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I started Crow Survival in February 2018, the idea at the time was to create a blog that covered topics related to outdoor pursuits, specifically survival, camping, and fishing. Over the course of the year my tastes began to change, I travelled for a while in an RV and I emigrated to another country with much fairer weather and easier access to the ocean. As my interests changed, my blog changed to reflect this. As it turns out, this was for the better.
I’m very excited to see where this blog takes me. 2019 was an interesting year and 2020 promises to be even more exciting.
Over the course of this article, I’ll look back over the earnings of 2019, what worked and what didn’t work, and how my income has changed over the 12 months of 2019.
January 2018 – December 2018 Income Report
55,000 page views for the year of which 50% was organic and the remaining was largely referral traffic.
In all of 2018, my blog earned a total of $1,317.
This was roughly 60% Adsense and 40% amazon affiliate.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this is not a lot of money, in fact, it works out to barely more than $100 a month. Once you factor in hosting and other costs I barely broke even.
So, at the end of 2018, I looked back at what I’d published, what worked, what gained views and ranked in google and what didn’t gain any traction.
I did a ton of research into content publishing, effective keyword research and what to write about so that readers remain engaged. I turned my focus away from link building and instead focused entirely on content production.
At this point, it would be very easy to become disheartened and give up, but thankfully 2019 was much better.
January 2019 – December 2019 Income Report
January 2019 Income
19,000 page views, 63% organic, the remaining amount was a referral.
Total earnings $68.
One of the worst months yet and made up of only Amazon Affiliate earnings.
But, at this stage, I’m producing at least 20 new articles a month and they are beginning to slowly move up the search rankings.
February 2019 Income
13,000 page views, 80% organic.
Total earnings $237.
- Amazon Affiliate – $171
- Ezoic – $66
A big jump in earnings, but still not earning a lot of money. The biggest change was switching from Adsense to Ezoic. This substantially increased Ad earnings, which is a trend that will continue over the coming months.
March 2019 Income
23,000 page views, 82% organic.
Total earnings $583.
- Amazon Affiliate – $163
- Ezoic – $420
More than double the earnings of February and largely due to better Ezoic optimisation. Over the course of the month, the earnings per thousand visitors have increased from $8 up the $28 mark.
April 2019 Income
33,000 page views, 90% organic.
Total earnings $1,045.
- Amazon Affiliate – $250
- Ezoic – $795
Nearly doubled earnings again. This has mostly been driven by an increase in organic traffic and continued optimisation of Ezoic.
May 2019 Income
70,000 page views, 90% organic.
Total earnings $1724.
- Amazon Affiliate – $230
- Ezoic – $1,489
June 2019 Income
92,000 page views, 86% organic.
Total earnings $3,321.
- Amazon Affiliate – $309
- Ezoic – $3,012
July 2019 Income
157,000 page views, 87% organic.
Total earnings $5,707.
- Amazon Affiliate – $518
- Ezoic – $5,189
August 2019 Income
163,000 page views, 86% organic.
Total earnings $6,107.
- Amazon Affiliate – $640
- Ezoic – $5,467
September 2019 Income
170,000 page views, 86% organic.
Total earnings $7,051.
- Amazon Affiliate – $661
- Ezoic – $6,390
October 2019 Income
157,000 page views, 86% organic.
Total earnings $8,101.
- Amazon Affiliate – $792
- Ezoic – $7,309
November 2019 Income
93,000 page views, 87% organic.
Total earnings $3,340.
- Amazon Affiliate – $498
- Ezoic – $2,842
December 2019 Income
68,000 page views, 87% organic.
Total earnings $2,749.
- Amazon Affiliate – $320
- AdThrive – $2,429
October has obviously been the most successful month to date, seeing a revenue increase of 11,900% over the start of the year. Substantially increased page views drove most of the increased revenue as well as being accepted into the Ezoic premium network.
WTF In November and December?
In November, Google released an unannounced core algorithm update, which impacted the website badly. Overnight traffic dropped by 30% and continued on a downward trend for the next few weeks until traffic was less than half of the pre-update numbers. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as November and December are normally the most profitable months for display advertising.
To compound issues, I switched the website to Adthrive during this period, which resulted in roughly 5 days during November where no ad revenue was being generated. This was no fault of the Adthrive team, but due to my own eagerness to switch platforms.
What Does The Rest Of 2020 Look Like
Despite the setbacks at the end of 2019, we did start to see a slight recovery towards the tail end of December and the start of January. Another Google update dropped on the 14th of January 2020, which went some way to recovering our rankings. January should see 100,000 page views and Adthrive revenue in excess of $3,000. This means Adthrive is performing much better than Ezoic, once you take Ezoics fees into account.
I’m fully expecting revenue and page views to pass 2019’s numbers and would like to see earnings surpass $10,000 a month by the end of the year. My two year plan is to publish 2,000 articles and hopefully push past 1,000,0000 page views a month by the end of 2021.
How I Increased Earnings by Over 11,000% in 12 Months
Going from $66 in earnings in January 2019 to $8,101 in earnings in October 2019 is something I’ve very proud off, it may still seem to be a very small amount to some people, but it’s a decent revenue boost to my family and me.
However, the work to increase earnings really started at the end tail end of 2018. I was frustrated that what I was writing about wasn’t gaining any traction, and the truth of the matter was, it was the same content that everyone else was producing. It didn’t stand out and there was no reason why my content should have been ranked higher than anyone else’s. So, to that end, I decided to change my approach.
Rather than chasing after keywords that were already saturated, I began trying to produce ‘useful’ content, stuff people where searching for that didn’t necessarily have a buyers intent behind it.
Using tools such as keyword sheeter, Google’s own ‘People also ask’, and Ahrefs Questions and Related Keywords I was able to create a massive keyword hitlist which I’m still working my way through today.
But the biggest success came from publishing over 400 new articles over the course of the year, without that content I doubt I would have made the same amount of revenue.