If you’ve landed here directly, this is an update for the 5th month of my content site case study.
On the 1st of this year (2020), I started a new site to test out some things. I had a few simple goals:
- Publish as much SEO-focused content around low-comp keywords as possible
- Invest no time or money in link building or outreach
- Monetize preliminary with ads and some affiliate stuff where possible
- Return a nice ROI within 12 months
If you want to start from the beginning, you can find my other updates here:
Right, let’s jump straight in with the numbers to-date:
Traffic and Earnings Stats for May 2020
|# of articles
|Ezoic earnings ($)
|AdSense earning ($)
|Affiliate earning ($)
Ad Revenue RPMs EPMVs and More for May
The pandemic is still having a big impact on ad revenue. Still, I’m not one to complain. I’m happy with the $521 I made from AdSense and Ezoic combined in May.
Here are the Ezoic earnings:
You may notice a dip in ad revenue on the 15th in the above graph. This is because I used some words that were flagged as being “objectionable content” and were in violation of Google AdSense’s terms and conditions.
They were not naughty words!. Well, they were words that could be taken as meaning something rude. But in the context in which I used them, it was perfectly fine.
Those words have now been whitelisted, so I can use them all I want. But Ezoic pulled my ads for a couple of days and I lost around $35 in ad revenue I’m estimating.
Weirdly, the EPMV from the day ads were reinstated has been much lower than pre-ban. Maybe this is just a coincidence, maybe it’s not. I wonder.
I decided to run with the maximum Premium plan from the 19th too as you can see by the darker portion on the graph.
This has made up for the drop in EPMV, but it’s costing me $220/mo. That’s split across 5 sites, so it’s not a hit on this site as an entire cost.
If you’re still using AdSense or no ads at all, you should give Ezoic a try. You can sign up for Ezoic here using my referral code and it would be much appreciated.
Amazon Affiliate Earnings for May
I’m not tracking it too closely, but I think almost all these clicks are coming from one post. I have very few Amazon links across the site, I intend to add more next month though.
I’m also using Amazon’s OneLink to capture UK sales. I made a couple of hundred bucks in the UK store, but I’m not sure how much related to this site so I left it out of the figures.
Traffic Stats for May
Google Analytics for May:
Google Search Console data for the last 3 months:
Traffic has been slowing up for a while. There are a few reasons for this:
- I’m posting less content
- I’ve spotted other sites scraping my keywords and copying my posts
- The pandemic increased screentime, which I think is gradually reducing now
- The May Core Update didn’t affect my site, but articles I published since haven’t been ranking as well
- My Pinterest account was banned last month
I still believe in the content strategy I’ve been using to date. Growing a new site to almost 50k page views in 5 months is solid growth.
If I could double the traffic by doubling the work I’ve already done, I’d take that. It doesn’t work like that though, I will have to start being a bit more dynamic with my content strategy at some point.
For now, I’m just going to continue what I’m doing and posting as much as I can.
If you’re interested in how I do my keyword research to find longtail low competition keywords < read that post.
Time Spent Working on the Site in May – Passive Income Activated
Passive income is a controversial and subjective term, but it’s fair to say I’ve hit some passive income with this site now.
I spent about 38-40 hours on the site in May. Had I spent 0 hours or 100 hours, I think it would have earned roughly the same amount.
It’s still really early in the life of the site. Five months is early in the life of any site, so I’m not banking on anything yet.
The consistency of the site is still far from established. With the global pandemic still happening and so many young articles on the site, I really can’t guess what the numbers will be next month.
What’s the Plan for June?
I think my goal for May was to write 50 articles, and I didn’t get anywhere close to that.
Hopefully, I can pick up the productivity in June and publish more. I have some other big projects on the go though, so I’m not going to set a number.
How are your projects/sites going? Feel free to drop me a note below if you have any questions, cheers!