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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.