placed some orders with writing services, I hired a dedicated writer for the Home Site, and I’m going full steam ahead myself as well!

Everything That I Use

Content Services:

Courses:

Keyword Research Tools:

Hosting:

Themes:

Plugins:

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