Income Report – April 2012

Justin Cooke Updated on February 29, 2020

Income Report - April 2012

Another month has gone by and it’s been a rough one for many of us in the Internet Marketing space.  Between having AdSense accounts banned and being forced to look at AdSense alternatives and Google’s Penguin update that has upended many of the search results, there have been a ton of things to look out for and be worried about.  It has many asking, “Are niche sites dead?” and we’ve had plenty of questions come in via email, Twitter, etc. wondering how our business is doing.  We’ll be covering these topics and more in this month’s income report.  To cut to the chase, we brought in $18,552.43 for the month of April, 2012.  For those looking for more detail…read on below!

Disabled AdSense Accounts

Some well-known bloggers ended up having their AdSense accounts disabled this last month and it has been a hot topic in many public and private forums.  Was it because they blogged about their income?  Was it because Google hates niches sites now?  Was it because they were using Webmaster tools?  Google Analytics?  Multiple AdSense accounts?

Plenty of people have speculated as to the reason for accounts being disabled in blog comments and forum posts, but we’ll really never know for sure and anyone who tells you they’re certain is most likely lying to you or just parroting what they’ve heard elsewhereGoogle is awfully vague when it comes to the reasons they’ve disabled your account so the best you can do is guess and most don’t have enough information to even do that properly.  We’ve speculated about it as well, but we want to be excrutiatingly clear…we really don’t (and can’t) know for sure.

One of the best write-ups on the subject we’d seen pointed to Google’s own annual income report for 2011. If you haven’t seen this before you should really take a look…we found the information in it fascinating.  They’ve mentioned potentially earning less from AdSense publishers as they cut more out due to quality issues and as more competition to AdSense continues to grow.

Google Penguin UpdatePenguin Update

On April 24th, Google rolled out what’s being called the “Penguin Update”.  (If you noticed or were affected by changes on April 19th, that was most likely related to an update regarding parked pages.  Google admitted to mistakenly targeting some non-parked pages and worked to correct the issue.)  While this update only impacted 3% of overall searches, our guess would be that it had a much heavier effect on sites owned by Internet Marketers and there’s been a ton of discussion about it.  I won’t rehash some of the great write-ups on Penguin (Please check here, here and here for more information about what it is, who was effected, etc.) but I will say the intent was to target spun or crappy content.  Both quality niche and authority sites were caught in the middle and (in many cases) severely impacted.

What did Penguin do to our business?  It’s a little early to say, but we definitely saw some erratic changes in both our rankings and our earnings.  Our income seemed have some odd metrics and less of a growth curve in the week following Panda and, in checking our daily ranking updates with Woosh Traffic, we’ve noticed some major drops AND gains on our niche sites.  I spent several hours pouring through our data but, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything I could point to that was statistically significant.

I know that’s not as helpful as I’d like to be here…all I can say is that sometimes the reasons readily present themselves and sometimes they don’t.  I figured it would be better to let you know that we’re not sure what we’re doing right or wrong right now, rather than pointing to what we “think” are positive or negative signs.


When Spencer’s AdSense account was disabled, most of the comments were extremely supportive and many of them pointed to the fact that he should have better diversified his business.  I remember thinking that was odd and that they’ve missed the point…he IS somewhat diversified.  He went on to write a post about that a few days later, but it got me thinking…we still have quite a bit further to go if we want to consider ourselves diversified on the AdSense Flippers side of things!  Spencer has established himself with LongTailPro and his other products, but we’re definitely working to catch up.

Even with the other tools, products, and services we’re working on…it still wouldn’t be terribly diversified.  They are all still closely related to or tied into monetizing websites and taking advantage of organic traffic!  And there’s the rub…

It’s easiest (and most logical) to monetize around that which you know the best and have the greatest reach, but the problem is that there is a relationship between the two and if your core business takes a hit, so might your additional revenue streams.  For example, if Corbett Barr from stopped blogging, it’s likely some of his products targeted towards bloggers might be less effective or not sell as well.  If Spencer stopped creating niche websites, it’s possible that his LongTailPro business would suffer.  (Either through quality of the product because he’s not using it as much or through association.)

The alternative is to diversify in areas that have no relationship to your core business.  We have a bit of that with our outsourcing company TryBPO, but should we expand that even further to include additional revenue streams?  It becomes difficult if you try to get started or involved in areas you’re completely unfamiliar with (i.e. Joe and I getting involved in a franchised restaurant opportunity!) but maybe you can still get started on things that require your current skillsets but are not as tied or related to your core business?  I really don’t have an answer to this and my concern would be that if you diversify too far you miss opportunities in your core business, can’t provide enough time to each of your revenue streams to fully flesh them out, etc.  If you have any thing to add to diversification, we’d be interested to hear your comments below!

“Building A Niche Site Empire”

We finally finished and released our niche site guide and have had some fantastic feedback from you!  We definitely spread the word…we first released in a free webinar, wrote a post releasing the guide, sent a download link to our email list, and created a WSOWe’ve had a total of 4,790+ downloads so far.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Webinar – 801
  • Dynamite Circle – 134
  • AdSenseFlippers blog post – 2,231
  • Our WSO – 625
  • Email to our list – 956
  • NicheSiteGold  28
  • Others – 15
  • Mirror Sites – Unknown (There are a TON of sites that wait for WSO’s to come out, download them, and then put them up for free through their own sites.  This didn’t bother us as ours was free, obviously, but how irritating for those that offer paid products…)

Our goal with the guide was to help expand our brand and I think we did do that, but many of the downloads were from our own readers/listeners and I worry that it was a bit of “preaching to the choir”, so to speak.  I’d say that it’s only our WSO and a small percentage of those on the webinar and our blog post that were newcomers to our brand.

If we did it over again would we do it differently?  Would we have had BETTER distribution if we charged for it?  In retrospect, I’m thinking that might have been a better idea.  If we were charging (for example) $47 for the guide and gave away 80% to affiliates they would have had the opportunity to promote to their audience to earn a full $37.60 per purchase!  That would have given a pretty decent incentive to promote and would have helped us expand our brand to (potentially) new audiences that have never come across us before.  Additionally, it would have allowed us to build up a network of affiliates for any future products or releases that would have been quite helpful.

We’re big fans of free, but definitely not against charging for it either, especially if it’s condensed, well-packaged, and truly useful.  Since the goal, ultimately, was to get the most distribution as possible and price/cost was a secondary concern, I really do wonder if selling it would have helped us to reach a larger audience.  We’ll never know in this particular case, but I’m interested in your thoughts:  Do you think we would have got more or less distribution if we charged for it and why?

Niche Site Gold

We get quite a few questions about the exact process we use to determine whether a keyword is worth it or not.  We’ve devoted a webinar to the subject which you can check out here, but we thought it might be helpful to offer a weekly newsletter that breaks down keywords that meet our criteria and would be considered worthwhile. allows readers to sign-up for free to get on a weekly newsletter that breaks down several keywords and shows you why we would or would not have targeted that keyword.  We won’t be building out those particular sites and will instead be offering the exact match domains up for sale to anyone who’d like to purchase.

Additionally, we tend to come across some pretty amazing domains that are available but just don’t quite fit the criteria for our mini-niche sites, but might be great for authority sites.   Our idea is that we can now purchase those domains and either build them out ourselves or offer them for sale through the NicheSiteGold newsletter to anyone interested.

If you haven’t yet, we would encourage you to click here to check it out and get on the list!

Traffic To AdSenseFlippers

We’ve had another month of growth, largely due to the increased amount of content we’ve put out in April, receiving 24,956 visits during the month (That’s 21% more traffic than we received in March…sweet!)  We’ve again had our best day of traffic on April 16th, pulling in 2,636 visits in a single day!

AF Traffic Analytics April 2012

Our top 3 referrals for the month were Twitter, Facebook, and the Warrior Forum…but coming in 5th was  there were a couple AMA’s (Ask Me Anything threads here and here) regarding niche sites and AdSense that mentioned us and brought us over 500 visits total.

Podcast Statistics

We’ve had another great month with the podcast, although our downloads are down just a bit from March.  We’re up to 71 iTunes reviews the US and have had around 13,000 downloads in April(It says 16,100, but around 3,000 of those are from the niche site guide)

The podcast has grown a bit more popular in both Australia and the UK as well and we’ve been getting great reviews there in the last couple of months, which is fantastic.  We put out (what I think is our BEST to date) a podcast episode about Skill Transfer Mastery this month.  If you’re at all involved in training virtual assistants or in-house staff, I’d highly recommend this episode.

AdSense Earnings

AdSense income April 2012

There wasn’t much change in our AdSense earnings overall, bringing in $2,856.32 for the month of April 2012.  Our best day was on April 14th at $124.91 and our worst day was April 27th at $70.65.  We did have quite a few site sales in April, but I still would have expected more growth across the sales that we had and the linkbuilding we’ve done to get caught up.

The two biggest indicators that let us know how we’re doing are:

  • Site Sale Multiples – The monthly multiple at which we’re able to sell niche sites to buyers.
  • Average Income Per Site – The monthly average of earnings for the sites we create.

As our site sale multiple has remained consistent both here and on Flippa, the biggest difference we’ve noticed is a decline in the amount our average site will make per month.

When we began this process, we could expect $9-$10 per month on each site we create and this was fairly consistent.  Over time, we’ve changed our process to where tracking those earnings has become much more difficult.  Ultimately, though, we are confident our average site is earning less revenue per month.  This is speculation and an educated guess on our part, but here are our thoughts: 

  • Selling Sites Too Early – In the past, we would wait 5-8 months before selling a site but more recently we’ve put together packages of sites for sale that are earlier in the process.  Our thought here is that we’re selling off sites that haven’t fully developed, selling ourselves short. Less
  • Effective Linkbuilding – Linkbuilding has changed dramatically in the 17 short months that we’ve been doing this.  What was working when we started wouldn’t work now, and we’re currently fumbling through our methodology for linkbuilding.  We don’t want to spend time, effort, and energy on something that would potentially even HURT our sites, thinking that less is more until things settle down.
  • Higher Quality Sites – There’s a vast improvement in the quality of content put on our sites now as compared to when we started.  I’d gather that even though this is what Google ultimately wants, there’s a downside: People that are more interested in reading/using your content are less likely to click the ads, possibly?
  • SmartPriced – I’m less confident with this one than the others, but we have a contact that used to work for the AdSense team.  He’s told us that your account will have a “Publisher Score” and if that score has been lowered your clicks will be discounted across the board for your advertisers.  It’s possible this has had an effect, but really difficult to verify…

I was dorking out looking at these numbers in late April and early May.  There was a bit of a role reversal when Joe pointed out that we’re bringing in more than we’re spending and maybe we should just be happy with that.  Funny enough, it was a post from Derek Sivers he pointed me towards, reminding me that I should probably be happy with what we’ve got! 🙂

Flippa Sales

We didn’t offer any sites up for sale on Flippa in April and we’re not currently planning on any auctions in May.  With the recent search engine changes, we thought it would be best to review the fallout in May and plan on putting more sites up for sale in June once Google has finished tweaking the latest Penguin update and rankings have stabilized.

That’s fine for us overall as we have a ton of work to do in May and setting up Flippa auctions can be a bit time intensive, but we will be missing out in May on the additional traffic and readers the Flippa auctions send us.  If you’re looking to purchase sites in May, make sure to follow us on Twitter as we’ll be highlighting some of the auctions available on sites that are quite similar to ours!

Private Sales

April was a good month for us as we were able to sell a total of $13,761.80 worth of sites through our BuyOurSites page For the most part, we’ll be holding off on private site sales in May.  We’re continuing to expand our BuyOurSites page to include packages, much like the packages of sites we currently offer for sale on Flippa.  This should be up and running in June and we’re planning to launch a bunch of new site sales then.

Affiliate Sales

We had a really strong month with affiliate sales pulling in $1,934.32 for the month.  Much of the strength of our affiliate sales this month came through a deal with Spencer where we were able to work out a discount on Long Tail Pro of $20.00 for AdSense Flippers readers and listeners only!  This includes a 60 day, money-back guarantee and helped to bring in a total of $1,311.23 from LongTailPro in April.

Download your free report


It’s been another strong month for us in April, but we’re expecting our income report for May to be less as we regroup and prepare for heavier site sales in June to give us a strong Q2 finish.  We’re continuing to build out more sites, expand our brand, and build tools that will help us and others continue to grow.

Sites Created: 56 (149 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $2,856.31 ($2,750.33 last month)
Flippa Sales: $0.00 ($2,320.00 last month)
Private Sales: $13,761.80 ($9,419.60 last month)
Total Affiliate Sales: $1,934.32 ($1,221.72 last month)

Total Income: $18,552.43 ($15,711.65 last month)

Thank you for checking out our latest income report.  How did your April shape up?  Let us know along with your thoughts and comments below!

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  • Btbuzz says:

    Well don’t feel like the lone ranger , We’ve been researching for months on all this google changes. Would it be so hard for google just to tell the person why they were banned ?
    I guess so. Their like Pay Pal, basically they just say we don’t like you no more when they lock your account, lovely. Maybe if we offer to polish there lier jets for a day that might work.
    If you feel like ranking a site is difficult, try the music biz. Getting a song to rank in the charts is a big fat zero if your a indy artist, unless you have deep pockets. This niche biz is like songwriting in a lot of ways, You have to follow general structures on writing a song, and then think out of the box to break away from the pack. And no you don’t get your girl friend back if you play a country song backwards, all you get is your dog howling.
    All we can do is keep studying and working hard, The sun will shine again on all of us if we do that……great site you guys have.

  • James says:

    Looks like you guys had another great month and your adsense account wasn’t banned like a lot of other peoples has. Great work! Keep up the great content on your website!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Still alive and kicking, James. I have to say we’ve definitely had some conversations about those others that were banned, though. The frustrating part is that they don’t know for sure “why” it is they were banned, leading us and others to speculate.

  • Chris Riding says:

    Great job again guys. The manual is my new go to when it comes to trying to figure all this stuff out. It seems that I have been stuck on a buck a day plus or minus for it seems months. The two of you are turning out to be real inspirations for less experienced IM’ers like me. My question is to earn that much income on adsense, how many site does it take to produce that much income monthly? I’m trying to plan out the next 6-9 months and set some reasonable goals. I know some sites will be a success and others not so much.

    Thanks again for all your great work.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Chris,

      Thanks! As a general rule, expect your average niche site to earn $10/month. Previously, we’d taken a look at our top earners and found that 70% of our income came from our top 30% of sites, although that’s changed a bit as we’ve sold off many of our top earners.

  • Nice work guys. Keep killing it.

  • Karlo says:

    Hi Guys,

    The income numbers are awesome and you are really building your empire. But, can you also share your expenses as we’re more interested in the profitability of the business as a whole?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Karlo,

      Our expenses are pretty wrapped-up with our outsourcing company, TryBPO, and we don’t share our revenue numbers there. I CAN tell you, though, that the cost for creating the niche sites falls somewhere between $40-$50 per site right now…so if we create 50 sites, our cost was $2,000-$2,500. If we create 100 sites it’s $4,000 – $5,000. We’re currently working on some development projects that have costs that aren’t related to the niche sites, though. Hope that helps!

  • Ralph Kooi says:

    You guys did a great job on LTP, well done!
    My ranking of my LTP review site, and a few others, have really crashed even if I didn’t do any fiverr stuff for backlinking.

    I had 2 great celebrity workout sites of both 3000 visits a month and they both went down to 5 a day. Was in the top 3 for various keywords and all vanished from the search engines and both sites had fan pages with over 800 fans ! (real fans) ..

    Don’t get why my sites got removed..

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Ralph,

      Yes…we’re hearing about niche sites AND authority sites that have taken hits recently. One of our authority sites dropped as have some of our niche sites. We have so many sites, though, that others have stepped in to take their place…but it does stunt growth, for sure…

  • Chris B says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been following for some time and I was excited when I saw your ebook due to be released, but I was quite underwhelmed when I read it. I bring this up now, since you question your free release.

    Maybe I’m just a bad example because I have done a lot of research on the process of building niche sites, but I just felt like you guys didn’t really go deep into the book, like it was all very much….on the surface kinda thing.

    I was particularly excited about reading about your outsourcing chapter since you are obviously experts in the field with your own outsourcing company, as well as running your adsense flippers team straight out of davao.

    I was expecting a very extensive chapter on how you started with 1 VA, then got content managers, then did this and that and practical tips on the entire process. Im sure you could actually fill an entire e-book just with this. Instead what we get in the book, forgive my simplification for examplification, hire these guys, use these spreadsheets and control your money.

    I guess I just expected too much. I mean, let me reiterate, the guide is good no doubt about it, but I just felt like you had a great opportunity and background to send this flying out of the park.

    Anyway, love your site, your content and your podcast – you are my favourite resource for niche sites production and outsourcing!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Chris,

      Thanks for the feedback…and stepping up to say you were “underwhelmed”. Giving us critical feedback lets us know you really care about it…that’s awesome! Let me see if I can explain.

      First, I tend to agree with you…the book was written mostly for a new audience, with tips and tricks that were meant to be helpful for intermediates. Our main goal with the guide was distribution…so we were writing it primarily towards a “new” audience. Still…we wanted to include some sections and a format that was helpful to those that know us and our process well too.

      You’re right that we could have said quite a bit more about outsourcing. We’re discussing starting a blog/podcast later this year on the subject in support of our outsourcing company. In the meantime, here are bits of content that would work along with the guide, I think:

      The second link on “Skill Transfer Mastery”…I can’t overstate how useful this has been to us over the years. This is THE guideline for us when it comes to training…

      Hope that helps!

  • Nate says:

    Great post glad to see you guys are still doing well. My sites got hit pretty hard by the recent updates. I have about 5 sites that ranked #1 on Google but are now ranking 15-50. What is the best way to climb back and reclaim that number one spot after getting smacked in the rankings?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Nate,

      That’s really the million dollar question, right? Some are saying that you need to “tone down” your optimization, diversify your link profiles and anchors used, etc. and then wait. Others are saying you should abandon the sites and start new ones…taking them out of the index, repurposing the content or redirecting the site to the new one, etc. I can’t say with certainty the best path here, honestly…

  • Passionplux says:

    Hello Justin,

    I am now an ardent follower of your teachings . I have some questions though . 1. How do I get my site and my post index faster on search engines. I am currently having this issue. some people on WF claim that their new site and new post get indexed on Google in Matters of hours but mine takes 3+ days . 2. What can you say about the accuracy of the Competition analysis of LTP ?


    PS : I need a Tool that can do competition analysis in Bulk . A tool that I can copy paste 50+ keywords into and will be able to analyze the competition for me . doing this one keyword at a time is really time consuming .

    • JustinWCooke says:


      Just keep in mind, though, that we try to provide some useful tips/tricks but it’s a learning process for us too! We regularly screw up, make mistakes, etc. Use whatever you find useful here and toss out the stuff that doesn’t apply to you or the stuff we’re “out to lunch” on! 🙂

      Posts on AdSenseFlippers get indexed awfully quick because this would truly be considered an “authority” site. For niche sites, I wouldn’t worry that it takes you 3+ days. We’ve changed our thinking on this a bit…it’s probably better to let Google find your site naturally instead of forcing the issue through social media…that’s where we stand right now.

      Competition Analysis of LTP – Pretty accurate, for the most part. It pulls the data in real time, so your results are “current” with LTP.

      50+ keywords for competition analysis at once, eh? Hmmm… SECockpit is much faster, but uses cached data. I’m sure you could use a script or macro that might work (If it’s not built in alread…not sure there) but it won’t be real-time data.

      One of the reasons competition analysis is a bit slower and not done in bulk, I think, is because of the data that needs to be pulled…it would be a drain and likely to get an IP temporarily banned by Google. You might want to CHECK if SerpIQ can do this maybe?

      • Passionplux says:

        Thanks Justin for the tips . I am currently using serp IQ but it is still one keyword at a time . I think Traffic Travis can do this sort of thing ..But I don’t trust their Judgment. I am searching for something that can do this sort of thing and also give accurate infromation . Checking Keyword Competition one after the other is taking all My time . I have been doing this for the past 8 hours and Have only found 1 or 2 keywords that is easy to Rank for . I can not continue like this . Need Help 🙂

        Thanks for your time.

  • Steve Wyman says:

    Hi Justin

    I’ll try to be concise so apologise if not fully explained.

    I think you have to decide once and for all who you are. Look at the best and see what they do. Virgin is virgin you know what the brand is and its values. They then use those in different “markets”.

    If you free your free and you did a fantastic job of getting the message out. If you want to make money at every turn (like most marketers imagine a free product of value from those guys aint going to happen) then thats different. Seller regrets are always a downer.

    As a “consumer” of your Brand I’d much prefer that its crystal clear what your “selling” (free info and websites with an established income stream?)

    ..One problem with free is bet 50%+ of folks that downloaded it never read it. I know my aquitances have not and thats pretty sad (BTW where do we sent buglet reports?).Easy to see in retrospect but a WSO starting at 0.01 and roll up every sale would have been neat with the funds going to your charity?

    Diversification into related areas is always a draw “If we can do this well in x maybe we can in y” However protecting the golden eggs is very importants (one such “diversification” experiment cost me £100K ($180K at the time)) and expanding those is vital to fuel other options such as offiline expansion.

    I would however love to see what you could do with Amazon affiliate sites. Ive had great success at time with selling medical devices for example at great margins.

    Smart pricing and Publisher (Scores) is an interesting concept.I have seen some improvements in sites income when just moving into my adsense account. But then again was it server performance..

    Thanks for your post justin and all the info you share.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Steve!

      I think you’re right…we’re still stumbling through figuring out where we fit in at times. It is useful learning all we can from established and respected brands, definitely.

      We’re definitely not interested in making money every chance we get (especially at the expense of others) and try to reserve that for win-win opportunities that present themselves and seem like a good/reasonable fit. You definitely can’t hold me to this…but this is where we stand right now:

      1. Widespread, open-to-all information – Free w/ affiliate links
      2. Packaged content, useful spreadsheets, etc. – Free w/ affiliate links
      3. Newsletter/Case Studies – Free w/ affiliate links and/or site/domain sales
      4. Tools/Software – Freemium/Paid
      5. Turnkey websites – Paid
      6. One-on-one or small group help – Free/Paid

      Personally, I feel completely comfortable with all but the last one…#6. We’re adding that with the thought that some of the help requested of us, frankly, is quite time intensive and requires more than a quick email or review/scan of a site. Where possible, I’m going to be trying to answer those private questions publicly so that we can share that information with everyone…but in instances where that wouldn’t be appropriate we can still help and get paid for our time.

      You’re probably right in that, psychologically, “free” might mean “worthless” to some! We considered the charity idea, actually…selling it and giving proceeds to charity. Ultimately, we figured we’d get significantly less distribution that way, though, and wouldn’t be able to make up for it with affiliate sales. (As they’d require a significant cut, of course!)

      The, “If we did this with X maybe we can do it with Y!” issue is something we’ve definitely discussed! I’ve thought we could expand our same efforts here back into our outsourcing company. The problem there, though, is that our audience would not be IMers…and the channels we’ve used here would be less effective, I think. We could target IMers, sure, but they are not customers we’d prefer for outsourcing projects, honestly.

  • Hi Guys,

    I have a lot of respect for what you guys are doing and how you are going about it. My hats off to you.

    About diversification, you could start pulling money out and putting it in real estate or something like that. But, I think that misses the point. Your problem is you are ultimately dependent on Google Adsense and Google Traffic. If Adsense dries up, you might still be able to resell these sites (which it appears most your income comes from) but your brand would be diminished right, and sales would most likely be harder and maybe not as profitable. It’s the same story, with traffic. You rely on organic traffic to click Adsense ads, no rankings = no clicks = no profits.

    So I think they key is to diversify your income, maybe do some CPA type stuff and work into a few different networks. At just the top of my head, I don’t think I’d want to rely on Adsense for more than 10-20% of my business. Where you are relying on it for 90+% it seems.

    Diversifying your traffic for your niche sites I imagine is going to be a challenge. You can move to more social stuff, but as you know that requires a lot of work. It looks like you are doing a good job diversifying your traffic sources for your main site (this). But, you also spend a considerable amount of time doing it. Doing it for 56+ sites a month might not be that feasible.

    It seems like you have made your business on flipping turn key websites. Maybe it’s best not to worry about diversification, and work to creating a long term relationship with Google. Maybe also, start thinking about your exit strategy.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks for your comment…

      I really think you hit the nail on the head here and you’ve laid out our concerns about diversifying quite clearly.

      You’re right about the CPA stuff…it’s definitely something we’re looking at, but as you’ve mentioned, it doesn’t clear up the issue about requiring the traffic from Google and that’s the larger piece missing.

      We get social traffic here for sure…but systematizing that becomes much more difficult. I’ve seen it done by some sellers in the WF, on Flippa, etc. but in a quite spammy way. The problem there is that the traffic is not targeted which, ultimately, doesn’t serve the advertisers well and if CPA, won’t get you many sales either.

      We’ve thought about an exit as a dreambuilding exercise mostly 🙂 but our conclusion would be that the brand is too tightly/closely related to us personally.

      Really appreciate your thoughts!

  • Adam says:

    Awesome month, guys. About the diversity… I’m torn. Part of me knows that it’d be far too easy to get distracted from your core business model and process (which, despite Google’s changes, is still working!), but another part of me is curious to see the openness with which you’d venture into an ancillary idea. Either way, I’ll be watching closely!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Adam,

      We’re a bit torn about that too…we discuss it a bit in our upcoming podcast episode and what to do based on market conditions as it seemed pretty related to our business and the changes with Google.

      We could get into the business of building tools for bloggers, affiliates, etc…but we’re not “real” bloggers or affiliate marketers at this point and I think others can serve that market better, delivering more value than we can.

      On the other hand, providing tools that work for niche sites, authority sites, etc. seems to be a much better fit…as they provide DIRECT value to us internally and to our current core business. We’re in a great position to really test them out, tweak them, and make sure they’re effective.

  • Vin says:

    Holy Huge Post. There is a ton of great info to digest here.

    I’m liking that you’re taking an even closer look at your business diversification at this point. Personally, I’m still on the way up and need to focus in on my main 2 or 3 sources of income. I’d imagine someone who is more established, like you guys, need to seriously focus on diversifying outside of your main business. I’m sure a lot of your readers would appreciate a blog post on that topic!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Vin!

      We’ll definitely be talking more about it in the coming weeks and months. We’ll continue with the niche site content as I’d hate to disappoint new readers, those new to our brand, etc…but posts about changes, alternative revenue streams, etc. are interesting to me as well! We’ll be fumbling our way through software development, building affiliates, etc…should be fun! 🙂

  • Dan says:

    Great stuff guys. Really amazing to see you second guess the release of the free guide. #’s look solid but you bring up a point I would not have considered before. Would be a hell of a split test! I wonder if the free guide can inspire some value-add requests that you could then package and sell at the price mentioned for only an incremental amount of time.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Dan!

      Yeah…definitely wondering if we would have had more distribution if we charged for it. I think a smaller number of our current audience would have paid and downloaded, but many of them know our process pretty clearly anyway. With the goal of reaching a large amount of “new” audience…I don’t think we did so well there. A great learning experience all the same…will be really interesting to test out a paid product in the future!

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