Since the beginning of this year, I have been posting income reports for 2 sites that I purchased back in January of this year. These were the first sites that I ever purchased, and so they have been a learning experience for me.
Hopefully what I've been able to share so far has been a helpful case study for anyone else looking to buy their own sites as well.
As you may recall, a lot happened in the month of September when it comes to private blog networks. In particular, I received a thin content penalty on lots of my sites that used a PBN as I explained here. As a result, one of the sites that I purchased received a penalty as well, and so the earnings for October will be much lower than September.
However, the other site was not penalized as all of its traffic was coming from Pinterest, rather than Google.
Let's dive into the report!
Adsense Site Earnings
Below you will find all the stats for my “Adsense” site. This is the site I purchased in January this year for $5,000 that makes most of it's income from Google Adsense.
By simply looking at the numbers for September, it doesn't look so bad. In fact, it was my second highest month ever!
However, the income numbers don't tell the whole story. This site was penalized in the recent PBN and thin content update. So, this site was actually on track to earn over $500 this month, but was hit on September 18th because I had used PBN links on the site.
Take a look at the Google Analytics for September to see the penalty:
So, the site went from getting 500 plus uniques a day down to 80 or so. Not cool.
Here's the overall graph showing site visitors since January:
So, here's the earnings graph, but its going to be much less for October.
I expect the earnings to drop to around $100 to $150 for the month of October. Ouch!
Here's the cumulative earnings chart; all the earnings since I bought the site:
Through the end of September, the site has made $2,552.35. Since I paid $5,000 for the site, I'm still about $2,500 negative.
I wish I could say I had a clear path to recovery; however, I suspect this will not be an easy penalty to overcome.
In fact, before I put a ton of effort into these smaller sites, I'm keeping a close eye on Perrin with aPennyShaved.com. He's been going through and putting a TON of effort into recovering that site; and so far his reconsideration requests have been rejected.
If he can't recover aPennyShaved.com, I'm pretty sure I'll never recover these smaller sites.
I may just try to sell this site since it should continue making around $100 to $150 a month. I may be able get close to my money back. Then I can just chalk this up to a learning experience, which is really all these first site purchases were supposed to be for me.
Pinterest Site Earnings
The second site I purchased this year is a site getting most of its traffic from Pinterest. I paid $2,100 for this site in January of this year.
The good news about this site is that it wasn't penalized! Because the site was never getting any traffic from Google, even if a Google penalty had been applied it would have no impact whatsoever.
Other than that, I don't have much to report for the site. Here's the stats:
Here's the Earnings Chart:
The earnings are down a little bit to $231.33. However, I can live with that.
Here's the Traffic Stats:
The traffic overall was pretty even from August to September. However, it's clearly down from its high back in February and March.
I could manually start getting more active on Pinterest to increase the traffic, but I don't see this site as ever being a huge money maker.
The good news is that this site has basically broken even at this point!
Here's the Overall Earnings:
If you include October, the site has now made more than my initial investment of $2,100! So everything the site makes now is all profit…it's a nice feeling!
If I decide to sell the site, I could potentially sell it for over $4,000. I would love to chalk up a nice $4,000 profit and take the lessons I've learned through this experience and move on.
Other Sites Purchased
Last month I referenced a “site 3” and “site 4” that I had purchased. Very similar to this Adsense and Pinterest site; one of those sites was penalized and one was not.
Dealing with penalties is no fun, and I do not have much confidence in any type of recovery.
The good news is that even though “Site 3” was penalized, I still may be able to turn a small profit with it. The site had made over $10,000 before it was penalized and should continue to make a few hundred dollars a month.
I could probably sell it right away to recoup the remaining initial investment of $15,000.
The better news is that “Site 4” was not penalized because we had never gotten around to building PBN links to it. The site did about $2,000 last month in Google Adsense, and is on track to do a little bit more this month.
If I sold “Site 4” at 20 times monthly earnings, that would be about $40,000. This would recoup more than my total investment of $37,000 on all 4 sites.
So, despite the fact that 2 of my sites had penalties, my money is not wasted. I've learned quite a bit, and I very likely will still turn a profit on these sites.
Overall, I feel like I'm a much more experienced site buyer than I was 10 months ago. As a result, I feel like I'm in a better position to buy additional sites either this year or next.
I'm still excited about the possibilities that can be found in buying and selling sites, despite some of these bumps in the road.
I hope you've enjoyed my journey this year as I've shared the ups and downs associated with buying websites! I'll continue to share updates as they occur.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts or any questions that you might have in the comments below.