For the past 3 weeks, we have been running without our main VA as she was at the hospital. Thankfully, she and her baby are not in danger. It was ‘just’ a kidney stone. I was glad to find out that she was able to return home and get some rest. In the meantime, it is crazy how much it had impacted our business! Yup, you guessed it, this monthly blog income report is not as spectacular as the previous one. It’s not all due to the fact that we didn’t have our main VA going after advertisers but it is a piece of the answer. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Network Monthly Traffic: 205,610 (+19%) visitors and 272,183 (+15%) pages viewed
This is great news since we are entering the worst part of the year in terms of traffic. Usually, people go on vacation or are outside during the summer and we always see a drop in traffic. It seems that a few (not all of them!) of our sites recovered from The Panda Update. Also, the launch of Dividend Investing, our first free eBook helped drive significant traffic towards The Dividend Guy Blog. We got some social media buzz (Stumble Upon and Tip’d), which explains the lower growth in pages viewed when compared to visitors.
To be honest, I don’t believe in social media promotion. They are good for increasing the number of backlinks but people coming from social media rarely stick around. Most of them jump from one site to another without reading much. Their goal being to Stumble sites in order to improve the importance of their user account so they get more traffic when they submit one of their sites. Since most people on those bookmarking sites are using a similar method, nobody gets high quality visitors like YOU, my loyal readers ;-).
Adsense Income: $1973.75 (-20%)
This is probably the last drop due to the Panda update. Since most of my traffic jump was caused by the buzz generated around my eBook and a bit of Social media promotion, people didn’t click on Adsense; they downloaded the book! Which is pretty great overall since I have now over 7,300 downloads since June 1st.
On the other hand, I have also noticed that I suffered a drop in my click through rate (CTR). While I can’t discuss my numbers, let’s just say that my CTR for the past 2 months are way below my 12 month average. This could be explained by 2 things:
– My high CTR pages were deranked by Google in the Panda update
– The advertising package during summer time is less attractive to readers
– People got used to the ads displayed and they now tend to ignore
During the summer, I’ll work on a few things to get back to the $100/day mark. In order to achieve it, I’ll work on the following points:
– Working on SEO on high adsense potential articles (I’ll write more about this later on)
– Changing my ad displays and colors (maybe try images as well…)
– Adding work on SEO for my niche websites (which should become my best Adsense income earners 12 months from now)
Affiliate Programs and Brokerage deals: $1137.05 (-50%)
I told you that summer was bad for our business, right? Well affiliates are pretty bad too! I didn’t receive many cheques this month. Was it due to the 2 week Canada Post Lock-out? It could be a possibility. However, I noticed that most of my big income generators slowed down this month.
Sad enough, I don’t have much time to take care of my affiliate programs right now. I would rather concentrate on content creation and the writing of my second eBook (I’m about half way done now!). Affiliate marketing is great, but selling your own product is much better! This is why I’ll concentrate on creating my own products for the next 6 months. My agenda is pretty full as I plan to write 5 eBooks (a series of 4 eBooks on financial independence + the “sequel” to Dividend Investing, a more advanced investing book).
Private Advertising: $3683.56 (-36%)
This is where we missed our Virtual Assistant the most. We weren’t as fast at closing new advertising deals and also couldn’t renew 2 good contracts. Losing private advertising space happens almost every month. Bad economy, cuts in marketing budgets or simply the end of the advertising campaigns are part of our day-to-day business. However, we are usually able to add more contracts than we lose on a monthly basis. June slipped though and we are down to 3.6K from a high time record of 5,7K. Still averaging between 3K and 5K per month in private advertising, pretty good!
Niche website revenues: $212.03 (+250%)
This is probably the most positive thing happening in our business right now: diversification continues to prove itself right! While some of our bigger websites are slowing down, the smaller ones are picking up. I didn’t work on any new niche websites projects nor any promotions in June and still, the income generated from these sites jumped over the $200 bar for the first time. Traffic is slowly growing, especially for What is a Dividend, which is showing a few high number of pages viewed and time on site (about 3 to 4 pages viewed and 3 to 5 minutes per visitors). I think that what we have learned from our other niche websites was correctly applied to this one. I just can’t wait to see how this site will perform once we start aggressive promotions and backlinking strategies for it!
Total monthly income for June: $6,794.36 (-35%) $10,514.33
It’s crazy how we become greedy over time! Not so long ago, a near 7K monthly income would have made me jump for joy! In 2010, our average monthly income was between 5,5K and 6K per month and now complain with a ‘slow’ month of 6,8K ;-).
I am definitely disappointed but was nonetheless expecting a drop in my income since the Panda update. It just didn’t happen as fast as I expected! The Global economy is also slowing down and one of the first things that is being cut is marketing budgets! This is why I need to move forward and leave the private advertising model. Unfortunately, I feel that this will take me a good 12 to 18 months to do. In the internet world, this feels like a decade!
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