Like all online marketers, I post my monthly income so you can see my Method™ is working.
My 2-week holiday at the start of August really affected my 'connection' to the sites - it took me until yesterday to feel like I was really on top of everything again. Still - important to take a break every now and then.
Some weird results this month, which I'll go into in more detail below.
The main story was our attempt to buy a house in Switzerland. We thought there was a good chance we'd get it (and my girlfriend has dreamed of nothing else for the last 6 months). It would have been a huge shock to my finances, probably requiring me to sell the reviews website (at least).
The deal fell through at the last minute but being so close (emotionally anyway) to such a big financial commitment just really got me fired up to grow these sites aggressively so I'll be able to afford the next opportunity that comes along. So in the last few days of August I really splashed the cash.
If this is your first visit here, I split my income reports according to sites 1) I bought 2) I made 3) I made with a partner.
Thanks to all the money I spent, 'profit' is down a touch compared to July. But the income column is looking very healthy. Over 6 thousand dollars!
Bought: Tech Site
I took a tiny step towards moving this from Joomla to Wordpress by buying a plugin that might be useful when I do it. I'll do some tests to see if I can start the transfer myself. It's probably a bit above my pay grade though.
Meh. Don't have the energy right now. 250 bucks a month is fine.
Bought: Lead Generation Site
The tweaks I made before going on holiday paid off very slightly - enough to see an uptick in people who start the lead generation process on the site.
I got 80 dollars of leads, which is way short of the 400/month I expected when I bought the site, but a lot more than the 0 it earned last month. I'll take it.
Bought: Garden Site
This 4 dollar month came as a shock (I don't check this one very often). I thought it was going great! In fact, it IS going great - traffic is 50% higher than a month ago.
So it's not a great financial result but I'm actually happy with how it's going. The site is very small so the income is bound to fluctuate radically. Nothing to worry about. And thinking about it, it might be quite seasonal. Probably does better in the first half of the year than the second.
Bought: Home Site
I fixed the over-optimisation problems I've been having recently, and I'm just waiting for Google to notice. But apart from dropping for the main keyword, everything else is going okay. I added soooooo much new content in the last couple of months and we're getting sales from some of those new pages already.
630 dollars of income is on the low side, but I remain hopeful of getting it to 4 figures a month fairly soon.
I also spent a BUNCH of money on it - again.
Until recently my strategy (for all sites) has been to buy cheap articles and edit/improve them myself. That is a total pain in the nips and a waste of my time and energy. It's fine for when you're starting out, but now it's a real bottleneck.
So I've been slowly paying more and more, and the other day I found a stellar writer who specialises in longform content. I ordered 3 articles from him for 110 USD each.
Now, I've made entire niche sites for less than 330 dollars, so I'm VERY interested to see how these articles do. If things go to plan, 2 articles will lead to lots of sales and 1 will attract lots of links.
I also spent a few hours yesterday fixing the titles and metas on some key pages, and I'm convinced they will SHOOT up the rankings now. They are SO sexy. I also used the AAWP plugin's new comparison table feature for the first time - it's GREAT.
Built: Review Site
Looks like this has settled at making 1600-1700 a month - the new section (with 20 support pages) is stuck at #40 in the rankings so no new income from that just yet.
Built: Education Sites
Bit of a dip in money this month, but a fellow English teacher sent me a 6,500 word document which allowed me to set up a whole new section of the site targeting an adjacent exam. It's INCREDIBLE. Totally mind-blowing and definitely the number 1 resource for that exam.
5 of these 7 sites had at least one sale (up from 4). One has made more than 100 dollars for 4 months, so should probably get its own section now. The newest one is in such a great niche that it's ranking pretty well after just a couple of months of existence.
But the big kahuna is a site I started 10 months ago with the intention of making it into an authority site. I've spent more than 2,000 dollars on it and in August it made... 40 dollars.
But instead of waiting/hoping for it to start doing something, I decided to just act like it's already a success. I bought it one of those 110 dollar articles and added several more at a cost of 20-30 dollars a pop.
I also found a guy offering link-building services and will be trying him out with this site. My theory is that one day this site will be making 1,000 dollars a month, so spending 3 or 4 thousand to get it going is really trivial.
(Unless it never gets going, in which case I'm making a huge mistake...)
Joint Venture: Authority Site
Holy smokes! 2.8k of income. That's what you get with tons and tons of hard work. The site is great and we kept working really hard on it even when things looked really bleak - and they looked bleak for 10 months.
I'm not one of these 'work hard and good things will come' evangelists, because it's just not true most of the time.
If it can stay earning at this level it's a life-changing amount of income. The woman I built the site with lives in a country where her share of August's income would be enough to quit her day job and work on this full-time.
Joint Venture: John Shea
The ecommerce site I spent 2 days fixing before my holiday made 50 dollars in August. I don't know how that works out on an hourly rate, but if it goes from making 0 to 600 a year that's worth it, in my opinion.
The other site continues to grow slowly. It's a crowded niche with a lot of guys from Authority Hacker launching cookie-cutter sites. Why do they ALL do the EXACT same thing on EVERY site they build? It would drive me nuts to be a fucking clone.
Belgian: He went on holiday just after I came back from mine, so we haven't done much recently. Which is fine - the sites need to age a bit.
Indian: He got his secret key from Amazon (needed by certain plugins) but somehow it's still not working. Anyway, we chose a topic to start with and I have a writer working on the 'money page' while my mentee takes care of some supporting articles. Baby steps towards having a website up and running.
Swiss: The site continues to shape up. We had a 'drama' with one of the posts - it was incredibly messed up and nothing I did fixed it. This is the kind of thing that turns newbies away from Wordpress. Absolutely maddening. Turns out we had a post and a page with the same slug - which I thought was impossible - so changing the post had no effect because WP was displaying the page.
Girlfriend: As I reported last month, my girlfriend sees me staring at computer screens all day, clicking on pixels with a gormless expression on my face - and has decided it is an attractive lifestyle. She decided on a niche and bought a domain. Last night she said she loved the Belgian guy's design work and wondered if we should ask him to do a logo. Typical Jen and typical newbie - obsessed with colours and fonts and logos on a site with ZERO WORDS OF CONTENT.
- Replace Tablepress tables with AAWP comparison tables (a test is underway to see if this is a good idea, but the tables LOOK much more professional)
- Create a system to track which writers are writing what (writers are so slow that half the time I forget I ordered a certain article and I'm surprised when it plops into my email)
- Invest more time writing titles and meta descriptions
- Work with this link-building guy; try to get a process going
All in all, August was good. Even the sites with disappointing numbers are heading in a healthy direction. I think September will be a month where I focus on quality. Adding 2 pages instead of 10. Improving old pages instead of adding new ones. That sort of thing.
Wish me luck!