Welcome to my quarterly update for the second quarter of 2016! I must apologize for this being so late…but I was busy renewing my vows and giving my wife a proper wedding ceremony/reception/dance! I'll talk more about this and show some pictures at the end of this report!
In terms of my business, it's been a much better quarter financially than the first, despite some setbacks in other areas. That being said, I'm happy with the results and look forward to getting on with the third quarter of the year!
Keep reading to have a look at my expenses, income, and updates from all aspects of my growing online business. As always, I'll greatly appreciate any comments, critiques, and/or suggestions you may have for me or what I've been doing! I'm always looking for ways to improve my business and websites.
I'll start with the money side of things…since I know that's what everyone really wants to see anyways…am I right?
Expenses = $270.74
My expenses increased over the last quarter, mainly due to the fact that I decided to finally pay for the amazing keyword tool (and much more) program called Jaaxy. I'll tell you more about this decision later.
Other than that, everything is pretty much the same memberships that charge me monthly. I did purchase the .org version of my domain name to make sure no one else can steal it from under me. I also purchased a product called Niche Site Domain in order to write a review about it.
Wealthy Affiliate Membership: $74.76
Jaaxy Membership: $57.00
AWeber Membership: $57.00
Namecheap (Aff): $27.00
PPC BingAds: $0.00
PPC AdWords: $0.00
Facebook Ads: $0.00
Purchased KirbysMarketing.org: $13.99
Purchased Niche Site Domain: $13.99
Income (New Conversions/Revenue) = 107/$361.53
The income for this quarter took a massive leap over the previous quarter and grew by 76%! Now, I know my numbers still aren't that big in the grand scheme of things, but it's still great to see that type of growth!
My revenue sources actually decreased to 4, with a huge majority coming from Wealthy Affiliate. I had a yearly subscriber renew their subscription again, so that accounts for $175. This is the second year he's been a yearly member as well, so this is the second time I've gotten a $175 commission from that one sale…that's up to $350 now from that one sale two years ago.
(New Conversions/YTD Conversions/New Revenue/YTD Revenue)
Wealthy Affiliate: 30/51/$328.50/$399.50
Elegant Themes (Aff): 0/0/$0.00/$0.00
Dreamstime (Aff): 0/0/$0.79/$2.11
Paid Viewpoint: 72/79/$7.24/$25.74
Pretty Link Pro: 0/0/$0.00/$0.00
Digit Savings App: 5/7/$25.00/$35.00
Niche Sites: $0.00
Totals Over Time
With the small loss in the first quarter of the year it's nice to finally be making money this year! I'm up about $80 so far this year and am reaching the 1K profit mark since I started my website over two years ago.
Total Profit: $83.34
Total Profit: $879.23
Hourly Rate: $10.04/Hour
When I take my income divided by the number of hours I put into my online business in the last quarter it comes to just over $10/hour. While this isn't great, it is above minimum wage in my state (South Dakota) and is a lot better than it was last quarter! Getting paid $10/hour in my “free” time outside of my job isn't so bad of a deal!
My traffic has increased dramatically over the previous quarter. Why? Well, I'm not 100% sure other than to say it's because I've been trying to update my old posts and that my site continues to age and gain a better reputation within the search engines.
I averaged over 100 visitors a day, which is a first for any period of time! They stay on my website for over four minutes, which is a really great length of time because it shows people are reading and engaging with my content! That means they must be finding it helpful and interesting to read. Now…I just need to get better about converting all of that traffic into revenue…
Total Visitors: 9,131 (+2,656, +41%)
Unique: 8,566 (+2,486, +41%)
New: 8,008 (+2,360, +42%)
Returning: 558 (+126, +29%)
Actions: 18,233 (+5,210, +40%)
Page Views: 17,966 (+5,113, +40%)
Downloads: 12 (-5, -29%)
Outbound Links: 255 (+102, +67%)
Average Actions: 2.0 (+0, +0%)
Total Time: 29 Days 10 Hours (+8 Days 19 Hours, +42%)
Average per Visit: 4:39 (+0:04, +1%)
Bounce Rate: 13% (-2, -8%)
The traffic coming from each source grew dramatically in all categories except for Media Searches. Surprisingly, despite my complete lack of attention to my social media profiles, traffic coming from Social Media grew by over 200% from 19 in the last quarter to 58 this quarter. This means someone, somewhere has shared my content and it continues to be passed around. Most of the social media traffic is coming from LinkedIn, which I find to be quite interesting.
Searches: 7,332 (+2,169, +42%)
Direct: 1,666 (+435, +35%)
Links: 63 (+17, +37%)
Social Media: 58 (+39, +205%)
Media Searches: 12 (-4, -25%)
Social Media Profiles
As I just mentioned, it's been as if my social media pages didn't even exist because that's how I've been treating them. I literally spent no time on them in the last three months. So, given that, it's not surprising to see that none of them really grew.
Facebook Page: 62 Likes (+2)
Twitter: 288 Followers (-4)
Google Plus Business Page: 66 Followers (+0)
Pinterest: 135 Followers (+2)
Surprisingly, my YouTube channel continues to get a good amount of views on the 12 videos I have published. My subscribers have increased as well as the total views, watch time, and average view duration. I don't particularly find my videos that exciting, but they are doing the same thing as my content (which I also don't find terribly exciting) which is to provide valuable information to people looking for specific answers they have regarding a particular product.
Total Subscribers: 12 (+5)
New Comments: 2
New Videos Posted: 0
Total Views: 635 (+164)
Total Watch Time (Minutes): 2,214 (+823)
Average View Duration: 3:29 (+0:32)
The number of subscribers to my email lists continues to grow rapidly (at least when compared to my previous attempts at building a list). My popup and mindset course convinces a lot of people to sign up; however, now I'm still trying to figure out how to convert them.
I think I'm going to scrap the email course and am currently putting it into an eBook to give away instead of forcing people to get access to the whole course over two weeks. Now they'll be able to have it all at once and, in exchange, they'll be added to my primary email list where I can send them relevant and helpful information on a regular basis.
Primary Email List: 91 (+12)
KM Mindset Course: 224 (+101)
Niche Site Update
I started a new website in a relatively narrow niche and I plan on keeping you updated on that and others in these updates as well. However, I'm not going to make the domain name or niche public in order to protect it from those that might try to steal the niche from me. That being said, I'll still give some general information about how things are going!
I was inspired to start a second, smaller site for a couple reasons. First of all, I was getting really burned out with this one and, secondly, I've been wanting to work on a smaller niche site for quite some time but couldn't rationalize the time it would take. As coincidence would have it, there was a WAbinar series over at WA that would walk you through starting your own niche site over five weeks…so I did it.
As of now I have six in-depth posts and product reviews and have already begun to get some traffic from the search engines. Now, when I say “traffic”, I'm talking about 1 or 2 visitors a day…or less. However, of those visitors I've already had some clicks through to Amazon and am way ahead of where I was with KirbysMarketing at this same point.
At this point, my niche site is definitely doing the Google dance as its results and, consequently, my traffic has been jumping all over the place for the last couple weeks.
Time Spent 35 Hrs 57 Min
As you probably already know if you've been around my updates before, I like to track all of the time I spend working on my websites and online businesses. I do this so I can see how efficient I am, how much my time is worth, and to ensure that I know exactly how much effort I've been putting into this whole venture to give an honest perspective to people who might be interested in starting the same sort of business.
I must say, that I am slightly ashamed of the time I put into this over the last three months. Thirty-five hours means just over ten hours a month…which is really bad if I ever expect to make this a full-time gig.
Niche Site: 13 Hrs 9 Min
SpyVisit Review: 5 Hrs 7 Min
KM Quarterly Report: Q1 2016: 4 Hrs 54 Min
Training (@ WA): 4 Hrs 53 Min
Miscellaneous: 3 Hrs 22 Min
EBook: 1 Hr 41 Min
Respond to Comments: 1 Hr 13 Min
Respond to Emails: 35 Min
12 Minute Books Review: 33 Min
WA Community: 30 Min
What I Did
Now I'll give you a quick rundown of exactly what I've been up to in the last quarter regarding this website and my new niche site!
Well, the first thing I did was get super burned out! I was just getting sick and tired of reviewing the same old types of products that are just trying to scam people, writing content for my site, and spending a majority of my free time working on my business.
As a result, I kind of stepped away for a few weeks until I could find a new motivation to keep going. That is when I decided I was going to branch out a bit and start a second, but smaller-scoped niche website. I know it's a risk to have more than one site going at once, especially when the first one is still working on getting its footing. However, I think working on a smaller niche site will be good both for my own morale as well as making me more legitimate on KirbysMarketing.com. Right now, my only proof of being able to make money online is from this very site…and I have none of my own proof from anywhere else. I'm hoping this niche site can be the first of many small niche sites to make money for me!
Started a Niche Site
At this point, I'm not going to reveal the actual niche of this site because I don't want to open up the idea to any competitors. Perhaps at some point, once I feel the site is properly established within the niche I will reveal it publicly, but until then I will keep it private. That being said, as it gets more reputable in the search engines, I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what the site is if you do some clever Google searching.
The site is very narrowly focused on one particular type of product I have found a personal need for in my 9-5 job and, upon doing research, found there to be next to no sites that provide a centralized location to read reviews and compare various products side-by-side (other than Amazon). The keyword research I performed also backed me up and showed many keywords relating to my niche that have decent amounts of searches per month with very little competition!
Keyword Research Proper
Speaking of keywords, I decided that I'm going to start doing proper keyword research from now on. If you don't already know, up to now with Kirby's Marketing I haven't done an ounce of keyword research. I really just wanted to prove that if you write naturally and helpfully you'll be successful…which I still believe is true.
However, now that I'm broadening out into more specific niches, I want to get better at targeting specific keywords in a way that doesn't interfere with writing quality, helpful content! To do this I purchased a monthly subscription to the Jaaxy Keyword Tool, which I find to be one of the best keyword research tools out there. You can read more about it here.
In terms of content creation, I've still been working on updating and optimizing my older posts and reviews to my newest layout which has proven to be much more successful at retaining visitors for longer, leading to more actions per visitor, and converting more visitors to sales!
I also wrote one more product review on SpyVisit because I was given a free trial of the full product to review by the product creator (it's awesome when people begin approaching you and asking you to review their products…especially when they give it to you for free)! Other than that, I haven't created much new content for this website. I did, however, create 8 new product reviews for my niche site.
I also purchased KirbysMarketing.org as well as DustinGarness.com through Wealthy Affiliate's new domain purchasing system (which works amazingly by the way). I just want to protect my brand name as I continue to grow my online business and following so no one can buy the .org version of my domain and potentially steal traffic that was intending on coming to my site organically! I also just want DustinGarness.com in case I want to create a website brand around my name in the future…but as of now, I have no plans for that domain other than to just hang onto it.
Quarter 2 Goals
I didn't meet many of the goals I set out for the quarter, but I still feel like I made some good progress.
- Post 12 new pages or posts NO (managed to write 9)
- Write 4 in-depth product reviews YES (one at Kirby's Marketing and 7 on my niche site)
- Have over 10,000 unique visitors to my site NO (but close with just over 9,000)
- Work for 75+ hours NO (not even close)
- Optimize 5+ older product reviews NO
- Send out blog broadcast once per week NO
- Have 300 subscribers to KM Mindset Shift Course NO (but grew by over 100)
Quarter 3 Goals
- Write 2 product reviews on Kirby's Marketing
- Write 10 product reviews on niche site
- Have over 10,000 visitors on Kirby's Marketing
- Get my first sale on niche site
- Work for 50+ hours
- Revamp email subscription/follow-up series on Kirby's Marketing
- Finish eBook
As you may or may not already know, I was married in April 2015 a week after my wife was able to get into the United States on a K1 Fiance Visa. Because it was on such short notice, only our closest friends and family were able to make the wedding, which itself was very quickly put together and small (it was still great and I wouldn't have changed it for anything).
However, I promised my wife that I would give her the wedding she's always dreamed of…and that is what we just had! It turned out to be a beautiful day at a beautiful venue called Penny Tree Events in Parker, South Dakota. The weather was perfect, my wife looked even more beautiful than I even knew possible (and I mean that in the best way possible), our decorations were on point, and the day was great!
Here are some of the initial photos from the event:
Well, that brings us to the end of this quarterly update. I hope you found it interesting and helpful as you continue to build up your own online businesses! I also hope that you can forgive me for being so late with publishing this!
If you have any questions or comments regarding anything I've done or mentioned in this update, please don't hesitate to write them in the comments section below! I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP!
Dustin “Kirby” Garness