It’s time for a quick recap of November!
I’m not going to lie to you, September and October had me quite worried, but I tried to keep it quiet…
You see, after enjoying consistent growth for 8 months straight, from January to August, it was heart-breaking (and really stressful) to see my revenue take a nosedive for two months in a row.
The biggest lesson I have learned in the past regarding difficult times is to not freak out and take timely decisions to limit the damage and try to reverse the situation.
A few years ago, I would have been all over the place after seeing my September numbers. I would have made a ton of changes to my main niche site, I might have tried some new business models every week, and eventually destroy everything I had already built.
I took a more measured approach: reducing my spending drastically to stop the bleeding, then investing in a more targeted and strategic way to increase my income again. And it’s starting to pay off.
Before I dive into this further, let me update you on what happened last month.
Here’s what happened in November
If you’ve been reading my income reports for a while, you know that I’ve been based in Manila, Philippines for a little over 2 years now.
I really love that city and Filipinos are amazing people. I feel so comfortable there that I kept extending my stay, from 6 months to a year, and it quickly turned into 2 years.
I can honestly say that even though I am a guest in that country, I feel at home in the Philippines.
The downside of that situation is that I became too comfortable and unchallenged. In other words, I lost my edge.
I like moving around from country to country. There is a lot to learn and discover in the world, and I want to keep exploring.
I knew that I would have to leave the country at the beginning of December to attend the Affiliate World Asia conference, and it happened that my current visa for the Philippines, and the lease for my condo, were both expiring at the end of November.
One thing leading to another, I’ve decided to get back on the road and experience life in other places.
I might come back to Manila in one month, 6 months, a year, or never. I have no idea what the future holds for me.
I am thankful for all the people I met and all the experiences I had there, but I couldn’t resist my hunger for new adventures.
I’ll keep you posted about the new places I’ll be traveling to.
What I’ve been focusing on
I spent most of my work time focusing on my main niche site.
With the holiday season approaching fast, I decided to order some fresh content to target some new keywords with my site.
The editing process is still painfully long and I should really find a solution to outsource it, especially because I have some new projects coming in 2017. (More about this later).
I also spent a few hours cleaning up some old sites that I had lying around and that were not making any money. I got rid of a handful of websites and domains.
As you can see on Dukeo, I have also updated all my newsletter signup forms to make them more enticing. The results are positive so far, with a nice uptick in my signup rate. I’ll write about this in more details next month when I get more data to compare with the previous setup.
What happened with my affiliate site
It is such a relief to see a change in revenue trend for my main niche site.
While the traffic slightly decreased again, the revenue actually went up by over $600.
It’s also interesting to see that the decrease in traffic is slowing down. I’ll keep posting some new content and will hopefully manage to start growing my traffic again.
Moreover, this month is December. The Christmas shopping craze should help me grow my revenue per visitor again.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to hit some August-like numbers, but who knows…
A few words about my new project
In my last 2 income reports, I quickly introduced a new project I’ve been working on: a tool for super affiliates who are making money with CPA offers.
I’m not going to describe the tool just yet because it’s still in its infancy and I prefer seeing it grow through word of mouth from people who are actually using it.
The good news is that I started billing some customers for it on different plan levels and had almost $500 in revenue.
The bad news is that it doesn’t cover my hosting costs yet. The tool is using a lot of resources and I have a somewhat complicated hosting setup.
With one or two more clients, I’ll be able to start generating a profit.
To help with that, I have already built an affiliate program for this tool and my current customers can refer new users and get paid for it.
I’m also planning to present this project to a few key players at the conference in Bangkok in a few days.
When it is time to give up on a project
It’s time to post a short update about the joint venture that I started with a business partner in December last year.
I worked for a month and a half on this project to get it off the ground. After I build the technical core of the project, my business partner was supposed to deliver some traffic to the site and according to him, we could easily get 100+ new leads per day.
Unfortunately, he never delivered that traffic, and the project has been stagnating since January.
At this point, I don’t see any reason to keep a project that’s been live for 12 months and not generating any money.
I can’t afford to allocate more time or resources to this project anymore, so I have simply decided to pull the plug and focus on new projects.
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||$2,895.75||▲ $156.89|
|Viral Sites||$73.65||▼ $9.07|
The most significant event in November is the growth in Amazon revenue by over $700. This is giving me some much needed breathing room.
I’ve also started buying content again for my niche site, but on a much smaller scale than last September.
The revenue for Dukeo went down by almost $600. There’s two reasons: no sponsored content in November, and no affiliate commission with BlueHost. It’s not exactly a big deal since I use this blog to document my progress and not really to make big money.
The joint venture project has been hovering around breaking even for another month, so it’s not worth putting more time or effort into it. This is the last month I’m reporting about this project.
Gosh, it feels good to see this green line finally going up again, doesn’t it?
The expenses increased as well, but as long as the net result doesn’t decrease, it’s all fine.
What’s happening next?
I have some big things coming up in the next two months!
First of all, December is going to be a crazy busy month for my main affiliate site.
People are in hardcore Christmas shopping mode, and it’s a great time to make money with an Amazon affiliate site.
I need to keep adding new content to show Google that the site is alive and still updated regularly.
I also need to find a way to delegate the editing process for all the articles for this site. At the moment it’s taking up too much of my time and I want to focus on other things.
December is also going to be about preparing for next year. I’ve decided to get into either Amazon FBA or Shopify, and this is going to be HUGE!
I’ll write more about the pros and cons of these two options in my December income report, so signup below and I’ll keep you posted.