Hey, no time to publish a summary of September than in the waning days of October.

But better late than never.

The truth is I've been busy, and things are going well, so the urgency to check in hasn't been high.

But the numbers? Well let's just say they've been great.

And without wasting any more time, let's see 'em.

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 70% ads and 30% 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 as of September 2021:

  • Site 1 - $11,235.06
  • Site 2 - $7,401.38
  • Amazon Int'l (all sites combined) - $334.07
  • Total - $18,970.51 (August $17,862.17, July $14,585.01, June $14,131.69)

It's been a great run this summer, with each month being better than the next, again and again. I'm really happy and grateful for the success and (see below) I've had to remind myself to stop and actually enjoy it rather than stressing about hitting the next milestone.

Last September (2020) I made around $10,600. At the time, it was my second month or so hitting over $10k so I was ecstatic. Coming in just under $20k is something I truly didn't think was possible, at least not for me. What can I say?

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) $1000
  • Content (articles & video) $3500
  • Total - Around $4500

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

Site 1 - Fitness & Health

Live articles - 493 (+19)

Total pageviews- 260,237 (-1%)

Total revenue - $11,235.06

YouTube Views - 32,505 (+5%), +68 subs

What happened & what I'm working on:

As of this writing, I've actually passed 500 published posts on this site — which is crazy.

(The 493 number above represents what was on the site by the end of September.)

It's become a consistent $10k+ earner all on its own. Which I think is damn impressive since most of my main competitors are Healthline, Very Well Health, and other mega giants of the online publishing industry. I'm just one dude! This shouldn't be possible!

But here we are.

I still love the topic and I still have lots of ideas.

The one challenge is that it's hard to find people who can write about fitness without needing a ton of editing. Even simple topics.

Part of me wonders what it might be like to only publish a few articles a month on this site, but pay true experts a really, really good rate to write them.

Right now, I'm somewhere in between. And it's working.

But it's something I think about.

YouTube is chugging along. I've sunk a ton of money into it and it's hard to say if that will ever pay off. Of course, the videos make good money for me in my ad player on the website, so they're still useful.

It might be another 8-10 months before I get enough subscribers to monetize.

Site 2 - Parenting & Family

Live articles - 306 (+10)

Total pageviews - 192,207 (+6%)

Total revenue - $7,401.38

What happened & what I'm working on:

Content has slowed down here, mostly because I haven't found time to find new writers who are good.

I work with two really talented ones on this site and one of them is leaving (sad face) and the other has scaled back.

I did a ProBlogger listing a while back, so I still have a list of like hundreds of potential candidates to go through. And there's always WriterAccess.

But it feels like there's always something more immediate to do, like assigning or editing content.

Still, it's hard to complain as long as I can keep the chains moving on this $6-7k/month blog.

Odds & Ends

I think I mentioned last month how important it's been for me to try to enjoy the highs, the fruits of my hard work, while the gettin's good.

After all, a big Google update could cut my business in half out of nowhere one day soon. It's happened before.

I think that's part of why I write these reports. Not for strategic thinking, but to look back and say, "Damn! I made almost $20,000 this month?!"

Otherwise, this is a bit of a weird time for my business. It feels like a season of change. A few of the writers I've been working with for a year or more are leaving or scaling back. The editor I just hired took on another opportunity and had to leave.

So it's a bit of a step back in terms of production right now, and I'm trying to fill in the gaps where I can.

I guess for now I'm satisfied with publishing around 30 posts per month. I'd love to do 50-100, but a lot needs to happen before I can reach that consistently.

Right now I don't find myself wanting to burn the midnight oil to do things like vet writers, test editors, etc. I send out assignments, edit them, publish 1-2 things per working day. And that's good for me.

The rest of the time, I'm with my kids and I'm working on a novel.

Pretty cool that I get to do that and still enjoy revenue like I've seen this summer.

I'm grateful for that.

Wrapping Up

October is looking like a small step back with the ad rates surprisingly a little lower. But it should be a solid $15K+ month, with plenty of room to buy more content and enjoy a profit.

I would love to crack $20k before the end of the year, and November is usually a good time to put up big numbers.

Fingers crossed! And back to work.

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.