July 2022 Income Report

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Written By Jamie
Founder of increasing.com, and here to give you the info you need to either start your making money online journey, grow and improve your niche sites, and build the most meaningful and fulfilling life for you.

Last month we earned over $32,300, but $9,000 came from an affiliate program that until now only averaged around $1,000 per month. So, naturally, a decline was going to be seen in July 2022.

Our total SEO niche site earnings in July 2022 were: $28,582.37.

This in itself is boosted by the raised Amazon Affiliate commissions during the majority of July. So, all things considered, our natural minimum level of earnings is probably around $25,000 per month – which unless we can keep driving increases, is probably what we’ll earn in August 2022.

We have goals to hit just under $40,000 in revenue in September 2022, so we need to really work hard to drive increases in revenue over these next couple of months.

The total breakdown for the earnings was:

  • $1000 in direct sponsorship
  • $7681 in ads
  • $19901 across Amazon Affiliates and other affiliate programs
  • Published 58 articles total

In last month’s income report, we said that in July we would target:

  1. Hiring and onboarding a formatting VA to free us up time to do more high-value activities
  2. Hiring at least one writer on our main site, one writer on our second site, potentially one writer on site 4, and writers for sites 5 and 6
  3. Perfecting our single product review templates for each niche
  4. Building a content briefing –> writing –> editing/feedback –> formatting system so that we can launch new niche sites and scale up our content within this new system, and handle more content on our existing sites

Here’s how we fared:

  1. We hired a VA, who could not meet our article formatting requirements. We need a minimum of 6 articles per day formatted, which I still don’t think is that high, but they could never format more than 3 articles, and were only working for around 3 hours per day. So we let them go, and are currently trialing another VA.
  2. We hired two new writers for our main site, one very talented writer for our second site, and one writer for site 6 who used to work with us previously. They’re still being onboarded, but will hopefully help us scale up our content while retaining our rigid quality standards.
  3. We made progress in product review templates, but we haven’t finished this. This is still to do this month — and then with this we can create video SOPs that help our readers hit the mark every time from the get-go.
  4. We’ve built a more effective content system, the only thing that would finish this off is more people in the team to make sure it runs well. But I’m comfortable with the process now.

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Site 1: $20,010

We made $5,684 less this month than last month – but this was expected. We earned $9K from an affiliate program that is extremely volatile and seasonal, so earning $20,000 is still good for this site.

The full breakdown is:

  • $5175 in ads on AdThrive (-$170)
  • $4236 on Amazon USA (+$135)
  • $1000 in sponsorships (-$500)
  • $9599 in other affiliate programs and Amazon rest of world (-$5200)

Other key metrics are:

  • Articles published: 26
  • Articles optimized and republished: 4

Unfortunately, RPMs dropped off a cliff right at the end of the month, so we earned less despite getting more page views. This has continued into the start of August, which is very frustrating, but our ad network have assured us that they are trying to fix the issue that caused this.

Our plan for this month is to improve our email collection on this site for better monetisation here (currently non-existent), as well as the site’s social media presence as we build the site to become more of a brand, and less of just a niche site.

We have around 30 articles we want to write that are derivatives of one long and larger article we currently have, and 6 very high-quality competitive articles we want to publish in August that will hopefully drive at least 2,000 page views per month each. I want to publish 40 articles on this site in August.

There’s also a lot of keyword research and keyword validation to prep for the second half of the year’s publishing schedule — with more of a focus on info content rather than just affiliate. Some diversification is necessary, and you don’t need the same careful level of oversight here.

We’ve just onboarded two writers for the site, so they’ll practice on lower competition info content and go from there.

We’re testing more real product reviews than ever – and seem to be unaffected (or even experiencing a small gain) from the Product Review update. We’ll keep doing this, and making sure we’re as safe as possible, as well as building a moat between us and our competition.

Site 2: $7276

Our second site had its best ever month last month!

However, it did benefit from the raised Amazon Affiliate commissions, so unfortunately we can’t say that it’s all completely natural. In fact, if you take the raised commissions away, it was basically exactly the same – around $5,500.

However, for a site build on a fresh domain registered in November 2020, with only around 120 posts – and it has never had a huge amount of focus on it – I’m hugely proud of the site’s performance.

At a 43x multiple, building a digital asset worth $312,868 on the side with about $10K max invested, in 21 months, isn’t bad, is it? 😉

The earnings break down to:

  • $2506 from ads (up $140)
  • $4094 from Amazon Affiliates (up $2027)
  • $675 from other affiliate programs (down $504)

We didn’t do much publishing, just 8 articles. But, we do have around 18 drafts that just need formatting, and we’ve recently hired an excellent writer who will add to those numbers.

We really want to be publishing 20 posts per month here, ideally even slightly more. Hopefully we reach that soon.

Activity for this site in June:

  • New articles published: 8
  • Articles optimized and republished: 0
  • Revenue per article per month: $61.66
  • Average RPM for ads: $42.55

We’ve also joined a couple new affiliate programs that we’ll be pushing this month, and optimizing some of our high-performing content.

While our non-Amazon-boosted earnings are probably around $5500/month, we’ll aim for $6000-$6500 by re-optimizing and publishing new content in August.

Our goal for this site is £6,500 revenue by the end of September, so we need to push this site by another 20%-ish. Probably 10% can come from eking out more conversions and traffic from already successful content, but we’ll need to be seriously publishing also to hit that milestone. RPMs will also be up slightly.

**Early August update: the site appears to have benefited from the Product Review Update, and is currently up around 15%. Hopefully, this transfers directly into higher revenues.

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Site 3: $831

Site 3 is one where we have a full-time staff member working on the site, producing around 20 pieces of high-quality content every month.

The site earned $831 in July, up around $50 from last month, but has steadily increased over the latter half of the month, and we are aiming to earn $2,000 this month – but this number includes hypothetical ad revenue that we do not yet receive, as we are waiting until we hit 30,000 page views to put the site on AdThrive.

With our estimated ad revenue, this site would have earned $1,125 this month, so we’re aiming to increase this by around $875 in August – but we have a plan to do this. Then, the goal for September is £3,000 – which will be much harder, but we’re determined.

The goal for the end of September is also 30,000 page views so that we can monetise the site with ads and earn real money instead of this hypothetical money lol.

The earnings break down to:

  • $121.37 from Amazon Affiliates
  • $710 from other affiliate programs

Activity for this site in June:

  • New articles published: 16
  • Articles optimized and republished: 4

We’re going to be doing a fair bit of optimizing on this site in August, going back through and improving some already high-performing articles that rank in the top 5, and trying to hit that number 1 spot, as well as converting better. We are getting traffic to commercial articles, but not converting it too well, so a major part of this month’s profitability depends on substituting in better-paying and better-converting affiliate programs.

We also have 19,800 words on our WordAgents account laying around, so we’re using all of those on this site for supporting content.

But there’s a proper plan in place based on what we’ve already proven to work now, so we’re confident this one is going to really grow in the future.

Site 4: $300

This is a much newer site, started in April 2021 but without much attention ever being devoted to it.

It had been hovering around the $100 monthly earning mark for a while, but the combination of rate increases, and growing after the May 2022 Core Update, meant that it grew from $70 last month to $300 this month!

Unfortunately, the Product Review Update of July seems to have smited it back down again. But, we’ll monitor and work out our strategy once things have had time to settle.

Activity for this site in June:

  • New articles published: 5
  • Articles optimized and republished: 0
  • Revenue per article per month: $5.17
  • Average RPM for ads in June: N/A

We’re considering putting ads on this site, seeing as we don’t see it going supernova and rocketing to 30,000 page views any time soon. If we do, we’ll put it on Ezoic, and earn a couple hundred dollars for the ~10,000 monthly page views probably. So the site could probably earn $500 per month.

But hosting ads obviously negatively affects page speed, and could hamstring growth, so there’s always two sides to consider.

Site 5: $3

Haven’t done anything with this site in over a year, it continues to decline, and we don’t have any immediate plans to rescue it.

Our time is simply spent better elsewhere, so RIP to site 5.

Site 6: $398

This site was one we purchased for $5500 a few months back, and we’ve basically done nothing with it except map out the new architecture and strategy for the site – but haven’t applied it yet.

However, in July the site performed far above expectation. It has no ads on it currently, but was converting so well into affiliate sales that despite the low traffic it still earned a solid amount.

We have re-hired a writer who used to work for us to write for this site, and will look to publish 10+ high-quality pieces of affiliate content and informative content.

Our goal with this site is to run it up to around $3,000/month, and then sell it for a low 6-figure exit.

Site 7: $71

This was another site we purchased in the same deal for $5500, and I had high hopes and even spent a couple days writing articles for this site a few months back.

It hasn’t taken off, and I think we’re going to have to redirect it to a new more general domain, as it’s very commercial-focused and not very brandable — think “bestproductforXYZ.com”.

This isn’t a huge priority for us as we just have so much other work to do, but eventually we’ll sort moving this one to a new domain, redo-ing the site design to complement the move, and work on running this site up.

We’ve even got like 10 articles we commissioned on WordAgents like 5 months ago sitting around unpublished. We need to get back on it and get publishing.

We probably only want to run this one up to like $1000 to $1500 per month, and then flip it for $40-60K.


Summary

July was fine – we performed probably as expected, with a nice boost from higher Amazon earnings.

However, we’ll see what the rest of the July Product Review has to say: early signs show a small gain on our main site, and +10-15% on both sites 2 and 3 – however, site 4 has been negatively hit.

We’re focusing most heavily this month on:

  • Sorting email capture (and ideally monetization) on all our major sites. It’s crazy that we haven’t put a cohesive strategy together yet for this — and it’s 100% down to me not putting a system together. We have to get to this in August.
  • Improving social media. We haven’t been active on each of our sites’ social media accounts. While this isn’t life-changing, and it’s hotly debated whether social media matters at all, I personally believe it would be good to be seen as an active entity that can be found talking about the niche on various different platforms.
  • Fully train up our VA. We hired a VA in mid-July, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. So, we’re going to hire a new VA to help with formatting within the first week of August, and focus on fully training them up by the end of the month.
  • Work out how to be less profitable! Recent increases in revenue coupled with letting a couple writers go, and cancelling some software, etc, has meant that for the first time ever, we’re actually quite profitable. This cannot be allowed! So, we’re going to work out how to spend an extra ~£5,000 per month on content and anything else that can help us grow more long-term.
  • Start hitting our content output numbers. We’re below where we want to be in publishing velocity on site 2 especially, as well as site 4. Site 1 also, but to a lesser extent. We also want to push site 6 more. This requires more hard work grinding out briefs for our writers, and better keyword research to keep us stocked with briefs.
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Photo of author
Jamie
Founder of increasing.com, and here to give you the info you need to either start your making money online journey, grow and improve your niche sites, and build the most meaningful and fulfilling life for you.

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