April 2021

Welcome back to Flexibility Is Freedom!

This month’s income report will be short & sweet.

In April, I launched one of my new websites, completed the branding & design, and published one target article along with a few supporting articles.

Now, I’m waiting to see how Google responds in the next few weeks by checking whether my articles are getting indexed and ranking in the top 100.

Based on my last project, this process should take about 1-2 months, assuming you’re going after very low-competition keywords (which I am).

I’m also watching out for when the site is able to rank for its own brand queries (e.g. the website name) as it’s an indicator that Google “knows about” the site.

For the rest of April, I migrated TheDermDetective.com to a clean WordPress install with Oxygen Builder plus a handful of plugins (it’s a very lean setup).

Just like how an old computer gets slower over time, my WordPress back-end had accumulated old data tables and files from the hundreds of plugins that I’ve used over the years (most of which I’m no longer using).

I decided it was the right time to do a clean install as I’m 99% confident that I’ll be using Oxygen Builder for the next 5-10 years.

Anyways, here’s a quick summary of April 2021 performance.

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $201 (-37% MoM, -83% YoY)
  • Sessions: 2,217 (-13% MoM)
  • Revenue per 1,000 Sessions: $90.80 (-28% MoM)
  • Amazon Risk: 63% (up from 52% last month)

Revenue was lower this month, but I don’t read too much into the numbers at this time because I know there’s a lot of untapped potential in getting back to where I was in Oct/Nov 2020 ($1K revenue).

There were a few days of partial downtime as well while I was doing the migration.

April Progress

In Q1 2021, I mostly left TheDermDetective.com alone, in order to isolate the effect of my link disavow submission in late Dec / early Jan.

However, by late February and March, it became clear to me that I needed to improve my website holistically, from technical to content to backlinks, if I wanted to rank again.

So I’ve made plans to optimize content and add new content to TDD.com in the next few months, with a primary goal of restoring revenue to the $1K mark.

The good news is that I have valuable data about:

  1. Actual search volume: impression data from Google Search Console
  2. Actual profitability: EPC data from my merchant partners

I’ve created a new keyword research spreadsheet that tracks search volume based on:

  1. Ahrefs estimates: industry-leading data source
  2. Google Ads estimates: straight from the horse’s mouth
  3. Actual search volume: actual data from Google Search Console

This trio allows me to evaluate how accurate Ahrefs/Adwords estimates really are, and how far apart the estimate is from the actual search volume, which will help me build a “knowledge base” of keywords for the niche.

This can become a powerful competitive advantage in SEO – simply knowing the actual search volume rather than relying on estimates, as these types of keywords won’t attract as much competition.

My second source of data is actual profitability metrics, including Earnings per Click (EPC), Conversion Rate, Average Order Size, and Commission Rate (given by merchant).

These metrics help me determine the most profitable merchants to send my traffic to and maximize my Revenue per Thousand and Total Revenue.

Next Steps

My priorities have shifted a bit since my March income report.

I’ve decided to focus on rebuilding TheDermDetective from a content and revenue perspective (holding off on backlinks until I’ve fixed the major issues), as I believe I can grow revenue back to its previous levels and then some.

I have a much better understanding of what keywords I need to win, how profitable different types of keywords are, and what I need to do to maximize conversions, which gives me confidence that I can achieve this task, in a much shorter timeline than before.

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