Website Income

Oct Income and Traffic Report

October was a busy month for me with holiday travel, business travel and personal travel I was on the road for ½ the month. For some people this is normal but for me it definitely is not! Although I would have preferred to be at home more I did get a nice little break. While in Chicago for a wedding I took the first full 48hr break from email that I think I ever have.

Overall with my VA’s working hard and with the work I was able to complete on the road work I was able to continue pushing my business forward.

Of course Google had another update Penguin 2.1 early in October and it significantly affected one (and thankfully only one) of my sites.

Below is a summary of what has happened in my online business in October and some learning’s that will hopefully be beneficial to you and your business…

Key Successes:

All the Sites I have Created Survived Penguin 2.1 – As I talked about above one of my sites (my purchased website) got hit by penguin 2.1. However, the positive I am taking away from this is that all the sites I have built and promoted using my promotion/SEO strategy have survived. You can read all about my purchased website here.

Simply put my promotion strategy involves the following in varying quantities…

  1. Blog Commenting
  2. Guest Posting
  3. YouTube and slide show sharing websites
  4. Leveraging Relevant Expired Domains

Done for You Private Blog Network Success – After the success of the Ultimate Expired Domain Guide people were asking for help finding and developing expired domains.

It was because of these requests that I created a unique service that is a complete Done For You Private Blog Network that only you have access to…

  1. Find 5 expired domains that are relevant to your niche, meet my metrics and pass my 12 point pre-purchase checklist
  2. Register the domains on a couple different registrars on different days
  3. Set up the sites at 5 completely different reputable hosting companies using my standard operating document – Good looking sites that will pass a manual review
  4. Create and add original quality articles (NO SPUN GARBAGE!) with rich media embedded – 5 average articles
  5. Build links naturally back to your site(s)
  6. Manage the sites creating 1 new article per network per month! along with updating theme, plugins and security.

Income report


The service is still being built out and is open in November to a limited number of people at a discounted rate – currently 10/20 spots are left.

Done For You Private Blog Network

Limited spots in November and at a discounted rate

After taking an initial group through a first round of Beta last month I am happy to report that all are happy.

No customers have cancelled and I have new orders from returning customers equal to 40% of the first groups orders! Seeing my customers vote with their wallets has been very satisfying!

See the initial discounted offer here!

Key Failures:

There are always challenges and in October I had a few…

Limited Time to Grow Base Business – With the launch of my service and the amount of travel I was doing I put in almost 0 hours into my base business. Although the majority of my network is passive  need to be continuisly building to reach my goal and it has now been a number of months since I launched a new site (not counting purchased site).

Non-Linear Cost Growth – I expected this but as I bring on more people the cost of each task getting completed does not go down…it goes up. Inefficiencies increase and the cost of management goes up. This contradicts popular belief that the higher the quantity of one task you need to get completed the cheaper it becomes…however in reality that is not the way it works online when there are no up-front investments in machines/factories/equipment.

When the fixed cost portion of a task (no equipment required) is near zero the per task cost goes up NOT down the more tasks you complete.

Blog Posts on

In October I wrote 3 posts…

Authority Website (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) Stats for October

This website(AuthorityWebsiteIncome) was first started to document the creation of one website and has now grown to document my entire online business. But this section will remain showcasing the success (if everything continues) of the site.

Income = $2,064.62

  • CPA #1 (loan consolidation) = $126
  • CPA #2 (new loans and loan consolidation) = $1,866.62
  • CPA #3 (credit check) = $0
  • CPA #4 (debt monitoring) = $0
  • CPA #4 (loan consolidation) = $72

Costs = 152.13

The site was mostly on autopilot with some blog commenting, article posting and carnival submission occurring without my involvement.

All my team members are hired through ODesk

  • VA #1 – Content Publisher = $4.40 @  (posting/scheduling of created articles per my content calendar)
  • VA # 2 – Backlink/General = $11.25 (blog carnival submission, Friday post creation)
  • VA #3 – Website Manager = $0 (occupied in other projects)
  • VA #4 – Social Media Manager = $0 (not going to use on this project)
  • VA #5 – Blog Commenting/Outreach – $36.53 (native English commenting)
  • Content Creation = $0 (0 articles created)
  • Hosting = $80/month @ WPEngine (can host 10 sites)
  • LeadPages = $0 one time fee already paid
  • AWeber = $19.95 (for the size of list my student loan site has)

Running Net Income/Loss

Another month right around the $2k which is a great place to be!

September net income = $1,912.49

Income report 3

Traffic =10,262 Unique Visitors

Another month of slight traffic decline ~10%. Hopefully the bottom of the expected traffic dip will occur in November with December and January being strong months!

Income report 4

Email Opt Ins – 53% & 43% Conversion on Landing Page

My conversion rate on my email opt in pages continues to be strong! Both landing pages shown below were created quickly with Lead Pages.

Income report 5

Income report 6


It is very easy to generate similar landing pages with LeadPages easily.


Backlink Stats

I use majestic SEO (free) to track my link profile and help estimate how my link building efforts are being viewed by Google.

  • Referring Domains = 458 (-95)
  • Backlinks = 14,611 (-6,322)
  • Citation Flow 32 (+1)
  • Trust Flow 19 (-2)

Looks like a slight drop in links…I don’t like seeing my Citation Flow and Trust Flow being that far away from each other…it means it is time to attract some strong .edu links.

Last Month’s Goals

  • 2 Epic/Resource Posts with Manual Outreach & generate natural .edu/.gov links (FAIL 0)
  • Continue with outsourced guest posting (3 guest posts) (FAIL 0)
  • End social media again – not for me right now (Success)
  • Improve monetization at purchased site (FAIL)
  • With steady decline in traffic due to time of year target $2.5k combined income (FAIL)


Next Month’s Goals

  • 2 Epic/Resource Posts with Manual Outreach & generate natural .edu/.gov links
  • Continue with blog commenting
  • $2k net profit from the site

2013 Website Goal Progress: (66% of the way there!)

My website case study (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) will earn more per month than Pat Flynn’s case study site for at least 3 months of the year – 2/3 of the way there!

  • January (-$2,796.18)
    • $452.13 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $3248.31 for – Report
  • February (-$1,675.35)
    • $1126.55 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,801.90 for – Report
  • March (-$2,076.94)
    • 759.63 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,836.57 for – Report
  • April (-$1,581.86)
    • $1,127.1 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,708.96 for – Report
  • May (-$367.55)
    • $2,341.41 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,610.62 for – Report
  • June (+1,622.01)
    • $3,114.90 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $1,492.89 for – Report
  • July (-1,013.61)
    • $1,540 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,553.61 for – Report
  • Aug ($-12.10 – SO CLOSE!)
    • $2,383.41 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,395.51 for – Report
  • Sep(+$339.14)
    • $2,288.71 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $1,949.57 for – Report
  • Oct(to be determined)
    • $1,912.49 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $?? for – Report

Income report 7

Me vs. Pat Case Study Site

My Overall Online Income Goal Progress

As discussed in my long post about my online income history and my overall business strategy post here my goal is to be making $15k/month reliably by my 35th birthday and move my family back to our hometown to raise our kids(currently only one kid) there (if we choose to).

I am going to add a section to my monthly reports showing my overall online income and progress towards $15k/month.

This month with some strong continued niche sites and my new service I am still ahead of plan!

This Month:

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Frankie says November 11, 2013

Your service looks like it will be an awesome fit for a lot of people.

With your income growth being kinda flat on your niche site are you concerned that by not putting more effort into it, it may die?

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Thanks Frankie, even though I am not directly involved I have articles being published every week and blog commenting occuring so that site is staying fresh. But without a growth plan it will not grow in my opinion. That is why I hope to execute my research posts this month and attract some high high quality .edu links.

Mike says November 11, 2013

Phenomenal growth this year Jon, congrats!

are you afraid that Google traffic slowdown will affect your student loan over time? the traffic hit seems a bit issue over the long haul, don’t you think? Do you have any strategies to compensate and get more traffic?

Good luck!


    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hey Mike, my student loan site is a pretty pure Google Traffic play…for me I realize it is a risk but I don’t see any reliable alternative. Social strategies have failed a few times for that site. Referral traffic is tough to get the same valuable traffic. So as long as my entire business isn’t build with the Google Traffic risk I don’t mind having a portion of my business fully exposed to Google traffic risks.

      Mike says November 11, 2013

      Have you thought of selling your site while it makes money? another Google update and revenues could drop by 50%… maybe it’s time to flip it?

      just my 2 cents 🙂

        Jon says November 11, 2013

        Mike it is something I have thought about…but my goal right now is on monthly income growth and since the student loan site is so passive I don’t see why getting rid of it now would make sense other than removing the Google Update risk. I would also like to get up to the point where bigger players would be interested in buying the property like student loan companies etc…when I get the site up to the size where it moves their sales needles it would be able to command a much higher multiple.

oloyede jamiu says November 11, 2013

Hi John, this income report is awesome and inspiring. Thank you for giving us the motivation.

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    No problem Oloyede, I am glad it is inspiring!

Curt says November 11, 2013

Good report, Jon. Glad to see the higher than planned income yet again.

I’m interested to see how you deal with the “long term” maintenance of the site now. I think it can get a bit more difficult to be passionate about doing the nitty gritty to keep it growing as the age of the site increases.

Are your plans to set a few reasonable goals (like you did this month) each month for the foreseeable future for growth/maintenance?

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hi Curt, the key I have found to combating the eventual lose of interest/passion in a topic is to systematize the promotion…I have done a lot of this with outsourcing the content creation, blog commenting and carnival submission. But yes I plan on having at least one “special project” each month to make sure the site continues to be a strong performer.

      Curt says November 11, 2013

      Thanks for the reply, Jon. I outsourced my first couple of article jobs thanks to your guidance on this site. Regarding your VA posts – as I take steps towards doing some more serious outsourcing over the next couple of months, my first stop will be right here to follow your advice.
      Thanks again.

        Jon says November 11, 2013

        Great Curt, hope the articles turn out well and if you have any questions when it comes to working with VA’s let me know….getting started is incredibly easy… simple job post – hire fast – test assignment – fire fast.

Christopher @ This that and the MBA says November 11, 2013

Jon you are killing it…i love reading your posts…yours is one of the few that i subscribe to and read regularly…

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Thanks Chris, I am glad you like it!

Philip Kleudgen says November 11, 2013

Hey Jon,
Congrats for another strong month! 🙂 How many expired domains do I need to rank a site like your student loan site? I’m wondering if five are enough…

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hi Philip, expired domains on their own won’t get you the best rankings. They are a part of a larger promotion strategy. 5 sites does provide a nice backbone of promotion to build off.

Matthew Allen says November 11, 2013

Jon – awesome detailed income report. I’m glad you started adding in your overall online income. That kind of transparency is contagious. Plus, making us share it to view it is just genius. Great stuff man!

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Thanks Matt, I am a little afraid it would tick some people off but really I only want to share with people who really want to see it so it serves 2 purposes – social shares and a small filter.

Stew @ NinjaGorilla says November 11, 2013

Hi Jon. The $$$’$s keep on rolling in. Well done!

Are you planning any further authority sites or will you now concentrate on services?

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Thanks Stew, yes it has been a nice step change and good run…just need to keep it going forward.

    I have plans for another site very shortly…with my limited time I try and throw all my efforts at 1 project while maintaining my others…so once I get the services up to the autopilot point I will definitely be looking to get my core business growth back on track (replicating my student loan site success with a few twists thrown in).

Doug Cunnington says November 11, 2013

Hi Jon, That PBN service is awesome considering how much work it is from start to finish to get create a PBN on your own. The other key is that you have the sites on separate hosting accounts, and doing that on your own can get expensive and confusing. Well done.

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hi Doug, yah the amount of pain people have when setting up PBNs, the mistakes that are made when buying bad domains and the hosting expense it makes it suited pretty nicely for a common shared solution for people to take advantage of.

Blaine says November 11, 2013

Awesome month man. It’s a good tactic to compare your site to Pat’s, but I really think yours is going to be in a different league than his before too long – no need to try and measure up. I have a question about your pbn. I know the whole scarcity tactic works well for conversions (10/20 – lol), but how long is the price really going to stay at that phase? I would really like to take advantage of this, but money’s a little tight with the holidays coming up. It’s obvious you’re good with this stuff and the work will be high quality, but what’s the chances of the offer being around until the end of the month?

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hi Blaine, it gets my competitive juices flowing a little having a site to compete with (even though he has no idea I am competing with him and considering all his other projects it’s not exactly fair). Regarding the limited number…there really is a limited number…I don’t want to overwhelm my team and a % of the sites each month are taken by returning customers. I expect each month I will be opening this up…so if now isn’t the right time it will come around again…price I can’t promise will be the same.

Tung Tran says November 11, 2013

wow you’re killing it buddy!
It seems that your strategy is working very well and immune to every update.
I’m considering to use paid traffic for my new case study as it’s pretty interesting 😀

    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hey Tung, thanks, things are continuing to go well. Nothing is immune to Google! Good luck with your paid traffic – I have never gone down that road but I am currently considering for one part of my business.

sibo says November 11, 2013

Very well done, Jon. Another amazing monthly report!

For your PBN service, I really like the first part to have the expired domains picked and set up by your team, but for the ongoing part, one article per month per network is too limited. I would like to take the full control and add articles whenever I want. Are you able to offer the first part only for $500. I would love to pay you (again) if it’s possible.



    Jon says November 11, 2013

    Hi Sibo, that is a common question… you get access to the backend of each website so you can publish as many articles as you like. My commitment is to publish one blog post per month per network…if you want more you can do more (they are your sites). Regarding just the set up… I do not offer that…my concern/experience is there are too many moving parts with someone else registering and hosting the sites that the added communication/work makes it a much more difficult process. If you have any questions let me know!

Justin Cooke says November 11, 2013

Hey Jon,

It’s been great to watch your progress – especially as it relates to building out a team and documenting processes for them to use. I think that’s the real separator from someone playing around and making a bit of cash with niche sites to actually building a “business” in this industry and you’re well on your way!

You’re right in that the costs go up – we’ve seen the same thing. Still…it’s good to relate those costs (and less net profit) to the amount of time you’re saving yourself to focus on higher-level tasks.

The position we’re at now is trying to replace ourselves through better middle-management and this is definitely a continuation of the same struggle. (Except even more expensive!)

    Jon says November 12, 2013

    Hey Justin, thanks for commenting. Building the systems has always been fun and definitely enabled me to start focusing on actually turning this “hobby” into a real business.

    Time saved is a no-brainer for me…I am lucky if I can get 2hrs of work in per day so without systems/team I wouldn’t last a week! I build systems/write on weekends when I have a little time and then manage/respond to email during the week.

    Replacing yourselves would definitely be a challenge! But also probably very rewarding! Good luck.

Blaine says November 12, 2013

I have a quick question if you don’t mind giving a little insight. I have been using your method to try and find expired domains and I have read in other places that it is important to make sure the domain has at least one indexed page. With some of the domains being so old this is probably not always the case. In your experience is this something that would keep you from purchasing the domain, or am I just being paranoid?

Thanks in advance

    Jon says November 13, 2013

    Hi Blaine the quick answer is I wouldn’t let the fact a page isn’t indexed stop you from registering it. The benefit of the site having a page indexed according to Google is you know it was not severely penalized…the problem though is that a lot of sites have not been penalized AND don’t show up in Google. So that requirement will rule out a bunch of sites that will prove to be good sites…but you may occasionally get one that has been penalized and wont get indexed when you put up content.

Mark says November 13, 2013

Hi Jon

I have a general question about buying expired domains, hope you don’t mind me posting it here.

Suppose you find a site that looks good “on paper” – good stats, DA, MozTrust, etc. You check the backlinks as well and they all come from relevant and quality sites, but… pretty much all the links are coming from “Links” / “Resources” type pages (very relevant Resources pages on solid websites, but still). Do you still consider the domain worth going for? I run into sites like these VERY often but I’ve been ignoring them so far.

    Jon says November 13, 2013

    Hey Mark, the resource page/directory domains are the hardest ones to decide on. Because both these resource pages and directory pages result in great link metrics so you will find a lot of them.

    To me these domains fall into 3 categories…
    1. Pure Spam – SEO direcotories, massive link resource pages that are ugly and no one would use as a resource page – DON’T BUY
    2. Relevant Link Exchange/Larger Niche Specific Link Pages – These can be tough – depends on the rest of the links but these can be good/can be bad – YOUR CALL
    3. Clean Specific Human Edited Resource Page to a “real” website – These are good, if there are around 20 links on the page and they were clearly put there with thought and the page is actually useful to a human and linking to legitimate relevant sites – Go for it. – GOOD LINKS

    That is my take at least. 1 bad 2. debatable 3 good 🙂

Raweewan M. says November 14, 2013

Well, thank you for such a great topics. You’re also my inspiration to build niche site and share to the readers too. But I have to do mostly by myself for this year due to limit budgets. I hope that I could scale my online business for next year. Thank you for your great knowledges and sharing.

    Jon says November 17, 2013

    Hi Raweewan, best of luck scaling your business!

Emmanuel says November 14, 2013

Hi Jon,
Keep on working hard. Some of us here are looking up to you!

I am inspired to work hard and smart as well.

    Jon says November 17, 2013

    Glad you find my posts a cause for taking some action, best of luck with your online business!

Financial Samurai says November 15, 2013

I like the product Jon.
Who owns the sites in the private network if one signs up? Just to make clear.
Is there a point where an existing person’s blog is too big that such links won’t help at all? For example, would doing something like this for help at all?

    Jon says November 17, 2013

    Hi Sam, the owner of the sites is the client…the person who signs up. If they want them taken down I take them down.

    Regarding Yakezie…I think it is definitely too big to get a real benefit from 5 sites. With the structure of Yakezie and everyone putting the logo which then links back to your site it has a TON of relevant links. But in my opinion this may be a weakness as well since the backlink profile for Yakezie is not completely natural…it comes from Yakezie members badges and the carnival. Potential solution…I know there is a requirement to state when someone applies to Yakezie to announce it but I don’t know if you request a link back to Yakezie…you can also add in a requirement to announce when someone is accepted and also include a link in their announcement that they have been accepted into Yakezie. This would increase your contextual links in addition to the carnival and badge links.
    With so much low hanging fruit for backlinks for Yakezie I think a PBN wouldn’t be the best solution.

Isaiah Joseph says November 16, 2013

this is awesome, the more i read your blog, the more love i have for your blog, this income report is really great.
Please Jon, which CPA company are you using? can you give me a link to the blog post or the actual link? want to join great CPA affiliate programs.

    Jon says November 17, 2013

    Hi Isaiah, the CPA company is less important than the relevancy of the offer to the traffic on the site.

    I use and both are good but I would use almost any CPA comany if I thought the offer I could get access to through them would be better than through another CPA company.

Jill R. Slusser says November 19, 2013

Thanks so much for this! As a new blogger, I love reading these reports and getting ideas. Thanks again for sharing your secrets!

Mike says January 31, 2014

Hey Jon,
I’m new but really loving your site, but I have a couple questions.
I don’t quite understand how you make your income with your (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) website. For example, I see that you use Lead Pages and Aweber to get email addresses/subscribers. Is that where you sort of make your sales–are you selling to your email list? Or is there some student loan service you work with where, for example, if a website visitor provides their name, email and address in an opt in form, you get paid for that “lead?” If so, where on your site is that?

And second, I’m wondering about the .edu links you mentioned. In this report, you said you need to get .edu links. Where/how do you get them from? Is it through some grey hat backlinking strategy, or do you mean that you reach out to schools and hope they link back to your website? I’m just curious if these are links that will appear on a .edu’s “Resources” page, blog roll, blog page, etc.


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