Welcome to September’s update! This month’s earnings were up a bit with August, due in part to a broader catch-up on tracking smaller affiliate programs I only check periodically. This marked the third time I crossed $7,000 in 2022, and traffic was my highest yet (despite being a 30-day month). I’m cautiously optimistic about the upcoming holiday season!
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: $7,347.22 (site) + $3,400 (writing retainer*) = $10,747.22
- This Year: $54,348.09 (site) + $30,600 (writing retainer*) = $84,948.09
- Lifetime: $177.629.07 (site) + $30,600 (writing retainer*) = $208,229.07
- This Month: 144,446
- This Year: 1,052,119
- Lifetime: 3,175,581
- This Month: $1,445
- This Year: $32,208.93
- Lifetime: $68,962.93
Note: Here were my biggest investments this month.
- $200 went to onboarding my new team.
- $500 went to my developer for a block of 5 hours.
- $510 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 September? 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 pretty consistent vs. August, but ad income was several hundred dollars!
Amazon was down ~$100 relative to last month (adjusted for the same number of days), but up ~$200 from September 2021. Ads earnings increased ~$320 from last month and were up ~$330 from last year.
I also caught up on smaller affiliate programs that I only check a few times per year. I made ~$460 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 (182 published so far)
- 25 guest posts published this year (3 published so far)
- 50 new articles published for Q3 holiday sprint (now incorporating this into the 400 article goal)
This month was crazy with work for my other businesses, along with some family visits. So I only published one article, even though there are more than 20 waiting for me to review and publish.
I refuse to feel guilty for not getting to everything. This is a side business for me, and sometimes it can’t come first.
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 93,952 sessions this year!
Focus Area: Existing Content
My site has 664 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 been onboarding three freelancers into expanded roles—including a writer who will be focused on improving existing content.
She’s now working on 15-20 initial posts so we can test our new process and make sure it’s working well before jumping into the full list of 150 priority posts.
Focus Area: Selling Products
During September, I removed all the CTA graphics/links I had manually put into relevant blog posts for my second course. There were no sales, so there’s no need to waste ad space.
In other news, I sold 2 digital guides in September ($17.98) and earned $173.58 from the Knowledge Directory. I’m also *close* to making another sale from our media kit. Fingers crossed!
What else was I up to this month?
- Email Growth: I have two free e-course CTAs embedded in relevant blogs, and 43 people have signed up through those this year. Overall, my list grew to 5,804 subscribers, with 353 new folks joining in September.
- Physical Product: After more than a year (no joke, folks) I called it quits on the planned barter with an illustrator. She did some graphics for a physical product I want to create, and I was supposed to create a small website for her. I did get my graphics, but she went totally dark on the site project. I reached out and asked for an invoice for her designs, retracting my offer to build a website. I need to move on.
- Acquisition Blog: My developer and I continued going back and forth on this project in September. I *think* it’s finally over, but I’m waiting for him to confirm all the redirects are done.
Overall, I’m pleased with how Fall stats are shaping up thus far—especially since I’m seeing traffic consistently tick upward. Though I need to catch up on publishing new content, it’s encouraging to see fresh blogs start to drive meaningful visitors.
I’m curious to hear what you all predict for the upcoming holiday season. On my end, I’d *love* to cross $10,000 in a single month from affiliate and ad income. Think that’s realistic?
Have 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!