This month was all about MAXIMIZING profits.
It felt good. We had one site that we boosted the profit by over $50 PER DAY.
I’ll get to that in a moment.
- Building A Team
- Our Upcoming Move
- Optimizing For Sales
- Income Report
Building A Team
I’ve been hesitant to actually “build a team”.
You see, when you bring on “team members”, suddenly you become responsible for providing them with a consistent amount of work (And corresponding pay).
And I’ve never wanted that stress.
Conversely, by only using random Odesk contractors, I was able to avoid that ongoing commitment to paying someone.
The downside to Odesk is that the quality was all over the place.
I finally decided to bite the bullet and start bringing on good members that we can build a business around. Currently there are two of them.
Content Creator: Writing content is probably the most boring job. (I’ve done it, I should know). I’m paying more for content by having dedicated writers, but the quality is so much better than it was when I was hiring foreigners to do the work. Plus, we’ve tweaked our method a few times and now we use a template that is getting really good conversions and is fairly easy for any college educated writer to follow.
Site Admin: This member works about 10-20 hours per week and makes changes to the sites: adding content, adding affiliate link and restructuring the layout.
Right now we are in a steady groove so that I can spend 20 hours outlining a site and my little team will take it from there. I’m hoping to bring on some more folks in about 8 weeks.
Our Pending Move
I mentioned two months ago that we were listing out house. We had good reception on the market with the first offer being made 10 days after listing.
However, the inspection revealed more extensive mold and termite damage than we had been lead to believe when we bought the house. We knew there was some damage when we bought the house, but were under the impression it had been entirely repaired. In a weird twist, the gentleman who inspected the repairs for us before we signed papers on the house 4 years ago came back out and stated “repairs insufficient”.
We looked into taking out a loan to do the repairs — thankfully we have plenty of equity in the home — but that would have just been more delays and frustration.
Finally, we decided to drop our asking price by more than the cost of the repairs and try offering the house to investors AS-IS. One of those interested investors was an old friend of my father’s from 25 years ago. He was quick to snatch it up, even though it wasn’t his ideal property.
So, we’re thanking the Lord for old connections and the chance to move forward without doing any major remodeling.
Be nice to folks. You never know when they’ll help you out of a bind two decades later.
The plan is to spend 7 months living in Florida. We found a beachfront place in our price range, so we’ll get some photos for you guys once we get there. (The grainy one above will have to do for now)
Optimizing For Sales
I mentioned last month that one of the sites was doing nearly 100,000 monthly visitors. .I decided that one of the best ways to increase revenue would be to increase conversions on that site.
The end result as an additional $2,900 (approximately) a month in revenue from this property.
The first thing we did was move the site to faster hosting. After making a lot of phone calls, I decided on Rackspace. Granted, they cost $150 a month. But they should also be able to handle close to a million visitors per month before we have to upgrade further.
The best part is that when I tested the site using loadimpact.com, we had dropped from 1-minute load times with 40 simulated visitors down to 2-second load times with 60 simulated users.
Secondly, we added Adsense. Ever after they kicked Spencer Haws out, I’ve been hesitant to use them. But I decided it was worth a try. Adding Adsense immediately bumped the site up by around $10 a day in new revenue.
Thirdly, I had the aforementioned site admin add a large “call to action link” at the start of each article. So now each article starts with an X-large “Click Here To See The Best Widgets On Amazon“.
The response to that was immediate, and the site began averaging an additional $50 per day in affiliate commissions.
Fourthly (is that a word?), we reached out to our Clickbank partners and discussed our need for new banners and specific landing pages for each problem their product sold. Turns out, they had just finished creating exactly that. We implemented those, and immediately took the conversion rate from .2% to .6%.
Normally I would complain about a conversion rate under 1%, but this product is a continuity product that we typically earn about $180 per sale on. In theory, these changes could mean an additional $12,000 per a year from Clickbank.
Oh, and we also tested a new Clickbank product which is converting nicely and we’re looking at about an extra $120 a month from that one.
Finally, I’ve found 3 new affiliate programs that I believe will be excellent additions to the site. Over the next 60 days I hope to have those programs fully implemented. Additionally, I’m working on an autoresponder sequence that should enable us to finally start capitalizing on the emails we’ve been collecting. Ideally, I fully believe that this one property could easily realize $10,000 per month, and I’m excited to try to get it there.
When life slows down a bit, I’ll do a full write-up on the site layout I am using.
Another excellent month in the books. The Amazon figures reported below are from January.
While the report isn’t quite as awesome as last month with all of that Christmas revenue finally coming in, I’m still very pleased. I do believe that we are trending upwards.
It looks like we are pretty solidly in the $12-14k a month club, now. I can’t wait to crack that $20k mark.
Amazon Associates (January Earnings): $12,123.77
Other Affiliate Income: $1,770.00
Houdini Act One Income: $272.00
Total Earnings: $14,165.77 (-$3,863 Previous month)
Business Expenses: $3,664.00
Net Profit: $10,501.77
Goals For April:
- My Step-By-Step method for building sites is finally available. Get on the email list to be alerted!
- Finally finish out a site that has been partially completed for over a year.
- Add more content to Cubicle Houdini.
Have any feedback for me on this month’s report? Let’s hear it in the comments below!!
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