June 2014 Traffic and Income Report

june 2014 income reportJune was all about the launch of Abby’s eBook. I’m glad we didn’t keep track of the time invested into this project! It was a huge undertaking and I’m so glad we’re  through it.
If you haven’t already, make sure you read 4,000 words on everything we did to launch her book: Anatomy of an eBook Launch. This includes a behind the scenes look into the writing process as well our launch strategy and technical challenges we faced.
After you read that post you’ll want to look at the results from our “Pay What You Want” pricing strategy. You can read about that here.

If you’re not familiar with my story you can read the “About” page, but earlier this year my wife Abby asked me to manage the business side of her blog. My responsibilities include all the technical aspects, financial progress, and even some overall big-picture strategy. I gladly accepted and in the process decided to start this site in order to track our progress.

Why An Income Report?

1. Accountability. Knowing we have to publish our numbers every month is a great way to light a fire under us. It also gives you, the readers, the chance to hold us accountable to our goals and raise any issues you might see in our businesses. Abby and I are pretty good at holding each other accountable but these income reports take that to a whole new (and potentially embarrassing) level!

2. Reflect, Learn, and Pivot. It’s one thing to have ideas in my head about how the business is going, but one of the best ways for me to learn is collect the data and present it to my readers. By paying attention to different metrics including web traffic and income, I’ll start to get a sense for what works and what doesn’t. This learning experience is important because it will provide an opportunity for me to make changes and adjustments to improve the business moving forward.

3. Teach. My hope is that you can take something away from these reports. While we have a long way to go in order to do this online thing full time, it might be encouraging for someone a few steps behind us in the process to see that it is possible to earn actual dollars online. Even more than encouragement, I hope these income reports teach you something you can immediately apply to your business. Without transparency in our business these teaching moments would diminish.

Unlike other some other income reports your see online, we don’t make a ton of money yet. Abby just started in January 2013 so we’re giving you the opportunity to follow our journey from “nothing” to a full-time, self-sustaining business. Get in on the ground floor and join us in our journey. These early stages of our business are critical and the mistakes and lessons will be many! Don’t make the same early mistakes we do.

(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

Let’s get right into the numbers…

Income

Total Income: $6,956

Expenses

  • Gumroad Transaction Fees – $356
  • Mailchimp* – $75
  • Synthesis Hosting – $67
  • Fizzle.co* – $35
  • Zapier – $15
  • Viral Tag – $12
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – $11

Total Expenses: $571

Net Profit: $6,385

Income Analysis (A new record!)

June was a record month for us! We are thrilled. The previous high was way back in February with $2,446 in gross income. Hitting almost $7k in gross revenue from Abby’s blog in one month is something Abby and I would’ve laughed at six months ago. It’s amazing to me that if you keep focussing on the right things day after day, week after week, eventually things start to fall into place.

You can see at the top of the income list is eBook sales. That’s a large number (for us) that will most likely never be replicated again for this particular book. Launch day and launch week sales are usually strong and then taper after that. We understand that sales will slow down but launching our own product is more of a mental shift than anything else. We now know it’s possible to make a non-physical product and sell it online for thousands of dollars. We’ve done it! This confidence and understanding of the process opens up many possibilities moving forward.

The great part about creating your own product is that sales just keep rolling in without doing much of anything. It’s been over a month since the eBook launched and sales still roll in every single day. Just to give a sneak peak into the first half of July… 74 sales for over $750. Clearly not on the same level as June but it’s still significant money. And the slow-down seems to have stopped. We’re hoping sales level off at about $1,500/month moving forward. I would be happy with that.

I remember when I wrote the about page for this blog many months ago I stated that our goal was to make $10,000/month from Abby’s blog by April 2015. I didn’t put much thought into that stated goal. It sounded good so I wrote it. I had no idea if it was even in the realm of possibility for us. Well I can now say definitively that it is possible! It’s exciting! Abby and I have a lot of work today and so many strategies to implement and products to create to make that happen but we’ve definitely gone through a mental shift over the past month or so.

Affiliate Program for eBook

Several people  have asked us about an affiliate program for the eBook. We are considering this option with a limited number of people to start. If you are interested and would like more information send me an email: donnie@donnielaw.com. If you have any thoughts or experience selling a product through affiliates I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Affiliate Income from eBook

Our list of income sources is getting longer. In May we had 5 sources of income and this month we have 12 sources of income. If you look at Pinch of Yum’s recent income report you’ll see 22 sources. I’m starting to realize the power of small amounts of income from many different sources. As far as building an online business, I think it would be much more difficult to earn $10k/month from one source than $1k/month from 10 sources.

You’ll see in our income list $675 in Bluehost affiliate commissions. One of the chapters in Abby’s eBook walks the reader through the process of setting up a blog. That chapter contains Bluehost affiliate links. We also created a page on Abby’s blog called “How to Start a Blog.” This page is almost identical to that same chapter in Abby’s book.

We weren’t sure how this strategy would work but we are pleased with the results. What seems so simple to me (setting up blog hosting) can be daunting for others. For these people, they appreciate reading a tutorial from someone they know and trust like Abby.

Three Legs of Blog Income

Our blog income from June came from three categories:

  1. Product sales – $5,107 (73%)
  2. Ad revenue – $752 (11%)
  3. Affiliate income – $1,097 (16%)

June was top heavy with product sales but I think in Abby’s niche moving forward we should be looking at 1/3 split between product sales, ad revenue, and affiliate income.

Traffic Report

june 2014 traffic

Email Subscriber Statistics

  • 951 New Subscribers
  • 6,053 Existing Subscribers
  • 7,004 Total Subscribers

RPM

RPM is a metric to track revenue per thousand pageviews. Bjork of Food Blogger Pro explains:

RPM shows you how much you make from every 1,000 page views on your blog. It’s commonly used to measure the performance of your ads, but I like to use it to measure the overall effectiveness of a site’s income generation.

RPM: $31.98

Last month our RPM was in the $6 range. Way too low! This month it’s at an unsustainable $31.98. My goal is to consistently break $10 RPM and then move up from there as we become more efficient and effective. To give you an idea of comparison numbers, take a look at Pinch Of Yum’s income report with an $18 RPM in June.

and to recap our income…

Gross Income: $6,956
Net Income: $6,385

Click here to see a running tally of all past income reports.

Don’t miss a thing!

  • Anetta

    Great report, Donnie! I’m so happy to see that Abby’s book has done so well. I’m a proud owner of a copy, myself. It has definitely motivated me to keep working on mine! Cheers – Anetta

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks for the kind words Anetta.

  • http://www.liveworktravelusa.com Dan @ Live Work Travel USA

    Congrats guys! These numbers are incredible!!!

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks Dan!

      You still celebrating your big world cup win?

      • http://www.liveworktravelusa.com Dan @ Live Work Travel USA

        Oh you bet I am!!! ;)
        I’ll be celebrating for the next 4 years

  • Charles Pobee-Mensah

    Abby’s book has really helped my wife and I’m sure that it will continue to be a great resource for bloggers as you guys grow. I love the product approach to monetizing. Any new product ideas on the horizon?

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks Charles!

      We’ve definitely been discussing some new product ideas although nothing concrete yet. It could be something we do this fall.

      • http://brilliantbusinessmoms.com Sarah & Beth Anne

        Super excited to see what comes next for you guys!
        ~ Beth Anne

  • http://www.ConfessionsOfARecoveringChocoholic.com/ Laura Jane

    Wow, way to go! So impressed with your numbers. I think you’re definitely on your way to your goal for April 2015. It would be fantastic if you could keep the residual revenue at $1500 each month. I’m curious, what are you doing to promote the book since the big launch to keep up the that revenue? Are people finding it by the ad in the sidebar or somewhere else?

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks Laura.

      We haven’t done a whole lot to continually promote the book. When we hit 500 sales Abby mentioned it in social media. She also did a post with some of the success stories she received from people who read the book. most of the traffic just comes from people navigating around her site.

      We are considering a rather big giveaway later in the summer as a way to keep book sales going.

  • http://www.thesuperblife.com Warren

    Hi Donnie,

    This is my first time here and I must say, congrats on a stellar month. It’s always inspiring to see these income reports. I was wondering, are those traffic numbers for both this blog and Abby’s?

    Does the e-book mention anything on how you’re able to achieve that kind of traffic numbers in a short period of time?

    Also, how do you guys do your taxes? Did you hire a CPA or do them yourselves? It’s something I’ve always wondered about when making money online. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Keep inspiring,
    Warren
    http://www.thesuperblife.com

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks for visiting Warren!

      The traffic numbers are just for Abby’s site. This site only gets a couple hundred visitors/day.

      Her eBook walks you through the entire story of her first year of blogging. Everything she’s done to build a following and traffic.

      I do our taxes but we do have some CPA’s in the family that I can use if we get stuck. Right now we use Wave to keep track of income and expenses.

      • http://www.thesuperblife.com Warren

        Wow, those are definitely impressive traffic numbers for just being a year and half old — and even yours, for having a couple hundred visits a day, is still impressive. I have a site that’s 9 months old and I cannot even break 500 uniques a month — the most I ever had was 300+. I’ll definitely buy the e-book to see what I have or have not already been doing already. My numbers are embarrassing.

        One more question I forgot to ask: Do you guys ping your sites or is there even a need to do so? Thanks again.

        Keep inspiring,
        Warren
        http://www.thesuperblife,com

        • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

          I’m not quite sure what you mean by “ping your sites.”

        • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

          Thanks Warren. Please don’t be impressed with the traffic on this site. 90% is just because Abby has linked to me a few times. I mainly write here just to keep myself accountable as I help Abby move her blog forwards.

          I looked at your site and it looks like you have been consistently writing for months. That’s more than what 99% of bloggers do! I haven’t been writing consistently for 9 months!

          Take a look at Abby’s book (you can pay $1) but I think you would really benefit from the training community in Fizzle. I take a lot of what I learn in there an apply it to Abby’s blog. it’s been helpful. I think you can still signup and get the first month for $1.

          http://fizzle.co
          or
          http://donnielaw.com/fizzle (affiliate)

          • http://www.thesuperblife.com Warren

            HAHA. Well, I can safely assume that you’ve never “ping” your sites — it’s just a way to notify search engines of any updates you made to your sites.

            But if you haven’t been doing it, then that tells me that there really is no need to — although WordPress blogs automatically have them (Settings–>Writing–> scroll to bottom “http://rpc.pingomatic.com/”), unless you disabled it. Maybe Google marked my site as spam for pinging them every time I updated it? I don’t know.

            Anyway, thanks for the feedback and encouragement! =) Yeah I’m definitely purchasing the e-book and I have heard of fizzle — just haven’t gotten around to setting a schedule where I can focus on the tutorials, so I can immerse myself in them. But when I do, I’ll purchase it through your aff link.

            Keep inspiring,
            Warren

  • Erica Dallas

    Hi! So do you prefer using GumRoad to ejunkie? I see that eJunkie is $18 a month and I want to make the right decision with selling my ebook. However, E-junkie handles the affiliate process as well so I guess that is where the monthly fee comes from. Also, what is the advantage of using viral tag?

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Hi Erica. I do prefer Gumroad to eJunkie. I just think the checkout experience is so much better. eJunkie seems outdated to me. People don’t realize that a lot of people are lost in the sales funnel after they’ve already clicked buy or added the item to the cart. A lot of times a decisions hasn’t been made until they are presented with the screen that asks them to pull out a credit card. I think with ejunkie you will have more cart abandonment and your conversion rate will go down. the Gumroad interface is much cleaners.

      I also like the ability with Gumroad to have it overlay on the existing page. If you’re not sure what I mean click the buy button on Abby’s landing page. http;//justagirlandherblog.com/book.

      Also, I use Zapier to send all ebook purchaser email addresses to Mailchimp. I don’t believe I can make this integration with ejunkie.

      Gumroad certainly is not free…5% + .25 per transaction. I’m glad to pay that amount. It added up to $356 in June.

      I’m just in love with the gumroad user experience/ user interface as well as their customer support and ease of use.

      • Erica Dallas

        Wow, Donnie! Thanks so much for replying! I see what you mean. The Gumroad method definitely is faster and hassle free. I suppose I was considering e-junkie because of the ability to set up an affiliate program with them as well. Are there any quality and hassle free sites that would do this? You mentioned that the two of you were thinking of setting up an affiliate program as well. I like that you’ve found great alternatives that work just as well. It is certainly a learning process for sure lol.
        Another question I have regarding the e-book. I am drafting the layout design for my book in Adobe Illustrator (I have the CC). But I was thinking of changing it to InDesign. Either way, it will definitely be a process and I wanted to have links added as well. I am worried about the conversion rate and whether or not this will come out right lol. I was thinking of paying $50 for a formatting service to ensure everything was compatible and all the dimensions were right etc. Any tips?

        • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

          We used iBooks Author to make Abby’s book. It’s a free Mac app. We added the links with Adobe Acrobat.

          I know a lot of people use InDesign but we didn’t want to go through that learning curve.

        • http://www.liveworktravelusa.com Dan @ Live Work Travel USA

          If you have access to both Illustrator and Illustrator to create your eBook, use InDesign, because it’s perfect for multi-page projects. I use it every day in my 9-5 job.

          • Erica Dallas

            Thanks Dan! I will use InDesign as suggested. Does anyone know of a reputable third part site where I can set up an affiliate program to encourage others to sell my e-book?

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      To be honest I’m not exactly sure what Viral Tag does. It’s something with Pinterest that Abby swears by. I know in her book she writes a lot about it.

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  • jjeffrose

    Great job you two! It’s been tracking your progress. :)

    • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

      Thanks Jeff!

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  • Jessica Pureromance Bures

    I love seeing incomes on other blogs! It is what drives me to do better and know that it is possible so i want to thank you for doing these posts! :) I always get this excited butterfly feeling when I see what is possible and will strive to be where you are..sooner than later! Congrats on being awesome!