June 2022 Income Report: $32,389.94

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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.

I’m really happy with our final month in Q2’s performance, pushing the earnings up significantly to $32,389.94 in June 2022 — up over $9,500 from the previous month.

This was mostly down to a very large lift on one particular affiliate program on our main site – but we’ll get to that further on.

The total breakdown for the earnings was:

  • $1500 in sponsored content
  • $7673 in ads
  • $23216 across Amazon Affiliates and other affiliate programs

First, I’m going to introduce 4 new websites. I’ll talk about these individually in standalone niche site project posts, and they’ll feature in future income reports, too.

4 New Niche Sites

1. Niche Website Builders public case study site

I’m sure you’ve heard the Niche Website Builders name around – they’re sponsoring so many events, podcasts, etc.

We’re not affiliated with them, we’re not paid to promote them, and we don’t have an affiliate link, but I was intrigued by their proposal of entirely ‘done for you’ niche sites, with content ‘proven to get results.’

So, when I received an email advertising a particular expired/aged domain, I purchased it.

The domain (and the existing 50,000 words worth of posts on there) was $6,499, and I purchased another 50K words with NWB bringing the total to around $10K pre-tax, and after VAT was around a £10,000 investment.

I’ll publish the domain URL in the near future, when I’ve created a more in-depth feature for the project.

The goal of this project: to see whether there really is a viable hands-off business model with niche sites.

We all know that niche sites are a very profitable business model — while there are other costs, you can expect to reasonably get a 10:1 ROI on content if you do the right keyword research and create good briefs.

So, can you just leave it to the Niche Website Builders, and let them print money for you?

We’ll see. We’ve spent £10K so far, and will keep topping this up with 10K or 20K words per month (~£600/~£1,200 per month cost), and report on how the investment is going.

If it works, then NWB have proven to be a great place to park your money and invest in the creation of valuable internet assets. If it doesn’t work, then hopefully our wasted money saves you from making a bad choice.

The site appears to have been hit by the May 2022 Core Update, but I’ll speak with the team to hear their strategy for the site, and will include the figures here, as well as separate periodic updates.

I have Zoom chatted with one of Niche Website Builders’ founders, Adam, and he’s very knowledgeable about niche sites, he’s had numerous profitable flips himself. He also gave me some very good advice about how to move a site purchase into our existing larger site (we discuss this acquisition in last month’s income report) – and he’s very informed on aged domains.

So, hopefully this site explodes in traffic, makes me loads of money, and then I can recommend the NWB guys for all your content and site needs ?.

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2. An ODYS Aged Domain

We also purchased a premium expired domain from ODYS, one of the top aged domain sellers online.

Again, we don’t have an affiliate link, are not partnered with ODYS, and they don’t know I’m writing about them.

I applied, was accepted in to look at their expired domains, and completely coincidentally saw a domain that was absolutely perfect for me, based on my skillsets, interests, and experience – both in real life and as an affiliate marketer and SEO.

I was invited to have a call with ODYS’ co-founder, Alex Drew, and we discussed the purchase of the domain a couple months ago. We ended up purchasing it for €3,500 (currently $3,652) — which was at the time £2,996, so basically £3K.

The site is DR 32, has numerous links from various niche wikis, and I’m super happy with the domain and the niche – it’s also very safe as it was a publication, and now under us it is still a publication, so Google has no reason to take action against us for new ownership. It’s not like we’re taking a paintball course and making it into a restaurant.

I’ve been meaning to start putting content on this site, but haven’t done that yet. My goal for the month for this site is to find a writer, and start executing our content plan.

Apart from the Niche Website Builders site, I’ve never built a site on an aged domain – all our current income comes from sites built from scratch. So I’m super interested in how much of a leg up an aged domain can give you – if they skip the sandbox and blow up instantly, then I’ll have to focus on aged domains in the future!


3 and 4 – Website Purchases

Starting around September last year (2021), we struck a deal that I really thought would change the face of website investing / SEO niche sites forever — with a brand new business model.

There’s so many people online promoting that “no money down” property strategy (now you think about it, it could just be scammers, but what I’m about to describe isn’t a scam!). I thought I had figured out the SEO version.

The client was a wealthy, successful individual who had saved up money from his very high-paying job (think PhD, etc), and a few years back, attracted by the allure of Amazon Affiliate passive income, decided to buy a few sites.

The sites he bought at the time earned somewhere in the region of $20,000 per month — and I believe the 4 sites were purchased for $430,000 (multiples were lower back then – like 20-25x).

However, he, like many others, underestimated how quickly inactive sites can deteriorate, and the combination of the content decaying and Google updates tanked the sites’ traffic over time.

Here’s where the no money down part comes in:

We struck a deal, where we would get 50% of the revenue above a certain figure (around $1,000 per month).

The main part was that we’d also get up to 50% of the final selling price – this was calculated on a sliding scale where we’d earn a lower % if the site sold for X amount, up to a maximum 50% if the sites sold for the $430,000 figure he bought them for.

For example:

Site sale pricePercentage Earned$ Earned
$100,00010%$10,000
$200,00020%$40,000
$300,00030%$90,000
$400,00040%$160,000
$430,00050%$215,000

These figures are arbitrary – our contract wasn’t structured exactly like this, but it shows how we were incentivized to grow them to the top level of earnings by unlocking increasingly large percentages of equity in the sites.

But, it would have proven you could get involved in an already revenue-producing niche site without putting any money down – you’d get paid in a revenue share/profit on sale share instead. No money down SEO.

We were fine structuring this way because we were confident we would succeed and grow the sites. I employed a full-time Content Supervisor during this period, who managed the writers, gave them briefs, and made sure the formatting was optimized. Altogether we were spending around £5,000 per month on these sites when you add the freelance writer costs plus the full-time staff member.

However, we didn’t succeed. After around 9 months, we hadn’t sufficiently grown the sites for us to be satisfied, nor for the client.

I take accountability for this: I wasn’t involved in the content or the keyword research at all, but I could have given better instruction for this process — as a result, many of the articles targeted terms we were unlikely to rank for, were very long and expensive relative to how much we would likely earn back (3000+ words for fairly long-tail content), and often missed search intent. That’s my lesson learned in how to manage better.

But, on two of the four sites, I felt that these could be successful if properly strategized and given the time. So I made the client an offer to buy two of the sites, which we agreed on, and now we own 2 more sites which will be included in the income reports. We’ll sort a strategy for these in the future, but for the moment we haven’t done anything with them.


Site 1: $25,694

We had our second-best ever month on our main site — and the month that out-earned June 2022 was November 2021; Black Friday and Christmas purchase rush month.

So it’s our best ever non-capitalist-monstrosity-crazy month.

This was mainly down to one affiliate program which earned $8750 on its own!

The full breakdown is:

  • $5313 in ads on AdThrive
  • $4104 on Amazon USA
  • $1500 in sponsorships
  • $14777 in other affiliate programs and Amazon rest of world

I can’t say with high certainty that these numbers will maintain — in fact, I think they’ll decline as the high earnings from that single affiliate program are very inconsistent.

But, we are publishing regularly, are improving our systems, and optimizing existing content, so we should be gaining and increasing by a steady $1-2K per month — though $9500 is very steep.

To put it in perspective, if you could increase your website earnings by $9500 every month, at a 43x monthly valuation, you would be earning $408,500 every month in the increase in value of your assets. $5M a year ? ?.

Other stats were:

  • Page views were up around 5% (when accounting for the extra day in May vs June)
  • Bounce rate: down 0.39%
  • Pages per session: up 2.07%

So this suggests a very small improvement in user experience.

Other key metrics are:

  • Articles published: 36
  • Articles optimized and republished: 3
  • Revenue per article per month: $68.34
  • Average RPM for ads in June: $29.39

Our plan for this month is to hire at least one writer (perhaps two) and onboard them to writing on the site, to further expand our content.

I am currently turning our written guidelines into video SOPs to hire a VA to help with formatting, which would allow our content briefing and editing/feedback freelancer to do more of this – rather than a lot of formatting.

With a VA to format, we can also handle more content, and we plan to launch a few more sites over the coming months — but no more after this! We will knuckle down with these projects, and not let shiny object syndrome infect too deeply.

We’re heavily focusing on “vs” keywords around certain brands in the industry, which appears to be successful, and driving traffic (and hopefully sales). We’ve gone more in-depth in creating a detailed single product review template which we hope will also allow us to create even higher quality product reviews in a more systemizable way.

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Site 2: $5606

Site 2 performed slightly better than last month – but this is surprising, given that we really haven’t spent much time on it. It’s been mostly neglected, but we have bold goals to reach £10,000 per month by the end of the year with the site, so we will have to scale this up very soon.

The earnings break down to:

  • $2360 from ads
  • $2067 from Amazon Affiliates
  • $1179 from other affiliate programs

The other affiliate programs performed above expectation, so expect earnings to drop to perhaps just over the $5K mark next month — but I won’t allow this site to decay, and we have a lot of work to do to make this site bigger than ever.

Activity for this site in June:

  • New articles published: 8
  • Articles optimized and republished: 0
  • Revenue per article per month: $50.50
  • Average RPM for ads in June: $45.23

To publish enough content to hit the £10,000 end of 2022 goal, we need to realistically hire at least one more writer, as well as further train the existing writers on the team to meet our lofty quality expectations.

The plan is also to republish and optimize our top 20 best-performing articles, mostly focusing on CRO and maximizing revenue from those articles, but also we would hope they rank even higher and draw more traffic as a result of the improvements. The plan is to do all of those articles this month, but that may be unrealistic.

Site 3: $788

This is the site that we mentioned in our last income report was hit by the Core Update in May, which took our top-performing article down around 70% in traffic.

This article was also an unbelievably high-converting article that generated almost all the site’s income, so revenues have fallen around this amount, too.

In January 2022 the site earned $1,924, so the decrease to $788 is very notable, even if overall traffic is relatively stable as other articles increase in traffic.

However, if we ran ads we’d probably earn like $250 more, but we don’t currently — we’re waiting to hit 30,000 page views to join AdThrive.

A full-time employee writes for and manages this site fully, and I know that our strategy and vision for this site, if we focus and execute it properly, will make this site a great success. This site probably has the potential to be the largest site in our portfolio, and we look beyond short-term hits when investing in this one.

We plan to re-optimize this article to try and get back the lost traffic, but currently we’ve been spinning multiple plates and trying to grow in two niches at the same time, whereas now we’re going to focus more deeply on one niche. And that niche isn’t the one with this high-earning article, so that requires precarious balancing also.

We published 20 articles in June, and will likely publish a similar amount in July – depending on how much we focus on optimizing existing content vs writing new content.

We’re focusing more on single product reviews (and actually testing the products) this month, and then using those real reviews to flesh out our buyer’s guides with better review content and real-life images. There are low DR competing sites ranking for some high-traffic product review keywords in this niche, so we’re trying to get a piece of that action.

Site 4: $70

Site 4 continues to grow in traffic following the May 2022 Core Update, and we really need to spend more time on it to make the most of this. It gets a steady 150 users a day now, so we could make a bit more money if we put ads on the site, but there’s just no need yet.

We published 9 articles on this site in June 2022, and will likely publish a similar amount again with the one writer working on this site – unless we do decide to take on another.

There are 53 published articles in total, so it’s far from a comprehensive site in the niche. But, we do have keyword research completed with around 100 articles to write now – so that’ll keep us busy for a while.

All the earnings came from Amazon Affiliates commissions, and we haven’t even looked at any external affiliate programs yet – we’re so far away from that CRO level, all we’ve done is stick Amazon links where appropriate.

Site 5: $5

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 and 7: Combined $225

These are the two sites we bought off the client we worked with, which I discussed in the intro — and in June they earned a total of $225, $75 on one site, and $150 on the other.

There’s a lot of quick easy wins on these sites to be honest, and they rank at the bottom of page 1, or the top of page 2, for a fair few high-value terms. It’s just a question of time – and who could optimize these pages. I can’t really justify the time when we have so many other high-value sites to work on improving.

We need to hire writers for these sites, and we have another 10-15 drafts just sitting there unpublished from content we outsourced to WordAgents. But there’s definitely potential to make a few thousand dollars per month from these sites, and then to flip them on for 6 figures.


Summary

June was a good month, and we want to keep supercharging this niche site growth.

We’re focusing most heavily this month on:

  • Hiring and onboarding a formatting VA to free us up time to do more high-value activities
  • 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
  • Perfecting our single product review templates for each niche
  • 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
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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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