Income Report – February 2012
The month of February really seemed to fly by! Much of the month was spent plugging away and trying to keep the team staffed so that they’d be able to keep up with our site creation goals. We’ve had a few wonderful opportunities present themselves this month, but we’ve also had a few setbacks and are struggling to keep up with the work in a few areas. We’ll discuss all of that in this month’s report. If you’d like to know our total revenue for the project this month, we ended up at $12,749.55.
With a tremendous amount of private site sales in January, we found ourselves in pretty serious rebuilding mode all through February. This has unfortunately forced us to push back some of the things we’ve been working on so that we can get back on track with our primary business model.
With some of the changes we’ve made in the process along the way and with increased production, we’ve found our team has not been able to keep up with the work and they’ve fallen more than 30 days behind where they should be across the board. We’d fallen so far behind that we’d cut out our article marketing since December and we seem to be paying the price with some of the sites in that month not popping up as quickly as they should be. We’ve been interviewing quite a few people to help us catch up. while it’s critical that we add staff…it’s very important that we hire the RIGHT staff.
There’s nothing worse than making a long-term mistake to fix a short-term problem…so we have to be choosy in who we decide to bring onboard.
We recently had a few of our older sites deindexed in Google. We’ve dealt with sites that “tanked” before and also with sites that seemed to be penalized from a previous owner and would never get indexed, but this is the first time we’ve had it happen to sites that we believe was our fault and were on “our watch”. Particularly disturbing is that one of the sites was Site B from the Authority Site Failure I’d written about earlier. While we didn’t do any interlinking with the authority site, the niche sites had some interlinking going on (from a test we had running briefly and scrapped) and we’re guessing this might be the reason. We’ve heard rumors that many of the SEO blog networks have taken hits recently and we were wondering if it’s possible some of our sites were caught up in that mess. The silver lining is that the affected sites were not a major part of our income, so we didn’t see too much of a change in revenue.
Derek Sivers recently contacted us about a StartUpWeekend event in Cebu. He’s working on a new project, WoodEgg, where he documents the process for setting up businesses in various Asian countries and shares the process, challenges, etc. He’s asked us to attend and take some video interviews of the entrepreneurs that are attending that he can use for WoodEgg. I’m a HUGE fan of Derek’s and really excited to take part and help out. Aside from that, we’re looking at building out a development team, so attending such an event would be great for recruiting. Since this is Chris Ducker’s neck of the woods, we told him about the project and he’s been officially asked to fill the “Mentor” role at the event. Since we’ll all be there, it’s turning into an unofficial DynamiteCircle meetup, and many others have said they’ll be attending as well so it will be a great opportunity to network with some of the people there we haven’t yet met.
If anyone is around Cebu May 11-13th, you should definitely think about attending…we’d love to meet you there!
We’ve been contacted by two different groups of investors looking to invest between $50,000 – $100,000 each with us. With the first guy, he was looking to pre-purchase some of our sites and have us build them out for him. We explained that we’d tried this on a small scale before and it ultimately didn’t work out…the value of the sites was well below the average. We think that puts too much risk on the investor. He was still interested and asked us if we needed any capital for growth and we told him honestly that we just don’t need the investment at this time and don’t see how a partnership would be in our interest. Great guy, though, and the door is definitely open for future business.
The second group of guys contacted us about buying some of our sites and wanted to weigh the risks/rewards. One of the guys is putting up the capital and the other would be putting in the work to build out the sites. They’re looking at the sites from an investment standpoint and wanted to compare their purchase to more traditional investments. It was interesting talking to them…it pointed out to us there’s so much about our own business that we don’t know or understand as well as we should. We were completely honest with them regarding our understanding of the potential risks, the benefits, etc. We told them that our BEST buyers and those who have been repeat customers are those who can build the sites out, get them earning more, and effectively lower the length of time until they receive an ROI. They brought up a really interesting strategy…purchasing the sites, building them out, and ultimately flipping them again in 12-24 months. With this strategy, they recoup their original investment, on average, with the sale of the site later...their upside is based on the months they receive income. They’ll have to measure ROI based on their spend and time spent building the sites out. The plan is to start out with a few purchases just to feel each other out and ramp up over the next few months. Really exciting stuff!
Traffic To AdSenseFlippers
We had 18,897 visits to AdSenseFlippers.com in February, which is 8% more traffic than we received in January. Our top referrer for traffic was the WarriorForum at 475 visits, followed closely by Twitter at 418 visits. The percentage of NEW visitors sat at 40%/15% respectively. We’d definitely like to expand our reach on Twitter a bit. Even though it hasn’t been a great way for us to reach out and get new readers/visitors, it’s a great way to connect with people, share ideas, etc. If you know of any quality non-spammy tips or tricks on Twitter, I’d love to hear them…please leave us links or suggestions in the comments below!
Funny enough, we’ve received 180 visits from a German site…most of the traffic came from this post. As best I can tell (Thanks Google Translate!), the site dissects various English speaking or American bloggers, looking at their income and discussing strategies to replicate. I’d love to make a comment or reach out, but am a bit shy leaving my comment in English and would hate to see the horrible hack-job that would be done converting English to German. (Sorry Google Translate!)
We love producing the podcast! I’ve mentioned before it felt a bit outside my comfort zone, but it seems to be a great way to really connect with readers/listeners. My guess is that by listening to you, they feel much more connected to you and feel better about reaching out, making contact, etc. So many of the people we’ve talked to or are working with in the last few months have come through because they’d listened to our podcast. It’s a bit strange when people contact you and know way more about what you’re doing than you know about them, but a few quick questions about their situation usually helps!
We’ve had a total of 12,469 downloads in February, and an overall total of 33,360 downloads as of March 11th. Nice!
February was definitely a rebuilding month for us after our massive site sales in January. Our income from AdSense alone came in at $2,750.33. Our best day was Feb 15th at $130.29 and our worst day was Feb 17th at $71.89.
You’ll notice the daily revenue chart stayed pretty steady for the month…much more so than we’d prefer in a rebuilding month. We believe the cause for this stems from the fact we’ve fallen behind on site creation and our lack of linkbuilding to the sites. Towards the end of the month we had a few more sites popping up and will most likely have some sites available for sale again in March.
We did offer another Flippa sale in February and it was snatched up within 24 hours of listing the auction! All of the sites were low earners, but there were a few in the package that had some real expansion potential which is why we think it was picked up so quickly. As with all of our Flippa auctions, we give away additional keyword research done on the sites, include additional content to expand the sites, and offer a 1-hour consultation with the new buyer. These bonus offers seem to be of real value to Flippa buyers, so we’re considering incorporating something similar to our sites for sale here on our BuyOurSites page. We’re considering putting a package together that includes sites and additional information and tools that will help the buyer build out the sites and continue to expand their Niche Empire.
Things were a bit slower when it comes to private site sales in February. We had one day where we listed a bunch of sites for sale and had a few deals come through that we handled privately, bringing in a total of $5,620.30 for the month. We’ve been slowly adding to the team so that we can get them caught up on building out the sites we’re working on and, ultimately, we’ll use the additional staff to expand site creation so that we have more to sell.
We held an interview with Chris Guthrie on our latest podcast that we thought was pretty interesting. We’ve been kicking around both an attempt to build out some of our sites into larger, more authority content sites. We’ve also been debating whether we should invest some of our earnings into purchasing or picking up larger content sites privately so that we can dissect them and see if we can recreate their success. Chris thought we should do both! lol He’s probably right…
We did quite well with affiliate sales for the month, pulling in $1,648.92. LongTailPro was at the top of the heap when it came to affiliate sales, but CTR Theme, BMR, and HostGator made us a bit of money as well. Thank you to everyone who purchased through our links and don’t hesitate to reach out if you are looking for any tips or help with your tool or service!
Sites Created: 136 (164 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $2,750.33 ($3,679.44 last month)
Flippa Sales: $2,730.00 ($0.00 last month)
Private Sales: $5,620.30 ($39,613.52 last month)
Total Affiliate Sales: $1,648.92 ($998.21 last
- LongTailPro: $566.17
- VirtualStaffFinder: $77.00
- HostGator: $100.00
- SubmitYourArticle: $48.31
- BuildMyRank: $303.90
- CTR Theme: $456.28
- 100K AdSense Blueprint: $69.80
- GoDaddy: $27.46
Total Income: $12,749.55 ($44,291.17 last month)