Another quarter (and year) in the books.
If you're interested in reading about what happened with Swift Salary in Q4, I'm going to break everything down in this income report, including highlights, struggles, income, expenses, future goals, and more.
If you have any questions about anything, leave me a comment.
Other 2021 income reports:
- Q1 2021 Blog Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $13,242.05
- Q2 2021 Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $9,294.53
- Q3 2021 Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $18,358.07
- To see my past income reports (going all the way back to my first year blogging), go here.
Highlights from Q4 2021
- Chicago CDR Virtual Labs Review and Earning Guide
- 2Captcha Review and Earning Guide (In-Depth)
- 5 Best Captcha Entry Jobs (Solve Captchas for Money?)
- Premise App Review and Earning Guide (In-Depth)
- Freecash Review and Earning Guide (In-Depth)
- Neighbor Review and Earning Guide (For Hosts) (In-Depth)
- Mistplay Review and Earning Guide (Definitive)
- TranscribeMe Review and Earning Guide (Definitive)
- Appen Review and Earning Guide for Workers (Definitive)
I pumped out more content this quarter than I did in any other quarter in 2021, which isn't saying a lot, but I'm still really happy with it. The review/guide articles take a lot of time due to all the research that goes into them, but I feel I'm finally almost at the point where the entire procedure for publishing them is smooth and laid out nicely.
That'll be tested in 2022 as I try to ramp up outsourcing them.
What I really need to do is get more focused on releasing articles outside of just review/guides. I like them, but I've been surprised recently by how hard they can be to rank in the SERPs, and this means they don't always increase revenue as much as I'd hope. Expanding into other post types (how-tos, roundups, etc.) while still releasing review/guide articles to build up the Hustle Finder is the main goal.
This isn't all the content I updated this quarter, just one I have some notes on.
- All of the Best Ways for Teens to Make Money (47+ Ideas) – I finally updated this piece of content after (I think) a year+ of it sitting. I let it sit because it was ranking well, but over time I had accumulated a ton of additions I wanted to make to it, and I finally just went for it because I knew I could add more value. Annoyingly enough, rankings decreased after the update, but I'm keeping the new additions in because I know they make the article better. Maybe Google doesn't think so, but I know so. SEO can be frustrating.
Other Small Updates and Highlights
- Updated homepage a bit. Added a button link to the Hustle Finder.
- Got an Android phone for Android hustles. I still test a lot of the hustles that I review myself, and some of them are apps that are on the Google Play Store only. So, I picked up a cheap Android phone for testing purposes! Helped me release the Mistplay Review recently.
- Had my first priority publishing payment. Releasing articles can take time, so when a company wants something published quickly, I typically ask for a payment. They usually stop responding at that point. Well, one company (Freecash) actually reached out to me this quarter to priority publish a review of their site and quickly re-rank it in my GPT sites roundup. Was really nice having an extra payment on top of work I was already going to do at some point!
- Focus on the bigger picture each day. Try to get one thing done that'll really move the needle.
- Set a time to start work, and a time to clock out. Working from home can make this difficult, but without a start and end time, procrastination gets easier. With a start and end time, you have a set of hours to achieve your goals, which should make you less likely to waste time. Of course, it doesn't always work this way. That's ok.
- Outsource one step at a time.
- Sometimes I recognize that I'm scared to do something/feel anxiety around it, so my brain starts finding ways to procrastinate. Noticing that feeling should be the indication to get it over with rather than avoid it.
Blog Income and Expenses for Q4 2021
All income and expenses are recorded in Canadian dollars. Income is based on money that has actually hit my bank account (aka cash basis accounting).
Income Breakdown: $15,589.37 Gross Revenue
Gross revenue decreased this quarter vs. last quarter, but that was to be expected. I had a huge affiliate payout last quarter from Sweatcoin which had been saved up for a long time, so it was a bit out of the norm.
And with that said, I'm really happy with my revenue this quarter. I cracked over $5k/month average, which I've now technically hit for 6 months in a row — a big goal of mine.
Monthly Revenue Breakdown
- October: $3,497.91
- November: $6,845.57
- December: $5,245.89
Revenue Sources Summary
- Affiliate Income ($13,372.82):
- GG2U – $69.56
- Impact Radius – $352.75
- MaxBounty – $1,399.02
- Proofreading Academy – $276.02
- Transcribe Anywhere – $373.58
- Advertising ($6,782.13):
- Mediavine – $6,782.13
Expense Breakdown: $5,629.65 Spent
Notable expenses include:
- MailerLite – $334.72 (Upgraded to Annual Plan)
- Deposit Photos (AppSumo) – $44.90
- Paid user reviews (for Hustle Finder) – $496.67
- Virtual assistant – $180.02
- Freelance writers – $1,900.10
- WP Asset Cleanup Pro plugin – $43.53
- GSuite – $50.07
- Domains – $47.08
- Slack – $33.35
- uCalc Pro – $307.44
- NeuralText (AppSumo) – $160.02
* Total Net Profit: $12,728.42 *
Traffic Breakdown: 273,804 Pageviews
I ended Q4 of 2021 with a total of 273,804 pageviews from 179,750 unique users. That's a 19.06% decrease from Q3 2021. I had a similar decrease around this time last year, so I'm not extremely worried. Traffic should increase come the new year.
As mentioned above, I also saw a huge decrease in traffic to my Ways for Teens to Make Money article after I updated it. A few other posts lost traffic as well, which is just the nature of the game when you rely on SEO.
Due to the decrease in traffic, I'm definitely expecting a decrease in advertising revenue coming in the next months.
Traffic Growth Summary
As you can see from the chart above, my traffic fell below Q4 2020 levels in Q4 2021, which is disappointing considering the fact my site contains much more content now.
Still, nothing much I can do other than analyze which posts lost traffic, make updates where necessary, and continue on.
Side note: It's interesting to see how much the traffic chart above correlates with the quarterly revenue chart further above. Traffic matters!
Email List: 6,069 Active Subscribers
Started October 2021 with 5,361 active subscribers and ended December 2021 with 6,069. That's a 13.21% increase.
Here's my growth chart and averages as of January 5, 2022:
And here's my subscriber growth since inception:
Swift Saturday Newsletter
The Swift Saturday newsletter is a weekly newsletter sent out (you guessed it) every Saturday. It's full of interesting financial content from Swift Salary and the world wide web.
- Extra money ideas
- Job opportunities
- Business ideas and stories
- Money management tips
- Investment opportunities
- Market updates; and more.
If you're interested, you can sign up here. Unsubscribe at any time.
This quarter, I updated the template I use to send out the newsletter for easier reading and better delivery. My emails were getting cut off for being too big before, but I've fixed that (for now at least).
Open rates for the newsletter this quarter sat at an average of 15.23%. That's a tiny 1.49% improvement over the last quarter's 14.47% average. I'll take it.
I still need to start publishing the newsletters online to let potential subscribers read them first before signing up.
Follow Up On Goals for Q4 of 2021
- Publish 50 reviews – This was quite the ambitious goal, and I set it before even having a proper outsourcing system in place. Right now, I can outsource about 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of each review quite easily. The other parts typically take me 1-2 days to complete. That means 50 reviews, even with the 1/3 already finished, would take me 100 days or so, and that's without focusing on much else. Needless to say, I have to work on my system here if I want to be pumping out this many reviews each quarter (which I do).
- Update 1 hustle review to TikTok – I didn't get around to TikTok this quarter unfortunately. I keep telling myself it's not going to work, which is kind of dumb since I haven't tried it.
- Get reviews up-to-date with user reviews – Still working on a solution for this. I have a WordPress plugin in mind that should be capable of storing and displaying reviews, but since it's not a completely custom solution it's not perfect. I'll hopefully have something in place by the end of Q1 2022.
Although I didn't fully hit any of these goals this quarter, I made progress toward each of them except for the TikTok one. I'm happy with that.
Goals for Q1 of 2022
I'm going to be releasing a detailed goals report in my year-end review for 2021, which should be published soon. Subscribe here to hear about it first.
Hope you enjoyed this income report and got something useful out of it. I always find it helpful to reflect on the past in these reports and I highly recommend doing the same for your own business.
In both resources, I cover the technical stuff along with how to pick a topic/niche for your blog, how to come up with content ideas, how to get readers, and most importantly, how to make money blogging.
- Have any questions about this quarter's blog income report? Leave a comment below!