March 2012 Niche Site Income Report

I usually have my Income Report out on the first of the month but I’ve been away on a short break and arrived back today so here we go:

Another record month

Let’s start off a the best part. This month I’ve made £560.34 from Google AdSense and £37.14 from Amazon Associates taking my monthly total for March to £597.48 (US$948)! I was so agonisingly close to the £600 milestone but I can’t really complain can I?

march-niche-earnings-5059831As you can see I’ve been able to increase my earnings again, even though I thought they would plateau and this is due to the creation of a couple more sites and also the improvement of some older sites and every little bit helps. You will also notice that I’ve been doing this ‘hobby’ for almost a year and I think it’s going pretty well if I do say so myself, but I know that the rug could get pulled away at anytime…

Google Update

When Google puts out a new update to their search algorithm then I’ll admit I’m always a little worried about what it’ll do to my rankings. I shouldn’t really be worried I guess as I play by the rules and have been very organic in how I’m creating my sites but when the rules keep changing then I can’t always guarantee that what was fine last month is not fine this month.

Panda 3.4 is the 14th major update in the last 12 months and it seems that these updates haven’t always been great for some websites and this latest updates effect 1.6% of searches. That doesn’t sound like much but Google is BIG and so that means 1.4 billion queries each month.

How 3.4 affected me

Nada. Which is pretty good I think. Actually I think it’s helped my sites as it’s removed lower quality competition. I did see my main Amazon Affiliate site (the one that actually earns me money) drop completely off the rankings from #2 in the SERPS but I’ve managed to make a few changes and get back up to #4. How did I do that?

  • Improved Content – I combined and rewrote several articles.
  • Improved Theme – I had been using Chris Guthrie’s Azon Theme but felt that a change to a more original theme not used by 1000s of others might help.
  • Added Graphic Logo – Previously the site had a plain text logo, but with Google’s focus on ‘brands’ I made my own graphic logo.

All in all these changes Google is making are improving sites and site content but I still get the feeling that they are still favouring the big name companies which doesn’t always mean the best content websites are #1 and I think we all know that people will always find new ways to get around the rankings system.

Local Listings Authority Site

I’m earning money from small niche sites but I would also like to make a website that I feel proud of and that has genuine return visitors who comment, share, and get real value from it, and so I’ve start work on a new listings site for the town I work in.

I’m aiming to make a site that Google will love, and visitors will love. I want to create a ‘brand’ and I think this site will achieve this (hopefully) but know that it will take a long time to get anything back from this. I’ve already written a couple of articles but want to get lots more content on there before going public with it.

Watch this space for more updates…

What am I doing with the money?

The first thing I’ve been doing for the last couple of months is putting half my earnings into a savings account. I will be paying tax on all my earnings although I’m not sure yet how much it will be, so putting half away will cover me for that and also the previous months where I didn’t save anything. I’m not sure how much tax I will have to pay but know that saving 50% will more than cover it and hopefully avoid any surprises and leave me with some savings at the end.

As for the rest of the money I’m earning, I’m enjoying life and not worrying too much and spending it. On my recent break I was able to pay for the majority of it with the remainder of my earnings and not have to worry about not having enough money in the bank. What’s the point of earning extra money if I can’t spend it?