Hey peeps, here is my routine bi-monthly update for the informational site I started as a case study back on the 1st January 2020.
This time we have more to talk about than just “I added X number of posts and earned Y dollars” – but it’s not all good!
The site was negatively affected by the November core update, but more about that below.
Here is an overview of the stats for the last two months:
- I didn’t log into the site for around 6 weeks and only published 6 new posts!
- The site made a total of $6,699.45.
- Pageviews have dropped from ~161k in September to ~122k in November.
On face value, I’ll admit it doesn’t look good – but it’s really not so bad. 🙂
Here is a closer look at how the site is performing and what the future may hold:
Traffic and Earnings Stats for Jan-Nov 2021
Here’s an overview of the site’s traffic and earning stats for this year:
|Month||# Articles Posted||Pageviews||Mediavine ($)||Ezoic & Adsense ($)||Amazon ($)||Other Affiliate ($)||Total ($)|
Traffic Stats for Oct-Nov 2021
I was expecting traffic to start dropping due to the seasonality of the niche. Last year, traffic dropped around 10% from Sep-Oct, and 13% from Oct-Nov.
It was looking like the traffic was following suit this year – then the November Core update started rolling out.
Comparing some days of the week pre and post update, the site is down as much as 20%.
It’s still early days as the update has only just finished rolling out, so I’m not completely sure of the impact as of now.
How the Site Was Affected by the Nov Core Update
I took a little dig into my Google search console and looked at the SERPs for a bunch of my keywords, and the most obvious thing that has happened is that I’ve lost a lot – if not all – of my snippets.
I checked literally 40 or so KWs that I had snippets for, and my site has dropped to rank #1 (or #2 if you call the snippet #1).
This is a little odd, right?
I’ve started looking at the sites taking the snippets to identify what they are doing right in Google’s eyes that I might not be doing.
I’ve identified a few things that I want to test. I won’t go into detail here, but I shall let you know if anything works!
But honestly, a lot of the snippet data that replaced mine isn’t very accurate or helpful. That’s not me saying I deserve the snippet, it’s just fact.
I’ve heard other people say similar across a bunch of niches, so fingers crossed, Google might be testing something and I’m kinda hoping things change a little more.
I guess a positive way of looking at this is that I’ve not been ‘hit’. It’s more like I’ve lost 1-2 places across hundreds of posts than it is Google pushing me off of keywords.
Earnings for Oct-Nov
I’m going to be a little lazy and skip the screenshots this month, here is what the site earned over the last two months:
|Month||Mediavine $||Amazon $||Other Affiliate $||Total|
It’s hard not to be happy with the site earnings, especially as I’m not putting a lot of time into the site right now.
Re: ad revenue; I didn’t have any crazy Black Friday RPMs like some folks. It peaked at $34, which is still very good, and the average RPM for the month was $28.64.
I had very few sales, but fortunately, I had some huge purchases so the overall affiliate sales are up which was a nice surprise.
What the Future Holds – Selling the Site?
I mentioned before I was thinking of selling the site at the end of the year, and that was part of the reason I have not been working on it much.
With the dip in traffic due to the update, I’m on the fence about selling now. It’s hard to know when the best time to sell is, but it feels like I should recover from this update a little first.
I’m not in a huge hurry to sell, and to be honest, I don’t really ‘want’ to sell the site. I really enjoy the niche and love writing for the site.
It just makes sense financially and I don’t have much time to dedicate to this site with my other sites and projects – some of which are more profitable.
I’ll see how I feel at the end of the year – a lot can happen in a month!
It’s also a good time to remind ourselves that we have a lot to be grateful for.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hungry to grow this site if I keep working on it – but meditating on a regular basis and practicing gratefulness is what got me to this point in the first place.
Anywho, I look forward to hearing how you guys and gals have been getting on. It’s been almost 2 years now I’ve been running this case study, and it’s been awesome to see some of you building out your own profitable sites.
Image credits – Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash