Welcome to the first Swift Salary quarterly income report of 2022. Below, I'm going to break down my income, expenses, goals, highlights, and more.
If you have any questions about anything, leave me a comment.
To see my past income reports (going all the way back to my first year blogging), go here.
Highlights from Q4 2021
New Blog Posts
Yep, I only launched one blog article this quarter. That's because I was working on the platform project…
Platform Project Launch
Really excited to have released the first platform page this quarter. Check it out: Fiverr Platform Overview, Reviews, and Statistics
While these pages may look quite simple, there's a lot that has gone into them. Let's take a look at some of the elements and how I created them…
Header and ‘About' Sections
Pretty simple stuff. Here you'll see the platform's logo along with our overall editorial review rating and an aggregate user rating based on the user reviews we've gathered so far.
Below this you'll find all the basic details about a particular platform:
- What it is
- The company that runs it
- Who will benefit from using the platform
- Requirements to join
- How the platform works
- Additional details (like the opportunities available, payout options, commissions/fees, and more).
This section shows some images from the platform. You can click an image to enlarge it.
I put this together with the Content Views Pro plugin (highly recommend).
Editorial Review Summary Section
When we have an editorial review written up and published for a platform (like this GG2U review), an excerpt of it will be featured here. We don't currently have one for Fiverr.
This part of the page is pretty cool. Here you'll find some general statistics on the platform (e.g. global site rank, monthly visitors, etc.) and seller/earner statistics (e.g. avg. earnings based on reviewer data, avg. time to first payout based on reviewer data).
Eventually, with a platform like Fiverr, I'd also like to feature Buyer statistics based on Buyer reviews that we gather. Luckily, since Fiverr is a public company, I was able to find some buyer statistics from their website for now.
First, before the reviews are some additional stats:
Here you can see avg. scores for different categories, an overall rating breakdown, the reviewer recommendation percentage (with an emoji that changes based on the percentage value), and a breakdown of who the reviewers are: their total earnings, age ranges, and time using the platform.
(Side note: creating those pie charts was no easy feat. I tried many solutions. I eventually found a CSS solution that I paired with a custom shortcode to display the charts using data from a custom field)
Next, you can read the actual reviews. Here's a preview of one:
As you can see, the reviews are more than just a rating and some quick thoughts. In each review, you'll be able to see things like:
- Where the reviewer is from
- How long they used the platform
- Whether they've given a verified LinkedIn or Reddit account
- Whether or not they've verified their platform profile
- Their pros and cons
- Tips they've shared for finding success on the platform.
The platform overview pages feature up to 5 reviews from each user type (e.g. sellers, buyers, etc.) and then there are dedicated pages where you can read the rest of the reviews.
For example, check out all of our Fiverr Seller Reviews here.
These dedicated review pages also give a summary of the most common pros, cons, and tips shared by reviewers.
Note: I'm using the Site Reviews plugin to display and store reviews. It's a fantastic plugin.
The Goal With These Pages
- Better user experience. I started publishing in-depth reviews and I created the Hustle Finder to make it easier for people to find platforms that help them make or save money. It worked, but it wasn't the best. The reviews were super long and potentially difficult to read (not great for giving readers a quick overview), importing and displaying reviews was difficult, and I didn't have all the filters I wanted in the Hustle Finder.
- Easier scaling. Due to the length of the editorial reviews and the content required (for each review I had to hire someone who had used the platform and earned money with it), scaling was pretty difficult. With the platform pages, scaling should be easier so we can launch more pages in a shorter time period.
- Build a real brand. Writing blog posts is a great way to build traffic and revenue. I'm not going to stop doing that. But, I feel with this platform project, I have the opportunity to create a product that people will continue coming back to the site for. Instead of just a content site, I'm hoping this helps really solidify my brand and also lessen my reliance on SEO traffic (by encouraging more direct visitors).
New Home Page CTA and Site Navigation
Made some small updates to the sites branding and navigation this quarter. Here's a look:
As you can see, I centered the header navigation and made it match the background color of the header image. I think this looks cleaner. Potentially could still use some improvements though (I might make the “Swift Salary” header image a bit smaller at some point).
And here's the homepage CTA update:
The idea behind this was to (again) make things look a bit cleaner, but also to more quickly describe WHAT Swift Salary is and WHY it exists to a potential reader who lands on this page.
Then, it'll hopefully funnel them into my Start Here page, where they'll be able to find all my best content.
Blog Income and Expenses for Q1 2022
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: $12,182.12 Gross Revenue
This is the second quarter we've seen a decline in gross revenue vs. the previous quarter. Hurts to see it, but I'm not too worried. I'm expecting another potential decline next quarter, but I think in Q3/Q4 this year we'll start making our way back up.
Why? We'll have more platform pages up and (hopefully) will be seeing traffic to them by then. That should help ad revenue and affiliate revenue recover.
Plus, once I'm able to scale the platform project better with freelancers, I'll be able to focus more on other content as well.
Monthly Revenue Breakdown
- January: $3,446.39
- February: $4,146.91
- March: $4,588.82
Revenue Sources Summary
- Affiliate Income ($13,372.82):
- Adbloom – $234.58
- Clickworker – $25.00
- GG2U – $74.51
- Impact Radius – $413.18
- MaxBounty – $462.68
- Advertising ($5,960.16):
- Mediavine – $5,876.76
- Media.net – $83.40 (leftover balance from ages ago was finally paid out)
Expense Breakdown: $676.16 Spent
Notable expenses include:
- Zoho Books (Accounting Software) – $154.56
- Bank Fees and Charges – $53.78
- Freelance writers – $119.63
- GSuite – $50.07
- WP Review Pro (Plugin) – $58.86
- Site Reviews Premium (Plugin with addons) – $130.25
- Pretty Links (Plugin) – $75.49
- Slack – $33.52
* Total Net Profit: $11,461.61 *
Traffic Breakdown: 273,804 Pageviews
Ok, looking at these traffic reports is starting to hurt. In Q4 of 2021 I mentioned that a traffic increase should come in the new year…and it didn't.
Pageviews have now fallen for two quarters in a row. Ouch.
The cause of the continued dropping seems to be 1) the keywords I was ranking for are being taken up by higher authority sites / Google is being mean and 2) I'm not producing enough new content.
Quarterly Traffic Chart (Since Inception)
We're almost back down to Q2 2020 levels of traffic now. Definitely disappointing, but I'm confident I'll be able to turn things around.
Email List: 6,069 Active Subscribers
Started December 2021 with 6,069 subscribers and ended March 2022 with 6,443. That's a 6.16% increase.
Growth is kind of slow and steady at the moment. I'd like to ramp things up but the number of subscribers I get is directly correlated to my site traffic, so I'll have to work on that.
Also, I started a re-engagement campaign last week, so I'll most likely see a temporary dip in subscribers soon as I weed out the inactive ones.
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.
Open rates for the newsletter this quarter sat at an average of 16.04%. That's a tiny improvement over the last quarter's 15.24% average.
I updated the opt-in page for the newsletter this quarter to feature some past editions for potentially interested readers. I also added an opt-in throughout some blog posts on the site, which has brought in ~50 new subscribers.
Note: I use MailerLite as my email service provider.
Follow Up On Goals for Q1 of 2022
Okay, soooo I completely neglected to write the yearly report for 2021. This was mostly because 1.) I have just been working on the site a lot and 2.) I didn't feel the yearly report was necessary. The quarterly reports are already pretty detailed and I didn't want to just repeat a bunch of stuff.
So, from now on, quarterly reports only!
However, that means I didn't publicly share my goals for Q1 of 2022. So, I'll share them now.
Big Goals for 2022
Here are the 5 main objectives I wrote out for Swift Salary at the start of the year:
- Less time required from me (i.e. be able to take more time off without feeling like everything will come crumbling down)
- More outsourcing (to support the above goal)
- More content (to increase revenue and email subscribers)
- Better site organization for users (to increase repeat users and page views per user)
- Better email campaigns (to expand my mailing list and increase quality of subscribers)
Main Q1 Goal
My big goal for Swift Salary in Q1 was to simply launch the new platform project (breakdown above).
I did that with the first platform page: Fiverr Platform Overview, Reviews, and Statistics.
Eventually, I want to have platform pages for hundreds of different platforms.
If it helps you make money, save money, invest money, or improve your finances in some other way, I want to have a page to give you all the important details.
Right now I have over 900 user reviews spanning nearly 300 different platforms, so I have a lot more content to release, and I'm really excited about it.
This project is a big SEO play as well. Not only will I have a main platform overview page for each platform (like the Fiverr one linked above), but these will also branch out into other pages:
- Fiverr Seller Reviews (reviews from users earning money with the platform)
- Fiverr Buyer Reviews (reviews from users using the platform to outsource work, advertise, etc.)
- Fiverr Alternatives (similar platforms that users might like)
- Fiverr Review (an editorial review diving deep into the platform with in-depth research)
With this type of structuring, each platform will have at least 3 pages associated with it. That means 100 platforms on the site could = 300+ pieces of content.
I'm not exactly sure how well these will rank in Google yet, but I'll be finding out next quarter. In my mind, they should rank well as they deliver a good user experience, but we'll see.
Goals for Q1 of 2022
I'm really betting on this platform project, so all my goals in Q2 are going to be based around it. Here they are:
- Launch 100 new platform pages – There are 91 days total in Q2 of 2022. That means I need to eventually scale up to launching multiple platform pages per day.
- Complete the platform discovery page – This will allow you to sort and filter through all the platforms that we create pages for. Similar to the Hustle Finder, but an improved version.
- Launch the opportunities archive – Each platform will be associated with certain opportunities (e.g. paid surveys, writing, copywriting, logo design, etc.). I'm hoping to organize these in a way where you'll be able to browse through all the opportunities in one place and find related platforms, guides, and success stories.
As a side goal, I'd also like to go through some old blog posts to update and optimize them, but I'm not really sure I'll get around to that or not.
I'd also like to get some new regular blog content out, but again, not sure I'll be able to with all the work that goes into each platform page.
That said, by the end of the quarter, I'll hopefully have things pretty systemized and automated so that the platform project can run more autonomously.
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!