June 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…
- Framework eBook – $5,107
- Bluehost Affiliate* – $675
- Google Adsense – $613
- Sovrn Ad Network – $111
- Amazon Associates – $104
- Evernote Essentials Affiliate* – $88 (residual income from one post)
- StudioPress Affiliate* – $84
- MediaTemple Affiliate* – $80
- Restored 316 Themes Affiliate* – $49
- Todays Mama Ad Network – $25
- PicMonkey Affiliate* – $17
- Zedo Ad Network – $3
Total Income: $6,956
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- Product sales – $5,107 (73%)
- Ad revenue – $752 (11%)
- 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.
Email Subscriber Statistics
- 951 New Subscribers
- 6,053 Existing Subscribers
- 7,004 Total Subscribers
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.
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…
Net Income: $6,385