What. A. Year.
2014 was the year when I went from “trying to build an online business” to “owning an online business”.
It's all thanks to you guys of course, and some other very special people who I'll shout out to later on in this post.
It's going to be a big one.
As well as doing my Q4 income report, I'll also be summarizing how the year went, and talking about some plans for 2015.
How Did I Do In Q4?
Well it was pretty good fun and more record earnings. Thinking back to October is hard, it seems like such a long time ago, but it was also a great month.
It was also the first month that I started to feel a bit overwhelmed by the emails and work that was coming in. Obviously it was great to have the work, but I was starting to realize that being a one-man army was tough.
Did I hit my high-end income target? ($3,334 USD)
No, but I got very close, and from what I can see about how January is shaping up, I'll do it this month instead.
December itself was an interesting month. The first couple of weeks I got so many people messaging me about having sites built, I thought I was bound to smash my target.
Unfortunately Christmas arrived and things slowed down. That's fine though, my niche Amazon sites did a lot better in December.
I'll talk more about this later on.
Let's start with October.
If you go back to the Q3 earnings report, you'll see that I just about passed $2,000 a month, so I was pretty happy with that. I was worried that I wouldn't sustain it in the coming months, and October was going to prove to be a testing month.
I think it goes to show that once a business gains momentum, and people see that it really is “the real deal”, then they are more than happy to use it. When HPD was just a fledgling business trying to make a name for itself, the going was tough, but now, people really do like what I do.
This is also because October marked the 13th month of HumanProofDesigns. I've grown so much since 2013, and I like to think I'm doing a much better job of delivering services and help to you all.
I'm still struggling to boost the income of my niche sites by a significant amount, partly because I've realized that a small site earning $100 or so a month takes just as much work as a larger site, so it's not easy to just work on them a little bit and boost income.
They ARE growing, just slowly.
It's mostly though because I'm dedicating more and more time to HPD, but I don't see that as a bad thing.
Let's take a look at how October went.
Niche Site Income
Amazon – $122.4
Adsense – $46.51
An acceptable amount, but hardly the $500+ I used to get.
This is things like article writing that I still do for a friend's site, or SEO consulting for another friend's business, or joint ventures where I can't list the full income because it affects another person.
Article Work – $300
SEO and Marketing -$166.66
1 on 1 Mentoring – $599
I'm trialing this to see if I will roll it out as a service in future.
Websites and Website Work: -$680 Net
I deduct costs for website content etc before listing the income.
Wealthy Affiliate Commissions: $392
I still promote WA, although my main income comes from my own services. Some people like to learn via WA though.
Bluehost is my recommended host and pays me a decent commission.
I actually expected it to be a bit more, but a couple of people who wanted sites bailed or delayed at the last minute. These things happen!
October Total: $2556.38
Over $2,500! I couldn't believe it. I actually thought at one point I'd hit $3,000 though, so I was a little disappointed. Can't complain with this figure though, great to see.
This was also the third consecutive month of growth, which was brilliant!
So was I going to do a forth month of growth? Did I care? Was I going to hit $3,000 and beat my target early? Did I care?
October had been so good to me that I honestly wasn't too bothered about how November went down, as long as I didn't completely bomb and lose my business, I was going to be happy.
One big thing was Black Friday. Wealthy Affiliate always does a massive discount on the annual billing, so I was hoping that I could earn some big income. I did get a couple of commissions, but not what I had been dreaming of. I guess that's what happens when you let your list die slowly.
I also played around with some FB ads for some other affiliate offers and got a couple of sales there too!
Niche Site Income
Amazon – $117.75
Adsense – $44.70
Dragondoor – $80.87
Clickbank -$21.24 (LongTail Pro Special Offer)
Christmas Bonus! Nice!
Websites and website work: $870
Articles Service: $239
WA Black Friday: $247
November Total: $2574.36
So I just about managed to squeeze in a fourth consecutive month of growth. Woop!
I have to point out that a lot of this was due to Black Friday though, and I wouldn't have done so without those extra one-off commissions.
Still, money is money.
The final month of the year. The month when everybody goes shopping crazy. Surely I was going to hit $3k this month!
Unfortunately, while everyone goes shopping crazy, they don't go “start a business” crazy. My niche sites did well and had their best months ever, but HPD didn't do so well, naturally.
Well it deserved a month off anyway. Poor thing was getting tired.
Niche Site Income
Amazon – $215.25
Adsense – $51.64
DragonDoor – $75.58
Shareasale – $41.48
Article Freelancing: $240
SEO consulting: $166.66
Websites and Website work: $315
Expert Roundup Posts: $150
Wealthy Affiliate: $350
I really don't get enough WPZoom commissions given how good their themes are.
Still not a bad number by any means.
December Total: $1623.61
So it was a shame that I didn't earn above $2,000 for December, but it's understandable. My main worry was that perhaps the wave was over, and I was doomed to earning lower incomes again. Luckily, it's only the 15th of January and I've already earned close to $2,500 (spoiler alert!), so I know that December was just because of the holiday season.
The Year 2014 At A Glance
I thought it would be cool to make a chart showing how the whole year went. It's funny how I considered $1,623.61 to be a low month, when just 6-12 months ago I would've loved to earn that much.
I can only dream about what December 2015 will look like.
Total Income For 2014: $16,238.42
That's almost a real income! If you just take Q3 and Q4 into account, it's even better.
Plans For 2015
It would be too long of a post if I were to tell you ALL my plans for 2015, so instead I'll just mention a few things.
1.) I'm going to start doing these income reports on a monthly basis. a.) Because I can possibly get them included in various income roundup posts, and b.) Because I want to go into more detail and report more often.
2.) I'm going to try to network more and get more guests posts and exposure for the site.
3.) I'm going to keep improving and rolling out changes to HPD (and new services too). The first of these will be the inclusion of Thrive Content Builder with all websites I sell. This will make it so much better for the end-user.
Goals For 2015
I hit most of my goals for 2014, but didn't hit the top end of my financial goal. I was happy with my finances though, so not a big deal.
For 2015, I'm going to be a bit more ambitious, because I want to keep this momentum going.
1.) Earn $5,000 a month online from HPD and the other niche sites and services I'm doing.
2.) Earn $5,000 a month from my 6-figure website project site. If I hit both of those, I'll be very very happy, but even if I only hit 1 I would still be pretty chuffed.
3.) Attend a conference. I want to meet other entrepreneurs and internet marketers in person, so I'll probably try to attend a conference somewhere in Asia or Asia Pacific this year.
4.) Grow HPD to 10,000 monthly visitors and/or 20,000 monthly pageviews.
That's about it really. I have my personal goals as well, related to fitness and lifestyle, but I'm going to keep these to myself.
This was such a fantastic year and I really owe thanks to so many people. I'd like to mention Justin from EmpireFlippers, Jon from AuthorityWebsiteIncome, Stuart from NicheHacks, Tung from CloudLiving and so many other special people who helped me grow this year.