Income Report – 3rd Quarter, 2020


This is my 3rd income statement. If you missed my previous ones, just click here to check them out.

I publish these quarterly.

So this is for the 3rd quarter of 2020; July-Sept. Those months of 2020 have been pretty challenging for much of the world. Luckily, being homebound has meant people have plenty of time to surf the web looking for solutions to their problems.

So many websites, including mine, have done well during this time. Being homebound also gave me more free time to work on the sites as I formerly had an almost 2-hour daily commute. Then I switched to part-time in July 2020 as my company’s sales started lagging. But did I make enough to finally quit my day job??

Let’s get into the details.

GROSS REVENUE – $45,794

Generally speaking, my income does go up from month to month, but there have been occasional dips and spikes.

Quarter 3 was up 79% from quarter 2. Quarter 2 had a gross income of $25,594. My ad revenue went up a lot both due to traffic on my grocery site skyrocketing, but also I just put ads on the hot tub site at the end of Q2, so those numbers went up a lot also.

Lastly, the YouTube channel I started for the hot tub site late April 2020 is doing really well too.

So here’s looking forward to Q4!

Now, let’s break that down by month, category of income, and then by the website (remember, I have 4 websites, and also recently started a YouTube channel for one of those others).

But in Q3, I have started 2 new websites and a new YouTube channel. I’m not ready to talk about those in detail yet, but will in 2021 income reports as they start to gain traction.

Eventually, I plan to sell both this site and my kitchen site.

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!

July 2020

Gross income was $11,860

August 2020

Gross income was $14,606

September 2020

Gross income was $19,327

As you can see, the month over month increase was pretty good! All 3 months were also a fair amount better than any of the 3 previous months.

Blogging Income by Category for Q3 2020

Ads on my websites – $24,905

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s an increase in ad revenue of 123% over Q2!

As I mentioned above, in Q2, I was able to add my 3rd website (all about grocery stores and my experience working for Whole Foods Market 20+ years) and my 4th website (all about hot tubs) to Mediavine who controls all the ads on my sites.

The grocery site has grown the fastest and is doing great on ads. The hot tub site got added in mid-June, so it’s now contributing over $2k/month.

Again, here’s looking forward to Q4!

One thing that’s interesting to look at is the RPM, or revenue for every 1,000 visitors to my sites. 

Using Google Adsense for your ads, you’d be lucky to earn $6.00 per 1,000 visitors. Here’s what I did in Q3 for each site in terms of RPM:

Middle Class Dad – $27.56 (was 24.11)

Kitchen Appliance HQ – $25.12 (was $19.77)

The Grocery Store Guy – $31.27 (was $20.50)

Hot Tub Owner HQ– $34.19 (was $26.49)

As you can see, the hot tub site earns the most per 1,000 visitors. So eventually, as my traffic grows (it’s the smallest of my 4 sites by a little bit), it will become the top ads earner. 

That’s due in large part to the demographics of who visits a site about hot tubs. Boomers with money, if I just say it like it is. And advertisers want to be in front of people like that.

Ads breakdown by website

Middle Class Dad – $4,517.31 (down from $5,003.68)

Kitchen Appliance HQ – $4,467.35 (up from $2,621.93)

The Grocery Store Guy – $10,440.94 (way up from $2,716.63)

Hot Tub Owner HQ – $5,480.07 (way up from $811.43)

Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $1,117 (up from 0)

Amazon Associates Affiliate Income – $3,302

Again, if you’re keeping score at home, you’ll know that’s also up quite a bit from Q2.

Q2 saw Amazon at $2,184, so Q3 went up by 51%. Ironically, this site, Middle Class Dad, seems to be decreasing in Amazon sales, but my other sites keep getting better and better.

But I also rarely add new articles to this site, but that will be changing for the remainder of 2020 when I plan to add 30 more articles in preparation to sell the site.

My YouTube channel, linked to the hot tub site, did almost $300 on Amazon just last month alone.

Here’s the Amazon breakdown by website:

Middle Class Dad – $289 (down from $570.94)

Kitchen Appliance HQ – $571 (up from $407.74)

The Grocery Store Guy – $21 (this site is currently almost exclusively monetized with ads)

Hot Tub Owner HQ – $1,962 (up from $1,194.57)

Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $457 (up from $11 bucks)

Other Affiliate Income – $3,515 – up 523%!

I use a number of other affiliate networks with small, but varying degrees of success.

I generate very small amounts of revenue from the following affiliate networks:

  • Max Bounty
  • FlexOffers
  • Commission Junction/CJ
  • Share a Sale
  • Impact Radius

But the biggest difference in Q3 came from adding BetterHelp affiliate links to my relationship posts on this site. BetterHelp does online therapy so it was a perfect option during the pandemic.

We’ll see if it holds up over time though.

A couple of the individual brands that have affiliate programs that I use:

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 – $12,759

This is almost the exact same dollar amount that I had in Q2; just up slightly. So the good news is that all the increase from Q3 over Q3 is coming from truly passive income; articles I have already written, edited and published (in most cases long prior to Q3).

I recapped sponsored posts in my last income report, but I’ll restate it again, more succinctly, 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, but 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.

It’s also not very passive since I have to physically paste their article in, do some minor editing & formating, 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 I only do them on this site and not my other 3 sites.

Consulting – $193.60

I started doing a little bit of consulting from my grocery website during Q3. 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.

Blogging Expenses by Category for Q3 2020 – $5,935.

Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling – $104.88 (but paid annually at $419.52)

I only do Pinterest currently with this site and not my other 3. With a full-time job and a wife and 3 kids, I don’t have time for more Pinterest.

But 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.

CLICK HERE to check out Tailwind with my affiliate link

WPX Website Hosting – $74.97

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.

So after 2 months of investigation, I settled on WPX and overall have been very happy. 

So if you have more than 1 site and decent traffic (over 50k monthly page views), I would highly recommend them.

CLICK HERE to check out WPX with my affiliate link

Note, this will go up in Q4 as I had maxed out how many sites I could have and I wanted to add 2 more.

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 – $5,417. 

This expense doubled in Q3 as I started cranking out more content, added more writers and added an editor to speed up the process of publishing them.

The editor (who I recently let go) was a big help in general as they added images, ran the articles through Copyscape to check for copyrite infringement, and touched them up enough where I could usually do final edits and add a main featured image in under 30 minutes.

I stopped using him as twice he went about a week of not doing anything and then cranked out a week’s worth of work in 2 days and the work was sloppy and subpar due to how quickly he was working.

I let him know the 1st time, that my work flow requires him doing at least 1 article per day 5-7 days a week. And that for the future, if he had any issues preventing that to let me know ahead of time.

He didn’t so, I had to move on and find someone more consistent. I’m in the process of hiring that person now (a company actually) so I’ll have more to say in the next income report.

But right now, I have 8 writers I feel good about.

And that enables me to write and publish about 2-3 articles per week on my other 3 sites. I don’t add to this site often but may start to ramp it up again. But having writers has enabled me to grow my other 3 sites much faster than I would have been able to do myself.

In Q3, I also hired an editor to help speed up that process, so you’ll see that expense, and the tool I use to manage that, in my Q3 report. But I’m in the process of switching my editor to another company that will increase the cost a little.

Logo expense – $228.

I decided to get a professional to design a new logo for my kitchen site and also to do a logo for one of my 2 new sites. I found them on 48 Hour Logo and I liked the process (different designers submit designs and I pick the one I like the best at a set price of $120.

Now some of the logos submitted were pretty bad and looked like something I could have done in about 2 minutes using Photoshop. But there were enough good submissions for me to feel good about recommending them.

Bottom Line Net Profit Before Taxes – $39,859

That’s a monthly average net profit of $13,286.

So, after the major expenses, that’s an annualized net profit, again, before taxes get taken out, of $159,436, or an increase over Q2’s net profit of 72%. The previous increase was 38% so we’re heading in the right direction!

Q3 will see continued ads growth on the Hot Tub site especially and ads added to the hot tub YouTube site. I also need to think of ways to add monetization to the grocery site aside from ads.

But I’m very happy with the growth.

Final thoughts

As you can see, it’s taken me almost 4 years to reach a full-time income.

And I finally quit my day job in early September 2020 so I could focus on this full-time. Now to be fair, I gave them notice through 9/22 so I’ve only been at this full-time a short while and I’ve been doing the work in an RV traveling with my family for most of the time since.

But full-time blogger I am (why did I type that like Yoda??)

Now, I’m no genius. So if you want to do what I’m doing, there’s no reason you can’t!

And again with how 2020 has gone so far, there’s really no better time than now to take your future into your own hands and take control of your destiny.

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.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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