Another record setting month….but I sense a storm is on the horizon.
It was a small increase in income for the month, but for the second month in a row, I was able to have my best month ever for my online business. In total I was able to generate $19,496.35 in revenue which resulted in $16,413.85 in profit. I’m a little upset that I didn’t get to the mythical $20,000 in revenue in a single month mark, but I’m not going to complain for obvious reasons.
I’m a little concerned though because I’ve noticed that my traffic and earnings for Website 3 are falling at about 15-20%. I am really not sure why, but I’ll get into my plan of action in the project update for Website 3 below.
In the month of July, I was able to make an average profit of $529.45 per day after expenses. This is about $20 less than what I was earning per day in June, but July had two extra days so it looks as if this month was actually better performing.
This month’s highlights included;
- Website 1 did outstanding and made up for the losses in revenue from Website 3.
- Website 5 is (very slowly) starting to increase in traffic.
Personal Life Update
On a personal level, this month was pretty tame compared to months in the past.
My wife is in the United States visiting, but we didn’t do any type of traveling for the month and just hung out with a lot of family and friends. One good thing is that my mom visited Illinois and was finally able to meet my wife…..after a year and a half of marriage.
It’s hard to explain how this has happened, but basically, she lives in California and never had an opportunity to meet her in person. She met her via FaceTime, but it was good for her to finally meet in person.
For the month of August, we already have a short four-day trip to New York planned and may end up also going to Vegas for a short three-day trip. It’s my wife’s birthday on August 18 and she leaves on August 20, so we want to do something cool before she heads out.
In terms of her coming to the United States full-time, we’re still waiting on her green card approval and it’s been about six months since we submitted the application. From what we’ve been told, it takes 7 to 12 months to get the application process approved and at that time we’ll go through interviews to prove that our marriage is legitimate.
It’s a huge pain in the butt and something I don’t enjoy, but eventually we’ll be together full-time and it’ll be nice to live in a normal marriage. It’s been great having her around this last month, but until everything is legal we don’t want to risk her overstaying her welcome in the governments eyes.
For those of you that are tired of hearing me report that I’m making over $10,000 per month and wondering why it can’t happen to you, I highly recommend that you take my free course that explains how to start an authority website.
Again, it’s 100% free and delivered through email, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by doing so.
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 SERVICE||REVENUE||EXPENSES||NET INCOME|
|ShutterstoWebsite 5 Images||$11.59||$11.59|
|Aweber Email Platform||$14.70||$14.70|
|Udemy Course Sales||$91.48||$91.48|
|OHP Course Sales||$158.00||$158.00|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$4.79||$4.79|
|OHP Partners and Affiliates||$119.49||$119.49|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$328.05||$328.05|
|Website 3 Partners and Affiliates||$1095.73||$1095.73|
|Website 1 Partners and Affiliates||$3220.77||$3220.77|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$9.57||$9.57|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$74.76||$74.76|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$31.11||$31.11|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$111.58||$111.58|
|Website 1 Media.net Ad Revenue||$377.42||$377.42|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$4.97||$4.97|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$8.05||$8.05|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$22.05||$22.05|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$268.03||$268.03|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$3864.31||$3864.31|
|Website 1 Adsense Revenue||$9265.89||$9265.89|
|Intuit Quick Books||$10.00||-$10.00|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Google Business Drive Storage and Apps||$12.09||-$12.09|
|Mailshake Email Software||$19.00||-$19.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Writing and Editing||$930.83||-$930.83|
|Freelance Research and Labor||$1,506.42||-$1,506.42|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
|January 2018||$7993.31 ||$467.71 ||$757.59 ||$718.04 ||$14.26 ||$486.99 ||$0||$113.95 ||$67.06
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 two items that jumped out to me this month:
- Website 1 Adsense Revenue: For some reason, the Google Adsense revenue for Website 1 was significantly higher than prior months. I actually have no idea why this is and what it was that caused this, but it just seemed like there was a little bit more traffic than usual and the ads that I have on the website converted a little better. I didn’t do anything drastically different, this was just the normal progression of the website itself.
- Website 3 Overall Revenue: This website had a decent month, but you’ll notice that the total income dropped by about $1800.00 which is quite a hit. Again, I hadn’t done anything different here either and for some reason Google has decided that they don’t like this website, at the moment anyway. I have plans to try to fix that though….
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 was one item that jumped out to me this month:
- Freelance Research and Labor: My expenses this month were about $200 below what they were in June and while that’s a small decrease, I was happy to see my expenses drop a little bit. Truth be told, I haven’t really been worrying so much about my business expenses lately because the amount of income that I’m making, but I do intend on pulling back on this by the end of this month. As of right now, I have a lot of research being done on various databases for different websites and that drives up my expenses quite a bit.
Full Portfolio Update: I don’t usually have sweeping portfolio changes mentioned in my income report, but this month I intend on leaving the Disqus commenting system completely. They have begun to charge for their service and if you don’t pay, have made the decision to insert ads on your website. While I understand they need to make money, and was fine with this tactic, they inserted autoplay video ads with volume on my website which are incredibly annoying and destroy the user experience.
I could pay for this service, but the amount that they’re asking for the page views I have isn’t reasonable and I’m not to pay a fortune for a commenting system when I can get one for free.
It’s frustrating to have to switch because I liked the way that it helped fight spam and other issues, but it’s just not worth the cost for me.
Another big change I already made this month for my portfolio was a security upgrade. There was a nice deal on AppSumo for a security plug-in that monitors all the incoming traffic and blocks attacks while helping you understand and avoid website downtime. I read the reviews and everything was pretty good, so I decided to purchase Webarx.
They offered a deal of security for 10 websites for $50, so I decided to buy two licenses at that price and I think I’ll be good on my website security forever as I don’t intend on ever having 20 websites in my portfolio.
As of now I’m very happy with the service and it seems that it’s money well spent. I was definitely lagging in this department, so this new plugin fixed a small issue that needed fixing.
Website 1 Update: Another great month for my top earning website. Truth be told, I really didn’t do anything different at all and this website is easily my most passive entity, so it all kind of happened by itself.
I have no idea why my Google AdSense revenue was much higher this month than in months prior, but hopefully that’s a trend that will continue.
I really don’t have a whole lot planned in the future for this website except to continue to create articles. I’ve been publishing three articles per week for the last few years and a part of me is beginning to believe that this regular contribution might have some type of impact with SEO.
I’m not 100% sure on this, but Website 3 hasn’t been contributed to for over a year and it seems like it’s struggling in the search engine rankings to compete. Is that hurting Website 3? Not sure, but maybe….
Consulting Update: I had a very small ($70) consulting project I participated in this month for a friend, but it was more of a favor than anything. I don’t intend on consulting any longer and will only help people that I’m friends with.
Udemy Update: Had a nice little spike in earnings for the month on Udemy that was nice to see. As reported in months prior, I haven’t done anything on this website for probably over a year so it’s completely passive.
OHP Website Update: The clock is still ticking on this change to a financial blog and a podcast. As of now, it looks like next month things might start to kick off but until then I’m just focused on other things.
Website 3 Update:
Admittedly it’s a little strange to me that this website went down in page views and earnings this month considering that Google seems to now have a better grasp on how many back links I have.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this trend is alarming and I don’t like it, but I’m trying to remember back to how little this website used to make and continue to be optimistic as I’m making decent revenue now.
In terms of fixing the downswing, there are two things I’m thinking about doing.
- Creating more content: While I’ve read many times that this should have no significant impact on the SEO of a website, I can’t help but notice that Website 1 has never been impacted by algorithm changes and I’ve continued to publish the entire time. This website has been stagnant for over a year and I’m starting to wonder if the lack of new content has something to do with the fluctuations from Google’s algorithm. Feel free to chime in if you have experience with this, even as anecdotal evidence.
- Get More Backlinks: By the end of this month I intend on beginning to reach back out to link targets to get new links to this website. I noted last month how I’ve been doing some guest posting to try to boost a specific page, but interestingly enough, that particular page I’ve been building links to has actually dropped in the rankings. This goes against everything I’ve ever been taught and I’m really not sure what to make of it, but for some reason this website doesn’t seem to fit the typical mold of what I know about SEO.
Here’s a graph of the last 12 months of progress.
- Page specific links aren’t always going to boost ranking. I really don’t know why this is true on this website, and can’t say if this would be true on all websites, but in this particular instance links to a specific page didn’t help rankings at all. In fact, it actually dropped rankings a little bit.
- Earnings dropped for the month, but this is still the second-best month this website has ever had. While I anticipate August being lower in revenue based on what I’m seeing early in the month, I still think this website will make somewhere between $3000-$4000 each month, which isn’t too bad at all. I definitely want to get this back up as I think it can surpass Website 1, but only time will tell.
- For the month, traffic dropped by 25% and it wasn’t necessarily a huge drop on any given day. This was just gradual and although it hurts, I’ve noticed that it seems to have leveled off. My hope is that it doesn’t dip any further and I can work my way back up.
Website 4 Update:
I did absolutely nothing for this website in the month of July. Earnings dropped a little bit, but I’m not going to panic about it considering it’s not really a focus of mine at this point in time. I haven’t contributed new content to this website in at least six months and it continues to passively put money into my bank account.
I did mention last month how I had the idea of creating a product for this audience and I really think that I’ve nailed down what that’s going to be. However, it’s not easy to produce the product that I want to do and it’s going to take a significant amount of time and effort to make it happen. It could very well be worth it, but for now I don’t want to focus on it. The introduction of this product might be something that I work on in the new year.
Here are my statistics for this website in the last 12 months:
- This website is a smaller niche website and continues to impress me. I haven’t done anything for some time and it continually generates income for me without much effort. I’ve also found a way to have ongoing link building efforts built into the website and each month is small increase. Which, I’m assuming, helps my SEO footprint even further.
- Though this website is small, I have the number one audience on a Facebook group with an interest in this particular topic and I think that the product I may introduce will be a great way to monetize that. I also intend on bringing back the calendar that I created last year so that there’s a 2019 version available, and I may use a lot of that money I make from that and put it into creating this new product that I’m thinking about.
Website 5 Update:
This website still seems to be struggling to gain traction in the eyes of Google. I have a significant amount of referring domains, but one thing that I realize is that the domain authority of those websites is very low.
While I could be working on a guest posting campaign, right now I’ve built out in infographic campaign that should be pretty interesting.
This is actually the first time I’ve ever done in infographic campaign and so far, I really don’t know how successful it could be because I started the emails on August 2nd. I’ve hired a researcher and found over 8000 link targets for this campaign and created a pretty amazing infographic to help their audience, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be well received.
As of now, I have 20 emails scheduled to go out every day for the entire month of August and we’ll see where we end up by the end of the month. One thing that’s been great about this process is that I’ve trained my virtual assistant to handle all of the queuing up of the emails, so at this point I just reply to emails and that’s pretty much my main focus.
I’m going to see how this campaign plays out and if by the end of August I haven’t made any type of momentum, I’ll probably continue to run this campaign in the background and maybe look into a guest posting campaign in addition to this.
As of now I have one link building campaign that’s getting some traction from a database on this website and I’m starting this new infographic one as well. I’m really hoping that between the two campaigns links will continue to build and Google will take notice.
I’ve been talking to my wife a lot about this website because it’s been very frustrating so far, but she reminded me how long it took for Website 3 to take off and it’s always good to have that other perspective.
Here are my statistics for this website so far:
- Patience is a virtue. While I’m not sure exactly how long it’ll take for this website to do well, I am sure that I’m going to be patient in the process. In fact, just looking over my numbers, I just now realized that I haven’t even had this website for a full year yet. The month of August is actually going to be the completion of the first year for this website and I’m really hoping I start to see an increase in traffic because of the age of the domain.
- Competitive niches are much tougher. This is by far the toughest niche I’ve ever entered into and while I still think I can do great things here, I’ve noticed it’s definitely more competitive and difficult to do as well. That said, three of my other websites are true authorities on the Internet and I have no doubt that I can make this one in authority as well, buit it’s just going to take time.
- Infographics are fun to make. I’ve never done an infographic campaign before and admittedly, I had a lot of fun with this one. The infographic creator that I hired on Upwork did an outstanding job and I’m very excited to see how this campaign will play out. While I’m only two days in and I’ve had absolutely no responses yet, I’m not going to hit the panic button. My hope is that the second or third email will elicit some responses.
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.
- Maybe Page Links Aren’t That Great: I’ve read time and time again that in order to rank a specific page on the website you should try to get page level back links. I did that a lot in the month of July and have seen nothing but negative results. This goes against all conventional wisdom and it might just be an anomaly, but it’s something that I have to consider moving forward. For now, I’m going to continue the page specific links and will be contacting link targets to try to get more links to the homepage with my other link building campaigns.
- Link Building is Still Fun: I don’t know what it is that I enjoy about this process, but for some reason, I like Link Building. I think the fact that it’s a challenge to succeed here is what drives me and I enjoy link building because it’s such an important aspect of the business. Beyond that, I think a part of it is the fact that I work from home and barely talk to anybody during the day, so it’s nice to make different acquaintances through email.
- Stay Positive: It’s definitely not always easy to stay positive when things aren’t going your way. Although the month of July looked good on paper, there was a significant downward trend towards the end of the month on Website 3 and I know the only way to get through it is to stay positive and know that things will get better.
Did I Meet my Goals for July?
Launch Infographic Link Building Campaign (SUCCESS)
I was able to launch this and had a pretty fun time doing so. I’m hoping that this campaign will do well so that I can do more of them. I’ve noticed that one of the bigger players in this niche focused on infographic link building campaigns to succeed and it’s proved to serve them well. I’m hopeful that I can replicate and even surpass their success.
10 Deep Links to Website 3 (FAIL)
I was able to get four more links on the particular page that I’ve been focused on the last few months, but I’ve also found a way to automate the guest posting process moving forward. This was probably one of the most difficult outsourcing tasks I’ve ever had to create for someone and I finally have someone in place that does all of the blog commenting and email outreach for me.
Every single month I’ll be reaching out to 40 different websites in an effort to secure guest posts. Based on the current numbers I usually get about a 40 to 50% response rate and land one or two links to the page. If these numbers stay true, I’m going to end up increasing the amount of hours that I outsource in an effort to create links faster, but I have to see how the numbers work out now that this is all automated.
Get 20 Links to Website 5 (FAIL)
I was close to succeeding with this one, but the issue was that the infographic campaign launched a little later than I thought it would. I still was able to get 14 different links from my database link building campaign, but now that the infographic campaign is running hopefully I can hit this number and more in the month of August.
What Are my Goals for July?
Clean Up 404 Errors on Websites
While I don’t really know if this will help my websites from an SEO perspective, one of the things that I never do is clean up all of the broken links on my website. I recently went into the Google search console and saw that there was a significant amount of broken links on my websites, so I decided that it would be a good idea this month to clean all these up. By the end of the month, I intend on cleaning everything up and also looking back one more time after it’s cleaned up to see if new errors are being reported. I have to assume that this is going to help my websites, I can’t see it being a negative.
Leave the Disqus Commenting System
While this commenting system has served me well, it’s time to leave. When you start throwing video ads on my websites and interrupt the user experience, I have no interest in using your platform. By the end of the month I want Disqus off all of my websites for a different solution. I’m still researching what that solution is going to be, but I’m sure I’ll find something.
Begin Link Building on Website 3 again
Now that Website 3 is falling in traffic (again), it’s time to bring back the link building. I put a pause on this because of the other things I had going on and things were really starting to look good for the website, but obviously that was a mistake. I’m going to be focused on link building to this website through guest posting and a resource link building campaign.
Begin Content Creation on Website 3 Again
I’ve been happy to not manage another writer and more content for this website over the last year, but I think it’s time to change my attitude and try to make more content again. I have no idea if this is going to help from an SEO perspective, but I don’t think it’s going to hurt either.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!