November 2022 Writing Report


It’s November and another NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), though I usually coopt it for website publishing. Even so, it’s another month where I try to focus on publishing a good quantity of quality content.

Well, who am I kidding? That’s every month’s goal. This is just one month a year where if I meet that goal, I can win the bragging rights and/or order a t-shirt saying I did NaNoWriMo. I only order the shirt when I worked on novels for NaNoWriMo. So there will be no t-shirt this year, I’m afraid. But there will be a lot of content!

november calendar sheet surrounded by autumn leave 2021 09 24 03 09 21 utc 1

October 2022 Recap

I’ve been building towards doing the equivalent of an Income School content warrior challenge (10,000 more words than a NaNoWriMo month) every month. You can read the full October 2022 report here.

I was on track most of October, and recovery from an expected outpatient procedure left me down for the count (and the rest of the month). So I ended up taking the rest of the month off to recuperate. I’m just now getting back to things.

However, my recovery looks better than the surgeon had hoped for – and I’m hopeful that it will continue to look better and better each day. If you must know, I had a deviated septum repaired. No external work – just clearing out the inner passageways so I can breathe.

So I did not hit October’s goal of 30 articles, though I did publish 22.

I also came to a sad panda realization – that just because I dream about hitting goals doesn’t mean they’ll magically happen. I need to consider the budget. Darn reality.

Site Reports on November 1st

Month to month

  • Traffic: -11%
  • Revenue: +2%
  • Publishing: -12%

Year over year

  • Traffic: +3%
  • Revenue: +95%
  • Publishing: +47%

Year to Date

  • Traffic: +84%
  • Revenue: +203%
  • Publishing: +29%

TL/DR: Traffic is slightly down from last month, but it’s still up a huge bit from last year. Revenue is up month to month and compared to both yearly markers.

Publishing continues to go well. I published my 200th article of the year in October, which is 10 higher than I published for all of 2021 (190). And I’ve got 2 months left to publish, so I’m excited to see what I can get to for the whole year.

Here’s the obligatory data recap for income. Yes, it’s a copy-and-paste. But with updates!

  • Going from $0 to $1000 monthly took me 24 months 26 months from when I first implemented this Income School style website strategy. I’ve been blogging since 2013 and had never hit the $1,000/month mark until this point.
  • Going from $1000 to $2000 for the first time took 4 months.
  • Getting to above $2000 monthly consistently took another few 3 months.
  • Months since I first hit $2,000/month: 10
  • Last month’s projections said I would hit it within the next 3- 12 months (upper confidence says 3, lower confidence says 12), depending on actual performance. I’d sure like to hit it sooner than that, of course.
  • This month’s projections say that April is likely the soonest I’ll surpass the $3,000/month mark (upper confidence), with the lower confidence saying it won’t happen in the next year. So that’s a bummer.

Here’s how the sites look individually, using the new reporting format (new as of last month).

Site A

  • Gardening
  • New posts: 10
  • Total posts: 291
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site B

  • Parenting
  • New posts: 1
  • Total posts: 131
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site C

  • Genealogy
  • New posts: 0
  • Total posts: 66
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site D

  • Writing
  • New posts: 1
  • Total posts: 32
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site E

  • Sports
  • New posts: 0
  • Total posts: 45
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site F

  • Entertainment
  • New posts: 5
  • Total posts: 5
  • Monetization: none

Site G

  • Home
  • New posts: 3
  • Total posts: 13
  • Monetization: AdSense

Site H

  • Educational
  • New posts: 2
  • Total posts: 8
  • Monetization: none

Yes, I’m releasing the info on the niche. It’s still vague enough that I’m not worried.

Do Google Updates Hit My Portfolio?

This is a question that I regularly ask myself, and I haven’t addressed it here yet. There is one site in my portfolio that Google updates have hit. It’s the parenting site. Parenting is a heavily YMYL (your money, your life) area, so those sites are much more prone to being hit by updates.

This particular site did take a hit back in May 2022. It lost a small percentage of its traffic to the update, although a definite seasonal aspect also applies. The recent updates have reversed that trend, although it’s still not back up to its highest levels.

I’m hopeful that it’ll do well here in Q4 2022. Early indications are positive.

Other sites have not taken huge update hits, for which I’m grateful. Focusing on publishing quality content is the route to go! That being said, there are seasonal ebbs and flows to each niche, and those aren’t always as fun.

My gardening site, for example, is headed into its slower season. It’s not awesome that it happens in Q4, but it is what it is. I’m working on beefing up the evergreen content (as well as the other sites) to offset this particular seasonality.

Team Report

My goal is to train my team, give them the tools they need to succeed, and do what I can to keep the team players who consistently perform to or above expectations. After all, my whole team is freelancers, so they could choose to go elsewhere if I’m a micromanaging turd muffin.

I don’t want to be a micromanaging turd muffin, let alone a turd muffin.

My team of freelancers is doing an amazing job. I had set things up to be pretty well hands-off (in case my recovery did take longer than expected), and I’m so glad I did. I can now jump back in and get to work – and my team carried things on while I recovered.

Financial Report: Revenue

Last month, I reported that I was close to doubling last year’s income. I’m excited to report that I will officially pass that doubling mark by the end of this month.

I’ve not passed it yet, mind you. Due to how publishers get paid, I generally know what my monthly income will be about a month in advance. Or at least I know all of my ad-based revenue. Affiliate revenue is harder to track as it’s typically net 60 or 90.

But by the end of this month, I will officially pass that doubling point. I believe this marks the second year in a row that I’ve doubled my business’ earnings. Doubling sounds impressive, but please remember that you must start small, even doubling.

  • Let’s say that in year 1, my business managed to earn $1,000.
  • Double that. In year 2, it would earn $2,000.
  • In the third year, the business would earn $4,000.
  • In the fourth year, a doubling business would earn $8,000.
  • In the fifth year, it would earn $16,000. We’re finally to five figures – and it took 5 years!
  • Year 6 of our hypothetical biz: $32,000 earned.
  • Year 7: $64,000 is earned, meaning you might make enough to warrant a paycheck. FINALLY. Maybe.
  • It’ll be better in year 8 when your business clears $128,000.
  • And so on. However, continuing to double past this point does get harder, at least from a mathematical standpoint. After all, the numbers are bigger.

Some business owners I’ve talked to say it’s still possible, but the amount of work required to double yearly seems to increase. Beyond the first 6 figures, most business owners I’ve talked to love to keep growing – even if they don’t double.

I haven’t told you what I earned in 2022. That’s intentional. My business is in the five-figure earnings for the year, and that’s as much as I’ll say at this point.

This is for two reasons.

  • Privacy. I can’t protect my sites as well without at least some privacy. Being vaguer about which site earns how much gives me some privacy and protection.
  • I don’t want to brag. Okay, I want to brag a little bit. I did, after all, admit to it being over 5 figures. However, this is a business, and I don’t want to be a braggart. So not letting myself share the exact amount will (hopefully) keep me humble while letting me helpfully share good information without opening up any narcissistic can of worms.

I don’t know for sure that it will work. If it doesn’t, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be changing my reporting. Again. But if it does work? Then we’ll see how it goes. That’s all I can promise!

Financial Report: Expenses

Beyond the income, let’s take a quick look at the costs associated with running a business.

This site uses paid referral links from carefully selected advertising partners. I only promote products I like, use, and recommend. As an Amazon Associate, I can earn from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclaimer in the terms and conditions for additional details.

In my business, the biggest expenses are related to content creation. Here’s where the money goes.

  • Original research and experiments
  • Products
  • Testing
  • Writers
  • Editors
  • Virtual Assistants

Beyond that, there are also costs associated with running the business.

  • Software
  • Licensing
  • Domain names
  • Hosting
  • Education
  • PO Box
  • Ezoic*

Wait, Ezoic? Do they cost money? Well, the basic stuff is free. And they’ve been a fantastic ad network partner for me, and I highly recommend you check them out if you need a good ad network partner. But all of their best stuff? It requires a contract – some of it has a paid element.

I’m on my 11th month into a 36-month contract with them. It’s been worth it. The first 12 months get me all of their best stuff for free – and then the very known, transparent fee will kick in next month, and I get to keep access to all of their best stuff without being a VIP yet. So I’ve been saving up ahead of time for that. And working towards the VIP level.

Because nobody likes getting hit with surprise fees – and it would be beyond irresponsible of me to pretend I don’t know when fees are coming. Especially since I know it’s coming.

An image of a tiny pine tree in snow
“Winter is coming.” But I haven’t seen Game of Thrones, just the memes. So this picture will have to do.

And that gets me back to the goals for this next month.

November Goals

We published 25 articles in September and 22 in October. So I want to keep that up. Last month, I said I wanted to do 30 articles a month from here on out.

Then I looked at the budget – and at the statistics. I keep track of the average cost and revenue per article.

Based on the average cost per article and my known income (revenue) levels, publishing 30 articles per month isn’t feasible – yet. I’ll get there. But doing 20 per month? That’s doable for this next month. I’ll have to evaluate it month to month, but I think that will be the way to do things from now on.

Nerdy? Yup. You know it. But that’s the way I roll. Now, excuse me. I’ll go nerd out some more. In the meantime, here are the resources that help me nerd out best.

Resources I Use and Recommend

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, go with these guys. They have helped me earn several thousand dollars (in ad revenue) that I’d not have earned otherwise.
  • Big Scoots hosting – I’ve been with them for a year. It’s a great hosting option for most of my sites.
  • Cloudways hosting – I’ve been testing these guys with some of my fastest-growing sites, and I’m impressed with the ease of scalability.
  • Link Whisper – 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.

These resources really have proven invaluable to me – and I think you’ll benefit from them, too. Happy writing, friends.

Want to stay up to date with new reports? Be sure to subscribe to my free newsletter.

An image of Kimberly with 3 of her children.

About Kimberly

I’m a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. Tacos and chocolate are my kryptonite.

I believe in transparency.

Kimberly C. Starr is operated under Protean Enterprises LLC, a Utah limited liability company.

Protean Enterprises, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Protean Enterprises, LLC also participates in other affiliate programs with Awin, Clickbank, CJ, Harvest Right, ShareASale, and other sites. Protean Enterprises, LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.