I can't believe it's only been three months since the last affiliate marketing income report I made, the quarter one report! When I look back, an absolutely incredible amount of things have happened to HPD. I can see why most other guys just do a monthly report – three months is an awful lot to fit into one report.
Update: See my Q3 report.
Oh well, here goes!
I made the mistake of not writing out clear goals at the end of my Q1 report. I did mention throughout the report what I was hoping to achieve, but like a fool I forgot to summarize them at the end.
My main goals were to make more site sales with HumanProofDesigns, more people joining Wealthy Affiliate under my tutoring, a lot more traffic to my site, and financially, I wanted to finally break through the $1,000 a month threshold.
This last one was starting to cause me some angst. I knew that it takes time to build up a real online income, but after having a pretty successful 2013 I was annoyed with myself for not yet earning this much. I figured I should be pushing a lot higher.
This is the price you pay for not sticking to one thing. Your earnings will increase, but not as efficiently as you'd like.
So to summarize, did I achieve my goals in Q2? Oh yes! And then some!
As my Kettlebell site had done so well in March, I decided to focus on this at the beginning of April. I added an Autoresponder sequence with Aweber that included a few product promotions and tips and tricks. This is nothing new in Internet Marketing, but was my first real time to dabble in doing it for a site outside of the IM niche.
It went quite well, I earned a few extra sales so was pretty happy. Although I have to say my normal sales were dropping, perhaps as a result of me adding Adsense back to the site to see how it would do.
My shaving site luxuryshaves.com carried on chugging away in the background earning me around $50 a month. One day I will return to this and try to properly get some good income out of it, but for now, it's good to have some basic business expenses covered by a site that's 100% automated.
Speaking of automation and outsourcing, I also launched my SEO writing outsource service too. I got a couple of initial sales, but haven't really pushed it enough lately, so I'm not sure if it needs more work, needs tweaking, or just needs more attention. It's there if anyone wants it!
As for Humanproofdesigns, I didn't have a whole lot of success. It continued to grow, but there wasn't much in the way of income. I must have sold one or two sites only, which was pretty depressing when you look at how well I did in March, clocking up $930.
Here's a breakdown of my April earnings:
Kettlebellexerciseswomen.com – $230 dragon door sales.
Luxuryshaves.com – $43.60 amazon sales
Google Adsense across two sites – $12.27
Humanproofdesigns.com site sales – $0
Humanproofdesigns.com article sales – $80
Ongoing consultant and SEO work – $166
There are probably a few dollars here and there that I've missed, but overall I was pretty worried by these earnings, especially after coming so close to the $1k mark before.
The thing that worried me the most was not having a single HPD sale.
What happened right at the end of this month, and continued into the next month though, changed everything.
April Successes summarized:
- Successfully launched article writing service.
April Failures summarized:
- Failed to sell a single site at HPD.
- Low earnings.
When May rolled around I was on a 10 day visit to China. My parents were heading there to visit my brother and his newly born son, so I decided to pop over and surprise them. It went very well, I turned up at Shanghai train station while they were waiting for a train home (I coordinated this with my bro) and made their day.
The fact that I was spending a third of the month abroad, and the pretty bad April I had earnings wise should have made me a bit pessimistic about my earning potential in May, but honestly, I was feeling good.
Right at the end of April I had reached out to Justin Cooke from EmpireFlippers, who had liked the idea of us maybe doing something together. They get a lot of people who are interested in buildig sites up from scratch, and long story short, decided to add me to their autoresponder as a place to get some good “starter sites“. On top of that, they also gave me a shout-out in their podcast around the middle of May.
On top of all this, I took on some extra writing work for Steve at Ivetriedthat.com doing some scam reviews. I wouldn't normally want to spend too much time on someone else's site, but Steve offered me a pretty good rate and I thought some scam review experience would be good as well. Check out my posts here.
I also started getting some site clients again (largely thanks to EmpireFlippers) and felt that people were finally starting to appreciate the value of my sites!
Ironically, on the other end of things my Kettlebell site started declining in traffic and sales. I guess you can only ignore a site for so long. I started thinking about what changes I could make and implemented a few of them, but they were mostly failures. I still earned a hundred or so dollars.
It gets better though.
Dean Robinson and I have been working on a side project over at DeftDev.com where we make WordPress plugins,mostly based on requests from others. Our first plugin, ResRes, a restaurant plugin, started making sales in May and we recorded over $100 in sales. This was amazing and a pretty promising little side project.
As May started to roll to a close, I began toting up my earnings to see how close to 1k I was. On the 24th I was agonizingly close, about $30 short! Luckily the next day I got another ResRes sale, a few affiliate sales, and over the course of the final week I celebrated finally doing the 1k month. It was amazing and also a little relieving! I had a Taiwan Beer from the local 7-11 to celebrate.
May Income Overview:
Kettlebellexerciseswomen – $120 Dragondoor sales
Luxuryshaves.com – $58.88. Amazon sales
Google Adsense – $ 18.11
Humanproofdesigns site sales – $444
Wealthy Affiliate commissions – $8
Ongoing consultation – $166
Writing for Ivetriedthat – $180
ResRes – $38 (We reinvested some money immediately)
Jaaxy commissions – $8
Total: $1040.99 YESSSSS!
I really was absolutely over the moon with this, but going into June I was also freaking out a little, I mean, what would happen if I continued my good month/bad month run and completely bombed in June? No pressure then.
I'd also like to point out that at the end of May I launched my first public mentorship with Genevieve. She bought a site from me in mid-May, and confessed that she was completely green.
At the time I had been thinking of a way to show people my process, a way to test some new training, and a way to PROVE that my sites work.
What better way to do this than to publicly walk somebody through the whole thing?
She's been great to work with and has received a lot of support. I've had quite a few people messaging me to ask me to mentor them as well, some of them more politely than others 😉
This just goes to show how popular this kind of post series can be though, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it evolves.
And if you DO want me to mentor you, hit me up with a message, but you'll have to buy a site or have me build one for you.
May Successes Summarized:
- Biggest ever month and 10 days of it were abroad.
- Launched a mentorship with Genevieve.
- Started to get some outside referrals from EmpireFlippers.
May Failures Summarized:
- Didn’t continue my good form with the article service.
June 2014 Income Report
I had pretty much written June off as not being a 1k month simply because I was used to my earnings fluctuating so much. I didn't want to get my hopes up. Instead, I would have been happy with growth on all other fronts (traffic, inquiries, and so on).
The month started off pretty well, I got a couple of Wealthy Affiliate premium members, totaling 4 for the month. That might not seem like a lot, but I only managed to refer 18 people to the community. 4 out of 18 is an excellent conversion rate, which goes to show that WA really is a place that appeals to my main audience. So far in July, I'm on 2 premium from 5 referrals, not bad either!
As with May, I continued to get more website inquiries and some people interested on long term, bulk purchases. This is a fantastic sign that I'm starting to appeal to more people and also starting to earn their trust.
I also spent a lot of July reaching out to others in my space, such as Tung Tran from CloudLiving, Jon Haver from AuthorityWebsiteIncome, Spencer Haws from NichePursuits, and Stuart Walker from NicheHacks. These are all great guys and really helpful as well.
At the end of the month, I produced this expert roundup post and generated some serious traffic (about 400% more than usual) as a result of my reaching out. I definitely recommend reaching out to others in your niche, as I blogged about here.
Of course I did some great sales too, and I have started to revamp my starter sites so that they come with content and a full niche breakdown. They will cost a lot more, but initial interest has been good and I sold two in June.
As the month came to an end I started toting up earnings again and realized I was getting close to the 1k mark again. My final tally on the 1st of July put me at something like $990 which was obviously slightly annoying!
As I was telling myself that it was still a good achievement, I received a paypal payment for my June Jaaxy commissions, and realized I had forgotten to include Jaaxy in my tally. Woohoo, I cleared 1k afterall!
Two months in a row baby!
Here's how June ended up looking:
Kettlebellexerciseswomen – $82 DraggonDoor + Clickbank
I tried to improve my earnings with a few changes and ended up completely reducing them! While Amazon earnings increased, Dragondoor fell almost off the board. It will be interesting to see if I can increase this again in the future.
Luxuryshaves.com – $37.30 Amazon
Google Adsense – $21.18
Humanproofdesigns sites and revamp work – $397 (net profit)
Wealthy Affiliate commissions – $54.5
Jaaxy Commissions – $16
Ongoing consulting – $166
Ivetriedthat writing – $240
Total – $1013.98 Wohoo!
What's great about this is that HPD is fast becoming my main source of income. This means I can justify focusing on it more, and really give better service to my growing collection of customers and overall audience.
June Successes Summarized:
-Another 1K month!
-Great growth and traffic at HPD.com – I got over 2,500 visits. Doubled May’s traffic!
-Good Wealthy Affiliate commissions
June Failures Summarized:
-No further ResRes sales
-Tanked my KBEW earnings
End Of Quarter Thoughts
I've learned a lot this quarter, and am looking forward to putting some things into action. Best of all I think is that the site is starting to get some great traffic and traction. Here's the traffic growth from April 1 to June 30 (click to enlarge):
Overall, here are my main goals for quarter three.
1.) Reach 4,000 monthly unique visitors to HPD (I'm currently at 2,500)
2.) Reach $1,666 USD a month (this works out at 50,000 Taiwan Dollars – the lower end of my financial goals for 2014)
3.) Produce at least one expert roundup post a month, or three in total for the quarter.
4.) Finish Genevieve's mentorship after 12 weeks, with her starting to earn money online.
5.) Roll out more of my higher tier ready made sites, the ones that come loaded with content.
6.) One or two other secret posts that I'm not going to mention yet.
As you can see, the majority of my goals revolve around HPD. It's great to have something meaty to focus on.
What issues do I see ahead?
Well, I'll be spending 30 days back home in England, including about five days in the Scilly Isles, so being away from WiFi and relaxing will be a real test of my business. Can I keep working without checking email constantly? Maybe I will need to hire a temporary VA? We'll see.