October 10, 2011, 5:00 am

September Blog Income Report How Laziness Prevents You From Breaking Records

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blog Income Report
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Yeah, I just gave up my teaser right away… I had an awesome month… but I’ll ask you to read the full post to see how it really went 😉 Let’s just say that I’m pretty happy about the outcome!

 

Network Monthly Traffic: 200,993 (-1.8%) visitors and 269,719 (-2.5%) pages viewed

My whole network traffic was quite stable this month as compared to the month of August. The only disappointment is that I should have seen an increase in September as vacations are over. I’ve taken a careful look at each of our sites and I can’t say what went wrong in September.

 

On the other hand, most of our sites talk about investing at different levels (dividend stocks with The Dividend Guy Blog and What is a Dividend, techno stocks and dividends with Intelligent Speculator and a niche site about covered call etfs. Since the stock market has tanked since April, I guess people are not too keen on investing right now. That’s sad as this is definitely the time to invest. If you are not convinced, I suggest you read 6 reasons to panic but 1 reason to invest.

 

Adsense Income: $1,678.23 (+9.7%)

 

As I mentioned in my previous blog income report, I was going to make a few attempts to improve Adsense. All I did is change the color and add image options here and there and this is how I got an increase of almost 10%. My biggest adsense income earners are:

Experiments in Finance

The Dividend Guy Blog

Intelligent Speculator

 

As you can see, investment topics pay pretty well when it comes down to adsense. At the beginning, we tried some more general personal finance or pay off debt articles on some sites and it didn’t work well in terms of adsense. Even if the click through rate is the same, advertisers pay less on budgeting or frugal topics vs investing (and credit cards ;-0 ).

 

One of our most recent projects; The Dividend Growth Index should do well in adsense. This project is over @ The Dividend Guy Blog and I have gathered 8 dividend bloggers to pick 3 stocks each that we will cover and follow quarterly. I think that if you are looking into dividend investing, this is the first article you should read to start your research on stock picking!

 

Affiliate Programs and Brokerage deals: $1,833,82 (+0%)

Pretty stable month, I’m very happy about that. Since my eBook about Escaping The Rat Race falls into the product category, I’ve decided to include it in the affiliate programs and brokerage deals section. I’ll write more about it in another post but sales didn’t go as I expected.

 

One main disadvantage of being transparent is telling the truth… even when the truth sucks! We sold about 22 copies in one month which is a disaster in my opinion. After the first week, I immediately went back to the drawing board to see what didn’t work and there is a ton of things. The good news is that I am convinced that the book is good, it was just not marketed well! (that’s pretty awkward for a guy who has a bachelor’s degree in marketing-finance!).

 

Besides that, my first (free) ebook about Dividend Investing recently reached 12,000 downloads and it is generating direct and indirect affiliate income of about $200 last month. In total, I’d say that writing this ebook had generated around $1,300 to $1,500 in commissions so far.

 

Private Advertising: $8,325.59 (+86%)

Whoa! This is where my bread and butter lives! Back in September, after seeing my main VA going on maternity leave in August, I decided to concentrate on my private advertising business. This has generated some massive deals.

 

The key with private advertising is to be able to offer a wide variety of sites with quality content. I have a huge network with all my sites and each time an advertiser contacts me, I offer him package deals throughout all these sites. I’m currently building a series on how to sign advertisers, build a media kit, as well as negotiating and following-up with your private ads. This should  come shortly but in the meantime, send me your questions so I can build a complete series!

 

Niche website revenues: $621.94 (+504%)

 

This is another area that I am pretty proud of! While Adsense income is getting more and more stable (roughly $100 per month across all my sites), I was able to sell some private ads on some sites. I will go pretty slow on private advertising on my niche sites as this is not the purpose, but in the meantime, a few more bucks won’t hurt either ;-D.

 

For the record, most of my niche websites took less than 20 hours of work to be completed. Therefore, if you are thinking of creating one, you can follow this guide line:

 

#1 An hour to write an outline. This include:

– The keywords you are looking for (read how to use Market Samurai if you have any questions)

– What is going to be shown on the homepage (description, design, layout + logos)

– Ad placement (Adsense, text links, affiliate programs, etc.)

– Which categories you want to develop

– The name of each article to be written (including the title with one of your targeted keywords along with possible links to other articles to reinforce internal backlinks)

 

#2 An hour to outsource part of the work:

– I usually outsource the logos (go see Peter at Logos for Website)

– I sometimes pay for a few articles as well (usually, you can get decent articles for $20-$25 per article)

– My partner does the techno part of it (installing wordpress, plugins, etc.). We tend to maintain a similar process for all our sites so it’s not too hard for him to “run the routine”.

 

#3 Thirteen hours of writing:

– With all your categories, article titles and targeted keywords defined already, this should be enough to write about 20 articles.

– If you are willing to drop $300-$400 for articles, you’ll get a total of about 35 articles total (outsourced work + your own).

– This only includes writing and editing. No posting, linking or adding images.

 

#4 Five hours of publishing:

In my opinion, it is very important to take your time to publish your articles, add pictures (and complete the alt text to describe it!), link back to other articles and optimize your keywords (without keyword stuffing).

 

As you can see, with about $500 (including logos, staff writers and other outsourcing tasks), you can build a niche website within a month. Now, how much will it generate after that? That’s the tricky question. If you don’t do anything, chances are that you will reap about $10-$15 per month from the site. Therefore, it comes down to a 24% dividend yield ($120/$500) from your investment. It’s not that impressive but that’s only the beginning ;-).

 

I’ll cover more in my next newsletter 😉 make sure to subscribe! (the box in the top right 😉 )

 

So now’s the time to see how much I made in September!

 

Total monthly income for September: $11,837.64 (+51%)

Yup! That’s it! Almost 12K!

But there is a slight problem with that number… it’s the second best month of the year but I should have been much higher. Why?

 

Because I’m lazy!

 

I have more than $700 in cheques in my pocket (which I received over the past 3 weeks) but I was “too busy” to deposit them! Therefore, technically, September should be my biggest month with at least $12,537…. Oh well, they will be deposited in October ;-D

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Comments

Nice job man and big bucks! Makes sense regarding investing and credit card niches making more for Adsense. No wonder why some sites have so many credit card review posts!

How were the expenses this month so we can look at the net profit figure?

thx

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (8:00 am)

Expenses are pretty stable (around 3.5K) as we didn’t have any expenses related to specific projects. However, I need to add 1,3K in plane ticket for the Financial Blogger Conference 😉

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my VA is on maternity leaves but she was paid to work on new projects. Therefore, we can make as much as we do while her previous work is still generating income. This is how we are able to cut our cost from 6K to 3.5K and still make over 8K/month in income 😉

Be careful in analyzing my expenses, my VA is not making 2.5K/month.there is a part of this budget allocated to other projects (design, buying a websites, promotion, software, etc). I just didn’t happen to spend on those this month.

K, so the amortized expenses for Sept is 3.5K or 3.5K + 1.3K = 4.8K?

It’s important to provide the expense side of the equation because some people who want to try to give it a go might want to replicate.

But, I do understand that just providing the revenue side of the figure is more eye-catching too.

Thx

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (8:14 am)

lol! it’s not a question of eye-catching, it’s a question that I don’t do my bookeeping!

Expense is 4.8K considering the plane ticket.

Even then, the real tricky point is that nobody ever provide is how many hours they work on their company during the month. I get your point about the cost as if I spend 10K to earn 12K, it’s not really worth it. However, it you spend 1K to make 12K but you work 80 hours per week… you not a big winner either!

I personally work 10 hours (or less) per week and my partner does the same . Therefore, for a net profit of 7K, we have worked 80 hours combined together. This equals to $87.50/hour. I guess this gives you more info on how we run our business 😉

Good points on time as an expense. That’s a big one, especially if one’s time is very valuable.

And you bring up a good point too on your partner. So is it therefore $7,000 net profit divided 50/50 for $3,500 each?

I’m surprised nobody else inquires about expenses. Are they really not that important in most people’s minds? I run a couple business too, in addition to some rental properties and I am a hawk-eye on expenses and capital expenditure.

BTW, can’t the cost of time worked be captured by the salary the company pays you and your partner every month? That’s what we do with an S-Corp in the US.

What exactly are your expenses? Can you give us a little more detail? It sounds like you’re making roughly $.05 per viewer to your site…do you think there is any way you could increase that? I’m relatively new to this whole thing and don’t have any real ambition of earning $$$ from my blog, I’m just really curious about anyone who figures out how to make money without being employed with a salary ;).

This post reminded me of my mom how she used to bug me about laziness. She often says that laziness is the #1 hindrance to succeed. Nobody succeeds by sitting in the front lawn all day and expecting that paycheck today will be higher than yesterday.

BTW, yours showed good numbers.

Being too busy to deposit checks is a good problem to have lol! It’s always interesting to compare building websites to other investment vehicles. Who would have thought that a website would be a better investment than the stock market?

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (11:54 am)

@Financial Samurai,
The thing is that we don’t pay ourselves income or dividend as we reinvest all our profit. So this is why we don’t mind too much about the cost of our operation at the moment. When we make more money, the profit will eventually be used into a new expenses. This is why we don’t make that much right now (mind you, 10 hours a week for $3,500 each is pretty good).

I would be more conscious about my cost if I was to show my financial statement in order to get venture capital. But right now, I’m happy to spend every single penny I make into another project. As long as my gross income grow and my expenses are stable (which they are for the past 12 months), I’m happy!

@Mom Equity,
You can see a detailed post about my cost here:
http://www.thefinancialblogger.com/costs-of-running-my-online-business/

I guess that I’m not making much per visitor but since the visitor is not necessarily my client (as 99% of our visitors do not purchase anything from us), I don’t look at that ratio at the moment.

@Cherleen,
Laziness is my biggest flaw indeed! it always prevent me from doing great things!

@MD,
This is the reason why beside my RRSP (pension plan), I don’t invest in the stock market; there is too much money to be made online!

Thanks! It’s always interesting to see those numbers. It sounds like you don’t have another job, but you indicated you’re reinvesting all your profits? How do you eat?

My goal is passive income – with your model the more you outsource it seems that theoretically the more passive the income becomes. Good luck I’ll be interested to see how things go!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (12:49 pm)

@Mom Equity,
No I just work 10 hours per week max on my sites.I do have a “day job” that pays for my bills.

my goal is to work as less as possible and to make as much as possible with my site. this is why I outsource so many things.

you’re welcome to send me any questions on this blog or via email (thefinancialblogger at gmail dot com)

cheers,

Mike

I continue to be impressed each and every time I read your reports. Keep up the solid work. Too lazy to deposit the checks, now that is hilarious!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (2:56 pm)

@Cashflowmantra,

thx man! yeah I know…. I’m pretty bad huh? this is what happens when you open your bank account in a branch that is not close to your house 😉

You’re killing it! I wish I got to meet you at FINCON. Definitely bookmarking this post so I can stop being lazy and work on my niche sites!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2011 (6:45 pm)

Hey Briana,
if you follow those quick guidelines, you’ll be able to setup niche websites in no times and starts making some income out of it ;-D

Impressive revenue numbers! I’m actually surprised your adsense numbers are as low as they are, though. Have you done much optimization at all?

by: The Financial Blogger | October 11th, 2011 (3:47 am)

@Kyle,
I did but some websites we run are just very bad with Adsense…. Before the Panda, I use to make 3K per month with Adsense but all my “good pages” got deranked (probably because visitors were clicking on Adsense and therefore increasing my bounce rate and not staying on my site more than a few seconds…)

Great job this month! The adsense looks very nice as well. I’ve started 3 other niche sites that are actually starting to bring in some passive income. I was a little surprised to say the least. And I get my first check from adsense at the end of this month from my main blog so great things for Oct. already!

Another question. Would you ever consider taking on a few blogs to send a few of your advertisers their way? Even suggesting a Yakezie deal and taking a cut. You would see some good income from that also.

by: The Financial Blogger | October 11th, 2011 (11:20 am)

@FSYA,
Congrats on the Adsense check! this is the first one of a long series ;-D

It’s funny you are asking for that as I am preparing something on the side. I’ve received this request from a few fellow bloggers. I’ll be in touch 😉

Awesome work. You remain an inspiration to me!

Wow, amazing. An inspiration indeed!

Keep up the great work!

After 2 months on monetizing my blog, I’m finally getting my first cheque from Adsense!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 12th, 2011 (7:35 pm)

only 2 months? that’s pretty good! it took me 6 months before getting my first payment 😉 keep it up!

Impressive as always!!! I made slightly more but put in way more hours (like 50 a week), so you are making a much better hourly rate, lol. 🙂 Here is to both of us having record numbers to share for October!!!

Just so you know, your monthly income posting drove my to really amp up my own ad business, so thank you very much for being inspirational!

by: The Financial Blogger | November 1st, 2011 (3:42 am)

Hey Crystal!

You definitely earned each penny you made (and you made a tons of them 😉 ). Making money online is no different than making money in a real business; it’s pretty hard!

You have become my best “competitor” and this drives me to make sure I make more money month after month (I’m a competitive guy 😉 ). I hope you are up for another challenge in a few days 😉

I wish you the best!

Your numbers always impress me! Especially with the few hours that you put into your sites. I always complain about not having enough time to manage my sites, but seeing how you manage your time really helps.

I know that you now make enough to have a full time VA, and also to pay for articles; but how did you get started? Did you do all of the work yourself on your first site(s) and then reinvest the profits, or did you actually put up your own money? The same question goes for the sites which you purchased.

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