This is my 6th income statement and the 2nd income statement for 2021. If you missed my previous ones, just click here to check them out.
I publish these quarterly.
So this is for the 2nd quarter of 2021; April-June.
Let’s get into the details.
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GROSS REVENUE – $82,637 (was $72,286 for Q1)
Generally speaking, my income does go up from month to month, but there have been occasional dips and spikes. Also, generally speaking, ad revenue goes down at the start of each quarter as advertisers generally start new budgets each quarter and start off small.
April was actually down from March, and May was about even with March. So it was actually June that really kicked in (details below). But Jan in Q1 was pretty low comparatively as the start of a new year always sees low ad revenue.
I still have 4 sites with ads and affiliate revenue, with ads coming from Mediavine. I did, however, start 2 new sites in October of 2020 and 2 more in Q2 of this year, so it will be interesting to see how they affect the revenue once they come fully online.
Of those 2 started last October, 1 is around 6,000 monthly pageviews and the other 2,500 monthly pageviews (interesting considering they were started around the same time and have a roughly equal number of articles on them (about 70 each).
So it will still be at least another 1-2 months before I can look at putting ads on them.
As of now, I have put a pause on my Hot Tub YouTube channel I started in April of 2020.
My wife told me at the end of April 2021 that she wanted a divorce. It knocked my socks off as it was a total surprise, and I just didn’t have it in me to keep publishing videos. I get into some of the details of her wanting a divorce in this article, in case you’re curious.
I will eventually start it back up again though.
But ultimately, as the saying goes, everything we say yes to means we have to say no to something else. So it’s been a nice break from YouTube which is a lot less “passive” than blogging.
I fully stopped publishing on my Kitchen Appliance HQ site as of May 2021. I plan to sell the site this fall, and figured it was a waste of time to keep adding posts which would take about 6-8 months to rank fully if I was going to be selling it before then.
However, I did have a big issue with a competitor stealing my posts.
They would basically cut and paste my whole article, including the titles and subheadings. Then they would change about every 5th word or so, just enough so Google wouldn’t see it as plagiarism.
Chances are they used one of the many free content spinning websites as often the grammar they used didn’t make sense and it sounded like it was written by a machine.
Unfortunately, at least with 2-3 of my big articles, Google outranked me with their versions of my articles.
So for a time, I lost a lot of traffic on that site, going from 90,000 page views in Feb 2021, down to 76,000. The good news is, I scoured their site daily and eventually found 2 instances of direct theft.
One was a post they forgot to spin and the other was a custom image I created. I reported both to Google, and their site was eventually removed from Google. It still exists if you go there directly, but for all intents and purposes, it’s dead, and it does not look like any new content has been added in a while.
Yeah for me! June saw my traffic almost back where it had been before the theft – 89,000 page views.
The monthly revenue is currently around $3,000. So if I can get that up to maybe $4,000 by September or October, I should be able to sell the site for $140,000.
Aren’t familiar with selling websites?
Generally you multiple somewhere between 25-40 times the amount a website earns per month to get the figure it would likely sell for. So a website earning $2,000 per month could potentially sell for $80,000.
Another good reason to start a website of your own!
Now, let’s break that down by month, category of income, and then by the website (remember, I have 4 websites, and a YouTube channel all earning).
Gross income was $25,006
Gross income was $26,247
Gross income was $31,382
As you can see, the month-over-month increase was pretty good! Slow and steady wins the race.
Blogging Income by Category for Q2 2021
Ads on my websites – $44,946 (was $37,061 for Q2)
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s an increase in ad revenue of 20% over Q1! Now Q1 had been about 20% below Q4, so pretty much I matched Q4 in Q2. But given ad revenue is always highest in Q4, that’s pretty good!
Spring and summer are also the best seasons for hot tubs, so I have seen my ads on the hot tub site go way up.
Here’s what I did in Q2 for each site in terms of RPM:
Again, RPM is the number of dollars for every 1,000 visitors to my sites. Anything over $20 is considered great, and Q4 is always considered the best quarter of the year due to the amount of shopping that takes place in Nov & Dec.
Middle Class Dad – $30.52 (was 26.02)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $32.52 (was $28.90)
The Grocery Store Guy – $33.80 (was $28.39)
Hot Tub Owner HQ – $39.48 (was $36.64)
As you can see, the hot tub site earns the most per 1,000 visitors (by far). And with the traffic boost in Q2, it is now close to the Grocery site in terms of total ad revenue. And it is way over the grocery site when you include affiliate income which is almost non-existent on the grocery site.
Ads breakdown by website
Middle Class Dad – $9,316.45 (was $6,913)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $6,939.75 (was $7,162.88)
The Grocery Store Guy – $15,536.67 (was $14,184.18)
Hot Tub Owner HQ – $13,153.29 (was $8,801.79)
Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $2,673. (was 1,871 )
Amazon Associates Affiliate Income – $7,209 (was $7,021)
Again, if you’re keeping score at home, you’ll see that it didn’t really go up a lot compared to Q1.
Here’s the Amazon breakdown by website:
Middle Class Dad – $795 (was $817)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $779 (was $889)
The Grocery Store Guy – $6.25 (this site is currently almost exclusively monetized with ads – (was $14)
Hot Tub Owner HQ – $3,257 (was $3,324)
Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $2,317 (was $1,960)
RV Parenting – $27.00 (no previous)
Other Affiliate Income – $7,576 (was $5,660)
As traffic on a site grows, it’s natural that the revenue grows also.
While it isn’t an exact science, I try and publish 2 posts per day at least 5 days a week across all my site. Of course, currently, that includes 4 new sites that haven’t been active long enough to really be making income yet. So that is more of an investment in the future.
But theoretically, each post is worth somewhere between $20-30 per month to me just from ad revenue. And then when you combine affiliate revenue that jumps to between $30-60 per blog post per month.
So again, theoretically, if I publish 10 blog posts a week, I should be growing my income by about $1,000-$2,000 per month. But again, right now, my focus is on my 4 new sites which aren’t earning anything yet.
But I did do a month-over-month increase of $6,000 comparing the 3 months of Q1 to the 3 months of Q2, so it is working.
Most of the affiliate revenue is from BetterHelp on my relationship posts on Middle Class Dad, BuyerZone on both Hot Tub channels and the Grocery site, and Instacart on the grocery site. But I also do some with Swim University’s products on my Hot Tub channels.
A couple of the individual brands that have affiliate programs that I use:
- GQueues – A desktop/app task organizer program that I literally couldn’t live without
- Project24 – The only blogging course I’ve ever purchased, and one I highly recommend in this article
- Acabado WordPress Theme – The WordPress theme you’re seeing now. I love it and use it on all my sites
- Name Cheap Domain registration & Hosting – Very inexpensive way to get started blogging!
Click on any of those affiliate links to check them out.
Of course, as with all affiliate links, the cost doesn’t increase to the purchaser. The product creator pays me a commission from their revenue when someone buys through my link.
So affiliate links are a great way to say thank you to whoever referred you.
Sponsored Posts – $19,315 (was $20,464)
I recapped sponsored posts in my previous income reports, but I’ll restate it again, here.
What is a sponsored post?
A sponsored post is basically a guest post that you get paid to publish.
In 99% of cases, the article isn’t optimized for SEO and will never generate traffic. They are short, sometimes poorly written, with bad grammar, and only designed to get the product or site owner a backlink.
They junk up your site, so for that reason, I backdate them a year so they don’t show up on my homepage. Basically, it was my sole method for generating revenue when I didn’t know any better.
While the money is good, I wish I never started doing them, and I only do them on this site and not any of my others.
It’s also not very passive since I have to physically paste their article in, do some minor editing & formatting, add an image, publish it, and then send them payment info in Paypal.
I look forward to my overall income being high enough to where I can stop doing these. And again, I only do them on this site and not my other sites.
Consulting – $1,464 (was $907)
I started doing a little bit of consulting from my grocery website during Q3 last year. After all, I worked for Whole Foods Market for almost 25 years, so it’s something I have a lot of experience in.
It’s not something I really push or advertise extensively. But I do have a Calendly form embedded on the site so it’s easy enough to find for someone that really wants to book a Zoom, Skype, or phone call with me to discuss their project.
I’ve recently added a form for internet marketing consulting too as it’s obviously working for me too.
While I do recommend (and use) the Project 24 blogging & Youtube course, I do feel like I have insights unique to my journey that can help others too.
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Blogging Expenses by Category for Q2 2021 – $11,526.88 (was $5,162)
I get into why the big increase happened below in the paying writers section.
Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling – $104.88 (but paid annually at $419.52)
I only do Pinterest currently with this site and not my other 6. With a full-time job and a wife and 3 kids, I don’t have time for more Pinterest.
On my newer sites, I just focus on Organic Google traffic.
But this site was created when I didn’t know as much and a lot of my articles were done with either poor search analysis or poor competition analysis.
So being on Pinterest allows me to get a lot of traffic to this site I wouldn’t otherwise get.
And Tailwind is essential if you want to be on Pinterest! It’s a little slow, and occasionally buggy. And like Pinterest itself, not 100% accurate on the analytics.
But you can’t really do a serious business with Pinterest without it. I will say, however, that over the past 6 months, I’ve gotten more serious about organic Google traffic and for the past few months, Organic Google traffic has reached about 65% of the total which is must better than it was a year ago.
CLICK HERE to check out Tailwind with my affiliate link
Big Scoots Website Hosting – $296.85 (was $207.90)
Big Scoots is still fairly new for me. I switched right at the end of Q1. And you can pay an extra $10/month for additional sites beyond the 10 the plan allows for, so it’s jumped up a little from when I first switched to them.
I do have a few sites I haven’t done anything with yet, so don’t think I have more than 10 sites I’m actually working on. I have 8 and I host my (soon to be ex) brother-in-law’s small business website.
They are a premium host with a premium price, but for me, they were worth it compared to all the hassles I experience with my previous host WPX.
I used Siteground for years on all my sites, and I still think they are decent, especially when you’re starting and don’t have much money to spend. You can get started with Siteground for under $5.00/month.
Want to get started with them? CLICK HERE to check out Siteground with my affiliate link
I moved to WPX as I wanted a faster host and one that I could grow with as my combined traffic was over 100,000 monthly page views. Siteground starts to get expensive after your initial policy renews, and I also felt their service had gone down, as had my site speed.
But if you have more than 1 site and decent traffic (over 50k monthly page views), I would highly recommend Big Scoots.
CLICK HERE to check out Big Scoots with my affiliate link
ConvertKit email service provider – $110.25 (billed annually at $441)
Honestly, email is pretty frustrating. It certainly doesn’t pay for itself. In a way, I wish I’d never started a list (one of a few things I did because Pat Flynn said to do it that hasn’t panned out for me).
ConvertKit is the best of the 4 companies I’ve used (MailChimp, Mailerlite, Constant Contact). But they are also the most expensive, by far.
If you want to build a personal brand or offer a membership site or a course, ConvertKit is a great way to build that list and create drip campaigns.
It can also work really well if you’re doing affiliate marketing and using Facebook ads to drive traffic to landing page opt-in pages (which you can create in ConvertKit) and then drip them emails once they opt-in pushing them to a product or service.
I do not do list building on my other 3 sites and am not sure I ever will due to the expense and time involved in setting everything up initially.
CLICK HERE to check out ConvertKit with my affiliate link
Hired Writers & editor – $10,814.90 (was $4,739)
That looks like a huge jump, but I tried something new this last quarter.
I spent $4,809 hiring the Content Warrior team to write 50 articles for one of my new sites. So if you remove that, the figure really would be about $6,000. Still up from Q1, but I do have 3 other new sites, so I hired more writers from Upwork to keep up with demand.
I still generally pay 2 cents a word for most of my writers. But the ones that consistently crank out the content quickly without needing a ton of editing, I do pay a little more. In short, my time is worth something and if I can pay someone a little more which saves me time, it’s worth it.
How did Content Warrior do?
Well, honestly it was a mixed bag.
It was great from the standpoint that they input the articles, with images, directly into WordPress. But it wasn’t quite the “just hit publish” quality level they promised. And if I had just hit publish, I bet half those posts would never do anything.
But they did require a little less editing than my normal process. But it should given they charge more than twice what I normally pay. I am considering trying them again though, so I’ll keep you posted.
I am also still waiting on 2 re-writes I requested over 3 weeks ago.
I use the company Get It Done For Me Virtual Services to edit my posts and prepare them for publishing.
They use VAs based in the Philippians, and while I could hire one or more of them directly on the website Onlinejobs.ph for probably half of what I currently pay (about $100/week), I like having someone who understands the needs of a blogger I can give feedback to directly and don’t really have to train in any serious way.
And if they switch who they have working on my site, it’s on them to train the new people and make sure the editing schedule gets adhered to.
Right now, if we’re talking posts under 1,700 words, they prepare 10 articles a week for me.
I don’t publish quite that many as I have so many other tasks to juggle, and I only publish posts that are as good as they can be as I’m picky.
Here’s what they do to prepare the posts for me for final editing, main image, and publishing:
- Run through Copyscape to ensure none of my writers are plagiarising
- Use Grammarly to check spelling & Grammar (which I use the free plan for also)
- Insert images throughout the post above each subheading (I like using embedded Twitter images)
- Insert a relevant YouTube video above the final subheading
- Insert answer targets at the top and below each subheading if the writers didn’t include them
I have 6 writers I’m using, which is down from the 8 I had previously.
Most came from an ad I ran on the Problogger job board, and 2 are on Upwork, and 1 is independent. They all have pros and cons; some are super fast, and others super thorough, and both of those have merit for different reasons.
I don’t just tell the writers the title of the articles and hope for the best though.
Instead, I give them an outline with the title, subheadings, internal links I want added, and I also spell out what I think the searcher intent is.
Not sure what I mean?
Figuring out searcher intent is KEY to writing the article that the Google searcher is looking for. Check out my ultimate SEO guide to learn more about how I do this, and all of the SEO tips and tricks I use (which are all free).
Just click that link to read it here on my site.
Logo expense – $200.
I pay $100 to a guy named Max for almost all my logos (MCD and Grocery are the exceptions). He’s great, quick, and for me, it’s well worth it for a professional logo.
Bottom Line Net Profit Before Taxes – $71,110. (was $67,124)
That’s a monthly average net profit of $23,703.
And that’s an annualized net profit, again, before taxes get paid, of $284,440.
Q3 of 2021 will see my 2 sites that started last October (RV Parenting and DojoLifeHQ) starting to get traffic and earn some revenue, hopefully being in full gear by Q4.
The 2 newest sites, Music Nerds HQ and Rattlesnake HQ will hopefully be doing a little bit by the end of the year.
But I’m very happy with the growth.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEBSITE?
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s my interview on Income School’s YouTube channel!
What’s the #1 way to get started on a blog, YouTube channel, or other forms of internet marketing?
Project 24 (click to watch their video with all the details) is the only internet marketing course I’ve ever purchased, and it will be the only one I ever purchase.
It’s from the people over at Income School, and while they have a ton of great videos on YouTube, it was joining Project 24 that really started moving the needle forward.
I joined in April 2019, and that month, my income was $2,308.56
Compare that to June 2020 (last month at the time of this writing), and my income was $10,463.80. While I can’t say all of that 353% increase was due to what I learned in Project 24, a lot of it certainly was.
CLICK HERE to check out Project 24 with my affiliate link.
What do you get in Project 24?
A TON of different video module courses, the hub of which is their 60 steps to building a website. But then they also have courses (multiple videos in each one) on YouTube, search analysis/keyword research, monetization, and so much more.
And they add new courses a few times throughout the year.
Plus you get their WordPress theme, Acabado, totally free for as many sites as you want to use it on. And then there is their own internal forum where people like you and me constantly chime in to ask or answer questions (along with the whole Income School team).
Did I mention they have a weekly podcast for members only?
CLICK HERE to check out Project 24 with my affiliate link.
Want more detail on how I do what I do?
Watch this video I made that walks you through my processes step-by-step. I put it out on my hot tub YouTube channel, but while I mention that at the beginning, it’s not related to hot tubs at all; just blogging.