Welcome to October’s update! For the first time EVER, my site earned more than $10,000 in a single month. I had expected/hoped for an uptick in November, based on 2021 trends, but it seems Christmas came early 😉 This marked the fourth time I crossed $7,000 in 2022, and traffic had notable gains, too. All-in-all, October was a win!
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.
- This Month: $10,805.64 (site) + $3,400 (writing retainer*) = $14,205.64
- This Year: $65,153.73 (site) + $35,000 (writing retainer*) = $100,153.73
- Lifetime: $188,434.71 (site) + $35,000 (writing retainer*) = $223,434.71
- This Month: 161,627
- This Year: 1,213,746
- Lifetime: 3,337,208
- This Month: $3,640.24
- This Year: $35,849.17
- Lifetime: $72,603.17
Note: Here were my biggest investments this month.
- $1,700 went to custom artwork for a future physical product.
- $1,000 went to Content Manager.
- $425 went to writers for new content.
*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.
Where did I spend my time (and money) for October? 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 *way* up in October, and I have no idea why. It feels early for the holiday boost (seen last year in November), but I’m not complaining!
Amazon was up nearly $3,000 relative to last month (HOLY COW), and up ~$2,900 from October 2021. Ads earnings increased ~$400 from last month and were up ~$900 from last year.
I also caught up on smaller affiliate programs that I only check occasionally. I made ~$500 from those programs. Not too shabby!
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 (207 published so far)
- 25 guest posts published this year (4 published so far)
- 50 new articles published for Q3 holiday sprint (now incorporating this into the 400 article goal)
I finally got caught up on publishing articles that were waiting on me in WordPress—25 in October!
As mentioned in the last update, I now have a Google Analytics Custom Report tracking the traffic specifically for my new content in 2022.
To date, my new content has generated 133,573 sessions this year!
Focus Area: Existing Content
My site has 688 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:
- Add 2-4 new FAQs to each post (source from “People Also Ask”).
- Refresh (or tighten up) the article intro and/or product review content.
- 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.
I’d hoped to see the new person get traction on content updates in October, but we didn’t see any movement. This is odd since she’s been a reliable and quick writer all year… so my Content Manager has a call this week to clarify expectations and timelines.
Focus Area: Selling Products
Though I only sold 1 digital guide in October ($8.99), I did earn $42.47 from the Knowledge Directory. Plus, I had one surprise sale of my own course ($149) and a $300 sale from the Media Kit!
What else was I up to this month?
- Email Growth: I have two free e-course CTAs embedded in relevant blogs, and 63 people have signed up through those this year. Overall, my list grew to 6,138 subscribers, with 422 new folks joining in October. (Plus, my new team member sent her first email out this month!)
- Physical Product: As I mentioned in September’s update, I called it quits on the planned barter with an illustrator. She did some graphics for a physical product I want to create, I ended up just paying her $1,700 in October. Done.
- New Developer Search: I’m on the hunt for a new developer… again. I had a good run with the current guy in the beginning, but now he’s become unresponsive and, frankly, unhelpful. I’m in search of a woman this time. There, I said it.
Overall, I’m thrilled to see traffic and earnings pick up a month earlier than last year—and with greater force! Hopefully, the trend will continue through the holiday season and tip the site over $200K in lifetime earnings. Fingers crossed!
This month, I’m curious to hear about your relationships with developers. What’s worked well, what hasn’t, and where have you found good talent?
Have additional thoughts about what I should focus on (or ignore) the rest of this year? Other ideas for things I should be working on? Comment below!