Wow! I can't believe it's already been two months since my last income report and website update! It's amazing how time flies.
The last two months have been really great and I am excited to give you a rundown of how everything has been going.
If you're new here, you'll quickly learn that I am completely open and honest about everything I do here at Kirby's Marketing. I want to show first hand just what it takes to create your own online business. If you want to go back and see where I started from and just how much progress I have made, you can check out all of my income reports since day one here.
The way I like to do this is to talk about the money first (let's be honest… That's what you're really here for right?). I'll tell you exactly how much money I've spent and where, how much I've brought in and from where, then my overall profit since day 1, and finally my hourly rate to determine if all this is worth my time.
After the money, I'll get to the “boring” stuff and look at my traffic, top performing pages, social media profiles, and time spent. Then I'll finish by going over everything I did in the past two months and where I plan to take things in the next two! Now, let's get to it!
As we go through all of these numbers, remember they are from the two-month period between May 1 and June 30, 2015.
Expenses = $113.80
My expenses have remained the same. The nice thing about this business is as your business grows, your expenses don't need to. My site could be (and will be) getting 100x it's current traffic and still be costing the exact same to keep up and running on a basic level.
Income (New Conversions/Revue) = 109/$437.40
(New Conversions/Conversions Over Time/New Revenue/Revenue Over Time)
Wealthy Affiliate: 23/163/$254.00/$932.5
Elegant Themes (aff): 1/1/$44.50/$44.50
Dreamstime (aff): 37/159/$4.88/$14.74
Paid Viewpoint: 29/502/$17.38/$80.09
Pretty Link Pro: 0/0/$0.00/$0.00
Despite my lower traffic number and two-month break, March and April together have been my best two months ever!
I'm still making the most money from Wealthy Affiliate, but my total revenue stream is slowly diversifying. I had my first sale ever, worth over $44 in my pocket, from Elegant Themes. That was a nice surprise email to get.
Everything else has pretty much stayed the same which, considering my traffic has really decreased, I consider this to be great.
Totals Over Time = $96.42
For the first time since I started my website, this has become a profitable venture! I have officially made more money than I have spent!!! I’ve had a few profitable months now and have finally made up for the first few months of no income at all!
Total Profit: $96.42
Hourly Rate: $11.98/hr
I always like to calculate my hourly rate for the two month period of my updates. I find this to be the true test of whether or not this website is worth it. Last month my hourly rate was $13.60. This month it dropped a bit to just under twelve dollars an hour. This is mostly because I spent a lot more time working on my site and it typically takes time for this work to begin to pay off.
The traffic coming to my site really decreased in the last two months. There are a few reasons for this. First, I’ve gotten better at filtering out non-legitimate traffic so that traffic is being filtered out. It seems to be a constant battle as there are always new traffic sources popping up that aren’t legit.
The second reason for lower traffic is the month and a half period of non-production in March and April. My website isn’t big enough to be able to withstand that long of a time with no new content. I’m pretty sure this is the reason for a large part of my traffic decrease since my last update.
Thirdly, one of my most popular posts, which had been in the number one positions under a few popular keywords suddenly lost its number one spot and is now in the 4th-5th spot range. I have no idea why this is!
Total Visitors: 5,397 (-701)
Unique Visitors: 4,763 (-432)
Pageviews: 12,981 (-4,099)
Pages/Session: 2.41 (-0.39)
% New Visitors: 87.36% (+2.94%)
Average Session Duration: 1:28 (-0:19)
Organic: 3,289 (-1,185)
Direct: 1,471 (+547)
Referral: 627 (-1)
Social: 10 (-62)
PPC Adwords: 0
PPC BingAds: 0
Organic Traffic Over Time
As usual, I always like to show this graph of my organic traffic from day one. I think it really helps people realize they need to keep on plugging along during the first months of building their website. If they’re doing it right, it will all be worth it once they finally gain some sort of authority within Google. You can see how I had nothing for months, then suddenly it jumped up and continued to increase (mostly) since!
Top Performing Landing Pages
My top landing pages have had a big rearrangement take place. My number one most popular page for months suddenly dropped from the rankings falling from position one to position four. If you ever need any convincing of the difference between number one and four, just take a look at this graph showing the drop in traffic on my Click 4 Surveys Review:
I have absolutely no idea why this review dropped in the rankings. I don’t recall making changes or doing anything else in that post. Maybe someone else created a better one. Who knows. Anyways, my Click 4 Surveys Review has been one of my biggest traffic generators for many months so that drop also contributes greatly to my overall drop in traffic.
% Total Traffic: 19.68% (+1.85%)
Sessions: 1,062 (-25)
% New Sessions: 88.32% (+2.76%)
Pages/Session: 2.65 (+0.13)
Average Session Duration: 1:45 (+0:24)
% Total Traffic: 8.56% (-2.35%)
Sessions: 462 (-203)
% New Sessions: 90.26% (-3.12%)
Pages/Session: 2.79 (-0.07)
Average Session Duration: 2:13 (-0.05)
% Total Traffic: 7.34% (-17.49%)
Sessions: 396 (-1,118)
% New Sessions: 91.92% (+9.95%)
Pages/Session: 2.84 (-0.06)
Average Session Duration: 1:46 (-0:25)
Social Media Profiles
For the most part, my social media profiles are continuing to slowly creep upward, no thanks to any effort on my part. I haven’t done much of anything when it comes to social media. I just don’t find my content to be super conducive to social media…maybe I’m simply not a part of the right groups or networks. Anyways, I still need to invest a lot of time into developing my social following…some day!
Facebook Page: 52 Likes (+6)
Twitter: 277 Followers (-7)
Google Plus Business Page: 61 Followers (+2) & 13,838 Views (+110)
Pinterest: 122 Followers (-1)
Email List: 55 Subscribers (+5)
Time Spent – 36 Hrs 25 Min
I spent just under the equivalent of a 40-hour workweek working on this site. Boy, when I add it all up it really doesn’t seem like that much time…but when squeezing in the time after work, spending time with my wife, visiting my mom in hospice, and everything else that comes up, it sure does seem hard to even fit in that much time…
I spent most of my time writing my new content, but a good portion was also spent within the WA community networking and learning new material regarding internet marketing.
Responding to comments takes a surprisingly large amount of time. I don’t even get many comments, maybe 5 or 6 a week. I can’t imagine a really popular site that gets 10+ comments a day! When I get to that point I hope my site is my full-time job, either that or I’ll have to hire someone to do them for me! Hey, I can dream can’t I?!?!?
KM Bi-Monthly Income Report And Update – March/April 2015: 6 hrs 23 min
WA Community: 5 hrs 38 min
101 Contact Review: 5 hrs 29 min
A Dummy’s Attempt At Email Marketing – Part 1: 4 hrs 56 min
Three Awesome New Blog Themes From MyThemeShop: 3 hrs 1 min
6 Must-Have Plugins For Any New WordPress Blog: 3 hrs 1 min
Respond To Comments: 2 hrs 51 min
Thank You For Subscribing Page: 1 hr 13 min
Interview With Tom de Haan: 1 hr 10 min
Social Media: 54 min
Email Marketing: 40 min
Miscellaneous: 24 min
Product Research: 19 min
Interview With Mark Sylvester: 10 min
Troubleshooting: 9 min
Instant Cash Sweepstakes Review: 4 min
What I Accomplished
I feel like I had a fairly productive May and June. Of course, I didn’t get as much done as I would’ve liked, but I did get more than a few new pieces of content published on my site. I also did a bunch of brainstorming and planning, so I feel like I have a better direction of where I am taking Kirby’s Marketing in the next few weeks and months! I think I have some good stuff in the works for all of you, now it’s just a matter of getting it done!
I created a total of five new posts, only one of which was an in-depth product reviews. I wrote a very in-depth review of a really cool plugin called 101Contact which allows you to personalize your email marketing campaigns in an awesome way! I also interviewed the creator of this product, Tom de Haan. It’s always interesting to hear their stories and see what they have to say about their own products.
I also had two posts that were basically collections of mini reviews. The first was looking at three premium blog themes and the second was discussing 6 essential plugins for any new WordPress blog. I think they are both very informative and will hopefully lead to some sales down the road.
The final post I developed was the first in a series I am writing documenting my first attempt at email marketing. I pretty much just summed up what email marketing is, why it is potentially very lucrative, and my first attempt at laying out a plan! I will continue to add to this series as I move forward with my own email marketing campaign. I hope following along will allow my readers to learn from both my mistakes and my successes!
The first step of updating my email marketing campaign was to update my Thanks for Subscribing page to be much more relevant to what I am trying to do. I really tried to show my subscribers that I am an honest person and hold their email address with the highest regard.
So, I spend a good portion of each day watching a sandblasting machine do its work. All I do is sit/stand there ready to turn it off if something breaks…exciting right! Well, this gives me lots of time to think. In the past, I would think about random, non-productive things, but lately, I’ve decided to use that time to brainstorm and plan all sorts of ideas for my website.
I’ve been thinking of anything from big ideas and long-term goals to actually drawing a mind-map of my email marketing campaign and outlining posts! This has really helped me to be much more productive because now I can spend my time at home actually creating content instead of thinking and planning. Actually, I like to think of it this way: I’m getting paid to plan my website!
Complying With FTC Laws
One thing that’s always been on my mind is whether or not someone could sue me down the road. I don’t even know for what, but it always worries me. Needless to say, I did a little research and came to find out there are very specific disclosure laws for affiliate websites like this. Most of which I wasn’t following.
This was a bit of a shocker for me as I realized I was leaving myself very vulnerable. Although nothing would probably ever happen, I hate leaving myself open to these sorts of things. I’m in the process of updating all of my pages and posts to be compliant with the FTC requirements, but when you have nearly 100 posts and 20+ pages, this takes some time. It’s a work in progress.
I’ve mentioned it a few times now, but I’m starting to consciously think about/implement my first email marketing campaigns. Most of this has been in the form of planning and brainstorming, but that’s a start. Now, it’s time to make it happen.
I’m currently working on creating a couple lead magnets to entice people to register. These take time, but I’m going to make my content work double-time for me, so that should cut some of the work!
I have been getting SO MUCH crappy traffic! When I look at the details almost all of it is coming from Russia. The same thing happened a few months ago, but I thought I pinpointed it to a specific region, so I just blocked that region from analytics. However, it seems the Russians have wizened up and moved to other parts of Russia. Finally, I had enough and just blocked the whole country from showing in analytics. I doubt there’s too many legit Russians coming to this website anyways, so I’m not too concerned about it.
So it seems having a website where you write product reviews has its perks, at least once you build it enough to be considered an authority like mine is becoming. What are the perks you ask? Well, people want me to review their products and are even willing to give me a free license so I can test them out and use them myself!
So far I have been given two of these, which is amazing! Not only do I have the ability to write a much better and more in-depth review, but I also have a full version of the product! So far, the two I have been given are great products that I will actually be using on a regular basis.
Did I Meet My Goals?
Well, I met some of them and a couple were really close. Most importantly, I met my content creation and profit goals! To me, those are the most important ones. As long as I’m producing content and making money, everything else is just frosting!
- Post 5 new pages or posts on Kirby’s Marketing, not including May/June update YES 6 new pages/posts
- Work for 40+ hours NO 36 hours
- Get 4 new sales YES 7 new sales
- Have over $300 PROFIT for the period YES $323.60 profit
- Over 7,625 (125 per day) organic visitors NO 3,289 organic visitors
- Create an email marketing plan/mind-map YES
- Social Media Goals
- Facebook: 55 Likes NO 52
- Twitter: 325 Followers NO 277
- Google Plus Business Page: 60 Followers YES 61
- Pinterest: 135 Followers NO 122
- Email List: 60 Subscribers NO 55
Goals For July/August 2015
- Post 5 new pages or posts, not including this update
- Work for 45+ hours
- Spend 4 hours doing social media
- Get 7 new sales
Have over $400 PROFIT for the period
- Over 5,000 organic visitors
- Create 1 lead magnet
- Update email subscription sidebar sign up
- Install lightbox email subscription sign up
- Social Media Goals
- Facebook: 60 Followers
- Twitter: 300 Followers
- Google Plus Business Page: 70 Followers
- Pinterest: 140 Followers
- Email List: 75 Subscribers
Well, that’s about all I got! Not much has been going on in my personal life that any of you would be interested in, so I don’t have much to say there. 🙂
I look forward to writing my July/August update in two months and I hope you are looking forward to following in my success! If you have any ideas on where I could go next with my site, or suggestions on things I could do differently/better, please drop me a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you!
Finally, if you’d like to check out past income reports, you can do so here. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss my next update, and any new content I publish along the way, be sure to sign up for my email list using this form: