September 14, 2011, 1:47 pm

August Blog Income Report Back to Normal!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blog Income Report
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After a disastrous month of July, we are finally back to normal! My previous blog income report was quite disappointing as we were running cash flow negative. This was the first time it happened to us since we started reporting our income and probably the first time ever in the short history of our online company.

 

But this month, we are going back up to an interesting level. While most people argue that blogging is not passive income, I can tell you that I can’t agree with them. In August, I took about 2 weeks of vacation and so did my partner. If you make the calculations, we work only half of the month and we made 38% more income than in July (see results below). On top of that, since one of my VAs is on maternity leave at the moment, the cost of running my business dropped around $4,250. Therefore, we made over $3,000 profit by not working. Not bad huh? ;-)

 

Here are our stats now:
 Network Monthly Traffic: 204,643 (+10%) visitors and 276,678 (+10%) pages viewed

Traffic has been good in August for most of our sites. Our main leaders at the moment are EXP (Experiments in Finance which I don’t speak much about) and The Dividend Guy Blog. These 2 sites were barely affected by the Panda update and to be honest, EXP traffic is up by 15% since January!

To be honest, I didn’t do anything to increase my traffic in the past 3 months since I was working intensively on the launch of my eBook. Therefore, I’m just glad to see that I’m getting over 200,000 visits/month again!

 

On the positive side of things, my RSS and newsletter subscribers are increasing too. Therefore, it means that I’m able to grab new visitors to stay longer on my sites and encourage them to connect with me. I’ve also made a resolution to improve the frequency of my newsletter postings by giving additional free and exclusive content. This should also help to increase my number of visitors. I didn’t want to make it just a “resolution” so I have actually made a plan to write more and I already have a list of topics to write about. By the way, if there’s anything you want me to cover, just send me a quick email J.

Adsense Income: $1529.54 (-20%)

Yet another drop in income but I knew this was coming (remember, I’m posting cashed income, not earned on paper income) as this is the adsense payout for July. What’s cool is that the bleeding has stopped. After making over $3,000 per month, I’m down to an average of $1,500 (August’s payment will be similar).

But there is something very important that needs to be done with Adsense in the upcoming month. I have realized this while analyzing income stats per site over the past 8 months. One of my sites, The Dividend Guy Blog, is earning way less income than it was only a few months ago. However, the traffic didn’t drop that much. This is when I have realized that my CTR (click through rate) has dropped over the past month, resulting into less income.

 

What can I do?

 

The first thing I’ll do will be to play with the ad placement and colors. Sometimes, when you try a new setting, you increase automatically your CTR. I’ll also try to add images instead of only providing text link ads. I’ve tried it in the past with unsuccessful results but it won’t cost me much to try it again for a week or two ;-). With over 1,000 ad impressions per day, the numbers meet the average quickly!

Affiliate Programs and Brokerage deals: $1,832.74 (+1190%)

As July’s affiliate payout was just awful, I’m now back to a “normal” month in affiliate program and brokerage deals. The many downloads (I’m at over 10,900 as I write this post) of my first e-Book Dividend Investing is helping a lot. I figure that I have made slightly over $1,000 in affiliate commission coming from this book. Not bad for a freebie ;-).

 

In the upcoming months, I’ll add the sale of my eBook: Rat Race: 1 Year From Now, Will You Still Be A Rat?. I launched it earlier this week and it should be a great success. From all the comments I have received from my fellow bloggers, I think we should be able to increase our income on a steady basis with this book. I’m already working on the second book (my outline for the 4 books is settled already!) and I expect it to launch it before Xmas…

Private Advertising: $4,472.61 (+23%)

I’m back doing my renewals (man I miss my VA!) but it was definitely worth it! I used my recent day of blogging at home to clean up all my advertising renewals and follow-ups. At the same time, I was offering my advertisers the rest of my sites. This has worked pretty well and in single day, I’ve added more than $200 in monthly subscriptions. This is what I call a good day at work ;-D

Niche website revenues: $123.51 (-25%)

This month was solely adsense income. I haven’t worked on my niche websites for a while now but the traffic is pretty stable. I have discovered that it is much easier to do small “satellite sites” such as What is a Dividend and Covered Call ETFs and promote them through my network. They are natural references since they are related to my investing topics. It’s harder to get natural traffic with my home security system site or my second hand saddle one ;-).

 

I’m currently playing with the thought of hiring a VA to do my backlinking strategy and directly copy Smart Passive Income’s business model for this part. After listening to Pat’s podcast, I’ve figured that I could use one of the resources he mentioned to hire a SEO specialist and have him work almost full time on getting back links. Since the game is being played at that level, it is almost impossible to have great rankings without putting more emphasis on SEO! I’m giving myself a few weeks to think about it (and pitch the idea to my partner while we are in Chicago at the beginning of October! For the Financial Blogger Conference ;-) ).

Total monthly income for August: $7,834.89 (+38%)

This number makes me feel more comfortable about my online business ;-). On top of that, I had a check in my pocket of $470 that I didn’t have time to cash in August. Therefore, I could have hit the 8K mark once again but it is making a great start for September ;-).

 

With the launch of my first eBook yesterday, I hope to reach another month of 8K moving forward! I’ll concentrate on promoting massively my book for the upcoming months while writing the second part of my series too!

 

I hope you had a good month too! Keep it up!

 

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Comments

by: Mandi Goepfert | September 16th, 2011 (4:08 pm)

i think since Private Advertising is your largest source you should write a detail post on what it is, how to get it, how to negotiate and how to retain it and renew it. i think many readers like me are very interested in learning this from an expert like you

by: The Financial Blogger | September 18th, 2011 (6:57 pm)

@Mandi,

you are totally right! thx for your idea, I’ll make sure to post more about how I make money through private advertising.

cheers,

Mike.

Good stuff Mike! Just to clarify, the $7,800 is NET income after expenses or gross income?

I’ll be filling out the affiliate form on your new book shortly. Thx, Sam

Hey Sam,

that’s gross income. I never put the net profit, my accountant takes care of this. As I mention at the beginning of the post, my net is over 3K this month.

K thx. It’s not clear, so I’m sure some will be confused. You might as well put the expenses right below the revenue, and then put net profit. It’s a complete picture that allows us to ascertain revenue growth and profitability. But, up to you.

yeah… I totally understand where you are coming from. However, this also opens the door to more debate such as how much should I consider my time worth when I work on the company (’cause this is an expense, right?), and which expenses are real and not (for example, we are allowed to amortize our purchase and make a deduction from our income).

I rather do a “end of the year post” with full income and full expenses in it according to my year-end financial statement ;-)

Good to see you’re back on track, and I for one appreciate the transparency in these posts. (In fact, I’d like more — i.e. Do you only show Adsense on half your pages? The stats above suggest so! No satisfying some people… ;) ).

I’m particularly interested in seeing how the multiple blog model pans out. I pulled out of any thoughts in this direction a year or so ago as a result of relentless time pressures, so I’m pretty jealous if you manage to make it work. The expenses are eating you up at the moment though. Do you have a gross profit margin target, or are you happy to just expand?

Remember, turnover is vanity, profit is sanity! ;)

I appreciate you know this, so not trying to teach you to suck eggs… Just a friendly reminder. :0

@Monevator,
I’m not sure I understand your question about Adsense. I do show adsense on all my pages. somes sites get better stats than others… that’s all ;-)

When you think about it, we (my partner and I) put 20 hours together (excluding my day of blogging since I’m getting paid by my company to work). At 20 hours per week, I think it’s not too bad if we can get 3-4K net in profit, right? We spend way more money on growing (building more sites, ebooks, etc) than we spend on running our actual business. I think I’m going to write a post about that… thx for the idea!

I’m not looking at profit at the moment. Trust me, in about a year, I’ll bring a lot of profit. For now, growth is the only thing that matters ;-)