Income Report Roundup – Feb 2020

We all know that it isn’t business as usual these days. In February, many businesses were not as affected, but were starting to see things take shape. This next while will surely test as business owners, as it will test everyone else.

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August 2019 Income Round Up

August is typically a month where lots of online entrepreneurs enjoy the summer weather. Many of the reports below mention their appreciation for a source of income that gives them the flexibility to enjoy life in the summer!

#1 takeaway – Risk Mitigation: As entrepreneurs we are constantly pushing forward and sometimes don’t do the little things to make sure our business risks are mitigated. This often takes the form of relying on 3rd party services (email, hosting, payment processing, passwords etc) to hold our critical business data. There were 2 people this month that had scares which could have been a lot worse regarding 3rd party services holding their site and websites email list. My #1 takeaway this month is to refresh my monthly task of ensuring up to date backups of business critical infrastructure is taken! 

#2 takeaway – Prolific Commitment to Content: Many of the successful businesses in this group use the word “investment” and not “expense” when discussing content. The most expensive single outlay of capital by far is content for most of these businesses. 

  • 24k word pieces of content
  • $10k worth of content in a new site before the first monetization method is tested
  • 39 blog posts in a single month
  • $5k-$20k in content investment per month 
  • 75% of monthly expenses every month is an investment in content
  • 3 podcasts, big industry reports, content updates and 5 person marketing team! 

This analysis has me doubling down on the creation of some incredibly useful pieces of content (plus more than just words) that are in the works and coming out soon! 

Quick August Update on my End:

  • I have a significant focus on and but in the rest of my business here were some of the key activities for Aug…
  • August was busy putting the final touches on the entity of and getting it ready for our soft launch in Sep and a larger push coming soon.
  • A rededicated focus the last 6 months to an ecommerce store with consistent content and executing 1 solid upgrade strategy per month has paid off with the sites best month in over 2 years!
  • ContentRefined was finalizing the plan for a couple big pushes in September during August including some team re-org.
  • My family summered hard with the kids out of school enjoying the cottage and lots of mountain biking 

My Reason for This Round Up:

When I started my online entrepreneurship journey I took a lot of inspiration from others that were sharing everything they did online. Seeing that people like me were making REAL money and that the opportunity to replace my day job was possible. 

It has been 3 years since I left my day job –

The more transparent the report the more I appreciated and was motivated by it. 

Over the years I have tried to be as transparent as possible sharing along the way my goals, business successes/failures and the ultimate results(profits). 

After years of sharing monthly income posts I decided that it made sense to stop these… a decision I actually regret as I wish I had found a way to keep sharing some of what I was doing. My reason was as my online world and “real” worlds became more tangled.  

Looking at many of the people that originally had an income round up they have also stopped. Namely the most famous in the space Pat Flynn no longer does income round ups. 

I will cover…

  1. List of inspiring income report posts and how they earned their profits
  2. Recognize motivating people showing not just telling people the results they are achieving
  3. Learn from others – What the key learning is from the people

Last Month Profit – $17,131.22

Name – Ron Stefanski

Website –

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • The overall growth rate has been incredible! (look at the graph below)
  • Technical challenge cost Ron a lot with a site being updated and having a noindex, nofollow not removed when the site was moved from staging to production
  • Content is by far the biggest expense with a $10k investment in content in a new site without turning on any source of earnings from it

Last Month Profit – $4,590

Name – Lidiya

Website –

Business Model – Blogging

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • Interesting self reflection on aiming to make six figures from blogging
  • 39 blog posts published on her site in August! Continues to publish prolifically

Last Month Profit – no update this month

Name – Spencer Haws

Website –

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • No update this month

Last Month Profit – $4,026.72

Name – Johnny FD

Website –

Business Model – Mixed – Dropshipping & Investing

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • One of the only people on here whose business model is dropshipping via a shopify store. It can be a great model with a few more moving parts/opportunities for optimization vs a typical content site
  • With a busy fall travel schedule he seems to have really prioritized the lifestyle side for the month with lots of gym time and relaxing time!

Last Month Profit – $38,047 

Name – Jon Dykstra

Website –

Business Model – Authority Website (display ads)

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • Jon had a scare this month where he thought his database of email subscribers may have been lost! This is not something that I have historically backed up but based on Jon’s scare I am adding it to my monthly task of backing up critical business data!
  • Optimization mindset – Jon is great at always looking at tweaks to make small incremental improvements! For one site he optimized image hosting saving him $300/month, he jokes that it will help pay for netflix but in all reality if he continues to find a $300/month savings every month in 1 year his entities value will have increased by over $100k (monthly savings 300×12)*(business valuation 3x annual earnings)

Last Month Profit – $30,814

Name – Ryan Robinson

Website –

Business Model – Authority Website (affiliate earnings)

Income Report –

Key Lesson(s):

  • This is the first month I have had Ryan on here, Maddie from ContentRefined who was on his podcast here mentioned I should include him!
  • Epic Content – Ryan has really focused on producing incredibly large posts 5000+ word minimum with some monsters at 24k words like his how to start a blog post

Honourable Mentions:

Although they don’t do exactly income reports there are a few reports that are worth mentioning and when they publish new reports I will be sure to include.

This month there is one other report I want to feature…

EmpireFlippers – Quarterly Report

$498k/month Revenue in Q2 2019 Published Aug 26, 2019

Key Lesson(s):

  • Compounding growth over 6 years “If you roll up your sleeves, commit to work every day, and have a vision of the future for your business, then the compound interest you’ll gain might just change your life.” 
  • Content consistently everywhere, their content push on giant industry report, 3 podcasts, content updates to existing content has all resulted in over 50% of their inbound traffic being organic.  

Am I missing any I should include? Please drop a message in the comment section below with anyone I should include next month!

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Complete Guide to Outsourcing the Creation of a Niche Dominating Round Up Post

This post isn’t just a “how to” post but it is a “how to… have someone else do it for you” post.

This post breaks down step by step how to outsource the creation of a niche dominating post that can attract traffic and launch a niche website!

I have done some “dumbed” down versions of this approach but this post is also going to act as a real time case study where I can show the results of what one of these posts will do for a couple of my sites.

Sneak Peak – Here is the template I created for my VA’s to do this entire process on their own


What is an Expert Round Up Post?

An epic round up post is when a blog owner asks a large number of experts their opinion on a specific question and then compiles all those answers into one huge post.


Massive Opportunity for Our Sites Audience

Expert round up posts are not new, Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing wrote about them back in 2011 at Corbett Barr’s site.

The round up post has been used extensively in any form of online marketing topic (link building tools, social media trends, SEO predictions etc). However, in many other niches the round up post is rarely used and the people being requested for input, if done correctly, will be flattered and not annoyed to be asked.

Google wants to be able to rank the best content in #1 and this is a way to create an outstanding and useful article in a niche you don’t have much experience or knowledge.

This next section is going to walk you through the detailed procedure to outsource the creation of a high value epic round up post in any niche.


Step By Step Instructions showing you how to outsource the creation of Niche Dominating Round Up Post…

The problem with these round up posts is that they take a TON of work to do right. If you are like me you don’t have a lot of time and putting 10hrs into a single post for a niche/authority site just isn’t practical.

So here is the system I am using to automate the creation of these ultimate round up posts.

This assumes you have a high quality VA to help you with this process, if you don’t have a look at my post on hiring a VA in 30 minutes or less.


Procedure and Tracking Document – Yours Free

This Google Document template is the companion for this post. It has 10 tabs which are the documents to be used by my VA as he works through this project.

The idea is it is the procedure for him to follow showing…

  1. Who is doing what work on this project
  2. When is the work to be done
  3. How the work is to be completed
  4. What the status of the work is

If I have done a good enough job(which I haven’t yet) I could hire a VA on ODesk and send them both this post and the spreadsheet and they should be able to get a niche dominating post completed in 5 weeks.

Epic roundup post creation tracking guide


Step 1 – Do Research and Find Round Ups in the Same Niche (if there are any)

Having an idea of what has already been done in your niche when it comes to round up posts is a great place to start.

Try these searches to see if anything turns up…

  • “round up” “keyword”
  •  “experts” “keyword”

In many niches there will be very little that turns up. But record anything that is reasonably relevant.

research to find similar post in the same niche

Epic roundup post creation tracking guide

Step 2 – Define Your Desired Post Title

The purpose of step 2 is to craft a title that the remaining steps will focus around.

You want to identify a topic that is interesting to your target audience. The typical keywords tools can help with this but in addition here are a few tools you can play with to try and get an idea of what topic will most spark the interest of your experts and your target audience…

“Standard Title Template: # Experts Share Their Favourite (Niche Specific tool or tip)”

define your desired psot title



Step 3 – Create a List of 20-100 Experts

This step is all about creating a long list of engaged experts in your niche. The people we are after are people who are actively involved in talking about your subject online. We want to find people who are

  1. Experts in the industry
  2. Actively involved online
  3. Likely to answer our question
  4. Likely to share our post once it goes live

If we can find 20-100 people who match the above 4 criteria it will make this project a very successful one!

  • Bloggers
  • Top Blog Commenters
    • Find the top blogs in your space and see who is the most active commenting. Click on their comment name to go back to their website and record them as another outreach person.
  • Authorities
    • Authors (check Amazon to find authors on the subject)
    • Company Contacts (check industry magazines for the authors of the articles)
  • Active Forum Members
    • If there is a forum that is very dominant in your niche spend some time in it and find out who the most active contributors are. Record them on your list as potential people to reach out to.
  • Active Twitter Users
    • Using the tool FollowerWonk Bio Search enter several variations of keywords of your target audience (follower wonk). Be sure to not record everyone here that has your keyword in their bio or profile. Make sure to target people who are actively sharing content on twitter relevant to your article you are creating.
    • Repeat the step above with WeFollow

make a list of titles



Step 4 – Build a “Relationship”

Sending a request to someone who you have already established a small relationship with will result in both a higher response rate and an more in depth and valuable responses.

The way to get at least a little bit of a relationship going is to interact with them online.

If you haven’t already done so you will need to create an alias for your niche site (unless you are not using an alias). This will include…

  1. Name, Profile Picture
  2. Gmail Account
  3. Twitter Account
  4. Facebook Account
  5. Google+ Profile

Now it is time to start getting just a little bit of name recognition in the space.

The plan is simple for 2 weeks have your VA or yourself do the following…

  1. Follow 10 People on all major social networks Twitter, Google+ and Like on Facebook
  2. Comment on anyone who has a blog of the 10 people you followed today
  3. Retweet something relevant to the niche from everyone you followed 1 day ago
  4.  Share on Google + something from the 10 people you followed 3 days ago (make sure to include +theirname)
  5. Share on Facebook and Twitter something from the 10 people you followed 5 days ago (make sure to include @theirusername when you share)
  6. Share an article or retweet or blog comment at 7 days for active people on the list
  7. Finally if their website is a blog and has an email list – sign up for it using the alias gmail account


BONUS TIP – Sustaining/Building Your Social Profile

I am not a social media expert and have failed to see much of a return on my multiple attempts at it but social media plan I plan to use to sustain the initial effort is the following…

  1. Moving forward share an article or retweet or blog comment once per month per person on

  2. When you want to build your profile start following the followers of the 20-100 experts you the list to maintain/build your social media are targeting at a rate of ~20/day


This will result in you ideally getting onto you’re your target audiences radar while at the same time building up your social media profile which will be leveraged when your post goes live.

alias name



Step 5 – Reach Out With a Brief Personnel Email

Since we are outsourcing this process this email step can be difficult so it is important to have final approval before any email goes out.

However, now that we have already established ourselves with at least a little name recognition we can hope for some engaged answers.

Create the Email Template

Short and sweet and not sounding canned is what we are going for here…

Outreach Template 1

“Hi (name)

Loving your (website/twitter account/forum profile) and have enjoyed reading and sharing it recently!

The (insert niche name) is something I am not an expert in but I am really wanting to learn more.

So much so that I started a website and I am now reaching out to experts/enthusiasts such as yourself to ask the same question and share the answers with the community.

If you have the time would you be able to answer the question below (ideally in a short 4-5 sentence paragraph) and I will include it on my website along with other answers which will be a great help to people such as myself.


Of course I will include a link back to your site/profile thanking you for your answer.

Let me know if you have any questions. Ideally I am going to compile and publish this resource in 2 weeks so a response anytime in the next 7 days would be very much appreciated!


(insert name)

(insert website URL)

(insert Twitter account)“

Now that you have the template set up it is time to email everyone on your list at a rate of 10 personalized emails per day.

Every time a response is received be sure to thank them!


BONUS TIP – For people who have responded the more engaged you can get them the more likely they will be to help promote your article once it is published. Plus the more people the better so in your response thanking them for commenting also include a follow up question to see if there is anyone else you should contact to ask the same question?


BONUS TIP – If someone you are trying to reach out to has an email list simply sign up and on the second or third auto responder email simply reply to them with the question. This shows that you are following them.


Thank You Template 1

“Hi (name)

Thanks for answering!

Your input will be a huge help to lots of people.

I am spending some time now compiling all the answers into what I am really hoping will be a great resource!

Since you are well connected in the industry is there anyone else you can think of that would be a great resource to answer the same question…


If you can either flip this email to them and cc me or simply let me know who you are thinking of and I will make contact.

Your help is appreciated!



Whenever someone new gets referred make sure to put them into the same tracking sheet and track…

  • Add there name, email, twitter username, Facebook page, Google+ page and enter the referral source
  • Follow them on all major social media networks
  • Sign up for an email list of theirs if applicable
  • Send them an outreach email following template “Referral 1”

Referral Template 1

“Hi (name)

I received your name from (insert referral source).

He helped me answer a question I am asking to several experts in the (insert niche) field and he/she thought you would be a great person to contact.

What I am looking to do is to assemble a bunch of experts response to the following question in order to build a great resource for people like me.

The question…

(insert question here)

Of course I will include a link back to your site/profile thanking you for your answer.

Let me know if you have any questions. Ideally I am going to compile and publish this resource in 2 weeks so a response anytime in the next 7 days would be very much appreciated!


(insert name)

(insert website URL)

(insert Twitter account)“

7 days after you sent the initial request anyone who hasn’t responded should receive a friendly follow up request.

Follow Up Template 1

“Hi (name)

I am just checking in to see if you were interested in having your answer included in my expert round up post.

Your response will be online along with many other experts in the (ENTER NICHE) market with a link back to your site.

If interested can you write a short answer to the question below today or tomorrow and I will be sure to include you along with the other experts.





For every answer you receive make sure to record it on the main tracking sheet.


BONUS TIP – If there are any yes/no questions or multiple choice questions make sure to record the answers on the tracking spreadsheet for easy analysis later.


BONUS TIP – Google Forms or other tools could make this process easier for us but harder for the person answering the question. So I have elected to not use any kind of survey automation.




Templates to Use




Step 6 – Compile Answers and Create Graphics

Now that all the answers have been received it is time to compile all the responses.

The format will depend on the question

But the standard template should include the experts…

  • Name
  • Website & Twitter Profile(if applicable)
  • Picture
  • Response

Here is one of the best looking layouts of an expert post I came across at of Brian Dean talking about his list of 200 Google Search Ranking factors.

brian dean

Here is one of myself at talking about Guest Blogging Tips

jon haver

In addition to compiling all the content into 1 document we also want to get some graphics created.

The type of graphics we need can be…

1. Faces Collage

Taking an available picture of each person who responded and creating a collage


2. Graphs and Tables Comparing the Answers

If the answers lend themselves to input into Excel and analyzed then this is a great opportuntity to geek out and create a few graphs that communicates

Any graph that helps show the results is great for some people!

comile answer and prep doc



Step 7 – Outsource Introduction and Conclusion

Step 7 can actually be done early if you want to reduce the duration of this entire project. However, if you want it to be more relevant then you can wait until all the responses and analysis has been done.

Then hire a quality writer to create a 250-500 word introduction to the article and a 250-500 word conclusion to the article.

  • The writer will require the following information…
  • Word document compiling all the answers you have received
  • Example of similar round up posts
  • Communicate the deadline 2-3days
  • Description of the job
    • 250-500 word introduction
    • 250-500 word conclusion/wrap up

You can use the method here to get the articles created and expect to pay $5-$15 for the introduction and conclusion combined.

create intro to post and conclusion to post



Step 8 – Finishing Touches and Publish

This is now the final step before it goes live to the world.

This step is straightforward but will take some time, your VA will need to upload all the content, properly upload and format all images. Here is a good checklist for your VA to follow.


BONUS TIP – I plan on experimenting with publishing the article as a page and then making it the only homepage article. This will ultimately drive the social shares and links of the homepage instead of a sub-page and if the post title is focused enough for your target keyword/problem then it will give you the best opportunity to rank #1.


step 8

Epic roundup post creation tracking guide

Step 9 – Share and Email All Contributors

Now that the article is live we want to be sure to share

1. Share on social media – “thanks to all that contributed – (POST TITLE)” & schedule 3 more tweets 1 quote, 1 title, 1 final thank you

2. Email everyone who contributed


I wanted to say thanks again for providing a great answer to my earlier question.

The post I put a LOT of effort into is now live and will hopefuly be a great help for people due to contributions like yours!

Now I really want to help as many people as possible with it, if you think your audience would find value in it I would really appreciate if you shared it with them via email or social media!

Here is the link – (ENTER THE URL HERE)



3. Tweet @expertsname thanking them – 10/day

step 9

step 9- outreach

Step 10 – Extra Promotion

There are plenty of ways to promote your content but here are what I believe are the 5 best options (for more great ideas read the Advanced Guide to Content Marketing from Neil Patel at QuickSprout)Ema.

1. Use a social share locker for a “Bonus Tip” from a surprise expert or some other valuable piece of content – my review and tutorial of WPSharely.

2. Email everyone on your list in step 3 who did not contribute letting them know the post is live and ask if they have anything to add to please leave a comment on the page and share with their audience.


I know you didn’t have time to answer the question I sent earlier but thought you may be interested in seeing the responses from (NUMBER) experts in (NICHE).

The post with all the answers is now live here – (ENTER URL HERE)

There were A LOT of hours I put into this post, now I really want it to help as many people as possible!

If you can help by linking to the post or sharing on Twitter/Facebook it would be really appreciated!

Also, if you want to contribute still you can either Email me or simply leave a comment on the page!



3. Look back at all the posts you found in step 1 and find out where the backlinks came from for those posts. Now that you have an equal(or better) article that is in the same niche reach out to the

Hey (NAME)

I noticed you linked to the solid post (ENTER THE URL THEY LINKED TO)

If you found that post interesting I am certain you would find the recent MONSTER of a post I published titled…





4. Create a badge image “Top # Expert Niche” and send it to all those that contributed giving them the option to include it on their website using this code…

“In that code, include an “href” back to the “Top 100” post on your website.

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”” title=”Named in the your-brand Top 100 topic list for year” alt=”Top 100 topic badge”>

Want to see how other Top 100 lists are done? Check out these sites:

(source – QuickSprout)

5. Broken Link Building – Now that you have a link worth piece of content it is time to find even more people to link to it. A great starting list of websites to crawl to find broken links is the list you created in Step 2.


General promotion



Final Thoughts

Systematizing a powerful strategy is something that I have always enjoyed doing and it is the best way I know how not to get the eventual burnout promoting a site.

My plan right now and I will share all the details with you is to have my niche website building VA to attack this plan and work to create 2 massive round up posts for a couple of sites to try and push them both over the top. One of the sites is doing well ranking in the top 10 within 1 month while the other is not doing well at all!

Hopefully in 1-2 months I will be able to write a follow up post on how this strategy worked. I am sharing it with you now with the full disclosure I have not tested it in the hopes that other people will find value from it and help me improve it.

So if you use this strategy let me know what worked, what didn’t and how you improved upon it!

Epic roundup post creation tracking guide


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