I’ve received quite a few emails after sharing in my annual review that I grew my income from $3k to $15k per month last year.
For those who don’t know, I quit my day job as a data scientist almost two years ago. I now spend my time running my own portfolio of five websites that currently produce around $15k per month in income.
The breakdown of the income streams is roughly:
- 70% Mediavine ads
- 20% digital products I’ve made
- 10% affiliate links to services and products I recommend
The way that I make money is straightforward. I use SEO (search engine optimization) to drive traffic to my site. Once people are on my site, I earn income from display ads, digital products, and affiliate links.
The secret to almost all of my success comes down to implementing a consistent SEO strategy.
In a nutshell, SEO can be boiled down into two simple steps:
1. Find a keyword (i.e. words or phrases) that a lot of people are searching for on Google, but not many websites are writing articles about.
2. Write a helpful article based on that keyword.
Do this over and over and over again.
Seriously. That’s it.
Now, the details of how to find good keywords and how to write articles that are SEO-optimized are too long to cover in this article, but anyone can learn the process in a single weekend.
For those interested in learning SEO, I offer the Income Community – A course where I share the exact details of how to start and grow a website using SEO.
To date, the course has helped over 200 students start and grow websites in a variety of niches including travel, plant care, programming, parenting, and more.
The Math That Explains How to Get Rich with Websites
The math that explains how a website can generate thousands per month in income is also straightforward and can be summarized by a single equation:
Income = Number of articles * Avg. monthly views per article * RPM
Note that RPM stands for “revenue per thousand views” and typically ranges between $15 and $25. For simplicity, we’ll assume an RPM of $20 for the remaining calculations in this post.
A few examples:
1. A website that has 100 articles with 600 monthly views per article and $20 RPM can generate:
Income = 100 * 600 * ($20/1,000) = $1,200 per month
2. A website that has 300 articles with 800 monthly views per article and $20 RPM can generate:
Income = 300 * 800 * ($20/1,000) = $4,800 per month
3. A website that has 600 articles with 1,000 monthly views per article and $20 RPM can generate:
Income = 600 * 1,000 * ($20/1,000) = $12,000 per month
I recently took a look at the analytics for my own portfolio of sites and found that I have the following metrics:
- Total articles: 1,200
- Average monthly views per article: 500
- Average RPM: $21.70
Thus, my total monthly ad income across all my sites can be calculated as:
Ad Income = 1,200 * 500 * ($21.70/1,000) = $13,020
Keep in mind this calculation is only for my ad income. Once I throw in my income from affiliate links and digital products, my sites generate just over $15k per month currently.
The craziest part about all of this is that my average article gets less than 20 views per day. However, because I have over 1,000 individual articles it means that they all combine to form a huge amount of traffic.
The Road to Riches: Write, Write, Write
Based on the equation I shared above, it’s easy to see how a single website can grow into a money-making machine over time.
All you need to know (once you understand SEO):
Just. Keep. Writing. More. Articles.
I personally spend all my working hours writing SEO-optimized articles. I literally don’t do anything else because it’s the activity that offers the highest return on my time.
Unfortunately, I meet people all the time who want to build a profitable website but just get distracted with the wrong activities. They spend their time:
- Trying to grow several social media accounts at once
- Hiring assistants
- Obsessing over their site design
- Tweaking their logo
…and a long list of other activities that don’t add to the bottom line.
For people who can focus and be consistent, writing SEO-optimized articles on a website that they own is one of the best ways to build independent wealth.
- The 5-Hour Workday - March 26, 2021
- The Math That Explains How to Get Rich with Websites - January 31, 2021
- My 2020 Annual Review - December 27, 2020
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