I’m a bit late with the report, mainly because I’m having a busy and exciting time. I’m doing new things and meeting new people – the reason why is explained later in this post.
I’m back in Amsterdam since over a month now and trying to make the best of my time here.
What’s going on
Mobilegeddon no problem?
On April 21st Google released a largely anticipated algorithm update affecting searches from mobile devices. The risk for webmasters was to have their website removed from the mobile search results (currently around 40% of the traffic comes from mobile) if their pages were not mobile-friendly.
The truth is that so far nobody observed big changes in traffic, but lots of website were made mobile-friendly in a hurry and the resulting pages are often worse than before.
I launched a mobile version of ComoHacer using the WordPress plugin WPtouch. The plugin provides a theme specific for mobile devices, with no need to change the desktop theme. With few customization I added the ads to keep monetizing the mobile traffic… but!
In the midst of the changes I mistakenly removed the most profitable Adsense ad from the website!
So I thought that I was affected by Mobilegeddon, but numbers didn’t match up. The traffic was there, but earnings dropped. By the time I realized what happened I’d lost at least €80 of passive income.
All this because I didn’t spent enough time checking the issue. This is a big downside with working on many websites!
Update on ComeCostruire.info
Mid-December I soft-launched the new website: ComeCostruire.info, the Italian version of ComoHacer, my Spanish blog about manual works and DIY.
April traffic was up to 2,285 visitors (+17.91%) with 3,927 page views (+13.43%) with absolutely 0 effort. No link building, no marketing, no social media.
I’m also pleased to see the growth in the new Google Webmaster Tools interface:
With such a great traffic you would expect me to break the bank, but hold your horses because Adsense generated just €7.87 (was €6.19 in March).
I initially invested in this project €360, so it’s gonna take a long while to recover but the traffic is still growing so I may reach €8 next month 😉
WP Tube update
In April I released a new minor version of my WordPress theme – version 5.2.2 – with some fixes and little improvements.
I also discovered that there were more than 200 monthly downloads of the free version linked directly to the .zip file and totally invisible from Google Analytics. I changed that, forcing users to go through the ‘order’ process that allows me to get their emails for future marketing.
I thought that this was my best idea ever, but actually after the change I had 10 days with no sale of the Premium version. WTF?
Requiring more steps caused less people downloading the free version.
Without trying the free version, people don’t buy the Premium version.
I verified this tracking how many sales are coming from the promotional message in the free theme. The traffic converts a good 6.45%!
Here my lessons learned:
- Improve the free version to have more people buying the Premium
- The more easily they can try the free version, the more Premium will sell
In conclusion, in April I sold 14 copies for a total of $546. with 1 refund.
Let’s get down to the numbers!
- Adsense: €527.46 (was €660.26) – dropped because of my ads error!
- Feedblitz: €146.56 (was €88.45) – ads places in automatic newsletters = passive profit
- Direct Ads: €165.63 (last month €32.63) – got an advertising campaign on AidBoard
- BuySellAds:€22.99 (was €39.23)
- Job Board Services
- Job posting & Resume: €38.18 (was €36.77) – another bad month for my job boards
- Affiliate Programs
- Lead generation: 0
- Product affiliation: €97.13 (was €139.3)
- Amazon program: €208.36 (was €416.19) – down this month, it sucks!
- ComoHacer ebook: €8 (was €16.55) – one copy sold
- WP Tube theme: €486.53 (was €582.74) – less than usual but I know why!
- Website sale: 0
- Online Consulting
- oDesk: 0 (was €910)
Total Gross: € 1,700,84 (last month € 2,931.32)
Note: some links to products and services may have affiliation. This means that if you’ll buy I’ll get a commission. Never the less, I’m only mentioning here services that I use myself to operate my websites.
- Site5: €19
- This is the hosting I’m using since a few months and totally happy with. They have servers in Amsterdam too, so I use it for my European websites.
- HostGator: €18
- This is a popular cheap hosting provider with servers in US. I still use it for some websites with majority of traffic from Americas, but their support is getting worse and worse!
- Site5: €19
- Mailing List services
- FlipFilter: €10 – very useful service for website buyers, crunching big data from multiple marketplaces for you
- Articles: €80.20 (was €1131.4) – no investment for ComoHacer, but regular articles from writers
- Software: 0 (was €91)
- Website acquisition:0
- Domain renewal: €79 – new entry, from now I’ll also report expenses related to domains registered at Godaddy
Total Expenses: € 507,2 (last month € 1.349.4)
Net Total April 2015: € 1,193,64 (last month € 1,581.92)
The drop in earnings from Adsense (my mistake), WPtube (a change that gave negative results) and Amazon (quite disappointing) resulted in the worst month in a long time.
It became obvious that running the websites like I’m doing now can provide for a nice lifestyle on the road, living the digital nomad life combining working with traveling, but isn’t really a growing business.
And considering that in May I’m celebrating three years as a self-employed, I feel it’s time to dedicate more time trying to answer the quintessential existential question: what do I want to do with my life?
I need good vibe, do leave a comment 😉 Thanks!