September Income And Traffic Report
September was an exciting one! I saw a significant win with my purchased site turning it from making $0/month to almost $1k and my overall income for the September breaking some new records and coming so close to a huge milestone. The traffic to my case study site took a decline but analyzing all related Google trends that is to be expected (students are not looking for loans in September – they already have them). But, even with the decline some monetization changes I made after deep diving into my analytics last month have been paying off.
In September I was happy to help out a lot of people using my VA’s to find expired domains for them. If interested in finding expired domain yourself here is how I do it or let me find expired domains for you.
We are having the last blast of Summer here in Canada as well so tried to get out and enjoy it as much as possible with my family.
Website Purchase Monetization – I was able to turn my purchased website which was making $0/month into an almost $1k/month earner doing some simple steps. This topic deserves a separate post but here is the basic steps I followed…
- Identified the high traffic pages
- Removed the common monetization methods (ie site-wide general ads)
- Thought about exactly what problem the people that were coming to the page were having
- Thought about what could be offered as solutions to their problem
- Found CPA offers that I could offer the visitor that were tightly related to the problem/solution they were having that drove them to visit the page
- Embedded the offer in the popular pages with clear calls to action at the top, subtle call to action within the post and again at the bottom.
This activity took one night to complete and one week to get all the approvals to the new CPA offers. It was definitely some of the highest leverage use of my time! Next up is continuing to test and incrementally improve the higher earning pages.
Expired Domain Help – In August I published my ultimate guide to finding expired domains. Since then I have had a lot of requests from people looking to take advantage of expired domains to improve their sites rankings. It was based on these requests I have started offering up the service where I will find expired domains that meet my metrics and are relevant to your niche. While I am still setting up all the systems and marketing channels I am offering at a steep discount – custom expired domain list. Right now I am also helping a few people with a complete done for you feeder site network where I am finding 5 relevant expired domains, registering at different hosts, setting up on different hosting accounts, adding original content and managing for them. If this interests you feel free to contact me and we can discuss strategy.[wpsharely id=”937″]
If you want I can find you a custom list of expired domains that are specific to your niche – find out more here
There are always challenges and in September I had a few…
Traffic Decline due to Seasonal Trend – It can be frustrating when you are working building a website and it feels like no matter what you do the traffic goes down not up. Well that is the feeling I am fighting with my student loan site. September, October, November and December are the worst months according to Google Trends but I will continue to work to build the foundation for success come January.
Working in my Business and Not On It! – In September I found myself doing a lot of tasks I could outsource such as helping find domains (so that people got them quickly) or publishing posts myself. This isn’t a big deal if I had time but I don’t. My time needs to be used to do high leverage activities(split testing, new opportunities, strategy, communication, writing for this site) and when I spend it on tasks others could do it means I am not working to grow on other parts of my business. So for October I am going to make sure I am working on my business and not in it! I was first introduced to that quote from E-Myth Revisited (great book!)
Fell Short by $12.10 – One of my goals I am tracking publicly is to earn more from (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) in 3 months of this year. Right now I am 1 for 8 since I won June by a wide $1,600 margin but then last month I lost by only $12.10! With 4 months left to tally I need to win 2 months.
Authority Website (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) Stats for September
Income = $2,383.41
- CPA #1 (loan consolidation) = $84 (-357)
- CPA #2 (loan and loan consolidation) = $2132.77 (+243.37)
- CPA #3 (credit check) = $0 (-)
- CPA #4 (debt monitoring) = $0
- CPA #4 (loan consolidation) = $72 (+72)
CPA Offer #1 = $84
I am moving away from this affiliate and focusing on higher earning and more tightly matched affiliate offers.
CPA Offer #2 = $2,132.77
The conversion problem from last month is moving in the right direction even with isolating for the higher percentage of my traffic going to this offer. I did several things including change the landing page, focus on generating higher value traffic and changed the call to actions.
CPA Offer #3 = $0
No conversions from my email list for this one.
CPA Offer #4 = $72
With the purchase of my new site I signed up for a new CPA program and found a good use for it on a couple pages on my site. This was a nice addition and a way to monetize several pages that I was struggling to monetize before.
Costs = 283.48 (ramping up promotion)
My current business model is to replicate my “authority” site model every 4-5 months – 1 new site every 4-5 months. In September I took a shortcut to this approach and purchased a website. Since the website was in a similar niche I decided I was going to start promoting the 2 sites in tandem. So this has resulted in a cost increase this month for my student loan site.
My team of writers and VA’s do several activities including finding guest posting opportunities, publishing content, modifying graphics, uploading and syndicating videos.
All my team members are hired through ODesk
- VA #1 – Content Publisher = $23.40 @ (posting/scheduling of created articles per my content calendar)
- VA # 2 – Backlink/General = $11.25 (web 2.0 creation, Link Authority, blog carnival submission, Friday post creation)
- VA #3 – Website Manager = $12 (he takes care of security/speed on all my sites – no work this month)
- VA #4 – Social Media Manager = $0 (not going to use on this project)
- VA #5 – Outreach – $48 (moved onto another assignment)
- Content Creation = $88.88 (30 great articles created)
- Hosting = $80/month @ WPEngine (can host 10 sites)
- LeadPages = $0 one time fee already paid
- AWeber = $19.95 (for the size of list my student loan site has)
Running Net Income/Loss
My net income with this site was a solid $2k again this month. If I can hold $2k steady during the fall that would be a good win for me.
September net income = $2,005.23
Steady $2k/month Income
Traffic =10,262 Unique Visitors
Traffic went down substantially, however, this was expected based on what Google Trends shows for student loans and student loan consolidation.
Email Opt Ins – Working Very Well (35% List Growth)
My email opt-in strategy is continuing to work and my list is growing…however I still have not started leveraging it as much as I should. I am however keeping it “warm” with useful follow up messages and maintaining a solid open rate.
Subscriber growth was 86 on one list and 63 on the other with a drop in the opt in rate.
LeadPages is continuing to get awesome conversion rates for me and if you are looking to improve conversion rates have a look at lead pages!
Content, Promotion and Backlinks
In this section I will show exactly what I have done over the last month to continue to grow my site…
On Page Content = 17 New Posts
All these posts were pre-scheduled a couple months ago and the site is continuing to run on autopilot.
Outreach – Blog Commenting & Social Media
I have finally found a couple great assistants who can do blog commenting and outreach. This is a very challenging activity to outsource and it has taken me a long time to get to a point where I have someone who I can trust to do this job.
3 good guest posts this month all generated from my assistant who is doing the blog commenting and manual outreach.
I use majestic SEO (free) to track my link profile and help estimate how my link building efforts are being viewed by Google.
- Referring Domains = 553 (+105)
- Backlinks = 20,933 (-6,153)
- Citation Flow 31 (-4)
- Trust Flow 21 (+4)
Based on my link profile starting to stagnate and my traffic to higher value keywords starting to decline it is clearly time to get back into the higher touch promotional effort!
Last Month’s Goals
- Integrate purchased site into my promotion strategies – SUCCESS
- Kick Off Several High Touch Promotion Strategies (2 epic posts + outreach) – SUCCESS
- Automate Guest Posting Process (key contractor working – 2 guest posts) – SUCESS
- Automate Social Media (VA working and growing audience’s at both sites social media accounts) – SUCCESS (But not seeing the results!)
- Monetize –Earn over $4,000 per month between current site and purchased site – FAIL ($3k not $4k)
Next Month’s Goals
- 2 Epic/Resource Posts with Manual Outreach & generate natural .edu/.gov links
- Continue with outsourced guest posting (3 guest posts)
- End social media again – not for me right now
- Improve monetization at purchased site
- With steady decline in traffic due to time of year target $2.5k combined income
2013 Website Goal Progress: (33% of the way there!)
My website case study (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) will earn more per month than Pat Flynn’s case study site SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com for at least 3 months of the year
- January (-$2,796.18)
- $452.13 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $3248.31 for SecurityGuardHQ.com – Report
- February (-$1,675.35)
- $1126.55 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,801.90 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- March (-$2,076.94)
- 759.63 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,836.57 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- April (-$1,581.86)
- $1,127.1 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,708.96 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- May (-$367.55)
- $2,341.41 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,610.62 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- June (+1,622.01)
- $3,114.90 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $1,492.89 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- July (-1,013.61)
- $1,540 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,553.61 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Report
- Aug ($-12.10 – SO CLOSE!)
- $2,383.41 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
- $2,395.51 for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com – Reort(not yet published)
Me vs. Pat Case Study Site
My Overall Online Income Goal Progress
As discussed in my long post about my online income history and my overall business strategy post here my goal is to be making $15k/month reliably by my 35th birthday and move my family back to our hometown to raise our kids(currently only one kid) there.
I am going to add a section to my monthly reports showing my overall online income and progress towards $15k/month.
This month with the purchase of the extra website, some strong results from a giveaway on this site and another site performing well I had a record month!
- Actual = $8,983 net income
- Planned = $3,400 net income
In September I will not be surprised to see the income settle to lower number with one site taking a hit and not having the same promotion occurring this month I did last month here on AuthorityWebsiteIncome.
The overall trend is continuing in the right direction and I am still very confident my current plan will get me there.
I thought last month was a great month for you but clearly you have blown that out of the water. It was interesting to see the traffic decline on your case study site but then barely take an income hit.
Hi Kristy, yes September was definitely a good month. I continued to work the conversion rate optimization which helped with the flat income even with a decline in traffic.
Ahead of the curve! Good job man.
Do have a post that talks about your email opt-in strategy? I’m curious to know your thoughts. My site (1 month old) gets about 50 uniques a day (haha) and about 1-2 email opt-ins per day but it seems to be slowing down.
I’m having fun following what you’re doing!
Hi Donnie, I talked about it a bit in my earlier income reports – the concept that hit me over my head was people were coming to my case study site looking for consolidation loans so I put a squeeze page using lead pages between them clicking on a call to action on my site and before getting to the affiliate sales page.
Scroll 1/2 way down the page on this income report – https://websiteincome.com/3000-per-month-passive-income/ to see where I show using images my opt in flow.
50 visitors per day after 1 month is a GREAT start and 1-2 email opt ins per day if its not optimized is also awesome!
I’ve seen lead pages before but I think I should check it out again.
I happened to get an awesome link to my site on Friday and had 4k uniques in one day! I’m surprised my website a didn’t break. Quite a difference from 50/day.
I had 279 opt-ins to my email newsletter from 4k visitors. I was pretty disappointed by that. I just have no idea what percentage should be signing up for a newsletter. In my long term strategy I care a lot more about the email subscribers than I do about 4k one-off visitors.
What percentage of visitors are subscribing to your site?
I think I need to change up my opt-in form. I’m just using a very plain looking plugin that came with my woo themes canvas theme.
Great work Jon! I’m interested in the whole backlinking thing from the perspective that majesticSEO turns up completely different backlinks for my site to e.g. webmaster tools??
P.S- just had a giggle at your site shortcut lingo- in the U.K PMSL means ‘Piss Myself Laughing’…
Hey Lisa, thanks for letting me know about PMSL. I try and avoid acroynms whenever possible so I will try and make sure PMSL isn’t used on the site much to avoid the confusion.
Majestic SEO shows all backlinks it can find where as Webmaster Tools only shows a portion of them. Why WebMaster Tools only shows some and not all is up for debate – I personally don’t have much of a theory other than I focus on MajesticSEO for simplicity.
Wow, that’s a huge net income boost! Congrats, man! I’m super interested in hearing more about this site that you bought. I’ve bought a site before and tried to increase conversions, but I didn’t see a jump as drastic as yours.
That’s really fascinating to me that you’re able to keep your expenses so low. I’d really like to connect with you and compare notes!
Hi Josh, the 10x jump in click through rate is what made all the difference for me. However, there is some bad news coming for my purchased site. I will have a more detailed post shortly covering the purchase process and going from hero – zero – hero – zero – ???
We should definitely touch base and compare notes!
that’s an amazing increase in revenue, congrats! I’m sure you will be at 15k a months even before your timed goal 🙂
Wow, taking a site from 0 to $1k a month is incredible. Your purchased site must’ve had some really good traffic numbers. And since it’s about loans it’s definitely a niche which will always have buyers in the long run. I like it.
Your monetization approach with CPAs is very genuine. I like that you’re taking the time to find the most valuable, highly relevant offers. It’s a big change from just slapping on AdSense.
Out of curiosity, what are some of your go-to sites for affiliate/lead gen offers? So far I’ve had decent success with QuinStreet.
This september income and traffic report is very interesting and inspiring.
I hope the incoming months would be better than these.
I really like your idea of setting monthly goals for your online journey.
I wish you success ahead of you.
The site you purchased, was it expired domain?
Wow you are killing it Jon. You’re clearly on the road to very big things.
Your overall income of $8983 is stunning!! By the way, would you mind sharing what part of it came from expired domain sales?
Jon – I already congratulated you on the new site, but it slipped mind to congratulate you on the net income, absolutely amazing and inspiring! For this to still be a part time gig, makes it even more amazing!
Keep killing it!
Congrats on your record earnings. 30 great posts for $88 is not bad!
Been thinking about getting LeadPages. I see above that you have in your expenses, “LeadPages = $0 one time fee already paid”. I only see a monthly or annual billing option on the sales page. Did I miss out on a deal or are you referring to the fact you already paid the annual billing fee?
Excellent income this month and you’re way ahead of schedule. I’m not sure if I missed it, am I correct in assuming the remaining 6k in income came from here, since you made 3k from the 2 authority sites and have a total close to 9k.
Me again. I wanted to ask you about an issue I’ve been noticing when outsourcing articles lately. I’ve been using a few writing sites including odesk, elance and textbroker and a couple of others just to spread the risk but have been noticing lately that more writers are coming up with article rewrites and submitting them as articles even when you ask for original research. And these are the highly rated ones with low rejection rates.
I must clarify this usually happens with articles that require some research like how to’s, some technical articles, reviews, etc. What I’ve noticed is they get some of the top ranking articles from Google’s search (usually first 3 pages in SERPs) and just rewrite it. Don’t get me wrong the articles come out very nice, well written (english wise) so it looks great on the surface. And it passes copyscape because I guess they tediously fix it to do so, which is somewhat easier if you’re rewriting. The person ordering it only bumps into the ‘original’ content if they do research on the topic and run into that very page, otherwise it goes unfound.
Most of the ones doing it are actually the very highly rated writers (then again the low end writers will probably just copy/paste or muck up the rewrite). I’m still a beginner at this outsourcing thing so I may just be catching up to it now and probably have been a victim many times over in my previous ordered articles.
My questions are:
1. do you check any of your articles for this (ie. them being rewrites of articles, despite looking ‘original’)?
2. More importantly, if you use these articles unknowingly, how much can it harm your site’s content quality in the eyes of Google? (Keeping in mind that to the human reader these come out informative and well written)
Sorry for the long post, needed to explain things. I’m hoping you reply to this because I’m trying to figure out how to go forward from here.
Great report as always Jon,
I’m very happy for your success once again man and, I’m sure that if things continue going the way it is going at the moment then, you’ll soon arrive at your goal even before the stipulated time.
You know, one thing is being a business man and the other is knowing exactly what you’re doing and, you’re very good at both.
Hope you don’t mind me asking you few questions:
1. The video that your V.A’s uploads for you, are you the one that makes them or, they also create
2. When you’ve purchased the expired domain, what next do you do with them, do you just upload some contents on them while linking back to your site?
I will also shoot you a main now for few more questions.
Thanks a lot Jon and, more strength to your elbows?
Well done Jon, best all round seo blog I have come across. Glad I found your site.
Man, Jon – you’ve been killing it dude! It surely gives me a boost of motivation after ready these income reports. I’ve turned my focus totally towards “one” website…well, blog – I’m focusing on building up a blog will tons of quality content and reaching out to influential people in my industry through to top social networks. So far, so good!
Keep killing it!
I became follower of this blog and you also recently added me on g+. thanks for adding me. I have little question that confusing me.
The question is you mentioned your VA2 is blog commenting and it is calculated based on hours. How do you calculate and pay to VA for commenting? Since searching for blog to comment on takes much time and more time consuming is commenting relevant as per topic.
Also I have suggestions for your blog is that you should use subscribe to comment option on your blog. since whatever I learned from your blog; more I learned from comments and my questions asked in comments; but I do not know when someone is replying to my comments. If this feature is available on this blog, users interaction will also be more, I think.
Thanks for having such great blog and being my mentor through this blog.