What a summer it's been.

The last thing I wrote on here was that I was going to be taking a big step back from the business while my kids were home (and home sick) for the summer.

It was, honestly, brutal. It's weird to actually like your job and want to work on it, but not be able to because you've got your hands full with other stuff. Not something a lot of regular folks can relate to.

But that's exactly what happened. I did very little on my sites in June, and close to nothing at all in July.

And apparently, doing nothing was exactly what I needed to break through a big plateau.

(OK, a Google update might have helped, too.)

Let's take a look.

First, if you don't know about me and my publishing my business, here's the scoop:

I run a couple of niche blogs or websites where I publish (what I think is) really good content. Most of it is discovered by people searching on Google. I monetize that traffic primarily with ads, so the more traffic I get, the more money I make – although I also recommend products here and there and earn affiliate commissions for those sales.

(The split on most of my sites is somewhere around 60% ads and 40% affiliate, with the ad share growing over time.)

I started my first site in April of 2017 and went full-time running it in February of 2018 – way too soon! It was making a little money but not much. I hustled my ass off and picked up freelance work for a while until I could scale the business up.

Here's where it all stands in monthly revenue as of June 2021:

  • Site 1 - $8,002.57
  • Site 2 - $5,870.14
  • Amazon Int'l (all sites combined) - $258.98
  • Total - $14,131.69

And here are the numbers from a fantastic, record-breaking July 2021!

  • Site 1 - $8,855.73
  • Site 2 - $5,519.02
  • Amazon Int'l (all sites combined) - $210.26
  • Total - $14,585.01 (May 10,556.30, April $10,033.53, March 10,577.57)

That's two months straight of over $14k — woohoo!

Last June and July (2020) I averaged around $9400 these same monthsso this is a pretty huge increase! I'm seeing the fruits of all the content I've been adding over the past year, finally, and it couldn't have come at a better time. It's kind of surreal to see numbers like this, because they seemed so, so far off back when I was making just a few thousand dollars per month. It's really amazing.

Note that not all of this is profit: So how much does it cost to run my blogging business every month? I won't bore you with a ton of line items, but basically (outside of what I pay myself):

  • Recurring expenses (tools, hosting, etc) $500
  • Content (articles & video) $2500
  • Total - Around $3000

Here's a recap of what I'm working on, plus some wins and losses from this month.

Site 1 - Fitness & Health

Live articles - 460 (+14 June, +7 July = +21 total)

Total pageviews- June - 228,315, July - 253,891

Total revenue - June - 8002.57, July 8855.73

YouTube Views - June - 30,312 and 75 subs, July - 30,619 and 71 subs

What happened & what I'm working on:

You can see I didn't publish a whole lot this summer, just around 20 posts total over two months.

But the good news is I've been doing something like 20+ posts per month on this site for a while, and that's finally starting to kick in.

Of course, Google did something on their end that helped in June.

You can see a pretty significant bump appear suddenly around June 6th or so, and so far, the boost has lasted.

(My parenting site, below, experienced a similar bump.)

I'm not really sure what it was, but it worked out for me this time. In the past, these updates have killed me. Win some lose some.

Other developments of note: YouTube has plateaued a bit, but I'm still bringing in around 1000 views per day and about 70 new subscribers per month. The channel sits at about 350 subscribers at this writing so my plan is to keep investing until I can monetize, which hopefully should be in 6-10 months?

Other than that, I need to get back to publishing around 20 or more posts per month on this site so I can gear up for a massive holiday season!

Site 2 - Parenting & Family

Live articles - 281(+14 June, +3 July = +17 total)

Total pageviews - June - 152,193, July - 165,218

Total revenue - June - 5,870.14, July - 5,518.02

What happened & what I'm working on:

I could copy paste what I wrote last month here.

I've really ignored this site the last two months, and I have a solid backlog of content waiting for me to edit.

All I have to do now is get back to work.

Odds & Ends

I've been really, really disengaged with the business for the last two months.

There's barely been time to send an email or publish a new post, but I've squeezed things in the best I could. So at least I can say I got a handful of content thrown up on the site. Some of it might not be my best, might be a little rushed, but I got it done.

Pretty amazing and funny that I can have two record-breaking back to back months revenue-wise while barely working on the business. Funny how that works, right? Where else can you get that?

I'm excited to get back into it, although I'm going to need to relearn the ropes. I've got to re-establish a routine, do lots of keyword research, get assignments out to writers, etc.

It might be a good time to really look at my systems and processes and see where I can improve. After all, next summer I'll be back in roughly the same situation and will need a better plan.

And rest! After this long and arduous summer, taking care of myself and getting my mind right is a big priority.

Wrapping Up

Back to work — that's the theme of this month's update. And I'm extremely grateful for it.

I actually like the work I get to do and the freedom it gives our family, so bring it on!

Before you go, check out my blogging tools page for everything I use to run my sites or my how to start a blog guide for my basic strategy.