Welcome to the final income report of 2022.
In this report, I'll break down Swift Salary's Q4 performance including revenue, expenses, highlights, stats, and more.
If you have any questions about anything, leave me a comment.
Previous reports from 2022:
- Q1 2022 Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $12,182.12
- Q2 2022 Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $5,630.83
- Q3 2022 Income Report: How Swift Salary Made $7,883.92
To see all of my past income reports (going all the way back to my first year of blogging), go here.
Highlights from Q3 2022
- 3 new blog posts published
- 25 new platforms published. That's 7 more than last quarter. Over 50 total now!
- Added 16 new opportunities. Sitting at 100 total.
- Didn't add any new platform types.
- Hired more writers/researchers.
- Started creating Payout Option pages
- Starting promoting platform pages on social media
- Added “Sponsored” platform system
- Published first programmatic platform roundup articles
- Started working on platform comparison pages
- Added CDN to website (finally)
- Moved all platform page code to PHP/HTML files rather than having them rely on WordPress reusable blocks
- Learned how to rewrite URLs
- Learned how to cache JSON API response to a local file
- Implemented “Trust Rating” icon
- Updated editorial review icons to be displayed even if the rating is incomplete, added editorial ratings to the majority of platforms
New Blog Posts
Got a few blog posts published this month:
- Best Paid Survey Apps: Earn Money On the Go!
- Get Paid to Poop: 10+ Places to Sell Your Poop For Money
- Best Paid Surveys for Teens and Kids (Sites & Apps)
Hiring Is Hard
I now have 3 people helping me put together platform pages. 2 of them are still quite new. 5 people that I had hired didn't end up working out.
I'm learning from this that hiring is a numbers game. You can hire 10 people at the same pay rate and the work you receive from each person will vary greatly in quality. It's not as easy as just “hire someone” and you're good to go.
Designed Payout Option Pages
Lots of people search for things like “ways to earn PayPal money” or “How to earn free Amazon Gift Cards” so, I figured I'd try ranking for some of those terms.
When I publish pages for platforms that help people make money, I automatically tag them with the payout options they offer.
Then, WordPress automatically creates archive pages for those payout options, like this one for Gift Cards. I customized the template of those pages with a PHP file to (hopefully) make them as helpful as possible for readers while giving them a chance to rank in the SERPs.
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Added a “Sponsored Platform” System
Some of the platforms you'll find on the Platform Discovery Tool have affiliate programs. By default, I now automatically show those platforms first when someone lands on the Platform Discovery Tool. I also show them on certain pages (like the payout option pages mentioned above).
Users can choose to re-sort platforms (e.g. by user rating) with no issue, but before a custom sorting option is chosen, sponsored platforms are shown first.
This will hopefully increase revenue and encourage platforms to partner with Swift Salary.
Published First Programmatic Platform Roundups
Of the 3 blog posts I published this month (above), 2 of them (“best paid survey apps” and “paid surveys for teens and kids”) are almost completely programmatically created.
Since they both feature money-making survey platforms, all I had to do was pull data from the database of platforms and then output them to the pages. I then wrote some custom content for each page, and bam, new blog post.
Besides taking me way less time to put together, another benefit of creating roundup posts like this is that they'll update automatically. When a platform's details change, those details are automatically updated throughout the entire site. And when I publish a new platform, it's automatically (and instantly) added to relevant roundups.
Started Working on Platform Comparison Pages
Another thing people search often on Google are things like “Swagbucks vs Survey Junkie”.
People like to compare similar platforms side-by-side, so that's a new feature I'm working on. I started working on it just before Christmas, and it's not quite ready yet, but it'll hopefully be out soon.
Here's a sneak peek:
Finally Added a CDN to Swift Salary
I'd been putting off implementing a CDN for a long time because I had previously experienced problems with Cloudflare's CDN integration.
Then, Siteground (the hosting company I use) released their own CDN. But, I was skeptical to use that as well since it was brand new.
Finally, after testing my site speeds one day and seeing my abysmal page speed scores, I bit the bullet and bought the Siteground CDN.
And it's been awesome. Plus it was super easy to implement.
I had some problems at first with platform pages being extra slow on the CDN, but I discovered it was caused by a coding error on my end. I've since fixed it and now my site is running MUCH faster for readers around the world.
I'm even passing Core Web Vitals for the first time ever (barely but hey!):
There are still improvements to make, but this was a big upgrade.
Blog Income and Expenses for Q3 2022
All income and expenses are recorded in Canadian dollars. Income is based on money that has actually hit my bank account (i.e. cash basis accounting).
Income Breakdown: $11,596.39 Gross Revenue
Happy to see another increase in revenue this quarter. Averaged over $100/day for the quarter which always feels good — I remember dreaming of earning $100/day online when I was younger.
Here's the monthly breakdown:
- October: $4,108.84
- November: $3,587.33
- December: $3,900.22
Revenue Sources Summary
- Affiliate Income ($7,179.25)
- 1Q – $1.70
- 5 Dollar Meal Plan – $2.04
- Adbloom $66.64
- BeFrugal $148.42
- Cleanlots $65.34
- GG2U $22.90
- Impact Radius – $64.05
- Knowadays – $241.86
- PaidViewpoint – $193.81
- Panthera – $153.60
- Surveytime – $17.60
- Proofread Anywhere – $405.11
- Rakuten USA – $79.65
- Sweatcoin – $5,007.70
- Transcribe Anywhere – $708.83
- Misc. – $0.66
- Advertising Income ($4,416.48)
Expense Breakdown: $1,943.07 Spent
Notable expenses include:
- Bank Fees and Charges – $75.67
- Freelance writers – $1,140.81
- Incentivized reviews – $151.93
- Affinity 2 – $139.99
- Asset CleanUp Pro (WP speed plugin) – $43.53
- GSuite – $46.80
- MailerLite (email marketing) -$404.60
- Namecheap – $51.31
- SiteGround (annual CDN) – $119.97
- Slack – $35.86
* Total Net Profit: $9,653.32 *
Traffic Breakdown: 129,921 Pageviews
As I mentioned in last quarters report, I was hit with the September Google update and the effects were seen this quarter.
The site saw an overall 38.14% decrease in pageviews compared to last quarter. That's the biggest decline I've ever seen and I still don't know the exact reason behind it. A ton of my top traffic pages are just losing clicks from Google. A lot of them have even improved in search positioning which is even more confusing.
The plan? Update old articles that are losing traffic (see if that helps) and continue pushing out new content (platforms, roundups, etc.).
Quarterly Traffic Chart (Since Inception)
Platform Page Traffic: 1.09k Clicks
Since this is our active project at the moment, for the last two reports I've been including traffic stats. Going to keep doing this until the project is at least 100k clicks/month.
We're going to look at search-based traffic only as that's what we're aiming for with this project.
Here's what we had for Q4:
1.09k clicks and 183k impressions! That's a 241.69% increase compared to last quarter's 319 clicks.
Here's an overview of the past three quarters:
Really happy with the growth of this project so far. It's something I've been planning and working toward for a very long time, and it's finally starting to come together.
There's still a long way to go before 100k clicks/month, but if this type of growth keeps up, I think it's a very doable goal.
Email List: 5,096 Active Subscribers
Started Q4 with 5,096 subscribers and ended with 5,257. That's a 161 subscriber (3.16%) increase.
It's nice to see an increase, but I'd really like to see a larger increase for an entire quarter. An increase of 161 subscribers for Q4 is, on average, just 1.75 subscribers/day. And, based on my site receiving 92,530 users for Q4, that means only 1 in 574 users (0.0017%) decided to subscribe.
I experimented with getting rid of my email opt-ins this quarter and just using a basic opt-in for the Swift Saturday newsletter, so I think that may have decreased my conversion rate.
Swift Saturday Newsletter Stats
The Swift Saturday newsletter is a weekly newsletter with money-making ideas, money-management tips, and market updates.
If you're interested, you can sign up or learn more here.
Open rates for the newsletter this quarter sat at an average of 20.43%. That's an improvement over last quarters 19.5% and it's the first time since 2019 that I've had an over 20% average!
It was one of my goals to hit a 20% open rate average by the end of the year, so I'm really happy with this.
What helped me increase open rates?
Well, I purged a lot of inactive subscribers last quarter, which I think helped. I also think getting rid of my email opt-in magnets improved the newsletter open rates because subscribers have a better idea of what to expect upon signing up.
Note: I use MailerLite as my email service provider.
Follow Up On Goals for Q4 of 2022
- 20% open rate on Swift Saturday newsletters – Hit this one! And just in time.
- Launch 50 new platform pages – I managed to get 25 new platform pages published, so half of the goal. I'm still really happy with that as it's an improvement over last quarter.
- Launch a “Best paid surveys [insert country]” page – Got this done. Find the best paid surveys in your country.
Goals for Q1 of 2023
- Update old articles. Just need to check the archives for what needs updating. Will do small updates first, monitor traffic for a month or two, then go from there.
- Publish 50 new platforms. Let's see if we can get this done this quarter. Third try's a charm?
- Convert old reviews into platform pages. I have many old platform reviews that are currently just formatted as blog posts. I'm afraid that transitioning them will cause some traffic loss, but it needs to be done at some point. It'll be better in the long term.
- Release platform comparison tool. This is almost done so should be doable.
Main Objectives for the New Year
- Invest more into the business, continue getting better at outsourcing
- Hit 100k clicks/month with the platforms project
- Reach 300 total published platforms (20.8/month avg.)
- Achieve 400k pageviews in a single month
- 10k email subscribers
Well, another year in the books. This year was one of the roughest as my traffic has tanked quite a bit since Q3 of 2021…but I'm still feeling optimistic for 2023.
I'm expecting traffic to start turning around in Q2 of 2023 as all the new content I've been releasing starts picking up speed.
If I can keep publishing platforms consistently, that'll lead to a lot of other new content as well.
The toughest challenge will be continuing to improve my delegation abilities. I've been working on them for a while now but am still struggling. Part of it is because I want stuff done just the way I'd do it, the other is fear of spending money hiring someone only to end up wasting money & time.
It's going to be an big year.
Want to start a money-making blog of your own? Check out my guide on how to start a blog, then read my post on how to make money blogging.
- Have any questions about this quarter's blog income report? Leave a comment below!
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