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Income Report – December 2012

Justin Cooke Updated on February 29, 2020

Income Report - December 2012

It’s been an amazing ride for us through 2012 and we wanted to wrap up the year with our December income report. We’re including both our monthly numbers as well as some of our overall metrics for 2012 in the hopes that it will encourage, inspire, and provide you with ideas that can foster growth in your own business. We’ll cover everything in this report, but if you’re just looking for the total, we pulled in $6,756.81 in December 2012 and our total revenue for 2012 came in at $203,825.54…not too shabby!

Even though our income reports have remained quite popular, I’m considering cutting them down to quarterly reports instead. It takes quite a bit of time to pull all of the numbers together and there might be just as much value in reporting them quarterly while saving myself time/effort/energy for more meaningful posts each month. It’s our quarterly reports that we look at internally…maybe that should be reflected on the blog as well?

A Niche Idea

You may remember that the original plan for the WSO Testers was to go through the Warrior Special Offer section on the Warrior Forum, test out those offers, and report back their findings.  To be honest, I wasn’t particularly hot on the idea when they started and much preferred their content on niche sites.  Also, I’ve found the noise levels on the Warrior Forum somewhat disturbing…and cutting through that to find the good information takes quite a bit of time/effort/energy.

It occurred to me that it would be VERY helpful if someone took the time to cut through the noise and delivered the VERY best content from the WF.  There are SO many threads there (many of them filled with nonsense) and it would be a pain to go through them all to find nuggets of truth…a pain that hasn’t been solved for me.  If someone were to go through the interesting/popular threads each week and curate the content to cut out all of the noise from posers, spammers, etc. that would be of interest to me.

You could monetize through a paid community (with even better curated content), affiliate offers from those that actually know what they’re talking about and deliver good products, etc.  There’s a TON of information on the WF (and a ton of members) and I think this could end up being pretty popular.

Looking Towards 2013

I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what we have planned for 2013 and I’m interested in hearing your thoughts or suggestions in the comments.  We’ve had a great 2012 and have plans for much more this year, including:

Brokered Sites For Sale – We’ve had a ton of requests from others to be able to sell their sites here, but we’ve had to wait until our BuyOurSites page was ready and all API’s were working correctly.  We’re currently working on the page to allow us to vet and sell brokered AdSense sites from other trustworthy sellers and should have this up and running this year.

Adjusting Our Niche Site Process – Although we’ve cut back on niche site creation in recent months, we’d like to cautiously explore getting back to it in 2013.  We’ve made slight adjustments to our process that look promising and I’m looking to do more case studies and updating our content and guide to reflect those changes as we continue forward.

Leveling Up Niche Sites – As discussed in our most recent podcast, we’re really looking forward to building out more meaningful sites.  We’ll be testing through larger informational sites, eCommerce sites (Joe’s digging into this now…for a great resource, check out eCommerceFuel here) and exploring alternative monetization options as the sites advance past AdSense.  This has the added bonus of providing a blueprint to niche site builders and buyers on how to grow their niche sites forward.

Outsourcing For Startups – We’re disappointed with the lack of quality content on outsourcing…most of it seems to come from those who aren’t actually involved and would rather sell you their ebook or make outsourcing seem like a magic bullet.  We see a gap we can fill in talking about exactly how to setup a corporation in the Philippines, building your business into processes that can be outsourced, blending work between onshore and offshore employees, etc.  We’ll be launching OutsourcingForStartups this year!

Buying Sites – John and Joe have both been interested in potentially purchasing niche sites, expanding them, and then selling them off for a profit.  I’m not as bullish on this idea, but it is something we plan to explore further this year.

All of these have been written into our goals for 2013 and we’re working towards seeing them through.  Here are a few of the ideas or projects that are on hold for now:

Squidoo Lenses – We built out a few of these lenses and, frankly, they just didn’t work for us. I didn’t expect them to earn all that much, ($0.00 to date) but I was hoping for a bit of traffic and the fact that a good number of them are below the 400K threshold and invisible to Google has made us much less interested in pursuing this strategy. If you are interested, I would suggest checking out Claire Smith (aka Skeffling) and her December income report. She’s planning to release a book/guide in the near future and I’ll probably take a look at it when it’s released.

Niches For Charity – A well-intentioned project that just never really got off the ground. I really like the idea and purpose, but the execution would simply be too much work and would likely re-hash much of what we post here anyway. I’d like to incorporate some charity and good-will into 2013, though, and will continue to look for positive ways to do that.

Traffic To AdSenseFlippers

December Traffic

AdSense Flippers Traffic December 2012

We didn’t publish much content in December and it’s reflected in our traffic, dropping from 19,219 visits in November to 16,115 visits in December, 2012. Joe and I spent much of our time working on other projects, planning our our goals for 2013 and spending the end of the year with close friends, but we’re expecting to see this number rebound a bit in January.

Here are our top content pages for December 2012:

2012 Traffic

We received nearly a quarter of a million visits in 2012, with a pretty even split between search traffic, referrals, and direct traffic. Here’s the most popular content for us in 2012:

Top content pages 2012

And here’s a look at our traffic sources for 2012:

Top traffic sources 2012

It’s interesting to see that our #1 source of traffic for the year was Twitter. I decided to approach Twitter differently than I have in the past and we didn’t do any gaming, tricks to get followers, etc. Instead, I really tried to reach out to others and connect much more honestly and it’s really paid off for us in terms of traffic to the site.

It’s no surprise that Niche Pursuits, Flippa, TropicalMBA, and Mike From Maine are on the list as we’ve continued to build relationships with all of them. is a very popular IM blog in Germany that tracks bloggers with income reports in the US. I’ve followed his content a bit (as much as I can thanks to Google Translate!) and appreciate his readers here as well.

The last thing I’ll mention here is that our guide, “Building A Niche Site Empire” has been downloaded 18,796 times as of today, January 8th 2013…wow!  I know we probably would have done well selling it, but there’s no way we would have had anywhere near that level of distribution and I really think that was a more important goal for us.

Podcast Statistics

Podcast downloads December 2012

We had pretty close to the same amount of downloads this month, pulling in 7,863 total downloads in December, 2012. Many of these were due to our popular podcast with Pat Flynn where we discuss expanding niche sites, business strategy, and cool niche ideas. It was great to have him on the program and we’re looking forward to many more interesting guests in 2013.

We had a total of 133,018 downloads in 2012 and it’s really been a blast putting on the show. We’ll likely be adding a couple of different shows through this next year. If you’re at all interested in starting a podcast, we’d really recommend checking out Pat Flynn’s post on getting started as well as Dan Norris’s The Beginner’s Guide To Podcasting on

AdSense Earnings

We were able to pull in a total of $2,378.53 via AdSense for the month. Our worst day was Christmas Eve at $47.40 and our best day was Dec 12th at $109.78.

AdSense Earnings December 2012

We’re starting to feel the effects of our site creation slow-down that started in October. With less domains purchased and less sites created, we’re not seeing as many winners pop up as they have before and we’re expecting this to continue through the first few months of 2013. We plan to slowly (cautiously) recover our site building through Q1 of 2013 and should start to see some recovery in Q2.

AdSense Earnings 2012

Site Sales

We sold off a few sites earlier in the month bringing in $3,134.40 for December, but we gave it a rest heading into the holidays. We should be able to continue with more site sales in January, although our slow-down in production will limit the sites that are good enough to sell.

We sold a total of $147,061.78 sites through 2012, mostly through our Buy Our Sites page. We continue to have higher demand than we have sites to sell and we’re expecting that to continue to be the case through early 2013. We’ve decided to test through allowing others to sell through the page where we act as brokers for their sites. The sellers will be verified and vetted as well as the income…pulling the data directly from their AdSense accounts. We’ve had a ton of requests for this and know there’s interest…more on this in the next few months!

Affiliate Sales

Our affiliate income from the site went up slightly to $1,243.88 in December. We’ve seen continued improvement in our Kindle sales of “Building A Niche Site Empire” which is great to see. It’s interesting to point out that even though we offer this for free on our site and as an opt-in bonus to our email list, there are some who are willing to pay for it in the format they prefer.

Interested in Buying or Selling? Click to Create Your Account


We’re not finishing 2012 nearly as strong as we started, but we’re quite pleased with how far we’ve come overall. I think a renewed focus on other areas and revenue streams in our business will prove to be a bit painful in terms of revenue in the short-term, but will be critical when it comes to the long-term growth of our business.

Here’s a look our relevant metrics for 2012:

2012 Totals

We were able to pull in over $200K for the year through the creation of more than 1,500 sites. We had more than 230K visits to the site and more than 130K downloads of the AdSense Flippers Podcast…sweet!

And here are the stats for December:

Sites Created: 3 (5 last month) Note: The domains purchased in October were created through Oct/Nov/Dec.

AdSense Earnings: $2,378.53 ($2,787.69 last month)

Flippa Sales: $0.00 ($0.00 last month)

Private Sales: $3,134.40 ($11,896.76 last month)

Niche Site Gold: $0.00 ($50.00 last month)

Consulting: $0.00 ($300.00 last month)

Total Affiliate Sales: $1,243.88 ($1,090.13 last month)

  • LongTailPro: $444.00
  • HireWriters: $60.00
  • SubmitYourArticle: $24.40
  • CTR Theme: $30.49
  • SECockpit: $111.16
  • HostGator: $150.00
  • Market Samurai: $46.56
  • GoDaddy: $5.11
  • Amazon: $4.07
  • Our Niche Site Guide on the Kindle: $295.89
  • SEOMoz: $50.00
  • Whoosh Traffic: $22.20

Total Income: $6,756.81 ($16,124.58 last month)

I definitely hope you got some value from this report and if you did, please give us a shout on Twitter or let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • john stevens says:

    This is always a massively interesting read guys and fair play to you all

    amazed at the amazon income – although it is time consuming I do ok from it but nothing like th eso called WF gurus

    I also was looking at selling some sites so would be interseted in how things develop

    all the best


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, John!

      There’s a gap in the website broker market in the $500-$5K range, I think. It’s typically not worth it for brokers in that price range. If we can use automation via AdSense to verify income and use our outsourced labor to verify/vet sellers and run listings on Flippa…I think it might be an interesting market for us to be in. We have relationships with upper-end brokers that would love a service like this to direct clients to, so that should be pretty interesting! 🙂

    • Dash says:

      You can create more traffic of your website post and create a company profile too @ Social Business Networking

  • Hi guys !

    Everybody does income reports , nowadays. So, it makes sense not to do them anymore.
    Instead you could focus on strategising . It would be interesting , at least in my humble opinion , to know why you do what you do and whether it works.

    Have a killer year .

    Be healthy and smile !

    • JustinWCooke says:

      That’s a fair point, Ilias…

      Aside from the value it may or may not provide to others, there’s something meaningful in going through the process each month, though. It helps to keep me on track and to stay focused in addition to holding myself accountable.

      I sometimes go back and read previous income reports too…it helps remind me of what is working, what’s not, etc. It’s also interesting to see the mindset I was in when I wrote them, heh.

      I think a focus on strategy is a pretty good idea…I think we’ll be doing quite a bit of that with our new outsourcing brand, actually. I’d like to do more case studies, but they’re kind of a pain in the ass and test my patience! 🙂 I think more people should do them, though. Showing actual evidence is much more useful than just spouting opinions, heh.

    • Dash says:

      You can create more traffic of your website post and create a company profile too @ Social Business Networking.

  • Definitely enjoy these reports as always! I would definitely be a fan of some sort of Warrior Forum curator as I’ve almost stopped visiting it regularly with all the people simply trying to sell their crap instead of create value. Looking forward to seeing how you execute that idea!


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Thomas,

      Yeah, I’d really like to see someone take that on, but don’t think it’s a challenge I’ll be tackling, hehe. I think it would be good for someone with some real business chops that frequents the WF, though. It’s quite a pain to dig through the crap to get to the gold, but I know that there IS gold there.

  • Phillip Alexeev says:

    Hey Boss,

    Very good work as usual. One little thing I did want to note: in the first paragraph “not to shabby” should be “Not too shabby”.

    Either way, besides the spelling semantics, I’m really happy you guys have managed to turn things around and diversify post penguin/panda. It’s been a real tough time, especially for those of us who deal with strictly SEO, and you guys provide so much great information, that you really do deserve a break from the Bullshit!
    Keep up the great work, and I will look forward to your next post!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Damn spelling Nazi! 🙂 Thanks man…just fixed it, hehe.

      We haven’t fully recovered and we’re still reeling a bit from some of the changes, but we’re doing our best to adapt, improve, and diversify.

  • Hi Guys

    A great solid year even through the turmoil (god knows what the figures would have been with out the Google updates!! :-()

    Looking forward to following your progress through 2013.

    I still believe that there really is a big opportunity in the brokers angle, if played well.

    Onwards and upwards to the $1million turnover number 🙂


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Steve!

      Yeah, I’m pretty interested in the broker angle…I really think there’s a gap there and I’m hoping we can find a profitable and productive route to exploit it! 🙂 We get a request to broker quite often and if we can figure out a way to verify the sites and use our team to list I think we might have a way to make it work…we’ll see!

      $1 million…ugh…we’ll be happy to maintain in 2013 with AF, I think. I’m hoping to build out our outsourcing company in 2013, though… 🙂

  • Rob S says:

    Always a great read guys. I can’t wait to hear about whatever slight tweaks you have been making to your site building process. Hopefully that will come out soon in some way shape or form (post/podcast).

    I am curious to know about how many sites are generating the $2,300 in adsense income for December?

    • Thanks Rob, we’ll keep you updated when the new process is more fleshed out.

      For December 2012, we had over 1,200 sites earn somehting, but this includes sites that earned only 1 cent. The vast majority of income came from the top 700 sites earning at least $1 or more for the month.

  • Nick LeRoy says:

    Fantastic month and year guys. I’m excited to see what you guys pump out in 2013. Just a quick question. What formatting, software etc did you guys use to create the imagery and layout for your niche site empire PDF?

    Also, can’t wait to see the broker opportunities and how the numbers will compare vs sales on Flippa.

  • Yakezie says:

    Love it. $200k for the both of you ain’t bad at all for living in the Philippines!

    As a personal finance junkie, have you calculated how much of the revenue you guys actually kept? In other words, how much have your savings gone up in 2012? The PF sphere is all about what we keep.



    • We’ve kept a good portion of it. Expenses here are relatively low and we always maintained low operating costs. Of course there is some cost in there, but Justin has outlined that in a post here:

      Don’t forget our day jobs at an outsourcing company. They two combined have made for a handsome income.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Sam,

      We profited roughly half of our revenue in 2012. Our business hasn’t matured to the point that we’re in wealth-building mode…we have fair reserves built up for our business (that grew a bit throughout the year) and typically spend the rest testing through new revenue streams.

      We’re a bit less forthright when it comes to personal savings, but I will tell you that Joe is much better than I am in this arena. 🙂 I tend to spend more personally and it probably has to do with my being less conservative when it comes to money…

  • Ben Hebert says:

    Dude Skefflings is killing it!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      I know, right? I hadn’t followed up on her blog for a couple of months and writing this income report reminded me to check it out…she’s on fire right now…cool to see!

  • Dan Norris says:

    Great year guys I bet you were keen to crack the $200k! Thanks heaps for the mention too. Looking forward to seeing what you guys do this year. If I can help in any way please let me know.

    Interesting that Twitter referes more traffic than Google kind of surprised about that!

    • You’re welcome Dan. We’ll get after the elusive $200k this year.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Dan!

      It was great breaking 200K, but we were really hoping for 250K at the beginning of the year, heh. I’m really interested to see what YOU come up with in 2013…you’re a workhorse when it comes to content and outreach, man…really impressive!

      I was surprised to see that Twitter was so high, but we have done a few competitions and giveaways that helped, I think, along with some “Click To Tweet” campaigns. Our FB growth on the other hand has been much slower, actually.

  • Great work guys.

    Boy this would’ve been an even better (and easier) read in a whole new AF site design? When is that actually gonna happen?


  • Happy new Year and well done! Thanks for the mention, it certainly got crazy here. I am sorry to hear the Squidoo is not for you, it may not be a solid business model, but a bit of cash would be nice. I hope you did at least 30 lenses. That seems to be the critical mass.

    You have some interesting and totally useful ideas for the year, that is great to see. I am particularly excited to learn about the outsourcing for startups as we are getting into private label selling and would love a way to be more hands off.

    I am excited to see your website brokering develope too. I am also keen to see how the levelin up and authorit-ication of niche sites works. We have 4 we are working on and it will be great to see some case studies or get pointers.

    Chris Guthrie has some great content (videos) on buying sites, in the Site Finder Pro membership site. The program/site makes it easy to search and find sites on Flippa. One of these days I will take a plunge and buy a site. I hope you guys and your readers have an awesome 2013.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Claire!

      Squidoo might be something we go back to in the future, but our initial test was so underwhelming we don’t see it as being something we want to pursue right now. It’s obviously working for you and so I know it’s possible! 🙂 We didn’t do 30 lenses…we have around 14 lenses and only 5-6 of them are below the 400K threshold and visible on Squidoo.

      Chris has some good content on buying sites and it’s something he’s been focused on as of late…I like hearing about his due diligence on buying sites and think that’s something that needs to be discussed even more, heh.

  • ConstantineGer says:

    Peer from “” is one of my favorite blogger in germany. He started a niche site challenge and delivered a whole bunch of very quality content! (Maybe he should think about an english version of his blog?) For me it is nice to notice how little the world of online marketing is 😀

    But I think I discovered you first 😉

    Thanks for a very great year 2012 with the AdsenseFlippers an i wish you all the best for 2013!

    I’m looking forward to hear more about building authority sites.

    Have a nice start to 2013!

  • Tom says:

    First I would like to congratulate you for your great income in year 2012. I also wish you all the best in the year 2013!

    I would suggest you don’t immediately quit over Squidoo. I’m currently making between 900 and 1.100 USD/month on Squidoo + around 1.500 USD on my AdSense sites which gain traffic by redirecting people from my squidoo lenses. I make about 2.500 USD/month total.

    Since Google takes Squidoo as large site with authority, it is a lot easier to reach top Google positions with Squidoo lens than with your own adsense site. A while ago, I managed to gain #1 position on with keyword which has 450.000 monthly searches. My lens at that time had around 11.000 visitors daily!

    I also wrote an e-book on how to make money with Squidoo. I can send it to you, if you want.

  • Tom says:

    First I would like to congratulate you for your great income in year 2012. I also wish you all the best in the year 2013!

    I would suggest you don’t immediately quit over Squidoo. I’m currently making between 900 and 1.100 USD/month on Squidoo + around 1.500 USD on my AdSense sites which gain traffic by redirecting people from my squidoo lenses. I make about 2.500 USD/month total.

    Since Google takes Squidoo as large site with authority, it is a lot easier to reach top Google positions with Squidoo lens than with your own adsense site. A while ago, I managed to gain #1 position on with keyword which has 450.000 monthly searches. My lens at that time had around 11.000 visitors daily!

    I also wrote an e-book on how to make money with Squidoo. I can send it to you, if you want.

    • We’re hear you Tom, giving up too early is one of the bis problems in this issue. Still, I think we have bigger fish to fry. Feel free to send over your e-book so we can take a look.

  • Dan Norris says:

    Hey guys thanks again for mentioning my podcasting guide in this post. I’ve updated it to include a link to your podcast at the bottom of the post. I’m doing this for podcasters who share the post

  • curiouslittleperson says:

    super.. got here through

    You guys are rocking man..this is a serious income

  • Tashia says:

    I am SOO interested in you guys brokering. I believe there’s a high demand for buying and selling websites in the lower price ranges and I’ve been looking for a trusted source to purchase some. No better place to purchase then Adsense Flippers.

  • tom libelt says:

    I remember talking with you on the Warrior Forum a while back when you were just starting this venture. You came a long way… and its hard to believe but it was thanks to niche sites… lol



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