Monthly Income Report October 2015
This is time for another edition of Dukeo’s monthly income report.
These reports allow you to take a look behind the curtain and see what is actually going on when someone is building an online business.
Transparency and honesty are some of the core values that I use as pillars for everything I build online. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for every single blogger out there.
You see, a lot of bloggers are posting partial income reports.
In other words, they post about the money they made, but they conveniently “forget” to report the money they spend. It allows them to look like massive and overnight successes even if they are not breaking even yet.
I decided to be completely open with my readers, and to not hide any expense that I make to grow my online business.
I know that this will not make me look as glamorous and successful as some other people out there, but I don’t care. I want to show you what it TRULY takes to have an online business.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right into the report.
What happened last month?
With the holiday season right around the corner, October has been a busy month for me.
Once again, mots of my projects didn’t grow as planned. Some didn’t grow at all, while some others grew beyond my expectations.
At this point, my viral sites have been running on autopilot for a while.
After spending about a week developing a custom CMS for one of my sites, I just wanted to sit back, and see how this self-learning CMS would do.
The site didn’t receive enough traffic yet for the system to show it’s full potential.
It will probably be another couple of months before I can see significant results for that site.
As a reminder, my custom CMS is designed to determined which sequence of stories is resulting in the most shares by the visitors, and “encourage” them to browse the stories in that specific order by showing them prominently in various parts of the site.
My profit for this project is more or less the same as previous month, with just a $17 difference.
More updates to come on that project next month.
After working almost a year on a batch of 20+ niche sites, my results up to that point have not been positive enough to keep going with the exact same strategy.
I have been giving myself 12 months to see if I can make the whole “niche site” thing work for me, and the deadline is quickly approaching.
As a result, I have decided to do a few things to change my strategy.
First, since most of my niche sites are “product oriented” and build on the exact same structure, I have decided to regroup them in a single site.
- Having one big site instead of 20+ small sites will reduce my costs (that’s 20 less unique IPs to pay for),
- it will make it a lot easier to make any changes to the site structure (1 update instead of 20),
- and it will hopefully help in terms of SEO since the authority of one section could “splash” onto other sections and increase my rankings in other niches as well.
Here is a graph showing the evolution of traffic and revenue for these new niche sites. Keep in mind that the data from previous months is an aggregate of the 20+ niche sites that I built.
2. Link Building
For some time, I have been trying to grow that project without building any links.
It hasn’t been the success I was hoping for, to say the least.
I have changed my strategy and started building a specific type of links to my website.
I will report about it if/when I start seeing some results from this link building campaign.
In another effort to get some more eyeballs on my niche sites, I have experimented with paid traffic.
I am trying everything possible to grow my niche site(s), and paid traffic is an area that is often overlooked by site builders, because it costs money.
It was an interesting experiment, but the revenue per visitor was pretty low and I ended up losing money.
I have spent less than 1 hour working on Dukeo last month.
This is all going to change in November: I have started working on a few things that will hopefully help me grow my bottom line with this blog.
I have promoted a few special offers with my hosting provider that resulted in 2 sales. Putting an extra $100 in my pocket for less than 10 minutes of work.
For months, I haven’t really messaged my email list.
All these people who subscribed to get more information from me have just been sitting there without receiving much update from me.
In November, I am going to review my email sequence from the ground up to provide a mix of information nuggets and special product offers.
What about the money?
Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.
To make this report easier to understand, I’m using a simple color code: green numbers are positive, red numbers are negative.
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.
- Sovrn: $320.88
- Display Advertising: $266.95
- Adsense: $126.00
- Promotion: -$241.29
- Hosting: -$51.35
- Net: $421.19 (Difference: -$17.64)
- Sites: 2
- Amazon: $210.05
- Adsense: $6.97
- Promotion: -$533.57
- Hosting: -$103.60
- Net: -$420.15 (Difference: +$195.36)
- HostGator: $100.00 (How to start a Blog in less than 5 minutes)
- Adsense: $20.44
- Aweber: $8.70 (My List Building Guide)
- Hosting: -$51.35
- Net: $77.79 (Difference: -$68.83)
- Aweber: -$149.00
- Hosting: -$51.35
- Misc: -$17.04
- Net: -$217.39 (Difference: -$100.39)
Net: -$138.56 (Difference: +$8.50)
My viral sites made pretty much the same amount of money as previous month. I am starting to think I should focus more of my time on these sites since they are already profitable. The problem is that I don’t see the traffic potential to grow this project to over $1,000 per month.
My niche site could have been profitable if I had not spent some extra money on paid traffic. However, this is not particularly exciting because the revenue for that project isn’t growing in any way. I need to find a new strategy if I want to really make money from this project.
This blog is still making a little money with almost no work. I have a lot of articles about blogging that I never got the chance to publish before. I’m considering publishing a new post per day for a few months to revive this blog a little.
I have made a stupid mistake last month that cost me an additional $80. I didn’t monitor my Aweber account properly and I got billed $149 instead of $69 because of just one extra subscriber that pushed me into the next billing tier. Without this mistake, I would have been only $60 into the red. Lesson learned: be more careful next month.
As you can see on this chart, my results for October were almost the same as September.
I am still looking forward to having a profitable month this year, and I was so close this month… That’s not even funny.
In November, I am going to do some work on Dukeo to review my email sequence and see if I can make money from my email list while providing value for my subscribers.
Most of my time will go into getting more traffic to my niche sites. I have planned a link building campaign and will see if it has a positive impact on my traffic.
See you next month!
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