• Home
  • Income Reports

January โ€“ February 2021 Income Report: Taxes ๐Ÿค•, Personal Life Gets Priority ๐Ÿ”, Website Updates๐Ÿ“ˆ

Winter has passed so quickly that I barely noticed it โ„โ„โ„๐Ÿ’จ Itโ€™s all thanks for going away from seasonality in my online business! Having a stable income throughout the year was one of my core goals forever and finally, I achieved it this winter ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Thatโ€™s saidโ€ฆ

Welcome to my first bi-monthly income report of 2021!

I am now doing bi-monthly income reports because it saves me time โณ and reduces the amount of identical content in my blog ๐Ÿ˜ด

Rather than creating yet another boring IR, I better spend time on writing other posts that are hopefully more interesting than money reports ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

So read my income report #65-66 to find out what happened in January-February 2020.

Low Season became High ๐ŸŽข

Winter used to be a gloomy period for me. My websites used to be in niches that were seasonal with a high period in summer.

But this time, it was not the case ๐Ÿ˜Š I successfully fixed it!

I did a deseasonalizing of my online business by buying a season-agnostic site (๐Ÿฆ„ Website) and working hard on winter content for my ๐Ÿช Website (former Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website).

It worked so well that I barely noticed the winter ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ‘

Tax season ๐Ÿ’ธ

Itโ€™s time to do taxes ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜†

My income for 2020 exceeded the threshold of $30,000 CAD and it means that I may need to file GST/QST a.k.a sales taxes.

However, itโ€™s not clear whether I really need to do it since:

  1. the majority of my โ€œclientsโ€ are from the US;
  2. I do not collect any sales taxes.

I suspect that I donโ€™t but I need to make sure. So, I am currently investigating the matter ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ

BTW, if you are a website owner from Canada and looking for info about how to file taxes, I collect all the info I find in this post.

Website updates ๐ŸŽˆ

To refresh your memory about what the website nicknames mean, read here.

Unicorn ๐Ÿฆ„ Website

Well, it got hit by January 2021 update and has not recovered since that ๐Ÿ˜ญ The traffic went by 30% compared to the previous period ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Unicorn website traffic comparison graph

From what I see, at least two things happen to it: 

  1. Imbalance between commercial and info content
  2. Missed opportunities on featured snippets

The commercial content means posts with Amazon products. My main goal with this website is to diversify my revenue away from Amazon so I do not plan to fix problem #1 (at least for now).

Meanwhile, scoring featured snippets, itโ€™s something I do plan to work on. 

However, I may not see the results any time soon ๐Ÿ˜ญ I got the impression that Google reassesses featured snippets on a once-in-awhile basis, which seems to be once every few months.

Anyway, hereโ€™s what I am doing in order to score them and hopefully, to recover from the hit. Given the success of ๐Ÿช Website (see below), I am confident that I can fix this one too ๐Ÿ’ช

Ramping up link building

Apart from doing my own link building, I have signed up for ABC Plus from authority.builders. Itโ€™s expensive but also sooo convenient! And everybody who tried the service claim that it was efficient.

Updating old content

A big chunk of work is to update old posts with outdated info.

The niche of ๐Ÿฆ„ Website is very dynamic and the information gets outdated often, unfortunately.

On the plus side, Google really likes it when I update old posts and rewards with quick increases in ranking ๐Ÿ‘

Also, apart from fixing the text, I add extra content in the form of videos. These are either somebody elseโ€™s videos or my own ones ๐Ÿ“น

It greatly helps with ranking and traffic ๐Ÿ‘

Improving old posts formatting

I have tons of How-to posts where steps are formatted as regular paragraphs with a number at the beginning. 

My research showed that Google prefers when such articles have Ordered Lists instead. So, I am converting paragraphs into ordered lists.

Getting rid of old content

Based on the experience I had with ๐Ÿช Website (more on it below), I decided to.. get rid of some content ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I mostly removed posts that do not have any traffic and are not related to my main money-making verticals.

Formatting new posts in optimal way

I make sure that the new posts are formatted in an optimal way by using all suitable HTML elements (Ordered Lists, Lists, etc).

Camel ๐Ÿช Website (Former Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website)

You may remember that I renamed Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website to Camel ๐Ÿช Website at the beginning of the year.

This website is on the roll! ๐Ÿคฉ

Content can break it or make it

At last, I am so happy to see that after years (really, years! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜…) of struggle, my efforts are paying off ๐Ÿคฉ

In the middle of 2020, I finally understood what was holding the website from ranking. 

Did you know that sometimes, in order to move forward, you need to delete a part of old content even if itโ€™s ranking well and bringing revenue? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I did not ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ But once I tried doing that, the results followed ๐Ÿ‘

Now, in retrospective, it makes sense. Google does not like generic websites unless they are huge with high authority. And some keywords can be extremely โ€œstickyโ€ and can โ€œclogโ€ ranking of other keywords.

After deoptimizing for the โ€œstickyโ€ keywords, the main content I wanted to rank went up ๐Ÿš€ In total, the traffic grew by 34% compared to the last year:

Camel website traffic comparison graph

Based on this fix, I managed to convert the website from seasonal to two-seasonal ๐Ÿ˜‚ Winters are no longer low-season, nope ๐Ÿ˜œ

Improving revenue

In February, the traffic reached the all-time high ๐Ÿคฉ

Camel Website February Traffic

The number of GA sessions finally exceeded 50,000 and it meant that I was eligible to apply for Mediavine, the next after Ezoic tier of ad monetization platform.

And I did.

It is my third time (third!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ) attempt with two previous applications turned down ๐Ÿ˜ญ I hope that this time, Iโ€™ll finally succeed ๐Ÿคž

LivingOfCloud (this blog)

Unfortunately, my resources for this blog are getting scarce.

Between prepping for personal stuff (more on it later), link building, recovering from Google updates, pushing the YouTube channel, I am having less and less resources and energy for sharing my experience here ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

As you can see, itโ€™s already mid-March and I only now post my income report ๐Ÿ™„

This is what I posted here during the last two months:

๐Ÿ‘‰ February 2021 News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: Whatโ€™s New In SEO & Affiliate Marketing
๐Ÿ‘‰ January 2021 News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: Whatโ€™s New In SEO & Affiliate Marketing
๐Ÿ‘‰ My Business Year 2020 In Review: Successes ๐ŸŽ‰ Struggles๐Ÿ˜ฃ And Plans For The Next Year ๐Ÿ“

Other websites

Whatโ€™s included in this part are the sites that are currently either on hold, at the very beginning of the growth, or the ones that I did not work on during this period.

It makes no sense to write about them every month so I wonโ€™t! ๐Ÿ˜›

Got lost in my Camels ๐Ÿช, Elephants ๐Ÿ˜, Unicorns ๐Ÿฆ„, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean!

Personal life ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป

Personal life was intense in January-February ๐Ÿ˜

One of my longest personal goals finally came into fruition ๐ŸŒท I cannot share any extra details because nothing is official yet as I am still waiting for the last step to complete.

It's Nadya LivingOffCloud

Initially, I thought  that I would have at least one more year before this project getting into active state, especially given the pandemic. However, it got an unexpected development and now, the whole year 2021 wonโ€™t be as I planned it ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜…

I will have to travel in late spring / early summer. Then, during the summer and maybe early autumn, I will be busy with the project, which meansโ€ฆ no time for my online business ๐Ÿ˜ญ

I will be stepping away for at least three months ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

But I do not want to lose my team, at least not the core members who are doing content creation. 

Fortunately, this part of my business is relatively well outsourced and does not require my daily attention ๐Ÿ‘ The only thing I need is the content plan with briefs. 

So currently, I am working day and night preparing enough content to cover the summer months ๐Ÿ˜ซ 

Also, I am afraid that I will have to put my LOC blog on pause ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ I am not even sure if I will be able to release the next income report ๐Ÿ˜”

Now, back to business!

Revenueโž•

The revenue in January-February was given that it was winter, which was supposed to be a low season. Not anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

Numbers

Got lost in my Camels ๐Ÿช, Elephants ๐Ÿ˜, Unicorns ๐Ÿฆ„, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean!

Letโ€™s look at the income numbers in the details.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Website Amount
Unicorn $4,047.18
Camel $2,710.63
Baby Elephant $3,211.46
Baby Elephant 2 $86.07
LivingOffCloud $682.23
Other websites $2.55
Total $10,740.11

My top three income sources (in the highest revenue order):

  1. Ezoic, which is great for display ads ๐Ÿค— (read my review)
  2. Amazon Affiliate (still ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ)
  3. Other ad platforms and affiliates (this is mostly for ๐Ÿฆ„ Website)

Income proof

Now that I have reached a certain level of income, I feel like I should also post proof of it. I am myself having a hard time believing these numbers!

Hereโ€™s the proof from Ezoic:

Ezoic Account Revenue Chart

Hereโ€™s the stats chart from Amazon; I used a new Consolidated Summary report showing the earnings from all the Amazon stores in a chosen currency (USD):

Amazon Associates Earnings Graph

Expensesโž–

In January-February, the expenses were highest in the last 12 months. Itโ€™s because I was actively building backlinks on two websites. I shelled off $500 for ABC Plus from authority.builders ๐Ÿ˜ฌ and paid for other backlinks.

I pay for many services on an annual basis. However, in my income reports, I spread these expenses on a per monthly basis as if I were paying for them every month. It should give a better understanding of my expenses each month.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Expenses minus content

Expense Amount
Tailwind (a tool for Pinterest) $29.98
Mailshake (cold outreach mailer) $72.17
GSuite (paid Gmail) $11.87
GeneratePress (a WP theme) $5.00
AAWP $17.92
Surfer SEO $98.00
SerpRobot (a SERP tracking tool) $19.96
Other tools $127.26
Hosting+Emails $252.03
Domains $12.39
Virtual Assistant $174.23
Graphic design $585.00
Link building $945.99
Courses $0.00
Misc $177.32
Total $2,555.14

The hosting expense is high โ€œthanksโ€ to my ๐Ÿฆ„ Website that has dedicated hosting on CloudWays. In 2021, I moved all my other websites to the same hosting. Read my review of CloudWays here.

For SEO, I use Surfer SEO. Itโ€™s a tool for keyword research, on-page optimization, content planning, and many other tasks. It allows me to greatly streamline my content research โ™ฅ

Tailwind (an app for Pinterest and Instagram) has been crucial to growing my revenue. If you wonder how I do Pinterest marketing, go ahead and read my post about it.

I use MailShake for cold email outreach. When you are building white-hat links in an efficient way, itโ€™s a must to use a tool for that.

On the WordPress setup side, I use a premium WP theme GeneratePress since itโ€™s fast and highly configurable.

I also use a few premium WP plugins:

My virtual assistant (VA) is my right hand. My business would simply die if I didnโ€™t have one! Well, not I have two of them and all my VA hires came from onlinejobs.com.

Iโ€™ve also got a graphic designer, from onlinejobs.com as well. The graphic designer creates Pinterest images and makes video content.

Content

Given the nature of our business, content is an investment in the business. I decided to track it separately since itโ€™s an important part of future success.

Here, I will give you a breakdown for (almost) each website. Each content expense includes content editing, management, and formatting.

Website Amount
Unicorn $1,176.89
Camel $1,742.27
Baby Elephant $0.00
Baby Elephant 2 $234.55
Other Websites $27.96
Total $3,181.68

For content, I have in-house writers who I found myself on various platforms including ProBlogger and Upwork.

Also, once in a while, I use the services of a writing agency called ContentPit. If you want to try them out, I have a promo code for you: LOCPROMO10 ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿ‘ˆ The code will give you a 10% word bonus for the same price for new customers ๐Ÿค—

Totals ๐Ÿ’ต

Here are my totals for January-February 2021.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Total revenue $10,740.11 minus general expenses $2,555.14 minus content expenses $3,181.68 makes a net profit of $5,075.62. This number should be divided by two since itโ€™s for both January and February.

Here is a chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 14 months. I used the 14-month timeline instead of the 12-month one to show you how these months performed compared to the last year (click on the image to enlarge):

Financial Performance  Jan 2020- Feb 2020

Donโ€™t miss a post โ€“ subscribe to my newsletters!
I love my subscribers and often send them exclusive content that nobody else sees ๐Ÿค—




Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive a small fee if you choose to buy after clicking on any of these links. Thank you if you do! ๐Ÿค—

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments