Income Report – October 2011
We’ve had a ton of things going on in October that I want to go over in this month’s post…it feels like I was just writing the September Income Report yesterday. Much of our growth in October came through connections we’ve been making through the AdSenseFlippers blog and the new projects we’re starting, so I’ll cover that first before getting into the specifics of the dollars and cents we made in October. But…for anyone that just can’t wait, our total revenue with AdSenseFlippers in October was $9,610.76.
Branding And Networking:
Logo: We’ve got a new logo! We just finished our project with 99Designs and had 37 entries submitted. We paid the $295 fee and although we were less than happy with some of the design options we had this time as compared to our previous contests, we’re happy with the final selection. We JUST finished the contest and are still waiting for the final designs so that we can start changing them out, but here’s a sneak peek:
Facebook: We’re up and running with our FaceBook page now, although we don’t have much going on there other than posting our content here. In the future we do plan on running contents, having giveaways, etc…so feel free to check it out.
Twitter: If you really want to know what we’re up to, what we’re reading, what we’re listening to, etc. I suggest following us on Twitter here. I’m extremely active on Twitter and often share links that are closely relevant to what we’re doing. I’m respectful of your time and never RT stuff unless I checked it out and found it particularly interesting. Plus, you’ll find out quite a bit about what we’re up to and working on through our Twitter feed…along with some tips and tricks we come across as we continue to grow.
Podcast: We finally got our first podcast out last week (now available on iTunes as well) and are stoked to announce we had over 670 downloads in the first 7 days! We were able to use a service I just LOVE called Voice123 for our Intro/Outro from a professional radio guy named Jamie Buck who just completely blew us away. We featured our first interview on the podcast with Spencer from NichePursuits, who came on to talk about his keyword research tool, LongTailPro and gave our readers a $20 discount, available until November 10th. While we were excited to have an interview with Spencer, but our next few Podcasts will be a bit more about our story and our process which should give you a bit more about our back story and how we got to where we are.
Webinar: We’ve agreed to and are working on a webinar (series?) where we can go through our story and process in a bit more detail and field any specific questions any of the listeners might have. This will be free and we’d love to have as many people join as possible, but spots will be limited. We should have this ready to go sometime in December, so expect more information about this in the coming weeks.
Our Goals And What We’d Like To Accomplish:
Many have emailed or asked us in the comments what our end-goal is here in creating these sites. It’s a great question but, to be perfectly frank, not one we’d put as much thought into as we should have. We knew that we wanted to self-fund some fast growth so that we could take it quickly to a level that we thought was worth pursuing. Now that we’ve reached a level we think is close, this question becomes much more important and is worth some reflection.
As it stands, our goal is to provide a sustainable model that provides a good amount of net profit through both AdSense revenue and site sales. More specifically, we’d really like to be in the 6K-8K range for AdSense revenue and 10K-12K per month with Flippa or private sales. With 5K-6K in costs, that would put us at 10K-15K net profit each month. We’re still a little ways away from that level of consistency, but I think we should definitely be there by Q3 or Q4 of 2012…that’s a quite reasonable goal from where we’re at right now.
As some of your have pointed out our Buy Our Sites page has left plenty of room for improvement, for sure! The great news is that we’re currently in the process of updating the page from both a design and a feature/reporting aspect. We’re going to clean up the page a bit (and get it working in Firefox!) and get rid of some of the information that’s not as useful. Additionally, through the use of the AdSense API we’re going to set the page up to dynamically update our revenue and pageview information each day, so that you have the most up-to-date information about the sites. Additionally, the pricing on the sites will be dynamic as well, providing a true marketplace at which you can time the buying of the sites, look for those that seem to be a best fit to your portfolio, etc. We’re really excited to be working with Dylan on this project and hope to have it up and running by December 1st.
Even though we run an outsourcing company here in Davao, we’d heard some great things about VirtualStaffFinder and wanted to test it out to see if we could source another keyword researcher. They provide a service where you pay them to take out the hassle of trying to find an offshore agent to work with directly. They narrow it down to three agents and you get to interview them and pick one to hire from there. Our first agent interviewed was horrible, actually. He was late to the Skype interview, (he lives in Cebu) wanted twice what we normally pay for our in-house agents, and knew absolutely nothing about keyword research. Our second agent was in Davao, was very familiar with internet marketing and keyword research, and was in line with the salaries from our other agents. We ended up hiring her and she’s been a great addition to the team and has worked out quite well. For anyone not living here in the Philippines, VirtualStaffFinder is a great option to get a direct hire and you’ll save quite a bit of time and money over hiring directly on your own.
The last thing I wanted to mention regarding our goals is that we’re on track to attack some of the strategies we laid out in our previous post, specifically when it comes to “Round 2” for AdSense Flippers sites. The plan will be to group up all of the sites we’ve created to date and basically set them to the side. We’ll be going through the sites and:
- Selling off the “winners” or the sites that are doing well both in regards to rankings and earnings
- Having a monetization/conversion rockstar go through the mid-tier sites and look for ways to improve them and get them up to earning their potential
- Sitting on the low-end sites as just mini-passive earners…dropping those that earn less than it’s worth to cover domain costs!
As with Round 1, our Round 2 strategy will include tracking the sites, month by month, to determine their effectiveness over time and to track our progress. Barring major setbacks or very large site-sale chunks, this is a pretty effective way to make sure your sites are on track and profitable and we’ll continue with it in the next go-round.
With the Flippa Sales last month and the private sales this month, the AdSense revenue itself as remained fairly consistent throughout the month, earning a total of $2,862.50. The best day of the month was on 10/26/11 at $133.90 and our worst day of the month was on 10/1/11 at $69.33, so you can see the swings were fairly high. Still, if you look at the graphed income, it looks pretty stable overall with just a slight increase throughout the month, trending up.
I’ve left out the site specifics/averages and projections as we’ve sold off a good portion of our top-earning sites through Sep-Oct and it’s really thrown the averages out of whack. When we move from our Round 1 to our Round 2 approach, the plan will be to lump all previous sites together into one large bunch and split them up into thirds. The top 1/3 will be sites for sale on our Buy Our Sites page, the middle 1/3 will be sites we are working on improving and the bottom 1/3 will be passive sites we just let sit. Obviously, these statuses are a bit dynamic and we’ll move/change those sites from group to group as they move up and into a different performance category.
For the first month in quite a while, we didn’t run any Flippa auctions in this month. With our Buy Our Sites page up and running, we wanted to test the effectiveness of just selling directly the same types of sites we would have included in a Flippa auction. We are planning to run at least one Flippa auction in November and we’ll be sending out an email to our subscriber list when that’s up and running. As always, we’ll be starting the auction off at $1.00 with No Reserve. Click here for some awesome sales tricks on Flippa.
Even with our embarassingly bad sales page, we were able to pull off $6,195.68 in revenue through private sales this month! Thankfully, anyone who paid the deposit first on a site and took the time to review the sites ended up purchasing, so we didn’t have any leftover deposits to deal with where we’d discount the sites for any future buyers. Of course, our intention is not to take the deposit money…but the reason we hide the keywords and niches on the sales page is so that the buyer gets the opportunity to keep their keywords and niche private once purchased. If we made those sites public the buyer would have to compete with everyone who actually took a look at the sites and stats available…creating quite a bit of competition. It’s a different approach than we use for our Flippa auctions and is available for buyers who trust us and are more particular about not having the niche and stats publicly available.
Surprisingly, the domains for sale didn’t fare nearly as well as the sites for sale. With all of the people we’ve had contacting us asking about keyword research, whether their niche is any good, etc….we thought there would be quite a market for people looking for assurances that a keyword or a niche was good (Since we’d already vetted and purchased a similar domain for us to use ourselves) but that didn’t seem to be the case. We’re going to continue with these available domains for a while to see if interest picks up, but may discontinue selling them in the future. We’re also considering a regular/recurring post where we give away some niches, showing some we would be interested in and a few we would not, explaining why. Would that be helpful?
We had a stronger month in October when it comes to affiliate sales, racking up $552.58 in total revenue. Leading the pack was LongTailPro and BuildMyRank, with almost $250 from the two in October. We’ve had quite a few questions about our thoughts on other keyword tools and linkbuilding tools and methods. While we’d LOVE to be able to offer reviews, do A/B testing on various products and tools that are on the market, etc…that kind of research takes considerable time and, we think, would lead us away from our core business and the things we’re passionate about pursuing. We’re kind of slow to change when things are working, but there are a few things we’d like to try out in the near future. (I’d really like to try out PropelBacklinks this month on a few sites and report back on our experience…I love the idea of manual drip-feed links and the fact that it’s one of our readers that set it up for niche sites, specifically!)
We were pleasantly surprised with the revenue numbers this month as we’d anticipated being much closer to 5K while we’re rebuilding/regrouping. One of the negatives that has come with that, though, is that we’ve sold off some decent earners through private sales that, I think, were still continuing to grow pretty heavily in terms of revenue. I feel we might have sold short on a few of those sites, but I do know that others are waiting in the wings to take their place…we just need to make sure we can keep our inventory up with demand as we move forward.
Sites Created: 85 (86 last month)
AdSense Earnings: $2,862.50 ($3,695.68 last month)
Flippa Sales: $0.00 ($19,445.00 last month)
Private Sales: $6,195.68 ($2,762.60 last month)
Affiliate Sales: $552.58 ($108.51 last month)
- LongTailPro: $140.44
- SENuke X: $93.93
- BuildMyRank: $106.20
- SubmitYourArticle: $48.97
- Market Samurai: $46.56
- CTR Theme: $91.48
- ABCLeads Affiliate Sale: $25.00
Total: $9,610.76 ($26,011.79 last month)
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