While mentally I know that July is over, it’s still hot enough that I can’t help but think it’s mid-July. But July is over (even Pioneer day, which I infamously keep thinking is in June), and August is well underway.
July 2021 saw a total paid income of $843.93, while the portfolio of websites earned $963 and change (that won’t be paid out until at least next month). Now, that looks like a step backward when you think about how last month I reported $972 in earnings. But that had a huge affiliate payout that’s not an every-month kind of thing… yet.
July 2021 Writing Statistics
Let’s try something new this month. Because not all of you want all the details on my stories, while others of you do.
Here are the blogging/website portfolio statistics.
- Articles published: 26
- Total word count published this month: 58,611
- Videos filmed, edited, and published: 0
- Total Page Views: 72,222 (up from 65,930)
- Total on-cash received this month (earned in previous months): $843.93
- Overall EPMP: $11.69 (down from 14.74)
And here are the very sad-looking story statistics.
- Stories I wrote this month: 0
- Stories submitted to publications: 0
- Stories edited: 0
- New stories outlined and plotted: 0
That hurts to type that. But when I think about how while I only published 26 articles, I also have another 25 or so back from my writers ready for editing, formatting, and publication. So really, it was a big month.
Most of the growth was focused in one place, though, as two of my other niche sites saw slight downward trends in income and/or traffic.
Month 24 of Project 24
July was my 24th month with Income School’s Project 24 – and I’m a little bit behind because I opted to do multiple projects instead of the recommendation of sticking to one thing.
By now, I should have earned a “full-time income” badge. Project 24 defines a “full-time income” as earning $4,000+ per month. I’m about $3,000 short of that at the moment, but that’s okay.
Because when it’s a good goal? Then the timeline is nice – but you don’t quit the goal just because you couldn’t stick to the timeline. Instead, you adjust the time on the goal – and keep going. So I’ll keep going.
I feel like one thing that isn’t covered in huge depth in Project 24 is this: sometimes, you have to pick several niches and test them first. Publish a few posts on each niche site. See which one works for you. Then run with that one.
Now, they do mention that you should be super careful with picking a niche. So in that sense, they did warn me.
But based on their course and metrics, my first project done with their course should be doing amazingly well. Instead of earning $4,000+ per month, though, it’s a very steady $200-ish per month.
That site just had an influx of content, so perhaps I can get it past the $200 plateau that it seems stuck on. But if I had stuck with that one, single project? I’d be super burned out. I’d probably even have sold that site out of frustration and quit blogging.
Instead, I’m glad I tried several other niches and projects. Because it was my 4th site that’s been the one to take off (it just passed 30,000 sessions, actually). So just because you would have struck out with three strikes doesn’t mean you should quit. It just means you need to try something new!
And in the meantime, those three other sites that I’ve let marinate (while adding more content, just at a slower pace) have continued to grow. I think they’ll get to a “full-time income” status eventually. It just won’t be on the Project 24 timeline.
So was Project 24 worth it? Absolutely. Here’s the financial proof.
- Investment fees to date (new dues were paid, so the yearly membership dues are paid through August 2022): $847
- Cash earned and on-hand solely attributable to Project 24: $7515.29
- (for reference, here’s June’s ROI: $6671.36/$648 = 10.295 )
- ROI: $7515.29/$847 = 8.87
Last month I had projected July’s ROI to be at an 8.36 – so an 8.87 is awesome. And I’ve got 12 months from here to see the official, true ROI of this course.*
* A wise friend once told me that the best way to see if a course is worth it is to evaluate its ROI 12 months after finishing the course. July 2022 will be the final litmus.
Translation: Income School’s Project 24 is officially worth the investment.
This is despite the fact that my one project that’s actually doing well (site #4) is only in its 19th month.
In-Depth Analyis for July 2021
Here’s how each site is doing – with graphs!
Backyard Homestead HQ
This was my fourth site or P24 project – and now it’s the best performing site in my portfolio.
The big spikes are those payouts from the affiliate partner. So it’s growing quite well – and is performing on par with expectations published by Project 24’s timeline.
Forward into history, my friends!
June only had 1 new post, so 2 new posts in July is amazing. Especially when you consider that, before June, the latest post was from December.
Kimberly C. Starr
This site’s pre-planned nose-dive has been finished. I’ve still got some “old” posts on here about various topics, but those will soon be moved to more appropriate homes on other sites. This site is officially all about writing, reading, blogging, and sharing my story with you guys.
Some of the traffic upticks are from old Pinterest pins that do well annually in the summer. Which is fine – Pinterest has its place. For now, its place is paused. At least, for my current plans. It’ll come back into play later – maybe.
Sleep Training Kids
This was my first project with Project 24. Admitting to myself that it wasn’t sticking to the schedule was hard – but doing that was a HUGE step in my realizing that I’d have to branch out and try new things within the program.
I mean, it’s still doing well. But it’s definitely a niche that needs exposure via Pinterest. April is when I quit stressing Pinterest – and it shows. Now, while that looks like a “hey, you silly ginger. Get back on Pinterest!” kind of deal, it’s really not.
You see, I dug into all of my analytics: Pinterest, Google, and Ezoic. And while Pinterest did send me traffic, it was responsible for less than $5 per month in revenue. And $5 per month isn’t worth 2-3 hours per week of my time. Especially not when I could spend that time on other things that have a better, bigger influence on my business.
Brutal honesty, self-evaluation, and a solid analysis can lead you down great paths – if you’ll let them.
Other Niche Sites
My other sites are doing well, too. They’ll stay unnamed for now – they’re still very much in the sandbox phase.
But if you do the math, only 4 new posts were published on these sites. I’m focusing on one – and will add in the other two in a few months, depending on how things go.
Okay, so this report actually hurts me a little bit. This is because, as a risk-averse person, I don’t like all of my eggs in one basket. But when one hen is laying like crazy? It would be crazy to ignore her!
So here’s June’s diversification report for reference.
And here’s how July measured up.
Okay, so it’s not too bad. There’s actually some better diversification across sites than in June – but the drop in non-Amazon affiliates hurts how pretty the graph would have looked. Luckily, that fix is easy – more traffic!
It’s still not to where I want things diversified – but getting one site bigger faster will help the others get there faster, too. So it would be crazy to sit on this. Which is why I’m not – I’m going for it!
I work with an amazing team.
- Writers – I work with 9 amazing writers. It is down one from last month. Writing naturally has a turnover, so it’s important to work with it rather than against it.
- Virtual Assistant – my virtual assistant is amazing. Seriously. She’s due a 90-day evaluation, but I can’t quite figure out how to tell her how amazing she is without seeming creepy. So I’ll keep trying to figure that out.
- My family – they’re still my favorite group of people. My husband’s had to take a step back from helping (and managing my hosting) due to work restraints, but that’s okay. We found a new host who’s been quite good so far, and came at the recommendation of April of bloggersontherise.com.
Teamwork is amazing. Seriously. It’s how things get done without me going (too) crazy.
Lots of nothing going on here. I’ve also missed the last few writing groups I’m in – and it’s really sad. One of the times was because I didn’t check my calendar before promising the kids an evening at Lagoon. So that was my fault.
I have, though, been consulting a few other writers on health things for their stories. It’s SO nice when a writer talks to an actual healthcare provider to get injuries and healing at least based on reality.
Seriously. If you get shot and have a punctured lung that can’t get immediate attention? You aren’t going to live long enough to die of an infection. Seriously. That’s from a book I read and otherwise enjoyed – but the unrealistic part threw me so far out of the book that it’s what I remember most.
July 2021 Final Thoughts
June was month #4 in the “business overhaul plan of awesomeness!!” inspired by women like April of bloggersontherise.com and Anne Moss of yeys.com.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s frustrating that I can’t invest multiple thousands of dollars into the business (via content). I keep up on both April and Anne’s monthly income reports – and it blows my mind that they spend five figures plus on content every month.
I am tracking what I invest into my business – but compared to them, it’s peanuts. I will start reporting it soon, perhaps as early as next month. There are a few that slipped through the cracks without proper documentation, so at best I could only give a solid estimate.
But here’s a safe statement: I’m currently reinvesting all income back into the business. Plus, I’ve been investing some of my own money to jumpstart things. Nothing grand like April’s early reports – but it’s more than zero.
So that’s it for July – and now it’s on to August’s grand goals and aspirations. It’s the day-to-day mental grind of keeping on keeping on. So stick with it, friends. And I’ll see you back here in another month with another update! Or if you don’t want to miss anything, make sure you subscribe to the newsletter – and I’ll keep you updated when I publish cool things like this.
Resources I Use
These are the resources I’ve found most valuable – so I recommend you go check them out. They’ll help whether you’re writing fiction, writing for niche blogs, or building an online business. I keep an up-to-date list of all of the tools and resources I use to manage my blogs on my Tools and Resources page. I use referral links to advertising partners.
These are the top tools that I use and recommend:
- Project 24 – hands-down the best course for building a niche site or an online business that focuses on content.
- Ezoic – once you’ve got a 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.
- Big Scoots hosting – we just switched to Big Scoots and it’s been as easy as April told me it would be. Seriously. It’s a great hosting option.
- Link Whisper – I’ve just started using it, and it’s been a great tool to help me build up my linking strategy.
- Kindle Unlimited – this is a great way to try out new books and classics. Make sure you add the latest editions of Deep Magic magazine to your kindle shelf!
- Audible Plus – I love listening to podcasts and books while I’m doing the normal, everyday life things (like laundry). This has been a huge way to up my creativity!
- ClickUp – Hands-down the best software for keeping track of all the things. I use it for stories, websites, and family stuff. Everyone can access what they need, it’s all centralized, and it connects with our calendars.
These resources really have proven invaluable to me – and I think you’ll benefit from them, too. Happy writing, friends.
Cite this article as: “2021 July Writing Report.” Kimberly C. Starr, 3 August 2021, kimberlycstarr.com/2021-july-writing-report/.