Alright guys, this is a special edition income report coming from you live in Buzios, Brazil which is east of Rio De Janiero by about two hours.
My wife and I are out here enjoying a relaxing vacation and I gotta say, it’s very well-deserved. We have both been working so hard lately (12-15 hour days are the norm) and this vacation is something we really needed to refresh and go back to work strong.
If you’re wondering what this place is like, here’s a quick video:
I think the coolest part about this trip so far is that today I made $241.47 and I was in a car for 7.5 hours driving. I have been working so hard on my projects lately that sometimes I forget how great passive income really is.
Well, that and I have a happy wife right now and we all know how great of a thing that can be.
That said, now that we’re at the end of July we’ve gone 7 out of 12 months for 2017.
Are you getting closer to achieving your yearly goals?
I’m not a rah-rah type of guy, but I do believe in goals and hopefully you set some in the beginning of the year.
For me, I’m definitely getting close to achieving my goal of $10,000 in business income each month and July was one step closer to that.
I still haven’t hit my goal, well, not consistently, but I feel like the steps I’m taking now will definitely get me there soon.
Anyway, let’s get moving on the actual income for July.
Before I dive too deeply the income report“>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 SERVICE||REVENUE||EXPENSES||NET INCOME|
|Aweber Email Platform||$5.70||$5.70|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$29.60||$29.60|
|OHP Course Sales||$39.00||$39.00|
|Udemy Course Sales||$41.80||$41.80|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$0||$0|
|Website 2 Partners and Affiliates||$10.50||$10.50|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$57.03||$57.03|
|OHP Partners and Affiliates (Excluding Thrive)||$229.50||$229.50|
|Website 1UB Partners and Affiliates||$460.82||$460.82|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$29.80||$29.80|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$65.04||$65.04|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$7.03||$7.03|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$9.68||$9.68|
|Website 1UB Media.net Ad Revenue||$371.72||$371.72|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|OneHourProfessor.com Adsense Revenue||$1.93||$1.93|
|GNG Adsense Revenue||$4.97||$4.97|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$19.13||$19.13|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$48.05||$48.05|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$337.88||$337.88|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$4,826.10||$4,826.10|
|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|
|Meet Edgar Social Media Platform||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Yoast News SEO Plugin||$69.00||-$69.00|
|App Sumo Amplifr Deal||$99.00||-$99.00|
|ConvertKit Email Software||$179.00||-$179.00|
|Freelance Research and Labor||$379.19||-$379.19
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Authority Website - Website 3||OHP Website||Authority Website - Website 4||News Website - GNG||Website 2||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
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 items that jumped out to me this month:
- Consulting Income: My consulting this month was courtesy of two clients I had. One of them was the same client who gave consulting income last month while I built a website for him, the second was a young college student whose eagerness was inspiring. Both of them need my assistance for different reasons, but it’s always cool to connect with people who are looking to “make it” in the online business world. If you’re in need of some consulting, don’t be scared to reach out. Please note, my hourly rate is currently $125/hour and I believe that will continue to increase as time goes on.
- Website 4 Partner and Affiliate Earnings: Again, Website 4 continues to increase in income and last month brought in more than double the income of June. That said, I don’t think that I will be able to eclipse $250 per month for this website….but I’m trying to get creative to generate more revenue. The reason is the niche was too small, but I’ll get into further details in the project update below.
- OHP Website: Talk about a shocker….OHP ended up absolutely killing it this last month. The reason? Well, I don’t exactly know. My commissions from Thrive Themes increased significantly and I just have to chalk it up to a stroke of luck. I’m really pumped though because in the month of August they are going to be launching a new tool called “Thrive Architect” and I’ve gotten a few sneak peeks and it looks really good. My hope is that the marketing effort behind this new tool will bring more attention to me as well, we’ll see.
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 items that I think are worth discussing this month:
- Cost of Writers: Though this was down from last month, I anticipate that this will be my biggest expense for months, probably even years to come. It’s by far my most expensive line-item on my report, but easily the most important. Content never expires, so if people do a good job writing it and you edit it well, the payoff is almost invaluable.
- Active Campaign: I’ve been working on the transition off of Convertkit to Active Campaign and I’m just about done. It’s annoying to pay for two email providers each month, but I have to do this as I transition to make sure I don’t send people repeated emails.
Website 1 Update: I had some really interesting things pop up in July for Website 1. As I’ve said in the past, this website is very passive at this point (I usually work about 5 hours a month on the website and that’s just reviewing and posting articles) but I’m always looking for ways to squeeze every drop of revenue out of the platform.
Because of this goal, there were two new things that I did in July.
- Adsense and Media.net Optimization: I was looking at my ads in July and decided I wasn’t doing enough to capitalize on the traffic that I had. Because of this, I further optimized my revenue on some key pages of Website 1ub website. Thus far, it looks like these changes will end up increasing monthly income by 10-20%. If you’re wondering, there were a few areas that I focused on to make this happen:
- Matched Content Ad: You know how at the end of blog posts websites always have the “You may also like” and “Related content” areas? Well, I added a Google Adsense solution for this called a “Matched Content” ad. This isn’t open to every website out there, it seems to be that you need at least 10,000 visitors each month. It’s just like all of those other solutions out there in that it shows your content mixed with some ads. That said, I put it in because I figured that Google has the most advertisers and would pay more than any other network per click. So far, not disappointed with this ad unit at all and it’s definitely increased my income.
- Adsense Ad Limit: I’m not sure if people realize this, but the rule that Google used to have about three ad units per page no longer exists. That said, I went to key pages of my website and inserted a few more ads where it made sense. I’m trying to be careful though as I don’t want to make the ads too dominating on any given page, but for my pages with a lot of content, it made sense to add a few more Google Adsense ads and sprinkle in a few Media.net ads.
- Consider Selling Leads to Lawyers: This new thing is a result of a very frustrating experience. Basically, one of the ways that Website 1 makes money is by selling leads to a company for legal services. Right now I sell each lead for $10 and make an extra $200-$250 a month. However, this vendor has been late on payment for the last two months and obviously I’m not happy about this. So, I’ve decided to build out another database of information and I am going to do my best to generate these leads myself and sell them to lawyers. I have been speaking to some experts on this topic and they think it’s possible for me to get $50-$100 per lead, so 5x or 10x on my lead cost would obviously be a great thing. There’s more work involved, but if I can make and extra grand or two each month with this, I’m obviously all for it. There is a lot of work to do here and I will be rolling it out slowly across each state in the U.S. but I really think this could add 30-40% of my earnings….which would be amazing.
Active Campaign Email Platform Migration: Just as we finished up July, I was able to finish my full migration over to Active Campaign. Let me say with absolute conviction, I have absolutely no regrets.
Truth is, ConvertKit is great for a lot of people as it’s simple and really good at a few things. But Active Campaign completely blows it away on so many levels in my opinion.
Here’s a few key reasons for this:
- Price: Active Campaign at higher levels of subscribers is cheaper.
- Reporting: The reporting, or lack thereof in Convertkit, was something that always annoyed me. Not true with Active Campaign. So many reporring options are available, and in a way, they have integrated their reporting directly into your autoresponders as you view them, which is really nice to get an idea of what’s actually happening.
- Transparency into what subscribers are currently seeing: Active Campaign tells you exactly how many of your subscribers are at certain steps in your autoresponder. Meaning, if you have 12 people in the process of being delivered email #6, it will tell you exactly who those subscribers are. This is more powerful than you think.
- Nearly unlimited tagging options: The tags and triggers in Active Campaign are enormous. Though this may be intimidating to some, as it was for me at first, there is so much value here if used correctly. When you can tag people throughout your entire autoresponder process, you can get really creative with what your email list does.
- Ability to really test your funnels: One thing I just discovered yesterday is that you can enter an autoresponder with your own email and manually click to push yourself through the entire sequence. This is awesome as it lets me review and confirm everything is working correctly.
All this said, from now on I will be recommending Active Campaign to all of my readers. The thing that sealed the deal for me is they do a free migration, so it makes the whole thing pretty painless. Click here to sign up for Active Campaign, it’s something you’ll thank me for later.
Consulting Update: Consulting income was another great line item this month and while I expect it to slow down in July, I think I’m going to be trying to get more regular clients in the future. Although the money is nice, the thing that I really like about this is the ability to connect and talk shop with eager and new online entrepreneurs. Their optimism and passion is infectious and it helps me remember how blessed I really am, but it’s also just flat out fun for me to analyze businesses. I know, I’m weird, but to me it’s a lot of fun.
Udemy Update: *Rolls Eyes* – Whatever. As each month goes by I disconnect a little more from Udemy and don’t care. Too many discounts to undervalue my hard work, I don’t really care much anymore. I am considering abandoning the platform all together.
OneHourProfessor.com Website Update: Aside from the big income spike mostly from Thrive Themes, I did a lot of work on this website in July. The reason is because I am going to revive my efforts to sell more of my Authority Website Course and I’m trying to figure out the best process to do so. That said, if anyone has a great resource of a person who knows how to sell online courses with Facebook ads, let me know.
Here is what I’m currently workin on with OHP:
- Courses Tab on Website: The other day I asked someone if they took my course and their response was, “What Course?” Shame on me….if someone doesn’t even know about the course I have, how could they possibly buy it? I think I will be making a courses tab, just have to figure out the best way to do so.
- Deadline Funnel Integration: You don’t see a cost for this yet in the income report because I’m on a trial, but this is a better version of Thrive Ultimatum. As you all know, I absolutely love Thrive Themes, but Thrive Ultimatum has given me nothing but problems to integrate so I gave up. With half the effort I wwas able to set up deadline funnels and now I know my funnel is correct.
- Revising Funnel for the Authority Website Course: All of the work this month was spurred because I had to transfer my entire from Convertkit to Active Campaign. I was okay with doing this on every website except OHP because I wasn’t proud of my funnel. But now I am and I feel like I should be able to get sales. So much so that in August I will be investing to get targeted traffic from Facebook into the funnel to see what happens.
Authority Website THQ Update: The THQ website had a slight dip in traffic and revenue in July, but I’m fine with it. I have had a hard time finding quality writers for the content that I need done on this website it’s slowed me down, but I just got connected to a gem of a writer who is quick and has done excellent work. That said, I am confident I can really kick this website into the next gear in the next month or two.
Here’s a breakdown of some key metrics for the THQ authority website:
There are a few key things that you’ll notice in the figures above:
- Income and traffic were down, so that correlation is there and not too surprising. But again, I am not stressing, I think my changes will boost rankings significantly.
- Backlinks increased quite a bit but I’m not doing link outreach anymore. An increase of 16 backlinks and a lot of that was organic with no effort from me. I did have some links occur because of my old outreach campaign, but the fact that I’m getting more here is very encouraging.
Authority Website Website 4 Update:
What a month it was for this one. Both traffic and income pretty much doubled and that was a sweet moment for me. I do feel like I might be hitting the cap on this specific market unfortunately because it was too small of a niche I selected.
Although it kind of sucks that I’m hitting a market limit, it also has inspired me to create ANOTHER authority website.
I’m not going to disclose exactly what the niche is, but here is something to explain my thought process on this one.
Let’s pretend that Website 4 was about Ford Trucks. Not all trucks, just Ford. Well, it might be good for awhile…..but eventually you run out of income potential for that website, content ideas, and monetization methods. That said, you were able to figure out a really effective link building technique in this website and found a great way to make money.
If all that happened, then it may inspire you to make a website about ALL trucks. Not just Ford, but all brands.
This is basically what happened to me.
I picked a specific type of thing for my Website 4 and though it’s going well, it’s a little too small of a niche. But, I learned a ton about the niche and have some really good link building techniques. Big enough that I think I can attack a MUCH larger and broader niche and be successful which is in the same area of expertise, just much more general.
If I could have done it all over again I would have picked that broad niche at first, but hey, you live you learn. Plus, I’m not too upset to have a website that’s ranking really high for many keywords I targeted while bringing in $200-$300 in passive income each month.
Here are my statistics for this website so far:
There are a few key things that you’ll notice in the figures above:
- Sessions doubled: The sessions this month skyrocketed and I honestly think I’ll see more of this in August. I have one writer working on this website and she submits an article a week, but she did a lot of Amazon affiliate review posts in July which are how I’m making more money.
- Income almost tripled (again). This is all about those review posts my writer made and I’m really happy with how well they are going. My conversion when someone clicks to Amazon is somewhere around 12-18% and while I’m not too sure if that’s good or bad, I’m happy with it.
GNG Website Update:
What a difference a month can make…..and not in a positive way at all.
|Month||Sessions||Referring Domains||Earnings||Facebook Followers|
Unfortunately, this website looks like it will go in my failure folder. GNG, which I am happy disclose now as GoodNewsGum.com – is not doing well at all. Though I do most projects by myself, this was one I did with a business partner and it’s a failure. This was in no way related to my business partner – she was great – the problem was the website itself. I’ve reflected with my business partner on this project and we have identified what went wrong.
- News is short lived so SEO isn’t as impactful: On all websites, SEO is usually the lifeblood of what you do. If you succeed in SEO, your website will probably do well. From what we have experienced in the news niche, this isn’t true. The problem is that our website only focuses on positive news stories….and because of that, these aren’t usually widely covered news stories. That said, we were successful in ranking for some terms and did see a short temporary spike in traffic, but it isn’t sustainable because people don’t search for the news stories long after they happen. Contrary to a website where an information article can drive traffic and make money for years, news websites have a churn and burn content mentality and we just couldn’t seem to make it work.
- Facebook doesn’t always work well: We thought that all of the content we posted to Facebook would go viral. After all, who doesn’t love positive news stories. Unfortunately though, that wasn’t the case. We did have some success with our news stories, but not nearly enough to make it sustainable.
- News websites have a ton of competition: We knew this going in, but our angle of just focusing on Positive News Stories seemed like a good idea. Turns out it wasn’t.
- People like negative news: I hate to say it, but we read way more negative than positive news stories. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is. I thought it wouldn’t matter, but it did. People like controversial and negative stuff, I just wish they focused on the positives instead.
- CPM for news websites is very low: This was the nail in the coffin. If everything else was slowly growing I would have been fine so long as this one point was okay. But basically we came to the realization that for our news website, the CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions) was under $2.50 most months. This is a HUGE problem as every other website I have makes over $5 and is closer to $10 CPM. This was really the main thing that made us decide to quit. Even if we did start getting really popular, it’s unlikely we would have made enough, quickly enough.
All this said, my partner and I have done further analysis on our next move and we will be creating a (big surprise) Authority Website. It’s going to be a 50/50 split for revenue/profits and it’s in a huge niche that we see some surprisingly easy keywords to rank for. It’s probably going to be a few months before we really jump into this as we need time to let our wounds (and egos) heal, but that’s the name of this online business game!
Sometimes, even those who think they have it figured out (me) still fail from time to time. But that’s okay, just need to get back up and try again.
YouTube Channel Update:
I’d say this channel is more passion than business related at this point. Sure, it would be cool for myself and my wife to make money with this in the future, but now we are just recording stuff that we do to look back at memories. It’s really not too taxing because we have a good editor, so all we do is record and entertain, give to our editor, and post.
I’m sure we’ll break even on this channel eventually. But for now….we are just posting to record and keep track of things.
If you’re interested in getting a glimpse into our lives, here’s a link to the channel.
Here are the key metrics for our channel so far:
|Month||Total Views||Subscribers||Total Revenue|
*NEW* Website 5 Update: This new authority website is underway and is the larger version of Website 4 that I mentioned earlier. As of now I am testing out various writers and think I have three good ones on staff. In total, I have tested eight of them and a few are still on the cusp.
In total, I’d like to eventually publish 6-7 articles each week as I think this website could be massive.
The writers on staff are well credentialed and really know this subject, so I’m making informational content now and then after a month or two I’ll start doing more link building.
The plan is to replicate the success of Website 4 I had on a much larger scale and I have no doubt it’ll work, I just need to get some quality content up for the website first and time to execute. I have a feeling this one will be larger than Website 4 with time and may actually be my biggest website yet.
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.
- Stay Humble and Know When You Fail: Let’s face it, I’ve had some success with this online business. That said, I’ve also had a dozen or so failures. In fact, I’ve had many more failures than successes. The GoodNewsGum.com failure of the last 5 months is a reminder that I don’t have it all figured out and I need to stay humble. My point is, when you start having success, don’t think everything you touch turns to gold….because it doesn’t.
- Brush Yourself Off When You Fail: Just like all the other times I’ve failed, I’m going to sit back and analyze what happened with Good news Gum, think about what I could have done differently, then take a deep breath and dive back into a new project. Never let a failed project defeat you, just use it to learn.
- Passive Income is Amazing: Okay, this is a “duh” point. But this month it hits home because I have been driving/on vacation and still making good money. Passive income IS real and you CAN do it, you just need to work hard and keep trying. I can tell you guys from experience. It’s really difficult to make it happen, but once it does you’ll realize you can do it over and over again.
Did I Meet my Goals for July?
Fix Indeed AWebsite 7 issues (SUCCESS – KIND OF)
Well, this was something I got completed in July….but the way it went down was ugly. Indeed.com staff and I had some disagreements and it ultimately lead to me not being able to make more money with the platform. While that’s a bummer, I just took a deep breath and moved on. I do not want to deal with this anymore and my website was built with Indeed as a partner, so I’m just going to leave it as-is and stop trying to make more money here.
Switch to Active Campaign (SUCCESS)
Finished this right at the end of the month and as mentioned above, extremely happy with the new platform. I’m sure I’ll find some things I hate about it in time, but it was the right move and will save me money.
Insert all THQ content (FAIL)
So many issues finding good writers for this website….but at this point I have two on staff. One is good enough, one is great. Between the two of them I am sure I can get this all completed in August.
Goals for August
Finish the THQ Content Revisions and Redesign
I really think with my writers I’ll be able to get this done in August. I need to post new content across 12 pages and get around 10 more pages written, but I think I can do it. After this is all done, I anticipate a lift in rankings and income.
Post 20 Articles to Website 5
Website 5 is my new love and I want to treat her right. That said, she’s hungry…and wants content. So, I’m going to try to deliver to the tune of 20 new articles this month. If it all goes according to plan, I can then start link building in September….just in time for my birthday ?
Sell More OHP Courses
Now that I’ve shown…numerous times…that the Authority Website Course actually works and it can be replicated over and over again, I’m going to try really hard to get targeted traffic to buy it. I know it’s good and there have been so many positive reviews from those who took it, now I just need to get more people to buy it.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!