Oh MY is all I can say about March. I absolutely did not expect to see income climb over 10k this month. I manually track my main income sources EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It is a habit I have had since I started blogging, when I was making pennies a day and it has continued.
Granted, this probably isn’t the best use of my time but I do feel it helps me keep a pulse on how things are going and also make sure nothing is going wrong. My biggest fear is that somehow ads will get turned off on a big site and I won’t notice it for a few days.
My day job had gotten pretty hectic lately (yeah, I still have a “real” job), so I haven’t had time to focus on this business as much but, that is where having built up systems and a great team has really paid off. In fact, we were able to meet our content goal of 171 posts published in March.
This is a huge win for me because, as I mentioned last month, we really struggled with getting to the 100 post mark for a while.
📰NEW SITES THIS MONTH📰
If you’re new here you should probably know I have shiny object syndrome. I frequent the GoDaddy auction pages and, sometimes if I see a domain I like that I think I could turn into something I buy it. Usually I sit on it for a while but sometimes, I actually get around to publishing content on it.
This month I started 5 new sites. Technically more than that but a couple haven’t had posts published yet even though the writing team has started working on them.
Two of them I kind of introduced last month but the content went live this month. One is in a very YMYL topic too and the only one of the 5 on a brand new domain with no history so it will be interesting to see how fast it grows. The other four range on DA from 8 to 36.
My website count is getting a little out of control. In fact, Last month I had 27 domains in my list that all have at least 1 post on them (including this site). ITS A LOT but, I like it that way.
I am 100% sure that this is not the most efficient way to grow out a portfolio of sites. I mean, I know I would be better off putting more content on fewer sites so…why do it?
Well 2 main reasons:
- I get bored easily and too much keyword research, SEO, Pinterest, etc for one site and I can’t focus any more on that topic.
- I have partnered with some friends on a few new sites so, for those sites, I only pay 50% of the “expenses” and that includes a fancy calculation for making sure the “expenses” include things like hosting, Virtual Assistants, etc that are shared across all sites. This will help me fulfill my need to explore other niches and lower my expenses.
Since these are all “project” sites I decided going forward I’ll just give each blog project a “code name”. I mostly used this code name generator and came up with the following:
- Project Green Darling
- Project Crooked Knight
- Project Crazy Foxtail
- Project Alpine Ribbon
- Project Dusty Bagpipe
- Project Digital Rainbow
- Project Awkward Hound
- Project Jungle Biscuit
- Project Shiny Geyser
- Project Orange Falcon
- Project Grave Starlight
- Project Cuddly Wizard
- Project Infinite Tower
- Project Quiet Magpie
- Project Moon Rose
- Project Silent Candy
I’ll leave the original NSP1 – NSP10 sites the same (those links are below).
For not having much time on my hands I actually had fun with naming these projects and used the end of the quarter as an excuse to make sure each site has a page and each page is up to date and has some basic information.
Don’t get too excited about me updating these pages every month, I can already tell you it isn’t going to happen but, once a quarter is reasonable’ish.
BTW, I have some new sites coming up in April. I need more code names. If you have ideas, leave them in the comments!
🗠 March 2021 Basic Stats 🗠
- 171 articles published
- 221,578 words published
- $210.50 in product sales
The good news is that I did hit my stretch goal of 171 posts published in March. The bad news is I did NOT hit my stretch goal of $415.99 in product revenue.
The reality is that content still is my #1 priority. For next month I’ve set a goal of 208 posts published and $400 in product revenue.
💰 March 2021 Blog Income 💰
I am completely blown away by the income increase this month. I really need to sit down and figure out which posts are driving all this traffic and how I can use any data I find to optimize my sites for even more traffic.
As you can imagine, data analysis for these sites takes a bit and has to be scheduled in along with all the other things but at some point I’ll sit down for a few hours and see what I can dig up.
You can click on any of the site links to view more detailed information about that sites timeline. As of April 4th, they have all been updated. Final pageviews/wordcounts for March may change this week once my VA finishes his report but I’ll update them and remove this note when it is done. I know article counts because I have a report for that.
Starting this month I’m only going to list sites here that earned income this month.
- Niche Site Project 1: 3,750.43 👍
- Niche Site Project 2: $298.74 🔻
- Niche Site Project 3: $6,338.77 👍
- Niche Site Project 4: $1,697.76 👍
- Niche Site Project 5: $26.96 👍
- Niche Site Project 6: $20.93 👍
- Niche Site Project 8: $78.00👍
- Niche Site Project 9: $291.08👍
- Niche Site Project 10: $38.64 👍
- Project Alpine Ribbon: $7.15 👍
- Printable Site: $28 👍 (for products not related to NSP1)
- This Site: $63.02👍
Total Gross Revenue for March 2021: $12,639.48
- Gross Revenue for February: $7,219.59
- Gross Revenue for January: $6,005.59
- Gross Revenue for December: $7,768.71
- Gross Revenue for November: $6,359.09
- Gross Revenue for October: $5,902.13
Screenshots from all my income sources takes time so here are the big ones…just so you know, this isn’t made up.
On the Mediavine report there are two sites showing zero. The top one is a site being onboarded in April and the second one is the site that moved to AdThrive but still shows in my “All Sites” dahboard.
💸 March Blogging Expenses💸
Part of the work of doing these blogging income reports is assembling all the data. This month is pretty busy for me so, in order to get this report out I’ve decided to just list my main categories of expenses.
- Advertising & Marketing – $259.50 (this includes things like ConvertKit, Shopify Fees, etc)
- Education – $647.83 (I’m actively working to reduce this number)
- Pinterest Templates – $15
- Other Graphic Templates – $80
- Office Supplies and Software – $150.47
- Recurring Software – $1318.41
- A big part of this was that I paid for 1 year of a variety of things including Lead Pages, Trellis, etc. I also started SEMRush again.
- Domains and Hosting – $780.43 (see above)
- Miscellaneous Shopify / Stripe / Paypal Fees – $14.31
- Virtual Assistants – $1539.19
- Graphic Designer – $180
Total Expenses: $4,985.14
Net Blogging Income for March 2021 = $7,654.34
March Content Expenses
We met the goal of 171 posts published in March and are on track for 208 posts in April. One of the things I realize is that although Content is outlined below, this is just the writer portion, not the editor fees. At some point I’ll be breaking those out into this section as well because, that is another part of “Content”.
Why break out content at all? Because Content is more of an investment not an expense. I could, theoretically, stop adding content and my income would continue, possibly for a year or more, without needing to hire another writer. But, more content keeps the sites growing and thus earning.
- Content = $5,816.09
Content costs are up just over $1,200 from last month. That isn’t bad considering we had 71 additional posts published.
It is important to note that because content can take some time to move through the pipeline, content I paid for this month wasn’t necessarily published this month. In fact, there are over 80 posts waiting to be edited and published in April that were paid for in march.
March Net Income after Content Investment = $1,838.25
- February Net Income after Content: -$605.97
- January Net Income after Content: -$3,691.85 (new computer this month)
- December Net Income after Content: ~$2,449.60
- November Net Income after Content: $2,141.13
- October Net Income after Content: $1,975.33
- September Net Income after Content: $285.46
Once again, keep in mind that this income report assumes accrual accounting but, that isn’t how I actually keep my books so while I technically made a “profit”, I won’t see any of this months income for 1 – 3 months due to the way advertisers pay out.
ACTUAL income I received this month was $7,337.29 which means I was in the hole. -$3,463.84 to be exact. I am adding money to the business right now and still have not taken a single paycheck.
Just because this income report looks pretty darn amazing, the reality is that most people can’t reinvest 100% of their blog income let alone continue to put money in when needed.
MY NICHE SITE PROJECTS
Interested in reading about my niche site projects? Check out my Niche Site Project List to see my projects & their individual status.
RESOURCES I USE
I keep an up to date list of all of the tools and resources I use to manage my blogs, including how I create the awesome dashboards in my income reports, on my Tools and Resources page.
These are my top tools:
- ClickUp – It has easily helped me 10x my productivity.
- Big Scoots Hosting – (or, alternately, SiteGround)
- Tailwind for Pinterest
- ConvertKit for Email List
- Airtable for data tracking/spreadsheets when I first started (though I use ClickUp Exclusively now)
- Project24 the main course I took to learn how to blog, and my primary blog course recommendation.
- BloggerPlot for Analytics and Search Console Analysis in one place.
- Amalinks Pro for Amazon links and awesome tables.
- OnlineJobs.ph for my Virtual Assistants
- Pinteresting Strategies Course for Pinterest
If you want to be updated when I write a new blog post, use this form below. It isn’t pretty but it works :D. I promise to try to remember to email you!