How I made Money From Blogging - Income Report for Digital Assets

This post is meant to be updated and reviewed monthly on the status of our journey to become a media guru creating values for viewers.

If you loved to follow us in this hustle/journey, be sure to come back monthly and see our progress against yours.

This post will be updated in chronological order (older to newer).

History

A brief history of us. We have been on the Internet since April 2017, long before this income report, and learned several things in the past years. We made The experiments include

  • Buy from online / Sell on the local classified website (e.g. Craiglist): Our starting point of making money online, we just listed something we didn't need at home. it worked for us in our local marketplace as new things always get lots of views. We got our first sales triggered and inspired us. Why not make it bigger? We tried several items and many failed and surprisingly some items worked. The problem is it is really hard to automate / scale since you need to keep listing the item and meetup people. Recommended place to start while you keep your job. (income probably in hundreds if you are hardworking)
  • Dropshipping in general (e.g. Amazon): Next step, we found an opportunity where some marketplace has item slightly cheaper than other marketplaces due to its discount coupons, cashback rebates, etc. registered in a local marketplace. Therefore, we tried and it does work for some items. Again it is hard to scale in our local marketplace and manage the pricing as our local marketplaces have no automated tools to reprice or check out of stocks. If there was, I guess there won't be such an opportunity. We still maintain this store with a handful of pretty stable items. (income in early thousands if you are hardworking)
  • FB Ads + Google Adwords (for a while) + Shopify (dropship): We got attracted to the so-called expert youngsters sharing their success. It is so hard and there is a reason why less than 5% of people succeed here (we belong to "losers" 95%). Even if you target people interested in your topic, your post needs to be attractive among their other news feeds. This usually means a great video/image which is not our strength. We are not built to copy write or sell and it is hard. It is really easy to get traffic, likes and others though if you are a rich media company. Good "get-rich" idea to burn your cash and good learning lesson. Seeing how "experts" are selling courses and mastermind, we figure out how they keep making money (income negative and not recommended unless you have a real brand)
  • Income School; Along the way, we got into the concept of SEO and there are several schools of thought. We don't agree with many of them and only when we stumbled onto Income School, we thought it gel with our philosophy. We bought a few defunct domains as we didn't have ideas and also a few new domains we liked (based on our local marketplace's demand). 1/2 year of creating content, we were pleasantly surprised that we got over 10k traffic in total. We decide to fully commit and will create tons of content. This is the purpose of our income report.

To clarify, we have 3 content sites in October that focused on creating content. The purpose of the monthly review is not to focus on our income/loss but to remember our ultimate goal of being a media guru. 

Site 1: Niche Site for both men and women. The idea was from our local marketplace sales

Site 2: Location-specific travel site. Bought as an expired domain

Site 3: Niche site for a group of people. The idea was also from our local marketplace sales. Started recently since our Shopify domains are expiring and we wish to keep the renewal of the domains around the same period.

Income Report Review Oct 2019 

We set some traffic goals for the 3 sites. Along the way, we think it is not a good goal as traffics is out of our control. It is also important to remember the concept of a ghost town. Even though we wrote several contents in Oct 2019, traffic fell for Site 1 and Site 2 due to competition and the new posts take time to rank.

We know it will work eventually because we are monitoring Google Search Console where (super highly recommended tool as Google Analytics doesn't tell you impressions). Overall Impressions is not a good measure too as usually Google puts your page in some unexpected keywords (due to related blog post).

Income is purely on Adsense (only Site 1 and 2) and expenses are for writing content. We do the keyword research and editing ourselves. 

Some other Learning points

  • GoDaddy Auction min withdrawal for PayPal is $25 and has exorbitant fees that weren't obvious throughout the listing process. We end up having a $20 balance with them and no way to see the balance. Still trying to list our failed domains.
  • Transferring from the GoDaddy domain to Shopify can fail somehow. Failed once (we got charged and refunded) but worked 2nd time. Relatively seamless thereafter but was a scare.
  • Creating a second Instagram account (for Site 3) was hard. We gave up as it asked for our verification and never replied since.
  • Should focus on doable goals (not traffic)
  • Traffic falls for top posts due to competition Decide not to compete with them first
  • Try more "best" posts to compete on top keywords

Income Report Review Nov 2019 

  • Big dip on top posts for Site 1.
  • Site 2 traffic drops as top keyword dropped in rank due to a highly competitive website
  • Site 3 is done and will slowly add more articles.
  • Started Site 4 / Site 5 to ensure all domain renewal around the same timing
  • Exploring more tools too like SendFox (email sending by AppSumo. Not that easy to use/delete users but good enough. Almost paid but read reviews that there is a need to ensure bounce rate low else throttle badly. Also no email subscriber so far too so pointless to invest so much even though lifetime [their model probably cannot sustain too in the long run]).
  • I tried Lumen5 and super impressed. Have done quite a few youtube videos in channel and will do more videos too as an alternative traffic
  • Read Incomeschool recommending SendinBlue and Sendy (need to install so too troublesome). Same as SendFox will only try when got more subscriber (putting the subscribe at the footer)

Moving ahead, expect controlled articles rates (around 2 articles/site/day) and focus on efforts in spreading videos at Youtube channels.

Income Report Review Dec 2019 

  • Site 1 traffic stabilizes around 4k. Focus is on Youtube as traffic seems easier and target the 4k watch hours required for monetization
  • Site 2 traffic stabilizes to 2k
  • Site 3 is having some traffic and surprising have more Youtube subscribers than Site 2
  • Site 4 and 5 are growing slowly as expected
  • Tried SendInBlue and not useful yet as Shopify mailing list is full of spams

Income Report Review Jan 2020

  • First thing first, more video (try 4k view hours and 1k subscriber first)
  • Traffic might be seasonal as no new written content
  • Need to learn writing better content
  • Youtube ads are cost-effective without targeting (~0.04c/view), compared to targetting narrowly

Income Report Review Feb 2020 

  • Traffic improving across all sites. Potential to have 3rd site Adsense monetized. 
  • Spending more as starting content production again, plan to have 1 post every week
  • Continue video generation and posts
  • Got $75 in AdWords from the $45 spent in the video, need to think how best as unable to get meaningful returns, maybe when got a product to promote.

Income Report Review Mar 2020 

  • Read up Ahrefs free video course by Tim.
    • Quite useful and reinforced the previous mindset of creating great content from Income School.
    • The concept of customer acquisition instead of traffic acquisition (though we don't have a product yet, one way is to be a marketing agency).
    • 50% / 50% - New content and old content as didn't have an industry gauge previously. Was just finding content > 1 year with poor results to analyze 
    • The link building ideas were acceptable too but still prefer Income School way of not focusing on doing it at all.
  • So far saw that posts with a real backlink do outperform, so they can understand why people want to do that. But not for us as we will play the long game of learning how to create great content (which we admit are weak now but will learn on improving old content)
  • Rewrote some old articles we did at the start. Only had 500 words which were ridiculous thinking about it now. Tried to repivot 1 post as competitive too. Added more content to a competitive post too to try.
  • Income dropping but viewership was still good, might be due to the recent virus. Good time to use up the $75 ad credits
  • Right now, will focus on rewrite old post without clicks based on past learning (don't compete with pages with backlinks). Will also reduce the video to only those with great viewership to improve CTR%

Income Report Review Apr 2020 

  • Income still low but traffic is increasing
  • Site 3 and 4 have overtaken Site 2 but unable to add ads during this period
  • Site 2 which is a low search niche, will try a few more related topics. If still unable to grow, will just focus on update old post with great content
  • Found some good tools shared by Ahrefs which will be explored more for Hub and Spoke concept
  • Going to start Site 6 (content almost ready in a tough but niche I am interested in) and Site 7 (a potential niche for info product) in June (so only start new domains in June or December)

Digital Assets' Income Report Review May 2020 

  • Income still low but highest since I started
  • To still note that everything is estimated only (since I take them on 28th so more accurate to compare across months)
  • Watch about Income School Snippet Optimisation video and will take note of some key mistakes I made (e.g. use of Yes/No and "It" at the start of para).
  • Will exclude monthly traffic as not too concern with the past/current numbers. More about improving and creating content via my other reports (Google Data Console, Search Console)
  • Added ads for Site 3 and Site 4 which caused an increase in revenue
  • Started some affiliate link and got a surprise $0.41 on 2 products I didn't even promote
  • Found that some posts got ranked on video purely even though it is a subset of the post and post is nowhere to be found
  • Found that Ahrefs released a free keyword tool which includes questions too (just that the traffic light/crosswalk captcha is annoying)
  • Will register 3 domain in June, next set of domains would be Nov/Dec only if I managed to outsource easier
  • Site 6 (content almost ready in a tough but niche I am interested in) and Site 7 (a potential niche for info product) is almost ready, added a Site 8 since I wish to test out broader niches.
  • I learned about Onfolio which is very close to my original idea but on a bigger scale. Will invest and monitor how it goes

Digital Assets' Income Report Review June 2020

  • Revenue double due to terrific posts in the DW site but likely to drop over time. 
  • Ending a long relationship with Fiverr writer to find and help local youth writers (part of my life goals to help hardworking youth)
  • Many youths are more interested in Copywriting, which isn't my forte or goal of my websites
  • Disappointed with 2 local writers who just respun 3 articles
  • Excited with 2 writers with passion and 2 with potential 
  • Amazon Affiliate closure due to review of the content standard in my new site (appealed failed so resubmitted with my older website and had to relink again. Lesson learned is don't submit all sites to Amazon Affiliate and start linking only when account approved)
  • Not part of records yet but I started Merch and have 2 masks sales in Redbubble and 2 shirts sales in Amazon UK (with 1 UK design and 9 DE designs given sales seem higher in DE. US is still closed). Will continue daily till I filled up Redbubble limit and maybe swap in bestseller across the channels (I had Merch long ago but only 3 designs and gave up then)

Digital Assets' Income Report Review July 2020

  • As expected revenue drops in the DW site, but traffic is holding up for all sites. The newer posts by local writers aren't indexed yet so I expect Sep onwards to see the good growth effect again.
  • Forgot to add local writers fee last month, so updated last month. 
  • Getting more local writers and happy with the progress (Not hitting any bottleneck, and can post their article within a day usually)
  • Will look to make some writer be the editor to give them more experience and free me some time
  • Removed SendOwl popup on websites as I don't see the value, added Disqus to site, and hope to see some engagements.
  • Loved the Nathan Latka "Deal or Bust" Youtube series (aka Shark Tank for online companies). Makes me feel like coding a service 
  • Gave up restoring the Amazon affiliate account. Open a new one excluding my weakest websites (that was the reason for the rejection)
  • Not part of records still. Sold more at Redbubble before getting suspended. Still trying to get it restored as good passive income.

Digital Assets' Income Report Review Aug 2020

  • A slight increase in income due to higher CPM but worrying about lower traffic. Got to do more content audit.
  • I bought the Frase.AI web app as there was a lifetime deal. It will help me in creating helpful content as it will gather information for me faster than I do myself
  • I also streamline some documents for tracking local writers' posts to track the results in Google Search Console. It surprises me how some articles work better than others. Probably niches-related.

Ultimate Goal Be a Media Guru creating values for viewers first
Influencer/Wikipedia Mindset instead of Newspaper Concept
Give Opportunities to Local Passionate Youths in Writing
Month Revenues ($) Expenses ($) Review on Progress (Don't care traffic as estimate last 30 days)
2019 Oct 31 740 Site 1: Almost 10k. Try Ezoic
Site 2: Maintain 2.5k
Site 3: 17th Oct @ $7.27 domain. Target 30 Articles
2019 Nov 25 610 Site 1: 6k traffic, youtube with 18 subscribers. Need 1k
Site 2: 2k traffic
Site 3: Still ghost town
Site 4: Started with 11 articles
Site 5: Started design
2019 Dec 11 294 Site 1: ~4k only. youtube 18.8 hrs in last 28 days with 60+ videos
Site 2: ~2k, 9.5hrs with 26 videos
Site 3: Some traffic
Site 4: No traffic but articles
Site 5: Will start with the articles to age only and default articles (as written already)
2020 Jan 16 9 Site 1 (HQ): ~4k, 172.18hrs in last 28 days (mostly from paid ads)
Site 2 (VL): ~2k
Site 3 (DW): 117
Site 4 (DI): 3
Site 5 (MB): 40
2020 Feb 29 229 Site 1 (HQ): 6.1k
Site 2 (VL): 3.5k
Site 3 (DW): 1.4k
Site 4 (DI): 70
Site 5 (MB): 9
2020 Mar 20 336 Site 1 (HQ): 6.1
Site 2 (VL): 3.7
Site 3 (DW): 1.1k
Site 4 (DI): 218
Site 5 (MB): 18
2020 Apr 21 420 Analytics (All Traffic)
Site 1 (HQ): 9.5
Site 2 (VL): 2.6
Site 3 (DW): 5.5
Site 4 (DI): 3.7
Site 5 (MB): 5
Site 6 (IT): 0
2020 May 37 308 FYI only, will ignore traffic
Site 1 (HQ), Site 2 (VL), Site 3 (DW), Site 4 (DI), Site 5 (MB), Site 6 (ST), Site 7 (WM), Site 8 (TQ)
2020 Jun 80 523 FYI only, will ignore traffic
Site 1 (HQ), Site 2 (VL), Site 3 (DW), Site 4 (DI), Site 5 (MB), Site 6 (ST), Site 7 (WM), Site 8 (TQ), Site 9 (VT)
2020 Jul 58 261 FYI only, will ignore traffic
Site 1 (HQ), Site 2 (VL), Site 3 (DW), Site 4 (DI), Site 5 (MB), Site 6 (ST), Site 7 (WM), Site 8 (TQ), Site 9 (VT)
2020 Aug 69 329 FYI only, will ignore traffic
Site 1 (HQ), Site 2 (VL), Site 3 (DW), Site 4 (DI), Site 5 (MB), Site 6 (ST), Site 7 (WM), Site 8 (TQ), Site 9 (VT)


Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form

Sky Hoon
Website Builder. He has a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and loved to use technology to solve the world's issue, one at a time. For now, trying to blog for a living.
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