White Hat Blogging is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, in addition, I am an independent Jasper Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Jasper and possibly other affiliates.
September is always an interesting month while being the end of Q3 where most money in a quarter is spent on ads due to leading into Q4 there is frequently a bigger draw down for the huge money months of October through December.
So this was an excellent month to do the Project24 Content Warrior Challenge and work to produce 60k words in a month, hopefully with the goal being that as this content ranks going into Q4 you can reap massive payback on the month of seriously hard labor!
I wrote and outsourced 97k words to complete this month, with one site receiving nearly 45k of the content to help push it in the perfect oncoming path of Q4 and hopefully an affiliate windfall equal to the efforts!
With that being said, Welcome to my September 2021 Income Report!
September 2021 At a Glance
September brought a few changes from our overlord Google, with their spam update earlier in the month targetting poor quality links to websites to boost their rankings to the Title change where Google now will modify your title regardless of specified version from an SEO plugin. (Death Knell to SEO plugins)
There has been a lot of volatility within the SERP using tools like the SEMrush Sensor tool we spent most of September, at least 50% of it at a minimum, in a score higher than 5 which would be “normal” movements. We shifted a LOT and not sure if all was for us or to help align search for Q4 for businesses.
As to myself, I am really working on my sites to get them all to 100 posts. This path should help me really align my sites to performance and give me an understanding on which are winners long term for me and ones which I can’t find a path for and I may just sell off.
This process helps me keep putting effort into what I term as “winners” for me, not that the others are “losers” but that I don’t seem to grasp the potential or that I feel they are too seasonal and not how I want to build an income.
Personally, I want my income to be balanced across the year, I don’t want to be a used car salesman holding onto previous paychecks for the famine that inevitably comes when you have seasonal results.
Why Create Income Reports?
I can say that I don’t necessarily “enjoy” making these as they take a solid chunk of the day to gather and align but they are very nice when I go look back historically and can see where I was along with my thoughts back at that point.
I started doing these income reports to show month on month growth and to provide some motivation to show that websites can be a solid income over time but that it isn’t a get rich quick scheme by any means.
Should you choose that you want to make websites for a living to earn income you need to be realistic that the work you do now will have a CHANCE to pay off in a year or more.
That being said there is not another way to build an income that allows you the freedom with time that a blogger can achieve, this is my why and it is the reason I work continually to improve my skills and my niche sites.
If you are an absolute beginner I would suggest joining the Income School Project 24, it can help you when you have no clue to get solid footing for a really good cost.
If you aren’t sold on them then you can look at good detailed affiliate marketing class and many others which are available from MoneyLab.co which I am a member of as there is high value in the users within.
Overall Content Generation Breakdown
Building content against a vast array of sites can be intimidating, I write what I can, I work with Jasper when it makes sense, and then I outsource whatever I can afford to help keep the gas pedal pressed down hard.
- Fitness – 3 posts
- Garden 1 – 0 posts (Have a plan to build this)
- Garden 2 – 2 posts
- Outdoor 1 – 1 post
- Outdoor 3 – 9 posts (New P24 Method Case Study and YouTube Series)
- Electronics 1 – 25 posts
- Backyard – 2 posts
- White Hat Blogging (This Site) – 1 post
- Hobby – 0 posts (On Ice as just a 30 post incubator)
- Travel – 2 posts
- Business – 0 posts
- Popcorn Site – 2 posts
- Elite Content Publishers – 15 posts
- YouTube – 1 Video
Total Posts for the month: 66
Monthly Income Breakdown
|Other Niche Affiliate Programs
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - BigScoots
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Jasper.ai
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Cloudways
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Project 24
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - SurferSEO
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Ezoic
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Fiverr
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Passion Posts
|Blogging Affiliate Programs - Amalinks Pro
Monthly Expense Breakdown
|Hosting - Bluehost
|Hosting - Cloudways
|Outsourced Content - Fiverr
|Canva - Images
|Project 24 Subscription
|Jasper.ai (Formerly Conversion.ai)
My Niche Site Updates
Let’s dig into each site and see progress, or lack thereof happens when you are working to manage a wide array of sites. Overall this does lead to a slower growth curve than a focus on a single site, but with this diversification comes a much better chance of safety from a Core Algo Update.
Site – Fitness
This site I feel is so close to launching, I think a lot of my early work may have been good writing but less on point versus the others in the top 10 of the SERP as people like the posts when they get to them internally from my links.
If this can catch and some of these posts lagging in 10-30 spots in the SERP could mean gaining thousands of pageviews a month.
I am sad at the little drop in traffic but I also just started the big re-edit of everything that wasn’t in the SERP so I expect a lot of traffic disruption as posts will bounce around the SERP again soon.
Pretty happy with the movement up, while way slower than first hopes it does continue the slow grind up the SERPs as long as I don’t quit on it I should get where I want to.
While traffic overall above was lower you can see the overall Search Console hasn’t taken much of a hit, fitness may just experience issues in this timeframe but without those answers, I just have to maintain and keep going.
Plan For Next Month
I am continuing to add content at about 1 per week, I don’t want any of the sites to be too slow for too long but the 4 posts should take me less than 1 hour each week which is a small-time commitment.
I am hoping that as this ages I will gain some traction back as the content is solid and the length on page for people on these posts are 5-15 minutes so they aren’t bouncing but getting the content to page one is my real focus.
I have started to revisit the content older than a year and begin to check, using Frase, how it performs against other content in the top 10 and if I am missing topics or content the other top sites are covering and then updating the posts as needed.
Site – Garden 1
I am working on my research for new keywords to relaunch this site, for now it has just been idle for a very long time and just a test ground for things, it is one of my oldest sites but started with the least amount of knowledge and targeted poor keywords.
This site was messed up numerous times this last month with WPX breaking down prior and moves I didn’t appear to keep my UA analytics connected so the stats show only a 0.
Considering the poor keyword choice this shows that the site is aging pretty decently as it is still able to get 10 into the top 10 results.
Nothing to write home about, part of the whole reason why I just let this site idle beforehand. I am ready to take this site more forward and into this new 2022 hoping to find its place in building a good income.
Plan For Next Month
Building the list of keywords to prepare for a fresh build of 30 posts to get this site moving on the right foot as it has the ability to pull solid traffic and easy info products to monetize once I can establish traffic and viability.
Site – Garden 2
I have my next 20-25 posts ready to write once I can find some more time in my day, this is one of the sites that is on the race to 100 as it has been solidly performing even while under 50 posts.
This site continues to grow over time even with very minimal posting by myself, I think this is a strong site waiting to happen and this is up nearly 9% with one post added last month and only two more added this month.
This site I targeted very winnable keywords and the fact that 41 out of 45 are in the top 30 is a nice feeling. Along with the fact that 2 more have moved into the Top 3 means that this next month may be very good for my traffic numbers moving forward!
I am happy with a 2.2% CTR, though I will try to start using Ezoic Tag Tester to start swapping out the titles to try and move the needle towards 3-4% if at all possible using variations of what I see in the SERP.
Plan For Next Month
I have already outsourced 5 posts for this site for next month, my goal is to push it hard for this quarter overall and to get this site to 100 posts before the end of December.
The additional goal is to build out some Christmas sales page(s) to maximize the click through potential of any visitor without being overly salesy.
Site – Outdoor 1
I have put this site on the backburner for now, I put lots into this site but the return on my time has been incredibly higher on my other sites due to the competition in this niche overall. I hope that some time aging will assist in getting more posts to rank once I come back around to this site.
It is typically the time where the niche slows down a bit, so I am not too worried on the 9% loss in organic traffic as this is pretty close to my stats last year at this time. If this aligns to my growth this year then next year may crack into a decent amount of pageviews.
I gained a lot up top and lost some of the low fliers, while this sucks the gains at the top will yield far more pageviews than the losses in the top 30. I would make this trade all day long, but I do need to go through and audit these posts maybe later this year.
I’m happy with my positioning but I do think I somehow am losing impressions for topics I cover, when I look at this topic versus something like dirt bikes I should have more traffic and at least impressions that I currently do so the content audit may help find these.
Plan For Next Month
I want to start auditing the older content that hasn’t reached above the top 5 as a move from spot 10 to 1-3 will yield very tangible returns, after tht the focus is to evaluate what failed to crack the top 10 overall and see if merging content is the right way to maybe boost all of the content.
Site – Outdoor 3 (P24 Case Study Site)
I continue to focus on the new P24 methodologies to build out a site that could grow as large as I feel interested in writing on the topics, the benefit to buying a domain that is open to expansion and not a keyword match domain.
Maintaining the timeline established by the Income School team thats publically available will show everyone that if you can follow the timeline these are the results you can expect to get from this hard work and dedication.
While I fell a little short of the timeline in pageviews (expected was 200) this in large part is due to the niche being a more summer focused on content which now that summer has passed us by I do think I may experience some lag in pageviews versus the timeline.
With some of the SERP volatility that hit to start the month seeing some of my lower content bounce around doesn’t really worry me, this style of ranking is what occurs a lot in the early days of a real website that doesn’t focus on buying and building backlinks.
As it ages these numbers invariably grow and get better as each page helps to push other newer pages higher much faster, welcome to ghost town and a new blog without any Google street cred.
As with the ranking above you will have very little traction with Google if you aren’t ranking in Google. The 2 posts in the Top 10 appear to get some clicks which is nice to see but expected with the pure lack of Top 10 posts overall.
Plan For Next Month
I fell one short of the timeline last month, so this month I need to generate 11 posts to right the blog and be back on timeline so I will be writing more posts and focus on outsourcing less now that I am to 100 on the one site I was pushing hard on (Electronics below).
Site – Electronics 1
This site showed a lot of promise and last month had exploded in views, my goal was to push this site to 100 as fast as possible and I ended up at 95 after this month. I have 5 more I am working on to reach my 100, this site has a lot of upside and is a solid focus moving forward.
I was exceedingly happy to get a 55% gain in organic traffic this month as it shows what I am writing is ranking solidly and is also useful to site visitors, this month was outstanding for all stats that matter from time on page, to unique pageviews, and overall pageviews.
I don’t much care about bounce rate as informational content sites will typically have a much higher bounce rate and instead my focus is on building more content to get the visitors to the site, most people are single service visitors and you want to maximize their single visit eventually.
I can state I am super excited to gain 13 top 3 spots in a month, couple that with gaining 14 in the top 10 means that this could be a very nice Q4 heading into the holidays as long as the shipping issues plaguing the world don’t demolish the ability to purchase (out of stocks have been maddening).
The 14 not in the top 10 are a bunch of posts from this last month as I published 25 posts and not all immediately ranked into search positions so I should continue to move as the month goes on!
I am very happy with the 3% CTR and hope that with my rankings in the top 3 growing that this CTR number will continue to grow higher, if not I may need to run the Title Tag tester to see if any alternate titles can further increase clicks into the content.
Plan For Next Month
The focus this month is to finish the journey to 100 posts but to build holiday pages for sales to hopefully bring in many Christmas and holiday purchases. It isn’t glamorous but it is what helps to amplify the affiliate income for sites.
Site – Backyard
This site is in the downward side of high seasonality, like last year it won’t pick back up until probably March or April next year. This doesn’t mean not to post but that anything new I add won’t give any real impressions as to results until this new season hits which makes writing hard.
As expected with a seasonal decline the traffic has solidly dropped across the board, there isn’t much I could do but try to target some keywords that are more off-season related but they are much higher competition levels to to the niche.
As you can see I lost 31% of pageviews but gained massive positions on the SERP, this is another thing that points to the issue being the end of the season as I gained on keywords but there is just far less people searching anymore for the topics.
As you can see just like the above the overall trend on the month is a gradual decline, welcome to school starting and people not enjoying their backyards as much anymore.
Plan For Next Month
I have some ideas to locate more winter related content, the issue is that there is little time for them to rank versus the time in the offseason so I always get torn as the time to write offseason was 3-4 months ago.
Instead I plan to write more content for next season and then once the season gets moving start and write those offseason posts to ensure next year I am more prepared for this slump on the site.
Site – White Hat Blogging
This site is frequently a pain, ranking in the blogging, SEO, affiliate niche is basically nigh impossible without lot of links and a lot of time. Most will do it only to sell a course or other income generating things like tools, I keep this more to help people out and to post progress on my path to freedom.
For a month where I wasn’t focused at all on adding to this site these monthly income reports do appear to get clicks and visits, I am happy to have grown by 21% on organic traffic as it means when I have chosen posts that they are actually doing something towards progress.
As you can see I have 2 posts in the top 10, I don’t track income reports as keywords so this is focused on just the content itself that has to do with blogging, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
Nearing the point of no 0 days from Google, that would be a nice move overll, again average position is 44.4 it is REALLY hard to rank this content without buying or getting links built consistently so that isn’t my focus.
Plan For Next Month
Honestly, an income report. Anything outside of that will be unique based on a question or keyword that feels rankable but these are definitely not consistently found and so they aren’t my focus.
Site – Hobby
I am just letting this age in, I don’t have enough time or money right now to throw at a site but once I get more of my base to 100 posts then it will be time to revisit this site after it has had some time to age in and to own some keywords for some time prior.
With no posts for months we are apparently starting to move a bit so maybe the ghost town time is finally breaking as we gaiend 10% traffic without any work at all. I like signs like these.
Growth is nice, with 27 posts it will probably move much slower but if you want to run multiple sites it is always best to start these little incubator sites and get them to 20-30 posts and then you can see what the competition is like and how it may perform.
I am pretty happy with a 2.1% CTR on 1 top 10 post, I defintily think this site could be a winner once I am free to give it much more time and TLC.
Plan For Next Month
Build a Christmas post specifically for this season and then add a header bar that routes people to it, while it may not get many clicks each could be decently valuable!
Site – Travel
This site is fun to run, while getting a vacation to the area is off the plans for now building a site that allows you to take the vacation would be hard to pass up if you really want to go.
Who doesn’t want websites to pay for their vacations? Additionally, when you get to take this vacation you get to take your own images which adds more EAT to your website and helps it grow even more due to the unique content!
I am happy with this near 50% growth from last month in organic traffic, I continue to find plenty of cracks due to people focusing on monetizable content for hotels and airfare leaving me all the fun posts on actual things to do and places to explore.
Continuing to grow upwards is very nice, I hope to push this site to the 100 posts which will really start to help some of the content on this site as much of the 10 not in the top 100 are very long pillar posts which seem to take a very long time in Google to rank when not supported with other internal content linking.
A month with no zero click days! I love these and these little signs let me know we are moving in the right direction overall. A 3% CTR on only a few articles means the ones which make it to the top are getting clicks so my titles must be pretty good!
Plan For Next Month
Continuing the march to 100 by focusing on reaching 50 posts, I don’t think 22 is doable in a month but I will be aiming to halve this if at all possible, 11 seems quite viable if I focus well and don’t get shiny object syndrome.
Site – Businesss
With time being limited there are always losers to availability and this month it was this business site, this site has some strong income potential but a lot of the issues I have with pursuing it is that there appears to be zero other blogs.
This is worrisome so I have only been building slowly over time and not pressing hard and fast as I don’t want to put 100 posts on a site that ends up being mostly useless.
This site like some of the others though is still growing regardless of adding far less content, it gained 50+% organic search traffic versus last month, this is nice to see and if this trend continues ther eis plenty to write about and push this.
This is a pretty strong showing for the site as I continue to gain ground and top spots, this is all very positive and it will help reinforce extra work if these rank changes bring in solid volumes of traffic as that is the primary worry.
Ranking 1st for a keyword that has 10 real searcher s a month is not beneficial, I am trying to find this out as it will be key to a move forward stance overall.
Still a couple of zero days but the growth (while measured in small numbers) is nice.
Plan For Next Month
There is no Q4 for this niche at all, so my efforts will be on other sites and less on this site for the next 3 months, this will be nice to see some of the rest of the content rank and see what the pageviews per post work out to be.
Site – Popcorn Theme Site
I have not had much time to push a lot of content out on this site but I am continuing as I find time to write this site as I am not outsourcing anything on this site.
I have patience and don’t need to see stats immediately as I have seen sites similar on Motion Invest make $500+ a month on Amazon and not use Ads, if I pair them together then it is esay to see this as a profitable site once more is posted.
Flat, no loss or growth isn’t surprising to me, like many of these incubators we are still in super early days and without a high velocity publishing system (like those 30 posts a month+ people) or high amounts of link building this is the status quo.
New site and new results, definitely needs more content to have internal linking assist in the growth but this is a longer term project not my focus.
Yay! A Click from Google, I am more excited for the impression spike at the end though as maybe I am gaining some favor on a post or a sub keyword.
Plan For Next Month
Like WHB, this will be to write when I find time. It isnt the future of a huge income maker but a good solid website that could be a dependable passive generator for years so when I can I will get work out on this site.
Site – Elite Content Publishers
Many people have asked how to make good quality content for sites, so I started this site really as a way to show methods to building content and why you want to write high quality epic content.
This site is more to help out people as the focus is on why content, SEO, optimization, and tools like AI help you build a better visitor experience and why taking time to build high quality content makes a big difference.
Yep, month one, zilch, nada.
Hey in the first 15 days I got a top 10!
Look impressions, month one lulz.
Plan For Next Month
Continue to find topics that help explain content generation and add more valuable information for people on how to write high quality epic level content.
Adding on more that has to do with topic clusters, silos, and the many other things a blog needs to become a valuable asset and not just an expense.
Overall Lessons from September
That there is oly so much bandwidth I have to move foward on sites and to measure this out and apply it best where the results will be optimized.
As I stated before the fitness and outdoor 1 sites are just going to be mostly idle for this next 3-6 months as the other sites, while younger, are showing far more viability to be income earners in the short term and this is helpful.
As to the bandwidth issue noted above, the faster I can build income up the more I can look to outsource and this helps aid the bandwidth by forcing less creation directly through my hands leaving me only the editing duty.
Did I Meet my September Goals?
I have been meeting the goals I set which was to get sites to 100 posts and to gain green on SERProbot, many of the sites have a near solid green across the profile.
To myself the push to get Electronics within a sniff is a perfect match to my goals as there was no way to push multiple sites to 100 in a month but I cranked out 25 posts last month on this site alone to push right up to that 100 posts goal.
What Are my Goals for October?
This is easy, the October goals are to get moentization aligned for the Christmas holidays and be ready to hopefully collect a portion of this high spending opportunity from the masses.
As to content I think my standard goal will be 30 posts a month between sites and that if possible to create more content but the 30 posts would be one a day for the month and is a good baseline.
My Recommended Tools For Results
From there, here’s a quick recap on some of the most valuable resources and things I recommend you check out. They’ve helped me in my journey and I think they’ll be valuable in yours.
- Jasper.AI – This is your personal writing assistant, offering you more information and helping prompt you in writing make magical and informative content.
- Frase.io – I use this to build out my outlines for posts and then once done writing to check how my content aligns to the Top10 and Top20 SERP results to make sure I cover all the key terms other sites do.
- Project 24 – A welcome change from the competition, focused for all with a purely content first approach, hands-down an awesome course for building a niche site or an online business that focuses on content.
- Ezoic – Once you’ve got your website and some content, think about these guys. They’re doing some amazing things – and have helped me earn several thousand dollars (in ad revenue) that I’d not have earned otherwise.
- LinkWhisper – Honestly without this plugin managing links within my content would be incredibly difficult, honestly one of the easiest things to re-up each year and highly suggest it.
- Cloudways – As hosting goes choosing Cloudways with a VULTR HF server is the fastest you will ever see a backend run, no more waiting for the new post to load it is as close to desktop speeds as you can probably find.