August has been pretty busy, so I apologize for leaving the July income update this late! I'll try to get the August version done midway through the month next time.
As always, I've been working on a mixture of improving services, growing the business, and working with customers, so there's not been much time to write articles. I really do need to take care of this, either by committing to write at least one post a week (or more), or by outsourcing them more consistently.
One of my goals for the end of 2015 from now, will be to get content creation back on track.
In late May and June I felt like the business needed a bit of a push and I was feeling overwhelmed, so I got a few affiliate promotions underway, which I referenced in the June income report.
The overall result was pretty good, and June was my best month ever. While that's good, I was a bit nervous about what would happen in July, as there were no affiliate promotions scheduled. I DID publish a guest post over at dumbpassiveincome.com, but that wasn't until the 30th, so for the most of July it was pretty much promotion clear.
Of course, due to success I've had networking, outreaching, and generally making friends, there are ALWAYS people promoting me or mentioning me here and there, so that's pretty good.
Sometimes online marketing is like being a spider and spreading your web around. Eventually a few flies might come your way!
For most of July, I was trying to cope with the increased number of orders taken right at the end of June, and also getting new staff members on board. We went from 1 editor to 4 editors at the end of June, and making sure all of them were doing a good job was challenging.
It's amazing how you think you've given everyone the same instructions, but seeing how they do things differently. One freelancer might ask me a question about pricing or currency or rating stars and how they're displayed, and I'll answer it, only to discover a week later than the other 3 editors are editing things differently.
This can be quite confusing for the writers as well, so it's important to not only have “universal” instructions for everyone, but to remind them at the same time, and notify about changes simultaneously. It sounds pretty obvious, but when you're just dealing with email inboxes or replying to people on Upwork, it's easy to lose track of things.
As my new main “right hand man” (I'll introduce you to him some time) has become better and better though, these problems and typical growing pains I like to complain about have been ironed out and September onwards should be the smoothest the operation has ever been (touch wood!).
Apart from that, it was mostly business as usual. I managed to get some new training videos published for the customer section, and I need to keep adding to these as I myself learn new techniques and get more results to share with others, and so on.
Let's take a look at how the income turned out in July 2015.
As always, I'll start with my affiliate sites.
I spend several hours a month working on my affiliate sites. This might be link building, adding new content, tweaking things for better conversions, or one of several other things.
Even though my affiliate income only makes up a small part of my overall income, I keep growing it for several reasons:
1.) Diversity is good.
2.) It keeps me up to date on what works and what doesn't work, so I can train you better.
3.) I enjoy it.
Sometimes people will message me and ask why I sell sites with estimated incomes much higher than my own sites make. Their logic is, if I'm only making around $700 from an Amazon site, that this proves Amazon sites can only make $700 a month.
While this is a reasonable question and a semi-reasonable assumption to make, it's far from accurate.
First of all, I only work on some of my Amazon sites 1-2 hours a month, and yet they still earn and grow. When I quote income estimates for the ready-made sites we sell, I'm assuming you will be working on your sites a lot more than I am.
Second of all, if you're going to take 1 person's testimonial and use it as proof of how much every single site will make, you're either silly, or missing the point. There are people out there earning thousands and thousands a month from an Amazon site or multiple sites, so don't look at my small collection as proof that amazon affiliate marketing doesn't work.
If you do, it's your loss anyway.
Affiliate Income Breakdown For July
Google Adsense: $34
Affiliate sites total: $929
I once had a target of hitting $1,000 a month from affiliate sites, so this is nice progress.
Ready-Made and Custom Sites: $6,800
Keyword Packs: $0
Article Packs: $1,302
Affiliate commissions from blog
Long-Tail Pro: $15
HumanProofDesigns Total: $10,492
I'd like to add that although the incomes listed above are NET profit, there are some other expenses I need to add to this report.
Whenever I list income from our services, it is always the profit, after expenses, however, I now have a couple of team members who do work that isn't included in the service expenses, so I need to list their expenses below. I also thought it would be easier to list affiliate payments below as well.
In July, I spent additional income on the following:
Keyword Research: $380
Service Management: $517
Affiliate Payouts: $300
Even though there were no affiliate promotions, some sales were still made by people who had an affiliate tag in their browser from previous promos, and that's fine with me!
Expenses total: $1,197
I have a new manager who is doing a lot of the management side of things, which is great, because I'm terrible at managing things. Know your weaknesses and fix them.
Grand Total: $10,224
I'm pretty happy with this, because as I've mentioned before, $10,000 a month was my end of year target. After having a pretty good June, I felt confident that I'd have a chance of hitting it. I had no idea I'd do it that very next month though.
When I told one of my good friends/mentors/e-buddies the good news, he told me that I should upgrade my goal to $15,000 by the end of the month. Personally, I'd rather use this time to work on the smoothing out the business, while maintaining consistency.
We'll see as the year goes on where I do end up!
I'm still wary of how there was a big dip in December last year as well, so I'm not holding my breath that every month will keep growing from here on.
See you next month.