Niche Marketing Income Report Q1 2014

It's been a while since I did my last niche marketing income report and that's because I wasn't sure if I was going to continue, and if I was, how best to go about it.

Update: Here's my Q2 and Q3 report.

The original plan after my yearly 2013 summary was to write a monthly report that excluded earnings from this site, focusing instead on a couple of my mini affiliate marketing sites and other online earnings. The problem with this was, shortly after my last income report one of my niche sites took a hit to its earnings and I had to fix things.

Everything is fine with that site now, but it's not something worth giving a monthly recap for anymore.

Additionally, as time goes by, the earnings from here at HPD are becoming a larger part of my earnings, so it would be mad not to include them. This is why I put my reports on a hold for a time.

Ultimately, I decided that I definitely wanted to continue, as I feel the best way to demonstrate my authority, and show you that my methods work, is by being as open as possible at my progress.

It's pretty scary, especially in periods where my earnings have decreased, but that's life.

Ups and downs.

Let's get on with looking at Q1, traditionally the lowest earning point in the year.

My Quarter 1 2014 Niche Marketing Earnings Report

January

Back in January stuff hadn't yet gone a bit wrong with my Kettlebell site. The site was still point people toward the product “Kettlebell Kickboxing”, which was a DVD sold via Clickbank. I earned $27.22 on average per sale from there, and made anywhere from 10-20 sales a month at the time.

As it was post-Christmas, I wasn't expecting to make many sales, but still managed to hit 11, with 1 refund, for a total of $270 USD. Not bad at all.

Amazon was also better than expected. I recorded my second best ever month, with $89 USD. Considering I was expecting sales to drop drastically in the New Year, I was pretty happy to get $360 from my more passive websites.

I also sold one of my old sites in January for $250 USD. The site was starting to gain traffic and income, so I decided to cash in. I didn't have much more time to develop the site, and it would make more sense to pass it on to someone else at this point.

As for this site, Human Proof Designs, it didn't earn anything. Growth had been slow until this point, and traffic was growing, but not significantly.

I recorded 647 visits, with 434 unique users, and 1,896 pages viewed. My pages per visit ratio was definitely doing well! I just needed to keep posting content and growing. The Internet Marketing niche is a tough one to crack, but  Google rewards those who stick around.

January Totals: $610

February

February was when stuff started to go pear-shaped at Kettlebellexerciseswomen.com! I received word early on in the month that Kettlebell Kickboxing was no longer going to be promoted on Clickbank, only Amazon. Boom! Just like that my commissions would go down to about $3 a pop, which would mean even in a good month earnings of $30 only.

I swore at myself for only having really promoted 1 product (I was their best affiliate though, so at least I did it well), and went about looking for something else to promote.

This was a real struggle, as a lot of things in the Kettlebell niche are either catered around men, very cheap and not worth promoting, or garbage.

In a nutshell, DragonDoor (the Kettlebell kings online) came to the rescue, with this product. The commissions were only $8.99, but it sold very well, and instantly started replacing my income.  Disaster averted.

The Kettlebell Goddess Workout

I made $82 from Kettlebell Kickboxing before it went offline, but there were 2 refunds from previous months, so I only made $27.22 technically.

The DragonDoor DVD performed well and earned me $80.87

Amazon also did very well, with $100.21 – whoever said Amazon earnings drop in Q1??!

I also made my first website sale at Human Proof Designs since deciding not to use Flippa and just sell them directly myself. That was a very nice $300 to receive (I sold a custom-site and ready-made site together, so did a special offer) especially with the Kettlebell Kickboxing fiasco earlier in the month.

Traffic dipped slightly, but I think that's natural for a shorter month, and a month where I was spending a lot of time on my KB site. “Pages per visit” was up though.

February Totals: $507.

March

Heading into March I was feeling pretty optimistic, I had just about managed to adjust Kettlebellexericseswomen.com. It was earning a little less, but was converting better, with very low refunds, and I also managed to get the DVD I promoted from the number 2 spot on DragonDoor to number 1 by the end of March. Nice feeling 🙂

DragonDoor is mostly used by men, but thanks to me, their number 1 DVD is now a woman's product.

In total the DVD earned $206 for me in March. See? Not far off the old earnings. Phew!

Amazon didn't fare as well, I guess that Q1 dip came around after all. Although I got a few orders, there were 11 returns for some reason! My total earnings were $58, which is still good, but a bit of a comedown after the previous couple of months.

*FanFare*

I also sold another 2 sites here at Human Proof Designs, one was technically a custom-job for someone who wanted their site revamped, but it was still sold after the person checked out my site and got in touch, so it counts 🙂 The other one was a bona fide ready-made site sale.

Check out my ready-made sites here.

I was getting excited that this month I might break the $1,000 barrier, but I didn't quite make it. Alas! Next time?

Finally, I did some marketing and consulting work for a friend's business, and was paid about $116 for the work (currency conversion, not a random figure).

I also *almost* made some profit via some PPC experiments, but while one campaign resulted in me earning $154 in 24 hours (thankyou very much!) two other campaigns resulted in a loss, so I ultimately didn't make much profit in PPC and won't be recording it.

I really think paid traffic can be great, and was experimenting with using Facebook pages, then linking to affiliate offers via promoted posts. Some of them worked, some of them didn't. Live and learn!

March Totals: $930! (Close, but no cigar..)

Successes And Failures

First and foremost my income increased quite dramatically from January to March and even the lowest month was over $500. I didn't reach my target of $1,000 USD in a month, but I was so close that it didn't matter much. Most of my earnings came in the final 3 weeks of the month anyway, so if you include week 1 of April, that 4 week period is over $1,000.

I guess it all depends how you define (or stretch!) your month. Still, pretty happy with that figure, and glad most of all that HPD is growing and gaining momentum. Traffic is up, people are spending more time reading, and I'm getting a lot of repeat visitors.

You can be a repeat visitor too!

My failure to get some proper profit out of the paid traffic experiments was a bit frustrating. I kept making money, thinking “I've got this”, then losing money the next day. Yes, I broke even in the end, which is pretty good for a learning stage, but it all happens so quickly (and you have to pay for the ads before you receive the payments), so it's not something I want to focus on right now.

I also relaunched my “get started” program and had a few people sign up to get started for free with affiliate marketing training. This didn't earn me any income, but I'm happy that people are taking me up on my offers to help.

When I've had more SEO success with HPD, and got a budget, I'll pay for some traffic and see what happens. I think this is the general rule of thumb to stop you going bankrupt while you experiment.

A Question From Me To You All

my-question-to-you

I'm on the fence about switching to monthly reports from here on in so that I can go into more details, sticking with quarterly so that we can see a larger period of progress, or doing both, monthly write-ups with a quarterly summary.

Which would you prefer to read dear readers?

What else would you like to hear about? More details about commissions, traffic and tests? More insights into what I get upto on a monthly basis? Let me know below. Thanks.

13 thoughts on “Niche Marketing Income Report Q1 2014”

  1. It’s great to see that things are picking up for you! Personally I like the quarterly reports, a nice big overview showing how things are growing (or not!). I wanted to ask, how much work do you put into the sites like the kettlebell one or a monthly or whatever basis? Good luck for the $1000+ month!

    1. Quarterly reports are good I agree. I thought people might benefit from a more “in-depth” breakdown of how each month went, but I don’t want to bore them to tears in the process.

      Sites like the kettlebell one take 0 time from me whatsoever right now. I spent a few hours a week in the beginning, and that slowly got reduced. The site is a year old now, and having very stable traffic and income. I will need to post on it from time to time to keep it active though.

      1. That’s good to know. I’ve never had much success with sites like that, though having an interest in the topic would help!

        1. Yeah, it also just takes a bit of determination. It was my third site after two failed ones, so I was determined to get some success with this one. I never knew that once I moved on it would continue to earn for me though!

  2. Great quarter there Bryon. Almost one K for the last month, man that’s brill. For me either works buts its always good to see progress and learning from failure is good to see.

    1. I know! If only the month was a week or so longer hey? $1,000 seems so much bigger than $999. Maybe in Quarter 2 I will break through that barrier. Seems good so far at least.

      Perhaps I’ll do a quarterly report, but whenever there is something that needs expanding on, like a particular success or failure, I’ll create a second post going into more details.

  3. I think quarterly is good. If you start posting every month, I could feel myself getting blind to it, but the quarterly ones are a nice surprise.

    Congrats on doing so well with PPC. I’ve never hit a home run like that. I have found that you really can’t judge a campaign on a day by day basis, Even month by month it can be hit and miss. Some months my campaigns do well, and other months, don’t. Sometimes ones that do good this month don’t the next, and vice versa.

    You’re a fan of testing; I think that’s what the best PPC people do. They just have to pay for their data.

    You’ve gone from zero to $1k, so it’s just a matter of time til it’s $10k,

    1. Thanks, it seems quarterly is the general consensus. I am a big fan of testing it’s true, but a lot of tests don’t yield any real results, so it’s often your patience that is the thing getting tested.

      It sounds funny, but going from zero to one thousand feels amazing. I’ve had jobs before where I earned a lot more than a thousand, so the amount itself isn’t huge, but the whole “I made this from nothing” feeling is out of this world, and it’s great for confidence.

      Like you said, if you can earn $1,000, you can earn $10,000.

      Quick question, you aren’t really a big tester yourself it seems, so how do you go about making tweaks and changes?

      1. I go through phases. I do a bunch of stuff, let it sit, then get pissed off and change a bunch of stuff I don’t like. So I make changes, but I don’t put things under a microscope. Like throwing mud on a wall and seeing what sticks. I’m too impatient to do micro-changes and look for 1/2% of results.

        1. Ha I know what you mean. I used to do that with my Kettlebell site, but one day I realized I had got everything completely wrong.

          I wrongly assumed all my sales of X product were coming from the review page. I pointed most of my traffic to the review page, so it made sense. One day I changed the review page, and there was 0 difference in sales.

          Later on it turned out that 90% of my sales were actually coming from a “Top 10 X Products” post I made which linked directly to the vendor page and skipped the review page.

          After that I decided that if I didn’t test and track stuff, I would have no idea how to improve. There’s only so much mud you can throw!

  4. Well done Bryon!

    I see your progress and good to know you are learning from your mistakes and success.

    I remember you wrote a blog for the Kettlebell site and good to know you find the right way.

    Kudos on your 1k/month and you will get more.

    Wishing you every success. 🙂

    Jorge x

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