Dec 2021 Income Reports; $250K Sale; Backlinko Multi-Million Sale; Ahrefs WP Plugin; Short vs Long Content; Sustainable Websites; and Much More!

Issue 2



I received an Ezoic Community Top Performer Award this week!

The award goes to digital publishing leaders identified as top-performing Ezoic publishers in their community. The community I chose when I applied for consideration was Niche Website Builders. Mark from NWB sent me an email when he announced the winner on their YouTube channel.

Definitely very cool that I won. What'd I win? An Ezoic t-shirt with the Niche Surfer logo on the sleeve and and additional 50% of my January Ezoic income.

Ezoic has really been making a big marketing push for new publishers, as well as trying to reward their current publishers.

If you're not with Ezoic, you can sign up your sites with Ezoic now.

I'm not a fan of how you need to be a Premium publisher to get high ad rates, but it also makes sense as the higher-traffic sites are what advertisers want. I had to wait a few months before being invited to the Premium program, but once I got in, my EPMVs went higher.

The Premium program also has different levels and the higher you go, the higher the EPMV seems to be. That's the best reason to get into the Premium program if you can.

But one thing you can do to immediately get all your sites into the Premium program is to buy a site that's already in the Premium program.

I'm in the midst of trying to sell one of my affiliate sites right now in the mid 5-figure range. It's only my 2nd sale ever (1st was last year for $3,500), so this is at a higher budget.

That site is currently in Ezoic's Premium Accelerator Program (PAP), a 3-year program that keeps all of my sites in the Premium program along with some PAP-only support and opportunities.

But a major bonus of buying the site is the buyer's account will be transferred to PAP. That means all their sites will be Premium too. Not a bad way to get into Ezoic's Premium program with higher EMPVs at all.

I've also been getting some great responses on your thoughts on how to improve Niche Surfer. If you haven't had a chance to do the 10-questions, I'd really appreciate it if you can!

It will take less than 5 minutes to fill out! Thanks!


The December 2021 income reports that I was able to find:


Niche Pursuits curated list of 29 blog income reports including their stats, niche, income sources, site age, and URLs. Not all of these bloggers regularly put out income reports, including #6 on the list (me!), but many of them still do.



Google introduced a new robots tag, 'indexifembedded', that brings you more control over when your content is indexed. With the 'indexifembedded' tag, you can tell Google you'd still like your content indexed when it's embedded through iframes and similar HTML tags in other pages, even when the content page has the 'noindex' tag.

The 'indexifembedded' tag addresses a common issue that especially affects media publishers: while they may want their content indexed when it's embedded on third-party pages, they don't necessarily want their media pages indexed on their own. Because they don't want the media pages indexed, they currently use a 'noindex' tag in such pages. However, the 'noindex' tag also prevents embedding the content in other pages during indexing.

To enable your content to be indexed only when it's embedded on other pages, make sure to add 'indexifembedded' in combination with the 'noindex' tag. For example:

<meta name="googlebot" value="noindex" />
<meta name="googlebot" value="indexifembedded" />
<!-- OR -->
<meta name="googlebot" value="noindex,indexifembedded" />



The Ahrefs WP plugin shows you how each article on your blog performs for a chosen target keyword based on Ahrefs, GA and GSC data. Then, it suggests what you can do to improve their performance.

Since the Ahrefs WP plugin focuses on content audits, it complements other SEO plugins (e.g., Rank Math, Yoast) rather than replaces them. For each article, the Plugin will give you this information:

  • Target keyword

  • Ranking position for the target keyword (pulled from GSC)

  • Total traffic and organic traffic values (pulled from GA)

  • Backlinks number received (pulled from Ahrefs)

  • Suggested action to take


Formaloo - Build branded forms, surveys, quizzes, polls, and live presentations that you can embed in unlimited websites and applications. Accepts payments too through the forms.

Ocoya - Effortlessly create and manage high-converting marketing campaigns. Schedule social media posts and let AI do the copywriting for you. It's a combination of Canva, Hootsuite, and Ends in 3 Days.

WatchThemLive - Track and analyze your visitors’ journeys with session recordings and heatmaps. Leverage detailed web analytics to improve website conversion rates and usability. Similar to Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity.



Many bloggers, new and old, always wonder how long articles should be. A good rule of thumb is to look at what the top 10 in SERPs are showing and to publish about 10-20% over that.

There are many tools out there that will scrape the posts and look at how many words there are. Take those numbers with a grain of salt though as websites are all built different and scrapers are not always accurate when counting the content that matters.

Here, Ahrefs compares short-form content (less than 1,000 words) and long-form content (over 1,000 words) and offers their suggestion on how to know whether you should be writing short or long content. Their 5 steps:

  1. Look at what’s ranking

  2. Pick a content format

  3. Create a search-focused outline

  4. Start writing

  5. Trim the fluff


A Keyword Research 101 guide by Semrush. Nothing earth-shattering here, but a great intro as a refresher and how to use Semrush's tools.


This is an interesting guide to building an eco-friendly website. I never really thought about this in the past. JC Chouinard dives deep into how to reduce carbon emissions with websites. The two main aspects of minimizing hte climate impact are:

  • Host your website on servers using renewable energy

  • Improve the performance of your website

He gets into reducing the load on your users, third-party tools, and ways to optimize sustainability in web design, SEO, development, bloggin, and more. There are also multiple website carbon calculators to measure the carbon emissions of your sites.


John Mueller explains what happens when you change your URLs and what steps to take to make sure Google can index the site. This is especially important with site migrations and he gives his basic recommendations:

  1. Do your research

  2. Create a list of the old & new URLs

  3. Implement the migration - 301 redirects, Internal link updates

  4. Monitor the migration

  5. Keep the redirects up for at least 1 year


Looking for some cutting-edge affiliate marketing tips? In this video, you will learn the top 3 affiliate marketing strategies from the "Affiliate Marketing Tip" Contest from WPX that Matt Diggity was the judge of. The top affiliate marketing tips in the contest:

  1. Expired Domain Strategy - Looking for available domains that authority sites link out to

  2. Facebook Page and Pinterest Board Acquisitions - Acquire high-engagement Pages and Boards

  3. HARO Hack

  4. YouTuber Sponsorship

  5. Affiliate Conversion into eCommerce


Rank Ranger's post here explains how to use Google Search Console to find entities you can use to increase your site's authority and traffic.

After finding the entities that your site is already ranking for the next steps and potential strategies to take advantage are:

  1. Improve your page

  2. Create supporting content.

I check my GSC monthly and it's a treasure trove of information. These entities are low-hanging fruits to eat right away.


So your site is a few years old. It's ticking along nicely but it's plateaued a little. Do you just abandon the site? Or what if there was something more you could do. Topics they cover to keep your aging site fresh:

  • Tools/Plugin Bloat

  • Outdated Content

  • Design and UX

  • Site Structure

  • Breaking the plateau

  • Toxic Links

  • Site Security Issues

It's a good listen whether or not your sites are 1 year old or 5+ years old.


A nice collection of blogs in 17 different niches and blog types out there. If you're thinking about getting into any of these broad niches, this can give you an idea of what's out there, as well as how to approach them. Here are some of the types of blogs they discuss:













Spencer Haws sold, his public case study he started in September 2018 for over $250,000. Technically, it was a 2-site package deal, but he doesn't mention the 2nd site other than it's the Mom Blog that he's talked about in the past.

The site was averaging around $6,000 a month and sold for greater than a 40x multiple. Read or Watch all about it.


Semrush announced the acquisition of Backlinko and their 500,000+ visits a month. is widely acknowledged as one of the most respected resources for training, strategies, and advice for today’s digital marketers. The desire to acquire Backlinko was fueled by Semrush’s commitment to inspiring both the current and next generation of digital marketers. Today’s marketers require not only the highest quality tools, they also need best-in-class training from real experts and practitioners in the field.

Goes to show that SEO isn't dead and there's still room to grow in digital marketing. I've seen numbers for the sale being thrown around that are $1.2m to $8m. Because Semrush is a public company, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a cash + stock deal, with $1-2m cash and another $2-5m in stock options based on vesting and incentives. The market cap of Semrush was 2.314B at closing on Friday.


Let me know! Reply or email me at [email protected]. I’d love to know what you think and if you have any ideas.

I’d also appreciate it if you shared it with fellow niche surfers.

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Have a great week with taking your niche sites to another level!

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