Authority Site: May 2016 Report

It's been a while since I've written for this site, mostly because I was working a full time job at Book in a Box. But, things change. I left my role at Book in a Box in early May and set back out on my own.

There are a whole host of reason that I left, but none of them were negative. I started working there to contribute as much value as I could to a growing company and suck as much knowledge and experience out of it as possible, with the end goal of someday leaving to do my own thing again.

Well, the time came. Book in a Box grew from 4 of us to 15+, and from $200k in revenue to over $4mm in the 18 months that I worked there. It was an incredible, truly life-changing experience and I'm forever grateful to Tucker and Zach (the co-founders) for taking me on as employee two and letting me be a part of the journey.

That's enough of that - what's this authority site business about? I figured I'd start doing monthly reports on the gardening and sustainability site that I run in order to keep myself on track and share the nitty gritty of what goes into making a website profitable.

Let's get started.​

Note: This report is only for income from the main authority website that I run currently and none of my other business ventures. I'm doing these reports because they seem to be interesting to readers, and also to showcase the raw nuts and bolts of the economics of running websites as a business.

May 2016 Website Numbers

Revenue

  • AdSense - $23.40
  • Clickbank - $17.98
  • YouTube - $66.86
  • Amazon - $722.78
  • Ezoic - $186.97

Total Revenue: $1017.99

Expenses

Total Expenses: $161.23

Net Profit: $856.76

Overall, not bad, especially because for the majority of May I put zero time into this site as I was working. May is a good month for the gardening space due to it being time to plant for the season in almost every growing region across the US (except mine in San Diego, where I can plant year round!).

AdSense revenue is low because I switched to Ezoic for ad management. Ezoic basically acts as a personal ad optimizer via software, testing different ad placements, sizes, and types until it has a statistically significant boost. It's increased my RPM (revenue per 1000 page views) by 100% without adding any extra ad units.

Amazon is the bulk of the income for this site right now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. There are so many products ​to either review or include in 'how-to' posts that it's hard to imagine a better monetization option opening up, unless I figure out how to master display ad revenue and start driving paid traffic to my website.

The rest of the software I use I'll explain in later posts.

The plan for the month of June (which I'm currently 3/4th of the way through as I write this post) is to systemize content production for the site in a way that retains the quality that has helped it grow to its current size. On top of that, creating a system for Pinterest traffic that rivals my Instagram strategy is high on the list as well.​


I'm new to doing these types of reports, so please let me know what you'd like to see in future ones.

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