September 10, 2012

Hey there…time for another of our Income and Traffic Reports for August, 2012.

We publish these income reports each month for three reasons:

  • To Inspire Others – It’s not easy, but making a decent amount of income online is achievable.  We’ll break down our income and our projects each month for your review.
  • To Hold Ourselves Accountable – I’ve gone back through (and been called out on) previous income reports looking at what we were working on, how projects were progressing, etc.  It’s sometimes embarrassing, but awfully helpful to be able to look back at where we were at and how we’ve progressed.
  •  To Elicit Feedback – Some of our best ideas and implemented changes have come from conversations with readers, podcast listeners, etc.  It really is true that the AdSense Flippers community has been a large part of our success.

We’ll share both the good and the bad along the way and give you a sneak peek and some of our up-and-coming projects as we plan them out.  We’ll go over some of them now but, for those that can’t wait, we brought in a total of $16,686.30 for the month.

Ongoing Projects

August turned out to be a middle-of-the-road month for us in terms of earnings, but we were able to accomplish quite a bit when it comes to some of our longer-term projects we’ve been working on.  Here’s some details regarding what we’ve been up to.

Niche Site CRM Project

We’ve mentioned it before, but we’ve been working on getting all of our niche site data into a CRM with the help of our remote Intern, Ryan.  He’s been tremendously helpful in helping us prepare the migration of a TON of data from multiple Google docs into a more-reasonable CRM solution.  We decided to go the cheaper route with vTiger instead of a more robust solution like SalesForce.  Originally, we seriously considered building out our own CRM, but in the end we decided our efforts were better suited elsewhere.  We should have all of our data fully migrated sometime in September.

Looking back, I still think it was the best move to get started with a Google Doc.  It’s quick, cheap, easy, and avoids the complexity that can suck up your time on “setting things up” rather than getting things done.  Still…we’ve hit the max on what we can do with multiple Google Docs, spreadsheets, etc.  Our main goal here is to protect and organize the data, but there are some pretty cool advantages we can chase down in the future having all of our data in one place.  We can setup efficiency reports, look for trends in keyword research and niche selection, track profitable sites better, use API’s to collect even more data, etc.

IntelliTheme Project

We spent most of August preparing for our private beta release on IntelliTheme.  We reached out to those we thought could best provide us feedback and help improve the theme for a future, public release.  Ultimately, the better we make the theme the more money we can ALL make using it!  Here are a few of the points we’ve realized in getting the beta up and running:

  • Need A Better Defined Sales Message – I think we’ve been a bit unclear about what we’d like the theme to do.  This is NOT an ultra-customizable, all-in-one theme.  The idea is to offer less options and to have the theme act as an optimization tool for niche sites.
  • Balancing Quality Feature Requests With Our Vision – It can be difficult when you get feature requests that are legitimate and useful, but don’t match the overall goals or vision for the project.  This becomes even more difficult when these requests come from multiple testers.  Deciding whether to implement certain features that might cause friction with the end-goal or whether to pivot the product to something else entirely brings up some hard choices to make!
  • Not All Assumptions Are Wrong (But The Ones That Are Might Surprise You) – Our initial thought was that, upon first installing and testing the theme, most sites would earn less until they were fully optimized 30-60 days later…but that’s not the case in all instances.  We were basing this off our experiences not realizing some niche sites would have previously been on poor performing themes.  Interesting…

We’ve made a commitment to IntelliTheme now and are fully-in on this project.  We’re expecting to continue to expand the theme as we grow and expand.  (Into expanded niche sites, authority sites, and possibly even product/travel sites!)

AdSense Flippers Redesign

We’ve completely outgrown our WooThemes layout and have started down the path towards a complete overhaul on the site.  Our first step was to contact one of our readers, Andy Hayes, to talk to him about some of the conversion aspects on the site.  Once we’ve finished up with feedback from him, the plan is to put a public project on 99Designs and to elicit some submissions from everyone we can to help us get this up and running!

Since we’re basically starting from scratch, I’m quickly realizing that there’s going to be a ton of additional content needed to get the site where I want it to be.  Fun stuff!  We’ll have more on this in the coming weeks…

Traffic To AdSenseFlippers

AdSense Flippers Analytics August 2012

Our traffic was down a bit in August, coming in at 19,834 visits for the month.  We were a bit light on content in August, only putting out three blog posts and two podcast episodes.  This should change a bit in the coming months and many of our projects we’ve been working on come to fruition.  Here are the top content pages, in order of pageviews:

Podcast Statistics

AF Podcast Downloads August 2012

We only put out two new podcasts in August, but our downloads improved to 11,856 for the month of August.  We changed the format for the podcast for the last few episodes, focusing more on business strategy than actually building niche AdSense sites.  Even though our tightly topical podcasts tend to get more downloads, we’re hoping our podcast can appeal to a broader audience if we reach beyond niche site creation.  Plus…discussing business plans and strategies is much more fun and engaging for us than talking about the creation of ad units! :-)

AdSense Earnings

AdSense Earnings August 2012

Even after selling quite a few sites, we saw a bump in AdSense earnings up to $3,983.59. (from $3,493.16 last month)  Our top earning day for the month was August 27th at $160.07 and our worst day was August 31st at $88.67.  Our guess is this will continue to improve in the coming weeks and months as many of the sites we would usually sell are locked up for IntelliTheme testing and for other projects we’re working on.

Flippa Sales

We didn’t put out any new Flippa auctions in August, but we are planning to add another auction or two in late September.  The problem is that collecting and presenting the data for the Flippa auctions is a TON of work…work that has required direct involvement from Joe and I.  John brought up the point that since you can now add users to an AdSense account we should probably train a few agents to collect all of this data for us.  The plan is to get a couple of agents trained up on this so that it becomes less hassle and we can start pushing out auctions like clockwork each month.

Private Sales

August has been pretty middle-of-the-road when it comes to private site sales.  We sold a total of $10,797.40 of sites privately.  Unlike previous months, most of these sales were for much lower dollar amounts ($250 – $500 each) which requires the same amount of work as some of higher value sites.  The good news is that we’re able to serve and provide for a larger market, but the bad news is that this equals a lower ROI and a lower per-hour rate for the work we put in.

Our plan over the next 6-12 months will be to “level-up” on our site creation process.  We’ll continue to sell niche sites, but as we move in on the authority site market we’ll be able to serve a different level of buyers and gain some market share there too.  We’ll take it slow, though…just because we’re successful at creating niche sites that earn doesn’t necessarily translate to success at creating or expanding larger content sites.

We’re expecting a much slower month in September for private site sales.  We’ve had a few people contact us privately looking to purchase some sites, but we won’t be actively promoting site sales this month as we’d rather focus on some internal projects, the private IntelliTheme beta, etc.

Niche Site Gold

We’ve broken 900 NSG subscribers in August and were able to bring in $450 from domain sales in August.  (Down $100 from the previous month)  Even though this is (admittedly) a low-value project for us in terms of earnings, I’m happy to continue moving this forward as I think it provides real value to those looking for help with keyword research and struggling to evaluate the first page competition.

Affiliate Sales

We had another decent month with affiliate income, pulling in $1,455.31.  Our Resources Page is pretty popular and gets quite a bit of traffic, so I was thinking about expanding it to include reviews of all the tools that we use and linking to them from the page.  While I’m not interested in chasing down all of the latest products that are being marketed, I do think we could do a better job at promoting the tools that we actually use to run our business.

I’m not sure how long this will last, but Spencer’s currently trialing a 10 day free trial of Long Tail Pro.  We’ve worked out a deal with him where AdSense Flippers readers can try it for free for ten days and, at the end of the trial, still have the option of purchasing the software with a $20 discount!  Click here for the free trial today or you can also check out our Long Tail Pro Review if you’d like more information.

Summary

Sites Created: 182 (179 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $3,983.59 ($3,493.14 last month)
Flippa Sales: $0.00 ($2,000.00 last month)
Private Sales: $10,797.40 ($15,978.20 last month)
Niche Site Gold: $450.00 ($550.00 last month)
Total Affiliate Sales: $1,455.31 ($1,250.78 last month)

Total Income: $16,686.30 ($23,272.12 last month)

Thanks for continuing to support us here at AdSense Flippers!  Want to check in with us?  You can sign up for email updates, check us out on Facebook, or say Hi on Twitter!  How was your August?  Feel free to drop a comment below!



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Discussion

Leave a comment
  1. Jon Haver says:

    Justin, interesting to hear you guys are looking to move up the value chain and start making higher value sites. What kind of changes are you going to be making to your process? Holding the sites longer…more content…building an email list…back-linking changes?

    Looking forward to hearing more about those changes.

    Jon

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Jon,

      We’re looking at gradual change rather than large changes all at once. The first step will be testing through “expanded” niche sites. We can then take those winners and see what happens when we convert to authority sites.

      Buyers in the $300 – $2,000 range tend to be different than those in the $5,000 – $20,000 range and we’d like to be welcoming to both of those groups! :-)

  2. Hi

    Very cool the calculator get so many view i remember when that was beta testing..

    Great to see you spreading out into related areas (intellitheme and niche site gold) And the NSG reader is awesome.

    And the smart passive income (affiliate sales) is good as well :-)

    Intellitheme – beta testers – My observation which might suprise you! is you face the same dilemma that 37signals had. Maintaining their vision over user demand for features (bloat ware).

    Your right to challenge the user demands and maintain your vision. mostly.

    Have a great septmeber.

  3. Reggie says:

    What were the expenses?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Reggie,

      We should have a cost/expense post out this month that goes into detail. The short answer is around 7K or so for the month…

  4. Miki Vicioso says:

    Another great month guys! I wonder how are you guys managing all your contractors to create so many sites.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks!

      Our process is run by our in-house staff. We live and have an office/company in the Philippines which makes it much easier. Much of the content is outsourced to contractors, though. Our employees manage those relationships directly.

      We use quite a few tools including ManageWP, Whoosh Traffic, etc. to manage, run, and report on our sites. You can find out what we’re using on our resources page:

      http://adsenseflippers.com/resources/

  5. Mark Sojka - MarkSEO.net says:

    Another great month I see :) I like your income reports but there is one thing missing in them – expenses. You could just write a total sum of expenses. For example, last month you created 182 new sites and I know they ain’t free to build :)

    Also another question – how many niche websites do you have now? :D

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Mark,

      Nah…our team loves us so much they build them for free, out of the goodness in their hearts! :-) Just kidding…I’m planning on writing a cost/expense post this month that should cover everything. We’ve avoided it in the past as we didn’t want to get into the agent costs, but I think we can work it out. Right now, our costs are $35-$40 ish per site.

      We have around 2,000 sites right now, I believe. We’ve sold quite a few, let some domains expire if they were losers, etc.

      • Mark Sojka - MarkSEO.net says:

        WoW! They must really love you guys :)
        2,000 sites is a lot of websites to manage I must say.

        Looking forward for your posts about authority websites. I must say that adding a 2-3 bigger websites (or more if you can handle them) would be a good idea to add to niche websites portfolio. The good thing is that they can be sold for a lot more money than niche websites :)

  6. This is another solid month for you guys, congratulations. I agree with the Flippa comments. It’s actually so DAUNTING to even list a site, and with transaction fees starting at ~$30 or whatever… it hardly seems worth it for smaller sites. I would like to encourage you guys to consider being a Flippa alternative as part of your business model. (I’ve already thought that your primary domain actually sounds like you are a website/domain marketplace!) I know the trust/authority of selling your own sites is hard enough, but maybe it’s possible to facilitate 3rd party sales here as well, after some well-crafted vetting process. You have traffic, buyers, and a mailing list – it could be like a web and domain consignment shop, where you’ve inspected the merchandise that gets listed! And yes, it’s a lot of work to make money online, still not where I want to be, but I appreciate the ideas, thoughts, info, and inspiration from you guys. All best to you and your team.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks!

      Yes, we’ve seriously considered a marketplace for niche AdSense sites. It’s not something we’re actively working on right now, but it might be something we come back to at some point. Best to you!

  7. Ray says:

    Good job guys! You guys should do a post on your process of selling your sites privately with all the details like how to backup/download all the WordPress files, push domains, before/after sell support etc

  8. Nice one guys! good luck with the site redesign that will be a big job took us a while to get remoteworkmate where were wanted it just because its such a big site. Looking forward to see what you get from 99designs

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Matt!

      Yeah, it’s fun working on creative projects as well…and we’re big fans of crowdsourcing creative…should be interesting! Will be cool to see if any AF readers/listeners have some design chops and can help us out, hehe.

  9. Nice work as always, gentlemen. Your Adsense results are amazing considering all the sites you’ve sold. Hats off to you.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Mike! We should be a bit quieter with sales this month…at least for the next week or two. We’ll probably offer more sites again towards the end of the month along with a Flippa auction or two…

  10. Andy Hayes says:

    Nice job this month! Thanks for the shout out… Now back to my report. :)

    • JustinWCooke says:

      No problem, Andy! We’ll be doing some write-ups about the changes in the future…just wanted to mention you to put the pressure on! :-) Just kidding…looking forward to the feedback.

  11. Hey guys, I’m happy for you :) Keep up the great work! Also, thanks for letting us know about the Long Tail Pro trial, I’ve been wanting to test this software for a long time now! I’m having the same slowness issues with Market Samurai, although I have to admit their support is freakin’ awesome. The tool itself is not to shabby too!
    Good luck with your CRM solution :)

    • JustinWCooke says:

      No problem, Chris!

      Being completely honest, Market Samurai looks and feels like it was created by real software guys. It’s much more polished, aggressive in its capabilities, etc. There’s a reason it’s long been the #1 KW research tool.

      That being said, we simply found that for our process, LTP was more effective at finding us the keywords and niches we need.

  12. Hey guys. I’m very interest to see how this redesign thing turns out. I’ve thought about changing the layout of our blog at one time, but then I reconsidered when I saw how much work it was gonna be, haha!

    I heard you guys are adopting a strategy that doesn’t require any backlinking to rank your niche sites. Is this true? I know that with our sites we’ve been able to achieve rankings without building any links a handful of times, but we don’t have a way of doing that consistently.

    Anyway, congratulation on having another great earning month! Might not be as great as last month, but anything over 5 figures is always good in my opinion :)

    • We have not built any links since March of 2012. We seeing ok results with just using on site SEO. At this point we consider upside for the buyer and just too risky to approach lightly. However we are working on a new process to build links safely. More on that to come…

      • That’s great that you’re able to accomplish that. I’ve been currently working on building an amazon authority site and have been able to get some rankings with on page seo alone. However, for the MNS, I would probably say that 1 in 5 may hit the top ten for us without backlinking.

        • JustinWCooke says:

          We’re working on fairly comprehensive linkbuilding test. Ultimately…we want to know whether spending $X in linkbuilding with our process gives a positive ROI. If not, we won’t build any links at all, right? The best way to do that is to start with nothing and then test through different strategies. That that turn out to be “worth it” we’ll stick with and dump the rest.

  13. barry says:

    Hi guys, im new to adsense and was wondering if I could put the adsense code right after I index my sight. Also, whats size ads work best with thne ctr thene? Thakyou

  14. whatswithjeff says:

    Hi Justin!
    I’m also from davao here! Very nice report.
    I just want to ask something, is the income derived from the adsense came from 1 site only or tons of sites?
    And how much traffic do you need to earn $100+ a day?
    Can it be done in just 2-3 months?
    I hope to hear from you soon!

  15. Brandon says:

    So basically getting into adsense niche site building is a wadte of time. U guys are only making 3kit after uve done all those sites and all the work! I dont know if im gna do it anymore…

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Brandon,

      I don’t know, man…that’s one way you could view it, I guess. It can definitely be a grind…lots of work for little reward at times.

      I’m not trying to convince you to build niche sites like us. If you ARE looking to build web properties, I’d say our method is a GREAT way to get started, though.

      See you at the top?

    • We’ve made a lot more than $3k. It’s $3k a month, plus all the sites sales. Go back through our income reports and add that up. It’s a lot.

  16. JamesInJapan says:

    Hey Justin and Joe. Nice month’s earnings-congrats. I know selling sites is a huge part of your revenue, and was wondering if you could clarify how many sites are used to calculate the Adsense earnings, for the specific month. $4000 a month in Adsense is obviously good, but depending on if it’s from 4000 websites or from 500 websites, it’s obviously different. Could you clarify? Thanks!

    James in Japan

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey James,

      It’s the “bad” or worst-case scenario…$4K comes from ALL the 2K sites we own.

      This has continued to get worse and worse as well sell off our top earning sites. We’re “collecting” quite a few of the $0.00 – $2.00 per month sites down there at the bottom of the food chain.

  17. [...] Dollar) vorgenommen.adsenseflippers.com = 16.686,30 Dollar Etwas gesunken sind die Einnahmen von adsenseflippers.com.Das lag vor allem daran, dass weniger AdSense-Nischenseiten verkauft wurden:Google AdSense = [...]

  18. Manivasagam says:

    do you earn that much from adsense from Single niche sites ?

    i’m from India , my blog gets upto 2lakhs pageviews a month but earnings are only $60 – 80 ,

  19. Christopher Rice says:

    Hi Guys

    I told one of my friends about your projects and I suggested that he setup an appointment with you two (if that’s possible). He has a wealth of knowledge and he’s managed to grow a huge audience over the course of a single year.

    http://www.facebook.com/AtheistRepublic
    http://www.facebook.com/GodorNoGod

    He is set on creating high quality websites with authority and he may be interested in hiring a team here in Davao City. He will be here for a week but he’ll come back every 2 to 4 months to visit friends and family.

    I read about your consulting services a while back but I was wondering if you’d be interested in meeting him.

    Thanks for the works. I haven’t visited your website in a while but I’ve recommended it to a number of people.

    - Chris

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