Things You Do When You are Focused…
February was the month of “getting back on track”. I was very happy as I was able to achieve several tasks in my quarterly objectives. After 6-7 weeks of participating in a Mastermind Group, I can say that I already feel the difference. The level of accountability has just been raised. It’s a lot more “complicated” to find excuses for not doing your work when you commit yourself to 3 other individuals. We aren’t judged when we fail, but doing nothing is not acceptable. Doing nothing on your couch is easy, but when you have to tell your friends that you are not doing anything, that’s a different story.
So let’s take a look at what happened this month…
If I want to feel good about myself, I can always tell myself that February is three days short compared to January and a drop in traffic is normal. However, the drop is bigger than three days. I can partially explain the rest of the drop by the end of the “January effect”. Each year, the month of January is very impressive in terms of traffic. I feel like a gym: everybody is interested in taking care of themselves and all sign-up with good intentions. Then, the interest fades away and traffic goes down a little.
The rest of the difference lies within two big names who mentioned my sites in January. I didn’t get any such mentions in February and didn’t have any traffic spikes this month. My strategy to improve traffic is based on guest posting and Directory submissions for smaller sites. As I mentioned in my authority website update, I’ve taken the habit of sending more newsletters to my investing crowd and it generates more traffic as well. I’ll definitely start the same strategy with TFB in the upcoming weeks! I have a great mailing list but I don’t send many emails these days…
I’ve used my newsletter this month to gather feedback for a big project I’m working on in 2013. I asked people what was their #1 investment struggle in order to build the best membership website ever. I’ll come back with more info on my membership site later on in this post.
With regards to the newsletter, I can tell you that sending an email every two weeks since the beginning of January made a huge difference in the level of response I’m experiencing right now. I can already see my readers being a lot more engaged than before. They not only answer my questions but also give additional feedback and ask more questions themselves. On the one hand, it’s very time consuming but on the other, I can see how people appreciate my site and it’s very good for my self esteem ;-).
The more email I send, the less people unsubscribe to them and select my email as spam. It’s one thing to build a strong email list, but it’s another thing to keep your readership! Each time I send an email, I make sure that I truly add value or genuinely ask questions of my readers. I want to help them participate in my site, not simply send them bunch of promotions until they sign-up for something!
I decided to publish my Niche Sites income now to give a little bit more transparency. It will also help me to know how much these sites are generating in my company. The $755.56 is broken down in 3 sources of revenues:
$364.68 from eBooks (Excluding Dividend Growth)
$370.80 from Adsense (included in my total Adsense earnings)
$20.08 from affiliate sales
I’m happy to declare that this is one of my most profitable months from my niche sites. I can now see the day where I will generate $1,000/month from these passive sites! I was surprised to see how many eBooks I’ve sold over the month. If I count Dividend Growth, I average a total of 4 books per day!
Depending on the book and the channel used, I’m making between $2.60 and $9.36 per sale. My goal is to eventually reach 10 books per day with our current offer and boost it up with other books. I think that selling small ebooks is probably one of the best ways to make passive income. Once the book is complete, it’s only a matter of plugging your title as much as you can throughout your articles and on your site. Then, you just let the magic begin and receive email daily about more books sold!
What I like the most about my niche sites is that they are not selling private advertising at all. Therefore, it’s a “pure” way of making money online passively. I need to seriously work on my affiliate program strategy in order to boost my overall sales but I will start that in Q2. My first quarter is already full of projects to be completed!
I didn’t work on any new eBooks this month. We started to think about a few projects to improve our current offer but I haven’t start writing anything.
The big work has been done on my Dividend Growth sales page. I still need to work on it (and take off the adsense ad block for example!) but I like the text on the page. I’ve removed a lot of content from it and gone straight to the point. I’m now considering buying a “sales pagemaker” software such as Lead Pages in order to add a more professional look to my sales page. It was relatively easy to reach out to my readers as they know my blog and trust it. Now, I’m entering in the hardest phase of eBook sales marketing: selling books to non-loyal readers. I am still selling nearly 50 books per month but I can continue to grow this passive income source. I definitely think I could be selling more books and make a lot more money than I am right now. It’s only a matter of implementing a better marketing plan for it.
At the beginning of 2012, I mentioned that one of my goals was to create a membership website. The math behind such a product is ridiculously interesting:
200 subscribers at $87/year makes… $17,400!
If I was able to sell over 600 books in 5 months, I’m pretty sure I can gather 200 subscribers per year. If I can build a strong membership website, I will be able to make over $20,000 per year with it over the next two years. That would be an amazing piece of diversification for our company and a great way to create passive income. My goal is to build the membership site and optimize it in a way that a VA could update everything and take care of customer service without me putting a single hour into it. At $500 per month, I think I can get a pretty solid VA that will take care of everything and I will still net over $11,000 per year for doing very little work.
I’ve asked my Mastermind group about feedback on the project and I have a lot of tasks to accomplish before I make a single buck out of it! I’ve worked on a timetable to make sure everything will fall as scheduled. Technically, I should be able to launch the site for September. As was the case with my book in 2012, this will give me the opportunity to do a first launch in September and promote a re-launch for the Holidays. I’ll probably do a January promotion since I get a lot of good traffic at that time of year.
After hitting a record month in January, I was expecting a drop in Adsense. I’m happy to see that I was almost able to keep an average of $100/day. I’m currently sitting at $97.46/day so I’m not too far. I’m confident to reach the $3,000 level next month as I continue to work on my traffic and perform Adsense optimization.
I’ve also tried an alternative to Adsense this month with a few of my sites. For one month, I put a few Media.net codes on some of my sites. The results were disgusting! I know the ad blocks were not published on prime space but I made $17 in a month for three different ad blocks on three different websites. I’ll change these codes for an additional Adsense block this month and compare their results. By creating a new channel for each block, I’ll be able to identify what works and what doesn’t.
If I end-up with a similar result, I’ll just forget about adding more ads. But I’m confident I can at least make $100 total with these new spots on my sites. This $100 would be just enough to break the $100/day again!
Now it’s your turn, tell me, what have you done recently on your sites to make them better?
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