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This year has been off to a great start for us, with each month exceeding our expectations. Last month, we nearly hit $40,000, which was significantly higher than we anticipated.
In April of 2022, we ended up with a total revenue of $49,870.56, which again exceeded our expectations and was our highest month ever. For reference, last month we made $39,444.58.
Seeing such a big jump last month was a huge surprise to us, as we didn’t see a big uptick in revenue last year going from March to April. However, we’ve taken a bit of a different approach this year, which we think accounts for the year-over-year difference. I’ll jump into this more below.
Now before I jump into the details, here are my usual disclaimers:
- First, I’m not a one-man show. I work as part of a small, four-person team.
- Second, all of the revenue and traffic figures below exclude anything tied to passiveincomeunlocked.com and the Passive Income Unlocked YouTube channel. I keep these separate, as I don’t want the totals to artificially inflate what we’ve built with our niche sites from the ground up.
Changes and Updates
For the month of April, we kept our focus on improving existing content. Our thought behind this is to make our sites as strong as possible, which should not only help them to rank better going forward, but also protect them against future competitors.
Unlike many online publishers out there, our end goal is not to sell our sites. Instead, our intention is to grow each site into a large authority site (think brand). Because of this, we feel that it’s important to make sure we’re optimizing our content as much as possible.
Continuing on from last month, we created static homepages for each of our remaining sites. Each homepage is slightly different from the others, but at a minimum, each one shows recent posts, categories, and hand-picked “popular” posts.
For the popular posts, we’re not necessarily showing the most popular posts on each site. Instead, we’re showing the posts that we think have the most potential to bring in the most traffic.
Your homepage tends to attract a lot of backlinks, so our goal with listing the posts with the most potential is to drive some of that link juice to those high-potential posts to help them rank better over time.
Aside from creating static homepages, we also started working on adding more images to our posts. In April, I believe we ended up adding multiple images to about 300 posts across our sites.
Adding multiple images to 300 posts is no small feat, and we definitely approached this with a divide-and-conquer effort. In the end, this increased the number of posts with multiple images on our sites by roughly 10%, which is huge.
We still have a long way to go with images, but this was a great first step.
Going into May, our focus will be to continue adding internal links and images throughout our posts. We also have a couple of other projects that we may or may not start attacking, but I’ll jump into those once we start making some progress.
Next, let’s jump into the numbers.
Sites and Posts
We published less posts in April than usual, but because we schedule our posts, it didn’t actually affect our output. We plan to ramp up our ordering again going into May, so we shouldn’t lose any steam going forward.
With that being said, now that site #5 is up and running with Mediavine, we’ve decided to decrease the output down to match the first four sites, which is roughly 4 posts/week.
At the same time, we’ve also decided to ramp up the production on site #2 to 7 posts/week. This particular site is showing considerable year-over-year and month-over-month growth and also has endless potential for topics. Because of this, we think it makes a ton of sense to ramp it up, at least during the next few months.
Here is a breakdown of the numbers for all of our sites:
In April, we saw our highest traffic month ever, and we actually anticipate this to go even higher over the next few months. All of our sites increased in traffic from March, and a few of them saw significant month-over-month growth.
There are a couple of reasons for this growth, which directly contributed to the revenue growth that we saw as well.
First, we have two sites that do much better in the warmer months. Those two sites saw big jumps and should see big jumps next month as well.
On top of this, we’ve had three sites with more-than-expected growth over the past few months. Those three sites happen to be the three sites that we focused on adding internal links to over the past few months.
We took the number of posts with internal links on each of those sites from roughly 20% to 70%. While we have no concrete evidence that this made a difference, the numbers indicate that all those internal links gave those sites a nice boost.
Here’s a breakdown of the total pageviews by month:
April ended up being our highest revenue month ever, falling just shy of $50,000. While we did add a site to Mediavine, we attribute most of that growth to the reasons that I mentioned above in the traffic section.
If last year is a reliable indicator, we should see another big jump in May, as our seasonal sites still have not reached their potential for the warm season.
Here’s a breakdown of the revenue totals by month:
Here is a breakdown of our ad revenue from Mediavine last month. NOTE: the “Live On” date represents the date that each site was launched with Mediavine ads, not the date it was created:
After display ad revenue, our next largest revenue source is from Amazon Associates. Last month, we made $1,495.56 from our US account, and a small amount of revenue from the UK and Canada ($85.57).
Here is a screenshot showing our Amazon Associates revenue from the United States:
Other Revenue Sources
We also made a small amount of money from the following:
- Print on demand: $39.92
- Other affiliate programs: $28.70
- Digital products: $90.85
Our expenses for last month came in at a total of $6,850.78. As usual, the bulk of our expenses can be attributed to outsourced content.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Rocket (hosting): $100.00
- Shutterstock (stock images): $169.00
- iStock (stock images): $133.27
- Keywords Everywhere (keyword research tool): $10.60
- Upwork (writing service): $152.42
- Textun (writing service): $4,228.00
- Passion Posts (writing service) – use LAKPFDZ2J0 for 10% off your first order: $0.00
- Content Pit (writing service) – use PIU10 for 10% off your first order: $1,999.00
- Google Workspace (business email): $29.00
- SendOwl (digital sales platform): $15.00
- PayPal (fees): $14.49
Total Expenses = $6,850.78
If you take our total revenue of $49,870.56 and subtract out our expenses of $6,850.78, we’re left with a net profit of $43,019.78 for the month.
Future Plans & Goals
Continuing with our overall goal this year to improve existing content, our plan for May is to add more internal links and images to our posts. Both of these project will be ongoing for as long as we continue to add new content, but for now, our aim is to hit as many of our existing posts as possible.
We expect to be all caught up on internal linking within the next couple of months. At that point, we’ll mostly focus on images and start chipping away at the next project (more on that later).
April ended up being our best month ever, slightly out-performing last December. Based on previous years, we anticipate the growth to continue into next month, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.
I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but one of the biggest drivers with posting these income reports is to help motivate you, as seeing other income reports helped to motivate and keep me on track early on.
With that being said, we will likely put an end to these income reports at some point this year, but I hope that seeing them has shown you what’s possible with blogging and a purely informational approach.
Now is as good of a time to get started as ever, so jump in, start posting, and see where it takes you.