December 15, 2011
We’ve had another killer month in November and now we’re (way) overdue for another income report! I’m really excited about what we were able to accomplish in November regarding our short-term projects, but some of our long-term projects became delayed, hit roadblocks, etc. I’ll get into what’s been going on, what we’re working on, and then right into the numbers. If you just can’t wait to hear how we did, our total for November, 2011 was $20,819.15. Not too bad, eh?
I’ve mentioned that our plan is to maintain a successful model and build around the brand, but haven’t really gone into specifics about what it is we’re planning to do. Part of that stems from the fact that I don’t want to be creating a ton of competition for ourselves, but it’s also because I wasn’t exactly sure which projects we’d be focusing on and devoting the most time to. Over the last few weeks we’ve been able to come up with an approach to our projects that, I think, will allow us to mention some of the things we’re working on as they’ve become more realistic and prioritized.
I’ll also mention that Joe and I took a trip to Singapore and Bali at the end of November and beginning of December. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Derek Sivers and we were lucky enough to meet him and hang out for a few hours while in Singapore. We found him extremely intellegent, soft-spoken, and amazingly open about what he’s doing, where he’s going, etc. In Bali we were able to hang out and network with Ian and Dan from the LifestyleBusinessPodcast and TropicalMBA and and a host of others they network with including Cody McKibben from Thrilling Heroics for some great fun in the sun. These meetings prompted some pretty interesting thoughts and discussions which we’ll be discussing in our next podcast episode.
We’ve spent 4K to get the BuyOurSites page where we want it to be and it’s slowly starting to take shape. Our developer’s currently working on the AdSense API and we’re really hoping to have that in place shortly, but some of the other things we’ll have for this include:
We desperately need to get some decent sales copy up for this as well, including a FAQ to help head off any of the simple questions we currently get emails about.
We had a great idea for an AdSense plugin that would help save us a tremendous amount of time. As it stands, you’re not able to share bits of information in your AdSense account with others without sharing everything you have. Our plan is to build a plugin that allows the data from AdSense to be reported back into the plugin so that you can review, site by site, the available information. This would be incredibly helpful when it comes to having someone looking at the numbers and working on improving the sites individually, as well as allowing our agents to have access to that information. We also thought it would be useful to us and others to “dumb down” the creation of Ad Units and channels in the theme and automatically push that information to your AdSense account.
We looked around and couldn’t find anything exactly like it so we thought we’d build our own. Unfortunately, all of the features/functionality can’t be implemented due to AdSense API restrictions so it’s going to be extremely limited. At this point, we’re planning to get it developed and release it for free with WordPress.org. The idea will be to use it ourselves as it helps us and our particular needs and, hopefully, it will earn us some good will from others that can take the idea and build on it.
We had (what I think were) some amazing ideas regarding a WP theme we were planning to build. Unfortunately, all of the features/functionality we’re looking to build simply can’t be done and so we’ve had to scale back the project a bit. Still, we’ve been less than happy with the some of the features in the current options out there like CTRTheme and ProSense and think we have some intimate knowledge and experience with these types of sites that would greatly improve on what’s been done previously. I’m a bit vague with this one regarding the details, but I can tell you that if we can get even part of what we’d like to do done with this project we’ll be REALLY excited about what it can do for our business.
We’re partnering with our new friend Spencer from Niche Pursuits on a charity project that we’re hoping can do a lot of good. While this is a project that’s near and dear to my heart, I’ve kept putting it off as I know it’s going to be quite a bit of work. We’ve finally started to move on this and we’re hoping to get launched and get it off the ground early in the New Year and I’m excited because I know it has a chance to make a real difference.
Speaking of making a difference, I’m extremely excited about the AdSense Flippers Intern Position as it has the chance to change someone’s life dramatically. We’re taking someone out of their country, having them fly out to the Philippines and setting them up with a live/work situation that will (hopefully) allow them to step into the live/work anywhere lifestyle and work with us directly on our projects and build their own business. This is a risky move by us, but after meeting some of the previous TropicalMBA alumni, we just knew we had to jump on it. We believe this model is game changing and we’re excited to expand the idea and concept outside of the TropicalMBA.
Alright…now on to the income details!
With such few sales last month (October) we did see an increase to $3,813.02 in AdSense revenue this month, but if you look at the chart the income held pretty steady overall.
Our best day last month was at $155.60 and our worst day was $80.34…the only day under $100. With all of the site sales we had going on this month it was nice to see the income remain relatively consistent, although I can say we saw a slight drop-off in early December.
We did open up another Flippa auction for AdSense Flippers this month that ended up selling at the BuyItNow for $2,770.00. They’ve been making some changes over at Flippa recently. We used to send out a “welcome message” to any bidder on our auctions that just went over who we are, gave more detailed information about us and what they’re getting, etc. We thought it was a great way to build trust and to encourage more bids from the bidder, but Flippa has removed the option to message bidders now…ugh. While I agree there area a ton of people sending spam via their messaging system, it’s still a useful tool and it feels a bit like they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater here.
We were able to do extremely well here this month with $12,701.56 in private sales revenue. The below screenshot doesn’t include all sales, but I’m including to give you an idea as to the frequency and volume we were selling at this month.
Because the AdSense API wasn’t set up, we ended up selling a few sites for LESS than they would have gone because their income had continued to increase. Rather than applying that additional expense to the buyer, we thought it best to let the buyers realize the additional value. This should be fixed in December and ready to go by January. We’ve held off on adding more sites to the page as we continue to build our stock and allowing our developer to get the API implemented. As soon as this is done we’ll send out an email letting you know we’ve added the new sites so you can check them out.
We really killed it with LongTailPro this month, bringing in $1,134.86 on its own. We’ve been using the tool without any problems and we’re pretty happy with how it’s working out, overall. We’ve had some recent questions as to how it compares to SECockpit. There’s a heavier monthly fee associated with the latter, but I’m assuming/hoping it makes up for it in richness? Do any of you have experience with both tools you’d like to share?
This was a GREAT month for us heading in to what we expect to be a pretty slow month for site sales. We’re taking December to really focus on building out some of the projects mentioned above. We’re planning to have a 1-2 day “retreat” sometime in December where we can go away for a short while, getting away from the noise so that we can review what we’ve done for the year and lay out our goals for 2012. We’ll be sure to share everything we come up with during that time and let you in on our gameplan for the new year.
Sites Created: 136 (85 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $3,813.02 ($2,862.50 last month)
Flippa Sales: $2,770.00 ($0.00 last month)
Private Sales: $12,701.56 ($6,195.68 last month)
Total Affiliate Sales: $1,534.57 ($552.58 last month)
Total: $20,819.15 ($9,610.76 last month)