October has come and gone. This means I’m a year older and still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life. It also means that it’s time for my monthly update.
I’ll start off with the great news: I have made TWO full-fledged affiliate sales. I referred one new premium member to Wealthy Affiliate. I’m really excited to see the progress he makes over there as he begins working through the training. This really is what this is all about. I just want to help people avoid getting scammed and point them toward good resources and this first affiliate sale is proof that my intention is beginning to work!
Another great sign of progress this month was that most of my traffic benchmarks nearly doubled again compared to the previous month. I have even had a few days with over 100 organic visitors. It would be great if this exponential growth would happen forever, but I have a feeling the increase is going to start slowing down a bit. That’s ok with me as long as it is still increasing.
I also started a full-time job this month. I am now officially working in the Death Care Industry.(I’ll give a further explanation of exactly what I am doing in the last section of this post) this is really great because I desperately needed the pay, but not so great in that it takes away most of the time I had previously dedicated to building my business. I’ve been struggling to get into a routine where I am able to work during the day, take care of my other responsibilities, as well as continue to publish new content on my blog.
What Did I Accomplish In October?
Although I didn’t have nearly as much time as I have had in the past, I still managed to accomplish a fair amount of work.
I was only able to squeak out 3 new posts, not including my September Income Report. This was definitely the most disappointing part of the month. 🙁
I was able to finish my series on the Google Chrome web-browser with An Overview On Using Google Chrome. The second post was a guide on getting started earning an income online and the last was a product review of a bogus product called “Online Success Plan” aka “Mo’s Success Plan.”
I basically managed just under one post a week. To me this isn’t good enough, so this month I will be challenging myself to write an average of at least 1.5 posts per week. I do want to remain as consistent as possible with my content creation and publish one new post a week, at the very least.
Pay Per Click (PPC) with BingAds & Google Adwords
I continued with my BingAds campaigns that I had started in the previous month. I didn’t change anything because I wanted to let it run long enough to be able to get some good data. I think I am about there, but it takes quite a while with BingAds because they simply don’t have the massive amount of users as Google does.
I let these ads run until the $25 dollars I had in the account was used up. I think I am going to budget $25 towards BingAds a month from now on. This may seem somewhat excessive, but when you consider that referring one premium member to Wealthy Affiliate is worth an average of $70. That means that I can spend $50 on ads and if only one of them leads to a premium sign-up I will have profited $20!
On that note, I also began utilizing Google Adwords along with the training I’ve been going through over at Wealthy Affiliate. I still had $32 worth of credit from my $50 account creation bonus, so I sort of considered this a “free” experiment to get started.
The thing I was most surprised by was how quickly you get clicks with AdWords compared to BingAds. I burned through my first $20 in a day! After that I realized I needed to slow things down a bit until I get a better hold on what I’m doing.
I ended up with 3 conversions for the month from AdWords. Right now that means about $0.90 based on the value of the initial conversions (starter account creation at Wealthy Affiliate). However, it’s too early to tell for sure the value of these conversions because there is a good chance one or more of them may sign up for a premium membership.
Affiliation With Legit Survey Sites
I mentioned in last month's update that I had been getting a lot of affiliate sign-ups through a review I had done of GetPaidTakingPictures. In this review, I called out the scam that it was and referred the leaders to legitimate photo selling sites. I wanted to do the same with my Click4Surveys, Get Cash For Surveys, and Paid Surveys At Home reviews, except to refer them to legitimate survey sites.
The problem I am having is that, out of the 5 legitimate sites of which I applied to be an affiliate, I have not heard back from four of them and didn’t get accepted into the other. This sucks because my Click4Surveys review is by far my highest traffic producing page, so it would be nice if I could have some super relevant, high-quality products to refer them to. If you have any ideas, please let me know!
Wealthy Affiliate Training
I have continued to work through the final training course of the WA Bootcamp. It is taking me a while and I managed to make it through 3.5 of the lessons by the end of the month. I feel like I’ve gotten a much better understanding of how to use Google Adwords. I have a nice, solid foundation and understanding of what exactly it takes to make a good PPC campaign with AdWords.
I also have learned that while BingAds and AdWords are quite similar, there are also some drastic differences that are very important to understand if you want to use them both effectively. This is why it’s important to get proper training before you jump in. It is scarily easy to burn through money with AdWords, so you want to make sure you’re using it correctly.
My traffic has once again blown away all previous months. It has almost doubled compared to September, which was double compared to August. I hope this exponential increase keeps going on for quite some time; however, I think I’m about to the point where the increase will begin to slow down.
While my total traffic numbers have increased, the pages per session and average session duration have decreased. It’s hard for me to say whether or not this is a good sign or a bad sign. Maybe they are viewing the pages less because I’m convincing them to follow my links more quickly, or maybe they’re simply bouncing faster. Who knows…
Total Visitors: 2,440 (+1,399)
Unique Visitors: 2,190 (+1,264)
Pageviews: 7,093 (+3,826)
Pages/Session: 2.91 (-0.23)
% New Visitors: 88.81% (+1.59)
Average Session Duration: 1:52 (-0:12).
Traffic from every source has increased dramatically again this month. The biggest increase has been in my organic traffic which increased by 132% compared to last month! This is a huge jump!
Unfortunately, my social traffic has decreased. This is without a doubt because I haven’t really given any of my time or attention to my social media profiles. It’s really hard to find time to manage these when I feel like I need to dedicate the time I do have to writing new content.
Direct: 262 (+110)
Referral: 107 (+41)
Organic: 1858 (+1058)
Social: 15 (-8)
PPC Adwords: 198 (first month)
PPC BingAds: 106 (+36)
Traffic Over Time
Just to keep things in perspective and to see how far I have come in terms of traffic, here is the graphs of both my overall traffic and my organic traffic since I first began this website seven months ago.
Top Performing Pages & Posts
This is the part of my update where I like to look at my three most popular pages in terms of landing traffic. This means that they are the pages people are clicking on in search results or are being sent to through social media or PPC campaigns.
I think this will really help both myself and my readers to analyze what pages/posts are working well and how they can be improved.
To me the most important metric to look at here is the “Exited Through WA Review” number and percentage. This is because my Wealthy Affiliate review is my “money page” and where I want to direct most of my readers. The WA review is the final stage of my sales funnel, it is from here that my readers will go to WA and sign up.
This is the third month this review has held the number one spot as the most popular post on my site. In fact, the total percentage of traffic generation has actually increased this month as well as most of the other metrics.
Most importantly, the percentage of people exiting the WA review has increased by 3.29% compared to last month!
% of Total Traffic: 32.62% (+1.69%)
Sessions: 796 (+474)
% New Sessions: 96.86% (-0.03%)
Pages/Sessions: 2.89 (+0.21)
Average Session Duration: 1:51 (+0:42)
Exited Through WA Review: 111 (+77) or 14.05% (+3.29%)
This is the third month for this review to be in the top three and second month holding the number two spot.
The metric changes for this post are a mixed bag. Some of them have gotten better and some have moved in the wrong direction. Not as high of a percentage are clicking through to my WA review compared to Click4 Surveys. My inclination is because I’m referring others to other resources instead of WA. In fact, I have gotten 20+ referrals to other photo sites from this post.
% of Total Traffic: 26.11% (-0.69%)
Sessions: 637 (+358)
% New Sessions: 91.05% (+8.25%)
Pages/Sessions: 2.82 (-0.17)
Average Session Duration: 2:01 (-0:06)
Exited Through WA Review: 48 (+27) or 7.58% (-0.26%)
This is a relatively new post I created midway through the month and, as a result, this is the first month it has made my top three.
A majority of this traffic came as a result of it being one of my first targeted pages in my AdWords PPC campaign. It may seem odd that there were no clicks to my WA review, however, in this post my links to WA are bypassing my review and taking my readers directly to the Wealthy Affiliate website.
% of Total Traffic: 7.38%
% New Sessions: 89.44%
Average Session Duration: 1:45
Exited Through WA Review: 0
Social Media Profiles
As mentioned earlier, I have completely neglected my social media profiles for the month. Somehow, I still managed to make some gains in all of them except Twitter. I am most excited about the doubling of my email list! The email list is one of the most effective income generators over time. Needless to say, I’m really glad my list is growing!
I’m not exactly sure what I’ve been doing to increase my following on social media, other than getting more traffic to my website, but I know I need to spend more time on my social media profiles. I imagine that, if I do so, I would be getting much larger increases in my following.
I would also like to do some more research on how I can build my email list faster because I know that is probably the most important of these.
I have already covered most of what I have been up to with my PPC campaigns above; however, I will give more of a breakdown of exactly how I will be able to calculate whether or not my campaigns are profitable.
Based on the conversion statistics provided by Wealthy Affiliate, 30% of all referred members will complete their accounts. A completed account is worth $1. This means that one conversion is worth an estimated $0.30. So, if I get 10 conversions of this sort that would be worth $3.00. If a referred member upgrades to the premium membership, this averages to be worth $70.
With these numbers, combined with the percentage of people that upgrade to premium (typically 12.5% of all starter members) and how effective my ads are, I will be able to calculate exactly how profitable (or unprofitable) my campaigns can be assumed to be.
I do not yet have enough data to accurately complete these calculations. I’m hoping that by next month’s update I will be able to tell you exactly how my campaigns are performing. Anyways, here are the raw numbers from both my BingAds and AdWords campaigns.
I continued with all of the same ad groups and keywords as last month. I didn’t change anything as I just wanted to let them run and see if I could get enough data to really dig into their effectiveness.
Overall Quality Score: 8/10
Ad Groups: 41
Impressions: 4,001 (+1,606)
Click Through Rate (CTR): 2.65% (-0.40%)
Average Position: 4.05 (+0.75)
Cost Per Click: $0.18 (-$0.03)
Total Spend: $18.90
Conversion Value: $0.30
I only got my first AdWords campaigns up and running for the last few days of October. When you consider that, in those few days, I got twice as many clicks as the BingAds campaigns that were running all month, you can see the sheer volume of Google users compared to Bing & Yahoo users.
Ad Groups: 12
Click Through Rate (CTR): 3.61%
Average Position: 3.0
Cost Per Click: $0.15
Total Spend: $30.62
Conversion Value: $0.30
Remember that this first conversion is for creating a starter account. If one of these conversions upgrades to a premium membership at WA (which about 1 in 8 does), that upgrade will be worth at least $700 over time, and possibly more! (I’ve also had two more conversions in the first few days of November, so I’m hoping one of these will choose to upgrade and make this all worth it!)
Monthly Revenue = -$91.00
This is the first month that I’ve had more than $1 of income! It is a super great feeling to see those emails in your inbox informing you of a new affiliate sale and it happened twice in October! I can only imagine what it will be like when it is happening 50 times a month!
I had affiliate sales from Wealthy Affiliate and MyThemeShop. The cool thing is, the post that generating the MyThemeShop referral was one of the very first posts I wrote. It’s awesome that posts I have written long ago will continue to generate income basically forever. This is why it’s important to continue to add new content regularly. The more posts you have, the more chances you have of one of them converting! Just imagine what it will be like in a couple of years when I have hundreds of posts generating traffic and sales!
Expenses = -$128.50
Income (Conversions/Revenue) = 41/$37.50
Totals Over Time = -$598.83
Total Profit: $598.83
Last Month’s Goals
My goal completion for the month was a mixed bag. I accomplished a few of them, but also missed a majority of them. I can attribute this to my new job taking up 40 hours of my week!
- Post 10 new pages or posts NO
- Get 5 sales of any sort NO (But I did get 2!)
- Have a net profit for the month NO
- Over 1,750 non-paid visitors to the site YES
- Over 1,500 organic visitors (included in total above) YES
- Complete WA Affiliate Bootcamp Phase 7: How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns through lesson 5 NO
- Update my two survey product reviews with legitimate survey recommendations I TRIED
- Social Media Profile Goals
Goals For November 2014
This month I have to be very realistic with my content generation goals and will plan to create 1-2 new posts a week. I am also planning for small increases in my social media following, but would really like to increase my email list subscribers more than anything!
Another thing I am going to start doing in November is keeping track of my hours spent working on the various aspects of my site. I wish I would’ve thought to do this sooner, but I guess it’s better late than never.
Here are my goals:
- Post 5 new pages or posts
- Get 5 new sales of any sort
- Have a net profit for the month (this will be a goal until it actually happens!)
- Over 2,550 non-paid visitors to the site
- Over 2,250 organic visitors to the site
- Have 10 conversions from PPC campaigns
- Complete WA Affiliate Bootcamp Phase 7: How To Scale Successful PPC Campaigns through lesson 8
- Begin tracking my time spent working on this website
- Social media Goals
Working In The Death Industry
Yes, you read that correctly! I am now employed in the death industry working for a small, family-owned memorial manufacturer as a graphic designer. This means I am designing gravestones!
I spend most of my time in the art department working on designs, but I also spend a couple hours each day in the shop learning the actual production process. The idea is that I will be cross trained so I can provide relief in both departments when things get busy!
The job is a bit strange at first, until you realize that it makes sense there are people that do this type of work. It’s actually pretty interesting and enjoyable. Also…my work will outlast just about everything else in this world!
Slow But Sure Progress With Visa Issues
Hezel (my fiance) and I are slowly but surely making headway into the process of getting her here on a fiance visa. Right now we’re working on getting all of our paperwork and documents sorted and I will soon be submitting our official application!
This pretty much sums up my month! I’ve been making great progress and am really looking forward to what is to come in November.
See how far I've come and check out all of my Income Reports.
If you have any comments or questions regarding what I have done, why I did it, other information you would like to see me discuss, please leave them in the comment section below. Also, please consider signing up for my weekly newsletter informing you of my latest posts!