October 2016 Monthly Income Report

Another month in the books and October was pretty eventful. I’d love to sit here and tell you that everything is going very smoothly and I’m incredibly happy with my online business, but that just isn’t the truth.

Although October was a great month for passive income, I’m dealing with some failures on my end that are quickly becoming costly errors.

I’ve been investing a significant amount of money into new websites and I’m totally okay with doing this as long as I see a return on the investment.  But thus far with my new websites, I’m not seeing a return at all and it’s definitely hurting my overall mindset and bank account.

But before I begin 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) and the time I spent working 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 much time did I work this month?

TASKTIME WORKEDTIME CONTRACTED
Monthly Totals52:0051:00
BLOG: September 2016 Income Report3:300
Authority Website - JobsForFelonsHub.com6:000
NEW Authority Website - JFFT7:0010:00
NEW Authority Website - THQ12:0021:00
NEW Ecommerce Website - MCM11:3020:00
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google +6:000
General Website Maintenance6:000

How did the income report turn out this month?

PRODUCT OR SERVICEREVENUEEXPENSESNET INCOME
TOTALS$4,494.30$2,247.34$2,246.96
MyPerfectResume.com$1.28$1.28
JobsForFelonsHub.com Amazon Book Sales$2.06$2.06
Aweber Email Platform$5.70$5.70
Legal Match$7.50$7.50
Long Tail Pro Keyword Research$9.97$9.97
TranscriptionJobsHQ Affiliates$11.99$11.99
YouTube Channel$48.92$48.92
Consulting$126.00$126.00
Thrive Themes$187.00$187.00
Jobs For Felons Hub Partnerships$205.00$205.00
Udemy Course Sales$238.90$238.90
JFFHub Media.net Ad Revenue$259.35$259.35
Indeed.com$518.94$518.94
Ecommerce Website - MCM Google Adsense Ad Revenue$0.08$0.08
Authority Website - THQ Google Adsense Ad Revenue$1.37$1.37
OneHourProfessor.com Google Adsense Ad Revenue$3.71$3.71
TranscriptionJobsHQ.com Google Adsense Revenue$11.80$11.80
JobsForFelonsHub.com Google Adsense Ad Revenue$2,854.73$2,854.73
Google Drive Storage$2.09-$2.09
Adobe Photoshop Account$10.61-$10.61
Intuit Quick Books$11.99-$11.99
Gmass Email Software$12.95-$12.95
Namecheap$21.06-$21.06
Meet Edgar Social Media Platform$49.00-$49.00
Ahrefs Software$99.00-$99.00
Comcast Internet$111.67-$111.67
ConvertKit Email Software$108.22-$108.22
Siteground Hosting$106.67-$106.67
Authority Hacker Membership$299.00-$299.00
Upwork Freelancers (New Authority Website)$1,415.08-$1,415.08

monthly-income-report

Revenue By ChannelJFFHub WebsiteConsultingUdemyOHP WebsiteYouTubeEcommerce Website - MCMAuthority Website - THQ
October 2016$3841.36$126.00$238.90$213.88$48.92$00.08$1.37
September 2016$3102.56$112.01$271.02$402.32$57.14
August 2016$3318.70$731.05$423.49$44.72$55.08
July 2016$3353.06$135.19$186.34$347.47$52.12
June 2016$3219.41$330.00$397.55$132.77$72.22
May 2016$4677.02$206.25$135.25$253.67$75.89
April 2016$5008.23$497.50$353.02$286.38$62.52
March 2016$2311.67$556.75$301.06$265.29$60.14
February 2016$2760.21$431.25$324.58$250.70$62.00
January 2016$233.00$1140.00$400.97$117.58$46.19
December 2015$121.30$1163.75$17.15$76.00$38.83
November 2015$138.11$1150.25$245.68$39.00$36.78
October 2015$107.72$760.50$49.50$89.54$40.65
September 2015$102.95$1112.32$17.49$113.10$27.46
August 2015$39.68$1463.75$12.05$51.75$25.09

revenue-by-channel

Discussing this month’s Income

Again, my income has increased a little bit and I’m fairly certain that this will continue. The majority of this, as usual, is due to the JFFHub website through Adsense optimization and continuing to increase in rank.

Just a few months back, I mentioned how I was thinking that JobsForFelonsHub.com would only make somewhere between $3000 – $3500 per month. This is an understandable conclusion considering I had four consecutive months in that range.

However, as mentioned in my previous income report, I began to focus on ad optimization to make sure that I was making as much money as possible through Google AdSense. In addition to that, I also added Media.net as a display network as well.

Because of these changes, I’m now seeing my every day income for the site consistently over $100 during the week.  On the weekends, it hovers right around $75/day.

I’ll continue to post blog posts on this website, but for now this is my biggest money maker and I really need to replicate the earnings on another website to diversify my income and continue moving forward.

Aside from that income, there really wasn’t to many other surprises this month. My consulting income is low right now, my Udemy income seems like it’s going to stay somewhere around $250-$300 per month and the OHP website continues to make affiliate income primarily through this tutorial I created about Thrive Themes.

Two new line items on the report are income from my new Ecommerce website (MCM) and my other authority website (THQ).

In total, they made less than $2 combined, but I think that they will make more as time goes on. I do want to mention that obviously monetizing an e-commerce website with Google Adsense isn’t ideal.  Basically, I have Google AdSense as a secondary income generator while my primary income generator should be from Amazon affiliates. Unfortunately though, no one has purchased anything from the website just yet and I’m starting to wonder if it will ever rank high enough for people to do that.

Discussing this month’s expenses

The expenses this month were simply too high and I’m making an effort in November to reduce the amount of expenses I have. Most of the charges that you see are normal and can be expected month-to-month, but there were a few that stood out.

Gmass: This is software that is automating my email outreach for link building. This is really important to help me scale my link building tactics and for a cost of $12.95 per month, it’s very well worth it.

Namecheap:  These charges are here for one reason, I found new website ideas.  Over the last few months I’ve created two different websites that weren’t all that successful (Which I’ll detail below in the project updates section) and I needed to find something that would be successful. So, I’ve purchased three website domains that I think will do well.  I am going to begin work on two of the websites and then I will work on the third if they go well.

Authority Hacker Membership: As mentioned in my September income report, I purchased the membership and it ended up costing me just about $1200.  I’ll be paying this bad boy off till December (4 payments of $299.00) but I don’t regret it because it’s already paid for itself by helping me optimize my JFFHub website for additional ad revenue.

Upwork Freelancers:  Writers, writers, and more writers. I’ve been spending quite a bit of money on content lately and I’m going to be adjusting my strategy moving forward to reduce these expenses as it’s become too much

Project Updates

JFFHub Update:  Obviously, this website is the bread and butter of my portfolio and continues to grow month after month. I’m not sure that I need to optimize my ads any further, but I will continue to add three blog posts each week. Something else that’s pretty awesome about JFFHub is that I’m now officially ranked #2 in Google for the domain’s primary keyword “Jobs For Felons”.

As we all know, the higher rank you have in Google, means the more traffic you get, which means the more money you’ll make. I’m pretty confident that one day my website will be number one in Google for this keyword term and when that day happens I expect my income to increase with it.

For now though, I’ll continue building links to the website and posting blog posts as that is really all I need to do.

Consulting Update:  Consulting income has dropped to a pretty low point and I don’t really anticipate it increasing significantly in the future. The truth is, I’d love to do a little bit more consulting for the right person who was looking for online business coaching, but most people aren’t willing to pay me $100/hour to make this happen and because of that, I’m not getting more consulting agreements.

Udemy Update: Technically I should be creating a new course on Udemy because I paid off the email marketing course that I created in the past. However, I noticed that with Udemy each course costs me right around $500-$1000 to create (video editing expenses) and usually only makes me around $100 per month.  I just see a big opportunity with authority websites at this point so I’m going to hold off on creating a new course until I think it’s worth the time.

OHP Website Update:  Frankly, all I’m doing on One Hour Professor each month is publishing an income report.  I simply don’t see the value in spending more time here because I have bills to pay and the website just isn’t generating enough cash. Maybe one day when making over $10,000 per month from authority websites I’ll blog here more often, but I need to put my business hat on and generate more income before I focus here.

Ecommerce Website MCM Update: This website is turning out to be a failure of sorts.  Long story short, because of the tone of the website I’m having to pay my writer roughly $40 per article. Granted, these articles are just over 2,000 words each, but that amount of money for a website that’s making absolutely nothing is a bitter pill to swallow right now.

I also started link building to the website and immediate began to see serious problems.  I didn’t know this prior to creating the website, but it turns out that in the e-commerce space when you do link outreach, it’s very common for people to ask you to “donate” or purchase a “sponsored link”.  This is something that Google frowns greatly upon and is really impacting how well this website is going to rank because it’s so difficult to get backlinks.

The fact is, I definitely don’t want to buy links for two reasons.

First, the benefit for each link is minimal and there’s no guarantee that the website you put it on will even be there in a year.

Second, Google is very specific that they don’t want this type of link building tactic used.

So, even though I have some awesome content on this website, it’s starting to look like I’m going to have to put everything on pause.  It just comes down to the monetary resources and if I had more money to spend I’d be comfortable with more blog posts being put on the website, but spending $160-$240/month for a website that isn’t going to have a return for at least six months in a more competitive market isn’t something that I’m comfortable with.

This is a hard lesson for me because I was really excited about this website and I think that it’s really cool the way that it’s been created, but that’s all irrelevant if nobody sees it and Google isn’t showing any love to this website whatsoever. Granted, it’s still early and my hope is that within six months I’ll start to see some keywords ranking and maybe our revisit at that time once it’s gotten a few affiliate commissions from Amazon.

Authority Website JFFT Update: I pretty much made a huge glaring mistake with this authority website and I’m now paying for it.  Long story short, when I originally did research on this domain name I thought the primary keyword was incredibly low competition and would bring me around 10,000 searches per month.

I have absolutely no idea why I thought this because it turns out the main keyword will only bring around 2,000 searches per month. To be honest, I’m not sure if I read something wrong when I originally purchased the domain name or if the search volume numbers changed, but basically this website was a big waste of money and time.

In my opinion, you have to have an absolute minimum of at least 10,000 searches per month to put any effort into a website and for some reason things changed on this keyword or I wasn’t paying enough attention. The website is completely done and frankly, looks better than competitors, but my link outreach efforts have all the failed and I’ve had a really difficult time marketing this one and getting backlinks.

Because of the reduced search volume, I’m just going to leave this website for six months to see what happens. I’m hoping that with time, I’ll start to see some search traffic come to it and maybe I can optimize further at that time but right now it’s not looking good.

Authority Website THQ Update: This authority website looks like it’s going to be a winner and in October I saw a total of 1,269 people visit the website.  This is pretty good considering I haven’t done all that much since the launch and I’ve also noticed that the rankings for the keywords is steadily improving on a weekly basis. This is the exact same trajectory that JFFHub had and I’m hoping that this will continue.

I just released a HUGE update to the website that added right around 1,000 pages to Google.  These updates are geocentric and should yield some really high returns in the future, but only time will tell. I really think this one will be big, though I don’t anticipate making a lot of income in the next few months mainly because I don’t even have ads on all the pages yet.

For now, I’m just focused on getting people to the website and once I have 10,000 visitors per month, then I’ll try to start monetizing more heavily.

YouTube Channel Update:  No update needed here, not planning to do anything else with YouTube in the near future.

New Authority Websites:  Because my MCM Ecommerce website and THQ authority website haven’t done all that well, I spent the end of this month looking at other markets where I could create another great authority website that is mostly information. Lucky for me, I found the perfect area and purchased three domain names.

My plan with these websites is going to be a little bit different than what I’ve done in the past. Mainly, I’m trying to reduce the cost of these websites as much as possible.

So, starting these websites I’m keeping it simple.

Basically, I have a blog page, homepage, and a page to join a Facebook community.  In order for people to join the Facebook community, they need to sign up for the email list.  I designed these websites myself using Thrive Content Builder and although they are very simple, they look pretty darn good compared to my competitors.

For now, the only thing that I have to spend money on with these websites is to have people create 3 blog posts each week.  Assuming that my writers will work for $0.01/word (which is what I found to be an affordable rate that some people will be okay with), I’ll be spending around $60 per week or $240/month on these two websites.

Because I’m putting a pause on the Ecommerce website and saving money there, I’m able to spend on writers here instead. Sure, I could continue to use my writer on the e-commerce website but that’s difficult when his articles cost double what they do for these other authority websites.

This is a simple approach to building these websites and I have a 12-month plan for both of them and it goes something like this:

  • Month 1: Buy domain/create website/create Facebook community (DONE)
  • Month 2 (12 blog posts done): Outsource 3 articles per week and train writers.
  • Month 3 (24 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts.
  • Month 4 (36 blog posts done): Work to create an informational database by state for the website.  This will add 52 pages of content (counting Puerto Rico and D.C.).  Edit/review and post blog posts.
  • Month 5 (48 blog posts done): Focus on link building.  Primarily try to piggyback off of competitor links and also complete outreach to those that were included in the informational database and see if they’ll link back to the website.  Edit/review and post blog posts.
  • Month 6 (60 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 7 (72 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 8 (84 blog posts done): Implement an ecommerce store if it makes sense with traffic and community. Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 9 (96 blog posts done): Consider hiring a second writer if the website is showing potential. Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 10 (108 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 11 (120 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.
  • Month 12 (136 blog posts done): Edit/review and post blog posts and continue link building.

You may notice something with this timeline. I’ve broken it down month by month for an entire year because from my experience is that this is how long it takes to create an awesome website. Sure, you can increase this timeline by blogging more often or hiring out more content, but for me right now that isn’t a possibility.  I will tell you one thing though, if the THQ authority website does really well I’ll definitely increase the amount of content that I’m having written per week as quickly as I can so that I can get more traffic.

Though I can’t disclose exactly what market these new authority websites are in, I can tell you that the potential monthly search volumes are beyond both the JFFHub and the THQ website I’ve created.  It looks like the amount of monthly visitors for the primary keyword on the domains is somewhere between 165,000 – 200,000 people, so hopefully my strategy works.

If my math works out, I’m conservatively telling myself that 100,000 visitors per month to a website equates to $3000.  Now I just need to find a way to get 1,000,000 people to multiple websites that I own and it’ll be clear sailing at $30,000/month.  This is my overall goal over the next few years.

For now though, my goal is to just get THQ more exposure so that Google loves it and ranks it well.  All in all, the THQ website can potentially be double the size of JFFHub due to it’s market so there is a lot of room to grow.  Obviously I get excited thinking that I could be making $9,000 per month of passive income, but for now I’m just focused on taking things day by day.

Did I Meet my Goals for October?

1) Complete Main Content and Assign JFFT Blog Posts – SUCCESS (Kind of)

I did get all of the main content completed for this website and launched it, but I didn’t assign any blog posts. The reason why I didn’t assign any blog posts is that this niche looks like it’s going to be far too narrow to invest any more time and money into so I don’t see a reason to do this.

2) Have Developer Finish THQ and Build out Content – SUCCESS

This one was tough, but it’s done!  There is still some content that I have to add to the website and I’m having writers send me new stuff daily, but I was able to build out most of the content on this website and did launch it.  Now I’m just hoping that the “Google gods” will like what they see and rank me well.  I’m thinking that because the website is still kind of new it won’t rank really well right away, but this content should rank over the next few months which will bring me more Google AdSense income.

3) Post 5 More MCM Blog Posts and Get 3 Backlinks – FAIL

Though I wish this one would have been successful, it wasn’t. The content is simply too expensive and the back links that I anticipated on getting have failed miserably. As I said in this report, I plan on coming back to this website but right now I need to put this on pause as I’m seeing other opportunities that I think will do better and have better link targets.

Goals for November

1) Hire Writers For New Authority Websites

I outlined my plan above explaining how I’m going to build out my new authority websites. With that plan, one of the biggest things that I need to do is make sure that I good writers in place and get them to send over three articles per week. I’ll make sure to get all of that ready in November so that I can follow along with the plan.

2) Get 10 backlinks for the THQ Website Links

Now that most of the content on the THQ website is up, I need to focus mainly on link building.  I have a lot of link targets for this website, so I think I’ll be able to get quite a few, so I’m setting my goal to 10 links for the month.  I’ll need to find the keywords for them to write about and go from there.

3) Reduce Costs

I’m spending too much money!  It’s simply me trying to do too much in too little time while not having enough funds.  If I had more funds, I think I could make things move more quickly, but I don’t, so I need to focus on reducing my expenses.

In reviewing my income/expenses, I’ve determined the following till the end of this year:

Monthly revenue estimate: $4500

Monthly Income (post tax): $3150

Fixed Monthly Business Costs: $800

Income left over: $2350 – Personal Fixed Expenses ($1350)

Total Income: $1000

In the past I’ve had different colleges as supplemental income that have helped me stay afloat, but lately they haven’t had classes so I’m hurting a little bit.  Because of this, I’m going to work on reducing costs and really paying attention to my expenses this month.  If I can pair that with my increase in income from JFFHub, I should be in a good place.

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

  • Good monthly summary
    I checked the transcription site and couldn’t find any adsense on it. Therefore I saw on the /blog page many article summaries starting with ” (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push({}); “.
    Maybe you should check if the setup of your ads widget is correct.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Ritterspiel!

      The issue there is that the summary shows that information even though it shouldn’t. I could focus on fixing it, but it isn’t a project I’m concentrating on at the moment. Perhaps I’ll change it in the future. Thanks!

  • Alex J

    This was a fantastic summary and I learned a lot for my own site. Love the transparency, thank you!

  • MD Mahfuzur Rahman

    Hi, Ron
    It was very interesting post. Specially, the 12 month planning.
    May we know how we can track our time?

    • I’ve been using an app called “ATracker”, but I have stopped tracking time as it isn’t really worth it any longer.

  • Stephen McClelland

    Hi Prof Ron

    I think to be frank you should give yourself a major pat on the back! Internet businesses are exciting to run but a little lonely (as I am finding out) so it takes guts and stamina to keep on pressing through. In 2016, you have seen major success with a substantial payback on your JFF project. If some others fall by the wayside, no problem, you have enough in hand to take other things forward. Also, I think everyone here would congratulate you on the warts and all financial disclosure! It is very helpful to us. Points that come out to me are (in no particular order):

    JFF is actually stable (growing steadily) with the implication that this is true passive income for the longer haul
    Expenses – yes of course you want to reduce – but they are affected by several short term items such as AH payments so with these accounted for don’t look so bad
    Given your decline in consulting type income – and this isn’t long term passive of course – I think your top line holds up very well (and passive is obviously the thing you are moving towards)
    I am intrigued by the freelance effort and apparent lack of traction so far…it may be a good idea as you say to pull back and see what traffic does in the next few months. But it is difficult to justify and I can see why many website owners work themselves into a heap writing their own content for two or three months (see AH posts of course)
    A lot of your effort is devoted to Google visibility but you also have tried a lot of link building sometimes without too much success. I would like to build strong referrals/links with a relatively small number of players in the hope I can get around the Google problem and down the line do joint marketing efforts/affiliate promos etc. I am not sure this is feasible but will give it a shot.
    Your comments about searches and keywords (variability) are most interesting. I wonder how reliable some of the figures that indicate monthly searches really are.
    I think the 1 year horizon that you conceived is a very valuable idea – it is realistic and at the same time most of us can probably envisage working towards a one year goal
    Also I meant to give a thumbs up to an idea about a scholarship you mentioned in passing a while back to get more .edu activity. Very neat!

    Again, thank you
    Steve

  • I love how you structured your income report so neatly and tidy. I especially think it is very inspiring to share your goals. Keep up the good work! Totally admire your willingness to share and be so transparent with us!

  • Thank you so much for all these great tips that are being shared on this blog. There is alto of information that needs to be covered by many bloggers among which this one of the information

  • Thank you so much for sharing all your monthly figures with us they are really motivating in making sure that we keep on going when it comes to blogging