Every month I like to share with you how things are going with website developments, challenges I’ve ran into, and cool new tricks I’ve discovered. It’s all part of being an online entrepreneur and seeing if we can create something from nothing into a constant sustainable business.
Right off the bat I’ll apologize and confess that I have not spent as much time working on my niche sites as I probably should be. That’s all because I’ve been pre-occupied with the finalization of my first eBook.
I’m very proud to report that I’m rounding third base on the whole eBook project. The front cover is finished. My editor and I have finalized the text (thanks Jim)! The last thing to do is to wait for the Kindle-formatted file to come back from the freelancer before I upload it to Amazon. Then I’ll officially have my first eBook – very exciting!
So while I might have been busy in other areas, I did manage to create quite a bit of content for NS4 and NS1. With that said, let’s see how March shook out.
Niche Website Income Report – March 2015:
Here is my income and expense report for the month:
Income Report Breakdown:
Here’s a closer look at my income sources for the month:
- Amazon = $49
- Clickbank = $351
- Google Adsense = $456
- iPage = -$105 – Wait, a NEGATIVE commission??? A small rant on this one below ….
- Personal Capital = $0.00
- Private Advertising = $225.00
This month I had a number of small expenses:
- $5 for a new article Banner on NS2.
- I tried to spend $5 on a new logo for NS2, but the freelancer did such a horrible job following my instructions that I eventually asked for a refund.
- $35 to make a change to the appearance of NS4.
- $150 for two new content writers for NS4 – more on this below.
More Content for My Amazon Site NS4:
Ever since our big boom in commissions around Christmas, my Amazon site NS4 (niche site 4) has been the website that’s been getting most of my effort. Last month you’ll recall I was in the process of receiving several articles from a freelance writer and uploading them to the site as I finalized them.
How did that do for sales? Not so great in March … on our income report we barely made $50.
So does that mean this effort was a failure? Not at all.
Despite the lackluster sales, I am happy to report the site is still actively increasing in keyword rankings. Whatever I’m doing with the way we’re structuring the new content and internal linking seems to be working well! You can tell by looking at the results from SEMRush:
More ranking keywords is precisely what we want. You see it’s all a numbers game:
- You can’t control sales. People will either buy or they won’t after reading your post and clicking over to Amazon. (And apparently not a lot of people wanted musical instruments in March.)
- But you CAN increase your odds of making a sale by increasing 1) the number of keywords your site gets recognized for in Google and 2) the amount of traffic that follows.
So with that I’ve decided to keep funding the addition of more and more new content to NS4.
To optimize my efforts I’ve spent a few hours this month researching brand new, high-volume, low competition keywords and musical products using Long Tail Pro Platinum. I’ve got to say I have a pretty good feeling about the list I came up with, and I’m eager to get the new content from my latest batch of writers uploaded to see what happens.
NS1 is Finally a Big Boy Site!
I’ve been saying this for a few months now, and it FINALLY happened … we now have over 100 pages of content on NS1! It’s finally reached a place where it can be considered a BIG niche site (or perhaps even an authority site)!
So what does that mean in all practicality? Now that it’s over 100 posts large, did balloons fall from the ceiling and my Google Adsense account jump up by the thousands of dollars? Hardly …
I’ve actually been toying for a while now with what to do with this site in terms of growth. Back when it was first getting off its feet I saw somewhat of a linear relationship between the number of new posts, increasing traffic, and its Google Adsense earnings. However that trend seems to have unfortunately plateaued off, and now I’m wondering if adding any new content is really going to help. Perhaps the answer is to better promote the content that is already there. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this by next month’s update.
VERY Unhappy with iPage:
( … Warning: Rant ahead! … )
Unfortunately one of my multiple income streams, iPage commissions, decided to give me a giant middle finger this March.
Back in January I had earned a commission through a link on My Money Design. When 2 months went by and the commission was never paid, I decided to write them to see what was going on.
Well lo and behold, they told me that they “could not qualify my commission because my website was in violation of their Affiliate agreement”.
What?? My Money Design has been promoting iPage for over 3 years and regularly earning commissions. How is this even possible? I decided to write them back and ask for more specifics.
What did they reply with? Nothing more than an exert of the legal mumbo-jumbo from their affiliate agreement contract text – the part to which I was supposedly in violation of. First of all, the section they sent me sounded like something I had not even done. And secondly, that was an extremely generic explanation of what I did wrong! Can I get a specific URL or part of my website where I’m not “complying” with the affiliate agreement? Can you show me what to fix so I can fix it?
I replied once more asking for clarification. This time they got really pissy. They replied saying that the matter was closed and that if I contacted them again that it would result in the termination of my affiliate membership. Burn!
I must say I am extremely disappointed by how they handled the situation and treated a long-time affiliate.
Fortunately for me web hosting companies are a dime-a-dozen. I’ve got a few different ones I use, and so it took me about 3 seconds to take down all of their banners and start promoting someone else. Who knows – I’ll probably have better luck with the new companies!
Readers – How are your side projects going so far?
Images courtesy of Flickr | alamodestuff