Income Report September 2021: How I Grew My Income 40%

WHAT HAPPENED IN SEPTEMBER

Gosh, September, where did you go?

Lets see. We moved onto out boat in June of 2021, which was a HUGE goal realised for my family.

We spent most of the month moving the boat and family up the Australian East coast to a small town, while we wait for the QLD border to open.

Due to the pandemic, the borders are still shut. There are no cases near to us, but I grabbed my vaccine dose when it came available.

Other than that, I worked on my niche sites wherever I could, a few hours here and there. It’s not easy between moving the boat and looking after my son and boat maintenance.

With such a small space, my family needs to disembark or I need to work from a library. And with the pandemic, libraries have been shut! So that was a bit of a curly one.

Oh, and our generator broke down, so for a while there we had no power on the boat as well, so not much got done.

WHY DO I SHARE MY INCOME REPORTS?

I know how helpful and important income reports can be to other bloggers. I would never have started this site, or my niche sites if I hadn’t read the income reports of other bloggers.

But at the same time, those reports that have 5 and 6 figure months actually aren’t all that inspiring. I mean, they are great and all – but it still seems a bit unrealistic.

If other people can create a living online, then I can too – and that is valuable to anyone who wants to start earning money online.

This income report is for an Amazon Affiliate Site. All numbers are in USD.

**And as always, I’m an affiliate marketer and this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Site #1 (Parenting Site 1)

Niche: Parenting

Monetization: affiliate (Amazon)

Income Goal: I think this site has the potential for $5000+ per month

History: I started adding content August 2020

Growth Plan: This is 100% an affiliate content site. My current goal is to get to 100 articles (currently around 70) and then move onto more aggressive backlink building.

My Other Sites

I actually have a few other sites, but with limited time, I’ve only been working on Site #1 for the past few months.

They are spread across different niches, but I’m not feeling much like pushing them. I’m actually considering selling a couple of them off – but to get a decent sale price I’ll need to do more work. And so they sit and wait for my interest to return

Site #1 – Parenting (the one mentioned above)

Site #2 – Parenting niche

This is such a nice little site. I bought the domain at the same time as Site #1, and threw 30 or so articles on to it. I didn’t realise at the time that it was an expired domain (yes, I’ve added that to my checklist for starting a new site!). It seems like the old site must have had some toxic links because this just hasn’t gotten any rank.

I’m still on the fence about what to do about it – the content is as good as my main site, but with less backlinks.

Site #3 – Parenting niche

This is a small site that I bought for $100 with 20 or so articles on it back at the end of 2021 when I was SUPER excited about buying sites. I’ve now redirected it all to Site #2 using 301 redirects.

Site #4 – Food & Drink niche

The second site that I bought for $100, it again had about 10-15 articles on it and it was a niche that I’d been researching. I put some keyword researched articles on it but haven’t done anything about backlinking or any other SEO efforts for a while. Again, I’m not hugely motivated about this niche.

Site #5 – Hobby Niche

Ah, my hobby site! This is based on one of my (many) hobbies. I really enjoy this niche as a reader and found LOADS of low competition keywords and I’m excited to work on it… However, it really needs someone to be active in that niche, which I am not. It’s another that is slated for selling.

Site #6 – Outdoor Niche

This one is my up-and-coming – in an outdoor niche that I am active in and really excited about. I bought the URL last year and have just let it sit in that time with no content.

SEPTEMBER 2021 INCOME:

  • Affiliate Marketing: $419

Total Revenue: $419

This post contains affiliate links.

Which doesn’t seem like much, right? BUT there are two significant points about this figure and why I’m so damn excited about it.

  1. With the way that websites are being valued, this niche site is now worth around $10,000 USD. It’s hit that valuable place of being a 5 figure niche site. That’s a pretty good spot to be in.
  2. Last month’s income (which I didn’t do a report for) was around $250, so my revenue grew by 40%. That’s crazy growth and it’s been going on for a few months now!

This has been my highest affiliate marketing revenue to date – but not my highest online month ever. For the last few months of 2020 and early in 2021 I was doing freelance digital strategy for a couple of select clients and ended up with revenue around $2000+, but I will cover that at the end of the year when I do my first year in business roundup.

SEPTEMBER EXPENSES:

  • GeneratePress ($59)
  • Upwork ($50)
  • WPX ($25)

Total Expenses: $134

Other than the freelancer on Upwork, these amounts are shared across my sites. My WPX plan allows 5 sites, and GeneratePress is unlimited.

WHAT I DID THIS MONTH

  • Published lots of content

Over the last few months I have bought A LOT of content from 2 content publishers: ContentPit and Hands Off Publishing. A lot of the time I feel like I could write better content than they could, but probably not faster. And probably not without wanting to stick raw onions in my eyes to make it stop.

So I invest in content for a couple of reasons. 1. it stops my writing block paralysis. I much prefer editing than to writing. It just hurts.

2. I want that content up and indexed so it can start ranking, and I can start building links to it, and I can start internally linking to it before it’s perfect. So my strategy is essentially to get it online and ranking and then use my time and energy to make it better.

  • Strategic Internal Linking

I’m going to write more about content hubs and internal linking, as it’s something I’m about to delve into a bit more deeply. Essentially the theory goes that internal linking is just as important as external backlinks, and I’m seeing some great results so far as my articles continue to gain rank against more established sites.

  • Outsourcing

I tried outsourcing some link building and it was a shambles. I am still trying to find a VA who can do outreach for my site, but as of now it’s a bit of a backburner task.

COURSES BOUGHT THIS MONTH:

  • Buying Online Businesses

Realising what I know about how content sites work, I’m very keen to purchase and hold or flip a content site. So I thought it would be a good idea to buy a course on buying online businesses. Jaryd Krause has been doing the digital business thing for quite some time, and he offers a mentoring/due diligence service and I learnt quite a lot.

BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY IN SEPTEMBER 2021

  • Useless Upwork Freelancer

I hired a freelancer on upwork to help with growing some backlinks to my business. At first he seemed great but he just didn’t deliver on anything. In the end he delivered exactly ZERO backlinks, but he did install and update a new theme for me (GeneratePress, I still had to purchase the pro version), which saved me some time. He also did some speed optimization which did make my site faster, but I still needed to *fix* a lot of what he did.

I’m just going to chalk that up to a learning experience.

OCTOBER 2021 GOALS:

  • $600 USD in affiliate income
  • Create a content plan and outsource the content for site #6
  • Add 10 new backlinks to Site #1
  • Start using Pinterest for Site #1

Final Thoughts & Summary

Every time I look in my Amazon dashboard I’m still a bit amazed that this money keeps coming in and keeps growing despite not really that much work from my end.

I’m really going all-in with digital marketing, I can’t see my family going back to the suburban-work-60-hours life. We want to continue being together and making this life work for us.

And I fully imagine that this will mean sacrifices over the next few months, that’s okay. We’re prepared for 2 years to build this up to where it needs to be.

The only way to do that is to continue publishing, and that’s what I’m focused on for the upcoming months.

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