It seems like September has come and gone in the blink of an eye! This means that it’s time for my monthly report again. It’s interesting because these are my favorite posts to write. I really look forward to them every month.
I’m not exactly sure why this is because one would think it would be kind of depressing since I haven’t generated hardly any income yet…but it’s not. I think it’s rather encouraging because, despite the lack of income so far, everything else is getting better and better.
Each month has had a dramatic increase in traffic as well as more and more conversions/sign-ups from my links. This means that people are reading my content and clicking through my affiliate links. If this is happening, then it is truly only a matter of time before they begin generating income!
In terms of this month, it has been a challenge to produce content on my website. I will discuss this further at the end of this post, but the short of it is I moved back to the United States, have been job searching, and just trying to get myself settled again in the States.
That’s enough about me for now. Let’s look at my website.
What Have I Been Up To This Month?
As I mentioned, this month wasn’t the best in terms of content creation. I only was able to write one new post in the first half of the month, but have pushed out 5 in the last week and a half!
The first three posts I published this month were the standard product reviews. One is a decent product that I would be comfortable referring people too. The other two are complete shams and are highly discouraged.
- 2014 Millionaire Review – Trading Your Money Away By 2015 (WORTHLESS)
- The Upsell Equation Review – Only If You Want To Equate Yourself With Upsells (DECENT)
- Mobile Money Machines 2 Review – Your “TOP SECRET” Way To Lose Money (WORTHLESS)
The three most recent posts I have written are the beginnings of a series I am doing on Google products. The cornerstone of this series is this post:
I will be writing a small series about each one of the “essential resources” I mention in that post. I am imagining a general review of the product, a installation tutorial (if necessary), as well as a “how to use it” tutorial. I foresee this series ending up consisting of 20-30 posts which is really cool. The first two posts are regarding Google Chrome:
I know these posts aren’t going to directly make me any money as all of the Google products are free and do not have affiliate programs, however, they will (already are) bring a lot more visitors to my site and expose more people to my brand. This can never be a bad thing. I will also intersperse traditional product reviews as I go.
Maybe I can compile these posts into some sort of Google Product Overview for Internet Marketers that I can publish as an Ebook!
Pay Per Click (PPC) With Bing & Yahoo
I have continued to develop my PPC campaign according to the training I’ve been receiving at Wealthy Affiliate. I will be the first to admit that I’m still very new to this whole PPC world and am still figuring things out. That being said, I have been getting some good ad groups with high quality scores. Apparently that’s not the easiest thing to do…so I’ll take that as a good sign.
I haven’t ventured into Google Adwords yet, but that will be on my agenda for October. I feel like that will really drive a lot more traffic than BingAds just by the sheer amount of people that use Google compared to Bing and Yahoo. Anyways, I will have a more detailed breakdown of my PPC campaign further along in this post.
What To Do With My Email List
As I mentioned in last month’s report, I have been trying to figure out how to engage my email list more effectively. I have been debating on whether I should write a custom newsletter every week or every month or something else. At this point, I think my time is better served spending time adding content to my site to increase my rankings, overall traffic, and subscribers.
Instead of writing a custom email periodically I have set up an automatic blog blast using AWeber. I actually got this idea from how Istiak from Road to Blogging engages his email list. Everytime he publishes a new post it sends an email with a summary of the post to his list.
With the amount of posts I am publishing this would be quite a nuisance to my subscribers. So, every Monday AWeber will automatically take the posts I have published in the previous week and send out a “digest” that just puts my articles in front of my list.
I guess time will tell if this works or not as I continue to build my list. Right now I only have 9 subscribers, so it’s really difficult to judge whether something works or not. Once I get a larger list I will be more willing to spend time crafting a more finely tuned email marketing campaign, but for now this will have to do.
Also, if you’d like to make me feel good and boost my confidence you can sign up for my email list here:
Moral Dilemma Resolved
When I first started my training at Wealthy Affiliate there was a particular section in which Kyle suggested using an affiliate link with every product you review, whether you recommend it or not. The logic is that if people are set on something they will buy it no matter what you say or recommend…so why not make some money from it.
I went with this logic and included the affiliate link in all of my reviews, even the products I recommended my readers stay away from, but it just didn’t sit well with me. So, I have decided to only include affiliate links in products I would recommend. I don’t want to profit off of people getting scammed even if I told them so. I am also going through my old reviews and removing any affiliate links I have used.
This might mean a little less money in the long run (probably a negligible amount) but at least I’ll have a happy conscience!
Wealthy Affiliate Training
In terms of my training at Wealthy Affiliate, I have made no progress this month. I was originally intending on completing Phase 7 dealing with Google Adwords, but was unable to given everything else that had been going on in my personal life. I hope to make it halfway through the training this month.
September has been my highest traffic month yet. I broke the 1,000 visitors per month for the first time! My daily record for the month was 59 visitors. The great this is that a vast majority of this traffic is coming from search engines; mostly Google, but also Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and some other random ones as well.
All of my “volume” numbers are up significantly. My total visitors increase about 72% over the last month. The only two numbers that have decreased are my pages per session and session duration, which isn’t desirable. It means people have been engaging a bit less with my content.
Total Visitors: 1,041 (+435)
Unique Visitors: 926 (+387)
Pageviews: 3,267 (+1,076)
Pages/Session: 3.14 (-0.48)
% New Visitors: 87.22% (+0.59%)
Average Session Duration: 2:04 (-0:41)
My direct traffic has remained about the same and my social traffic actually went up quite a bit despite me not engaging with my social networks much at all. The brightest spot is in my organic traffic which increased by a whopping 132% this month compared to last month.
I need to figure out how to get Google Analytics to recognize traffic coming from BingAds because I’m not exactly sure where that traffic fits into these numbers. I’m sure there is a way to do so, I just haven’t learned it yet. If anybody knows how please let me know in the comments below!
Direct: 152 (+5)
Referral: 66 (-33)
Organic: 800 (+455)
Social: 23 (+8)
PPC: 73 (+27 included in one of the numbers above)
Traffic Over Time
Here is a look at how my traffic has increased over time since I started this website. I always like to include these images because it really does put the time and hard work into perspective when you see how well you are doing compared to when you first began.
Traditionally I have only shown my total traffic over time, but starting this month I will also show my organic traffic over time.
Top Performing Pages/Posts
Last month I started looking at my most popular pages and posts in the hopes that we might be able to learn something from looking at them closer. While I was compiling the numbers for this list I realized that since my main goal is to bring people to my “money page” aka my Wealthy Affiliate review, I should add this metric to this section. So, no we can see how many of the people that landed on these pages exited through my Wealthy Affiliate review.
This is the second month in a row that this post has been my highest traffic source. It is ranking really well in the search engines and apparently there are a lot of people that are interested in it. This means lots of traffic for me!
One improvement I need to make to this post (and my other survey products) is to refer people to legitimate survey sites. Since they are obviously interested in surveys, why not recommend some good ones? I haven’t done the research yet, but I’m sure they have some sort of affiliate programs available as well.
% of Total Traffic: 30.93%
Sessions: 322 (+142)
% New Sessions: 96.89% (-0.33%)
Pages/Session: 2.68 (-0.43)
Average Session Duration: 1:09 (-1:02)
Exited through WA Review: 34 or 10.76%
This review has worked its way up to become my second most popular post. One thing that has been really successful on this page (and where I got the idea to add legitimate survey sites to my Click 4 Surveys review) was referring readers to legitimate photo sharing/selling websites.
From the readers of this post I have had 10 referrals to two different online photo marketplaces. So far I haven’t generated any income from them, but they have been uploading pictures so hopefully it’s just a matter of time!
% of Total Traffic: 26.8%
% New Sessions: 82.80%
Average Session Duration: 2:07
Exited through WA Review: 21 or 7.84%
3. Home Page
My homepage has slid from second to third this month and accounts for just over ten percent of my total traffic. I’ll be completely honest and tell you that I’m not exactly sure where this traffic comes from. It’s visitor engagement is pretty good, so that’s a plus.
% of Total Traffic: 10.76%
Sessions: 112 (+29)
% New Sessions: 89.29% (+5.60%)
Pages/Session: 4.47 (+1.26)
Average Session Duration: 2:50 (+0:33)
Exited through WA review: 0 or 0%
If you follow my reports, you may remember that last month I started using Wealthy Affiliate's new comparison tables to help drive readers to my Wealthy Affiliate review. I added the table to every one of my product reviews and it seems that it has been working well. Since I implemented the tables they have driven 89 clicks to my Wealthy Affiliate review.
As I continue to write more and more content I need to figure out how to create more reader engagement. How can I get them to click to other pages, spend more time reading my content, and ultimately trust me enough to follow my recommendations?
Social Media Profiles
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times already, my social media accounts have been quite neglected this month. My Twitter and Pinterest accounts seem to be the most active of all of them. My Facebook page literally gets 0 post engagement other than an occasional like from my mom and/or fiance. I’m not exactly sure how to get more people to like my Facebook business page without paying for it. Again, any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Most of my profiles have been slowly increasing, except for Twitter which lost some followers.
I know I say this every month, but I really need to make a conscious (that is a really hard word to spell by the way) effort to be more active and engaging with my social media presence. I need to actually comment and engage in conversation with those in my niche rather than simply posting and waiting for people to engage with my posts.
I have been actively doing PPC through BingAds for the entire month. I still don’t feel like I have enough data to draw any firm conclusions from yet, so I’m not going to. However, I do want to put some of my initial statistics out there as a jumping off point to improve upon in the future. So…here they are.
Overall Quality Score: 8/10
Ad Groups: 41
Click Through Rate (CTR): 3.05%
Average Position: 4.77
Cost Per Click (CPC): $0.21
Again, I’m really new at PPC advertising, so I’m still trying to understand these numbers myself and how I can improve upon them. As I get better I foresee venturing further into my ad groups and keywords as I write my monthly updates. I really want to be able to dive into my campaigns to show you all that is, or is not, working.
Now it’s time for the somewhat frustrating part of this review, the money. Once again this month I haven't made any money. (I did make $1 on October 1st, but that will have to be in next month’s report.)
To be honest, at this point I have just accepted the fact that it will just take time. I have been changing my attitude a bit towards this. I basically have taken the income motivation out of my mind because if I focus on that too much I get discouraged.
Now I am only focused on writing good, helpful content for my viewers. I have made this shift because I know if I do the latter, write good content, it will convert in time. I am still 100% confident that this will all pay off in the end. I am confident that eventually this, along with any other sites I end up creating, will be enough to sustain me and my future family.
On that note, I have had more conversions than ever this month. I’ve had seven people create accounts with Wealthy Affiliate, seven with Dreamstime, and 3 with Fotolia. I’m pretty sure that over time one of these conversions will turn into real money! If my traffic keeps increasing like it has these numbers will only increase.
Expenses = -$94.48
Income (Conversions/Revenue) = 17/$0.00
Totals Over Time = -$507.83
Total Profit: -$507.83
Last Month’s Goals
I definitely met all of my traffic goals for the month; in fact, I blew them away. My other goals didn’t go too well, mostly because I just didn’t have enough time.
- Post 10 new pages or posts NO
- Get 10 sales of any sort NO
- Have a net profit for the month NO
- Get over 900 non-paid visitors to the site YES
- Get over 550 organic visitors to the site YES
- Get over 120 paid visitors to the site NO
- Get 2 conversions from my PPC campaigns NO
- Further develop my email marketing//auto-response YES
- Complete Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp Course 7: How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns NO
Social Media Profile Goals
- Facebook: 30 page likes NO
- Twitter: 400 followers NO
- Google Business Page: 50 followers NO
- Pinterest: 75 followers NO
- Email List: 15 subscribers NO
Goals For October 2014
I am going to set significantly higher traffic goals this month. I am anticipation another month of drastic traffic increase. In terms of content production I am going to remain the same. My income goals, on the other hand, are going to be significantly less ambitious than the last couple of months.
- Post 10 new pages or posts
- Get 5 sales of any sort
- Have a net profit for the month
- Over 1,750 non-paid visitors
- Over 1,500 organic visitors (included in total above)
- Over 100 paid visitors to the site (not included in total above)
- Complete WA Affiliate Bootcamp Phase 7: How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns through lesson 5
- Update my two survey product reviews with legitimate survey recommendations
Social Media Profile Goals
- Facebook: 30 page likes
- Twitter: 325 followers
- Google Plus Business Page: 55 followers
- Pinterest: 80 followers
- Email List: 15 subscribers
Back In The United States
If you have been following my updates you know that I have been living in South Africa for the last few months. The reason was to be closer to my then girlfriend and now fiance.
I needed to gain her family's trust and ask for her hand in marriage from her father. I accomplished all of those things, but, unfortunately due to visa laws I have had to return to the United States without my beautiful fiancé at my side.
Now we are at the stage of figuring out all of the paperwork we need to take care of to get her here with me permanently. We're shooting for the K-1 Fiance visa.
I've done a fair amount of international travel, but I've never been on a HUGE plane until now. In fact, I was on the Airbus 380 which is the biggest commercial plane in the world right now.
The sheer size of this thing is just incredible. The fact that it can even get airborne, let alone make it halfway around the globe just blows my mind. Also, the fact that the entire population of my childhood town can fit in it…CRAZY!
Since I'm back in the US and I have student loans and a credit card bill, it was necessary for me to find a job. While I'd rather be self-employed (who wouldn't?), I do think I found a really good job with a successful local small business.
I will be a graphic designer for a monument company. Basically, this means that I will be designing gravestones, most of the time. I'll be mostly in the art department but will also spend time in the manufacturing shop.
As odd as it sounds, I'm actually looking forward to this job. It pays well, the highest I've had yet, and it seems like it will be a very rewarding job.
Also… If you need a gravestone you know who to hit up! Kinda morbid…but seriously.
On that note, this concludes my monthly report for September. I am already looking forward to my October report as I am confident I will have lots of good news and progress to discuss!
If you have any questions about what I have done or suggestions on what I should do next, please drop me a comment below. I love to hear from my readers and really value your feedback and suggestions!
If you're curious to see just how far I've come, please check out all of my Income Reports!
Until next month,
P.S. If you are interested in getting weekly updates containing my latest blog posts, please sign up for my email list here: