This is my 7th income report and the 3rd income report for 2021. 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 2021; July-Sept.
Let’s get into the details.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEBSITE?
GROSS REVENUE – $78,844 (was $82,637 for Q2)
Generally speaking, my income does go up from month to month, but there have been occasional dips as you see here.
The best month from this quarter was August – $27,133. But June from Q2 was over $31,000 so that was a great month and the traffic was higher for some reason.
I still have 4 sites with ads and affiliate revenue. I was using Mediavine for my ads but switched as of 9/22 to AdThrive with their promise of at least a 20% increase. So far that hasn’t happened and I feel a little taken advantage of. But I have a call with them next week so let’s see if they can sway me from feeling like I was sold a bait and switch.
So far I’m seeing increases between 2-6% and I probably wouldn’t have switched for that little an increase as my site speed plummeted after the switch too (something else I’m working on with them).
I am adding ads with Ezoic on 3 of my newer sites which are still under 10,000 monthly page views.
At their current level of traffic I should get at least $500 a month from those 3. But it will be at least another week before the ads get put on.
I have still not been doing new videos on my Hot Tub YouTube channel I started in April of 2020. But I plan to resume those later this month.
I fully stopped publishing on my Kitchen Appliance HQ site as of May 2021. I plan to sell the site. But I have struggled with the traffic on there due to some competition. So I don’t want to sell it until I can get some of that traffic back. And if I can’t, then I’ll add more articles to it to beef it up before selling.
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 $25,292
Gross income was $27,133
Gross income was $26,418
Overall I’m still happy with those numbers. I just want to get the traffic back on the kitchen site. The hot tub site is also starting to trend down for the season. But the grocery site is still rocking!
Blogging Income by Category for Q3 2021
Ads on my websites – $45,103 (was $44,946 for Q2)
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s an increase in ad revenue of less than half a percent over Q2. So not as big of a jump as I like to see. But with the move to AdThrive and going into Q4, the next income report should show a sizeable increase.
Here’s what I did in Q3 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 – $29.99 (was 30.52)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $32.63 (was $32.52)
The Grocery Store Guy – $34.49 (was $33.8)
Hot Tub Owner HQ– $38.82 (was $39.48)
As you can see, the hot tub site earns the most per 1,000 visitors (by far).
Ads breakdown by website
Middle Class Dad – $7,870 (was $9,316)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $7,003 (was $6,939)
The Grocery Store Guy – $18,434 (was $15,536)
Hot Tub Owner HQ – $11,794 (was $13,153)
Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $2,097. (was 2,673)
As you see, the hot tub channel (both) are trending down. For YouTube that’s likely due to my lack of activity. But in both cases, it may be a seasonal decline too.
Middle Class Dad has been trending down in traffic due to increase competition. But I have added some new articles over the past few months that I hope will boost it back up.
Amazon Associates Affiliate Income – $6,275 (was $7,209)
Again, if you’re keeping score at home, you’ll see that is a fair amount lower than Q2 (13% lower). That is mostly due to the traffic challenges I have with the kitchen site and Middle Class Dad combined with the seasonal decline for the hot tub channels.
Here’s the Amazon breakdown by website:
Middle Class Dad – $432 (was $795)
Kitchen Appliance HQ – $534 (was $779)
The Grocery Store Guy – $34 (this site is currently almost exclusively monetized with ads – (was $6.25)
Hot Tub Owner HQ – $2,927 (was $3,257)
Hot Tub Owner YouTube – $2,183 (was $2,317)
RV Parenting – $163 (previously $27)
Other Affiliate Income – $6,567 (was $7,576)
As traffic on a site grows, it’s natural that the revenue grows also. And unfortunately, the reverse is true also.
I still publish 2 posts per day at least 5 days a week across all my sites. But the vast majority of those lately have been on my 4 newer sites which aren’t earning anything yet.
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.
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.
And I just signed up for the Marriage Helper affiliate program (after finding them after my wife asked for a divorce). So I think they have a great program and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with them.
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 – $18,000 (was $19,315)
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. My goal is to stop doing them when my other income hits $35,000/month.
I have raised my rates and negotiate less, so the number I publish has gone down. The income hasn’t dipped by a lot though, but I spend less time on it. I also farmed out a lot of the email back and forth to my virtual assistant.
Consulting – $750 (was $1,464)
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.
My income was way high in Q2 as I had 1 client that paid for $1,000 in sessions (which they haven’t used all of yet).
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.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEBSITE?
Blogging Expenses by Category for Q3 2021 – $7,172 (was $11,526)
The decrease was because I ordered 50 articles for 1 new site last time and that alone was almost $5k.
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 – $326.70 (was $296.85)
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 9 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 – $6,631 (was $4,739)
These days I have 7 writers. I also use a company called Get It Done For Me Virtual Services for all my virtual assistant needs.
That includes editing the articles the writers submit, checking for plagiarism (it does happen occasionally) and grammar and adding all but the main featured image into every article, and getting it ready to publish.
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. But they also check old posts for rankings so I know if I need to update them if they slip in the rankings. They also check for Twitter-embedded images no longer working as that’s what I use for a lot of my images. And if someone’s account gets suspended, the image stops working.
Lastly I use them for occasional one-off projects and as I mentioned above, they check my email for me and respond to the constant stream of requests for guest and sponsored posts.
Logo expense – $0.
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. But no new logos right now.
Bottom Line Net Profit Before Taxes – $71,672. (was $71,110)
That’s a monthly average net profit of $23,890. So just a tad higher than Q2.
And that’s an annualized net profit, again, before taxes get paid, of $286,688.
Q4 of 2021 will see my 3 sites that started last October (RV Parenting and DojoLifeHQ) and one I started this spring that’s doing well (Music Nerds HQ) starting to get traffic and earn some revenue as I’m adding ads from Ezoic on them now.
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.