April 2022 Writing Report

By Kimberly


March was another content challenge month for Income School, and boy howdy did I spend a lot of time trying to get things published!

Sadly, I didn’t get all of the content written during the month published. I’ve still got about 15 or so left in the queue. However, I did get 25 articles published (the goal was 29). And that doesn’t include the number of editing videos, training videos, and behind-the-scenes work I did. So I feel pretty dang good about that!

Even so, let’s dive into how things went last month.

image of a person holding various spring flowers

Update from Last Month

Before we get into the site reports, in last month’s report I talked about how the publishing world is changing. I wanted to give you an update because when I wrote that, the Sanderson Kickstarter was at $15 million. It’s officially ended, and it soared past $40 million.

That’s some serious cash. It’s not enough to take on any tradpub or even Amazon, but it’s certainly enough to publish books and work towards setting up his own publishing house. That’s pretty dang awesome!

Full disclosure: my husband and I totally backed that Kickstarter. We wanted the ebooks at least! We had a fun, in-depth conversation about if and when Sanderson will release those 4 secret books to the public outside of Kickstarter, and if I were him, I’d wait at least a few years to do anything like that.

We didn’t want to wait that long, so we joined in on the last day possible.

Okay, but you aren’t here to talk Cosmere spoilers – you’re here for the niche site reports. So let’s do that.

Site Reports

The sites all continue to grow, and I’m absolutely pleased about how they continue to grow. Some have hit various plateaus, while others see 30% month-over-month growth.

I spent March focusing on publishing, training writers, and building up the backend to improve all things. More on that later. First the stats.

All Sites

  • Total new posts: 25
  • Total Sessions: 95,536
  • Revenue: $1,405.70
  • EPMV: $18.00
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

Getting from $0 to $1,000 per month took me 24 months after joining Project 24.

Getting from $1,000 to $2,000 per month took me 4 months.

Since then, there’s been a bit of a backslide, but I’m almost back to $2k per month.

Site #1

  • Niche: gardening
  • Site age: 27 months
  • New posts: 14
  • Current number of posts: 239
  • Projected total posts: 1000s
  • Sessions: 67,562
  • Revenue: $1050.63
  • EPMV: $21
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

This site was my 2nd one from Project 24. This site also has a growing YouTube presence that I’ve loved doing as an experiment in personal growth and all that.

This site is growing well, and I’m super pleased. It only passed 50k sessions last month, and it’s almost 70k this month.

Site #2

  • Niche: sports
  • Site age: 10 months
  • New posts: 7
  • Current number of posts: 31
  • Projected total posts: 250+
  • Sessions: 782
  • Revenue: $2.98
  • EPMV: $9.10
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

This is a baby site, but it’s fun to have new projects, so it is what it is. It’s got some early indicators that the “ghost town” phase is ending, though. After all, the number of sessions each month continues to grow.

Site #3

  • Niche: genealogy
  • Site age: 27 months
  • New posts: 1
  • Current number of posts: 58
  • Projected total posts: 200
  • Sessions: 6080
  • Revenue: $78.08
  • EPMV: $12.84
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

This site is a lot of fun, and it’s got a lot of great potential for things like a membership. We’re exploring those ideas.

Site #4

  • Niche: writing, blogging
  • Site age: 30+ months
  • New posts: 1
  • Current number of posts: 26
  • Projected total posts: 200
  • Sessions: 2132
  • Revenue: $13.47
  • EPMV: $6.32
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

Spoiler: this is this site. It’s taken a huge hit over time since I deleted so many articles and posts that got strong social-media-driven traffic.

Site #5

  • Niche: parenting
  • Site age: 30+ months
  • New posts: 1
  • Current number of posts: 107
  • Projected total posts: 250
  • Sessions: 21,059
  • Revenue: $274.01
  • EPMV: $12.79
  • Montization: Ads + affiliates

This site also has seen a little bit of a decline in traffic, which I expected. This time of year isn’t a huge one for this niche, but that’s okay. I’m expanding into appropriate horizontal categories to beef it up.

Other Niche Sites

I do have other sites built, but I’m not reporting on them yet. I plan to report on them perhaps next year, once they’ve got some content on them.

Teamwork Report

My team continues to grow. I didn’t have any hiring during March as I was focused on the content challenge, but I did have a hiring round in February where I hired more writers than I usually would.

I’m glad I did – unfortunately, there’s always a turnover for writers. It happens in all fields, and it happens here, too. I do try to work with my team to retain them, as I’ve got the best team of writers.

Even so, some of them are in school, so that has to come first. Or new jobs happen, or moving happens.

Today my team is comprised of:

  • 1 virtual assistant
  • 1 editor
  • 9 writers

I had 11 writers a week ago, but two stepped away from the team for various reasons. They each have standing invites to come back, so we’ll see how that goes.

Report: Backend Improvements

Content may be king, but having a clean website is absolutely a must if you want readers to enjoy your website. That’s why I dedicate some time each month to learning more about keeping my sites running well.

I found some issues with regard to some core vital metrics, so I’ve been working with Ezoic to fix that. There have been a few hiccups, but we’re working through them.

One of the big things I’ve noticed, though, is that just because you delete files on the website doesn’t mean they get deleted in your backend (in the C-panel).

Now, on this website I’ve spent the last few months deleting recipes, old posts (that were truly horrible), and a bunch of other things that are absolute trash for the writing and reading direction I’m now going with it.

I’d deleted them from the dashboard, but they were still there in the backend. And boy howdy, were they taking up space. So, I spent some time deleting those, cleaning up files, and generally making a hot mess in the c-panel. Thankfully, it’s done on this site. Now I’ve just got a handful of niche sites to go!

Thank heavens for a team, right?

The nice thing about cleaning up that disk space means that this site now loads faster, it’s more streamlined, and the user experience is much better. That’s why I’ll keep at it for the other sites.

Report: Changing the Reports

Now, if you’ve been reading these reports with any regularity, you’ll remember past reports that had screenshots of a report I used to do. Those have been deleted as I streamline my reports systems (and because I was cleaning up the backend and got a little bit delete-happy, sorry!).

The new reports won’t be shared, but oh my word are they gorgeous. I see so much data – and it’s all automated (mostly) and in one place.

A big thank-you to my friends (April and Renee) who’ve made this possible by helping me. April gave me ideas galore, and Renee is a spreadsheet wizard.

It’s my goal to automate as many reports as I can because reports are necessary, but they shouldn’t take hours to do. My virtual assistant has been doing them for months, but it’s time to automate where I can so that she can focus on other tasks that are in her wheelhouse.

Not that she can’t do reports – she can. She rocks at them. But why not automate them so she can do her design magic elsewhere?

This means I’m also looking at all of the reports and trying to decide if they’re truly, absolutely necessary. It means digging through the data and seeing if tracking those metrics helps – or if it distracts.

It’s hard – and it’s a lot of thinking. But it’ll pay off in the long run, if only so I can be that much more focused.

Vague as all get-out? Here are some examples.

I’ve been doing monthly manual audits of articles, which has given me great information on how my articles perform. But then I’ve also had a report being done that pulls data from my analytics.

In other words, I’ve got two reports giving me the exact same information. That’s dumb. So I’m working on finding a more streamlined way to evaluate that data – and see what I need to track.

Because even with that data on article performance, have I been doing anything with it? Nope. And that’s a problem.

This report audit will take more time – and a lot of thinking. But it’s good to have it going now because I don’t want to be overwhelmed. I want to be a streamlined, writing machine.

Celebration: Content Warrior Challenge Completed!

Okay, so I mentioned earlier that March was the Project 24 content warrior challenge. And while I only published 25 articles, I blew right past the 60,000-word goal. In fact, my team and I got north of 100k words!

So that feels like it’s worthy of celebration. I’m still working on publishing articles because my process isn’t immediate. Articles submitted at the end of last month still have to go through all the steps.

And that’s okay! My writers get the articles 85% of the way there. Then, the process gets them finished to the best resources possible. And that’s how it should be, so I’m glad it’s working.

In any case, if you aren’t already in Project 24, I highly recommend you check it out. They are pretty dang high up in my list of recommended resources, which I’ll end this report with.

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