Web Publishing Notes October 2019

We’re a week into November and I’m only now publishing the web notes roundup for October. I actually had a Chrome window with various interesting blog posts that I had marked for reading, all sitting here waiting for this but guess what – I’ve been super busy.

Over the past 30 days, we have posted – wait for it – 296 posts across the sites. I don’t know how many sites you own or manage but for me, that is a LOT. Just as a point of reference, in October 2018 we published a total of 52 posts. And we considered that to be a good month back then!

If you read the last income report, you may remember that we’ve been shooting for publishing 150 posts per month. We’re at double the amount and that’s actually not such a great thing. Even with more editors and VA’s, that rate of production means a lot of work for poor ole me. Too much work. And that’s not something I want to continue with. The risk of burnout is just too high.

This isn’t just about how many hours per month I work. It’s about what I’m actually doing during these hours.

In the past few weeks, I was hyper-focused on production. I tried to push more topics into the pipeline, as fast as writers would write them. That meant a lot of search analysis and content planning. It also meant recruiting and training VA’s and editors and generally making sure the publishing machine was humming along.

Unfortunately, this made me neglect things like updating older posts, improving the structure of the sites, optimizing ad revenue and a bunch of other projects which were left behind during the publishing rush. It’s time to scale down on content production and pay attention to other projects.

And, I want to keep these monthly notes going too – at least until December. This was a New Year’s commitment I had made in January 2019 so I want to see it through until the end of the year. As for 2020, I’m toying with the idea of switching to monthly income reports instead of these web publishing notes. Leave me a comment if you think monthly income reports would be something you’d like to see here!

Editing to add – I forgot the most important thing! To add a featured image based on one of our travel photos from October. An October, not October 2019. So, here goes –

October posts roundup

This was taken on our visit to Canyonlands National Park in October 2011.

The October roundup

Ok, finally, the monthly roundup of posts from across the web! I’m going to make it short and sweet this month.

How to make $4,500 a month in a boring niche

Heidi Bender in a revealing guest blog post for NichePursuits.com. Interesting to read what worked – and what didn’t work – in the strange niche of “Thank You notes”. It reinforces my own view that the size of a site matters when you want to own a niche. Heidi also reveals her sites in the post, and it was interesting for me to take a peek and see what they looked like.

5 Things You Should Know About “People Also Ask”

Samuel Mangialavori explores the topic for Moz. It’s a long read – too long IMHO – but a great topic. I use the People Also Ask links all the time when preparing task descriptions for writers. These queries help me create a juicer outline for the topic which is basically what this article suggests doing.

Outreach promotion doesn’t make sense for many niches and here’s why

I’ve stayed away from outreach so far, for the very reasons Jon Dykstra so eloquently details in this post. I’m including it here because it’s always nice to have someone affirming your own views *wink* Also, I like crunching these ROI numbers too. Based on my own calculations, I’m actually about to try a form of basic outreach for entire sites.

Not for specific posts – I wholeheartedly agree it would be an overkill and a waste of resources for 99% of our posts. I’m talking about basic link outreach for entire sites.

A VA spends 4 hours reaching out to 100 sites asking for our site to be included in their resource pages. With a 1% success rate, that’s an on-topic link for $12-$15. We’ve only tested this once and the numbers are based on that experiment. We’re about to scale up on these outreach efforts, and I’ll post more about them once we have the data.

Thin Content: Why You Should Fix or Remove Low-Quality Web Pages

Jonas Sickler reviews the question in depth. It’s a topic that’s very close to my heart. In the coming weeks, I’ll be auditing and editing a large website that has too many content pages with hardly any traffic. Most of them are probably thin content. Hard decisions will have to be made, so I found this systematic approach helpful.

That’s it for this roundup! I did go over more blog posts this month – that’s the main purpose of this series, to make me actually sit down and read industry blogs! – but only these four made the cut.

I hope you find the links useful!


    • OMG, someone is actually reading them?? I was about to do November’s but it’s been such a crazy period, work-wise, that I sort of gave up on that post, sorry!

      • LOL, No worries. You are the only person I have found that does any blogging about how you run multiple blogs and the thought processes behind each step so I check the site at least 1x per week for new content and have poured through your old posts while I was setting up my system. I pretty much have it all worked out with Airtable now but I’m still playing with Clickup as an alternative to Trello for my never-ending list of things I want to, should do and need to do.

  1. Hey Anne! Had someone tell me they found me via you and I hopped over here to check out your site. Looks like you’re doing some amazing things (and with amazing results) – no active link building, managing a ton of writers, and getting loads of content published each month…makes me tired just thinking about it 🙂 Now I’m keen to try a test site focused on your methods, especially since it’s so different from how I do my sites. I do have one question though about your process – why have you stuck with Ezoic instead of switching to Mediavine for sites that qualify?

    • Hey Shawna! So awesome to see you here!
      To answer your question, I tried Adthrive and they rejected the site. I have no idea why – it’s a pretty awesome site that had over 100K monthly pageviews at the time. Then I tried Monumetric and they were happy to have me. But I ended up taking the site back to Ezoic. I know they get a lot of rap, but honestly, I’m very pleased with Ezoic. I have a great contact there and have found them to be responsive. The sites do well, speed-wise, traffic-wise and most importantly revenue-wise, so I see no reason to move to another network at this point. It doesn’t feel to me like being “stuck with Ezoic”. I’m there by choice and very happy with them 🙂
      One thing I will say, it can take some tweaking to get Ezoic to work fast and efficiently. In my experience, the AI can only do so much, but a good rep there can work miracles. They can really optimize revenue and performance for you there.

      • I typically end up flipping sites before they have the kind of traffic required for the larger networks, so I’ve only used Ezoic (with no complaints). I just know a few people who swear that Mediavine and AdThrive are way better than Ezoic, so I was curious about your thoughts.

        • Why don’t you try Mediavine on one of your websites. I would read on Skipblast an article about Mediavine.

          I use Ezoic but my sites are not yet at the traffic range for Mediavine or AdThrive. This will change in 2020. I plan a new website, bigger, better and so on.

          Thanks Anne and Shawna for sharing all the great info in your blogs.

          • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, George! I actually have a good relationship with Ezoic and I think they work well for my sites. Not planning on moving to another network anytime soon.

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