Let’s say you had to choose one scenario….
First scenario, you could have an OUTSTANDING (and I mean TRULY outstanding) month of link building for a relatively new website you own.
Second scenario, you could have your second-best month in terms of income for your online business.
Which scenario would you prefer?
To be completely honest with you, I think at this point in my business I would probably rather the first scenario played out as it would yield more opportunities for the future.
Lucky for me, November went really well in both areas.
It was my second-best month ever in terms of income, and I was able to get a total of 98 links to my website. For anyone who knows about link building, this is a ridiculously high number and I’m absolutely thrilled at how everything played out.
As I mentioned in last month’s income report, November was the month of link building and I set a goal for myself to get 60 total links for the month. When I created that goal, I was a little bit nervous because 60 total links meant I was basically getting two links per day and I wasn’t all that sure that I could do it.
But then when I was about 15 days into the month, I realized I could crush that goal and just hung on for the ride.
I’ll get into more detail about what websites those links went to within the income report.
On a personal note, life is good! My wife and I are still in Brazil, but we’re starting to look at buying a house back in the good old USA.
I never knew how much of a pain in the ass it would be to get a house while self-employed, but I’m just now discovering that it’s a very annoying process.
My main gripe about the process is the fact that you must have two years of verified income and then the mortgage company will average out the monthly income between those two years to determine what you qualify for.
While this is no problem for 2017 as things are going well, 2016 was my first full year of being self-employed, so my income was pretty weak. Because they are averaging 2016 and 2017, my monthly income looks MUCH lower than it really is.
This is also further complicated by the fact that my beautiful wife…. isn’t an American citizen. So, her income she makes on a monthly basis means absolutely nothing. Between the two of us we make around $10,000 per month post-tax, but to them that number is just over $3000.
Anyway, I’ll stop my rant here but we’re going to see what/how we can qualify for something decent with that “monthly income”.
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||$5.00||$5.00|
|Aweber Email Platform||$5.70||$5.70|
|Udemy Course Sales||$187.01||$187.01|
|Sale of old website in Home Design Niche||$255.00||$255.00|
|Partners and Affiliates Revenue|
|Website 5 Partners and Affiliates||$2.32||$2.32|
|OHP Partners and Affiliates (Excluding listed above)||$8.00||$8.00|
|Website 4 Partners and Affiliates||$256.44||$256.44|
|Website 1UB Partners and Affiliates||$702.38||$702.38|
|Personal VLOG Channel||$26.63||$26.63|
|OHP YouTube Channel||$63.77||$63.77|
|Website 3 Media.net Ad Revenue||$17.99||$17.99|
|Website 4 Media.net Ad Revenue||$81.53||$81.53|
|Website 1UB Media.net Ad Revenue||$352.66||$352.66|
|Google Adsense Revenue|
|Website 5 Adsense Revenue||$1.99||$1.99|
|OHP Adsense Revenue||$4.46||$4.46|
|Website 2 Adsense Revenue||$17.70||$17.70|
|Website 4 Adsense Revenue||$141.37||$141.37|
|Website 3 Adsense Revenue||$556.92||$556.92|
|Website 1ub Adsense Revenue||$6490.09||$6490.09|
|Google Drive Storage||$2.09||-$2.09|
|Adobe Photoshop Account||$10.61||-$10.61|
|Gmass Email Software||$12.95||-$12.95|
|Mailshake Email Software||$19.00||$19.00|
|Intuit Quick Books||$21.99||-$21.99|
|Meet Edgar Social Media Platform||$49.00||-$49.00|
|Freelance Labor Expenses|
|Freelance Writing and Editing||$554.22||-$554.22|
|Freelance Research and Labor||$1,297.59||-$1,297.59|
|Revenue By Channel||Website 1ub Website||Website 3||OHP Website||Website 4||Website 2||Website 5||Consulting||Udemy||YouTube|
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 four items that jumped out to me this month:
- Sale of old website: This was a pretty cool slice of income this month because it came out of nowhere. Basically, I used to have a website in the home decor niche that completely failed. Before the domain expired, I decided to put the website up on Flippa.com to see if I could get anyone to buy it. At that time, nobody wanted it. But then there was one individual who messaged me after the auction and requested it. After a little bit of back-and-forth, I was able to sell the website and make a really quick $255 that I otherwise never would’ve seen.
- OHP Course Sales: This month I had two people purchase my course on building a successful authority website (Here’s the free mini course if you want to check it out). I was really happy to see this as I know my methods work, now I hope my students will be really successful as well.
- Website 4 Partners and Affiliates: Each month I think that Website 4 couldn’t possibly make any more money, and then it does exactly that. In the month of November, revenues for this website increased by 50%. While I don’t expect this trend to continue, I’m just hopeful that this website makes $500 a month as that would be a huge win for me.
- Website 5 Income: The income for CK this month is little, I know. But I was surprised by this income because I have very little ads and affiliate marketing links on the website.
- Overall Adsense Revenue: I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but in the month of November there were a few days in a row where I was making over $300 a day on Google Adsense. I didn’t do anything different, I just have to chalk this up to more advertising or some other unknown factor. That said, not complaining!
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:
- Freelance Labor: As with every other month, my freelance labor costs are very high. But as I mentioned last month, a lot of this labor is a requirement in order for me to continue to grow my business. Could I stop all of my writers and editor from creating content and sit back to collect checks? Sure, but what’s the fun in that? Most of the increase in expenses this month were related to one researcher working on my Website 5 for 40 to 60 hours per week. She’s a total work horse and an awesome employee, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to keep her on for a long time.
- Mailshake Email Software: Remember how I told you before that Gmass is an amazing product because it saves you a lot of time when doing email outreach for link building? Well, I found something better. They both have the exact same purpose, but I prefer Mailshake because it allows you to see your messages prior to them sending and you can pause things on the fly. This is perfect if you make stupid little mistakes like me.
Because we’re looking at houses, I’ve decided to really start to keep track of my business expenses. Admittedly, for the last few months I’ve been an open check book because I need Website 5 to grow. And while I still want it to grow, it’s time that I hunkered down and really know my business expenses.
That said, I’m hoping that each month moving forward I should only spend about $1650 to maintain everything and continue to grow. This is what I’ve estimated and December should be a good test to see if I can stick to it.
I do want to mention for those just starting their online business journey….you can do this all for MUCH lower. Keep in mind that I have a team of researchers/writers/editor and a handful of software products to help.
Website 1 Update: To be honest, I don’t really have much to say about this website for the month of November. It was business as usual.
All I did this month was have a writer complete articles three articles each week and have an editor check over those articles and post them.
Other than that, I send out one newsletter each week highlighting those new blog posts and to have a quick touch point with my audience.
I did find out one interesting (and troubling) issue with the website right at the end of the month that I didn’t even know was happening.
Long story short, the opt in box that usually pops on the website encouraging people to put in their email address wasn’t “popping”. Because of this, I was only getting somewhere between 10 to 20 email sign-ups per day.
Those sign-ups may sound like a lot, but the website is typically getting somewhere between 50 to 100 sign-ups per day, so it was obviously a big problem.
The good news is that I’ve been able to fix this issue and am now checking on it periodically for the coming weeks to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I really have no idea how this occurred, but I know it’s fixed now.
Consulting Update: No consulting agreements in November. If you’re interested in my consulting services, shoot me an email. Note: My consulting is currently $150 USD/hr.
Udemy Update: Udemy continued to bring in decent income this month which was nice to see. Just like every other month, I haven’t done anything on Udemy for just over a year and it’s still making me some decent money. I’m not sure when this income is going to dry up, but for now I’m just going to sit and collect the paychecks until that day comes.
OneHourProfessor.com Website Update: It wasn’t much, but I was able to get two people signed up for my course and frankly, I’m very excited about that. I really don’t understand why more people don’t sign up for, but if even 2 to 3 people sign up each month I’ll be happy. If you want my free course about building an authority website, you can get it here.
THQ Website Update: I mentioned last month how I had revised the content on this website and I really do feel like we’ve built something that’s the best resource on the Internet for this particular niche. That said, it’s still not reaching its full potential.
From the search numbers that I saw, this website could potentially get more traffic than Website 1ub, but it’s not even close. That said, I’m back to link building for this website.
Because of this, I took a LOT of the ads off of the website because when link building, it’s much easier to get a link if you don’t have pages full of ads.
To my surprise, while the revenue did drop a little bit, I was still able to make about $575 which is pretty damn impressive. If I’m able to make somewhere between $500 to $600 a month while I’m link building on this website for the next six months, I’m going to be a really happy camper.
Here are some stats for the website:
To be fair, the table above is a little bit skewed. For some reason, it’s showing an increase of 33 links from the month of October to November, but that isn’t all due to my link building efforts.
In the month of November, I was personally able to acquire 14 new backlinks for the website. The good thing about that is many of these websites that linked to me have a domain rating somewhere between 40 to 50. This means that each of these links are carrying more weight to my website and in theory, should really help my website become more authoritative in the eyes of Google.
I’m going to continue to do this link building for the next 6 to 12 months in the hopes that eventually I can monopolize this market and really capitalize on the income.
Authority Website Website 4 Update:
Website 4 had a huge increase in income this month and it was very surprising to me.
Last month I reported how I didn’t think it would be possible for this website to continue to increase its income by 40% each month, and then November passes and the income has increased by 50%.
That said, this is the holiday season and this is an affiliate website. It’s by no means seasonal, but I have a feeling that November and December are going to be higher than the typical affiliate revenue that I can expect from this website.
The cool thing about this website is in the month of November I was able to acquire 4 new links and I did nothing to make this happen. I’ve set this website up in a way that should continue to bring people to me for years wanting to discuss the website information which will inevitably lead up to me trying to get a backlink from them.
Here are my statistics for this website so far:
Website 5 Update: It was a mind-boggling month for Website 5.
I was able to get 80 new links pointing to the website and all of these links were created through manual outreach.
Meaning, I never built any of these links myself and they are all completely white hat and valid.
I really couldn’t believe how effective my link building strategy was and I’m really excited to see what this ends up doing for me in the coming months.
From my experience with Website 4, I know that I shouldn’t expect much for the next month or two, but eventually Google is going to take notice of the backlink profile and really boost my rankings on the SERP’s.
One very encouraging this about this website is that Google is already rewarding me.
This is a gigantic market and I’ve gotten a small sliver of the total traffic (23k pageviews in November), but I’m happy to see a lot of different pages on my website ranking on the first page of Google already.
If you’re wondering how I’m able to get these backlinks again I’m going to reiterate the importance of creating geographic specific databases.
In other words, creating content specific to each state and launching 50 pages at a time. I can’t get much more descriptive than this because I don’t want to have anyone try to copy me, but this method works incredibly well not just for link building, but also to aggregate traffic.
As of now on Website 5 I’ve created a national database of information that has gotten me all these links and traffic. The next step will to be to create an INTERNATIONAL database as well.
By going international, I’ll be able to get even more traffic and I’ll also be able to pitch even more links.
What I’ve done here is just step one of a much bigger project.
I intend on taking this method of building out deo-specific databases and applying it to three other areas of this particular niche. All in all, this should lead to me contacting over 1000 people for a link and though I don’t know what my success rate will be, I’d be surprised if I don’t have over 250-300 links by the end of everything.
And remember, I haven’t done any guest posts yet, no infographics, or nothing else that most people do to collect links.
After I have all these databases created and the links built, then I’m going to go after those other areas that most people advocate and will see how big we can grow this website’s domain authority.
Here are my statistics for this website so far:
You’ll notice that my referring domains is only at 59 even though that number is actually 80. The reason is because I use Google Search Console data for my reporting because I know this is the number that Google recognizes.
I know this is going to increase when Google crawls the other links built to my website, but for now we’re just playing the waiting game.
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.
- Link Building Isn’t Too Difficult: Many people think that link building is a very difficult process that some type of mythical unicorn. While I will admit that there are some challenges that come with link building, it’s a very attainable goal and if you do things right and think of how you’re benefiting the person that you’re reaching out to, you can have some pretty good success. I’m not sure exactly how many people I reached out to in order to acquire all of these links in November, but I think we can assume about 700. That puts the success rate at 11% for my link building campaigns and so far, it’s an excellent start.
- Don’t discriminate based on Domain Authority: One of the things that cracks me up with people who are link building is that they only look to get links from really high domain authority websites. While I do understand the reasoning, because these websites are typically more powerful in terms of link equity, I don’t care where I get my links from when I start a website. I feel this way because Google is known for penalizing websites that have suspect link profiles, so I figure getting all websites to link to me, regardless of domain authority, is a good thing.
- Databases with Geographic Modifiers Still Works: Back in 2015 when I started Website 1UB, one of the things that made the website so successful was creating database pages specific for each state. I did this time and time again and was able to expand the website to what it is today with this method. I did a similar thing on the THQ website and though it wasn’t as successful as Website 1UB, I’m still able to make over $500 per month from that website. I then went into Website 4 and did a similar tactic on a smaller scale and now I make almost $500 per month with that website. Website 5 is going to have just as many databases as Website 1ub and I intend on building out every type of Geo modified database as possible. As of now I’ve identified three different areas that I can do this with, but the beauty of it is that these databases will be both national and international so there is a lot of potential.
Did I Meet my Goals for November?
60 Links in 30 Days (SUCCESS)
Between Website 5 THQ, and BBC, I was able to get an astonishing 98 links to my websites this month. This was no easy task and a lot of my time was spent answering emails from various people, but I was incredibly happy with the result.
Complete Gmass Review (SUCCESS – Kind of)
My original intention for this review was to create a YouTube video and then a blog post. This way, I could hit the product from multiple areas and potentially show up in both Google and YouTube. But unfortunately, the poor customer service over at Gmass frustrated me so much that I needed to switch to Mailshake.
I did technically complete the Gmass review on YouTube, but then I didn’t feel right about posting on my blog because I didn’t want to recommend a tool that I don’t use myself any longer.
For the record, I’ve never had a complaint about the way that Gmass functioned, my complaint has always been about their poor customer service. It is a bit cheaper than Mailshake as well so if you’re budget constrained, it might be a better option.
Goals for December
Build 31 Links
Building on the success that I had in November, in December I want to try to generate 31 links this pointing to my websites. I’m taking a big step down from last month mainly because we’ve got Christmas and New Year’s and I know that things are going to be slow when those holidays happen.
Plan Next Year Goals and Revisit 2017 goals
Keep in mind that it was my goal in 2017 to hit $10,000 per month in revenue for my business. Though I feel like I might fall slightly below this, if I include the other income that I make from teaching at a few different colleges, I did actually achieve this goal. That said, I didn’t have a very clear definition of this goal and intend on making one for next year so that I don’t have this problem again.
What are your goals for the month? What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!