Growth Trifecta Case Study (December 2022)

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Welcome to December’s update, and the end of 2022! Each of the final three months topped $10,000 in earnings, which was a huge success. While much of the lifted Amazon income is likely thanks to a special Q4 commission boost from Amazon, traffic stayed steadily higher than the previous three quarters.

Plus, lifetime Amazon Affiliate earnings crossed $100,000—wild!

Read on to learn how I’m working through my 2022 Growth Trifecta Plan. It combines a big content sprint, improving existing articles, and boosting revenue from my own products.

Let’s get into it!

The Site in a Nutshell

Whether you’ve been following along since the beginning, or are new to this case study, here are some key stats for my site.

lifetime earnings

Earnings

  • This Month: $12,444.14 (site) + $3,400 (writing retainer*) = $15,844.14
  • This Year: $89,735.36 (site) + $42,800 (writing retainer*) = $132,535.36
  • Lifetime: $212,904.31 (site) + $42,800 (writing retainer*) = $255,704.31

Traffic

  • This Month: 166,783
  • This Year: 1,553,393
  • Lifetime: 3,676,855

Expenses

  • This Month: $2,759.00
  • This Year: $39,778.17
  • Lifetime: $76,532.17

Note: Here were my biggest investments this month.

  • $1,000 went to my Content Manager for 20 hours of work.
  • $910 went to Upwork freelancers for new content and retainer work.

*Amended: A major apparel brand within my niche discovered my site and reached out in late 2021 about collaborating. We ended up developing a relationship that became a 2022 monthly copywriting retainer. Since this income is directly the result of my site, I’m including a variation of income including it.

December Updates

Where did I spend my time (and money) for December? Let’s take a look.

(Ongoing) Affiliate Programs & Ads

In addition to the three-phase growth plan activities, I keep a close eye on affiliate and ad earnings, my primary income drivers.

Amazon earnings were up again in December, crossing $7,000 for the first time ever!

Amazon was up more than $600 relative to last month, and up nearly $4,000 from December 2021. Ads earnings decreased about $700 from last month, but they were more than $1,000 from last year.

I also caught up on smaller affiliate programs that I only check occasionally. I made ~$570 from those programs.

Focus Area: New Content

The main growth strategy for this year is new content generation (i.e. publishing new articles). My original 2022 goal was to tackle the following:

  • 400 new articles published by the end of June (232 published)
  • 25 guest posts published this year (4 published)
  • 50 new articles published for Q3 holiday sprint (incorporated this into the 400 article goal)

As mentioned in the last update, I now have a Google Analytics Custom Report tracking the traffic specifically for my new content in 2022.

My new content generated 233,327 sessions this year!

new content traffic

Focus Area: Existing Content

My site has 703 pieces of content, so there’s plenty of room for improving existing content. That’s why one of my growth tactics for 2022 is improving existing posts.

My goal is to put 100 existing articles through a consistent improvement process this year. 

As a reminder, my approach includes:

  1. Add 2-4 new FAQs to each post (source from “People Also Ask”).
  2. Refresh (or tighten up) the article intro and/or product review content.
  3. Add images to keep people on the page longer and boost ad revenue .

My content manager has now onboarded three freelancers into expanded roles—including a writer who will be focused on improving existing content.

Delegating the content upgrade process didn’t go very well. We onboarded the assigned writer in October, and only 10 articles were touched by the end of the year. It probably comes as no surprise that we’ve replaced her for 2023!

Focus Area: Selling Products

I sold 2 digital guides in December ($17.98).

Other Activities

What else was I up to this month?

  • Email Growth: I have two free e-course CTAs embedded in relevant blogs, and 102 people have signed up through those this year. Overall, my list grew to 6,692 subscribers, with 347 new folks joining in December.
  • Social Posting: We now have a freelancer who has taken over social media, and she’s started posting consistently.

Parting Thoughts

Overall, it’s been a really good year in terms of traffic and earnings. Despite a sluggish start, all the new content seems to be making a difference now—and Q4 earnings exceeded expectations!

Have additional thoughts about what I should focus on (or ignore) next year? Other ideas for things I should be working on? Comment below.

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