October 1st, hard to believe. Here in Western NC, the leaves are just beginning to turn color, the air is crisp and cool, and the smells of fall are here. My favorite time of the year, can you tell?
I also like this time a year from a traffic and earnings perspective too. As the weather gets colder, people stay inside more and use the internet. As we get closer to the holiday season, traffic and earnings tend to trend upward as well.
I’m making one big change with this report: I’m dropping the traffic details. I’m making this change as I think showing traffic details for only Side Income Blogging along side the combined income from all of my sites is a bit misleading. Without understanding the context, people could assume I’m earning all the income from just this site, which is not true.
Side Income Blogging is only a portion of my overall revenue. Showing traffic at any detail for all of my sites (I have 10 total) would be too tedious and time consuming, and frankly probably wouldn’t provide a great deal of value for you anyway. With that said, if you have any questions about traffic, feel free to ask me.
Here is my overall income breakdown for September:
- EBay Partner Network: $65.45
- Misc Affiliate Income: $48.22
- Share-A-Sale: $315.07 (Mostly from the Genesis theme affiliate program)
- Side Income Blogging Services: $422.50
- Adsense: $0.00 (I didn’t make payout this month, but will next month).
Total Income: $850.24
A good income month, but not to the level of last months report. I didn’t get as much services work this month, but my other income from ads and affiliates was almost double last month and should be really good again next month based on expected earnings.
- Freshbooks: $19.95
- MyDomain: $64.94 (a number of my sites came up for domain renewals)
- A Small Orange hosting: $80.00
Total Expenses: $164.89
September 2013 Net Income: $685.35
Definitely a good month, but still not above the $1000.00/month mark I’m shooting for.
My wife and I started a new “lifestyle” blog about the area we live in called Blue Ridge Mountain Life. So far, it’s been a huge hit and we’re really enjoying writing on it and working on the Facebook page. I’m excited as well, because it has the potential to become a really good money maker for us as well. The Facebook page growth has frankly shocked us and I wrote about how we achieved that growth in a recent article.
Growth here on Side Income Blogging continues to be pretty flat. I was able to rank on page one for a fairly popular search term that converted well, which provided a decent bump in traffic but nothing huge. I’m still averaging around 200 – 250 visits per day. When I first started this blog, I fully expected to be well over 1000 visits per day by now. The blogging niche is very competitive and I just think it’s getting more and more difficult to rank on Google these days.
Niche Site Updates
Over the past few months, I started four different new niche sites. One on bed bugs, one on electronic blood pressure meters, one on electric toothbrushes, and one on banjo tuners. The bed bugs site is an authority/information site, where the other three are product review sites.
I really expected the bed bugs site to be the leader, as it’s a trending topic and frankly the site has a lot of useful and informative content. The site is growing, and beginning to rank and get some traffic from Google, but it’s taken a great deal of time. The niche is pretty competitive. I’m still hopefully to be able to rank in the top 20 for the main target keywords, but I don’t think that is going to happen fast. If I can manage to make it rank for the target keywords though, I think it will be a huge money maker for me.
I expected the blood pressure meter and toothbrush sites to grow and rank at about the same rate. That hasn’t happened. The blood pressure meter site is doing really well, while the electric toothbrush site isn’t ranking well at all. Again, I think this is due to competition and me needing to do a little more keyword research and SEO optimization. I am very pleased with how the blood pressure meter site is doing, and at the current rate, I expect to be on page one for my main target keywords by the end of the year. I’m already earning about $50/month from the blood pressure meters site. You’ll see that income start to show up in my next side income report.
The last site I created was really a micro niche site, that targeted banjo tuners, and specifically electronic banjo tuners. Great idea, but it failed in execution. Turns out, and I should have known this, that when people are searching for “banjo tuners” they are looking for the actual tuning knobs not the electronic string tuners. As a result, the bounce rate was very high, in excess of 90%. I also didn’t spend enough time looking at keyword volumes, and it was lower than I initially thought. I decided to just “cut bait” on that site, and removed it late last week. I felt my time was better spent on my other sites.
Building out niche sites is a bit addictive, and I’ve found that it’s really easy to spread yourself too thin and have more sites than you can frequently update. Content Freshness, especially on a new site is critical to successfully ranking and staying ranked these days in Google search results. If you can’t publish at least 1-2 articles a week on each of your new sites, you’ll struggle to rank well and it will take longer than expected.
How did your sites do in September?