Income Report – August 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.
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.
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
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:
- Income Report July 2012 – 3,048 pageviews
- Authenticity As A Multiplier – 1,605
- Niche Sites VS Authority Sites Debate Post – 1,135 pageviews
- Niche Site Profit Calculator – 946 pageviews (You can use this calculator to help you estimate potential profit on a niche site around a particular keyword. We put this out a year ago and it’s gotten quite a bit of traffic. You can find out more about how it works by clicking here.
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! 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
- LongTailPro: $1,037.75
- Virtual Staff Finder: $75.01
- SubmitYourArticle: $58.52
- CTR Theme: $30.49
- GoDaddy: $54.69
- Our Niche Site Guide on the Kindle: $23.91
- SECockpit: $27.88
- SEOMoz: $100.00
- SENuke X: $42.56
- Whoosh Traffic: $4.50
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!