It’s time for a quick recap of the month!
First thing first: health.
Several years ago, I’ve learned in very unfortunate circumstances that when your health is not right, nothing else in your life can go right either. We often overlook taking care of our own body because when health appears to be fine, the body stays silent.
Health being the foundation of everything you can do with your life, I decided to get mine back on tracks a couple months ago. Going to the gym first thing in the morning is now fully integrated in my routine 6 days per week, and I can feel it’s generating good results: my sleep schedule is a lot more stable than it used to be, my energy level is higher than before, and it’s having a positive impact on my productivity.
In terms of work schedule, once a week I join my two closest friends in Manila for lunch, and then work from their office in the afternoon. It’s giving me a much needed break from working at home the other 6 days of the week.
Now, let’s talk specifically about my projects.
Once again, I spent most of the month working on my Amazon niche site.
My products’ stock monitoring system is working like a charm. I am checking the “Out Of Stock Report” every few days, and I replace the products that are not available anymore with new ones. Sometimes, I have to rewrite a few paragraphs to adjust to the new product, but overall the process is extremely simple.
I believe this bottleneck is now fixed and it will be easy to hire an assistant to handle this task once the site grows significantly and I don’t have time to do it myself anymore.
Another pain point that I identified is how to manage international visitors. If you’re familiar with Amazon affiliate program, you already know that each Amazon site has its own affiliate program, and they’re completely disconnected from each other.
For example, if I have an affiliate account on Amazon.com, I can’t get commissions by sending visitors to Amazon.ca. The only option is to create a second affiliate account with Amazon.ca, but there’s still an issue: when visitors click on a link on my site, they get sent to Amazon.com.
If the visitor is coming from a country where Amazon has a country-specific site, Canada for example, Amazon.com then displays a huge banner saying something like “It appears that you are browsing from Canada. Would you like to visit Amazon.ca instead?” If the visitor clicks on that banner and shops on Amazon.ca, you get no affiliate commission.
The only way to deal with this situation is to send the visitor directly to the right version of Amazon. Since I like to build the tools I need, I ended up putting together a simple, yet very effective, geo-detection and redirection script for my site.
The links on my site look exactly the same as before to the visitors, but any time they click on an affiliate link, they get taken directly to the relevant site if I have an affiliate account for that country (Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, etc…), otherwise they simple get taken to Amazon.com.
To achieve this, I bought a database from Maxmind for one year with weekly updates. This database allows me to associate the visitor’s IP with his location on the planet. Best part is that the database on my server gets updated automatically every week.
I was not so happy to have to pay upfront for 12 months, but I know that these $300+ are totally worth it. After being live for less than a week in July, this geo-detection script already helped me get an extra $80+ in affiliate commissions with my Amazon affiliate accounts in these new countries. The $300+ should be all paid up by affiliate commissions in less than a month.
Let’s take a look at this site’s traffic and revenue for July:
Traffic grew nicely with an extra 12,000 visitors compared to June. That’s a 25% increase month over month, which is a little decrease compared to the 30% of previous month, but I don’t think it’s something I should worry about at this point.
Revenue grew by $660+ or 21% compared to June. It’s a decent growth, but it didn’t allow me to hit my goal of $4,000 revenue from that site alone in July. Boohoo..
Again, I’m not really concerned since the revenue per thousand visitors is staying pretty stable ($60-$65) now that I am receiving a decent amount of traffic. It allows me to predict somewhat accurately the revenue increase I could expect by producing more content and growing my traffic.
And let’s focus on the positive: I had my first day with over 2,500 visitors, as well as 3 days with over $200 in affiliate commissions. Yay!
In July, I didn’t publish any new content on this blog besides the monthly income report.
I’ve been making a few more tweaks to the design, and decided to get completely rid of banner ads. The $10+ I was getting from these ads was not a good-enough reason to keep bugging my visitors with them. I’d prefer if people signup to my email newsletter or read more of my content.
I have also revamped the sales page for my traffic guide: Pinterest Traffic Explosion. The design is more simple, and the order process has less friction than before. A few days after upgrading the page, one person bought my guide, so I know it was worth the effort. Hopefully, more people will take advantage of this offer (there’s a huge discount available for a limited time) and buy my guide to learn how to flood their website with traffic from Pinterest.
I have also added a “sticky banner” in the sidebar of this blog so visitor can easily access my free guide about how to start a money-making blog. I’d like to think this new banner is the reason why a visitor decided to finally start his blog and purchase hosting from Bluehost through my affiliate link in July.
This joint venture has been at a standstill for several months now.
I would like to find some time in August, maybe a few days, to get some things changed on that website so we can move forward again.
It’s going to be a matter of how busy I am working on my affiliate site this month.
Traffic to my 3 viral sites has been stable for the past few months.
Unfortunately, Sovrn (that I use to display banners on most of my pages) completely tanked in July. eCPM dropped from $0.20 in June to $0.15 in July (25% drop) on one ad format, and from $0.24 in June to $0.17 in July (29% drop) on another one. And it looks even worse so far in August.
That’s still an extra $50 in revenue with exactly zero work involved, but it’s somewhat of a disappointment nonetheless. At least it’s a little bit of money to help cover my web hosting costs.
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.
|Niche Sites||$3,611.51||▲ $677.03|
|Product 1: PTE||$17.00|
|Viral Sites||$48.03||▼ $41.88|
I was pretty excited to see that my revenue was over $4,000 for July. That’s more than $550 increase compared to previous month.
My expenses remained somewhat stable even tough I had to pay $314 for the Maxmind subscription. I spent a little less money on content for my niche site to compensate and keep my expenses in check.
The other exciting news is that my net revenue is over $3,000 and the number should keep growing next month.
Check the following graph to see what I’m talking about:
The growth percentage is not as impressive as previous months, but I really like where these numbers are going anyway.
As long as the gap between the green line and red line keep widening, I’ll be happy. It means that my net profit is increasing.
The plan for August is to focus my efforts and money on getting more content up on my niche site.
I still need to streamline the content production process so I can hire an editor to review the articles and format them correctly before publishing. That should save me a good amount of time to work on other aspects of the site.
I also need to put some time aside to work on the joint venture. I have been neglecting this project for 6 months now, so I would like to see it going in the right direction again.
Will I be able to generate more than $5,000 in gross revenue next month? Subscribe to my newsletter below and I’ll keep you posted with my results.