This marks the second month since the Amazon commission changes (the old commission rates ending the last day of February 2017 and the new ones starting in March). So that was a pretty big dent in my Amazon income, though not a decisive blow. You can read about the damage here.
The loss of thousands in Amazon income per month had me scrambling to see what I could do to make up for the loss. As they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.
The first strategy that came to me was to see if I could squeeze more out of my Amazon sites through optimization of my existing sites. Now I do have a couple new authority sites (Amazon friendly ones) in the works, but those are likely 1-2 years away from making any money at this point, being only 2-3 months old.
The second strategy was to look at my affiliate income (that is, NON-Amazon affiliate income) and see if I could improve this.
If you look at any my previous income reports, you’ll easily see the weakest part of my earnings have been my Affiliate earnings.
Yes, I’ve been doing fairly well with Amazon Affiliates, but on a whole, pretty horrible with the non-Amazon affiliate stuff.
For example, if I’ve been doing something like 20,000+ with my other income sources, my Affiliate Offers have been generating a measly 100-300 a month.
I’ve been talking and talking about making improvements to this income source. But over the past year, I have not put any effort into such, even though a couple of my sites are well-suited for Affiliate marketing.
The big kick in the face from Amazon with the commission rate cuts finally compelled me to put my full energy into Affiliate marketing.
If you look the March 2017 Income Report, you’ll see a very slight bump (only a couple hundred dollars) in that income stream. However, April 2017 saw the floodgates open wide.
But I’ll save the good stuff for the report.
Let’s do this then.
April 2017 Earnings
April Direct Ad Sales Earnings
Comments on Direct Ad Earnings
A poor month for direct ad sales, and by far my lowest income source this month. This income source has usually been pretty stable, yielding me at least 1-2k a month (or it has been if you check the previous reports).
I wasn’t really hustling or answering emails regularly for this. The bottom line is that dealing with clients and creating, customizing, adding, and managing banner ads on a few of my sites for clients is a lot of work. Half the time I spend on email is answering or responding to clients (I may get 1-3 emails a day).
Frankly, just to get a $200-$400 ad sale a couple times a month doesn’t make it worth it for me anymore. I can earn way more money with my passive income sources.
However, given that it’s a service I offer and I keep on having people practically throwing money at me to advertise (and the service helps people who need it), I keep offering it.
I actually earned a few hundred more than you see, but for one of the ads I sold for $350, I only took a $70 deposit and will get paid the rest a week before the ad goes live.
So about $2000 less than last month. May, I get my regular 1050 payment from a regular client and it looks like I might sell a few ad spots, so I expect I’ll be closer to the $2000 figure for May.
April Adsense Earnings
Comments on Adsense Earnings
Again, my best Adsense month yet. Every month seems to be slightly better. Last report I did $955, while this report for April I did 1,143 — so $200 more!
This could be a combination of seasonal traffic increases for a few of my sites (summer months seem better than winter) and better CPC’s for the ads. Based on what I am seeing for May (time of writing this), there may be a decent chance of hitting close to $1500.
I’m still a long way away from my $10,000 a month ($300-$400 dollar days) that I had years ago before getting my Adsense accounts banned and hundreds of sites deindexed, but I’m ok with that. I much prefer to earn with Amazon, Media.net, and Affiliate Offers. Having too much money from Adsense is just too risky. Right now, Adsense is merely some extra spice on an already full plate of food — I don’t need it at all, but it adds a little bit of extra flavor.
Having too much money from Adsense is just too risky. Right now, Adsense is merely some extra spice on an already full plate of food — I don’t need it at all, but it adds a little bit of extra flavor.
April Affiliate Offer Earnings
Affiliate Network 1
Affiliate Network 2
Impact Radius Affiliate Network
note, the above is in CAD. I converted 177 CAD to 129 USD for this income report.
ShareASale Affiliate Network
Comments on Affiliate Offer Earnings
This is probably my highest month ever when it comes to pure Affiliate offer earnings — even compared to way back in 2010 when I was doing fairly well with a couple affiliate programs.
I know I said on my last report, March 2017, that I was seeing some real success with Affiliate offers. But how much success has shocked me.
To put this in comparison, in March I earned $405 through affiliate offers. In April, after spending half of March and all of April finding, testing, and optimizing affiliate offers, I made $5807.92 or 1433% more, than the previous month!
What did I do and how to I explode my affiliate income so much?
Well I tested out and tried some key offers on a number of different affiliate networks: Peerfly, ShareaSale, ImpactRadius, Skimlinks, ComissionJunction, and a couple others I won’t name.
Some networks are better than others, offering a lot more affiliates to choose from. I’m going to review all the major affiliate networks and give the best affiliate networks list, based on my experience over soon.
However, what really matters, however, is how targeted your site/niche is to the exact offer. You can make a killing with a shitty, small, and almost unknown affiliate network IF you find an affiliate offer (or offers) that actually convert on your site. You’ll have to troll through different affiliate networks to find the right offers, more often than not. I tested something like 8 different networks and offers on 2-3 of the networks seem to be doing quite well.
If you find an offer that converts regularly, you have hit a gold mine. The challenge is finding the RIGHT offer.
I won’t detail exactly my strategy I used to explode my affiliate income this month, but I’ll cook up a post with some tips and some key things I’ve learned this month.
Frankly, because my (non-amazon) affiliate earnings were pathetic, I didn’t feel at all qualified to write an ultimate guide to making money through affiliate marketing.
Back in 2010-2011, I did make a couple thousand a month with a couple affiliate offers, but the revenue stream only lasted about 6-7 months before I was kicked off the network and the earnings dried up. In the six years since then, I’ve only been making a couple hundred bucks.
But now, based on what I’m seeing, I may be making some real money. If things hold as they are now, you’ll see a huge increase in my earnings over this figure in the May 2017 Income report. So stay tuned for my guide to affiliate marketing soon — I’ll share everything I’ve learned.
April Media.net Earnings
Comments on Media.net Earnings
A nice big increase from the last couple months. December, Jan, and Feb were lower months. But things picked up last month with $6559 in earnings and this month tops that at $6767 (also remember we only had 30 days in the month, so that extra day could have had me touch $7000 for the first time).
All in all, my Media.net may be on track for a record for May. The increase seems to be a combination of factors: time of the year (more traffic for some key sites), better search ranking for my big sites, and a NEW type of Media.net ad (video ads).
I’m going to try doing another round of optimizations on my key earnings sites over May and see if I can’t bump up the earnings a bit more. But overall, I’m happy.
My goal is to break $10,000 a month which would at that point have my Media.net equal my old Adsense monthly earnings back in 2010-2011. Again, if you have a site, you should sign up for Media.net and start running the ads right away.
You can make serious money with these, EVEN if you put them on a site with Adsense. Chances are you might be able to earn more with BOTH ad types on than one alone.
April Amazon Associate Earnings
Comments on Amazon Associate Earnings
The commission fee slash from 8.5 percent to 4.5% – 7% has hurt me. My earnings this month are roughly about the same as last month, if less due to fewer bounties and lower Amazon CPC ad earnings.
I’m close to $2500 LESS in earnings vs February 2017, which was the last month of the old commission rates. Still, there is nothing to do here but keep on plowing forward. At $11,405 this month, Amazon is STILL my biggest earner. However, it’s always good to diversify your income with other sources. In the past (2008-2013), I had like 90% of my income coming from Adsense. And when I lost my Adsense accounts, I lost most of my income.
I never want to be in that situation again! To this, I’m very glad that my income is somewhat diversified between Media.net, Adsense, Amazon Associates, Direct Ads, and now, Affiliate Offers. I’m very close to two new revenue streams as well: creating my own brand of physical products and selling them on FBA and releasing a Kindle ebook via the KDP program on Amazon.
Now while my income has gone down due to Amazon’s commission changes, you’ve seen, I’ve been focusing on making up the lost income with my Affiliate Offers, and I’ve more than made up for the Amazon loss. In fact, as you may well see (if things hold out as they are now) in the May income report, my Affiliate Offers may come to rival my Amazon earnings soon!
However, I’m still doing my best to increase my Amazon earnings as much as possible. I’m trying to improve my Amazon bounties, and I’m rapidly releasing a lot of new quality ‘Comtent’ (commercial content) on a number of my key authority sites. And, I have 2-3 new authority sites I’ve started that will do well with Amazon, if and when they start to rank — those are likely 1 year away though from seeing any money.
Total Online Earnings for April 2017
(the second highest month ever)
(vs $22,461.59 in March 2017) <– new Amazon comission rate
(vs $23,305.42 in February 2017)
(vs $27, 102.57in January 2017) <– highest month ever
(vs $23, 338.73 in December 2016)
(vs $20, 582.37 in November 2016)
(vs $20,061.99 in October 2016)
(vs $16,579 in September 2016)
(vs $15,043 in August 2016)
(vs $14,298.79 in July 2016)
(vs $12,226 in June 2016)
(vs $14,498 in May 2016)
(vs. $9,438.7 in April 2016)
The Final Word
On a whole, a fabulous month. April marks it a full YEAR of income reports I’ve been posting ( the first one being April 2016). It also marks the 7th month in a row that I’ve made more than 20,000 a month (five figures). So I’ve officially been a five figure a month earner for over half a year.
If anything, this helps show my increased earnings seem to be quite stable.
So it’s been a good year of revenue and these reports have been fun to write.
But after a full year of posting these reports, I’m having a crisis of decision as where to go and what to do with this blog and the content direction I should take with it.
I’m trying to decide if it’s worth posting new income reports each month (and other detailed guides), or if I should focus mostly on just reviewing affiliate products instead of deep info type posts (stuff that doesn’t take as much of my time, and energy, away from my money-making sites).
Should I continue to post income reports? Should I continue to sink time into writing detailed make money guides (for free), rather than spending that energy on my successful website business?
BenK has been around blogging in the SEO/Internet Marketing sphere since 2010 when he quit his job to pursue a self employed career of making a crazy online income with the dream of doing absolutely nothing to make good money.
However, he soon found that dream was a lie; making an online living took a lot of hard work — more work than he spent at his 9 to 5.
In the 5 years he’s been an Internet Marketer, he’s:
*made a full time income at nearly 20k a month, lost it, then work his way back up *been banned from adsense twice, regained it, then banned again *had hundreds of sites deindexed *rebuilt everything from scratch in two years *moved to Thailand where he now lives on a beach, living off of websites and blogging about internet marketing the RIGHT way.
AuthorityIncome.com is his new blog where he shares his strategies, thoughts, and opinions on making a LONG TERM income through websites.