This month was the best month I’ve ever had for my online business.
To be completely honest with you, this was a pretty big surprise. Not only was September a short month with 30 days, but things didn’t go too smoothly in August and I didn’t necessarily expect this type of performance.
I actually don’t know exactly what has happened that made this month better than all the others from a revenue perspective.
I don’t think that there is any one single thing that I’ve done that made this happen. Rather, this is just the result of an accumulation of effort that myself and my team have put in over the last few months.
The month itself had quite a few highlights:
- For the first time ever, on Sept. 10th, I was able to make over $1000 in a single day. This is nothing short of astonishing to me and I still remember the days when I was hoping to make $500 in a single month. In total, I made $1,055.43 on that day alone, which was a cool milestone to hit.
- There were multiple days during the month that I was making over $900 each day as well. Now the next goal is to try to make over $1000 a day on a consistent basis. I’m almost there, just need to keep working hard.
- My YouTube channel is starting to grow (Both in earnings and subscribers) and I anticipate that this will continue as I now have a great video editor in place.
- Compared to previous months, Website 5 did pretty well and I hope that this upward trajectory continues.
- I started a new website! This one is very forward thinking and something I am planning on really working on in a year or so.
- My wife started a new YouTube channel! I’m going to keep this in the project updates because I want to monitor her progress and frankly, this is one of the best ways to do it. Plus, the expenses fall under this report, so the earnings should too.
This month my total income after expenses was $20,238.31 which comes out to $674.61 per day.
Personal Life Update
There really weren’t a whole lot of things that happened in September other than my birthday.
To celebrate, my wife and I went out to dinner and aside from the various weekends that we spent with friends things were pretty simple.
I did take a five-day trip to Arizona to visit my best friend who moved there last year. It was a good time and something that I had been looking forward to for a while.
While there, pretty much all that I did was drink alcohol and eat food. Which, obviously was a good time, but was also exhausting and I gained 6 pounds while on the vacation.
The good news though is that I’ve already lost a lot of that weight and intend on losing even more.
I’ve been more focused recently on becoming healthier than I have been. Ever since my surgery on my arm for my pinched nerve, my health declined a little bit because frankly, I was being lazy.
I ate like crap, barely worked out, and I actually think was depressed there for a bit as I couldn’t do too much.
Now that things are better and I’m able to work out regularly, I’m getting back on track and it feels good.
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|
|Aweber Email Platform||$20.70||$20.70|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$40.00||$40.00|
|OHP Course Sales||$147.00||$147.00|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 2 Partners and Affiliates||$0||$0|
|Website 6 Partners and Affiliates||$50.33||$50.33|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$67.82||$67.82|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$399.90||$399.90|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$692.54||$692.54|
|Website 1 Partners and Affiliates||$10,312.03||$10,312.03|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$10.93||$10.93|
|Website 6 YouTube Channel||$47.17||$47.17|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$118.95||$118.95|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$19.16||$19.16|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$44.90||$44.90|
|Website 1 Media.net Ad Revenue||$166.68||$166.68|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|Website 6 Adsense Revenue||$0||$0|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$10.61||$10.61|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$14.72||$14.72|
|Website 7 Adsense Revenue||$17.80||$17.80|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$102.22||$102.22|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$141.13||$141.13|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$1,935.32||$1,935.32|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$10,527.60||$10,527.60|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Tailwind Pinterest Marketing App||$14.99||-$14.99|
|Fiverr Logo Design||$17.00||-$17.00|
|Mailshake Email Software||$38.00||-$38.00|
|Upwork Premium Employer Plan||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Google Business Drive Storage and Apps||$56.09||-$56.09|
|Intuit Quick Books||$70.00||-$70.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Research, Editing, and Misc. Labor||$1,479.78||-$1,479.78|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Website 6||Website 7||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
|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: September was the best month I’ve ever seen for this website and while I’d love to tell you I had some type of secret strategy that worked incredibly well, that just isn’t the case.
The only thing that I’ve been focused on with this website in the last six months is updating content and with results like this, I have no question that this strategy works well.
I didn’t do anything in particular to make this month’s earning better than all the others, I think that it’s just an accumulation of everything that I’ve been doing.
When comparing the metrics YoY in the table below, I’ve noticed a few things stand out.
First, I’ve been able to increase my earnings per thousand visitors by about $27. This isn’t from one single revenue channel, but applies across the entire website.
I think this goes to show the importance of continually optimizing for revenue and making sure that you have all of the possible income generating channels prevalent on your website.
Second, if the past is any indication, I should have more traffic in October than I did in September and I really hope I do.
Quite frankly, I’m shocked at the success that this website has had.
Not a single day goes by that I don’t look at these numbers in amazement because when I first started this project, I was just hoping to make a couple hundred bucks a month.
Now that I’ve really dialed in the earning potential, my focus is strictly on getting more traffic.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress:
Udemy Update: 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. This month they brought in $35 though, and that’s not too bad for doing nothing at all.
OHP Website Update: While I don’t have many updates for the website, I do have updates for the related YouTube channel.
I was able to publish two different videos this month and by doing so, was able to increase my earnings by about 10%. This is pretty encouraging and definitely means I want to continue on with my focus on YouTube.
As mentioned in the intro, I have a good editor in place and now my goal is to provide her with four raw video clips in the first week of every month. If I can do this, then I’ll be able to have her edit videos in bulk and publish a single video every week.
The videos I published this month are as follows:
I also have plans to interview Doug over at NicheSiteProject.com in October. Should be a good one, so stay tuned on the emails for that.
Not many people know this, but him and I started this online business stuff around the same time and have both found success. We usually meet up on Skype every two weeks to see how everything is going and get updates from each other.
I guess you could say this is my version of a mastermind.
Anyway, YouTube is starting to be an interesting revenue channel and if I can rank quite a bit of my videos, I could see it bringing in an extra $500 – $1000 per month.
Oh, and before I forget, I want to also say thank you to Jon over at AuthorityWebsiteIncome for including me on his income reports. I’ve been following him for a long time, so it was cool to see myself featured there as well.
Website 3 Update: This website still hasn’t hit my expectations, and to be honest, I’m never sure that it actually will.
While I did have more pageviews this September than I did a year ago, the amount of total earnings is about $1200 less.
I’m going to do a deep dive into the analytics to try to see why this is and what I can do to make it better, but this website simply isn’t meeting the expectations I have for it.
I mentioned in the last few months of income reports how I have a development project in process to try to make this website even better, and sadly I’m still working on that.
This is because my go-to developer basically told me that he wasn’t able to complete the task as it was something, he wasn’t comfortable with. It involved an API integration that got pretty complex, so I had to find another developer to help.
Frankly, I was happy he said that though. I’d rather a developer admit their shortcomings as opposed to spend a crazy number of billable hours figuring it out.
The good news is that I have found a new developer for this project and he’s about halfway through the project.
I’m really hoping that once I do this and review the pages that need optimization, I’ll be able to increase the revenue and positions for them in the SERP.
Here’s a graph of the last 13 months of progress.
Website 4 Update: Considering that I’ve done next to nothing for this website in the last couple years, it’s pretty incredible that revenue has only dropped a small percentage YoY.
This is one of those websites that I created and though it is successful, the niche that I selected was to limited. It’s definitely doing well in the niche related to the topic of the website, but I don’t see it growing significantly more than where it’s currently at.
One interesting update though is that the Facebook group associated with this website now has over 22,000 members, so there is a significant opportunity to launch various products with this audience.
Just as I’ve done the last two years, I’m creating a seasonal product that this Facebook group absolutely loves. All in all, this ends up making me around $1000 each year and it’s still worth my time to complete.
I’ve said this hundreds of times, but I still need to seriously consider creating products for this niche. I looked into doing this more seriously a year ago and the only thing that stopped me was the fact that it’s pretty hard to source products.
I’m sure I could do it, and I really need to, so I’m going to make this more of a priority in the coming months.
Here are my statistics for this website in the last 13 months:
Website 5 Update: I was surprised to see that Website 5 did as well as it did in September. At this point, I’ve tried numerous things on this website and although a lot of them have failed, there is still some hope.
As a cautionary tale, this is one of the websites where I utilized database link building to try to grow the website authority.
For those that don’t know, database link building is when you create a geo-specific database of listings and encourage the individuals on those listings to link to you.
For example, if you had a website about cars, you’d have directory listings of the “best car dealers in CITY NAME” and then reach out to them to give links back to your database.
While I did get quite a few links, many of these links were reciprocal because I link back to the individual websites that link to me. In addition, this was the ONLY link building tactic I used and I did far too much at one time.
I actually think that this was the downfall of this website.
To try to remedy things, I put Nofollow tags on all of the outbound links in an effort to have Google think that it wasn’t a reciprocal link exchange.
That barely did anything at all.
I then did a little bit of guest posting to try to increase the link profile diversity.
That barely did anything at all.
So now, I think my next step is to remove the links to these other websites entirely and just list the URLs on the page.
I don’t know if it’s going to help at all because Google may already realize that the reciprocal linking was in place, but my hope is that this will be viewed as a positive and will increase the rankings of this website.
But, until I’m able to get this done, I’m just going to sit and let this website earn me passive income.
Here are my statistics for this website for the last 13 months:
Website 7 Update
This was an encouraging month for Website 7. Both pageviews and earnings increased significantly from August and I believe that this will continue in October.
I feel like I’ve done a good job with this website because I haven’t gone overboard on the link building and I’ve seen some steady growth due to my efforts.
Basically, I’ve done one link building campaign with this website and although it went really well, I’ve done nothing since then.
I’m realizing that I need to sit back and be patient. As long as the traffic continues to climb and my numbers are improving, I’m going to refrain from building even more links to the website.
I know it sounds really weird to throttle my link building efforts, but I do believe in the past (specifically Website 5), the link velocity was too quick and this ended up working against me.
Moving forward, I’ll be creating a link building campaign, getting a number of links, and then stopping for at least a month or two to see the results of those link building efforts.
I’m doing this mainly because I noticed that Spencer over at NichePursuits had a public case study where he didn’t do too much link building. He basically built a few links and then stopped building links as the website was growing.
This makes perfect sense to me. Instead of piling on links and possibly getting the wrong kind of attention from Google for manipulating the SERP’s due to having a link velocity that’s too high, I’d much rather run a campaign, stop for a little while to see results, and then run another campaign.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
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.
427 Informational pages on the website
35 Informational Blog Posts
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
For the month of October, my plan is to simply have my writers create content and my VA publish everything. I’ll review analytics closely and keep a watchful eye. I do have a new link building campaign planned, but as the website is growing in popularity, I see no reason to move forward with it.
You have to remember, this website is only six months old and I think it’s probably still somewhat in the Google sandbox.
I have definitely noticed an increase in organic traffic over the last couple months as shown in the graph below. While I’m not exactly sure how long this trend will continue, the results are pretty encouraging thus far.
How Much Money Has This Website Made?
Though it’s not doing too well yet from a revenue perspective, I was able to make $17.80 in September and that was with many of the pages not having ads and not monetizing at all for at least half the month.
The total earnings so far are $22.47
Below is a summary of the website so far:
Website 6 Update
It’s funny how I mentioned that I was annoyed by this website last month, because I can tell you that I’m even more annoyed this month.
Traffic is climbing a little bit, but earnings dropped pretty significantly and I’m not too thrilled about it.
I chalk a lot of that up to bad luck considering the affiliate links I have in place are doing the job of sending people off to possibly purchase things, but this month no one purchased big-ticket items.
In addition to that, our primary writer on this website had to suddenly quit and we went a good week and a half without any new articles.
At this point, I have another writer in place and I’m eager to get her started, but this was a painful experience because the writer had to leave so suddenly.
That said, things like this happen and instead of getting angry, I wish her the absolute best with the personal issues that she’s dealing with.
At the end of the day, business isn’t everything and your health and your family are a priority above all else.
In this case, family was prioritized over business and I completely understand.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
How Much Content is on the Website/YouTube:
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.
159 Blog Posts
30 YouTube Videos – After much discussion, the YouTube associated with this website is no longer being published. The reason for this is because my wife had an old YouTube channel with 174,000 subscribers on it that she wanted to use for this, but we realize that only 11% of that is followers from the United States and a lot of those subscribers aren’t watching the videos. Why aren’t they watching? We’re not 100% sure, but the channel is 7 years old so we assume there are a lot of old inactive accounts. We firmly believe that this is hurting the individual video performance. So, we’ve decided to start a channel instead that is completely unrelated to this website and will now be a new line item on the income reports.
What Do I Plan on Doing in the Next Month With This Website?
I’m going to continue pushing out content for this website in hopes that more articles will rank.
I’ve been watching the traffic for the website and although it has increased a small amount, it’s definitely not what I was hoping for at this point.
I still think this is due to the large-scale spam/malware attack that happened in the past.
While I’m still cleaning all that up out of the SERP (which seems to be having a positive impact by the way) it could be a couple more months until everything is exactly where I want to be. The funny thing is I have made it so the SERP should noindex all of these bad links, but they just keep appearing for some reason. So, I have to do manual removals.
Below are the metrics of the website so far since I’ve tracked it.
Keep in mind, this website is just over a year old, but we only really started working on it in May of 2019.
I think the following table is much more accurate as it omits all of the weird pages that are registering in Google Analytics as traffic because of the hack we experienced a few months back.
It seems that I finally have positive momentum with this website and though it’s not significant, the traffic is increasing. Earnings are down, but as I said previously, part of that is just plain luck.
Now that I have a new writer in place and things look to be going well, I’m going to be trying to push to get at least three articles published every single week moving forward.
Website 8 Update ***NEW***
Here we go again.
Yes, it’s true, I’m starting another website.
But with this one I’m taking a much different approach than the others.
I recently noticed that the folks at HumanProofDesigns were starting to sell “aged” websites for a pretty significant price tag somewhere in the four figure range.
And, to be honest with you, because I’m so tired of the Google sandbox, next time I create a website I definitely want to buy one that has the age so that I don’t have to deal with this.
But, I don’t want to spend four figures to do it.
So, my approach with this website is to have 1-2 blog articles written every single week for a full year before I even start really working on the website.
I figure, if I’m able to consistently do this for an entire year then there will be content on the website and I can swoop in with some link building and new content when the time is ready to get the website to explode in growth.
This way, I’m saving thousands of dollars from buying a website with HPD, and I’m able to oversee and manage the content strategy as well.
This is likely going to save me a lot of money, but more importantly, it’s going to give me a future website to work on when the time is right. To be clear, I don’t anticipate doing much with this website other than having one or two blog posts published every week.
In the long-term there will be more activity here, but for now this is just me trying to find a way to age the website appropriately.
For those that have money to spend and are looking to start a website, for your own sanity, but from HumanProofDesigns. The age of the domains alone is worth it in my opinion. Getting a quick feedback loop is crucial in the beginning of a website, it’ll help you know if you’re on the right track.
How Much Have I Invested in This Website:
How Much Content is on the Website/YouTube:
This website is mostly focused on affiliate content with some informational content.
1 Blog Post
Thalita YouTube Channel ***NEW***
Now, I already know what some of you are thinking.
“Why is this included in the income report? It’s your wife’s project and you don’t share the burden of cost/labor.”
To answer your doubts, the answer is simply that you are incorrect.
While my wife is definitely putting forth all of the effort to grow this YouTube channel, I spend quite a bit of time with her reviewing the strategy and helping her hire the right people to make it happen.
In addition to that, I do include these expenses in my income reports for her editor and researcher, so it makes sense that I also include the revenue generated.
This channel is going to primarily focus on general entertaining content that appeals to those in the 16-24 years of age demographic.
This is a far cry from what I usually get involved in, but it’s my wife so I want to support her and I know that she is definitely an asset when it comes to growing YouTube channels. She’s done in the past numerous times (She used to have a channel in Brazil of 2.3 million followers) and I have no doubt that this will go well as long as she stays committed to it.
As of right now, to encourage her to continually work on the channel without stopping or changing direction, we’ve signed a “contract” that entitles me to 25 homemade dinners at my discretion if she fails to create 100 videos in a row without stopping.
This seems like a lot, but I know that the only way she’s going to succeed is if she continues to push to get content out there and grow her subscriber base. So far, it’s going reasonably well and I think that by the end of this month I’ll have some really positive things to report.
She has a researcher to help her find content for her videos, and an editor to handle all editing duties. All she does is create content and though it’s not as passive as my business, it’s definitely her superpower as an entrepreneur.
How Much Have We Invested in this YouTube Channel?
How Much Content is on the YouTube Channel?
8 Videos but the goal is to publish every day, so this should grow a lot this month.
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.
- Sometimes Things Just Fall Into Place: As I mentioned throughout this report, I’m not sure exactly how I had the best month ever, but I’m very happy that I had it. The numbers are staggering and even though it was a good month, I can’t necessarily pinpoint exactly what I did to make it happen. So, the lesson here is as long as you continue to work hard and do the right things, it’s likely that eventually everything will fall into place and you’ll be successful.
- Some Success is Possible in the Google Sandbox: I’ve been a firm believer that nobody can make a website successful outside of the first eight months since it was created. Not that Website 7 is doing incredibly well, but I’m starting to see some revenue coming from this website and we’re only six months in. Hopefully the traffic will continue to rise, as will revenue, but it’s interesting to note that there can be some meaningful success within six months. It will also be interesting to see the house website I intend on introducing does in the future.
- Aged Sites are the Way to Go: I’ve been kicking this around for a while, but I’ve finally come to the realization that the best way to start a website is to make sure that it’s aged. Whether you do this yourself, or you purchase from a company like HumanProofDesigns, it’s a good idea to have an aged website to begin working on. This isn’t an absolute requirement, but once you’ve had some success, or have some money to throw around, I recommend that you move in this direction.
Did I Meet my Goals for September?
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings (FAIL)
This was mostly not my fault as my developer stated they couldn’t do it. So we’ll be doing this one again in October.
Fix Website 1 PHP Issue (SUCCESS)
This was a bit of a nightmare to figure out, but I’m happy to report that everything with Website 1 is on the up and up.
Implement LinkWhisper on my Websites (FAIL)
Internal linking is a big deal with websites and Link Whisper is a tool that REALLY helps to make it reasonable and possible. I wanted to put this tool on all of my websites in September and unfortunately, didn’t find the time to do so.
Publish Two Videos on YouTube (SUCCESS)
What Are my Goals for October?
Implement solution on Website 3 to try to get better rankings
Implement LinkWhisper on my Websites
Publish Three Videos on YouTube
I’d like to publish four videos, but I know that I need to work ahead in order to make that happen. As of now, it’s unlikely that my editor will be able to get everything done this week and I want to eventually publish and share one video each week with my audience. So, for this month, I want to get three videos published. But, in future months, I’m hoping for four videos every month.
Remove Links to External Websites on CK
I want to remove all of the links on the database pages in hopes that Google will eliminate any reciprocal link building penalty levied on my website. No idea if I even have a penalty, but this seems like it might be a good idea. If it is, traffic should increase significantly.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!