#84 | Niche Site Income Report

Hey hey!

Happy New Year, friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read my emails, I appreciate it.

My goal is to be helpful and inspiring, and I’ll continue to try my best to deliver that for you this year.

The first thing I’d like to share with you is my latest income report.

But instead of making it about December,

I thought I’d show you the whole of 2023 AND each year before that.

Because sometimes, you just gotta zoom out to see how far you’ve come, right?

Let’s go…

I have six websites to share with you…

1. Travel blog

  • 2019 income: $0
  • 2020 income: $4,248
  • 2021 income: $82,068
  • 2022 income: $308,847
  • 2023 income: $703,485

I’m super happy with how my main sites has grown this past year.

I have some tips to help you see the same pattern of growth (despite Google’s bullshit).

Here’s how each channel performed year-on-year…

  • Organic search – up 38%
  • Direct – up 15%
  • Organic social – up 851%
  • Email – up 121%

Looking at the whole year doesn’t tell the full picture though, so I’m going to show you this graph. Pay attention to Q4…

email 84 travel blog stats

Since October, the gap between organic search (blue) and the other channels (purple) has closed a lot.

Organic social is where I’ve seen the biggest gains.

I switched from posting on Instagram (it made me no money!) to Facebook.

This simple switch brought in over a million extra page views and made me $43k from display ads alone.

Plus, I used to do Instagram myself, whereas Facebook is much easier to outsource to a VA.

So it’s a time-saver too. Win-win.

I made more money per visitor.

My income from this site has more than doubled…

But the traffic is up only 46%, from 10.1 million page views in 2022 to 14.8 million in 2023.

So clearly, the site is much better monetised.


Well, my ad RPM from Raptive has increased from $45 to $56.

I don’t know how they do this, I’m 100% hands-off when it comes to display ads.

I just trust them to take care of it, and they do a fantastic job.

I’ve also started to do a better job of earning income that doesn’t depend on website traffic


  • Affiliate links in my email newsletters
  • Brand sponsorships for social media posts
  • My own digital product

Key Takeaways:

The popular combo of Google organic traffic and display ads has been good, but you need a wider strategy to level up…

  • Add more traffic channels (e.g. social, email)
  • Add more revenue streams (e.g. affiliate, brand sponsorships, products)
  • These two actions are probably responsible for about half of my income last year!

Now, let’s take a look at some of my other sites.

Confession – I’ve hardly worked on these at all.

Here’s what happens when you don’t water your flowers…

2. Gaming site

  • 2021 income: $11,561
  • 2022 income: $58,135
  • 2023 income: $35,294


At it’s peak, this site did 634,000 page views in a month (October 2022).

Then, a Google change meant that it lost all its featured snippets and they never came back.

It’s completely reliant on organic search and the updates haven’t been kind.

I had someone refresh all the articles, and we threw on a handful more, which did help a little.

But besides that, I’m not motivated to work on it.

(Unless we end up in lockdown somehow, in which case, I’ll be all over it!)

This site is my insurance plan, it pays my rent, and I have no plans to do much to it except for collect the passive income each month.

3. Environment site

  • 2022 income: $1,752
  • 2023 income: $10,528

This site launched in January 2022, making it two years old.

With a desire to do less of the work myself, I’ve invested about $10k into content and links, and it’s taken this long to break even!

Not good at all.

So what went wrong?

  • I only added 9 new articles in 2023
  • I’ve not updated any of the content
  • The Helpful Content Update hit
email 84 environment blog stats

I’ll call this project a failure.

But, on the plus side, it’s still making $500+ of passive income each month.

And I could always sell it if I had a use for the money.

Currently, I don’t have anywhere I’d like to spend the cash, so I might as well leave it sitting there.

4. Leisure site

  • 2022 income: $1,350 (purchased in June)
  • 2023 income: $8,567

When I bought this site it was about 18 months old and was making only a few dollars per month.

I spent about $5k to buy the site, plus $4k on content and $3k on links.

But, this wasn’t the wisest investment.

As I focused on my main site, this one was neglected and it still has fewer than 100 articles on it.

My fault.

The HCU got it as well, which isn’t exactly motivational!

I’ll continue to ignore this site, collect $300-ish per month, and it might break even later this year.

Key takeaway:

Don’t buy sites unless you have the time to work on them!

5. AI-generated test site

  • 2023 income: $1,286

I launched this site in April 2023 as a place to test out AI writing tools.

It has 63 articles.

I’ve spent less than $500 on it (domain, hosting, VAs to upload content and AI tools) so it broke even within 6 months – yay!

Despite a few hiccups, the traffic is growing nicely, even though I’m only adding 1-2 posts per month.

email 84 AI Generated content blog stats

In December, it made $495, which is pretty sweet considering how little effort I’ve put into it.

6. Done-For-You Site

  • Launched December 2023

What do you do when you love seeing new sites grow, but you realise that you don’t have time to do the work?

You outsource everything, of course!

I had an idea for a new site that I couldn’t let go of (know the feeling?), but I knew that I didn’t have the time for another site.

So, I enlisted the help of this agency to take care of everything, from keyword research, to content creation and site design.

I’m super happy with the results, and the site has already started to attract its first visitors…

email 84 Done for you content site blog stats

This site is a partnership with someone who is well into the niche.

They’ll be working on the site day-to-day, while I help with strategy.

What’s next for 2024?

I have plans to work on one more partnership site, but aside from that, my focus will be on my travel blog.

I’ve dabbled in YouTube and hated it, but I’m not ready to give up yet. I just need to find the format that works for me, and I’ll be trying out something new on my next trip, which is this weekend.

I’m growing my Facebook page (likes are super cheap right now) and sending a ton of traffic to the blog from there.

And I’m also going to try some new ways to grow my travel email list. I’m emailing them 3X per week.

Of course, I’ll be sharing all of these tactics with you – showing you what’s working for me as well as what didn’t.


Finally, an income report wouldn’t be complete without expenses, so here’s what I spent money on in 2024…

(These figures are approximate)

I hope you’ve found that interesting.

One thing that I’ve noticed is how everybody has such different methods in this game.

This is what I’m doing, but others have a completely different strategy that works great for them.

For example – I love having a very small team and working hands-on, so managing a large portfolio just doesn’t work for me.

But, as with everything, often you have to try things out to see what suits you.

Whether you like to work alone and write everything yourself, manage a team of 100 people or even let AI publish in bulk, we can all succeed in 2024, if we just keep learning, testing and working hard.



P.S. Here’s how I can help you:

NSL Newsletter Archive
Full list of tools and services I use
Feature your business in this newsletter