Click Update, RPM, Ad Network Alternative

Reached 3K clicks in 28 days on 11 June. Session start data on analytics shows 5.9K.

RPM (Revenue per thousand PV)

I always wonder how much I will get and by extension when I can quit my job. A guy on Twitter educated me yesterday. He got about $1.4K from about 80K PV -> this means he gets $17.5 per thousands view.

Meanwhile, my data from 16 May to 16 June is 6.9K PV (according to analytics) and I made $112 from Ezoic. This means I only have $16.2 RPM.

Ezoic count it by visitors, which they count as 5.7K, making it $19.6 EPMV (earnings per thousand visitors).

The number isn’t bad but isn’t good either. With this RPM, I will need 187K PV to reach $3K/month, which seems very var now.

The other way is to increase the RPM, which on ‘normal range’ can be up to $40. It seems NSL is able to achieve this as she makes $40K from 1 million PV. If I manage to achieve this I only need 75000 PV to get $3K/month, but this is an idle thought.

Ad Network Alternatives

I checked a few sites I came across that show advertisements and found that many of them use Criteo. Did a bit of research and apparently Criteo has much bigger market share than Ezoic. The sites that use them are good ones with hundreds of thousands of traffic

This can be a good alternative to the Ezoic -> Mediavine path that everyone is going.

May Update: More Traffic, Adding Ezoic, Increase Article Frequency

May came and 3 things happened:

  1. I decided to increase the article frequency to 5 per week, making it approximately 20 per month
  2. I added Ezoic after seeing that Income School recommend to put it on after just 1K PV/month and apparently Ezoic has a program for publisher with less than 10k/month. Within days after added, I (based on the dashboard) make $1-$2 per day.
  3. Traffic keeps climbing. I get my 1800 clicks in 28 days notification and for the last 4 days GSC shows quite constant 100+ per day.

Past 3 months:

It’s far from all those heavy hitters on Twitter whose graph climbed at 80 degree elevation but at least it’s progress.

GA shows more than this but I had 2-3 days anomaly when traffic spiked (probably from Ezoic bot, I’m not sure) so it’s not showing average.

GA for the last 28 days. The actual average per day is actually within 120+

April 2023 Update

The first thing noticeable is that the change n direction into focusing on topical authority paid off. That was October 2022, 3 months later on January 2023 I got my first revenue.

Now, after 6 months of trying to dish 4 posts per week, I see quite an improvement.

Yesterday I got another congratulatory message from Google for 700 clicks in 28 days, which is great

Regardless, I feel kind of frustrated with the growth speed, it feels like it crawls slowly upward. Now I’m at 2100 PV/month and it feels like the number increases 100 by 100 every week I check. When considering you need 10K just to apply to Ezoic, it feels thousands of miles away.

My frustration came from several factors

  • I saw people making more visitors with less time and fewer articles (I’m now nearly at 160 published posts). Granted some of them are not researched well and I still throw in a few more best X articles regardless knowing they’re hard to rank, but it’s still frustrating when comparing my own progress with them
  • I saw people making 50-60K PV registered with Mediavine and they’re making about $1.7k – 2K / month. That’s a good amount but hardly a ‘liberating’ one. By ‘liberating’ I mean the kind of money enough to quit your job and live in your term.

Factoring that, it seems the realistic one to aim for secure income (not factoring drop from google update) is 100-200K PV per month? Seems like unbelievably far away.

First Revenue

I earned the first revenue from my work. First time after 2-3 years working day job + trying to create a business afterward. The first one flopped after wasting money and time (the writing was on the wall but I refused to acknowledge it and keep pushing, resulting in more time & money wasted)

I worked this one for more than a year now, started doing it seriously from around May 2022 then wasted around 2 months pursuing BLs from guest posts. From October I ditched guest post and tried to push content instead. Currently 2 of my 3 best performers are posts without link at all.

Around last week I have about total 700 PV on the last 2 days and decided to add affiliate links to pages that get views. Got 2 conversions into Amazon purchase shortly after

The amount is laughable and minuscule compared to the cost I’ve spent so far but at least it’s a sign to the right direction.

Change of Direction

I’ve been following Adam‘s advice for a few months in guest posting and I gotta say the result is kind of underwhelming. Sent to about 220 sites, gets a deal from 23 of them (about 10%) but 2 of them are still hanging in the air (the site owners disappear) and I eliminate 1 of them after waiting for 3 months.

Current Result

From these guest posting/link inserting endeavors, the result are (KD in Ahrefs):

  • Keyword #1 (9 KD): 6 links – nonexistent
  • Keyword #2 (22 KD): 4 links – nonexistent
  • Keyword #3 (78 KD): 6 links – nonexistent. I didn’t plan to build link to this but it ranked on page one a few days after publishing. After it gets links, it disappear completely from SERP.
  • Keyword #4 (KD 75): 1 link – nonexistent. Get slight variation in page 5
  • Keyword #5 (KD 7): 1 link -page 4

I poured most of links on keyword #1 because I thought it’ll be easy with 9 KD. Ranked for various less volume variation on page 3-5 but the keyword itself only sometimes showed on page 4-5 then disappear. Seeing the result of 9 KD, I have doubt it will fare better on higher difficulties KD.

The process of outreaching itself is really time consuming. I went to sites that offer guest post so I couldn’t (or at least I thought I can’t) send email asking if I can do a guest post. Instead I had to read detailed guide on acceptable guest post, cross-checking it with what my writer have, check again if they already have it, then come up with a pitch. A site would consume 15-30 mins of reading and matching, 90% of them wasted. Wasted time means I always behind in placing new content, barely able to do once a week.

Thoughts about Content+ Link-

Found people who keep pumping contents with no link to gain traffic and I intrigued to try. Adam said that you can get traffic without link but it won’t be money keyword (because those will be competitive) and thus won’t make money, but Shawn said he does make money from that no-link traffic. For comparison he published 200 articles in 22 months (9 per months) meanwhile I published about 70 in 13 months (about 5 per months).

Edit: I ran through all my keywords and a lot of earlier keywords when I was just started were not researched thoroughly. I eliminated those articles, also articles that were posted because they were rejected guest posts and articles I made just to create first-hand-experience articles. Filter it again to KD under 30 and I get 25 articles only.

Nichesitelady also said something interesting: when your site gets 10 visitors it’s suspicious that 5 of them decide to link to you. It does sounds logical. Adam said he started building links after just 5 post so I’m not sure what to take of it.

New Plan

So for the following months I’ll try pumping 2 articles per week and see where it goes. Currently I do ranked in page 1-2 for a no money keyword, it barely give me any traffic.

Adam said about ‘blanketing’ the niche with more articles, I didn’t paid it too much mind back then, only accompany 1 ‘best X’ article with 1-2 around the topic. But Mike gave more insight about this: his method is firing 10+ related articles with goal to make google see the site as authority in this certain topic (topical authority). Once G does that, it will start placing related posts higher.

I crosscheck this with Adam’s site, he has a ‘best podcast hosting’ that rank well in G so I check how many podcast articles he made. I found 14 including the best X article, so apparently I did underestimate the ‘blanketing your niche’/’topical authority’ concept.

Mike said:

“If you just blindly write 40 posts to start that have nothing to do with one-another other than tennis, you’re unlikely to discover which topics to focus on. Google might not see you as an “authority” on any of them, and you’ll have trouble ranking.”

That does seem make sense. I’ve been firing articles within my niche but they rarely related to one another, mainly because the focus is low KD.

Future Guest Posting

I don’t think I can be completely off from link building, at one point I’ll have to do it again. When the time comes I’d like to try outreach first before wasting research time to pitch someone that may/may not even check my email.

So that means asking if I can do a guest post in your site despite you already announced in a specific page that you accept guest post and expect a pitch. The outreach process will be much faster but let’s see about the acceptance percentage.

Guest Post – How Long is Too Long?

After getting deals on more and more guest posts, I found more and more owner doesn’t really give a damn about responding on time. Naturally some of them might think they receive no benefit or the benefit is miniscule so you (the guest poster) should put up with whatever he’s comfortable of.

But is it though? How long is too long?

After initial exchange and a deal about the topic, I usually send the article within the next 1-2 weeks. Mostly 1 week. Then if there’s no response I’d follow up after 2 weeks, then after 1 and 2 months. But more than a month is already annoying enough.

The longest guy is a whole 3 months which during that time I kept sending follow up emails every few weeks that he ignored. Finally I told him to consider the submission cancelled and called him out for being unprofessional. He responded that particular email, most likely because he’s not comfortable with himself after being called out. “No no no, we’re not unprofessional, we just ignore you for 3 months even after agreeing to a guest post deal. Yep that’s what it is”

Joke aside, the excuses were quite uniform: I was traveling, was very busy.

For 3 months? Alright.

If I hadn’t called him out, most likely he’d continue to conveniently ignore my follow up emails and it won’t end with just 3 months.

It seems going forward I’ll need to put a time limit on how long I’ll be willing to put up with this kind of owners. Probably 1 or 1.5 month max. Since I mostly still getting guest post in sites with DR 50 and below, I don’t know how high DR sites owner act, maybe they also expect me to wait 3-4 months and consider it normal? We’ll see

More on Guest Posting: Direct Submission

Some sites who accept guest post have a page about the rules and sometimes they don’t want pitch, they want direct submission.

I thought this was worth a shot so I tried twice. I never heard back from the first but the 2nd got accepted and set to be published within a month. I thought the odd seems pretty good and I don’t waste too much money compared to fee asked by site owners.

About 5-6 submissions later, I found zero success. Some never respond, some respond with ‘ah by the way there’s $$$ fee to post here’ and shove unreasonable rate which I had to decline.

And the icing on the cake is the 2nd submission that I thought was accepted. The owner published the article but REMOVED MY LINK from it. I naturally tried to reach him several times but he conveniently ignored my attempts. I can’t blame him entirely because we had no discussion beforehand about keeping my link (it was direct submission, duh) but I can’t help the feeling of getting robbed anyway. Hope you enjoy your steal Dave.

*Update: Dave replied asking for $450 for 2 links article. Publish first, ask money later. What an excellent business model.

So it seems unless it has big potential (really high DR) it’s not worth to go doing direct submission without clearing the terms beforehand. This is my policy going forward now.

Typical Response (So Far)

  • Never respond (fair enough, I can use the article somewhere)
  • Respond with ‘ah, there’s posting fee of $xx’ (fair enough, I can decide how to proceed)
  • The most @sshole of all: publish the article with the link removed. When contacted asking for ridiculous amount of money. Article already published and indexed so even if I ask him to take it down, whoever post it afterward will be seen as hosting duplicate content.

Reminder to self: it’s hard

Just reminder to myself: it takes work and sacrifices to attain the lifestyle that we want. Some of the people I follow went through that

Adam work 100 hours/week (14 hours/day) juggling between day job and doing his then side business. That means if he works from 8 AM, he’d be finish at 10 PM. If I do that I’d be burned out in a week but I guess everyone has different stamina and willpower.

Twoset did their side job back then by utilizing every little spare time they can while doing full time job. Things like editing video on recess or even while in the bus was regular occurrence.

Even with that kind of sacrifices, both need several years before they’re able to support themselves enough to resign from their job.

I need this reminder because reading guest post requirement, cross checking it with what I have to offer, and slip that into available writer’s timeline is start to become a chore. That in the way that my mind is actively trying to find excuse to postpone doing that. I need their examples to push through.

Guest Posting

The first thing you must accept when it comes to guest posting is each site owner has their own idea of how much a guest post on their site worth. Some would charge reasonably, some would set waay too much for their site worth, some would adopt I-don’t-care attitude (I know it’s not worth that much, but if you want it this is my price), some have different priorities and will accept it for free.

(Made Up) Rules

As the person who simply want the link, I made a few rules that I think would do for now:

Pay for Link

Yes, you’ll have to pay for link to get significant progress, otherwise the acceptance rate will be too low that it might not worth the time spent reaching out. If you think about it, the site owner has almost no benefit from accepting your guest post so a monetary one is a clear benefit for them.

Quality? Unless it’s a really amazing content (which would not worth the time for a single guest post anyway), they can create any content you created themselves, especially if they already have regular author(s).

Measure worth by DA/DR

DA/DR so far are similar, usually if one site has high DA it will have high DR as well so just pick one. I use DR. The concept is simple: the higher the DR, the higher their worth (in monetary value)

The value will be different for different niche so you need to find information/make a few deals to find what the average is. Then you can decide whether to take or decline when site owners state their price.


Site traffic shouldn’t have any influence in how much link juice a backlink gives to your site. I might be wrong on this, but for the moment I’m operating under this assumption. This means I will still pay more to get backlink from a DR 50 site with 200k visitors compared to a DR 30 site with 3 million visitors.

Keep in mind that link farm sites are ABLE TO HAVE HIGH DR. I don’t know for sure how they generate backlinks to their sites but some of them have DR 30-50. I know this because I used to buy link from link sellers in Fiver.

The easiest way to identify these websites is to check their traffic. Visible red flags are: very low traffic despite their high DR (average in thousands), volatile jump and dive in traffic as if they have certain keywords up in SERP then got kicked out, sites cover things directed for US/EU countries but most visitors come from India/Pakistan.

These are not surefire way to identify a link farm site, but if you stumbled upon these kind of sites when looking for guest post, just skip them to be safe.

Focus on the benefit you seek

You’re reaching out for dofollow contextual backlink, so focus on that and don’t let site owners distract you.

Some owners will try to convince you that it’s an honor to be featured in their site, it will be read by millions of people, that all you need is a link in your author bio.

A site owner once tried to sell it to me ‘look at this guy, he made 100+ articles in my site and gain 100000+ views!’. I see the articles, there were absolutely no link back to the guy’s site within the article body and it baffles me. Yes, it generated 100000+ views for the owner’s site, but what’s in it for the writer?

Link in bio is usually your site so you cant change anchor text and link to different page. Even if you can, link in author bio is not valued as good as a contextual link by Google. So what is the expected advantage? People click on the link?

How many people read and article, scroll to the bottom of the page, read the author bio, then click the link? I certainly don’t. Most people won’t even read the entire article, they just skim to the part that they’re interested on, read it, then get out.

Unless you’re a new writer trying to make a name for yourself, I see no point in doing this. Even if that is the case, you just write a few articles and move on, there’s no need to create 100+ articles for free. That’s just crazy.

Even crazier story: a site owner once ask $700 up front. In exchange he will provide me author access for me to create content for his site every month, no contextual link allowed, only 1 link in author bio. It’s like telling me to pay him to work for him. Genius.

Some Examples on My Niche

These are different amount that some site owners ask for a guest post. There is no market standard and each owner is free to decide how much their site worth so none of these are outrageous, you just need to set your own standard on which to take and which to skip.

  • DR 19: $75
  • DR 33: $350, only last 1 year
  • DR 71: $500
  • DR 73: $550
  • DR 50: $600
  • DR 42: $250
  • DR 33: $200
  • DR 53: $200
  • DR 33: $55
  • DR 45: $100
  • DR 36: $200


Some years ago I was at intersection due to some facts

  • I need to start a business. I know for sure that being an employee would take me probably to my 50s then I’ll need to already have enough investment running to pay for my daily necessities or .. starting a business. At 50.
  • I stuck at a dead end job. It’s not a bad job per see, just a dead end. I need to decide whether to jump ship for possible raise (or short lived new job) or stay for the stability but stuck on same income level.

My alternatives were whether to a) start a business and keep the job for its stability or b) give another shot at corporate world and try to jump-ship hoping that the jump will skyrocket my income enough to do something to secure me financially in the future.


My end choice were (a) mainly because

  • I always want to decide my life aspects by my own (where to live, when to work, how long I want to work). The only way to attain this is to live from my own business
  • Since I have no interest in climbing the corporate ladder, jumping ship seems risky. I’ll get a raise but with tons of expectation I’m not willing to take (such as working overtime or unrealistic targets). With my current job I know what to do, what is expected, and how much free time I have to work on my business. At this point, changing 1 master for the other seems moot


I took my choice but that was only the start. Over the years I started multiple business with one failure over the next. Every time one fell, there’s a period of time of depression and self-loathing before I can pick myself up and start another venture. It was (and still is) tough.

My priority is obviously my own business. This doesn’t mean I neglect my duty or using my working time to work on my own business. I do all my job seriously, BUT I won’t go above and beyond, won’t take risk, won’t go overtime if I can help it, and won’t spend my time brainstorming hard for a solution to company’s problem (mostly it got ignored anyway).

The reason is working 2 job is hard. When I finish my day job my brain would come up with all kind of excuses to delay working on the 2nd job. 1 more youtube video or do this first or do that first (basically I’m procrastinating). When I’m working on it, it feels like squeezing every last brain power I have after a tiring day. Sometime it gets me dizzy and more often than not once I’m done it’s already 10 PM. I have no energy to do anything else beside random watching some youtube videos, go to sleep, and repeat the grind again tomorrow.

Envy and Questioning My Choice

So I focus on my priority, other guys focus on their priority (working 150% for the company). The difference is all those effort over the years yield me nothing since all my prior business fell apart, but their effort rewards them with fat salary and even fatter bonuses.

These days when I see the other guys flaunting new stuff from their ever-increased income I can’t help to feel a bit envious. They sure deserve it because they put priority on something and it worked, but still. It hurts a little bit. And for sure from time to time it sparks the “what I’ve been doing with my life ” question.