My Story.

🗓️ March 12, 2024

Here’s what you can expect in the next 1076 words:

  • Why I stopped YouTube
  • How focus on max ROI activities grew my revenue fast in 2022-23
  • How the HCU affected me
  • My graveyard of failed business ideas in the past 6 months
  • How I’m trying to turn around a deindexed site

​What happened to me?

​I’m going to make this short and sweet (although it could be a really long email in and of itself).

​But the TL;DR is this:

​I stopped posting to Niche Safari because I decided to focus on the ONE thing that got the greatest ROI.

​I did the math to figure out which of my niche sites generated the most money per article.

​That number came to $24ish per article per month.

​And then I dedicated 100% of my time to writing 100 articles a month for that ONE niche site.

​And I did that every month until October 2023 (the month of doom).

​My choice to focus on my highest ROI activity meant I had to ignore YouTube.

​And guess what…

​It worked.

​If you do the math, $24 per article per month, and writing 100 articles per month, for a few years, it turns out being a pretty lucrative day job.

​I made a damn nice chunk of money.

​For a while there.

​Or at least, it was a lot for a guy scrambling around in the dark with not a clue what he was doing… which is how I feel approximately 100% of the time.

​I’m comfortable telling you I made a lot of money (okay, let’s temper that … a fair bit… I’m no Anne Moss) because…

​I don’t anymore.

​Google made damn sure of that in the October 2023 spam update.

​I stopped writing for SEO on October 6, 2023.

​And if I’m honest with you, I’ve been scrambling around for over 6 months in an anxious, worried haze.

​In the past 6 months I’ve tried:

  • A YouTube channel on In-Flight Disasters
  • A YouTube channel on Parenting
  • A YouTube channel on Aesop’s Fables
  • A Gum Road products page (that one was really fun)
  • A niche site for teachers
  • A facebook page + niche site for parents
  • A podcast (I managed 2 episodes)
  • Selling my sites (no one wanted them)
  • Etc. etc. (Insert 5-10 more ideas that I can’t even remember right now)

The only thing I haven’t tried (yet) is getting a job.

​Although, I must admit, I did write up an SEO resume in a fit of despair one day.

​It read something like this:

“Here’s a list of websites I’ve created that were subsequently hammered by Google. Because of the aforementioned hammering, can I please now get my hands on your website, too?”

​The resume was swiftly thrown in the trash as I contemplated a career as a 35-year-old barista.

​On that note…

​I’m trying something new right now.

​You’ve probably heard the whole flap about Scott Delong’s facebook traffic newsletter method.

​I bought his course.

​Here’s the inside scoop:

​His free stuff’s better.

​That feels like a mean thing to say about Scott because, to be honest, he’s a bit of a hero of mine.

​And maybe the fact I consume literally every word he writes meant that I was inevitably going to be disappointed by his – uh – “playbook” on how to make money from a newsletter built off of a single “million dollar” facebook ad.


​I’m following his “playbook” because I still think it’s pretty good.

​And also because, when I went to the Mediavine Premiere retreat, I spent a lot of time drinking fancy cocktails with Hasib (founder of Strevio) and Jon Dykstra (Hero #2 in this email) … and the two of them convinced me facebook is something worth trying.

(Side note: if you ever get invited to go spend a week on a beach in Mexico with really successful niche site owners, tell your social anxiety where to shove it, book that plane ticket, and make that imposter syndrome your friend).

Here’s me, looking very much like a private schoolboy:

So, I tried facebook.

So far, I’ve sunk several hundred dollars into testing facebook ads for various niches. 95% of my tests were abstract failures. They say you need acquisition costs to be under 50c. Here’s a look at my costs for the vast majority of my campaigns:

Facebook advertising is not as easy as it looks.

Nonetheless, I found one niche that I think might work. Here’s the cost per email (It’s all in CAD, so subtract 25% for USD):

And here’s the cost per like:

The upside of the niche I chose is I already have a site on Mediavine in that very same niche. And also … said site happens to be in need of a little love right now. You might recognize this little message yourself, as seen in your local Google Search Console:

My plan…

  1. Scale Ads: For a start, I want 100,000 page likes and 50,000 newsletter subscribers. That’ll take many months.
  2. Content: today I paid my writer/VA/right-hand-man $250 to throw together 50 articles (AI content, of course) to get the ball rolling.
  3. Posting Frequency: 5 articles per day to facebook, 3 per day to my newsletter.
  4. Expected Expense: Probably $25,000
  5. Possible? Revenue: I haven’t got a clue. I’m building a parachute as I fall here…

​This is a Hail Mary pass that at least buys me a little time while I gather up the courage to ask my 19-year-old barista (Charlie, she’s lovely) if she’d mind passing my resume to her 21-year-old boss for me.

​Anyway, I hope your sites are doing well.

​They probably aren’t.

​If you got this far through the email and enjoyed it, send me a reply email and let me know. If enough people reply, I might send you another one.

​I probably won’t.

​Thanks for reading.

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