Yeah…last month I told you that I would stop publishing my blog income report. This month, I’m telling you that I’ll be sharing a part of it ;-). If there is one thing that is constant in my business model, it’s definitely the fact that I keep changing my mind. I think it’s important to rethink the way you do things constantly even if it means to go back to your project and making even more modifications. This is why I will be telling you about my adsense income at the end of this article. Since I want to boost my adsense up to 40% of my total monthly income, this would give you a pretty good idea of how much I make on a monthly basis.
The end of April was a bit challenging for us because one of our sites was hacked for 3 solid days. It was showing a malware alert before you enter the site. Do I have to tell you that I missed several thousand visitors during those 3 days? It was quite challenging to solve the issue as it wasn’t clear what the problem was. Here’s what we did:
- Run free malware detection tools… without any real indication (you get what you pay for, right?).
- Check Google Webmaster Tool to see what was going wrong… Google was telling us that we had 24 (!) pages affected by malware. We couldn’t tell which pages were delinquent.
- We then contacted our host (Liquid Web) to ask them to run tests on their end. They were very helpful and first found that it was probably created by a plugin or a code added to the WordPress theme. Since WordPress is used a lot by bloggers, it is a platform targeted by hackers.
- It took them 2 days to clean all pages and make sure that the malware won’t come back.
With spring coming, we always see a small drop in traffic. When I combine the malware event to the natural slowdown, I can say that my traffic has been quite steady. We didn’t make any major changes on our side to improve our traffic either.
I haven’t worked much on affiliate programs this month as I was finishing my eBooks (more on that below). This is how I collected a few checks from Market Samurai, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, INO and Questrade (here’s a good Questrade Review).My experience with displaying 1 single link toward ProBlogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog really proved that you should think of adding excellent resources to your epic posts. About a month ago, I wrote a huge post on how to Survive Google. In this article, I explained various strategies used to create a sustainable business that is not fully dependent on search engine traffic. A simple mention of my most favourite book to learn how to build a strong blog was enough to “pay me” for having written this post. If I do this more often, I would not only become richer but I would also help a lot more individuals. There is a huge difference between plugging an affiliate every time you can and telling people about a product you like and use. The latter is truly helpful for everybody and this is how affiliate links should be managed.
Last month, I mentioned that I was working on a newsletter funnel project of 12 emails. I’d say that half of these emails include at least 1 affiliate link. They are all pointing to legitimate products that can truly help readers. Since I’m now done creating the email funnel, the test is now running to make sure everything goes smoothly. Testing is crucial when you want to sell products through your newsletter. You want to make sure that your message hits home and that people see the benefit of registering for products instead of seeing them as annoying ads.
Now that this project is almost over, I’ll be able to concentrate in May on my other newsletters (such as TFB!). I have several topics in my “to do” list
My EMT Training site continues to impress with a total income of $36.87 for its second month. I’m surprised since I have absolutely no network in the medical or job/career field to use to boost the traffic. I’m still not getting many visitors (slightly over 300 for the past month), but the Adsense stats are awesome. I was also able to generate an affiliate sale of $20.99. I think the combination of Adsense and affiliate programs is awesome. The EMT exams are not easy and people are definitely looking for help. Mock exams and audio resumes are a great help if you want to pass that exam. I guess the key point in designing this niche site was to aim at a need people had (pass that exam in order to get a job). Since this need is quite important, people are willing to invest a few bucks to make sure they pass the first time.
Now, the real challenge will be to generate traffic as I’m convinced that if I can multiply my traffic by 10 (getting 3,000 visitors/month), I can also multiply my income by 10 (and make almost $400/month with this site!). Link building will be a hard path to travel but I have a few ideas in mind.
I’m “officially” done! I’ve written 2 eBooks on the same topic: 1 Canadian and 1 US version. This was quite a challenge, especially writing the second version. I had to revisit the entire book and erase several chapters and rewrite others. What I found the most difficult about it was that I needed to find the additional motivation to revisit something that I already completed. The book is now off for final editing and formatting. I’ll share more thoughts on strategy (and how the sales went) later. For now, let’s just say that I am very happy to have completed this very important step in our business plan. This will enable me to work a lot more on other projects!
Next month, early in June, is our annual meeting. We will have to discuss how the company is doing so far this year and what will be done throughout 2012-2013. We usually start our discussion a month in advance through email to bounce various ideas and topics we want to discuss during that meeting. We have limited time to think about our business during that weekend and need to be as efficient as possible. By doing a 1 month brainstorming session, we have the opportunity to build a huge list of topics to cover and not forget anything. This is definitely the biggest project I’ll be working on this month: preparing the next 12 months for my business. We usually cover topics such as:
- Operating costs (potential savings, optimization)
- Security (server, backup, password management)
- Revenues (trend, strengths and weaknesses)
- Projects (new sites, products, newsletters)
- Overview of our current sites (we look at each site to determine what should be done to make it better)
This is definitely one of the most exciting moments of the year for our company!
For a second month in a row (sorry, I couldn’t show you March’s income stats!), I reached an average of over $100/day with Adsense! In fact, during April, I only had 6 days below the $100 bar. These usually happen over the weekend! When I look at my stats, I only wish I could understand why I go from aRPM(revenue per mile impressions) as low as $0.46 to as high as $29.64. Part of the answer probably lies in the site topics and type of visitors. The rest of the answer is probably in the ad placement. I’m actually working on a big piece of how I manage Adsense throughout my network and I’ll provide more details next time out. In the months to come, I’ll also create additional channels to narrow down my stats. I currently have 1 channel per site, regardless of the size or the ad placement. In a perfect world, I’d need a different channel for each ad placement to know exactly where I make money and where I’m just bugging readers.
If you have any specific questions, send them to me!
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