November, the month where the online world goes crazy over Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and discounts.
And I am the crazier of the lot.
I keep a track of all the good deals and often end up buying more than I need.
So, as expected, the expenses in November were higher than usual (a lot higher).
While the overall traffic and income continued to show solid growth, it was no match for the expenses I incurred.
So, November is the month when I report a loss.
But the good part is that since I am now stocked up, my expenses in the coming 3-4 months would be low, and I will rake in the profits then.
November 2020 Highlights
In November, I published a total of 32 articles across all six niche sites.
Going forward, I will continue to aim for ~30 articles per month across these sites. I keep the posting frequency a little higher for new sites (7-8 posts per month) and relatively low for older ones (3-4 posts per month)
Here are some of the interesting things that I did in November:
Took the Plunge and Bought Aged Domains
So far, I have started all of my niche sites on brand new domains.
But this Black Friday, I decided to check out aged domains that were available on Odys Global (with a 50% cashback offer).
I have been thinking about a niche for a long time (it’s quite competitive), and when I found a domain in that same niche, I couldn’t resist.
And with the cashback I got, I snagged another one of their aged domain (again in a competitive space where I have decent knowledge).
I will start working on these sites sometime in December or January.
Trained on Site Speed Optimization
While I don’t think site speed is a huge ranking factor (at least for now), I can see Google paying more attention to it.
In May 2021, Core Web Vitals is going to be a ranking factor, and I wanted to make sure I am at the top of it.
So, I decided to take the site speed course by iMark Interactive (by Grayson Bell).
It’s an amazing course and Grayson teaches the exact steps he uses to speed up his client’s sites. He uses WP Rocket for all the optimizations, and it’s pretty straight forward.
Of course, if you use heavy themes and plugins, there is only a limit to how much WP Rocket can help.
So far, despite using Elementor page builder and having display ads, I have been able to get my scores from the low 40s to mid-80s (which is pretty good).
I like learning new stuff and experimenting with it, but in case you want to simple plug and play solution, check out Nitropack (great product, not so great support)
Joined Reward Styles Affiliate Program
While I am mostly into display ads, I am also trying to slowly grow my affiliate income on niche sites. So far, I have been heavily reliant on Amazon associate program.
The reason I prefer Amazon over other (even higher-paying) affiliate networks is that it’s really easy to use Amazon.
It’s a single platform where I can get links to almost all the products that I recommend.
But then, I heard about Reward Style, an affiliate network that’s quite popular among fashion and food bloggers.
Just like I apply to all the affiliate programs, I did with this one too (thinking it would just be one more rejection email).
But I got accepted.
It’s surprising because many people with very high traffic and celebrity like social media presence often report getting rejected by the platform. And I applied with the site that’s only getting a few thousand page views (and has no social media presence).
What I love about Reward Style is that it has many big retailers and companies on its platform (such as Walmart, Target, Wayfair, Home Depot). And with this one single platform, I get access to all these companies.
And the commissions are really good too (mostly in the range of 7-15%).
So going forward, I would continue to use Amazon (because of the ease of use and high conversion rates), but in case products go out of stock on Amazon, I can easily replace these with links from Reward Style.
Let’s see how it goes, but the results so far are encouraging.
Now let’s get into the numbers.
Niche Sites Income in November 2020
- Site 1 (Home Improvement) – $2,601
- Site 2 (Home Improvement) – $4,266
- Site 3 (Pets) – $673
- Site 4 (Outdoors) – $120
- Site 5 (Tech) – $818
- Site 6 (Broad Multi-niches) – $0
If you’re interested in learning more about the sites, check out the first income report.
Some $$ screenshots:
Expense in November 2020
I invested heavily in content in November as I have plans to aggressively publish in the next few months.
Here are the numbers:
- Kinsta: $200
- Content Development Pros (for Content): $3,000
- WordAgents (for Content): $4,800
- Upwork Writer: $527
- Manage WP: $10.8
- IMark Interactive Site Speed Course: $222
- Odys Global: $1,825
Expenses related to some tools/services are paid yearly. I will add these whenever they come up for renewal.
While I was in the red in November, I don’t expect any major expense in the coming few months. So these numbers should be a lot better when I publish the next few income reports.
What Am I Reading?
As a part of the book club, for November we chose the book – Trust me I am Lying by Ryan Holiday.
It’s about how a man manipulated digital media to achieve his client’s goals. The writer shares some of the exact incidences where he used some questionable tactics to get the work done.
It’s a good book and the first-ever that I listened to on Audible.