It’s time for a quick recap of June!
This past month was all about reversing the trend after having some bad results in May.
While I was able to stop the bleeding by pausing all Facebook ads, it was still not enough to get back into the green.
I’ve been spending more than I was originally planning on my niche site experiment, and the small profit I made with Ecommerce didn’t cover these expenses.
The situation is getting pretty dire as I am quickly running out of cash.
If I don’t turn this around by the end of the year, I’ll be completely bankrupt and will have to give up on this whole experiment.
Let’s go over each project in more details.
With all my paid advertising campaigns stopped, sales are either generated through organic traffic or through my email lists.
Besides growing sales, another way to increase profit is by reducing costs, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this past month.
Reducing costs: cutting ties with Intercom
I’ve been using Intercom to manage my customer support for all the stores I have launched so far. While I appreciate their easy-to-use interface, their pricing is absolutely crazy.
The elephant in the room is that they bill based on the number of leads and customers you have.
While this might be ok for a full-fledged customer management system (which Intercom definitely isn’t) or email marketing (such as Mailchimp, which Intercom definitely isn’t either), this is absolutely ludicrous for a ticketing system.
You know that one person who sent one message through your support chat 6 months ago saying “hey” and never left an email address, well you’re still paying for him, every. single. month. until you manually delete the lead from your account.
This quickly brings you to monthly bills in the hundreds… While by switching to Zendesk, you pay $9 per month flat.
I honestly wonder why I never made the switch before.
That being said, let’s take a look at the numbers for June.
As you can see, the number of sales is much lower than it was in January and February, when I was also only relying on organic sales and my email lists.
When you’re doing email marketing, there is always some kind of fatigue and the people on your list will open your emails less often, and click on them even less.
This is perfectly normal, but it also means that any lead on an email list has an “expiration date”. I’ve been emailing my list every single day since January, and I can see the open rate slowly dipping.
In the past few months, there has been an increase on the shipping costs of most products going out of China. As a result, my cost per sale has been climbing up.
You can see the change if you compare June with January and February.
If I don’t restart working with paid advertising soon, my fixed costs will soon be too high compared to my sales numbers and I will have to shut down my stores completely.
Niche site WS4
This “zero link building” experiment is still my main focus.
In June, I was helped by a new freelancer to do some research on a number of products, and that allowed me to prepare a lot of new articles for my writers to work on.
This was an extra cost, but it should pay off by the end of the year.
The good news is that the traffic is still growing, albeit nowhere near as fast as if I was building links.
I’m not losing faith in Google just yet. While the initial growth may be slower, following Google rules *should* help this website in the long run.
I guess we’ll still have to wait for a while before I call the definitive results.
Am I right to work hard on new stellar content and on-page SEO? Or am I just wasting time and money and I should be building links instead to game Google and gain traffic much faster?
Only time will tell.
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||-$530.89||▲ $1,282.42|
|Email Marketing||-$220.00||▲ $5.00|
|Payment Fees||-$95.52||▲ $512.66|
|Customer Service||-$1.50||▲ $111.00|
|Niche Sites||-$1,187.98||▼ $1,021.59|
|Sponsored Blog Posts||$0.00||-/-|
So… the good news is that I didn’t lose any more money with my Ecommerce projects this past month. The bad news is that it wasn’t enough to cover the content and research for my new niche site.
Another month, another loss. This is taking me a bit further away from my goal for 2018. I’m not losing hope just yet because November and December will be “make or break” for my new niche site.
What’s happening next?
July is going to be more of the same: email marketing for the ecommerce project, and content research and writing for the niche site.
I’m not expecting to make any profit in July, but breaking even would be highly appreciated!
Stay tuned for the next update!