Last month, I was seriously thinking about throwing in the towel with these income reports and this site in general.
I looked at the time spent and the money earned, and the equation just didn’t add up when it came down to the work I’ve put into this site. This is my fault of course, as I’ve done nothing to market this blog, and I have treated it as a personal blog of sorts.
I decided, based on a few comment requests and my general love of rambling on about what I do (if only mostly to myself), to keep this site churning along for now.
I’ll still write my monthly income reports, for now, and some occasional make money guides and case studies when inspiration strikes, but for the most part, I’ll be putting my attention outside of the make money online niche with a few new site projects that are related (travel, digital nomadism), but not directly about making an income online.
Ok, enough moaning and bitching from me.
Let’s do the report.
Edit June 9, 2017: found a missing affiliate program that was (unknown to me), brining in about an extra $80 to $100 USD a month. Added it to this list.
May 2017 Earnings
May Direct Ad Sales Earnings
Comments on Direct Ad Earnings
An improvement over last month, which was barely earned anything. I have been turning down opportunities to make more money here because I canceled a service that was making me 500 to 1500 a month. I could outsource the service, as there is a real demand, but the truth is I’m a bit lazy. I am considering doing something of the sort so I can increase this revenue if only to improve the value of the site generating this revenue (I could use it to show more earnings from the site if I decide to sell it). I’ve had some offers from people to buy the site in question, but I’m in no hurry (or desire) to really sell it. I made the site way back in 2002 ish and it’s the top in its niche right now.
I’m not capitalizing on the site’s true potential for sure. I could easily double or triple the revenues with a bit of work.
I’d consider selling the site (which also earns with Media.net and Amazon), but if I did it would be for 5-6x yearly revenues and I wouldn’t consider anything under 350,000 – 400,000 for it. But if the right offer came by, I might part with it and invest the money in something else.
May Adsense Earnings
Comments on Adsense Earnings
Down by a couple hundred from last month. Could be a seasonal thing though as the traffic on the sites with Adsense really hasn’t changed this month over last month.
Adsense is one of those areas I can’t easily improve earnings as my previous top earning sites are all banned from the program years ago (unfairly I might add).
The only way to improve earnings is to improve existing traffic, optimize the ads, and get NEW websites going that I can use my AdSense account on.
I have 3-5 new sites in the works, but it’s going to be a year at least before they are ready for Adsense. There are a few older sites I can put Adsense on, but these sites only get a few hundred visitors a day so that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel to improve earnings.
So I don’t expect that much of a change with Adsense over the next while. If I could squeeze out about 2,000 a month every month, I’d be pretty happy. 3000 a month and I’d be delighted. But I have a ways to go.
May Affiliate Offer Earnings
Affiliate Network 1
Affiliate Network 2
Peerfly Affiliate Network
ClickBank Affiliate Network
Ezoic Affiliate Program
Impact Radius Affiliate Network
note, the above is in CAD. I converted 435 CAD to 322.49 USD at the mid-market rate for this income report.
ShareASale Affiliate Network
Comments on Affiliate Offer Earnings
Huge improvements here. Last month I earned $5807.92 from affiliate programs. This month, I more than doubled that!
Truth be told, my earnings are lower than what they could have been. One of my sites I did a completely new WordPress theme change. This seems to have the effect of improving my commissions on that site significantly (but also lowered Media.net earnings quite a bit). I then went about making some visual changes on the new theme to try to improve the media.net, which in fact seemed to have lowered the affiliate earnings. Then there was the memorial day weekend (which really lowered earnings across the board). So I’m still testing my changes out and seeing if I can keep the high affiliate conversions while also keeping media.net earnings high.
Why Have My Affiliate Earnings Exploded In a Few Months
If you’ve been following my income reports, my dramatic rise in affiliate income (up from say $200-300 per month to $13,043 in only 2-3 months!) is my biggest increase in earnings by far and a completely NEW revenue source. I mean, three months ago, I was making NOTHING from affiliate sales and now I’ve added at least another $10,000 per month in revenue.
This is simply capitalizing of my existing sites/traffic. I didn’t create new sites, pay for advertising or anything. I simply optimized existing sites for some affiliate offers, found the ones that worked, the worked to optimize those conversions.
I’ll be writing a big authoritative post about this in a new case study, detailing how I want from 200 to 12,000+ a month in affiliate earnings in only two months.
May Media.net Earnings
Comments on Media.net Earnings
Well, a bit lower from last month (about $800 lower as last month did $6767).
This is because I switched the visual design of one of my themes from a more spammy theme to a better looking more authoritative theme in the middle of may.
This change ended up improving my affiliate conversions by a couple percent (4 to 6 percent), BUT it also seemed to drop my media.net earnings on the site in question down from $95-$125 a day to $50-$70 a day (so 10 days of lower earnings with Media.net). So a big $60 – $80 a day drop on average.
So a big $60 – $80 a day drop on average.
Now, the improvement in affiliate conversions due to the change still increased my overall income, but one part of me thought ‘why can’t I have my cake and eat it too!’.
So I went back to the site and made some visual optimizations trying to bring Media.net back up to what it was earning in the middle of May.
Some of the tests seem to be positive, so I might just reach my goal. Hopefully, this means Media.net will earn more this month (June).
Now there could just be a change in CPC with the ads or some other seasonal shift, but I saw the click values fall as soon as the theme change, so I feel it’s probably the theme that’s responsible.
Anyways, this shows you how important it is to test and optimize your sites to maximize your earning improvements. You never know how much you are leaving on the table due to your site design or ad layout.
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.
May Amazon Associate Earnings
Comments on Amazon Associate Earnings
Well, about the same as last month (which I earned 11,405.74), which is to say not bad, but I still really feel the sting of the Amazon Commission rate slash that went into effect March 2017.
The commission fee slash from 8.5 percent to 4.5% – 7% stings.
As last month, I’m still close to $2500 LESS in earnings vs February 2017, which was the last month of the old commission rates. And compared to say Dec / Jan where I was seeing 15,000-17,000 Amazon months, it’s a painful loss.
Last month I earned $10,247 in actual commission fees while this month was $9697, so I actually earned less from actual ‘affiliate sales’.
I made ‘more’ in total over last month because I sold more Amazon bounties. This is because I’ve been promoting an Amazon bounty program on a few of my sites and I published a bunch of new content on 2-3 sites the past couple months targeting that specific bounty program. This has helped really boost the bounties up.
I’ll be continuing this with even more content targeting this bounty program. This will hopefully help make up for the lowered commission rates.
Again, I’m trying to create a few new amazon-focused niche sites and also adding new ‘comtent’ (product/commercial related content on my sites) so I can rank for more product/Amazon terms and gain new clicks to Amazon.
To recover my Amazon earnings before the commission change, I need to basically improve Amazon earnings by about 30%, so that means more sites, more Amazon content.
Now, my new Affiliate offer stream has more than made up for the $2500-$4000 decrease in Amazon revenue. So you see why it’s important to diversify here to protect your revenue earnings. When one falls, you can make up for it in another revenue stream area.
Total Online Earnings for May 2017
(my highest earning month ever)
(vs $25,291.711 in April 2017) <– third highest month; added new affilaite revenue stream
(vs $22,461.59 in March 2017) <– start of new, lower Amazon comission rate
(vs $23,305.42 in February 2017)
(vs $27, 102.57 in January 2017) <– second 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
My best month ever at over $33,000 USD and more money than I ever dreamed of making per month, just a year ago!
This is the first time I’ve actually cracked $30,000 (in fact, over $3000 more than that!).
Where did all this extra money come from this month that broke my revenue earning record?
My new Affiliate offers + Leads revenue stream, which turns out earned me MORE than Amazon did — in fact, several thousand dollars more. Now, truth be told, with Amazon’s comission change and decrease in revenues by about $2500 – $5000 per month, Amazon would have, as of 3 months ago, still been earning more the mosts, but now, my straight out non amazon affiliate offers are the biggest earner.
So in only a couple months, I’ve almost managed to earn 30% more just by adding a new revenue stream.
So I’m delighted with the revenue stream.
Now, if you want to compare my earnings to some of the big wigs online like Patt Flynn and some of those big marketers who sell e-courses and have an entire team of assistants, I’m not earning that much. These people earn $100,000 to $150,000 per month in their income reports.
But still, not bad for a one-man operation of just a few niche websites, doing thing the old school way, and I’m proud of the fact.
Now, where to go from here?
It’s been a fantastic month overall. I now have 5 completely different revenues streams kicking in:
Direct Ad Sales
Affiliate Offers / Leads
Way back in 2012 – 2013, I pretty much earned most of my money from 2 streams: Adsense (about 80 percent) and Amazon (20 percent). And when I lost my Adsense, I lost most of my revenue. I’ve really focused on increasing my diversification to prevent a repeat of this.
But I want to diversify even more by adding several new revenue streams:
e-commerce (selling our own products directly)
Amazon FBA (selling own products via Amazon FBA)
Here’s what’s on my plate right now and an indication where I’m going.
1. New Websites in the make
I’m launching 2-3 new websites. I’m in the middle of hiring writers and setting up the topics, but I hope to have these done in a month. I don’t expect to make money from these for at least a year (maybe 2), but that’s the name of the game.
2. Kindle Book
I have a Kindle ebook coming out pretty soon. Yea, I’ve been talking about this for months now.
I’ve trying to get around to finishing this, but I’ve been too busy / focused on other projects the past six months and because of that, I haven’t pushed through and finished it.
And because of this, I’m leaving potentially a lot of money on the table.
I feel this book should do pretty well. I have the book written, but I need to actually get a cover, get pictures, copyedit it, format the ebook (I just have 200 pages in different word documents by chapter), then get on the KDP.
I feel it’s a huge new revenue stream and a completely new one at that. The book WILL sell for sure, based on how well the site is doing (my case study site, for those who have followed along).
3. Our New Branded Product Launch
And my (both me and my brother) product launch is finally nearly there. Actually, almost ready to go live.
Basically here is where we stand now:
we have a warehouse and a company that ships out our products (a fulfillment center)
we have an authority website about the product with thousands of unique visitors per day
we have the Shopify store setup on a new domain for our products and the product images are finished (professional shots by photographers showcasing the products) and the product pages are done
we have two factory runs of our products done with a few thousand of the items in our fulfillment warehouse
It’s been months and months of trying to work out shipping logistics (the whole thing has taken a year).
We couldn’t get a reasonable price on our international shipping with the various shipping companies, which meant we couldn’t go live with our product until this was worked out.
Our issue was with the shipping — the local country shipment times for the local post (the cheap shipping option we could offer) was taking 6 weeks to arrive in North America. Our shipment fulfillment center didn’t have a contract with the big players (DHL, FEDEX, etc).
So we had to wait while our fulfillment center contacted these companies for a quote on shipment rates.
However, it took 2 months to get a quote, and the quote turned out to be too expensive.
But we need a fast international shipping that will take 5-7 business days to North America (no one wants to wait 6 weeks for the local post). But also, no one wants to pay 60 bucks for a kilo of shipping, which is what DHL wanted to charge us.
Anyways, we got another international shipping company with a significantly cheaper rate, and our fulfillment center will ship our products for us when we give them the orders. So it’s all lined up. We just need to test out this company with a few test shipments, then we’ll open up our e-commerce store and be in business.
We’ll be using our authority site to hawk our new products since we have blanket rankings for all products in the niche. We simply have to change the links on some of our comtent posts to our own products!
We also intend to ship our product to an Amazon fulfillment center in the US (so officially go Amazon FBA), but we want to test out product sales first before making that step (which takes months to set up).
I’ve never bothered investing before, but I’m going to look very carefully at making investments over this coming year. Right now I’m pulling in money, but I could be making more money by investing some of that money.
Peer to Peer investing
Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency
Property back in Canada
Anyways, good things coming. I’ll post some new case studies for those interested.
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.