May 2024 Blog Income Report

With many people out there feeling that blogging is dead, here I am launching a new series to keep myself motivated and accountable for this difficult period we’re going through. Because, yes, the traditional approach to blogging is, at best, in a coma right now.

I will share my monthly blog income report to (hopefully) prove that you can still make money blogging… but also to share what works, what doesn’t and how that blogging landscape changes – and how you can adapt to make it work.

My website portfolio’s income

I have a total of 16 websites, many of which were doing much better than today before the HCU and/or March 2024 Google Core update. (Read about some of the things I’m trying to do to recover from these update in my case study here, followed by Part 2 here. Spoiler alert: no positive effects yet!)

This is a one-man show, mostly. One of the websites in my portfolio (my best performing one and the one Google killed) had two full time writers until March 2024. For the others, I occasionally purchased articles from Upwork – until ChatGPT was launched and everybody started to deliver barely edited AI articles that I couldn’t publish.

Today, out of my 16 websites, most are inactive and, based on how things stand right now, I don’t think I will put any effort into at least trying to revive them.

Each month, I will update the table below to mark which of my websites were active (received new content, updates or any type of work) and other details. I am listing them below as I have them in my Google Sheet that’s tracking their performance:

Website & nicheActive?Earnings
Website 1 (entertainment niche)YES (a couple of new articles, edits)$387.71
Website 2 (local travel niche)YES (a couple of new articles, edits)$184.74
Website 3 (health niche)YES (new articles, massive edits, new features)$281.66
Website 4 (entertainment niche)YES (new articles, some edits)$801.21
Website 5 (travel niche)YES (couple of new articles)$64.50
Website 6 (local travel niche)YES (some edits)$23.65
Website 7 (outdoors niche)NO$53.64
Website 8 (general reviews)NO$4.29
Website 9 (hobby niche)NO$1.86
Website 10 (health niche, non-English)NO$6.49
Website 11 & 12 (general, non-English)YES (some edits)$13.93
Website 13 (kitchen niche)NO$7.08
Website 14 (general/entertainment)NO0
Website 15 (gaming, new site)YES (new articles)0

Note that the numbers above represent my income before expenses. My regular monthly expenses include:

  • Great hosting (BigScoots & WPX): $134.59
  • GeneratePress Premium: $2.29
  • WP Rocket Plugin: $19.76
  • Domain-related expenses: $26.34
  • Accountant: $182
  • Stock Photos: $7.92
  • Other expenses: $0 this month
  • TOTAL: $372.90

Also, I pay social security and health insurance (around $286 per month), plus tax on profits (10%).

So… deducting everything, the grand total, take home pay for the month of May 2024 is… $1,026.07.

This is VERY bad. Since I am a full time blogger, this isn’t enough to cover my monthly living expenses. Hence the need to make it work – either by pivoting to something else (the most likely option with how things look like) or by finding new ways of getting traffic or increasing revenue per user.

I actually tried this with one of my blogs – by launching a Patreon account for it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that some people really wanted to help and contribute – for a total of around $48/month so far. While this isn’t much by any means, it’s more than welcome. Unfortunately, Patreon only works for some specific site types – not your regular informational/niche site that doesn’t build a loyal audience – and that’s where most of my sites are right now.

Income screenshots

Ads are still my main source of income. Not the best place to be in following Google’s latest updates. But fortunately I have a few websites on Mediavine, and the premium RPMs help a lot:

Mediavine Income Revenue May
The current top performer in my portfolio of websites. I am horrified Google will hit it with a random penalty too…

I also have one website with SheMedia, and I am very happy with them (it’s the health niche, hence the huge RPMs):

shemedia revenue may 2024

As for affiliate earnings, I make money from Amazon affiliates, but also various other programs. Affiliate income was minimal this month, Google basically killing all my affiliate-related content on all websites.

Thoughts & Plans

With my two non-English websites taken together (I always have, as they are related), I still put in work on NINE websites in May, including a newly launched one – launched mainly to test if new websites can still rank (and they can).

This is A LOT for how things are right now. My goal is to reduce the number of active sites, in order to be able to produce better content and hopefully recover from the massive losses I recorded since September (in most cases, of over 85% in terms of traffic from Google). So, to make it easier to follow, in June, my goal is to:

  • Reduce hosting costs (try to move everything on a single hosting account).
  • Work on fewer websites (just Website 1, 2, 3, 4 & 15).
  • Functionality & user experience improvements on the websites.
  • Test new content types and publish more new content.
  • Try to build social media channels and grow them.
  • Consider dropping WP Rocket and using a free option instead.

Do you like this format for a blog income report? Would you like me to do it in a different way? Let me know in the comments section below. And if you want to be up to date with everything I post, don’t hesitate to use the GROW sign-up form in this article (the only thing I use for my email list for now).

I am personally considering going a bit more in-depth starting next month, but only track the websites I will actively work on (either regularly or during that particular month). Let me know if that sounds like a better idea.

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