October 2022 Writing Report

Hello, October. September was another content warrior challenge month, so it felt like it rushed on past. Another content warrior challenge was attempted and completed, so that feels great!

Now it’s on to October and moving towards doing the equivalent of a content warrior challenge every month. Daunting? Yup. Doable? Also yup. My team is amazing, and all the basics are set up. I’ve been working on some deeper-level stuff, even. Let’s dive into it.

An image of a misty road in fall

September 2022 Recap

If you read last month’s report, you know that I’ve been building towards doing the equivalent of an Income School content warrior challenge every month.

This is while also dealing with the big realizations from last month. Here’s the recap of them.

  1. My work schedule has changed.
  2. Motivation changes over time.
  3. Slow and steady is still progress.
  4. This has to be fun (or I won’t do it).

I hit the goal last month, and the goal is to hit it again this month – and every month going forward. It’s a tall order, I know. After this calendar year, I may build in some peaks and troughs to give myself some breathing room. But ideally, I’ll be able to build things so that the troughs never go below that same mark.

One step at a time, right? Or, in the words of Bob (the titular character from “What about Bob?”), it’s all about the baby steps.

Site Reports on October 1st

Month to month

  • Traffic: -4%
  • Revenue: -22%
  • Publishing: +178%

Year over year

  • Traffic: +32%
  • Revenue: +82%
  • Publishing: +14%

Year to Date

  • Traffic: +99%
  • Revenue: +195%
  • Publishing: +26%

TL/DR: Traffic is slightly down from last month, but it’s still up a huge bit from last year. Revenue is following the same trend. However, I’m pushing forward with publishing (and it’s going well).

Here’s the obligatory data recap for income. Yes, it’s a copy and paste.

  • 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.
  • It’s been 9 months since I first hit $2,000, and I haven’t crossed the $3,000/month threshold yet.
  • My current projections say that I will 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.

Here’s how the sites look individually. Please note – I’ve changed which sites I’m reporting on as of this month.

Site A

  • Gardening
  • New posts: 6
  • Total posts: 281
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site B

  • Parenting
  • New posts: 2
  • Total posts: 128
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site C

  • Genealogy
  • New posts: 1
  • Total posts: 66
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site D

  • Writing
  • New posts: 1
  • Total posts: 31
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site E

  • Sports
  • New posts: 1
  • Total posts: 45
  • Monetization: Ads + affiliates

Site F

  • New Site 1
  • New posts: 0
  • Total posts: 0
  • Monetization: none

Site G

  • New Site 2
  • New posts: 10
  • Total posts: 10
  • Monetization: none

Site H

  • New Site 3
  • New posts: 4
  • Total posts: 6
  • Monetization: none

I reordered them. Because I can. Also, I added some sites, so I had to reorder them. Their niches may have been released previously, but I’m not saying which niche has how many posts yet.

Team Report

Managing a team is a whole other skill set than running websites. It’s also a whole other skill set than being a nurse, although I did learn a lot by watching the charge nurses.

  • For example, there was a particular charge nurse who micromanaged everything. She was always busy, harried, and nobody liked working with her (despite our smiles).
  • Another charge nurse I did like working with had a much different managerial style. She asked you what you could handle, gave it to you, and then expected you to speak up when you needed help.

So while I’m not currently starting IVs or pushing medications, it’s fun to look back at the life lessons I learned in the Emergency Department.

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.

Financial Report

Regarding finances, 2021’s income was surpassed back in June (I reported it incorrectly in last month’s report). As of this month, I’ve almost doubled last year’s income.

While I follow a profit-first (and cash-based) style of financial accounting, I’m not currently paying myself. Instead, I’m focusing on building up a small buffer.

Late last year, Ezoic offered me a fantastic opportunity, and I took it. I am coming up on 10 months with them into a 3-year deal.

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.

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.

However, in the next 2 months, I expect some rather large, regular fees to be added to my budget. So I’m saving up now for those, rather than letting myself be surprised when those expected fees pop up.

I also believe in having a buffer set up, so I have future choices.

For example, if and when I switch some of my sites to another ad network partner (part of my diversification plan long-term), those sites will have a natural delay in payment because Ezoic is one of the few networks that make 30-day payments. The others do net-45 or net-60.

That’s fine, but that’s going to mean up to 2 months in delayed payment if and when I move those sites – so having an operational expenses rainy day fund is a must – at least if I want that choice.

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

October Goals

I aim to publish 30 new, high-quality articles across the portfolio in October. It’s going to be a stretch. However, I’ve got a great team, and I think we can manage it.

We managed to publish 25 in September (while hitting the 60,000 words written mark for the content challenge), so I think 30 is doable this month. I won’t be keeping track of the total word count so religiously.

My other goal for October relates to my deeper-level stuff. This is where I admit to having upgraded my spreadsheets even more. They now help me analyze existing articles on a site-wide basis, though I’ll still need to dig into each one individually.

This will help me refine the process moving forward while also helping me make solid improvements to existing content to continue helping more people.

Nerdy? Yup. You know it. But that’s the way I roll.

Now, if you want a fancy spreadsheet based on mine, I’m not at a place where I’m ready to share mine publicly. Sorry about that. However, mine is very much based on the Income School spreadsheets, so I highly recommend you join me in their course. It’s been a great investment, so check out the link below in my list of recommendations!

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.

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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.

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