I started posting these because there’s a lot of fake bullshit in the internet marketing / make money online sphere. People repeating stupid advice they read from some other blog about how to go about making money online. Yet, those same people writing these ‘guides’ make nothing online, or make everything SELLING you their program rather than from actual real websites outside of that space.
I do make a bit of money though. Not a killer amount (there are plenty of online bloggers who do serious money each month), but enough to be pretty comfortable and do what I want to do.
ALL my earnings come from real websites via Amazon Affiliates, Adsense, Media.net Direct Advertising, and more. I’m proud to say that not a single penny is generated from the Make Money Online / Internet Marketing space. Actually, this is pretty sad, given the amount of effort I’ve put into this blog. I’ve done ZERO marketing for this site, zero effort to make a Facebook page, and such. The issue is that I am just too busy with my other sites to bother.
But I like writing about the topic, so this site is my personal blog rather than a money making effort at this point. I’m too strapped for time right now to cough up some product to sell you guys and at this point, I’d rather focus on making real money from the real world outside of this space, rather than hawking stupid products to you guys.
The month of July (and the month of June), I’ve been travelling around. I left Thailand for a couple months, did 10 days through Germany, hanging out in the Bavarian alps, then straight to Canada, where I’ve been jumping around in Vancouver for about a month and a half, staying with various family.
You can see all my previous income reports here and last month’s report here.
It’s been a great change of pace, but it has been horrible for productivity. I’ve gotten some key things done that have moved my business forward (such as hire a ghostwritter for my new kindle book project, hire a couple writers for some various projects, and some optimization testing for Media.net and Adsense on my sites), but a lot of the time has been just relaxing.
Still, in the ‘2.5 months’ I’ve been on vacation, I’ve made almost 30,000 USD and my income is steadily increasing each month!
Not too shabby.
But I have not gotten as much done as I’d like.
It’s VERY hard to get serious work done while travelling or on vacation. That popular ‘work anywhere’ type article that blogs love to publish on the various ‘why quite my corporate job to work by the beach’ articles gives you this image where where you sit around on a beach, drinking cheap beer and working on your online business are blatantly false.
Trust me — from someone who has been living in Thailand for years — you can’t get shit done for your business when you sit around on beaches, drinking. Real work takes real focus, and you only get that by isolating yourself in a room and pounding away at something for hours (8 to 12 hours). This 4 hour a week workday myth perpetuated by that load of shit The 4 Hour Week is just that: a load of shit.
There is no way you can actually build up a sustainable business working on something 4 hours a week. Maybe after you put in 2 or 3 years of hard work, you can coast along and maintain your business working 4 to 12 hours a week. But you sure as hell won’t build up a solid income working only 4 hours a week.
I don’t want to spend hours writing these reports, so I’m going to switch to an abbreviated format now.
These come from affiliate programs and lead generation. I have 4 or 5 such programs with a handful of outdated links across a handful of sites. I have not added a new affiliate link in a year or two. There are some sites that would do very well if I find a good offer and put it on the right pages. This takes time and I have not yet gotten around to it.
The programs come from: clickbank, CJ.com, peerfly, and a couple other small networks. Unlike my other areas, this income has stayed about the same because I have put 0 effort into it.
July Affiliate Earnings: $203.22
Direct Advertising Earnings
This is basically where I sell direct ads on two of my sites, collecting the money via paypal payments from people for each spot sold. People contact me and ask to advertise and I sell specific adspots. There are 4-6 ad spots per site (I have 2 sites that offer this with 3 or 4 more in the works). Each spot ranges anywhere from $200 to $500 per month. I even have a $800 per month background ad I sell. I also offer a personal service where I charge $400 for my time. But it takes me anywhere from 5 to 10 hours and I only usually get one done per month with my limited time. I’m cancelling this service as of now as it’s not worth it for me anymore.
This revenue source is a pretty steady earner — anywhere from $1000 to $3000 a month, depending how many ad spots I sell for the upcoming months.
I ONLY show the ad spot income I take in per month via paypal. Many of the spots are booked out for the month, so I sell spots for months in advance. The earnings I show here are what’s directly collected in via paypal. But many times, those payments are for spots sold for 2 or 4 months from now. To make it easier to report this, I just show what’s been paid for the current month.
Here’s the proof, taken from my Paypal:
Note, this month July shows $1691.91. However, I sold one adsport for $100 and the guy still owes me $300. We agreed he could pay $100 per month due to his limited finances, as it will take me a few months before I can perform the service for him. So I’m going to add in $300 to the amount.
July Direct Advertising Earnings: 1691.91 + 300 = 1991.91
Good old Adsense. Last month was the first month I had Adsense in nearly 3 years. It’s interesting to have it again. The problem is that all my former top earners (which I have 2 or 3 sites still around that used to do good with Adsense) are banned from Adsense. So even though I have a brand new (legal) Adsense account under a new business name, I can’t put those old big time earners back on to take advantage of it. I can only use Adsense with brand new sites I’ve created since my old account (and sites) were banned.
I’ve been doing a lot of testing with Adsense vs Media.net, Adsense + Media.net, Adsense + Media.net + Ezoic, and Ezoic to get the best earnings from my top sites.
So far, I’ve found that Media.net seems to do better on specific sites than Adsense alone. But Media.net + Adsense earns more than just Media.net. And for a couple sites, Adsense does ok while Media.net earns pennies. Ezoic has not fared so well and I found it was cannibalizing earnings with both Adsense and Media.net, to the point where I deactivated Ezoic and just use Media.net + Adsense on sites, or Media.net alone (on the sites banned from Adense).
So far, I seem to have bumped my Adsense earnings up from 2-5 dollars a day to $15-$20 dollars a day. I feel over the next few months, I probably can get Adsense alone up to a stable $30-$50 a day.
Proof of Adsense earnings:
Note, it’s only the last week of July where I moved my Adsense earnings from about $5-6 bucks a day to $15-$21 a day, due to changing a wordpress theme on one site and shutting down Ezoic.com, which was fucking up the Adsense earnings. As such, the overall month of Adsense is lower than it should be. I expect next month should be double or so the earnings you see here.
July Adsense Earnings: $272.40 CAD = $208.30 USD
I’ve deactivated Ezoic during the middle of July. The reason was that it seemed to be cannibalizing my Media.net and Adsense earnings on the couple sites I ran it on. I still feel I have not really tapped the potential of Ezoic. There may be a few reasons why I didn’t see great earnings with Ezoic:
I set it to show 30 percent of the time (rather than 100 percent of the time)
I was never approved for the Adsense Mediation (your adsense account is added to the list of advertisers)
I was running too many ads – Media.net, Adsense, AND Ezoic at the same time
I’ll likely give it another go in a few months and ONLY test Ezoic vs Media.net / Adsense with maybe a 50/50 split. As of now though, I was only earning 3 to 9 bucks a day with Ezoic. But this dropped Media.net from $15 to $3-$4 bucks and Adsense from $15-20 to $4-$6 on the sites that had all of these (you can have 8 ezoic ads + media.net ads + adsense ads if you run them all on).
So, there’s potential here if I fiddle around with things, but I don’t really want to waste any more limited time fooling around with this, given that I can make easier money just using Media.net + Adsense.
Proof of Ezoic Earnings
July Ezoic Earnings: $61.48
Media.net has done well this month. A bit higher than last month, and given that last month was a bit higher than the month before that, and the month before that was my highest ever, says good things.
Overall, I’m VERY happy with my Media.net earnings and I expect the next month or two to show substantial increases.
Proof of Media.net Earnings
You’ll see media.net took in $5,583.88 this month. June took in 5,414.36, but only had 30 days instead of 31 that July has. Even counting the one day one, I still managed to do better than June, especially given that July is one of the lowest ad earnings months of the year.
July is historically one of the lowest Adsense / Media.net earning months of the year, due to the quarter ending and advertisers re-evaluating their budgets for the next quarter. Even Ezoic, the ad optimization specialist, has a big warning that you should expect lower earnings for July when you log on.
See the image here:
I noticed a sharp decline in earnings between July 6th and July 24th (2.5 weeks). This is likely that July effect. However, earnings finally took a sharp update the final week of July and based on the previous week, the earnings should be steadily increasing over August again.
Here’s a look at my Media.net earnings for July — see the big average drop in earnings for nearly 17 days:
I’ve also done a few optimization things that have significantly boosted my Media.net earnings (read my article about how to improve media.net earnings if you have it):
I switched all ads from an older 600×250 format to the responsive 336×280 format. My older ads were not responsive (so they didn’t’ play well with mobile). The newer format also fills in any extra space with the ad, giving a better looking format (and it looks even more like a nav menu than the 600×250 size). My ad rep suggested I make the change, and when I did, I saw some huge increases just by using this new format across all my sites. This changed seems to have increased Media.net earnings anywhere from 15 to 30 percent — it’s still hard to tell given the July Effect. I can give more concrete details next month to say how much this one change has increased the earnings.
One of my new sites is doing well with Media.net, bringing in $20 a day (up from $2-$5). I found that Ezoic was hurting the Media.net earnings and the theme I had on was lowering earnings. Turning off Ezoic and switching to a new theme radically increased the earnings on that one site.
So these 2 changes and the end of the July Effect may show significant Media.net improvements for the next month’s Media.net income report.
Overall, this was my best media.net month ever, even better last month, which was my previous best, and the month before, which was my previous best. So far, Media.net is setting new records each month for me, with each month slightly higher than the last. I’m hoping August will really blow the earnings out of the ballpark though with the couple promising changes note above.
July Media.net Earnings: $5,583.88
July Amazon Earnings
Like Media.net, Amazon has been rocking it. In fact, Amazon makes up the biggest bulk of my revenue stream at this point. 6 months ago, Media.net was earning MORE than my Amazon, which was sitting at about $2500.
Here’s my Amazon’s earnings for Feb 2016, just 5 months ago:
Proof of July Amazon Earnings
So overall, my best Amazon month ever with over $6,250. This includes amazon Bounties, which made $314, Amazon CPM ads, which made $344, and Amazon Affiliate fees, which made $5,591. So in just 5 months, I’ve doubled (nearly tripled) my Amazon income. Last month earned me $6,214 with this month earning me $36 more dollars (lol!).
I can certainly bring this income up, IF I produce more content for a couple of my sites — a goal I intent to carry out. It’s my goal to try and get Amazon around $10,000 per month by the end of this year. Difficult? Maybe. Doable? Absolutely, if I create the right content for a couple of my key Amazon sites.
I’ve been so busy travelling, then commissioning an ebook, working on developing and designing a product, while also optimizing existing sites, that I have not had time to organize some new key content product for my top 2 best Amazon sites. I hope to have that done over August, which may shoot up earnings a few months later as those product lists rank.
My new Amazon Kindle book will be ready by the end of next month, and that will be interesting to see how many sales I can produce with that via my website and on Amazon.
July Amazon Earnings: $6250.02
Summary of Online Earnings for July 2016
Here’s the summary of the total earnings for July 2016, compared to last month (green means earned more, red means earned less)
Affiliate Offers income: $203(vs $201in June)
Direct Advertising income: $1991 (vs 300 in June)
Adsense Earnings:$208 (vs $61 in June)
Ezoic Earnings: $61 (vs $36 in June)
Media.Net Ad Income: $5583(vs $5414in June)
Amazon Affiliate Income: $6250 (vs $6,214 in June))
Total Online Earnings for July: 14,298.79
(vs $12,226 in June)
(vs $14,498 in May)
(vs. 9,438.7 in April)
The Final Word
Overall, an awesome month with Media.net and Amazon having their biggest earning months ever. I’ve also added Adsense to the mix as a revenue stream and this looks like it will add anywhere from $300 – $1000 extra per month over the next coming months.
Media.net, with my optimizations and with the July Effect over, should show some huge improvements (I hope) for next month. I also have a new site that’s finally showing some serious potential. I put on Media.net a few months ago for the first time, but it did not perform as expected. However, the optimizations and improved traffic are having an effect and that site is now moving up from $1-3 dollars a day to $30 dollar media.net days. This will have an effect on my Media.net earnings, if that site keeps the momentum.
I see some positive ways to improve Amazon with even more earnings with some more content on key sites.
I have a new kindle ebook coming out next month — that will be interesting to track
And we hope to have a new line of products ready to go like and shipped to amazon FBA (and our website) in 2 – 3 months. So HUGE potential there, once everything is ready go to.
I earned 200 more dollars in May than I did in July, but that was ONLY because I took in something like $4000 from Direct Advertising that month. June only took in $400, and July took in $1900 (much of that from a permanent 1100 I’m paid every 2 months by one of my long term advertisers). So I was able to match my best month of May given I took in $2000 LESS money from the direct advertising. The increased media.net and amazon earnings have made up for this. SO that’s fantastic news!
And that’s it for this month’s income report. I’ve had a new cases study partially written up, but I never had time to finish it this month. I want to detail how I brought a new 1 year old niche site from $0 to $3000 a month in less than a year (6 months) via Amazon Affiliates & Media.net via Search Traffic with NO social traffic, NO Facebook page, and NO link building. I hope to have this written and published for you guys over the next week.
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.