It's been another two months so that means it's time for my latest income report and progress update. Let me just say, July and August were riddled with problems! It was probably the most frustrating period since I've started my website a year and a half ago.
Long story short (I'll talk about this in more detail below), I ran into lots of problems with Google's latest update and how my robots.txt file was allowing their mobile Google bot to see my site. Google Analytics also got messed up somehow along the way, so that wasn't, and still isn't reporting correctly either.
Needless to say, the robots.txt file caused me to lose all of my organic traffic for about a month until I was able to get it sort of fixed. This also reduced my referrals and sales to all of my various affiliate programs.
The good news is, I still made over $200 during the period, despite all of those problems! It's a bit frustrating that I ran into those problems because I felt like I had so much upward momentum going, but now it seems like I'm starting from the bottom of the hill again in some aspects.
Now, let's look at the money! I know it's what you want to see anyways…
All of the numbers represented here are for the two month period of July and August. So, just be sure to keep that in mind as you continue.
Expenses = $150.80
My expenses went up a little bit this period because I purchased a popular keyword research program called Long Tail Pro. It's generally highly recommended among the internet marketing community and they were having a substantial sale, so I figured I'd take advantage and see what it's all about.
Other than purchasing that product, my expenses have not changed for many months now!
Income (New Conversions/Revenue) = 56/$362.22
(New Conversions/Conversions Over Time/New Revenue/Revenue Over Time)
Wealthy Affiliate: 15/178/$90.00/$1,022.50
Elegant Themes: 0/1/$0.00/$44.50
Paid Viewpoint: 6/508/$12.72/$92.81
Pretty Link Pro: 1/1/$11.10/$11.10
I generated income from the usual places again, albeit less than the last period because of my Google problems, plus I got sales from two new sources: Shutterstock and Pretty Link Pro!
I was so excited for those two new sales because it means my income potential is growing and diversifying each and every month!
Totals Over Time = $307.84
In the last update, I finally earned more money than I had spent since I started the website! Now, I'm continuing to add to that overall profit! Since April 2014, I have spent just under $1,600 and have brought in just under $1,900. That means, taking all expenses and revenue into account, Kirby's Marketing.com has made me over $300!
I know $300 doesn't seem like much, but it's proof that my business is growing and earning me money. As long as I keep investing time (I shouldn't need to spend much more money other than small monthly subscription costs for essential tools), my profit will continue to increase!
Total Profit: $307.84
Hourly Rate: $8.14/hr
Calculating my hourly rate is my favorite part of these updates. It allows me to compare how valuable my time is when I'm considering my current job, when people ask me to do this or that for them, or even when deciding how much to charge someone for a project.
Unfortunately, for the last two months, my hourly rate decreased by about six dollars compared to the last update. There are two reasons for this: my traffic and sales decreased because of my Google issues and the time I spent fixing them and working on other aspects of my site increased.
However, I'm still making above minimum wage and it's a lot more money than I would've had without my website!
This will be the shortest traffic update yet because I have absolutely no idea how much traffic I received over the last two months. At some point along the way, Google Analytics stopped accurately recording my traffic, plus I lost at least a few weeks' worth of traffic due to my issue with the Google bot I talked about at the beginning of this update.
Because of this whole debacle, I've started using a new analytics program called Clicky. It seems to be working well so far, but I didn't start using it until September, so I won't have any official traffic numbers until my next update in November.
Social Media Profiles
With all of the technical issues I was having, plus a car wreck (see end of update), I didn't spend the amount of time I would've liked building my social media presence. In fact, I don't think I spent a single minute on them for the last two months. Nevertheless, they all increased more than they usually do. How this is possible, I have no idea, but I'm not complaining.
Note: because I've started developing my email marketing a lot more lately, I'm creating a new section in these updates where I talk specifically about my email marketing campaigns instead of just including its numbers in this social media section.
If you haven't seen, I've really started focusing on my email marketing. I've also been documenting my email marketing experience in a series called A Dummy's Attempt At Email Marketing.
I've put most of my time and energy into writing a free online course (more on this below) as a lead magnet to get people signed up. I have updated my subscribe boxes and even have a popup selling my free email course. It only comes up every sixty days, so I hope it's not too annoying. Once my subscribers finish the email course/follow-up series they'll be transferred to my normal list and receive weekly broadcast emails.
So far, it seems like my tactics are working fairly well, my email course list has grown significantly despite lower traffic numbers over the past couple months.
Primary Email List: 64 Subscribers (+9)
KM Mindset Course: 36 Subscribers
Time Spent – 44 Hrs 33 Min
If you round up, I met last month's goal of spending 45 hours or more working on Kirby's Marketing. I still feel like I'm not able to spend as much time as I would like, but that's ok. I have a lot of other amazing people (aka my wife) to spend time with, so I'm not complaining too much.
I spent the most time developing my free email course, but also spend quite a lot of time troubleshooting all of the crap that was going on and figuring out how to fix it. Besides that, I spent the rest of my time writing content and responding to comments.
Email Marketing: 17 hrs 13 min
KM Bi-Monthly Income Report And Update – May/June 2015: 6 hrs 28 min
Troubleshooting: 5 hrs 38 min
A Dummy's Attempt At Email Marketing – Part 2: 4 hrs 7 min
Change Theme: 3 hrs 57 min
Respond To Comments: 2 hrs 12 min
Digit Savings App Review: 1 hr 35 min
WA Community: 1 hr 2 min
Core Principles Of Kirby's Marketing: 39 min
Miscellaneous: 38 min
About Me Page: 35 min
The Logo Creator Review: 29 min
What I Did
Updated My Robots File
Do you know what a Robots.txt file is? Well, if you do, you're in a better position than I was two months ago when my robots.txt file started wreaking havoc on my organic traffic. It turns out Google made some sort of change to its algorithm that began to change how its robots scanned and viewed websites, and mine wasn't completely compatible.
As a result, Google wasn't able to access any of my CSS or JS files. I lost all of my rankings and almost all of my traffic. Unfortunately, I didn't get things fixed fast enough and Google Search Console is really slow to update, so I wasn't able to tell if my changes were working or not. It was a big fiasco and I was really close to just paying someone to fix it for me.
In the end, I think I got it mostly sorted. There are still a few files that are blocked, but most of my rankings have returned so I'm pretty happy. I still have some work to do to get everything 100% fixed, but it's not the only thing I need to focus on now.
I've been wanting to change my theme for a while now, but I was always afraid I was going to really mess up my site and lose potential customers. Well, being that I had already lost my rankings and traffic, I decided to go ahead and switch up my theme. I really had nothing to lose.
I stuck with a MyThemeShop theme because I really like them, but I upgraded to one of their newest and most popular themes called Steady Income. It has some nice features specially designed for online marketing things…like building an email list which, as you're probably well aware, is something I'm really trying to put more emphasis on.
For the most part, it was a fairly easy transition. There were a few graphic things I needed to change, but nothing too major. I do need to get some new graphics made so I can stop using the standard stock photo of a random guy. I'm thinking of having my friend illustrate them for me, but that's still a ways off…until I can afford it.
Started Writing Free Email Course
I FINALLY started to create my first lead magnet. Little did I know it would be in the form of a free email course. Even littler did I know it would be regarding getting yourself in the right mindset for making money.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to make while sitting at work staring at the sandblaster. At first I was thinking about some sort of simple PDF, but then I realized I wanted something more in-depth, that showed I really was putting a lot of effort into teaching and training my subscribers, so I settled on a free email course.
With that in mind, I started planning a training program where I was going to teach you how to build your first website. As I was doing this, I started to realize I was basically creating something that already exists in a million different places around the internet. If you want to learn that stuff, there are way better resources for you than I would be able to create in a simple email course. Why reinvent the wheel?!?
That lead me to think about what is really holding people back from building successful online businesses. It isn't that you can't find information on how to set up a website and do all of that kind of stuff. That's everywhere. What is holding potential online business owners back is their mindset for making money online. There are so many misconceptions and people putting misinformation and unrealistic expectations out there that most people who start something fail.
These people need to have their mindset shifted from the lies they've been fed. This is what my course does. It helps my subscribers shift their mindset from something that will lead them to failure, to a mindset that will lead them to success.
If you haven't yet subscribed to this free email course, you can do so here.
Bought Long-Tail Pro Keyword Tool
I didn't (and still don't) have any money budgeted to purchase products, but I caved and purchased Long-Tail Pro because they were having a huge sale. I purchased a standard version for only $37 because I've heard a lot of people talking about the product and how it's their primary keyword research tool.
I personally am a fan and user of Jaaxy when doing keyword research, but I'm always open to trying new products. Once I get a chance to try it out I'll be sure to write a review and possibly even a comparison post with Jaaxy.
Did I Meet My Goals?
I met a few of my goals, but not as many as I would have liked. I guess that's what happens when you lose all your organic traffic and you get into a car wreck (see below…don't worry everyone is fine!)
- Post 5 new pages or posts, not including this update NO
- Work for 45+ hours YES
- Spend 4 hours doing social media NO
- Get 7 new sales NO
- Have over $400 PROFIT for the period NO
- Over 5,000 organic visitors NO
- Create 1 lead magnet SORT OF
- Update email subscription sidebar sign up YES
- Install lightbox email subscription sign up YES
Goals For The Next Two Months
- Post 5 new pages or posts, not including this update
- Work for 60+ hours
- Finish the first iteration of my free email course
- Over $400 PROFIT
- Send out blog broadcast once a week
- Create New Logo
- Have 100 subscribers to email course
Got Into A Car Wreck
Life is crazy and you never know what is going to happen next, especially when you're driving. About a month ago I was driving along chatting with my wife (actually we were talking about what kind of car we were going to buy when we could afford to get a new vehicle) when I looked at a car in oncoming traffic for a split second when BANG an airbag in my face. I had smashed right into a car stopped at a red light. It was completely my fault, but I don't feel like I did anything wrong. Luckily, we weren't going very fast and nobody was hurt.
It's kind of funny because of all the times I deserved to have been in an accident, this was definitely not it. I've been way more distracted than I was that day…it was so frustrating.
It took us a few days to find a new vehicle, but I am now the proud owner of a 1997 Dodge Caravan…nicknamed my Dad Van, which is funny because we don't even have any kids yet!
That about wraps up this update. I'm looking forward to the next two months and I sure do hope they are more productive than the last two, at least I hope I can spend my time moving my site forward instead of fixing it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on anything I've written, good or bad. Do you have any ideas about what I could do better, or where I could be taking my site? If so, please drop me a comment below!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Dustin “Kirby” Garness