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November – December 2019 Income Report: Nov 8 Google Update 🎉, Black Friday Epic Fail 🤦♀️, Website Speed💨
Welcome to my sixth bi-monthly income report of 2019! This is also my last income report for the year 2019 🧐
I am now doing bi-monthly income reports because it saves me time ⏳ and reduces the amount of identical content in my blog 💤
Rather than creating yet another boring IR, I better spend time on writing other posts that are hopefully more interesting than money reports 🤞🏻So read my income report #51-52 to find out what happened in November-December 2019.
The November 8, 2019, Google update
As you may remember, Google rolled out a mysterious update on November 8.
While Google claims this update was no different than any other regular updates they do monthly, it was very widely noticed by the community 💥
I was among the ones who actually greatly benefited from this update 😏 Two out of three of my money websites gained a lot of SERPs and traffic. Right in time for Black Friday!
In the Website updates section below, I show the traffic snapshot of how the update affected each of my websites.
Black Friday epic fail 🤦♀️
…aaaaand Black Friday 2019 was a total flop for me 😭
I ran Black Friday sales on this blog and on two of my money websites (the 🐘 family).
I spent two or even three weeks preparing for it day and night. I hunted down deals, I built opt-in forms and landing pages, I sent emails… I was all in only to get out of it with nothing 😂
I think this failure taught me something 💡
In order to get sales, I need to warm up my readers well in advance. I need to build up momentum, anticipation that would lead to the sale date smoothly. For that, I need to carefully plan my content in advance and build an “anticipation ladder.”
The next Black Friday, I can test my hypothesis 😏
My Black Friday purchases 🛍
Here’s what I bought during the Black Friday sale:
- WP Rocket, a caching plugin
- Perfmatters, a site speed plugin
- An SEO course by Matt Diggity (bought it together with one of my peers, a fellow niche website master)
- “Fat Stacks Natural Link Building Formula” course by Jon Dykstra
- A DepositePhoto package by AppSumo
- Some stuff for my new 🦄 website
I returned the WPRocket plugin later; read this post to find out why.
Trying to increase the speed of my websites
This was the activity I spent most of December on.
On Black Friday, I bought two speed plugins: WPRocket and Perfmatters.
While I have not had a chance to thoroughly test Perfmatters, I ran a lot of tests with WPRocket. I am glad I did! Because in the end, it turned out that it did not work with my setup and I had to return it.
Now, I am working with Ezoic, an ad platform I use for monetization, in order to make my money websites run faster.
I outsourced yet another part of my daily routine: writers’ management!🎉
I gave this job to my editor who was already experienced in that.
Now, she does all the talking with the writers as well as reminders, payments, etc.
So far, I am very happy about it 😊 Which means I did the right thing!
Automation as an alternative to outsourcing
I am spending quite a lot of time developing automation of my daily routine tasks 🤓
For example, I now can generate almost all of my writing briefs by pressing a button. It invokes a script with a questionnaire an article I am preparing the brief for that spits out a brief ready to be given to a writer.
Also, I now have a script that automatically updates the statuses of Asana tasks based on completed subtasks 🤓
This all saves my mental energy 🔋 and eliminates typos and other annoying mistakes I am very prone to do 🤗
Also, it saves money on outsourcing ??🎉The automation is done in Google Apps Script and it uses free Google services. I never thought I would say that but… it’s good to be back to coding! 🤯😆 (in the past, I used to be a software dev).
Got an Amazon gift card from Upwork 🎁
Upwork, a freelancer platform where I used to hire writers and VAs, sent me a survey about what I think about them and how they can improve. As a reward, they promised to make a raffle with an Amazon gift card of $50 value.
I took the survey… and then I won the card! 🎉
I have not used it yet. I will probably buy Bluetooth earbuds for my workouts.
I get to know more and more fellow niche website masters around me.
I think only in Montreal I know (virtually) at least 5 people 🤯😆
Outside of Montreal, I know 2 or 3 more Canadians doing approximately the same things I am doing.
And this is great 🤗
In November-December, I had so many great conversations with some of these guys. It seems that everybody is doing online business in a different way. Somebody builds an authority site, somebody else is more focused on narrow niches.
It’s good to see how my peers tackle the same goals with different tools.
And it’s even better to exchange experiences and thoughts and help each other 🙂
Having a community is a powerful thing! You guys are great! 👍
Website updates 🎈
To refresh your memory about what the website nicknames mean, read here.
Mother 🐘 Website
This website is my prime focus. I keep working on increasing traffic and pumping money into the content 💸
In November-December, I published almost 31,000 words and got even ahead of my content publishing schedule:
I also acquired 9 do-follow backlinks and some of them were paid links. I decided to start paying for backlinks to speed up the growth of my website. Free links are rare to come in this niche 🤷♀️
However, here, I got a bit behind my backlink acquiring schedule.
But still, it has been constant work. Thanks to that (and to the November 8 update 😉), the website traffic jumped at the end of the year 2019 – and overall, it grew a lot compared to the year 2018. I hope the growth will stay this way! 🔝
For Black Friday, I did a lot of work. However, as you already know, it was a disaster. I was able to rank in the first SERPs for my keywords for Black Friday 🤩 but I did not make any sales 😢 That’s because (I suspect) these keywords are low competition since everybody (except me 🤦♀️) knows shoppers do not shop for these products at the beginning of winter. Well, now I know, too!
I hope that Prime Day will be more successful 🙏
Baby 🐘 Website
This website also runs on autopilot without me doing anything special to it.
I did not publish any content except a guest post and a few Black Friday pages. But it still brings a lot of money.
And again, thanks to the November 8 update, its traffic went well up.
As of 🐀 Website, it is still on hold 😒 I decided to focus on two other websites. It seems that a tighter focus has been paying off so far.
This is the website where the November 8 update did not help at all 🤷♀️ But still, the traffic grew compared to last year 👍
LivingOffCloud (this blog)
In this blog, I was quite active, especially in November. I did a lot of preparations for Black Friday. But none of them brought any revenue 😣 Oh well.
I usually do not track the LOC traffic closely but to show you the full picture, here’s a snapshot:
Here is what I published on my blog:
👉 Black Friday On Authority Hacker with the Shotgun Skyscraper Blueprint – and why I recommend It (the offer expired already)
👉 The AAWP Plugin Review: Should You Use This WordPress Plugin For Amazon Affiliates? 🤔
👉 Does WP Rocket work with Ezoic? Here’s what I discovered (my adventures in high site speed world 😅)
👉 My Second Sell On Flippa: How I Maxed Up My Earnings From The Sale
Personal life 👩🏻
In November, I spent days and nights preparing for Black Friday. I only made an exception to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
We went to a local resto with a fitting name “Honi-Honi” to eat a poke-bowl.
Aaaand in December, I finally got a well-deserved rest! I went to Boston with my hubby to a Christmas party organized by his company. We were there only for 4 days and every day, I had a free party organized by the company 🥰
Ok, now let’s go back to the business!
In November – December, the expenses were on par with the usual numbers if not counting my Black Friday spending.
I paid for many services per annual basis but this time, I am spreading these expenses on a monthly basis as if I were paying for them every month. It should give a better understanding of my expenses each month from now on.
|Content creation||$857.99||Ordered new articles|
|Content editing||$322.30||Reviewing and editing articles|
|Content management||$28.40||Reviewing and editing articles|
|Virtual Assistant||$277.59||Paid a VA for doing post formatting and more|
|Outsourced images||$0.00||Made all the images myself|
|E-marketing tools||$127.09||Paid for a cheap access to AhRef tool and tons of other stuff|
|Link building||$115.00||Paid for guest posts and link insertions|
|Mix||$408.59||Black Friday deals: bought two courses plus a DepositePhoto package by AppSumo and some stuff for my new Unicorn Website|
The income in November – December was Ok. Not too high since my Black Friday efforts did not bring much but too low either. The November 8 update got in handy and my websites enjoyed an influx of traffic that increased sales.
I also sold my 🐝 website.
Got lost in my Elephants 🐘, Rats 🐀, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean
Let’s look at the income numbers in the details.
|Ads by Elephant Websites||$2,841.33||Revenue from the 1st websites I bought + another one in the same niche|
|Amazon by Elephant Websites||$910.11||Revenue from the 1st website I bought + another one in the same niche|
|VigLink by Elephant Websites||$79.05||VigLink revenue from the 1st websites I bought + another one in the same niche|
|Video ads by Elephant Websites||$11.19||Revenue made by vi.ai from the 1st website I bought + another one in the same niche|
|Ads by Rat Website||$8.48||I monetize Rat Website through Adsense|
|Amazon by Rat Website||$10.31||Revenue from the website built by Human Proof Designs; check their website to see if you can get a ready-made niche website for yourself|
|Amazon by Honeybee Website||$3.58||Revenue from the website I used to build myself with a PBN|
|Ads by other websites||$6.66||Ad revenue from the rest of my websites including this blog|
|Paid guest posts||$109.74||Revenue received for paid guest posting|
|PBN affiliate revenue||$113.57||Recurring and new affiliate sales for Easy Blog Networks and Buy Bulk Hosting, PBN hosting solutions|
|LOC affiliate revenue||$288.49||Revenue from affiliate commissions I get from this blog|
|Interest and investments||$4.06||Interest earned on a savings account and online investments paid back from Kickfurther|
Here are my totals for November – December 2019.
Total income $4,386.57 minus total expenses $2,136.95 makes a net profit of $2,249.62. This number should be divided by two since it’s for both November and December. 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.
January – February 2020 Plans 📅
This period will be the low season for all my money websites so I plan to spend some time on maintenance:
👉 migrate the websites to HTTPS 🤓 (nope I have not done it yet 😬)
👉 continue working on increasing the speed of the websites 🚀
👉 finally, create a solid content plan for at least a couple of months ahead for all the websites (I’m soooo bad at that! 🥴)
Also, I plan to fire the old staff and hire new staff:
👉 a new VA (my current VA does not have enough time for me anymore 😑😒)
👉 more writers
👉 maybe a new apprentice since my current apprentice already finished his apprenticeship at the moment of writing this post
And write more on this blog! I am due to write my annual report for 2019!
Since I am not sure about my posting schedule… you should stay tuned by subscribing to my emails!
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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!