As I’m writing this report I’m drinking mate, a traditional biter tea I bought back from Argentina, sitting on my living room in Amsterdam. It feels good to be back after two months! But for how long?
After the month of February in Buenos Aires, in March I spent 10 days in Uruguay and then traveled a tiny bit of the big Argentinean territory. The long bus rides together with the desire to explore new places affected my focus on work and when this happens I reduce my working hours to a minimum – that means working the urgent issues and not much on long-term strategy.
Anyway good stuff happened on March and I hope you’ll find the report beneficial for you! (I certainly do)
What’s going on
oDesk consulting gig
If you’re after a location independent job, selling your skills on platform like oDesk.com, Freelancer.com or Elance.com is a very good idea.
Those platforms are online marketplaces that connects contractors with remote jobs.
The problem with them is that you need to be specialized in something that is differentiate you from the hordes to avoid the brutal competition of contractors from cheap countries.
To give an idea, WordPress developers starts from $3/hour and last year I had a VA from Philippines doing a very simple data-entry job for $1/hour. In order to avoid competing on this price-range, you need to be specialized in something: translation of a specific language, writing on a specific subject or working with a specific technology.
Long time ago I created an oDesk profile as ‘Juniper Networks SRX Specialist’, built around my previous career in network security.
There are very few jobs available on oDesk for this topic so it’s not something to make a living out of, but they’re generally up my alley as they are remote and quick to do.
In March I got contacted by a previous customer to configure a small firewall and it was a nice gig. I could charge expert money for two days of work: €910.
Investing in new content
In February I ordered 300 new articles for my DIY Spanish blog, and they’re being slowly delivered. This counts as expenses for the month, but it’s an investment for the future and I’m happy with the work delivered.
It will take a couple of months to have the new articles ranked in Google and see some return of investment.
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.
Interesting to see that as the traffic goes up, average visit duration goes down and bounce rate goes up. It seems that with more traffic the quality of the visitors went down. I can imagine that who reached the website when it was ranking lower (or in page 2) already had visited other pages in the search results and was more keen on checking the articles.
Adsense generated €6.19 from this website with 0 work done.
With an initial investment of €360, I’m going to break even in 58 months! But hold your horses, the traffic didn’t plateau yet so earnings should go up 🙂
WP Tube new sale page
In February I changed the sale page of my WordPress theme. The previous version was old and looked like a blog, while the new page, built with the excellent OptimizePress theme, is made with conversion in mind:
The number of overall downloads (free + paid version) went down from ~58 to ~40 per week (yes, it’s that noticeable!) but this didn’t affect the earnings.
In March it sold 16 copies for a total of $618.15. with 0 refund.
This month I plan to release a minor update with bugfixes and explore some new features.
Let’s get down to the numbers!
- Adsense: €660.26 (was €515.71) – bounced back to normal earnings after a bad (and short) February
- Feedblitz: €88.45 (was €75.14) – this is pure passive profit
- Direct Ads: €32.63 (last month €32.63)
- BuySellAds: €39.23 (was €16.91)
- Job Board Services
- Premium Job posting: €36.77 (was €24.4) – another bad month for my job boards
- Resume Access: €9.2 (was €35.31) – I’m really gonna stop this service
- Affiliate Programs
- Lead generation: 0
- Product affiliation: €139.3 (was €27.96)
- Hosting affiliation: 0
- Amazon program: €416.19 (was €224.45) – pretty good increase, but I want more!
- ComoHacer ebook: €16.55 (was €24.15) – just two copies sold
- WP Tube theme: €582.74 (was €568.77)
- Website sale: 0 (was €900)
- oDesk: €910 (was 0) – this one a one-time gig on network security that came via oDesk
Total Gross: € 2,931.32 (last month € 2.436,72)
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
- Translation: 0 (was 0)
- Articles: €1131.4 (was €678.77) – this is for the new bounce of articles for ComoHacer
- Software: 0 (was €91)
- Website acquisition:0
Total Expenses: €1.349.4 (was € 977,67)
Net Total March 2015: € 1,581.92 (last month 1.459,05)
Considering that I was traveling around and enjoying new places, I’m quite happy with the results.
The consulting gig was an unusual income as well as the new articles was an unusual expense… All in all they leveled and the net profit is a little salary on the side of the WordPress freelancing side of my business.
I also have to admit some worries:
- some of the websites I have (read job boards) aren’t profitable anymore and I’ve to think what to do with them.
- the website I bought in December is greatly under-performing and I still didn’t find a good formula.
More on that next month.
If you read this report, please please please do drop a comment. I’m curious to know if you find it useful and why.