Niche Site Project #1 (Month 34 Update)

October 2022 Niche Site Summary

In August, just two short months ago, I said:

“For the time being, my site is ripping down the mountain side. In the not too distant future, I’m certain it will get snagged – hung up. Momentum halted. The dreaded “plateau” that I’ll have to dig myself out of all over again.”

As we head into November, it feels like the exponential growth of the site is slowing again, and another “plateau period” is likely already here.

This isn’t a surprise, actually it was the expectation. This is just how things work in SEO-land. No site grows in a straight-line forever. Traffic ebbs-and-flows.

Just look at some of the most popular sites on the web: TechCrunch, Mashable, Readers Digest. All of these sites have gone through “boom” and “bust” periods (relatively speaking). But they’re still here, and they’re still pumping out content.

SEO is a war of attrition. To those who persist go the spoils.

But while the ebb-and-flow nature of site traffic wasn’t a surprise to me, the manual action I received was.

Luckily this penalty isn’t site wide, and it only “affects some pages”, but it’s unnerving nonetheless.

I hired someone to help dig into it for me, and here is what he found…

“Took a while but I found a shady PBN using your site as an authority site to push their links up. They link to your site from PBN, and also link to a “legit site” on the same PBN. They are using your site for an “authority boost.” And I found loads of these types of links.”

He put together a disavow file containing all these PBN links, and submitted a review request yesterday.

Luckily my site has held up well so far – especially when you consider that, in addition to this manual penalty, there have been 4 Google Search ranking updates in the last 60 days!

And adding to the positive side of things, I’ve managed to publish 55 posts over the past 3 months – many of which haven’t even had the chance to rank fully.

That’s how I deal with the “ebb” phase of growth – I keep publishing. A lot.

To that end, I decided to focus 100% of my time in October on my main site, and I’m likely going to do the same this month as well. I want to make sure I come out of this current “ebb” stronger than ever.

It was a bit of a messy October, but I’m grateful my site is still doing well (the site passed $300,000 in life-time earnings this month!).

Thanks for reading, I wish you all a very profitable November. Oh, and Declan says he hopes you had a Happy Halloween!

Below are the terms of my deal with Ezoic. Others have similar, if not identical terms. Do your own due diligence.

1. A guaranteed revenue floor based on my time with AdThrive (8 months, starting back in October last year) 
2. A guarantee that I’ll make 15% more with Ezoic (and a sizable payout if I don’t)
3. Access to their premium ads at zero additional cost
4. A separate, additional financial incentive after 6 months, paid monthly so long as my traffic continues to grow month-over-month 
5. Direct access to account management, support, direct brand sales etc. 
6. 30 day notice to cancel this contract at any time


From September (761,256) to October (709,705) the site had a 7% decrease in pageviews.

Google Analytics – October 2022

  • Users: 529,142
  • Sessions: 616,650
  • Avg. Session Duration: 00:55
  • Pageviews: 709,705
  • Avg. Time on Page: 06:04
Google analytics Niche Site Project 1 Month 34

Google Search Console – October 2022

  • Total Clicks: 509,000
  • Total Impressions: 11.8MM
  • Avg. CTR: 4.3%
  • Average Position: 12.4
google search console niche project 1 month 34


From September ($42,270.52) to October ($39,807.97) the site had a 5.9% decrease in earnings.

Ezoic Display Ad Earnings – October 2022

  • Total Ad Earnings: $39,143.28
  • ePMV: $59.43
mike ezoic earnings oct 2022

Amazon Associate Affiliate Earnings – October 2022

  • Total Affiliate Earnings: $659.69 (previous $433.00)
  • Clicks: 3,922 (previous 4,170 )
  • Conversion: 12.77% (previous 10.31%)
Amazon Affiliate earnings niche site 1 month 34

Historical Data

mike site summary OCTober 2022

mike headshot

Always Be Publishing #ABP

6 thoughts on “Niche Site Project #1 (Month 34 Update)”

  1. Great Article and Declan looks really dashing in that spiderman outfit.

    What percentage of traffic do you get from Other than Google like Bing, Yahoo, and Duckduckgo?

      • Not true, I have sites that get around 30% from Bing and they are very lucrative too. Higher RPMs and conversion.

        I would love to get this answer from Mike.

        I don’t know why he keeps dodging this question, I have asked this more than a couple of times both in blog comments and on Twitter.

  2. First of all I want to say wonderful blog!
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