August 6, 2012, 5:00 am

July Blog Evolution Report

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blog Evolution Report
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To be honest, July has been a month of calculations. I’ve spent a lot of time following my accounts to make sure that we are on track. The problem is not the expenses (we cut them!) or the revenues (they are pretty high these days). The problem is our aggressive debt repayment plan! We are already halfway through our goal to pay off a corporate debt of 35K in twelve months. We currently owe 17K on it and in a few days, the debt will drop by another 3K to reach 14K. It had been somewhat challenging to pay this debt at the same time when we invested:

–          In the eBook editing process (darn! Still have to wait!!!!)

–          In the airfare, hotel room and… football tickets to go to the Fincon12 in Denver (yippee!)

–          In our annual meeting

–          In a small blog purchase (more details in this article)

–          In software to run another of our projects (more details to come too!)

 

As you can see, there were a lot of things to consider in a short period of time. I’m happy since everything fell in order like a good Tetris game. I will be able to leave for vacation in August without having to think about money! Haha!

 

Traffic Improvement

 

I must admit that I haven’t paid much attention on our traffic over the past few months. Things are going well and traffic wasn’t one of my concerns. But I was surprised when I looked at what my traffic was back in January – February compared to last month. Historically, traffic is always very good in the first three month of the year. Since we have several investment related websites, these months are always great as investors are eager for information.

 

The surprise came as my summer traffic was up compared to my winter traffic! This is great news. This means that my site ranks better in Google and I get more links from other sites. I noticed that each time I get a bigger authority site linking to mine (such as a newspaper or a huge blog), search engine traffic tends to increase. This is probably because those nice, juicy links are telling Google that my sites deserve more attention. It’s not the first time I noticed this phenomenon. It makes sense, but it’s always interesting to see how search engine algorithms work in the real life. Since my summer traffic is up, this will probably mean that I will get another boost in the fall which is another great time for us.

 

Affiliate Program Strategies – Newsletter Projects

 

After our last newsletter success, I wanted to make sure to start working on another project of the same size! This project will obviously be my eBook which should be finally finalized in August (more on that in the eBook section). I don’t want to spam my readers so it’s a good thing that I’m not starting another marketing campaign in August. Instead, I’ve concluded another affiliate agreement that will be included in my newsletter funnel. A funnel is an email chain that subscribers receive. I usually send3 to 4 high quality and useful newsletters and then, incorporate a promotion on a product that I use.

 

This technique has been proven successful with two affiliate programs already. I’m now making the payment cut (over $100) each month for the past six months with these two programs. The good thing is that both affiliates are paying me a lot more than the minimum $100. The key was to find useful products that can be offered at a discount rate (read about my newsletter success to get the detail of this strategy).

 

Another key strategy is to aim for cheap or free products. You will get paid less but your conversion rate will be much higher. There are a lot of affiliates that pay for leads. A lead is when you send them a potential customer that will take an action on their site. In general, an action can be considered:

–          Registering for a free trial

–          Giving personal information (email or phone number) for a quote

–          Giving email to receive a free report

 

You will make a few bucks per lead as compared to $30 to $100 per sale if the customer buys a product. However, people like to try free stuff (who doesn’t?). This is why it’s sometimes better to send more clients and make several times the $2, $3, $4 per lead than trying to have people sign up for a credit card or open a brokerage account.

 

Niche Site Central

 

Based on our most recent success with our niche sites, we have decided to buy a small site instead of building it. The site is not generating traffic and not making money at the moment. However, the domain name is good for search engine results and thorough research has been made on its potential. The price was low since we basically bought the domain name, template and content of the site. At this point, the only thing that we need to do is to start building backlinks and improve the content a little bit. This is the kind of site that could probably reach $50/month in Adsense in a few months. This is only a matter of time to build some site authority around it. The other reason why we bought this site is because it falls directly in our link building strategy (explained in our previous Blog Evo Report). Since the layout is pretty nice, we will also be able to use it for future sites as well.

 

In a few weeks, I’ll be launching two new sites that should also generate roughly $50/month in a few months too. If I can draw more traffic to them, they will definitely become big income earners as the quality of content written on these sites is very high and specialized. This makes the whole process very hard to replicate for anybody else.  We are also selling a small eBook at $2.99 on one of them. I can’t wait to see how it will go!

 

eBook Development

 

We just received the logo to appear on the first page and the designer is almost done. It’s quite a big amount of work as there are two eBooks (one Canadian, one American) and two formats (PDF and Kindle). We also have a complete site with a separate url to sell the eBook. The purpose of this strategy is to get search engine traffic from articles that will be written on this site (such as a small niche site) along with having a custom landing page to close the sale. We wanted to have something completely different than our blog design.

 

Current Project I’m Working On

 

I’ll have something very interesting towards the end of August. It will officially be announced on TFB but it’s a project including a few other bloggers. The goal is to do an “authority site duel”. You are probably familiar with famous Smart Passive Income Niche Site Duel that happened in 2010-2011.  We want to do something similar but with an authority site. The goal is to create a site that will be considered as a reference in its market (such as TFB for buying blogs and make money from them for example). The trick is that it has to be a new site. Since it’s relatively hard to build an authority site as compared to writing 50 articles and packaging them into a niche site that you let fly. I was happy to have a few projects on the shelf when those bloggers contacted me. What I like about such a project is that it will force me to follow-up on my results and grow another site. It’s sometimes quite tempting to just surf the wave and cash out the money when things go well. But when you think about it, if you can surf a bigger wave, why not do it?

 

Adsense Income $3,308.42 (+1.6%)

 

This number is an approximation as of July 27th of what my month will be since I wanted to publish my report on August 1st! Wow… two summer months that are known to be fairly bad in Adsense are now my two best months ever with Adsense! Last year, I made $1,973.75 in June and $1,914.12 in July. This is a 72% increase compared to last year! When I consider that Adsense grew to 2,5K in fall with more traffic, I can now aim for the month where I will break 3,5K in Adsense might hit over 4K by the end of the year if I’m lucky. This is definitely an awesome shift compared to what happened last year!

 

During August, we will be preparing for the Fincon12 at the beginning of September, will you be there?

 

 

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Comments

NIce progress overall. As someone averse to debt, it’s nice to hear that you have committed to “switching sides.” I’ll be looking forward to meeting you at FINCON.

Hey 20’s,

I’m also a big fan of leverage ;-0 hahaha! But at one point, I feel it’s more important to pay off our debts in order to be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor. We haven’t been taking much money out of the company since the beginning. In 3 years, the company will be debt free and we will be able to drive some pretty high dividend from it 😀

Is your dividend taxed differently than income up in Canada?

by: The Financial Blogger | August 6th, 2012 (4:05 pm)

@ Evan,

As a rule of thumb, you can consider that we are taxed at 50% on earned income (salary or interest) and 33% on dividend (and 25% on capital gain).

I wish I could come to Fin Con but as an accountant the first week of the month isn’t allowed for vacation…. maybe next year!

by: The Financial Blogger | August 6th, 2012 (9:01 pm)

@Lance,

that’s too bad. But I totally understand. Your day job is still the most important!

[…] Financial Blogger said traffic is up on his blog – well […]

That’s awesome progress on the traffic.
Even though my Alexa is down (mostly because of Google traffic), my traffic is through the roof for the past 3-4 months. As for FINCON12, initially when we emailed each other, I was planning to go. Unfortunately my trade-show season starts, and I can’t commit to it. Are you coming to CPFC in Toronto?

by: The Financial Blogger | August 10th, 2012 (11:10 am)

Thx Eddie!

I don’t look at my Alexa rank too much. In fact, it doesn’t affect my blog at all 😀

I’m not going to Toronto 🙁 that’s too bad!