This is the October 2020 update for the Operator <> Investor partnership on the website in the Wellness niche. Details of the partnership structure and intro to the website were covered in the update here, the previous month’s update can be read here, and the archives here.
Let’s get to it!
- Overall traffic is up ~7%!
- Revenue was $610.87 (compared to $378 in August)
- 7 new articles added
- Pinterest Pins auto-dripped for new content added
- Continued on-page SEO
- New theme installed
- Content pipeline has been slow: expected 20-30 articles, but publishing 5-10.
📊 Traffic Stats for September
Here is a comparison between October and September 2020:
Here are the last 12 months of traffic:
Here are the AHREF results:
💰 P&L in August
- Revenue: $610.87
- Costs: $156.21
- Profit: $454.66
For costs, we paid $55 for the StudioPress Foodie Pro Theme, and the remainder was for content from our main writer.
Since it’s been a few months, it’s interesting to analyze the monthly cash flow:
Profit to date
- August: $338.35
- September: $209.63
- October: $454.66
- Total: $1,002.70
Based on our agreement with the operator (outlined here), he is entitled to 50% of profits, whereas my partner and I are entitled to 25% each.
ROI to date
My investor-partner and I purchased the website for $5,732 in August 2020.
- As a group, we’ve recouped 17.49% of our investment to date
- From the investor-share only, we’ve recouped 8.75% to date
Value of Asset
I always keep tallies on the value of my assets with a trailing 3-6 month average. Valuations are based on revenues, which have been as follows:
- August: $338.36
- September: $378.08
- October: $610.87
- Last 3 Month (L3M) average: $442.46
If we were to sell today based on an L3M average (note: the market is based on L6M), we would receive somewhere around $13,274 to $14,158.
We’ve more than doubled our initial capital.
📅 October Recap
New WP Theme
When newcomers in blogging get their hands on a fully done-for-you page builder, they go crazy with the designs. Bloggers love to customize each article and do not follow a template. The previous owner did so many customizations uniquely on each page that it was getting impossible to use Divi any further.
The operator has had prior experience with StudioPress so we opted for a redesign using the Foodie Pro Theme.
Reasons for the switch:
- The operator’s workflow will be more streamlined as he can create standard templates for each type of article
- Faster load speeds as pages are not bloated by a page builder
- Cleaner look
How did we do the switch?
I always like to implement a staging environment. A staging environment is a duplicate of the site on a subdomain that is blocked off from search engine bots and locked from visitor access.
This allows the main site to be unimpacted. The operator could then take his time with the new theme, customizations, etc.
Note: my favorite managed hosting provider, Cloudways, has built-in staging environments so this process is much easier.
The WP theme went live on October 25 so we will keep an eye on traffic numbers going forward.
✅ Ezoic Display Ads
Adding display ads to a website can significantly boost overall revenues with minimal impact on affiliate revenues. This article is an interesting read.
Here is a snapshot of the site from the Ezoic dashboard:
We started the ads on October 28 and are earning about $5 per day on average. Not bad for no extra effort.
We allowed Ezoic to integrate with our Cloudflare CDN directly as that minimizes any page speed impacts.
Impact on Page Speed Load Times
I have my fair share of arguments with Ezoic. Their “AI-based” platform kills user experience with a ridiculous amount of ads per page. In turn, this reduces page speed loading times.
Running the site through Google PageSpeed Insights, returned the following results:
The two terms to keep in mind here are First Contentful Paint (FCP), and Time to Interactive (TTI). FCP is when the first text or image is loaded on-screen. TTI is when the entire page has loaded.
Ad networks tell you to look at the FCP values as that’s when the user gets validation the site has loaded.
Pre-Ezoic, both the FCP and TTI were less than 3 seconds.
Alternatives to Ezoic?
Apart from Ezoic, the only other alternative is Google Adsense with traffic numbers around the 10,000 pageviews per month range. Niche website creators have no choice but to use Ezoic at some point or forego display ad revenue early on.
Here is my progression of recommended ad network providers organized by pageviews:
- Google Adsense (less than 10k page views)
- Ezoic (between 10k-30k page views)
- Newor Media (30k+)
- Mediavine (50k+)
- AdThrive (100k+)
- Private Display Networks
- Private Partnerships
We will be moving to Newor Media or Mediavine as soon as we hit the traffic numbers and if they accept us. Both have strict requirements.
👉 What Can Be Improved in November 2020?
The Operator is working actively to do the following:
- New content pipeline of 10-15 articles
- Push on Pinterest with 200+ pins
- Test affiliate offers (high-paying cost per action-based)
- On-page optimization on articles published a few months ago
We are coming up on the busy holiday shopping season with Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM), and December season. I expect this site to do very well.
🤝 Wrap Up
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions.
Overall, the ROI and asset value is looking good. The Operator is doing an excellent job day-to-day. Win-win for all!