Another month down and although this one isn’t as good as last month, I still made quite a bit in November. From a revenue standpoint, this was my second-best month of all time and that’s definitely a positive sign.
My actual profit numbers for the month are lower than what I would like, but this number is a little bit skewed. The reason is because I’m still including the advertising expense that myself and my wife are incurring for her YouTube channel ads that she started about 3 months ago. So really, my expenses are inflated.
Aside from that, it was a pretty good month.
Three of the websites in my portfolio had their best month ever from an earnings perspective and this is obviously a very positive sign.
However, for the first time in a long time I was really stressing about my online business in the month of November. It seems that I was hit by an algorithm update on my most successful website and this has impacted earnings and traffic.
Coincidentally, I also feel like implementing Google Auto Ads might have negatively impacted some of the sites rankings. It’s extremely hard to say if this is true or not because there are quite a few variables at play, but the timing of my traffic going down coincides directly with auto ads being implemented.
Anyway, there’s a lot to get into in this report and I have some pretty interesting things to say about my experiences this month.
But before I begin, let’s discuss this month highlights:
- Total revenue for the month was $27,428.64. Not as high as last month, but definitely a number that I’m happy with. I was hoping to hit $30,000 in revenue in a single month by the end of the year, but I highly doubt that’s going to happen now.
- Website 5 had a breakout month and November was actually its best month ever. You’re probably wondering what I did to make that happen. The answer is…. nothing. Really, I can attribute this solely to Google auto ads.
- Website 7 more than tripled its earnings by bringing in $196.02 in November. Still not where I envision it to be, but definitely a positive sign.
- My Wife’s YouTube channel made $191.07, which is pretty awesome considering it just started three months ago. However, I do expect this to slow down considerably now that were stopping our ad placements.
- Website 6 also had it’s best month ever and more than doubled the profit from October. A good sign for sure and traffic continues to grow here as well.
This month my total income after expenses was $17,386.76 which comes out to $579.56 per day.
Personal Life Update
Really not a whole lot is new in my personal life. My wife and I are trying to plan a trip within or possibly outside the United States, but we’re still having to wait for her green card to get approved.
She’s done with all paperwork and is approved officially, but we still need the actual green card.
It’s a very annoying process and though they told us it would be done by the end of November, here we sit waiting for a response.
Aside from that, we had to take both our cat and dog into the vet to get some teeth pulled and also had our dog fixed this last month
While it’s always stressful to put a pet under anesthesia, thank god they’re both totally fine and still part of our family.
Thanksgiving didn’t hold any surprises as my wife and I just hung out with family and relaxed quite a bit. I ate enough food to feed a horse and gained 3 lbs, but it’s all good. I guess that’s what Thanksgiving is all about, right?
That’s all for the personal update.
Before I begin the actual report, If you’d like to begin a similar journey as myself and try to create a passive income online business, I recommend you read this write-up I did.
It explains the truth about online business and should help educate you before you move forward with anything.
If this is your first time on my website let me explain a few things about my detailed income reports each month that outlines the money I made (or lost) each month.
I’m doing this for a number of reasons:
1) I strive to be transparent about what it takes to make money online.
2) These reports help me keep track of my own progress.
3) These reports hold me accountable.
Keep in mind, I don’t create these to gloat about my earnings. I create them to help you understand the true “earning curve” of online business.
On a side note, I don’t disclose my actual website URL’s on my reports because I’ve had bad experiences with copycats in the past.
So, in my income reports, you’ll see website generalizations like Website 1, Website 3, Website 5 Website 4, etc.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the report.
How did the Income Report Turn Out This Month?
|PRODUCT OR SERVICE||REVENUE||EXPENSES||NET INCOME|
|Link Whisper ||$20.10||$20.10|
|Aweber Email Platform||$20.70||$20.70|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$40.00||$40.00|
|Siteground Web Hosting||$50.00||$50.00|
|OHP Course Sales||$294.00||$294.00|
|Website 4 Amazon FBA Sales||$697.09||$697.09|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$35.09||$35.09|
|Website 6 Partners and Affiliates||$182.56||$182.56|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$292.02||$292.02|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$366.45||$366.45|
|Website 1 Partners and Affiliates||$11,892.78||$11,892.78|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$14.45||$14.45|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$153.39||$153.39|
|Thalita YouTube Channel||$191.07||$191.07|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$27.30||$27.30|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$67.22||$67.22|
|Website 1 Media.net Ad Revenue||$160.72||$160.72|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|Website 6 Adsense Revenue||$0.24||$0.24|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$7.08||$7.08|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$15.77||$15.77|
|Website 7 Adsense Revenue||$196.02||$196.02|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$208.17||$208.17|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$582.22||$582.22|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$1,854.58||$1,854.58|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$9,867.03||$9,867.03|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Tailwind Pinterest Marketing App||$14.99||-$14.99|
|Google Business Drive Storage and Apps||$38.09||-$38.09|
|Upwork Premium Employer Plan||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Vid IQ YouTube Software||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Mailshake Email Software||$57.00||-$57.00|
|Intuit Quick Books||$80.00||-$80.00|
|Shutterstock Monthly Subscription||$125.00||-$125.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Research, Editing, Video Production, and Misc. Labor||$3,143.08||-$3,143.08|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Website 6||Website 7||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
|November 2019||$21,920.53||$2,173.90||$602.88||$1,338.93||$15.77||$617.31||$182.80 ||$196.02 ||$0||$21.59||$358.91|
|August 2019||$17,817.28||$2,590.92||$414.58||$553.82||$23.67||$133.92||$97.26 ||$2.57 ||$275.00 ||$40.00 ||$156.00 |
|January 2018||$7993.31 ||$467.71 ||$757.59 ||$718.04 ||$14.26 ||$486.99 ||$0||$113.95 ||$67.06 |
Website 1 Update
November started as an obscenely good month and this website was the main cause.
There were plenty of days and I was making over $1000 and I think my highest day ever was when I had $1200.00 in a 24 hr period.
But, of course, Google giveth and Google shall taketh away.
It looks like this website was impacted by an algorithm update around 11/8/2019 that focused on local results.
It’s really difficult for me to say exactly how much traffic dropped by because Thanksgiving time is a slow time for the website as well, but I think 15-20% is a reasonable estimation.
As of now, it looks like the website is bouncing back, but I’m really not sure where it’s going to end up and will probably only fully understand what is happened to the website midway through December.
I can say with absolute certainty that some of the most popular searches that this website used to rank for has fallen a little bit.
Basically, there is one page that accounts for a lot of traffic and for some reason, Google decided that it should no longer rank for these highly trafficked keywords.
To combat this, I’ve revised a lot of content on this page and also created a second page that I’m trying to get Google to understand what the content is.
It’s hard to explain why this is so difficult, but two of the keywords that I’m trying to rank for are very similar, but slightly different.
I don’t know that Google has really differentiated this yet as it continues to try to use my one page to rank for everything as opposed to understanding what the second page is about and ranking that accordingly.
I’m going to focus on creating a few back links to this new page to get Google to recognize that it also has value. If I can eventually rank the second page in addition to the first page, I’ll have quite a bit of new traffic coming to the site as this is something that I’ve neglected as time has gone on.
From what I can see, it looks like all of my competitors are focused on this second page keyword and while they have decent resources, my information blows their stuff out of the water because I have a lot of data that was created by the website itself which they don’t have access to.
The worst part about all this is that soon after I implemented Google Auto Ads for this website, I started to see a drop in traffic.
Now, this dropping traffic could be because of the algorithm update.
It could be because of the holiday.
It could be because Google Auto Ads put too many ads on the page and Google as a search engine didn’t like that.
Or, it could be that Google Auto Ads put too many ads on the page and although I was generating more revenue from clicks, it decreased my time on site which negatively impacted my rankings.
Honestly, I’m not sure what it is.
What I do know is that I have temporarily stopped Google auto ads from showing on this website until further notice.
It’s really frustrating because in the month of November the auto ads generated be an extra $700, but if that comes at the cost of losing rankings and potentially tanking my website, I have absolutely no interest.
The caveat to this is that I also have Google auto ads on a lot of other websites and they don’t seem to be impacted.
As of now, I’m going to keep the auto ads off my site and see if I can climb back up the rankings for keywords that I’ve lost positions on.
If I can, then I will likely test auto ads in the future but with one small change.
What I didn’t know previously is that when auto ads are put on your site you have the ability to change the ad load. In other words, you’re able to reduce the number of ads that are shown on the page with a simple toggle feature they offer.
I didn’t know this when I originally implemented auto ads and I was astonished as to how many ads they put on my pages. For most of the blog posts, I was seeing at least 8 to 10 display ads shown on the page.
Frankly, this was just too much and I left that way because I assume that Google would never penalize me for their own optimizations. At this time, I suspect I was wrong in that but I have no concrete proof that auto ads is the cause of the traffic drop.
I’d love to say it was auto ads, but I can’t because many of my other websites are still doing fine and have these ads implemented.
It’s frustrating though because this is some of what you deal when you have an online business.
Things are changing all the time so when you have a website where traffic falls, you aren’t 100% sure what the cause was. But, in my opinion, it’s really weird that this website has been rock solid for about four years and all of a sudden had issues right after I implemented auto ads.
Then again, I’ve been reading and many people have reported that they have websites that were never hit before that got hit by this update.
Even more interesting is the fact that right after I turned auto ads off, my traffic started to climb again.
It was a good experiment, but a little too risky for me because this website is a significant part of my portfolio.
If you’re wondering what my recommendation is with Google auto ads, I still think you should try it. I always think everyone should try everything and test to see what impact it has on your website.
In theory, Google Auto Ads is an amazing platform and while it doesn’t appear that they have everything right yet, I look forward to the day when I can throw these ads on to my website without a care in the world knowing that Google has enough data points and machine learning in place to make me (and their company) the most money.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress:
I no longer focus on Udemy and have no intention of going back. They sell my courses for $10 each and I’m just not okay with that.
OHP Website Update
I did very little on the OHP website this month and that’s mainly because of the issues that I was having with Website 1.
When your main breadwinner website starts have issues, everything else takes a backseat and that’s exactly what happened.
I do have some updates for the related YouTube channel though.
My revenue increased 7% month over month and I got 129 new subscribers.
The videos I published this month are as follows:
While it wasn’t a lot of content, I do think that it’s great I was able to publish these at all. As usual, there’s quite a few nuggets in the interview with Jon that I think everybody can appreciate and my experience with motion invest is something I wanted to get out there now as they grow the company.
Website 3 Update
It wasn’t a bad month for Website 3.
Year-over-year, I made almost the same amount of money and although that’s a little frustrating because I’ve been actively working to try to make this website rank higher in search engines, I’ll take it.
The thing about this website is that it’s been stuck in the same rankings for some time and I’m starting to wonder if there is any way to make it rank higher.
I’ve done quite a bit of optimizing in the past and this last month launched a new update to the site which made a lot of the content timelier and more relevant.
While I was hoping that this would increase the rankings significantly, it only did a tiny bit and this wasn’t what I was hoping for.
But, it’s definitely not over.
At this point I’m thinking of doing two different things to this website in order to make it grow.
First, I’m considering switching hosting over to Kinsta in an effort to speed the site up. I don’t think that site speed is a huge problem, but it definitely couldn’t hurt.
I still recommend Siteground website hosting to most people as I feel like it is a great solution that scales nicely. But after moving Website 1 to Kinsta I noticed a pretty big site speed increase so it’s something I’m considering.
Second, I’m kicking around the idea of doing more link building.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done link building to this website and though it’s always a pain to find new links, I do think it could help the site.
Only time will tell what actions I take, but I’d say right now I’m leaning towards switching hosting as a first step.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress.
Website 4 Update
I had another good month with Website 4 and a large part of that is due to the Amazon FBA product that I’ve created.
All in all, it contributed a good amount of earnings for the month and so far, I’ve sold just over 70 units and I’m ranking number one on Amazon for terms related to the product itself.
While this product is seasonal, I was doing some Christmas shopping online and saw some things that gave me some new product ideas. I’m not sure if I’m going to execute on them yet, but I’ve been trying to think about a product to tie to this website for some time and I might’ve finally found the right one.
I’m still in the beginning stages of creating it, but I could definitely see a situation next year where I move forward with it.
Here are my statistics for this website in the last 13 months:
Website 5 Update
This was a delightful surprise for November.
At the end of the month I was putting together the numbers and frankly, I was shocked to see how much earnings have increased from October.
If you’re wondering what the cause of this was, I can point specifically to Google Auto ads.
In addition to making more money though, this website hasn’t been negatively impacted by any algorithm update as of late and is actually climbing in page views every month.
My hope is that this trend continues and the earnings continually increase. It would be pretty awesome to watch this website come back from the dead and be able to work on it again.
There is definitely quite a bit of content I could create here and even though I basically abandoned this website in the past, I never sold it for this exact reason.
I was hoping that one day it would start to show some positive momentum and November might be that moment.
As of right now, I’m going to leave it for the month of December and see how things shake out. But, if these earnings are as high per thousand visitors in the month of December as well, there’s a really good chance that I’ll start having a writer create content for this website again.
Here are my statistics for this website for the last 13 months:
Website 7 Update
Website 7 took a HUGE leap in month 8 and I saw some very positive signs. I saw an increase of traffic by over 100% MoM and my earnings grew by 300%.
The website made roughly $196 in November and this is a positive sign eight months into the project.
Truth be told, there is still a heck of a lot that I have to put on to the website but these earnings are very encouraging.
As of right now, I barely work at all on the site personally.
I just have my writers creating 12 pieces of content a week, an editor looking over all the content, and a virtual assistant posting all the content.
While it’s been kind of a slow process, there has been a steady amount of growth on this website since inception and my hope is that it will continue.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website: $13,641.00
How Much Money Has This Website Made? $276.90
Total ROI: $-13,364.10
How Much Content is on the Website:
Keep in mind that this is an informational type of website, not affiliate related at all. My plan is to monetize with AdSense and info products I create.
561 Informational pages on the website
44 Informational Blog Posts
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
For now, I’ll just continue on with our current content schedule and investments in this website.
It probably seems crazy that I’ve invested the cost of the car into this website in the last eight months, but I know that eventually this will be something that will grow my income overall.
There’s no reason to pull back on content creation and there’s also no reason to create links for this website right now.
Google is continually rewarding the site with more traffic, so I’m going to simply let it run on autopilot with my team and keep an eye on things to make sure that the analytics continue to grow.
As of right now, this one definitely has some serious momentum.
Below is a summary of the website so far:
Website 6 Update
I’m really starting to see some positive things out of this website and it’s very encouraging.
This one had a rough start and although I attribute a lot of that to the malicious malware attack that it had, it just seems that this one is starting to do better as of late.
Though the website didn’t make a ton of money for the month, it did earn a significant profit compared to the month prior and had an increase in traffic by about 37%.
This officially made it the best month that this website has ever had.
While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maintain this growth for the website in the foreseeable future, these are definitely positive signs.
In addition, as of right now this website is only monetized through affiliate marketing.
I did this because the EPM was so low previously and my traffic was so low that it didn’t make sense to implement any ads.
Now that the page views are climbing, I’ll definitely be willing to look back at the data of this website to try to see if I should put the ads back on to it.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website: $4,500.33
How Much Money Has This Website Made? $626.91
Total ROI: -$3,873.42
How Much Content is on the Website:
This website is mostly focused on affiliate content with some informational content. There is also a big play for sponsored brand content in the future.
183 Blog Posts
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
While this was a great month, I’m just going to continue doing the exact same thing that I have in the past few months.
Right now, we’re doing a little bit of link building using my wife’s Instagram profile, but other than that we’re simply creating content and putting it on to the website.
I did notice one interesting thing a month ago with this website that changed my strategy and I think it’s paying off.
A month ago, we were trying to write content for more competitive keywords (Monthly search 50-100) and essentially fell flat on our face with this strategy. While frustrating, it made me realize that we had to go after less competitive terms in order to start making gains in traffic and earnings.
In November, I decided I was going to focus on those less competitive terms and it definitely looks like things are working out.
My hope is that eventually some of these more competitive posts will give us ranking because Google will understand that we’re making better content, but until that happens, we’ll just continue focusing on the less competitive terms as this strategy is working.
In terms of the malicious attack we had previously on this website, I still see pages pop into Google from time to time but nothing like it was previously.
So, once every couple of weeks I’ll jump in and remove the bad links from the search engine index.
Below is a summary of the website so far:
Website 8 Update
This website is still completely unprofitable and barely even has a heartbeat.
Quite frankly, I’ve done next to nothing on this website myself and just have my team in place to create and post the content.
I’m actually really happy with the writer I found and feel that the content he’s creating is exactly what I need to succeed in this niche.
But, it’s still a long way to go and I’m just going to continue posting two blog articles a week for at least another eight months before I even start to work on this website.
I figure, it’s better to age a website yourself by creating content like this and then revisiting it in the future.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website: $618.42
How Much Money Has This Website Made? $0
Total ROI: -$618.42
How Much Content is on the Website/YouTube:
This website is mostly focused on affiliate content with some informational content.
14 Informational Blog Posts
Thalita YouTube Channel
If you’re wondering why my wife’s YouTube Channel is included in my income reports, it’s because it’s all part of the same business. For more details, look at the Thalita YouTube Channel update on this income report when I introduced it.
It was another very expensive month for Thalita’s YouTube channel in November. And for a second month in a row, my income report looked a lot less impressive because of it.
But, I’m okay with it.
In the month of November, we spent just about $3100 in Google ads to give her a base of followers on the platform.
This has definitely worked and she gets a lot of very positive comments from followers who absolutely love what she’s doing.
As of now, we have stopped those ads because we’ve already spent around $6500 to get everything started and now she has a monthly expense of $1100 for her team to edit and research videos for her.
The plan moving forward is that she will publish videos Monday through Friday until she reaches 100 total publish videos.
At that point in time, we’re going to look at her business and determine if we need to adjust anything.
I was talking to her about this the other day and although she’s having a tough time with the channel not being profitable or extremely successful yet, like most things on the Internet, it takes a lot of patience.
I know for a fact that her content is better than most of her competitors and she’s been told as such multiple times in the comments themselves. But, at this point in time, YouTube hasn’t taken notice.
It’s okay though, I think that eventually she’ll have a video or two go viral and then it’ll be pretty clear sailing from there.
And even more important than that, I asked her if she enjoyed what she was doing and her answer was a resounding YES.
In my opinion, you should never have to work for yourself and do something that you hate. If you’re working for yourself and hate your job, it’s time to sell the business.
In this case, she really seems to be enjoying it and that’s what’s most important to me.
Now, let’s just hope it works out.
How Much Have We Invested in This YouTube Channel:
How Much Money Has This YouTube Channel Made? $227.47
Total ROI: -$8,652.38
How Much Content is on the YouTube Channel?
Below are the metrics of the channel so far:
Every month, I’m going to reflect back and tell you a few different lessons that I’ve learned. My hope is that the lessons each month will be a cautionary tale for you that makes it so that you don’t make the dumb mistakes that I do along the way.
- Google Auto Ads – Proceed With Caution: Last month I was all excited about Google Auto ads and now that the honeymoon period is over, I’m not as excited anymore. While these ads definitely do increase earnings on your website, I also believe that the amount of ads that Google optimizes for can actually hurt your rankings if you aren’t careful. My advice, as with most things, is to test. Test to see how it works for you and keep an eye on your traffic as you do it to make sure that you aren’t penalized. I’d also pay special attention to ad load to make sure Google doesn’t overwhelm your website with display ads.
- Big Earnings take BIG investments: As of now, I have about $25,000 in investments into various properties that myself and my wife are creating. Simply put, in order to win big, you have to risk big and that’s what I’m willing to do on any of the websites that I create. This is because I have faith in myself (and my wife). I’m sure that I’ll still fail sometimes and it will be painful and expensive, but when I have momentum with any project, I refuse to slow down. Do you need to invest as much as I have? Absolutely not! My first website I just worked like crazy on and it ended up growing pretty big. However, once you have the funds to create a team, I highly advise you to do so. This is the only way that you can propel yourself and grow the business significantly year over year.
- Spending Money on YouTube is Easy: I am amazed at how easy it’s been to spend roughly $6500 on YouTube ads in the last two months. Though I do think that it’s been worth it, it just shows how you can burn through money when you’re only paying $0.01 per click.
Did I Meet my Goals for November?
Finish Motion Invest Review
I did finish this and I’m happy to report that I’m now the number one result in both Google and YouTube. Click here to read it
Link Whisper Review
Total fail here. With Website 1 showing signs of declining, I stopped all other projects and focused on it. I do still intend on doing this, but Website 1 will take precedence over anything else that I have.
Get Website 4 Amazon Product Setup
Done! I sent the product into Amazon and have sold over $700 worth.
What Are my Goals for December?
Link Whisper Review (Repeat)
This is just a repeat of last month. I didn’t get it done, so I’m going to try to get my review done in the month of December.
Get Rankings Back on Website 1
My baby is hurting a little bit and I want to make sure that I get things fixed. It’s going to take a little bit of time to do so, but I want to improve the content on Website 1 so that my rankings come back to what they were previously. I’m not really 100% sure if I’ll be able to do this, but I’m definitely going to try.
Revise Most Important Articles on Website 1
Now that I saw a small decline in the website, it’s angered me enough to go after my competitors. So, now I’m going to look at the most popular articles on their websites and try to find a way to beat them at their own game. I think I can do it, but it’s going to take a little bit of time and in this month I’ll be focused on that.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!