It’s time for a quick recap of April!
Nobody should care about the gross volume that their business is making, unless they’re planning an exit or a funding round and they want to show massive growth numbers.
But let’s be honest, a lot of us are not trying to build a business that they will resell to a big company in the next 12 months.
Bootstrapping a business is a whole different game.
When you’re working with your own capital, you can’t be throwing money left and right in the name of growth.
You need to focus on profitability.
In April, I mostly downsized my paid advertising campaigns to focus on the most profitable ones.
As you can see below, went down from almost $31k in expenses March to $17k in April.
BUT the really important thing is that the profit margin for my ecommerce projects went from 10.37% profit in March ($3,500) to 19.54% profit in April ($4,200).
I almost doubled my profit margin: that means less risk to make more profit.
I’ll take profit over gross volume every single time.
The downside is that by the end of the month, I noticed that the profit margin started decreasing so I’m not sure how long these campaigns will stay profitable.
More about that next month.
Niche site WS2
My writers worked on the last batch of articles for this project.
I worked on the formatting, picture, etc, and these are now live on the website.
To recap, I have spent almost $1,000 on this project since January on content alone.
At this point, I have decided to stop the spending and see if the traffic grows in the next few months to cover these expenses.
If the site starts generating decent money, I’ll be working on more content.
Niche site WS4
This website has been my main focus recently because it’s the one with the most potential.
So far, I have published 35 articles on this website and built exactly 0 links.
The whole point of this experiment is to see if you can actually succeed in 2018 with a website by providing very high quality content, but building absolutely no links.
*Rant mode ON*
Every single month you hear about websites that got penalized for building links that Google didn’t like.
With every link building strategy, the line between white hat and black hat is extremely blurry.
Technically, every link built with the purpose of improving your search engine rankings is black hat. And every SEO specialist I know will argue that things like guest posting are actually ok with Google…
Except that if SEOs were being honest about it, this is done only for the purpose of increasing your search engine rankings… so it’s *actually* black hat.
So there is a whole lot of hypocrisy going around in SEO circles, and for good reason: the whole purpose of SEO is to improve rankings. So if they want to sell their services and link packages, they have to blur the line between what’s acceptable or not.
So here I am, building this website with content that’s way ahead of competitors in term of quality, on-page SEO, as well as helpfulness for visitors, and I want to see if I can rank on these criteria alone.
With that being said, the traffic is *very slowly* starting to go up and most of the visits are either from social networks or search (Google).
I’m quite happy to report that the site referred its first customer to Amazon who purchased a couple of products.
The RPM (revenue per thousand visitors) is really high at almost $226, but I don’t expect it to stay this high. Since the traffic is very low, this is more like a freak sale and should go much lower in the next months. Based on my previous websites, I expect the RPM to be around $60-100 once traffic gets more steady.
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.
|Cost of Goods||-$2,735.44||▲ $1,036.41|
|Payment Fees||-$944.33||▲ $653.71|
|Email Marketing||-$230.00||▲ $5.00|
|Customer Service||-$199.57||▼ $8.18|
|Niche Sites||-$745.68||▲ $219.43|
|Sponsored Blog Posts||$0.00|
I managed to reach my month goal of $2,500 profit.
This is good news as it’s the first time in 2018 that I reach, and exceed, my goal.
Even though I didn’t manage to reach my goal every month this year, I am still happy to see that I was able to profit every month since November 2017.
Now the goal is to make over $2,500 every single month until the end of the year to make sure I have enough money to cover my personal expenses.
What’s happening next?
Niche site WS2 is on hold until further notice, and I’m going to work on the niche site WS4.
Aside from niche sites, I need to keep a close eye on my paid advertising for the ecommerce websites and make sure I don’t lose money there.
Stay tuned for the next update!