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Income Report – January 2012

Justin Cooke Updated on February 29, 2020

Income Report - January 2012

Boom! I think we’ve finally graduated from the lemonade stand we had here at AdSenseFlippers almost a year ago! We’ve had an absolutely fantastic start to the year for January, 2012 as our income last month was better than ever. We were blown away to see such high demand for our sites…within 48 hours of listing sites on our BuyOurSites page almost all of the sites had been purchased! This leaves us with one of those “good problems” in that we seem to be short on supply and heavy on demand…something we’re looking to rectify over the next few months. I’ll get into some of the things we’ve been working on in January in the post, but if you’d just like to know our total revenue for the month, we were fortunate enough to bring in $44,291.17. Wow!

The fact that we were so busy with site sales in January mixed with the fact that we have a new and involved project we’ve taken on with, we’ve fallen a bit behind on some of our other projects. We’re expecting this trend to continue through February for the most part, but are expecting some of our projects to start coming back to life once we hit March. We’re finally starting to match our monthly goals and projects to our year long projects in BaseCamp to better plan our time in the coming months and I’m hoping it will help us to become much more efficient as the year progresses.

Traffic To AdSenseFlippers

Traffic had dropped off a bit in December at only 13,712 visits but it looks like we’ve come back strong in January at 17,384 visits, an increase of over 26%! Still, it does feel that traffic has leveled off a bit for our site a bit over the last few months and we’re hoping that our implementation of Pat Flynn’s “Be Everywhere” strategy will help us expand our brand throughout the year.

AF Traffic Analytics January 2012

We haven’t been posting nearly as much on the WarriorForum in January, but it still came in as our top referrer for the month. We’ve received 22% of our traffic from referral traffic and have had some nice mentions on some sites that are new to us: SEOFlipper, DBPMarketing, MJThompson, MyOnlineSuccessDiary, ChasingPace, LeaveWorkBehind, FlipFilter (excited to make his blogroll…we’re HUGE fans!), and a host of other sites.

It’s fun for us to check out where our referral traffic is coming from and I always try to stop in and read a few articles, leave a comment or two, etc. Some of the referrals are from extremely well respected and high-end blogs (SmartPassiveIncome, NichePursuits, etc.) and others from internet marketers that are just starting their journey and sharing their real-life struggles in getting things up and running. I love the fact that so many are willing to share information so freely and point out others in our industry that are worth reading or listening to.

Podcast Statistics

AdSense Flippers iTunes New and NoteworthyIt looks like we’re starting to get some traction with our podcast after switching to a weekly format!  We’d received some early love from iTunes when we were placed in the “New and Noteworthy” section for both Management and Marketing and the general Business category.  (Before we were finally able to get our artwork in there, heh)  This gave us a great early boost and we were able to double our podcast downloads from December to January, from 4,067 to 8,274!  We’re looking to easily break 10K in February and are excited with what the podcast has done for our brand exposure, for sure.  Thanks to Chris Ducker and Dan Andrews for pushing us to get started!

AFP downloads December and January

AdSense Earnings

Our AdSense revenue came in pretty similarly to last month at $3,679.45, but I’m happy to report we had our BEST day ever on January 17th, at $205.12! (We had a pretty bad day too at $68.11 on January 26th though, heh) You’ll notice in the chart there’s a significant drop-off towards the end of the month as we were in the process of transferring approximately $2,000/month in revenue to our new buyers…that’s almost $70/day we sold! That’s a bit painful, but we’ve increased site production that should be able to supplement the loss of AdSense income in the coming months.

AdSense Income January 2012

One of the problems we’re running into is this: We’ve sold off quite a few of our top earners and it’s those earning sites that keep our average site at $10/month or so. As we continue to sell more and more of the higher-end sites we’re left with a ton of the lower end sites in the $2 – $8 per month range. What should we do with those sites? While some of the sites have been increasing and it seems they’ve just taken longer than the 3-4 months sites usually take to mature, our thought is to bundle larger packages and offer them up on Flippa at auction. The rest we’ll have our new Intern work with and see what he can do to improve the earnings on the sites before offering them up for sale as well.

Flippa Sales

We didn’t offer any Flippa auctions in January as we were more focused on private sales, but as I mentioned in the previous paragraph we’ll most likely be including 1-2 auctions this month where we bundle some of our smaller earning sites together into a package deal.

Private Site Sales

Wowwhat a month! We ended up transferring right around 117 sites to new customers, earned $39,613.52 in private site sales, and had a single customer purchase a total of 20K worth of sites from us in a single purchase! It seemed that as soon as we were able to put new sites on our BuyOurSites page they were getting picked up right away which was really exciting to see. Our biggest problem now is making sure we have the inventory to cover the amount of demand we’re seeing in the market.

We had such a great month here that we decided to turn our monthly team meeting into a videoke party here in Davao at one of the best places in town. We believe strongly in giving back to those who have helped us get to where we are and we’re hoping this is a great step in the direction of rewarding the team for all of their hard work.

Affiliate Sales

With some of the problems with Market Samurai, we noticed an uptick in LongTailPro sales towards the end of the month. I think Spencer has a TON of potential in his KW research tool and I would expect his sales to shoot up dramatically in the near future. For most affiliate sales, I track the actual amount of sales for the month minus returns, but BuildMyRank makes it fairly difficult to see what sales were made in the month and so I’ve switched the tracking to report payouts instead of actual sales there.

We had an idea in January and wanted to see what your thoughts were about this. While we only recommend products or services we use or truly believe in, we do include affiliate links on our site. Of course, nobody pays anything extra for purchases here, but we do get paid for any purchases made through the links, of course. Since our affiliate income is less than 5% of our total revenue our thought was this:

What if we removed all affiliate links from the site? Would we get more than 5% in revenue in value, trust, or “authority” if we were to do something like that? We posed this question to some colleagues and they overwhelmingly suggested it wasn’t a good idea. They had some good points here:

  1. Some people probably go back to your site and buy from you to help you outwhy deny them the opportunity?
  2. No one really doubts your sincerity…it’s not a problem you’re dealing with.
  3. If you remove the affiliate links, you’ll NEVER KNOW whether it actually helped your sales or authority in other areas...there’s no way to test it!

We’ve decided to keep the affiliate links, but have had an interesting conversation with Tom who has refused to put them on his site. For us, it’s not a moral or ethical issue…only a question of strategy. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments below!

Download your free report


Sites Created: 164 (135 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $3,679.44 ($3,514.52 last month)
Flippa Sales: $0.00 ($0.00 last month)
Private Sales: $39,613.52 ($7,151.80 last month)
Total Affiliate Sales: $998.21 ($1,178.33 last month)

  • LongTailPro: $443.56
  • SubmitYourArticle: $23.78
  • BuildMyRank: $309.90
  • CTR Theme: $182.18
  • Smart Keyword Research: $38.79

Total Income: $44,291.17 ($11,844.65 last month)

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  • Smarty says:

    You are rocking guys. I hope to see even half of your monthly income comming to my pocket 🙂 Good luck in next months.

  • Thomas Hoi says:

    That’s an inspiration for me, Thanks!

  • Brock says:

    Freaking awesome and inspiring. I just got in to your blog (since I just got in to Adsense), but it’s on my regular weekly read list now. Great work and thanks for sharing!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      BOOM! Thanks, Brock! Just let us know in the comments if you have any questions or thoughts on the content…we’d love to hear from you!

  • Hi there.

    The sites you sell/produce… are they optimized (frontend performance)?

  • Pretty solid month guys! 40k of private sales is huge, keep it up!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Jon!

      Going to be quite a bit less in February, unfortunately. That’s fine, though…we sold out quite a bit of our inventory in January and we’re “rebuilding” this month, hehe.

  • Shinu says:

    Of the 1200 sites producing the adsense income, are there only a handful that produce most of the income? (80-20 rule)? Or do all 1200 of those sites contribute pretty much the same amount?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      We’ve tested this in the past. Typically, 70% of our revenue will come from the top 30% of sites created.

      With our entire 1,200…we’ve sold off many of the “winners” from each month and we’re now getting to the point where we still have a TON of small earners in the account left over. On a NEW month of site creation, though, the above holds true. (So, for example, the sites we create in February…70% of the income will come from the top 30% of sites…until we sell them!)

  • N G says:

    Wow nice month. I was curious if you guys would ever consider offering a service selling other people’s websites for a fee/percentage of the final sale. It seems that people like me with no feedback or reputation end up selling for far less than the 20x-24x sales you guys get.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey there!

      We’ve considered brokering in the past but, ultimately, we decided to avoid it. Our sales are largely fueled by a good reputation. If we are brokering sites, we don’t know exactly how they were built, what the seller is doing for traffic, etc. We don’t want to get involved in a situation where we’re helping someone sell sketchy sites and burning our buyers, if that makes sense.

  • dbpmarketing says:

    Wow. $40,000 from selling 117 sites is really amazing. I am only getting started with my AdSense sites but I can already see great results and I can’t wait to start flipping some of the sites 🙂

    And thanks for the mention 🙂

  • John says:

    Great post here guys
    I am new to this adsense and seeing how many sights you have to manage each month is scary !!!
    over 1000 sites and an income over £3000
    how on earth do you manage to keep writing articles for them all etc
    it is also really helful to see your income and work going on
    best post i read in ages

  • Pat says:

    Very nice fellas!! Way to go on the site sales, that’s really amazing! I still have to hit you guys up for some – don’t forget that! I just did a podcast with Chris Guthrie about buying websites that should prepare me for making a good investment – wanted to make sure I talked to him first before making any decisions.

    Again, very impressive month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you overtook my income level sometime this year – I’m expecting it, and will be very proud to do my best to catch up to you 🙂

    Here’s to continued success, for you and for all of the Adsense Flippers Family here on the blog. Cheers!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Pat!

      Thanks for stopping by! You’ve been a huge inspiration to us as you well know. We’ve set our sights on you so to speak and it’s really motivating to try to pass you up. Worst case, we never do and we end up trailing you a bit…that’s not a bad spot to be! hehe

      Going to check out your podcast with Chris Guthrie next. He’s got some great experience at picking up sites…I’m interested to hear what he had to say.

    • Thanks Pat! As Justin said you are a huge inspiration. Just to be on your radar is an honor.

  • Maaone says:

    Awesome, This is GREAT!!!! I hope I can do the same things like you did guys. Oh man, it’s very inspiring… 44K in one month.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Maaone…glad to hear you were inspired! Remember, that really only helps, though, if that inspiration helps you to take action. What are you working on right now?

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Justin & Joe

    Nice work there guys! Regarding the affiliate question, something I’ve seen others do is say “here’s an affiliate link, or here’s a non-affiliate link, you choose which one”. Maybe an option for you which would increase your credibility (not that it’s in doubt at all!) while still allowing those who want to purchase through your link to do so. You could probably track which links are being clicked more. I know I’ve always clicked the affiliate link when I’ve seen that type of thing – why not?

    • Good suggestion, we thought of that one too, but if we are going to do that, why not just not use affiliates at all? Honestly, i think as long as we actually use or can for sure say the product is good, an affiliate link should not be a problem.

  • Stevewyman says:

    congrats guy nice work.

    The pdod casts are also excelent.


  • Aleshia Green says:

    Awesome sales on those websites. Im sure it makes you feel good knowing one customer alone values your efforts enough to buy $20,000 worth. I too wish to one day be able to spend money in this fashion…but not out of greed but just knowing I can. I am only in the beginning, but everyone has to start somewhere…well keep up the awesome work and I am sure you will figure out your strategies throughout this year..lots of trial

    • Keep your chin up Aleshia. It takes persistence, perseverance, and patience to be successful with niche sites. Oh determination, organization and a little bit of luck helps too!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      After putting this post up, the 20K buyer contacted us and thanked us for the mention…really cool guy. He was happy to hear he helped make our month! I was thinking this may have been a one-off sale from a large buyer, but Joe tends to think we’ll start to get more of these buyers, looking to pick up larger packages of sites at once. We’ll see!

      • Kent @ Niche Marketing Tips says:

        Justin and Joe, that is awesome and huge return as a $20K deal! You guys just rock this flip business model.

        I’m curious how much those 70 sites are making monthly? About $1000? so it’s selling at x20?

        I have found my “formula”, just I’m trying to scale up and build bunch and rank them in the next couple months.

        Any input is more than welcome. Thanks!

        • JustinWCooke says:

          Hey Kent!

          So cool, right? We were really fired up about that deal. I’ll be completely honest with you…we weren’t entirely sure the deal was legitimate at first. We get quite a few emails from lots of people offering this and that…we weren’t sure the guy was serious.

          We weren’t sure how serious he was, so we told him to buy one or two sites first as a test. We figured it would give him an opportunity to test our process and for him to test US out before laying down that kind of cash.

          He ended up purchasing right away, no problem. We were a bit scared about the volume he was proposing, so we asked for a wire on the large purchase and he agreed. At that point, the risk was heavily on him, but we figured it safer for us and, of course, knew we would deliver. We then knew he was legit…and the wire came through! We were stoked…

          With such a large purchase, we agreed to offer him $2,100/month in revenue. We’ve delivered on the $2,000/month but are waiting on the $100/month extra and he’s agreed and is ok with it as it was a bonus anyway. Great buyer and awesome deal for us…really excited.

          • Daniela says:

            So you actually sold the big deal at x10?

          • JustinWCooke says:

            Ack…good catch, Daniela. I meant to say we agreed to offer $1,100/month in revenue, but delivered $1,000/month and were waiting to offer him the additional $100. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Sean says:

    I wonder if you guys would have held onto every site up until this point what your AdSense income would be today (a year later). I am sure that you guys have given it a thought at one point in the past, but with the amount of sites that you have created that would be a lot of outgoing in the short term.

    Keep up the excellent progress.

    Your thoughts,


    • We would be doing well, but not as well as we would with flipping the sites. We can increase cash flow more quick this way and ramp up production without coming out of pocket. Plus it’s just more fun to sell sites then to produce and expand them, IMHO.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Sean,

      I’m confident we’d be at 10K+ per month, but overall, we’d probably still be in the red. We’ve done the math on this…selling sites helps out CONSIDERABLY in the short and even medium-term. But, in the long-term, keeping the sites finally would overtake the benefit of selling them.

      We may hold onto more sites in the future, but for now we’ll continue with our current strategy, most likely.

  • Good work guys! :-).

    You know you’re doing something right when someone (me) is borrowing your flippa copy:

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Matthew!

      Thanks for taking inspiration without actually copying! hehe

      I just put in a bid, but I’m sure you’ll ultimately sell it for more than we’re looking to put in.

      We had an interesting idea that we never really fleshed out or followed up on:

      What if we continued to sell a bunch of our mini-sites and reinvested those funds into larger, more robust sites? If we did that, we’d be diversifying our types of a sites a bit more and could reverse engineer some obviously successful authority sites.

  • Andre Garde says:

    Wow nice job guys! You totally came off the top rope with an atomic elbow drop for January!

    The $3.6k in AdSense revenue is impressive. I also had 4-digit earnings in January. Sadly two of those digits were to the right of the decimal point. 😛

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Boom! Thanks, Andre! Appreciate it…

      The AdSense revenue has stayed pretty stable as we seem to sell off sites as quickly as we’re adding them. We’re looking to really increase production to help with that, but it will take a few months to reap those results. Ultimately, I’d like to have our AdSense income at around 8K/month by the end of this year, but it will depend on where we go with site sales, ultimately.

      • Andre Garde says:

        I am shooting for 1.2k/mo by the end of June for this year. It’s pretty tough but slowly the earnings are trickling in. After about a month I have several sites on the first page, so for month #2 I’m hoping to boost them up into top spot.

  • dano says:

    Hey now that you mention affiliate links, I was doubting about signing up for SubmitYourArticle in the near future but got a couple of questions. When you submit your articles, how many live ones do you find and do you get a list of url’s where they are placed. The website of theirs seem to be pretty limited in the information they provide.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Dano,

      I’m not really sure how many live articles end up getting found. We usually drip feed the articles over 30 days and they end up on a bunch of article directories and some private blogs that are connected as well. I didn’t really like their long-form sales letter, but their backend is decent and it’s worked well for us. Comparable to UAW from what I hear. I was debating between the two and stuck with SYA as they submitted to ezinearticles, heh.

      • dano says:

        Thanks, that gives me a bit of an idea to what I should compare it. I think you made a wise choice to chose SYA, don’t hear too many good things about UAW to be honest

  • aldo says:

    I’m really happy of this progress, Is not easy to keep 1k of sites each day and track all them this is a hard task…

    Guys keep going lets see what the limits are.

  • KrisN says:

    Wow. Amazing month guys!

    You are truly inspirational. I think you should definitely keep the affiliate links.
    People do want to give back and affiliate links are one of the few ways to do it. If I have found something that can benefit me then I will most definitely find a way to help that person who recommended that product. Affiliate link is the easiest way to do so.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks so much! We were excited to put this income report out, hehe.

      I think we will keep them up…that’s what the consensus seems to be…thanks for giving your opinion…much appreciated!

  • Really great work guys

  • Dave Starr says:

    Years ago I was absolutely addicted to reading old National Geographic magazines. One day a relative passed away and left me what seemed like a real valuable legacy .. hundreds of bound volumes of old Nat Geo magazines. I thought I’d be in “reader’s heaven”.

    Well, not so much. I didn’t enjoy the beautiful bound volumes … which contained all the articles _but none of the advertisements_ nearly as much as I thought I would.

    Turns out the old advertisements were a huge part of the charm of the magazines to me.

    Moving that line of thought into the 21st century, my recommendation is _NOT_ to remove affiliate ads and links, but instead to make darn sure you explain, rate and link to everything you use in your business that works … and also expose the things that didn’t live up to their hype.

    To me that is an invaluable addition to the website of any online businessman/blogger/entrepreneur whom I bother to follow. Or so Dave opines.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Great, Dave, thanks for the tips! Funny about the ads in National Geographic, heh.

      We had a ton of volumes of National Geographic as a kid…I used to love looking through them. I’d dream about the far-off places I’d see in the magazine and wonder about them. Now I’m here…seeing them! So cool, hehe…

  • Peter Jay says:

    Congratulations guys. I bought two sites off you guys in January totalling $2300 and the transfer process was completely simple. Props to Joseph who provided excellent service. This was my first dip into the water and I’m looking to do more business with you guys in the future.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Peter…thanks for the comment!

      I’ll be sure to point Joe to this post. He takes his post-sale transfer service pretty seriously. It’s good to hear you had a good experience…he was working his butt off…glad to hear the service wasn’t cut down because of it! hehe

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Also…make sure to let us know when you get some content on your site…would love to check it out!

    • Thanks Peter, the team and I take pride in providing good support. I’m glad everything worked out. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

  • PhilJensen says:

    Wow, $39,000 in private sales…awesome guys!!

    Wow, now you have me thinking about selling some of my sites…hmmmmm

  • Dan says:

    Super balla! Great post and month guys, love following this stuff.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Dan…appreciate it!

      After the DynamiteCircle thread, I thought I’d mention the affiliate stuff here and see what everyone thought. So far it looks like everyone here thinks we should keep the links too. It just goes to show it’s worth asking! hehe…

  • Dan Norris says:

    Geeze what a month guys well done!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, man!

      Did you see the thread in DC where we were talking about affiliate links? Got some great advice, we thought and wanted to mention it here, heh.

  • Wesley Banks says:

    That’s an incredible month guys, congrats and thanks for the mention 🙂

    Also, I’m all for the affiliate links. There are several people I follow online and I often make sure to go out of my way to purchase any tools that I buy through their affiliate links, as kind of a thank you for putting out such great content for free.

    • Thanks for stopping by Wesley. I tend to agree with you on affiliate links, but it’s good to know you back us up!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Wesley,

      Yeah, that was a pretty strong point for us. Aside from websites, we really don’t sell anything and we’ve had plenty of people ASK us for affiliate links. It would be silly not to give them the opportunity to buy “through” us if they want to, I think.

  • Seoflipper says:

    Hey Justin,

    Thanks for the mention! I’ve been following your blog for nearly a year now and your experiences inspired me to start flipping my own adsense sites and really pay more attention to systemizing my process. Its really cool to see your systematic approach to niche site building pay off while you guys continue to put out great content. Really enjoying the podcast as well.

    “What if we removed all affiliate links from the site? Would we get more than 5% in revenue in value, trust, or “authority” if we were to do something like that?”

    I agree with point #2. If it’s purely a strategic question then the answer is simple – there’s no way 5% of your audience is coming to your site and questioning your “trust” or “authority” based on the presence of transparent affiliate links when your blog is built on the premise of openness and transparency.

    Anyways, keep up the good work…looking forward to seeing what you guys have in store for 2012.


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Nate!

      Appreciate your support! I tend to agree with you about the 5%. It was funny…we thought we had this “really bright idea” but so many people have given us great points against it we realized maybe it wasn’t so hot! lol

      I liked your post on “Will you be my mentor” BTW. You’re right, some people just need to buckle down and do the WORK! 🙂

  • Shinu says:

    Wow, looks like you guys sold off a ton of sites this month. How many sites do you have left?

  • You guys have brought back the “adsense niche site army” model. I’m busily building my own army so I hope to see some returns similar to yours in the next 6-8 months. Keep up the great work!

  • Anshul says:

    Awesome work guys. I was curious to know to know the breakdown of your AdSense income (may be it is mentioned in the post somewhere?)

    How many niche sites is that income from?

  • Manyu says:

    Wow! Killer month! Congrats!

    Quick question. How often do you sell sites on this site? Is there an RSS or update option to be notified of sites up for sale?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Manyu…thanks!

      I think we just emailed those that had asked about sites available before to let them know they were up? When we launch Flippa auctions or when we have sites available on our page in the future we’ll send out emails, so feel free to join the email list to get updates.

      • HI Justin

        Im on your mailing list already im sure 🙂

        It would definetly be great if in the future you mailed the list when new sites were available.

        Whilst i dont buy many small sites Its always good to diversify the protfolio and I see you had a fair few that would meet my criteria in that last batch.


  • dano says:

    Thats a sick sick month you guys got there. Congrats to you both, I bet you guys are having a nice party overthere 😀

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Dano!

      Yeah, was a really fun party. As is typical here, it started off a bit reserved, but once the singing started everyone started to get into it, lol. I’ll try to round up some more pictures and put them on Facebook later…

  • Adam says:

    You guys rock. I’m pretty sure this’ll put you into the #2 spot on my site. That’s completely awesome for basically 1 year of working your asses off! Will hopefully be posting the rankings later in the week, so stay tuned!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Adam!

      We were teasing Pat Flynn about “beating” him this month but he ended up CRUSHING it! I seriously doubt we’ll be even close to this number in February, but glad all the same to start off the year so well, for sure!

    • Keep us updated Adam. Great to see we are moving up. Perhaps we can make a run at the top spot this year, although there is a long way to go!

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