I must admit that this is one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done.
From now on, each month I’ll write a detailed report about my online businesses and web properties income.
First, I don’t have much to brag about. Making money online it’s not easy and often frustrating, so don’t saying anything would be easier and more self-protective.
Second, I never shared my salary not even with my close friends, even when I could have been very proud of it. A matter of personal style and taste, I guess.
Just to make clear, those reports will focus on the online projects, that are one of my sources of income.
I still like to keep some privacy… but anyway it doesn’t come easy for me to share and I know it requires a good dose of courage.
So, why doing it?
Why sharing my online income reports?
I found few good reasons to do what I’m doing:
- I like to read them. Of all the blog posts I read in a month, I found the monthly reports the most interesting, engaging and inspiring pieces of content for me. I see how others are doing, what is working and what’s doesn’t.
In fact, it was reading an income report from Kirsty when, in October 2011, I got the idea of buying existing websites rather than start them from zero!
Some others great monthly income sharers are people like Justin & Joe, Pat Flynn, Spencer Haws, Matthew Woodward, Tom Ewer and many others. With time I feel more connected with people that are sharing such a private part of their business and life.
- It builds genuine trust. In business I met way too many vague people, experts, mentors and others kings of the intangible. I don’t want to be that. I’m striving to be real and genuine.
I came to appreciate open folks with a transparent no-bullshit approach, and distrust the “fake it till you make it” supporters.
In the Online Money Making world it’s even worse, with everyone and his dog teaching others how to make money based on some claim of having made six-figures income overnight.
Showing my results, with success and failures, it feels aligned to my values.
- I can track the results. I experience this few times in like: talking about a goal helped me to achieve it. And writing things down helped me to structure my thoughts. Combining the two things together, I believe that talking about my online income and writing down my analysis will do good to me and my business. Success and failure alike.
- I’m out there. It’s like coming out from the shadow. I’m a web entrepreneur, in simple words my websites are an important source of income for me and, no matter how much or how little I’m making, I’m going to stand for it.
I still get strange looks when I say that it’s possible to make money online. Maybe it’s because the MMO industry got itself associated with some scammy-spammy-tricky “gimme your e-mail” businesses. Or maybe it’s just ignorance of people not knowing that every single click on internet moves money from one pocket to another.
So here we go with the first report!
October 2013 Report
What’s going on
I’m actively seeking new websites to acquire to strengthen my online portfolio, but I haven’t found anything in October.
My web properties stay the same, with the only addition of a domain I bought on a Godaddy Auction: www.salsalessonsdowntown.com
I didn’t do much with it, but I’m testing WPLocalPlus, a plugin to generate local offline business directories, and the idea is to experiment how difficult is to rank a local business directory nowadays.
The rest of the online work consisted in a morning routine of websites maintenance, approving jobs on my job websites, replying e-mails, and a bit of content generation.
This is the interesting part, right?
Adsense: 551.56 EUR
Google Adsense is still the first source of online income.
It’s stable compared with the previous month, but it’s down compared with few months ago.
I got worried about it, but the good news is that I found the reason: it’s my fault 🙂
In my leading job website I reduced the time a job listing is visible from 1 year to 1 month. This had quite of a dramatic effect in the number of jobs published, and as a consequence in the number of traffic received by referrals.
See the problem?
It will take some time to recover but I see no reason why it shouldn’t.
Feedblitz: 606.46 EUR
This has been the real surprise of the month, because it jumped from an average of 200 to more than 800 USD!
Looking at the data, I think it was a one-time occurrence due to some advertiser too generous with the campaign CPC, but I hope to be wrong 🙂
Feedblitz is becoming an important revenue stream, and I’m proud of it because it adds an effective way to monetize the job alert emails.
I just spent some time optimizing it for the future.
Premium Job posting: 184 EUR
This is the total from the job posting service from the different websites.
One in particular is performing well, but it really fluctuates from month to month. In September I had a record 550 EUR under this category, so I stay optimistic for the future.
Resume Access: 81.54 EUR
This is another classic job board service: a subscription plan to access the resume database.
The totals are slowly picking up, as the subscription model is very powerful in adding up month after month and increase the customer retention.
Affiliate Programs: 100 EUR
Those affiliate programs are running on RouterFreak, a technology blog.
Beside a generous contribution from eBay (€1,19) the rest is align with the last month, but half of few months ago.
I’ll have to invest more time updating the products promoted and testing new ones.
Direct Advertising: 75 EUR
This is a combination of paid blog post (1) and direct ads (1).
Nothing spectacular, but I’m closing a deal with another advertiser so hopefully next month will look more interesting.
Total October 2013: 1598.52 EUR
Lessons Learned in October
Not a bad month, compared to the last ones.
Things are fluctuating constantly in this online world, but with enough streams of revenue they tend to naturally balance out.
Like in my case, Feedblitz outperformed, balancing a slow Adsense and job posting month.
I leave this month with the feeling that is time to dare more, and invest in some bigger website now that I feel more confident in running an online business.
It’s becoming also more clear to me that I should invest more in SEO. I don’t believe in anyone claiming cheap and fast results, and it’s not what I’m looking for, but I feel the need to implement more of the best practices that I’m recommending to my customers!
Outside business, October has been a difficult month for me due to a family loss I’m not ready to talk about.
This has had an obvious impact on productivity, but I’m glad that being my own boss I could stay close to my family.
As I explained at the beginning of this article, sharing publicly my online income hasn’t been an easy decision and it’s still a scary one… if you read this far, I do thank you and I invite you to leave a comment!
I created a dedicated mailing list if you want to receive future monthly reports only.