Online Income Report – February 2016

Happy money
Why on Earth am I sharing my online income reports? Read here. This report is about the money I make from my websites. It doesn't take in consideration other sources of income, such as my WordPress consultancies.

Greetings from the beautiful island of Langkawi, Malaysia where I’m writing this report, late as usual.

I spent almost the whole month of February in Ubud, Bali (report will follow!) and it has been a very happy time. I love that place, the lush vegetation, the bungalow, the prominent culture, the fooooood, and the people I spent time with.
It might become my base in SE Asia!

 

What’s Going On

Big, Fat Advertising Campaign

We closed a pretty good deal on RouterFreak.com: a big name in the industry contacted me end of 2015 and after some discussions (and a conf call with their marketing manager and product manager) they signed up for a 6 months advertising campaign.

What I learned from this:

  • Companies want to make sure that your audience is a match for their product. When dealing with potential advertisers is extremely important to know well your audience: who are they? where are they from? what’s their role in the company? what’s their age?
    Google Analytics helps in figuring out the demographic, and also the mailing list services (in this case, Aweber) provide  reports on where the subscribers are located.
  • Big companies have big budgets. This doesn’t mean that you’ve to squeeze as much money as possible and run away. Always make sure you can deliver good value for what they pay… so they’ll come back again, be your testimonial or just increase your karma.
  • Send them regular updates on the campaign, even if numbers don’t appear good. They’ll appreciate that, and you can work together on improving the campaign that is running.

This is a feedback I got from a previous advertiser:

I appreciate you sending me the update, we were very happy with the publicity we received. We had X tracked sessions on our landing page and Y trial signups that came from that post and I am sure we had more that were organic. Also, the quality of the sessions were very high with Z pages per session and about W minutes spent on our website. So overall, very good!

The next challenge is to find how to re-invest part of the money to grow RouterFreak to the next level.

 

New eBook Launch!

In February, I launched with my business partner Valerio a new eBook: Easy Subnetting Technique. This is our second guide for network engineers, it’s a pretty technical subject that we both know well since we had worked in this industry for over 12 years.

For the statistics, here are the conversion numbers for the launch email:

Open rate: 13.8%
Click rate: 1.9%
Click-to-sale conversion: 12.38%
Total conversion rate (from email to sale): 0.28%

To be honest I’ve no idea how good or bad these numbers are. I’d like to compare with someone else that works in a similar way.

For me was once again the proof that money are in the list.

The Numbers

Income Breakdown

Let’s get down with the numbers!

  • Advertising
    • Adsense: €283.2 (was €475)
    • Feedblitz: €11.93 (was €2.75) – the ‘trick’ I use to monetize newsletters is almost over!
    • Direct Ads: €4770.07 (was €326.92) – directly negotiated advertising campaigns
    • Sponsored posts: 0 (was 0)
    • BuySellAds: €13.57 (was €36.82)
  • Job Board Services
    • Job posting: €34.65 (was 0) – Premium job posting on AidBoard
  • Affiliate Programs
    • Lead generation: 0
    • Product affiliation: €45.73 (was €143) – Clickbank, SEMrush, DPD and others affiliate programs
    • Amazon program: €195.39 (was €273.87)
  • Sales:
    • ComoHacer ebook: €7.99 (was €47.97) – slowly but steady, this eBook is contributing as passive income
    • RouterFreak eBooks: €335.76 (was €47.97) – pretty good launch of the new eBook 🙂
    • WP Tube theme: €207.86 (was €147.47) – my WordPress theme, running on auto-pilot
    • Website sale: 0 – Nothing to sell at the moment!
    • WP-OK services: €1284.4 (was €1291.4) – my bespoken WordPress management & support service

Total Gross: € 7,190.55 (previous month 2.793.17)

 

Expenses Breakdown

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 services that I use myself to operate my websites.

  • Hosting & Domains & Websites
    • Site5: €126.59
      • This is the hosting I’m using and happy with. I recently switched to a VPS4 solution. They have servers in Amsterdam too, perfect for my websites with European audience.
    • 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!
    • Domain renewal: €11.76 (was 0) – expenses related to domains registered at Godaddy
    • Website acquisition: 0 (was €130)
  • Mailing List services
    • Aweber: €60.65
    • Mailchimp: €46.54 – Monthly charge for list size 2,801 to 5,000
  • Outsourcing
    • Articles: 0 (was €35.54)
    • Contractors: €90
    • Partnerships: €2684.62 (was €169.8) – revenue sharing
  • Memberships
    • The Dynamite Circle: 0 (was €130.59) – great community of online entrepreneurs, quarterly paid
    • SEMrush: €29.5 (was €59) – PRO membership of this excellent tool to analyze search engine results and competition
    • Ahrefs: €18.68 – This is a great tool for backlink analysis
    • Boomerang for Gmail: €13.47 – Excellent tool for email management
  • Advertising
    • Adwords: €60.41 (was 0)
    • Facebook Ads: 0
  • Paypal Payment Fees
    • Paypal Fees: €257.74 – new entry! From this month I’ll include this, totally overlooked before.

Total Expenses: € 3,160.22 (was €779.36)

 

Net Total February 2016: € 4,030.33 (last month € 2,013.81)

 

Conclusions

Ladies and gentlemen, February 2016 was the best month ever for the little Besana Enterprise 🙂

Numbers look really good to me, and considering I was having a great time in Bali… it’s freaking awesome!

 

As usual, I hope to read a comment or two here below.

Di Daniele

Hi, I’m Daniele! A human being from planet earth. I founded WP-OK.it and I like dancing Salsa, running, and living a location independent lifestyle.

8 commenti

  1. As your spiritual guide and material apprentice, i am really pride of your achievement.
    Big companies are recognizing your unique expertise and skills, and it seems also you picked a partner up to the task.
    I envision this contract as the first of many, keep doing your amazing job, and sharing these very useful reports

  2. Hi Daniele, congrats on that new record and especially the “Big, Fat Advertising Campaign” that will last for 6 months. If its true that “the money is in the list” as you said, the next strategic question would probably be “how to grow the list further?” since the bigger the list, the more valuable you will be. Would you agree? I was told that once you have a decent list, partnerships can help to grow the company further by trying to guest post on one-anothers sites (you could try to write an article on one another’s list (like a guest post) and try to get people from the other’s list to yours and vice versa). Did you ever consider doing that? Let me know your thoughts , and keep it up!

    1. Thank you Gert-Jan!!
      I agree that growing the list is very important. Ideally, every website visitor should convert into a newsletter subscriber 🙂
      At the moment joining the newsletter gives access to free downloads specific for network engineers, and this is working fine.
      I plan to try the Sumome.com app suite, as it provides nice tools to increase the opt-in rate. I heard good feedback on it.
      I’ve considered guest posting and cross-promoting in other’s list but honestly I haven’t done much with it 🙁
      One reason is that RouterFreak’s content is not easy to produce, in a way I don’t have enough articles for the site let alone posting on others.

      What’s your experience with that?

      1. > What’s your experience with that?

        We started building our list somewhere end of last year and its now little over 700 subscribers. The trigger to start our list was actually someone who does online marketing (through a membership site) and he said it would be mutually beneficial as he also had a growing list himself; so he liked our services and promotes them as part of his membership site, and we invite him to do online webinars with our subscribers. Since our lists are not yet that big (700+ is still a short list considering that a subset of people will actually read the e-mails, and a subset of those will actually click on the link inside and only a subset of those will actually go to the webinar he offers), but you have to start somewhere and repetition is the mother of all skills 🙂 And once you have some track record of a partnership with one partner and you know what results those bring (conversion wise), it should also be more easy to get other partners (getting from 0 to 1 partner likely is more difficult than from 1 to 2, and from 2 to 3, etc.). For the list building we use Mailchimp one. So far so good 🙂

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