Sep 2022 Income Report: $44,096

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Written By Jamie I.F.
Founder of, 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 hit our previous record high – making $36,500 from our niche site portfolio. Our goal for September was bold: the big $40K.

I wasn’t super confident we’d hit it, to be honest. But, the stars all aligned and we smashed past our previous record.

Our total niche site earnings across our portfolio in September 2022: $44,096.

*This only includes income from our niche sites. We don’t include income we make from anything to do with or my personal Jamie I.F. brand.

Niche site incomes by month
Niche site incomes by month.

** I also want to say these are revenues, not profits. We spend a LOT on these sites, and have not been profitable for the majority of our existence. Whereas some have very profitable business models where they write all their own content, we have not followed that route, and a writing team, VAs, and full-time and part-time employees work on these sites.

Unfortunately, after growing around 15% during the September Core Update, during the time the Product Review update was announced, we were basically smited us right back down to where we were. It doesn’t even look like we lost a lot of rankings, just that far more video and other elements are now populating the SERPs.

So, this is another sign that the future is not all written affiliate content: become multi-channel, and get on video. And… since Google’s fallen in love with Reddit, Quora and niche-specific forums again in the last few weeks – it’s time to get a little frisky with the parasite SEO.

Our new goals are to hit $60,000 in November and December. This should be doable considering how high RPMs and sales are during the Black Friday and Christmas rush – we only need to increase by 50%, and November is usually double revenue, or even higher.

So, fingers crossed we avoid any update craziness and we have stability and can stack cash to invest throughout 2023 to hit the next level.

The total breakdown for the earnings was:

  • $4000 in direct sponsorship (+$445)
  • $11564 in ads (+$2597)
  • $28532 across Amazon Affiliates and other affiliate programs (+$4486)
  • Published 52 new articles + republished 5 existing articles
  • Total page views: 300757 (-9732)

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What Happened in September?

Well, everything was kind of fucked up by my getting covid and being off work for four working days!

This very much scuppered my plans. Alas, let’s run through our major goals, and to what extent we achieved them.

Goal 1: Publish 100 posts in September

We published 52 posts, only just over half our goal. We also republished and optimised 5 posts, for a total of 57 affected posts in September.

There’s like 20 finished-yet-unpublished posts in our Trello – they just need a final publishing check before they go out. They may have been published if I wasn’t sick – but even that would have only got us 3/4 of the way there.

We need to either take on more writers, outsource more, or find a way to encourage our existing team to work more for us. I have plans for this, and will update you as we enact this strategy.

Goal 2: Create more systems

1. Video guides for our writers for (and improve our current templates):

Made no progress on this.

2. Create a linkbuilding system.

Achieved this. We’re beginning to do outreach now, and we’ve pivoted slightly to start building links via HARO, and another new strategy, too. 👀

If this works, we’ll create a case study on this new and novel link building strat.

3. Implement a writer feedback system for saving feedback to track growth and learning over time, and be more efficient and effective with helping writers.

Made no progress on this. It’s not a high priority anyway, on reflection.

4. VA task system.

This will only take an hour, and we can build this whenever. We’ll probably do this this month, but it’s not a pressing need currently – our VA is currently still very busy with the existing work and projects we have on.

5. Better system for hiring and onboarding writers.

Made no progress on this, but it’s not a high priority.

6. Better affiliate link tracking.

Made a very small amount of progress, and this IS a high priority. We’ll do this in October.

7. Implement new internal link system.

Made some progress – AKA, everyone now understands the system.

However, it’s still too complex — and requires too much intuition on a case-by-case basis.

A really bulletproof system would be executable by anyone, even with minimal SEO capability. So, I need to create a simpler-to-understand and execute version – it’s too garbled right now.

Goal 3: Master outsourcing for low-priority sites

We made good progress on this, but we haven’t started outsourcing content yet.

I’ve spoken to some successful people in the industry, and they’ve pointed me to the best content service providers right now – and I trust their recommendations, so we’ll go with them when we start outsourcing.

We’re in the mix right now doing the informational keyword research (affiliate/commercial keyword research is done), which we’ll then outsource.

But, this isn’t just a matter of going through one silo like vacuum cleaners – we have more than a dozen sites, and most sites have significantly more than one silo. So this entire process can take a while, and I’d prefer to have mapped EVERYTHING out before we start creating the content.

We are tweaking our templates and SOPs, too. We very much overhauled our checklist that our team uses to create content briefs so that it’s much more detailed and user-focused: the content brief is focused on exactly how we help people, we now identify our exact audience and user segments, and drill down more precisely into exactly their intent. Hopefully this leads to better results.

Goal 4: Hit featured snippets

We didn’t make any progress on this. It’s now an October project.

I’ll build the G Sheet for this so that we can carefully collate the data to work out how many of the 300+ featured snippets we target, that we manage to snipe.

Not only that, but I want to record the change in traffic, any change in traffic for the main keyword, and other related metrics, to assess the ROI on attacking featured snippets on all top 5 ranking keywords that we don’t currently have the snippet for.


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Sep 2022 Overview

We’ve got big goals:

  1. 1 million page views per month by end of June 2023
  2. $100K/mo niche site earnings by the end of June 2023

To hit those goals, here are some of the projects we worked on in September:

1 – Email

While we haven’t finished with our email and funnel plans – not even close – we’ve made a start and are going to be improving this.

We’ve added Optinmonster pop-ups to our main sites and funnel users to Mailerlite – the cheapest Email marketing platform (that we use for each of our niche sites).

But, we’re not converting well yet.

We’re doing something like 0.5% conversion rates to email subscribers — and it’s no wonder. Our CTAs are just “get the latest info in your inbox”.

This month we’re getting lead magnets created to give away to subscribers, with the goal to raise that up to 2-3% — an increase in thousands of additional monthly emails.

It’s a lot of work upfront though. To be even more targeted, we’re going to show different opt-in offers on different sections on each of our sites, so it’s looking like 5+ PDFs and other enticing offers to gain subscribers.

2 – Initial Linkbuilding

We’ll have more to say in our October report, but in September we created the system which we’ll begin to execute this month.

It’s mostly guest post outreach, so we’re doing the first email outreach now (it’s very slow to start, but we’re being risk-averse) having collected all the domains, emails, and where possible names to contact.

While I am a big proponent of content quality rather than just building links and expecting non-expert content to rank, we’ve also ascended to a point where world-class authority is a prerequisite to even put your hat in the ring to rank for some of these insanely lucrative yet competitive keywords.

Our logic is:

  1. These keywords can be worth $20K+ per month
  2. We want these keywords
  3. These keywords require insane content quality…and insanely high authority
  4. We have the quality, but not the authority
  5. = We must obtain this authority

So 🤷‍♂️

3 – New Website

In life, the people I speak with who try to save by sacrificing top quality – in almost anywhere in life – seem to end up in a worse spot than the people who understand that to achieve big results, you have to put the big money down for top quality.

Yes, we may have gotten comparable results spending $1,500 at a budget, cookie-cutter website factory — but is that what a multimillion-dollar brand would do?

We’re not a multimillion-dollar brand — but we’d like to be. So we need to act like one. And what would a multimillion-dollar brand do?

They would invest in creating the absolute best user experience that also optimises for:

  • Conversions (for affiliate content)
  • A generally pleasant, understated appearance and experience (for longer time on page)
  • Page speed
  • Brand cohesiveness (not one menu built 2 years ago, a footer added 6 months later, etc. It needs to age well)

So that’s what we’re currently doing. It’s costing five figures, and basically involves spending all the money we managed to save up in the last few months of being profitable, but I think there’s few better long-term investments you can make than in your core product.

That said, it’s a huge amount of money – for us at least.

But if it adds even 2% on our current affiliate conversion rates it’ll be a fantastic investment, from factors such as:

  • Better user sculpting toward offers
  • The excellent design as a signal of quality, and therefore the implicit extra trust in the site to give good quality information
  • The redesign of all our CTAs

I also have a hunch that an amazing design makes a site easier to sell, and perhaps even gets you an extra month on the multiple, which sweetens the deal.

The plan is to have the site become a template, so that our entire portfolio can be switched over to this new theme, and any new future sites we start can instantly adopt it. So it’s an asset we can use time and time again.

4 – Building a system to spend another £10,000 to £15,000 per month on content

Hi, my name’s Jamie, and I’m a bottleneck.

I am the current issue. I’m too involved in the process, and so we aren’t publishing enough, and also don’t have the capacity to expand our content production because it runs through me too much.

The remedy for this is:

  • Find niche experts who are also excellent editors, and who can quality control both on a literary level, and on a technical one.
  • Build better content templates for each type of content, and create easily understandable SOPs so that new writers can more quickly create high-quality content.
  • Hire a new team member to conduct pre-brief topic research. So that the brief creator can create higher quality briefs, which leads to the writers writing higher quality articles, which require less editing (and less compulsion from me to edit).

Earlier in the year we were losing money every month, as our costs were around £15,000 per month, and website income hovered in the £10-12K range.

Now, our costs are still around £15,000 per month, but the investment has since paid off, and we’re very profitable. We now need to build the systems and structure to spend £25-30K per month, to try to get to $100K/mo by next June.

But this is a whole new ball game, and something I’m completely unqualified for. I’m only 25, and have never worked in any company – and so I’ve never worked in an environment that had these industrial processes in place to learn from. I’m completely new to this.

But I’m also never content to stand still – this is the next level, and the required organisational complexity is a puzzle to solve. So I’ll keep writing monthly updates here in how we’re cracking this, but this is no one-month job.


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Next Month’s Focus

September was our best ever month – and we met our target of $40,000, overachieving by over $4,000.

But, if we can hit $40K again this month, I’ll still be very happy. A lot of things went our way last month, and it is very unlikely that all of those affiliate programs will all convert above expectation for another month.

Our main focus areas for October are:

  • Linkbuilding: obtain guest posts on authoritative relevant niches for our sites, and show Google we’re a real brand.
  • Move towards becoming multichannel: we’re no longer solely publishing content based on keyword research – or, at least we won’t be forever. We’re moving towards coming up with ideas based on what our audience viscerally wants, which is often not picked up by keyword research. This is the next step in becoming a viral and shareable multichannel brand.
  • Lead magnets for emails: and more generally, a more active email strategy so we can start earning more – and from more locations. So, if for whatever reason organic traffic does decline, we still have income sources from the list. Also, sites with income from a more diverse set of sources sell for higher multiples.

Photo of author
Jamie I.F.
Founder of, 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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