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In this income report, which is the second one I’ve posted, I’ll share a bit of info about our sites, the number of posts, our revenue, and our expenses. As I’ve said in the past, my hope is that these reports will help to motivate you to keep chasing your goals.
Seeing income reports like this early on in my own journey really helped to keep me focused and on track when I wasn’t seeing much of a return. Building traffic to a niche site takes a long time, so you have to be patient and persistent.
Now, for the numbers. For the month of June, we made a total of $41,028.45 in gross revenue. This was our best month yet, and there are a few reasons for that.
For one, June was the last month in a quarter, which means higher ad RPMs. Also, we have a couple of sites with some seasonality that are in full swing right now. Lastly, we’ve been pumping out new content like crazy over the last several months, so some of that content is gaining traction.
We do anticipate a drop in revenue in July, as the ad RPMs will likely take a pretty significant hit due to being the first month in a quarter. Nonetheless, we are happy with the growth we’ve seen so far this year.
Before I break down what went into the total revenue number mentioned above, I just want to remind you that none of the figures you see on this income report, or any future income report, include any traffic or revenue totals from passiveincomeunlocked.com. All the numbers below relate solely to our niche sites.
I also want to remind you that I’m part of a four-person team. While you can absolutely have success building niche sites on your own, having a team has many benefits, such as having each person specialize in certain areas.
Now, let’s jump into the numbers.
We currently have five sites, four of which are generating income. The fifth site was started back in October of 2020 and is slowly, but surely gaining traction.
All of our sites are what I would call hobby sites. While I won’t reveal the specific niches, our sites can be broadly categorized in the food niche, the pet niche, and the home and garden niche (three sites fall into the last category).
I also want to point out that all of our sites are broad. A big part of our method is to choose a broad domain name in a broad niche, then target small, sub-topics within that niche as we grow.
Here is a breakdown of the current age of our sites, as well as how many posts we have on each:
In June, we published (in actuality, scheduled to go live in the future) roughly 4 posts/week to each of our sites, which was the same rate as May. Most, but not all, of these posts were outsourced.
In June of 2021, we saw our traffic levels dip just slightly, but there was also one less day in June when compared to May. As you can see in the graph below, we fell just short of 1.25 million pageviews across our five sites.
As you can see, our traffic is pretty well balanced between our first four sites. As a reminder, the fifth site is only nine months old, so we wouldn’t expect it to be at the level of the others quite yet.
We believe that our traffic is as balanced as it is because we’ve developed a reliable method for finding and analyzing keywords. On top of that, we produce roughly the same amount of content for each site every month.
The traffic for all of our sites mainly comes from the United States. This is a big part of why our RPMs are as high as they are (ranging from $28 – $41 in June).
Also, about 90% of our traffic comes from Google Search, which isn’t surprising since that’s what we target with our keyword research. The majority of the remaining 10% comes from Pinterest.
As I mentioned up above, we made a total of $41,028.45. This was our highest month yet, slightly edging out May, as you can see in the graph below.
We make the vast majority of our revenue from display ads, which are through Mediavine. While you can’t apply for Mediavine until you hit 50,000 sessions on your site, I can assure you that it’s well worth the wait.
Here is a breakdown of our ad revenue from Mediavine in June:
The next largest income source on our sites comes from Amazon Associates. In June, we made $1,462.31, which was a decent jump up from May.
As I mentioned in the last income report, we focus on informational content and don’t prioritize affiliate links at all. We only add them when we think it makes sense to, so our affiliate revenue is never going to be a large part of our income.
We like to take a low-risk approach with our sites, and a big part of that is not focusing on affiliate or buyer-intent content. We stick to almost 100% informational posts.
The graph below only shows our US revenue for Amazon Associates. We also brought in $160.18 from our international accounts.
Aside from the income from Mediavine ads and Amazon Associates, we also made a small amount of income from the following sources:
- Other Affiliate Networks: $5.38
- Digital Product Sales: $14.75
- Print on Demand Sales: $65.52
Knowing the revenue numbers doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how much of that revenue was eaten up by expenses. Thankfully for us, it’s pretty easy to keep our expenses low while running our niche sites.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our expenses for June:
- Hosting (Kinsta): $801.54
- Images (iStock): $116.61
- Outsourced Content: $4,500.44
- Cloudflare: $25.00
- Google Workspace: $27.60
- SendOwl: $15.00
- PayPal Fees: $1.95
Total Expenses = $5,488.14
If you take our total revenue of $41,028.45 and subtract out our expenses of $5,488.14, we’re left with a net profit of $35,540.31 for the month of June.
As I mentioned last month, we recently started collecting email addresses on three of our sites using Mediavine’s new opt-in tool, which basically brings an opt-in form into focus as you scroll down a ways in a post.
The opt-in form is bringing in new subscribers at a relatively high rate, but we still don’t know what we’re going to do with these email addresses. We’re currently sending out weekly post recaps, which have done moderately well, but otherwise, we haven’t given it much attention.
For now, our plan is to continue collecting email addresses, but if we can’t find a simple way to monetize these lists in the near future, we might put them on pause.
Here’s where each of our sites currently stand in regards to the number of email subscribers:
- Site #1: 470
- Site #2: 680
- Site #3: 0
- Site #4: 190
- Site #5: 0
Future Plans & Goals
Our plans for July are no different than what I outlined in the May income report, so I won’t dive into the details here. To summarize, we have decided not to put any time into Pinterest, we’ll continue to grow our email lists, and we’ll continue to work on our YouTube channels for two of the sites.
June was a great month for us, the best we’ve seen yet. And while we’re absolutely happy with the numbers, we plan to keep pushing forward to take our sites to the next level.
Whether you have a site already or are have been thinking about starting one, I hope this income report has helped to motivate you. If you’re patient, do enough things right, and don’t make too many mistakes, building a niche site can be a fantastic way to create a lucrative, passive income stream.