August was a big month in more ways than one! My portfolio of authority sites hit an all-time high in revenue and I planted a lot of seeds for future growth as well.
Let's get into what went well, what didn't, and my plans for the next month.
Note: This report is only for income from the authority website(s) that I run currently and none of my other business ventures. I'm doing these reports to showcase the raw nuts and bolts of running websites as a business.
Work Done in August
Smarter Content Creation
After my work systemizing my content creation process, I added another layer of intelligence on top by only creating content that would drive revenue. I did an analysis of my earnings from my main source (Amazon) and found a few different products that were driving most of my revenue.
Like most things in life, doing a Pareto analysis revealed that of the ~500 products I sold last month, ~40 of them drove 50% of the revenue I generated from Amazon. Best of all, these ~40 products were being sold from posts that were quite easy to rank for and not too hard to create, provided you know what you're doing.
Well, in this niche, I do know what I'm doing. So I devoted most of August to creating similar content, knowing that it'll probably pay off in the next 2-3 months rather than immediately.
Better Editorial Calendar
I also realized that while I may have my content creation system down pat, I didn't have a good editorial calendar. So I went ahead and created one in a Google spreadsheet. It's pretty awesome — it goes from research > ideas > outlining > writing > formatting > scheduled > promoting, and keeps everything up to date. It also ensures I have a good mix of content coming out on my sites, tapping into a mixed blend of traffic sources.
*If you're interested in seeing the editorial calendar system, drop a comment below. That'll let me know there's enough interest to write a post about it.
Partnerships with Other Websites
If you've ever run a website before that got even a little bit of traffic, getting spammed with infographics and linkbuilding requests is probably a familiar feeling. This happens to me at least 20 times a month, so I decided to turn this annoying problem into an opportunity:
Anyone that emailed me with an infographic or article that they wanted me to link to was rejected. BUT, I wrote back and told them I'd be happy to feature a custom-written post on my site if they were willing to work off of a post brief that I provided.
Almost all agreed. I was able to build relationships with a number of companies and brands who all provided content that was 3-4x better than their initial pitch. This is simply because they worked off of my in-depth post briefs that were complete with research, keywords, and a detailed outline.
Hired Some Writers
I finally bit the bullet and paid for more content this month. I have a bad taste in my mouth for doing this, simply because in the past I would get terrible content from people. I would blame them, instead of realizing the the problem is ultimately my own.
To solve this, I created my entire content system AND hired better writers. By paying 30% more for a piece I was able to remove 95% of the content headaches I'd run into with lower-level writers.
Content is an investment with an ROI that is VERY high if you know what you're doing — so pay top dollar for it.
August 2016 Website Numbers
- AdSense - $23.45
- Clickbank - $18.25
- YouTube - $78.66
- Amazon - $1179.33
- Ezoic - $192.00
- Content Writing - $250
Total Revenue: $1761.82
Total Expenses: $615.29
Net Profit: $1146.53
Net profit this month was higher than previous months, even though expenses are higher than average. Most of this is due to the increased sales from Amazon, something that I hope continues into the foreseeable future.
In September, I'm drastically increasing my content creation and partnerships, especially around content that can be monetized via Amazon. Until I tap that channel for all it's worth, it doesn't make sense to spend too much time on other income streams.