April 2017 Monthly Income Report

April was without a doubt the busiest month of my life.

Below is a list of the things I dealt with (outside of work) in the month of April:

Best man in my friend’s wedding, which included a best man speech that I dreaded.

I don’t have a clip of the speech here, but trust me when I say that I was really having a hard time with this.  About 10 minutes before the speech people kept telling me how I looked pale and truth be told, that only made the situation worse.  Truth is, as cool as it is to work for myself, I haven’t had to talk in front of people for over two years, so I had a really hard time with this.

Getting engaged to my girlfriend of two years

My girlfriend and I were planning on getting married after I moved to Brazil, but I decided to get engaged/married in the U.S. because it made more sense and would make paperwork easier in the future.  We intend on eventually moving back to the U.S. after a year or two anyway, so I figured this would be a good way to make that as seamless as possible when the time comes.

Getting married to said girlfriend about 12 hours after the engagement

This was pretty awesome of our friends to do for us.  Basically, we intended on getting engaged/married and not having a ceremony of our actual nuptials.  That all changed when one of my closest friends decided to become an ordained minister (this only takes about 10 minutes only and you pay $30) and officially marry us.

Moving to Brazil – except this didn’t actually happen yet.

I intended to move to Brazil on April 27th, but I was denied entry because I didn’t have a Visa.  The whole Visa thing was a shock to me because I went to Brazil before without a Visa and didn’t have a problem.  Beyond that, my wife looked and couldn’t find information saying I needed one and neither could I.  It turns out that when I went to Brazil last time, there was a temporary rule in place that let anyone go there without a Visa because of the Olympics.  Obviously, I had no idea and because of this, my new departure date is May 14th.  That is, of course, assuming that the Visa gets approved.

Considering all of the things listed above, you’d think that I didn’t have a good month for my business because I was so busy.  On the contrary, this month was still excellent from a business and income perspective and that’s all thanks to the passive income channels I’ve built in the last few years.

But before I dive too deeply the income report, if this is your first time on my website let me explain why I write a detailed income report each month that outlines the money I made (or lost) each month.

I’m doing this for a number of reasons:

1) I strive to be transparent about what it takes to make money online.

2) These reports help me keep track of my own progress.

3) These reports hold me accountable.

In short, I don’t create these to gloat about my earnings. I create them to help you understand the true “earning curve” of online business. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the report.

How did the income report turn out this month?

PRODUCT OR SERVICEREVENUEEXPENSESNET INCOME
TOTALS$8,542.14$2,545.10 $5.997.04
Aweber Email Platform$5.70$5.70
Shutterstock Website Images$19.80$19.80
YouTube Channel$57.76$57.76
Thrive Themes$75.75$75.75
Udemy Course Sales$80.25$80.25
JobsForFelonsHub Partners and Affiliates$580.64$580.64
JFFHUB Media.net Ad Revenue$670.66$670.66
News Website - GNG Google Adsense Ad Revenue$2.09$2.09
TranscriptionJobsHQ.com Google Adsense Revenue$3.57$3.57
OneHourProfessor.com Google Adsense Ad Revenue$5.46$5.46
Authority Website - THQ Google Adsense Ad Revenue$116.65$116.65
JobsForFelonsHub.com Google Adsense Ad Revenue$6,923.81$6,923.81
Google Drive Storage$2.09-$2.09
Adobe Photoshop Account$10.61-$10.61
Gmass Email Software$12.95-$12.95
Intuit Quick Books$16.99-$16.99
Legal Shield$39.00-$39.00
Meet Edgar Social Media Platform$49.00-$49.00
Email Hunter$49.00-$49.00
Comcast Internet$68.81-$68.81
Siteground Hosting$110.00-$110.00
Freelance Website Maintenance and Development$127.75-$127.75
Facebook Advertising$172.60-$172.60
ConvertKit Email Software$185.32-$185.32
Freelance Research and Labor$429.16-$429.16
Freelance Writing$550.38-$550.38
Camera For New YouTube Channel$721.44-$721.44

Revenue By ChannelJFFHub WebsiteUdemyOHP WebsiteConsultingTJHQ WebsiteYouTubeAuthority Website - THQ
April 2017$8175.11$80.25$106.71$0$3.57$57.76$116.65
March 2017$9527.42$137.29$355.12$0$6.43$59.11$224.16
February 2017$3726.98$165.43$438.54$125$32.99$52.40$160.48
January 2017$4005.52$222.20$267.33$0$41.60$104.19
December 2016$3553.43$138.07$384.57$125.00$41.32$52.63
November 2016$3778.45$259.26$357.77$125.00$48.13$22.10
October 2016$3841.36$238.90$213.88$126.00$48.92$1.37
September 2016$3102.56$271.02$402.32$112.01$57.14
August 2016$3318.70$423.49$44.72$731.05$55.08
July 2016$3353.06$186.34$347.47$135.19$52.12
June 2016$3219.41$397.55$132.77$330.00$72.22
May 2016$4677.02$135.25$253.67$206.25$75.89
April 2016$5008.23$353.02$286.38$497.50$62.52
March 2016$2311.67$301.06$265.29$556.75$60.14
February 2016$2760.21$324.58$250.70$431.25$62.00
January 2016$233.00$400.97$117.58$1140.00$46.19
December 2015$121.30$17.15$76.00$1163.75$38.83
November 2015$138.11$245.68$39.00$1150.25$36.78
October 2015$107.72$49.50$89.54$760.50$40.65
September 2015$102.95$17.49$113.10$1112.32$27.46
August 2015$39.68$12.05$51.75$1463.75$25.09

Discussing This Month’s Income Outliers

Every month I have income that streams in from multiple sources and quite frankly, a lot of that is pretty regular. However, each month I tend to see a few line items that are drastically different from the prior month. In this section, I only discuss the items that have increased or decreased significantly.

There were three line items that jumped out to me this month:

  • Thrive Themes Earnings: All in all, April was a pretty crappy month for affiliate commissions from Thrive Themes.  I’m really not 100% sure why that is, but there just weren’t as many sales this month as there have been prior.  I’m not hitting the panic button yet as it might have been an off-month, but hopefully next month will be a little better.
  • Udemy Course Sales: My course sales on the Udemy platform also dropped off in April.  Again, not exactly sure why that is but I guess I can’t expect much considering I do so little on the platform at this point.
  • JFFHub Google Adsense Ad Revenue: As I said in my intro, the JFFHub website went viral again.  It didn’t go nearly as viral in April as it did in March, but I’m not going to start complaining about that because Adsense still made more money than usual.

Discussing This Month’s Expense Outliers

Similar to the income I make every month, there are certain expenses that I consider “fixed”.  As I did in the income area, I’m only going to discuss the outliers or new items added as expenses.

There are two line items that I think are worth discussing this month:

  • Freelance Website Maintenance and Development: I told you last month how Indeed.com decided to discontinue my referral-traffic strategy in an effort to only work with bigger partners.  Because of that issue, I had to hire a developer to implement a new solution which effectively gets me more Adsense income and it’s looking like this change may actually have higher earning potential than Indeed.com ever did.  I’ll cover it more in the JFFHub project update below.
  • Camera for New YouTube Channel: You read it right folks.  Myself and my wife have decided to start a new YouTube channel in an effort to capture all of the little adventures we are going on.  I’ll discuss more about this in the project updates below, but she already has a channel in Brazil with 2 million followers so I figured we could probably do well at this sort of thing.  This was a large expense this month and moving forward the only expenses I think we’ll have with this is the video editor cost.

Project Updates

JobsForFelonsHub.com Update:  Again I had a great month on JFFHub and lucky for me, the website went viral again.  It’s possible that the traffic I received in April was residual traffic/shares from the traffic spike I got in March, but I’m not 100% sure.

One of the biggest things I was able to do on the JFFHub website this month was find a solution for what Indeed.com did to me.  Long story short, the folks at Indeed.com used to pay me on a cost per click basis when I referred traffic over to their sponsored job posts.  This was nice and on a daily basis could mean anywhere between $10-$50 in extra earnings.  Unfortunately though, Indeed discontinued that program on April 1st so I was left trying to figure out a solution.  After thinking long and hard about what to do, I came up with a solution and I think it may actually mean more income for me in the future.

The old workflow was as follows:

  1. User arrives on a page like this: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/locations/jobs-for-felons-in-birmingham-alabama/
  2. User clicks on one of the company names on this page
  3. User sent to a new window on Indeed.com that displays all of the job listings for said company.
  4. If user clicked on a “sponsored job” on Indeed.com, I earned a small commission for the click.

Because Indeed.com got rid of the “sponsored job” click commission, I changed the workflow to this:

  1. User arrives on a page like this: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/locations/jobs-for-felons-in-birmingham-alabama/
  2. User clicks on one of the company names on this page
  3. User is sent to a page on my website where I list the Indeed.com job listings through their API. Beyond those job listings, I also have a Google Adsense ad unit at the top and bottom of the page.  Pages look like this: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/search-jobs/?q=company:Enterprise&l=Birmingham,%20Alabama&companyname=Enterprise
  4. If user clicks on a Google Adsense ad unit, I make a small amount of money for the click.

To be honest, I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t think of this solution a long time ago.  I’m not exactly sure how much money this will make me each month. But if my initial estimates of roughly $25 per day are correct, that means I can expect to make around $775 per month.  This is more than the usual $400-$500 per month I was getting on Indeed.com, but we’ll see where we end up at the end of the month.

Consulting Update:  No consulting happened in April.  If you’d like to speak with me about consulting to help you with your project, please click here.  Please note that my consulting starts at $100 per hour and depends on availability.

Udemy Update: Again, my Udemy earnings dropped.  At this point I just roll my eyes at this platform.  Some people see real success here, but the fact that you essentially must sell courses for $10 in order to succeed is something that I just don’t feel good about.

OneHourProfessor.com Website Update: No courses sold for the month of April.  I did make some affiliate related commissions on the website, but nothing great to report.3

Authority Website THQ Update:  This website is still moving along and recovering a little bit from the original penalty I received last month.  To be honest, I barely did anything in April to fix the issue because I was so busy with personal issues and my writer had a baby, but I’m aiming to get back on track in May.

Here’s a breakdown of some key metrics for the THQ authority website:

Month Sessions Referring Domains Earnings
Apr-17 22865 117 $116.65
Mar-17 26530 100 $224.16
Feb-17 22559 69 $160.48
Jan-17 14033 44 $104.19
Dec-16 4833 23 $49.50
Nov-16 3098 15 $22.11

 

There are a few key things that you’ll notice in the figures above:

  • Sessions in April dropped due to the penalty incurred in March, but luckily the overall sessions are still close to where they were in February. All things considered, I’ll take it.  It’s annoying that Google did this to me and gives me virtually no insight why they did it, but it’s better than having a website go to zero.
  • Referring domains increased by 17. It wasn’t as good as my prior months, but I had to stop my outreach for a week and a half because of all the packing I had to do.  I think I’ll have a similar issue with my outreach in May, but hopefully I can still keep this on track while I go through my big move.
  • Earnings decreased by about 48% for the month of April. This is a combination of the Indeed.com change and a little bit less income from Google Adsense.  That being said, I intend on having my developer go into the THQ website and making a similar change as he did for the JFFHub website to get some of those Indeed.com lost earnings back.

Authority Website BCC Update:

It’s not where I want it to be yet….but BCC continues to show promise.

Here are my statistics for this website so far:

Month Sessions Referring Domains Earnings
Apr-17 2240 60 $0.00
Mar-17 1118 21 $0.00
Feb-17 601 18 $0.00
Jan-17 917 12 $0.00
Dec-16 125 6 $0.00
Nov-16 33 0 $0.00

 

There are a few key things that you’ll notice in the figures above:

  • Referring domains increased to 60. This is actually misleading.  What happened is that I used to use statistics from Ahrefs for my backlinks, but they weren’t crawling everything correctly.  So, because I want to make this as accurate as possible for my reports, I took the number of domains directly from Google Search Console.
  • Sessions doubled from March to April and hopefully this is a trend that will continue. I’m contemplating throwing some ads on to this website really soon, but don’t want to just yet because traffic hasn’t hit 10,000 per month and that’s my usual target before ads are released.

I’m going to continue to watch BCC from the sidelines and publish one post a week.  Hopefully Google keeps giving the website some love and it’ll hit 150 visitors per day by the end of May.

GNG Website Update:

Month two is in the books for the GNG News website and it was actually a downer when compared to our first month.

Month Sessions Referring Domains Earnings Facebook Followers
Apr-17 552 0 $2.09 1381
Mar-17 930 0 $6.43 675

 

Looking at this graph, you’d think that myself and my business partner are nervous but that isn’t true.  The reason for this fall in traffic is two-fold.

  • My partner was on her honeymoon for 2 ½ week and I was in charge of posting to Facebook and being the editor for the website.
  • Because of all of the personal stuff going on this month, I could only keep up with everything for one week and then I essentially abandoned the entire project because I was overwhelmed.

Not ideal and I admittedly dropped the ball, but my personal life was too much to handle and GNG website wasn’t as high of a priority as everything else.  The good news though is that my partner is back and can assume her role as the editor again, so May should be a better month.

YouTube Channel Update:

I don’t really have much for my OHP YouTube channel this month.  Things kind of rolled along and I made some money and I didn’t publish any new videos.

That being said…there is a much bigger update related to YouTube that I’m very excited about.

My wife and I have decided to make a new YouTube Vlog channel.

What is a vlog, you ask?

Basically, it’s a channel that we publish on every few days where we chronicle our lives and the things that we’re up to.

This is nothing like what I’ve ever done before, but my wife is one of the best there is in this area and I approached her with the idea because of how unique our situation is.

She spends her time creating and editing YouTube videos, I spend my time creating and editing websites.

Due to this, we are completely location independent and that’s one of the reasons we are able to move to Brazil.

In addition to working online for ourselves and being able to move anywhere, she has a lot of contracts throughout Brazil for her channel that are going to require us to travel quite a bit.

I’m actually really excited about this and think it will make for some kick-ass content on the vlog, so I thought we should give it a shot.

Worst case, we capture a whole lot of memories for a few years and then look back at everything in the future to relive the memories.  I’m also hoping that my friends and family can keep up with us through the channel.

Some of you may be thinking that none of this seems like a real business.  Trust me, I get it.

But for whatever reason, people absolutely love watching these videos and once you have a lot of followers, the channel can be extremely lucrative.  Not only can we get a lot of free stuff in the form of sponsored content, but we can also make money from YouTube and other sponsorships.

Like most other things, this will take us at least six months before we see any real return on investment for our time.  But I’m happy to report that because my wife is very influential in Brazil, we already have 18,000 subscribers for our channel and it’s only been a week.

Lessons Learned

Every month, I’m going to reflect back and tell you a few different lessons that I’ve learned. My hope is that the lessons each month will be a cautionary tale for you that makes it so that you don’t make the dumb mistakes that I do along the way.

  • Passive Income is a Necessity: Honestly, thank god for passive income.  I have mentioned in the past how I don’t love consulting or anything I have to do where I trade time for dollars and this month was a GREAT example why.  There was simply far too much going on in my personal life for me to focus on work this month, but luckily because I built businesses that make money while I’m not working I was able to survive.  If I was strictly relying on consulting, I would have had to rely on savings this month instead of additional income.
  • Personal Stuff Will Happen: It’s inevitable.  Sometimes, personal stuff is going to happen that you’ll have to focus on and when this comes up, you better be ready.
  • Life is Distracting: This month was full of distractions, both good and bad.  I guess in closing out this report I should just tell you that you need to be ready for months like this.  Whether it be good or bad things, you need to be able to change focus to the issues, then come back to your work seamlessly and that’s not always easy.

May Projected Expenses

Item Fixed Costs Variable Costs
Google Drive Storage $2.09
Adobe Photoshop $10.61
Gmass Email Software $12.95
Intuit Quick Books $16.99
Legal Shield $39.00
Meet Edgar Social Media $49.00
Email Hunter $49.00
Siteground Hosting $110.00
Convertkit $180.00
BCC Writers – 1 Blog Post Per Week $40
THQ Writer – 1 Blog Post Per Week $60
THQ Backlink Prospecting $200
GNG Writers $120
GNG Facebook Ads $175
JFFHUB Writer – 3 Posts Per Week $160
YouTube Channel Editor $100
TOTAL $469.64 $855
MONTHLY EXPECTED SPEND: $1,324.64

Did I Meet my Goals for April?

Survive This Month (SUCCESS…barely)

This month I had so much personal stuff going on and thank goodness, it’s done.  I got everything done and though I was incredibly stressed out for a lot of the month, I made it through.

Begin Additional JFFHub Database (FAIL)

I was hoping to start the database on JFFHub for temp agencies that work with felons by state, but I failed this one.  I’ll chalk it up to the other things I had going on and I’m hoping to do this in May.

30 Backlinks to THQ (FAIL)

In total I got 17 new backlinks and although that isn’t bad, it isn’t nearly as good as I was hoping.  I really don’t see this improving much in May as I stopped outreach in April which will impact backlinks in May as well.

Goals for May

Move to Brazil

In May I want to make sure that I actually make the move to Brazil and get situated.  I know this is more of a personal goal of mine for the month, but I really need to focus on this and make it happen.  The only way I can be productive in my professional life is if I’m situated in my personal life.

Record Three YouTube Videos Each Week

This whole YouTube channel thing has me pretty excited and I think it’s fun so far.  I’m making it a goal to record three YouTube videos each week in the month of May and finding my “voice” for this channel as I do it with my wife.

Automate YouTube Channel Video Editing

The biggest hurdle to any YouTube channel is editing the videos and posting the content correctly.  In May, I want to find a video editor to take all of the work out of editing so that my wife and I can focus on creating content.  Her and I both have too much going on as it is and I promised her we could find an editor for it.

What are your goals for the month?  What questions do you have?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

  • Judy

    I’m curious to know what you would have done if it weren’t for that jobsforfelons portion of your income? I was also curious about the transcriptionjobsHQ website, as I am a transcriptionist and have never heard of this one until today. Are you trying to identify just a few streams of income that work well, or is it a matter of having as many sources of income as possible?

    • Judy,

      Thanks for the reply! To answer your questions:

      1) Without the JFFHub website, I wouldn’t be doing what i currently am. That really was my first big success and now I’m just trying to replicate something similar.

      2) The TJHQ website has been around for quite some time, but after building it I quickly realized that it wasn’t the right niche for me. I’ve had it sit stagnant for quite some time and although it makes me some money, it’s really not a core part of my business.

      At this point, I’m trying really hard to build another 1-2 websites that can bring in about the same amount of income as the JFFHub website. This hasn’t been easy, but I’m starting to make some progress. Beyond that, I’ve been focusing more on partnerships as well because that makes it so the work is split into two, making life much easier for me.

      My advice? Focus on one CORE product/offering/website and make it successful. From there, you have more room to do other passion projects and things that can make you more money in the future.

  • Congratulations on the personal achievements 🙂
    Well done.
    Business side looks good again and you are right – passive income is the way to go.
    Good luck with moving south (geographically) and north (financially).
    Tom

    • Tom,

      Thanks so much for the well-wishes, that means a lot. Good luck with your endeavors as well!

  • Congratulations on the marriage and on the business successes! 🙂

    This is a great example of why passive income is amazing and why I’m aiming to increase my passive income because as a college student months like these are commonplace.

    Very cool Vlog! You look different from what I expected as all the images on your site seem to be from a couple years back. Now you look like you could deadlift 400lb without breaking a sweat!

    Best of luck on growing you sites next month while juggling all the crap that comes with moving. Trust me, I know how hard it can be…

    Cheers!

    • Hey Ilya,

      Thanks so much for the comment and I appreciate your feedback! I remember the good ol’ college days, passive income would have been amazing if I could have figured it out before.

      In terms of the images, you made me laugh out loud on that one. Truth is, I’ve always been a pretty big weight lifter, but I don’t think it shows on the “intellectual” looking images on this website. Awesome to hear you’re watching the vlog though, stay tuned for some really cool traveling stuff.

      Thanks for the good luck shout out, I’ll need it!

  • They say video is where it’s at right now! I need to make a YouTube channel but need to stay anonymous for my day job. You and your wife are very well matched! Seems like the perfect pair. Good luck!