I never thought I could make money from writing…
November went by faster than a comet on speed and I’m frustrated about that. I feel that I’m really late on everything I do! Actually, it’s not a feeling, it’s a fact; I’m late! I’m used to be pretty much on top of everything but this didn’t happen in November. My whole schedule has been slipping through my fingers since September but it’s only the last month that I have been hit right in the face. I feel like not much has been done with my online company and I even had to skip a few posts in order to catch up on other things.
I usually write when I wake up in the morning. The problem is that I don’t wake up as early as before. Back in September, I wrote about the fact that I was ready to embrace a new schedule… well it never really happened. I’m still suffering from a lack of sleep due to our latest baby and my day job is requesting my presence early in the morning at work for meetings and conference calls. At least I’m working one day a week on my blogs so I could get some projects advanced nonetheless!
I should change this sub-title to “traffic decrease”. After Google hit a few of my sites Hard, I’ve seen my niche sites slowing down. It wasn’t a drastic change as I suffered back in early October but I can see that the overall traffic is becoming less and less. This has also an impact on my Adsense revenues (see below).
The reason is quite simple; my niche sites are 100% passive. And I really mean it. I have some sites that I haven’t touched for more than 18 months. Still, they are earning roughly $50/month without me even knowing what is going on with the site. But you clearly can’t leave a site slowly dying if it makes money. This is why I’ll have to revive them soon.
That being said, I’ll be concentrating my efforts on other projects in December such as my evil plan explained yesterday (continue reading and you’ll see what I’m talking about), but link building and content creation will be back on the map for those niche sites in January.
In November, I tried to send a quick email mentioning 2 interesting articles I had produced recently. I’ve outlined this strategy in yesterday’s post and it had generated a few additional sales of my book + better Adsense days over that weekend. Roughly 57% of my subscribers opened the email and generated 1,312 clicks (i.e. visits) with the 2 links. The thing I realized after doing such a test is that I need to repeat this experience more often.
My newsletters are one of my biggest engines for traffic and I don’t use them enough. There is always a thin line between spamming your readers and sending them useful content. Even the most useful content could be spammy if sent on a weekly basis! What I will try to do is to send 1 email per month referring to good content on my websites.
Beyond simply plugging a good article, I will also make sure that this article is referring to an affiliate program or, even better, one of my own products. The last email I sent generated roughly $100 coming from both Adsense and book sales. An extra email per month which takes me less than 30 minutes to write could bring an additional $100 in revenues on a steady basis. Even better; if I do it correctly, my readers will thank me for sending them those links and it will create a stronger bond for any other product launches in the future.
I’ve 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 $420.44 is broken down into 3 sources of revenues:
$205.32 from eBooks (Excluding Dividend Growth)
$215.12 from Adsense
$20.98 from affiliate sales
As you can see, my traffic slump affected both my eBooks and Adsense revenues from my niche sites. It’s still pretty good considering the fact that I don’t spend a single minute on these sites right now. However, I’m under the impression that I could make a lot more if I could drive more traffic. Conversions rates and payouts are quite interesting with a low traffic level. This will definitely become my #1 priority in January!
I spent the last 2 weeks working on my Best 2013 Dividend Stocks eBook (more detail in yesterday’s post). I am also happy to announce that I’m only a few days away from launching my paper copy of Dividend Growth.
Through a site called Create Space, Amazon is offering you the possibility to publish a real book from your own PDF or DOC file. But wait, it’s not as easy as it seems. I started by asking a designer to work out my PDF copy to make it “printable” but it was a mess. I literally lost a month going back in forth for nothing with the designer. I ended-up spending a whole weekend working on formatting my existing book into a printable format. The biggest challenge was to format all pictures with 300 DPI characteristics. Since I didn’t know what it was when I first wrote the book, all my pictures had to be edited and redone again. It was quite a pain to do exactly what I had done over the past 12 months simply to put pictures in 300 DPI format! But if you don’t do this, the pictures don’t print correctly and you can’t see anything on a paper copy.
I received the first draft about 2 weeks ago and spent more time to improve the “final version”. I ordered it a week ago and am expecting to receive it any day now.
I can tell you that it felt good when I received the first draft copy. Even thought it wasn’t perfect, the feeling of holding my own book in my hands was awesome. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a writer. This dream was quickly put on the shelf since there was no way for me to make money as a writer (especially considering that I’m French!). I’m still not living off of my writing skills but I’m definitely making money out of it and this is awesome!
It will be right in time to send an email and launch the paper version before Xmas. I expect to be able to do it by the end of the weekend and start selling the paper version over the weekend. It takes up to 48 hours before the paper version is linked to the Kindle one on Amazon. Therefore, I must put it for sale on Friday to make sure to sell some copies over the weekend!
For my next book (yes I have other projects for 2013!) you can be sure that I’ll pay only for editing and the cover page. I’ll definitely do the formatting on my own and save a lot of money!
The most important project I’m working on right now is my evil plan to start the year with a boom. After suffering from a few busts, I need a big hit to put me back into the game. I’m driven by nature but results are driving my motivation. Each time I fail at something, my motivation automatically drops over the following weeks. I’m about to get out of that rut and it will be done in January.
Once I’m done with that, I’ll be focusing on two things in January: my niche websites and my authority site. Those will be the key to crush 2013!
I’m talking about a traffic drop but I made a 17% increase in my Adsense earnings, how is this possible? I have two words for it: Daily Crux. Here’s a funny story; about a month and a half ago, I’ve received an email from an Editor of a big personal finance Canadian website that is linked with a media company (including some important newspaper). He heard about my book and wanted me to write a guest post on his site that would allow me to do some promotion while providing him with good content about dividend investing.
I wrote a first piece that was declined by the editor. He gave me his comments and thoughts and I went back on the drawing board to write something else. It turned out that my two articles were turned down and I lost the opportunity to talk about my book on this big website. Since both articles were good quality, I’ve decided to publish them on my own network. It turned out that the article that wasn’t written “with a clear direction and was just a bundle of information taken here and there” was good enough to be featured on the Daily Crux and drove over 5,000 visitors in a single day on my site. This is how I’ve made my biggest Adsense day ever with $532.26! So if you take off that day from my month, I’m back to the same level of earnings. My new “normal month” should be around $2,700 to $2,800 but I will still cash the check at the end of December ;-).
Now it’s your turn, tell me, what have you done recently on your sites to make them better?
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