As we near the time for June’s income report, I guess I should I get May’s out on the interwebs.
May was an exciting month and as the same time disappointing.
The Penguin Giveth and The Penguin Taketh
The Taketh: Like many other people with online sites, April 24th hit like a ton of bricks. My #1 site (own product site, not adsense) was slapped backed in the rankings by Penguin. The site dropped from the #2-#4 range to the #28 – #32 range. The site has recovered a tiny bit now (around #22). However, the difference between negligible as hardly anyone gets to the 3rd page of search results in Google.
Because of the seasonality of the niche, it’s hard to estimate the traffic drop off as May and June are historical the lowest traffic months any way. However, looking at March and April from 2011 vs 2012, site traffic dropped 26% in April 2011. In April 2012, traffic dropped 65%. My analysis is that this slap was a result of my anchor text being to heavily concentrated on a couple of keywords. I’m not sure if my 20 BMR links had something to do this this as well.
One major culprit was PDF scraper sites (about 50% of my links). I have my free PDF just sitting out there because early on I noticed I was getting backlinks from PDF sites. The anchor text used on the backlinks was the title of the PDF. I updated the title on the PDF to now be a generic Click Here.
The Giveth: Now for the would’ve could’ve section. After Penguin, 1 of my 7 sites made a jump from an average of #10 to now #1. It was a gradual climb and hit #1 around May 20th. It’s still there and I now have that rejuvenated feeling since it’s making some money. This site was launched on 1/20/2012. For 3/19 – 4/24, the site earned $1.84. For 4/25 – 5/31, the site earned $13.01 (600% increase!). June has been even better.
However, part of me is wishing I would have taking action like Andre and Mike and built several sites. They were hit by Penguin as well, but both positively and negatively. They have since had a mini explosion of income with niche sites. Check out their May reports here: AndreGarde.com and MikeFromMaine.com
My total revenue for the May was $140.85 (down 48% from April, $272.38). This reduction is directly related to my SERPs dropping for my product site. Also, seasonality caused some of the drop as well.
- PDF eBook – $37.64 ($150.56, (75%))
- Android Apps – $66.05 ($114.86, (42%))
- Adsense – $37.16 ($6.96, 433%)
Expenses for the month totaled $251.64
- Apple Developer Annual Fee – $107.96
- Unique Article Wizard – $67.00
- SEMRush – $33.30
- TextBroker – $18.88
- SocialAdr – $17.00
- e-Junkie – $5.00
- IMTalk – $2.50
Looking ahead for June – I’m cancelled UAW and SEMRush and I will not have any content writing expenses. This will knock out about $120 per month. Also, the Apple Developer Fee is annual so next month’s expenses should be minimal. I think I may have some domain renewals.
May Net Income/(Loss): (110.79)
YTD Net Income/(Loss): (434.28)
I’m not really liking that YTD number. For 2011, I lost $162.42, but that includes a $550 purchase of a MacMini in late December. August/September will be the true indicator of how things will be for 2012.
On June 9th, I launched my first iPhone app and sales have been slow (worth time of year for this type of app). I plan on submitting two more for approval before the end of the month. I’ve been slowly updating my product site directly as well as creating and adding content to some Web 2.0 properties. My adsense site that was totally bombed by Penguin is up for renewal within 30 days. I’m leaning toward not renewing and either adding that site’s content to another existing site or buy a new domain and start from scratch (with the same content). For the life span of that site, I made $42.29 in adsense and had $70.13 in expenses. Almost broke even.
Penguin really took I let Penguin take the wind out of my sails and I’ve kind of been coasting in a daze with regards to niche sites. One thing that I’m not doing is jumping on the “Scrap niche sites and build an authority site” bandwagon that is sweeping the IM blogosphere. Though, I admit, my product site is somewhat of an authority site. Many have proved that micro niche sites are still working. I think 6 months to a year from now, we’ll be hearing numerous people who paid over a thousand dollars to build a site with 50+ articles complaining that 5 page niche sites are still out ranking them. Unless it’s a topic that you are 100% passionate about, building an authority just to make money is a huge slog I don’t want to undertake. And the money risk is high. Building 20 niche sites and waiting 6 months to see which ones take off, then expanding the site by adding content – that’s seems like the more logical approach.