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 to 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?
June has been a very busy month for me.
After running into a few issues with my writers during previous months, we finally managed to have a full month of work done without any hiccup.
It’s really exciting when you see all the parts of a machine come together and work seamlessly.
As I mentioned, we managed to move forward with my writers to have a lot of content published on my niche sites.
I spent a lot of time doing keyword research during previous months, and I have a list of keywords long enough to keep my writers busy for many more months.
With the content production part of the equation out of the way, my main focus is on formatting the content to lower my bounce rates, improve my SEO, and increase my click-through rate to Amazon.
Something I noticed about half-way through the month is that my oldest niche site seems to have been hit with some kind of penalty by Google around the middle of the month.
Traffic crashed and the data seems to confirm that it happened almost overnight.
As a result, the numbers in the following chart are a little misleading.
When you look at this chart, it appears like the sites are losing traction, when it actually all comes down to my old niche site.
Every new niche site I built in the past months are growing steadily.
Here is a graph showing the traffic numbers for all my new niche sites (traffic for my 2 year old niche site is not included):
They are not bringing a significant amount of sales yet, but since traffic is growing (and search engine rankings are improving), I should start to see positive results in a few months.
Here is a graph showing the revenue numbers for all my new niche sites (revenue for my 2 year old niche site is not included):
Niche Sites Strategy
Since I have been consistently losing money since January this year, you might be wondering why I keep pouring money into this niche sites project.
I think it’s time for me to explain my plan a little more.
It may sound crazy to some, but it doesn’t take 24 times more effort than launching just 1 site. In many aspects, there is some kind of economy of scale.
My whole process is divided is simple tasks that needs to be repeated over and over again: think of it like a “niche site factory”.
Instead of jumping from one task to another, and readjusting every time, the same task has to be done many times, which allows for better productivity.
As for the financial part, for each site, I have a 3-step content process which costs roughly $750, and gets me covered for 3 phases: pre-launch (initial set of articles all published at once), launch (2 weeks with 1 article per day), initial growth (3 months with 1 article per week).
The idea is that when I reach the end of the initial growth phase, I will have a pretty good idea if the site has potential to become a winner.
And from the 24 sites that I am working on, I only need 1 winner reaching $1,000 per month to get back into the money.
Let me guide you through the math: 24 sites with an investment of $750 each equals $18,000 total investment.
If you consider that on the website flipping market, sites are currently selling for a 20 multiple (20 times a 1 month revenue), by growing only 1 of these 24 sites to $1,000 per month, I could sell it for $20,000.
Which means that by growing only 1 of these 24 sites to $1,000 per month, I could make a $2,000 profit by reselling it, and still have 23 other sites in my portfolio.
I’m sure it makes a lot more sense now.
Niche Sites Analytics
I am still extremely delighted with Clicky Analytics.
The homepage shows traffic graphs for all my websites at the same time.
It allows me to quickly see which sites are growing the fastest (month over month, and week over week), so I can focus on them to get the best return on my investment.
To summarize: purchasing a premium plan with Clicky was completely worth it, and I encourage you to use them if you’re serious about your SEO.
In June, I made a single change on Dukeo: adding the category navigation on top of every page.
I figured that navigation through the thousands posts on Dukeo was not straight-forward (with category links only in the blog footer).
This new navigation bar should make it easier to browse through all the posts.
Moreover, it should help with SEO: the list is ordered by post popularity. The most people visit posts in a category, the closer to the left it is.
I’m a huge fan of using visitors’ data to alter the way information is displayed on a website.
When you think about it, it makes sense: the people who know the most about what they want to read on your blog… Are the visitors of your blog.
So you should listen to what they have to say. Or in my case, listen to what their visits tell me.
There was no major change in the traffic to this blog… which is not a surprise since I barely worked on it last month.
We’ll see next month how it evolves.
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.
- Adsense: $59.49
- Display Advertising: $44.76
- Affiliate: $4.85
- Promotion: -$45.52
- Hosting: -$48.31
- Net: $15.27 (Difference: -$6.84)
- Sites: 24 (Difference: +4)
- Amazon: $222.96
- Content: -$3,116.00
- SEO: -$250.00
- Hosting: -$87.80
- Net: -$3,230.84 (Difference: -$700.10)
- Adsense: $27.61
- Aweber: $8.70 (List Building: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need)
- Hosting: -$48.31
- Net: -$12.00 (Difference: -$131.42)
- Aweber: -$69.00
- Hosting: -$48.31
- Net: -$117.31 (Difference: +$12.63)
Net: -$3,344.88 (Difference: -$825.73)
This month is a record… My record loss for this year.
However, it’s interesting to keep in mind that I invested $3,116 in content for the niche sites. Which means that without this spending, I would be a lot closer to turning a profit.
Let’s take a look at a graph showing how things are going this year so far:
To be honest, the hardest part is to stick to the plan.
I’ve been consistently losing money for the past 6 months, so it requires a decent amount of faith to keep moving forward.
But as I explained in the section about Niche Sites, it’s all about the big picture.
The plan really isn’t complicated: keep working on the niche sites.
Some of the niche sites are seeing a decent growth in traffic. Hopefully I’ll start to see some positive results shortly.
By working on SEO, I knew I was getting in a slow game: it’s all about vision, patience, and hard work.
See you next month.