It’s time to switch gears…
March was a success in terms of income. After two good months over $8,000, you always wonder if your strong beginning of the year is luck or if you are a roll. Well, we made over $8,600 in March! The most beautiful part of this is that over 70% of our gross revenues are not coming from private advertising! Google Adsense, our own products and affiliate programs are generating about 75% of our business now. Our model has successfully changed from private advertising to other types of income streams. I think eventually, we will be able to completely disregard private advertising and switch gears to a more lucrative business model…
So let’s take a look at what happened this month…
My traffic went up slightly in March. But this is probably what worries me the most. In fact, I had 3 more days in March (which is 10% of a month) yet only increased my visits by 5%… I’m definitely not too proud about it!
We ran into another Google update in March but it didn’t affect us. I was expecting to get lucky and have one of my flagship sites pick up a higher ranking. It didn’t happen. On the other hand, I can’t say I’ve done much in term of traffic improvement work in the first three months. This is definitely a big challenge for me as I often prefer to work on other projects such as my new eBook for TFB and my mailing list series for The Dividend Guy Blog!
I’m tempted to improve our social media presence but I’m not sure how much traffic I will gain from this strategy. I also need to schedule more time in my week to write articles so I can offer guest posts for my flagship sites. I’ve done a few guest posts for smaller sites and it worked well but it’s time to “refurbish” my link inventory for my bigger websites.
I’m still in the middle of my newsletter project. The goal is to build a 10 email series on how to invest. I want to cover each aspect of portfolio management and add a few affiliate links across the series. They should convert well as I’m providing high value content. I ran email #1 to #6 with my Mastermind Group and received a lot of great comments.
A good tip when you work on such projects is to ask advice of people who doesn’t work in the topic you are covering. For example, my partner works in the financial industry. When I showed him my emails, he thought that most of them were too simplistic. On the other hand, nobody is in the financial industry in my Mastermind Group and they were asking a lot of questions about each email in order to get more details.
The reality is that the field you are working in is definitely simple and easy for you but probably highly complicated for anybody who looks at it from the outside. I have no clue how to build a house, repair a car or manage 30 kids in a classroom. When I think of doing these tasks, I completely freeze and wish I had never thought of doing them! If I was to read about these topics, I would really appreciate a simple step-by-step guide so I can understand everything.
I’ve decided to publish my Niche Sites income now to give a little bit more transparency. It will also help me know how much these sites are generating in my company. The $755.56 is broken down info 3 sources of revenues:
$244.50 from eBooks (Excluding Dividend Growth)
$209.17 from Adsense (included in my total Adsense earnings)
$0 from affiliate sales
The small eBook sales are still doing great! We had a record month in February but when I look at the overall picture, I’m definitely happy to see that I can steadily make over $200 without doing anything. The other great thing about it is that I mention my sites and other products within these books. This helps me generate indirect income from the book sales.
I had a sales boost towards the end of the month as I’ve declared that I was beating the market like there is no tomorrow with my selection of 20 US dividend Stocks. After a quarter, my small eBook (for sale at $2.99) includes a list of 20 stocks that show an investment return of 16.79% or 6.49% over my benchmark. My only regret about this book is that I’m selling it too cheap! I think I’lll increase the price to $4.99 next year if I continue to get such high results throughout the year!
In March, I’ve started to work on my first free book for The Financial Blogger. I’m halfway done and the book should have about 60-70 pages. The reason why I’m writing this book and giving it for free is to increase my newsletter subscribers. This is the only way I will be able to retain my readers no matter what Google thinks of my site.
My goal is to become totally independent from search engine traffic since I can’t count on it and can’t definitely game Google. Therefore, by building a strong readership, I don’t have to worry about the next Zoo update done by the big G. If I get more traffic, fine, but I won’t have to wait for it anymore.
The book should be ready to be launched within the following months. It will be interesting to see how my newsletter subscription will go after I launch the book. I hope to get over 1,000 downloads for the first year. The topic is not as sexy as dividend investing (and God knows that investing is not that sexy!) but it definitely cover an important niche nonetheless.
In a few weeks, my partner and I we will be meeting for our annual meeting. This will be a day where we start working at 7am and end-up late at night. We have several topics to cover and we have been working on our schedule for the past two weeks now.
This is the perfect moment to determine which projects we will work on in the next 12 months and how we can switch gears and grow the company. We have been in “survival mode” long enough. It’s time to generate some growth again!
We have several avenues we will look at:
- Membership sites
- Social media presence
- Forum creation
- Streamline process for niche site creation
- Traffic building
- Better use of our VA
- Better use of our own time
- Projects we will focus on
The idea is to brainstorm during 12 hours and finish with a small set of ideas we will work on. It’s useless to set a list of 10+ to do’s. If we can come away with 3 to do’s each, this will already be enough! I can tell you the membership site will be one of them for sure, hahaha!
The thing I hate about Adsense is that it comes and goes like the wind. There is not much I can do but to control my traffic and hope their ads will convert. This is how I end-up with lower numbers in March than February even thought I had more days to make money.
I have a long way before I make a steady $3,000 from this income stream. Then again, Adsense income comes from search engine traffic. The more I get, the more I make. This is definitely an important point we will discuss in our annual meeting! If you have any tricks you have done so far and it works with the “new” Google, I’ll be happy to hear about them!
Now it’s your turn, tell me, what have you done recently on your sites to make them better?
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