It’s time for a quick recap of May!
This monthly report is going to be short and straight to the point: I had a bad month.
My good results for April made me fall back into bad habits when it comes to paid advertising, and it resulted in my worst month for the past half-year.
The big lesson I (re)learned in May is that no matter how good your advertising campaigns are going on a given month, there is no saying how long the good run will keep going.
Once again, I need to focus on what I’m good at, and avoid spreading myself too thin at all costs.
There’s so many opportunities online and so many different ways to make a living, but if you keep chasing new strategies, you can never really master any area.
Focus is essential when you want to have a break-through with a project.
As I wrote earler, I’ve had good results by slowly restarting some paid advertising on Facebook for my ecommerce websites, in March and April.
Unfortunately, these campaigns quickly died off and I was too slow to pull the plug.
As a result, I’ve spent money on campaigns that were not profitable… and I lost money again.
The drop in profitability was actually a combination of FB campaigns dying off, rising product costs, and decrease in average order value.
All these factors ended up putting me in the red for this month.
At this point, I have completely stopped my paid advertising campaigns again. I will need to figure out a new strategy before I try it once more.
Niche site WS2
There’s been very little activity on this website during the past month.
My writer didn’t produce any more content, and I am waiting to see how the rankings evolve for the existing content.
One significant change is that I lost the featured snippet for almost all of my keywords, and they were all taken over by the exact same competitor.
While my rankings haven’t changed significantly, losing the featured snippet has resulted in a big drop in traffic.
Niche site WS4
This website is still where I’m putting most of my work.
Here is a reminded about this experiment: there has been and will be zero link building.
Google keeps labeling link building strategies as evil overnight, and penalizing websites that have been using these strategies for weeks, months, or even years.
If all link building (with the intent to manipulate rankings) is evil, then all off-site SEO is technically blackhat.
Yeah, I’m also talking about webmasters who are doing outreach campaigns to guest post on various websites. You’re not fooling anyone: everybody knows that people are doing that just to build links.
That being said, I am following Google’s advice to the letter and doing absolutely zero link building.
This will lead to a definitive answer: can you still build a website in 2018 without trying to game the system in any way, and turn it into a profitable business.
As you can see in this graph, the number of visitors is growing month after month, although A LOT slower than for websites who build a ton of links out of the gates.
I can’t talk much about the revenue yet because the traffic is still so small. With less than 150 visitors in the past month, there is no way this website would make any kind of significant money.
After 4 months, the results are pretty clear: building links can quickly take a website to a few thousand dollars in profit, but there is no way to reach these numbers without link building.
We’ll see how it goes next month.
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||-$1,813.31||▲ $922.13|
|Payment Fees||-$608.18||▲ $336.15|
|Email Marketing||-$225.00||▲ $5.00|
|Customer Service||-$112.50||▲ $87.07|
|Niche Sites||-$166.39||▲ $579.29|
|Sponsored Blog Posts||$0.00|
The money I overspent on Facebook ads has been the biggest issue for this past month. This accounts for two thirds of the net loss.
This month’s loss are taking me further away from my yearly goal, but I’m definitely not giving up just yet.
What’s happening next?
In order to grow my WS4 website a bit faster, I’m going to bring in a new freelance worker to do some research on a number of products.
It should allow me to publish articles faster and streamline the work flow.
Stay tuned for the next update!