April 2022

By: 
Tom
 | 
Updated: 
May 4, 2022
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Welcome back to Flexibility Is Freedom!

This month's income report is short and sweet as I'm currently (still) working on my next steps 2022-2023 blog post, which I intend to publish very soon. 🤗

April was a surprisingly strong month with revenue setting a new record for 2022 (but still lower than the ATH set in November 2021).

In particular, Amazon generated an ATH of almost $900 - driven by an increase in commission rates from April 4 to May 4 as part of a temporary seasonal promotion.

However, Amazon risk remained roughly the same as last month (54%).

Next, let's review the key metrics along with some additional commentary on the month.

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $1,634 (+20% MoM, +712% YoY)
  • Sessions: 16,713 (-9% MoM)
  • RPM: $97.81 (+33% MoM)
  • Amazon Risk: 54% (down from 55% last month)

Revenue increased 20% MoM while sessions actually declined 9% - meaning the revenue increase was mainly driven by higher RPM profitability (+33%), thanks to Amazon's temporary rate rise.

Looking at the bigger picture, this is now the 9th consecutive month of revenue exceeding $1K (my original goal from 2019) and organic traffic has stabilized in the last few months.

The following screenshot from Google Search Console shows the dramatic recovery following the July 2021 Core Update, as well as a continued increase in traffic through December 2022 and more recent stabilization from January to April:

L16M May 2022

I did notice that traffic has plateaued recently and I think the reason is because I'm not working as actively on the website (content, backlinks, even design) since I started working for an agency back in October 2021.

I do have a content writer creating a few pieces each month, but I don't have enough bandwidth to "polish up" the new articles for SEO and conversions, or optimize existing articles.

At this time, I have over 100+ affiliate articles - some are massive 2-3K word "round up" reviews, while others are more modest mini-reviews or "vs" articles under 1K words.

That's why I think the next step forward is to optimize, upgrade, and A/B test - to really maximize the potential of each article from an SEO and RPM perspective.

Meanwhile, I plan to continue using freelance writers to create net new content, which helps expand the range of product categories and topics that my website can cover.

And finally, I think I'm getting to the point where I need to revisit my backlinking strategy (currently non-existent) as I'm entering a much better stage of profitability and content breadth than where I was 1 or 2 years ago.

Generally speaking, backlinks benefit the entire website as it raises your domain authority, which should theoretically improve rankings across the board.

In other words, the ROI of a backlink campaign is higher when you have more content to rank.

Other Updates

A couple other updates for April 2022:

  • 1st Website Acquisition: I bought 2 websites from a friend that are still in the early stage but already have content, a bit of traffic, some monetization, and even some backlinks! I plan to grow these websites by replicating what's worked for my main one, but using SOPs and freelancers to accelerate and scale the growth process.
  • Basement Renovations: in the last 2 months or so, I built a new IKEA kitchen in the basement but still need to finish two more rooms. Once that's done, it'll be ready for rental!
  • Stock & Crypto Markets: April was a turbulent month for stocks and crypto. Market sentiment was very bearish - with the main concern being the pace of the Federal Reserve's plan to raise rates to combat inflation. On the one hand, this led to better entry points for stocks that I'm interested in (Chewy, Coinbase). On the other hand, if rates do rise then valuations will continue to drop (and perhaps trigger a "hard landing" recession). But if rates don't rise, then inflation expectations will skyrocket and the real return of these stocks might not even be positive (given inflation is already running closer to 15-20% right now).
  • Travel: finally, if all goes well in the next few months, I'm looking at hitting the road again in the fall or winter of 2022, either resuming my trip in Thailand or visiting a new destination like Colombia. Europe, unfortunately, is out of the question for now.

That's it for this month! Stay tuned for my next steps 2022-2023 blog post where I'm going to lay out the foundation for the next leg of my journey.

To Flexibility and Freedom,

Tom

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