Dukeo » Income Reports » Monthly Income Report March 2015

Monthly Income Report March 2015

Steven 33 responses Income Reports
Monthly Income Report March 2015

When I started Dukeo, I wanted to share my whole experience with making money online. I published monthly income reports and monthly traffic reports for this blog, but never for my whole online business.

Looking back at these 4 years of blogging, I see that I lost focus on what really mattered to me when I was just starting.

Other sides of my business grew at a tremendous pace, and my time was used mostly to keep the ball rolling and increase profits.

Until the big crash.

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I won’t go over this again as I have already written a pretty long article about how I lost pretty much everything by a combination of bad luck, bad timing, and bad decisions.

After taking a long period of time off to regroup myself, I finally restarted some online projects.

An important part of this rebirth is to keep a journal and make myself accountable for the growth (or failure) of my web properties.

Dukeo being my personal blog, there is no better place to share my whole experience.

Brace yourself, here comes my first new generation Dukeo income report.

What happened last month?

March was a busy month for me!

It’s all been about restructuring existing projects, brainstorming new ideas, and deciding which direction I will be taking for the next few months.

One big change that I made is reviewing the web hosting of all my websites. It’s been long overdue.

At the end of the month, I realized that I have been paying for a while for servers that I really didn’t need because I don’t have the traffic anymore.

I moved stuff around, regrouped sites on servers, and ended up reducing my hosting bills by over 50% with only 2 days of work.

Viral Sites

Last year, I started working on viral-oriented websites.

Even though I am receiving decent traffic and serving over 20,000 pageviews per day, traffic quality isn’t high enough to make it big with this project.

These websites are all about arbitraging traffic, and I wasn’t able to find a winning monetization strategy.

As a result, I am leaving these sites on autopilot for now, and I’ll see if I can think of a better way to monetize them later.

Niche Sites

I spent a lot of time last month working on a niche site project.

A few years ago, I started building a niche / authority site that was growing steadily until it got hit by a negative SEO campaign.

Traffic disappeared overnight, and profits did too.

I ended up losing a lot of money on this project, but left it online hoping that it might miraculously recover someday.

Since then, the traffic has been slowly growing back, and the site is earning roughly $100 per month.

$100 is very small money but in online marketing every bit counts.

It got me thinking that it could be interesting to give another try to niche sites.

Niche Sites – Getting Started

I spent a few weeks putting together a custom WordPress theme that takes into consideration everything I know about SEO and conversion rate optimization.

This theme is fully responsive to be ready for the Google update targeting mobile-friendly websites, and I just have to edit 10 lines of code to make it look completely different from one niche site to another.

Niche Sites – The Content

Creating content is a time-consuming task and I feel like my time will be better used doing something else.

I worked on a very detailed article template that is versatile enough to be adapted for any kind of product. I’ll give that article template to the writers I will hire from Elance, Odesk and Freelancer.

Niche Sites – Stepping Up

Knowing that websites are pretty slow to get indexed and ranked in Google these days, I figured it would be interesting only if I went stronger than building one niche site…

So I’m embarking on a journey to build a new niche site every 3 days for the next month.

You read that right: at the end of this month, I should have 10 new fully-functional niche sites.

Niche Sites – No Google Analytics

In order to maximize my chances of success, I have also decided to stop using Google Analytics on all my web properties that rely exclusively on search engines for traffic.

I know that Google is claiming that the data from Google Analytics is not used to influence rankings, but with Google, you really never know.

And it’s hard to believe they would just sit on all the data they’re collecting from the websites where Google Analytics is installed, without using it in any way for their own profit.

Moreover, I don’t feel confident having a single company handling so much data about my business.

In my search for another analytics solution, I found Clicky.

After testing Clicky for a few weeks now, I can honestly say that the data is a lot more accessible and actionable that Google Analytics.

Overall, Clicky is just easier to navigate through the various reports, and I find the information that is really useful to me faster.

Niche Sites – The Challenge

At the end of March, I had a total of 2 active niche sites (the old one that got slapped by Google, and the testing site I used to develop my own theme).

At the end of April, I should have a total of 12 active niche sites.

First Product

Aside from niche sites, my other big project for this year is product development.

A few months ago, I had a product idea in a market I have never worked before.

I spent some time researching the competition, and realized that there is virtually not a single direct competitor for that product.

The first step was to jump right into it and validate my idea directly with my target market.

I put together a sales page and used my experience as an affiliate marketer to promote the product as if it already existed.

The results have been pretty encouraging, so I moved forward with the product creation.

There has been some adversity during the development, but it should be complete and ready to market by the middle of April.

I will write more about the development of this product in a dedicated blog post.


This blog has been left completely alone for a very long time and I figured it was time to start posting here again.

Over the years, I lost my focus and started posting the same generic articles that you can find on pretty much every blog about blogging and making money online.

As I wrote in my previous post, it’s time for a fresh start.

From now on, I’ll be posting exclusively about my own experience as an online entrepreneur.

No more generic articles.

Dukeo is becoming more personal than ever!

What about the money?

Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.

Please keep in mind that these figures may not be 100% accurate due to various factors such as refund requests and network adjustments. The terms for each payment may also vary. As a result these numbers may differ from the actual payments issued and received.

Viral Sites

  • Adsense: $96.00
  • Display Advertising: $42.70
  • Promotion: -$33.84
  • Hosting: -$273.41
  • Net: -$168.55 (Difference: +$317.49)

Niche Sites

  • Active Sites: 2 (Difference: +1)
  • Amazon: $191.56
  • Content: -$275.00
  • Hosting: -$22.19
  • Net: -$105.63 (Difference: -$187.06)

First Product

  • Amember: -$200.00
  • Promotion: -$387.97
  • Development: -$1,937.50
  • Hosting: -$63.00
  • Net: -$2,588.47 (Difference: -$1,674.92)



  • Aweber: -$149.00
  • Hosting: -$165.05
  • Net: -$314.05 (Difference: -$137.43)

Net: -$3,160.71 (Difference: -$1,425.38)

When you look at these numbers, you might think that I made a pretty big loss. But keep in mind that my product development accounted for a big part of the expenses, and until I have a minimum viable product, this project is generating no revenue at all.

The product launch is going to happen during the month of April, so either it will be a complete success and it will start generating a nice amount of money, or it will be a complete bust and I will stop losing money on it anyway.


Last month has been really exciting since I have been building the foundation for several new projects.

April will be mostly about launching niche sites every 3 days.

This is going to be intense in terms on rhythm, but it’s always nice to start new websites and see how they perform.

And let’s not forget about my product launch.

There are still many pieces to put together, and I’m more motivated than ever to help people in that new market with a much needed product.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

PS: please share this post on your favorite social network. It means the world to me. Thanks.

If you're inspired by this income report, and you're interested in starting your own blog, I have written a step-by-step guide that will show you how to start a successful blog for as little as $3.49 per month (this low price is guaranteed only through my link). You will also receive your own domain name for free ($15 value) by clicking on this link and purchasing at least 12 months of hosting with BlueHost. Keep in mind that the first thing you need in order to make money online is your own self-hosted website. It will help you look more professional in front of your visitors, clients, companies, and everyone else.

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  1. Ademu Anthony

    This is what happens when you try to re-awake its like sowing a seed. I am sure this months report will be better.
    I would like to have some of the niche article template you give to your freelancers. If i can follow it to develop my writing ability please

    1. Indeed, rebooting a whole online business is not going to happen instantly.

      I’m certainly working harder (and smarter) than ever to get things off the ground as fast as possible.

  2. Welcome back. The battle continues.

    1. Thanks for your comment Kevin. I’m glad to see you’re still around here :)

  3. Hi Steven,
    Just love the new look of your site. Thanks for sharing all the ways your investing to make money online, i know you will be back bigger than ever-best regards robert. oh whats your favorite eat in your new country?

    1. Hey Robert, thanks for the nice words about the new theme.

      Regarding Filipino food, I’ll go with the typical Chicken Adobo. Not the best for the waist line, but pretty darn good.

  4. Stephen, nice to see you back! I like the look of the site – seems cleaner with lots of white space. I will have to check out clicky.
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more personal blog posts!

    1. Hey Lisa, glad you like the new design of Dukeo.

      I hope your own online projects are working well.

  5. Marianne

    Hey Steven,

    I’m rooting for you. I just posted this on Google+ and Facebook. After reading your post Personal Hell and Back, I gained even more respect for what you’re doing. I think you’re a rare breed to be so open and transparent. The fact that you put up with M so much means you must have a bit of a soft heart. Not a bad thing to have, but needs wisdom, too. That’s something you’ve gained the hard way, but I hope it doesn’t harden your heart too much. All the best in 2015!

    1. Thank you for your support Marianne. I really appreciate it.

      I already had a thick skin, but with old-time friends, things tend to be different.

      It was certainly a good lesson, and I won’t make the same mistake again.

  6. Howard Lee Harkness

    You mentioned a MVP. What about the responsive theme you mentioned? Even if you just adapted a free theme, the information and documentation about how you did it would be worth some money. I might even buy it, just based on what I know about you from following you for a while.

    1. Hey Howard, I built the responsive theme for my niche sites completely from scratch. Based on the functionality I needed, it was easier to start with a blank slate.

      I never thought of selling it, and the back-end is a little rough around the edges because it doesn’t need a “pretty” interface when I’m using it myself. I just needed this tool for my own project.

      Selling this is a great idea… I will ask around to see if enough people are interested. If that’s the case, I will make a public version of it, and sell it on this blog.

  7. Cornel

    Glad to see you back! Brake a leg!

  8. Hi Steven,
    I’ve been reading your blog, following you and sharing your content for years now but I think this may be the first time that I’ve ever left a comment. (I know. It’s about time!)

    I’m always making excuses for not making niche sites. I have ideas and more than a few domains. It’s time I got started! This is just the motivation that I need. Plus, it’s time I saved some money on web hosting too. I may as well do it all at once. Thanks for the motivation.

    1. Thanks for finally joining the discussion Sherryl!

      Good luck starting with your own niche sites.

      Keep me posted on your progress, and let me know if I could help in any way.

  9. Dean

    Hi S, I really enjoy your honesty and openness. It makes you memorable and different which is hard to do these days. More than any fancy marketing tactic which tries hard – just a little authenticity goes a long way. Anyway the point is fortune favours the brave. And that you are. All the best on your journey.

    (Let us know how much your blog template might be?)

    1. Hey Dean, thanks for the nice words.

  10. Andrea Magdalena

    Hi Steven,

    I was just recently thinking about you ‘what ever happened to Dukeo’ and a few days later your newsletter was sitting in my inbox.

    I appreciate being open about your personal and professional saga and what it takes to start fresh. I can truly sympathize because I went through similar experiences.

    I find your results reassuring because I am starting a new business too. It gives a realistic picture of any start and that we are not alone in that proverbial boat.

    I too like your new look and glad you to be back delivering your usual useful content,

    Andrea M.

    1. When you read popular blogs, you always see articles about the money they make, but it’s extremely rare that people actually share about the money they lose.

      Truth is the online entrepreneur life is not all rainbows and butterflies.

      There are LOTS of failures.

  11. Hi Steven,

    Thank you for the info on your reboot. About how long, you figure, it will take to break even? Besides opt-in email marketing, how do you drive traffic and conversion? Social sites Twitter, Facebook and G+ are popular. Are they effective for driving traffic, conversion and sales? These may be future topics.

    1. Hey Philip, the time needed to break even will depend a lot on my product launch.

      If the product launch is a bust, I’ll keep losing money for now. If it’s a success, I could be cashflow positive as soon as this month. No certainty here.

      For the niche sites, it’s all search traffic. Hence the reason why I decided NOT to use Google Analytics on these sites.

      For the product launch, it will be 99% paid traffic.

      From my experience, Social is nice to build an audience that you can market to, but sucks for direct sales. There is simply too much noise, and people are not in buying mode.

  12. Theodore

    You’re really making a great move brother,

    I’m sure that the month of April will be better than the previous months. I also love the new look of your site.

    Thanks for sharing bro

    1. Thanks for the nice words Theodore. Working hard to make it a better month ;)

  13. Theodore

    Well done Steve,
    You’re really going on stronger and I’m sure things will continue to improve if you continue this way.

    Man,building one niche site every 3 days is no joke at all. How do you manage your time between researching for a lucrative niche, keyword research, site set-up and content creation? I know its not gonna be easy at all but I’m sure it will get easier as time passes by.

    I will love to ask, how are you structuring the homepage of your niche sites? Do you make them a static home page or just a normal blog page? Just curious.

    I will be sticking around waiting for your next update.

    Thanks for sharing man and more strength to your elbows.


    1. Hello Theodore, I have done my research last month already. I have all my niches and keywords lined up.

      I have put together a system that allows me to set-up a site in about 20 seconds (including customized theme, plugins, etc).

      For the content I am hiring some writers from various freelance sites.

      The only thing left for me to do is foolproof all the content and format it before publishing. It takes me 1 day to review and edit the content for 1 site, so 1 new niche site every 3 days is totally doable.

  14. Donna Foreverserenity

    Good to see you back. I need to catch up on other postings. Thanks for sharing. I’ve Ben refocussing too to up my game….it’s quite a process! And I’m not done yet!

    1. Hey Donna, long time no see. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. It’s a pleasant surprise seeing you back Ste!

    Really digging the new site layout and I’m looking forward to your upcoming articles based on your exp.

    Glad you took care of yourself and took the downtime you needed and more importantly that you’re back at it more motivated than ever!

    I’ll be following along!

    1. Well thank you Jacob. That time off was much needed and I’m now ready to go full speed again!

  16. Interesting read!

    Best of luck going forward :)

    1. Thanks for your comment and the mention on your blog Glen.

      Nice to see you around here :)

  17. Toan Nguyen

    Smart investment. Subscribed your newsletter, hope read more posts like this.

    1. hey Toan, thanks for your comment! Stay tuned for more updates.