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Income Report #3 – August 2012

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Income Report - August 2012It’s time for another income report!

Like many other Internet entrepreneurs, I use these monthly statements to show what actually works with an online business.

These reports are designed to be motivational to anyone interested in making money online and/or people who want to take their existing business to the next level.

Plus, they provide me with a bit of accountability because I know every month I have to report back how much I’ve earned :-)

Every report is broken down into two sections:

  1. What I’ve earned
  2. Lessons I’ve learned

Kinda rhymes, doesn’t it?

Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff…

Monthly Income – August 2012

Here’s the monthly breakdown for August 2012:

I. Authority Affiliate Site: The bulk of my income comes from a few websites in a single affiliate marketing niche. I don’t reveal the specifics of these sites to avoid competition and having people “reverse-engineer” what I do online.  To learn more, check out the six-figure affiliate marketing strategies I’ve listed here.

I find most of the products on Clickbank. But I also promote a couple of “self-hosted” affiliate offers.

Here’s how much was earned last month:

  • Clickbank (Email Marketing): $4,169.08
  • Self-Hosted (Email Marketing): $652.00
  • Thank You Page: $1,900
  • Total: $6721.08
  • Last Month: $6791.38
  • Difference: -$70.30

II. Information Product: I also have an information product in this niche where the bulk of the earnings from an extensive autoresponder sequence.

I have over 50 emails that provide a mix of great content and direct affiliate offers. So in a way… My information product income also comes from affiliate marketing.

  • Total: $1022.31
  • Last Month: $1057.60
  • Difference: -$35.29

III: Niche Sites: While I no longer build niche sites they still generate a little bit of income. Here’s what happened in July:

  • Google Adsense: $10.16
  • Amazon Physical Products: $24.05
  • Clickbank: $230.64
  • Self-Hosted Affiliate Programs: $100
  • Total: $364.85
  • Last Month: $380.80
  • Difference: -$15.95

IV: Amazon Kindle: Right now, I only have two Kindle books: 55 Ways to Make Extra Money Online & Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2012.  But right now I’m working on my 3rd and 4th titles (more on this later.) 

Here’s what I earned with my existing titles:

  • Total: $707.86
  • Last Month: $403.16
  • Difference: +$304.70

V: Steve Scott Site: I also promote affiliate offers and my own information product on this blog. I haven’t done any sort of promotion in the last few months.  So my earnings reflect this lack of activity on my part:

VI: Mobile Apps: Right now I have a total of four apps:

I’m getting apps out there, but they haven’t made a lot of money so far:
  • Total Installs: 3226
  • Chartboost.com Earnings: $23.65
  • iTunes Purchases: $10
  • Total: $33.65
  • Last Month: $0
  • Difference: +$33.65

Combine all six income streams and you get a…

Grand Total of $9441.22

  • Last Month: $9,055.76
  • Difference: +$385.46

Again, my income has hovered around the $9,000 mark for most of 2012.  I guess this is pretty good because it’s been fairly consistent.

With that said, I’ve learned three important lessons that I’m going to apply – In the hopes that I’ll take my income to the next level.

3 Important Lessons from August

One of the main reasons I’m now posting income reports is to find ways to increase my bottom line.  My hope is each month I’ll learn a valuable lesson that I can then pass along to you.

August provided a few significant lessons.  Although my income didn’t really change, I did have a few “ah-ha” moments that I’ll be exploring in the months to come:

Lesson #1: Find the Right App Monetization Model

August marked my official entry into the app business.  Frankly, it started with more of a whimper than a bang.

I was excited to see my apps get over 3,000 downloads for the month.  But these installs didn’t equate to a whole lot of money:

  • Total downloads: 3226
  • Revenue generated: $33.65
  • Revenue per install (RPI): $0.014

When you work out the math; each install is worth about a penny.

One. Damn. Penny.

That means I would need 10,000 installs – PER DAY – Just to break the $100 daily mark.

The math simply doesn’t work out.

My mistake was I didn’t explore the different app monetization models.  I went with Chartboost.com; thinking it was best advertising network.

I was sooooooo wrong.

In August, I learned that the RevMob.com advertisement network is what the top dogs in the app market are currently using.

One figure I’m hearing is that some developers get as high as $150 per thousand installs.  This works out to be $.15 per install.

I’ve done the math – That’s 10x the amount I’m currently making with my existing apps.

Of course, I won’t have an exact number till I’ve tested it on my own.

The lesson here is to keep testing different monetization strategies.  You’d be surprised at how a few simple tweaks can lead to a dramatic increase in income.

Right now, I’ve updated ALL my apps using the RevMob advertisements.  Hopefully next month, I’ll report back some awesome results.

Lesson #2: Determine Your “Dollar Per Subscriber” Metric

I’ve had a successful affiliate marketing business for more than five years.  During this time, I’ve NEVER taken the time to figure out the dollar value per visitor or subscriber.

Colossal mistake on my part.

You see, I once thought it was enough to simply keep track of the “per-email-profit.”

Now I’ve come to realize that I’ve left a lot of money on the table by not determining the average earnings per subscriber metric.

Why is this important?

The simple answer is paid traffic.

Getting a subscriber value is the first step towards scaling (and exploding) your affiliate income.

Having an exact number gives you a benchmark for how much you can spend to acquire a list subscriber.  With this metric, you’ll know a campaign is profitable just as long as you’re spending less than you’re earning.

Recognizing my mistake, I decided to start tracking the income for my major affiliate marketing website (not SteveScottSite.com).

I sat down and got an EXACT number on my front-end offer from January 2012 to August 31st 2012:

  • Total subscribers: 11,831
  • Total clicks from the thank you page to my primary affiliate offer: 9,663
  • Avg click-thru-rate (CTR) on the thank you page: 81.7%
  • Thank you page income: $10,800
  • Income from first email message: $3,800
  • Total income on the front end: $13,800
  • Average income per subscriber ($13,800 / 11,831): $1.17

So if I decide to explore paid traffic than my goal is to spend less than $1.17 to acquire a list subscriber.

More importantly, I haven’t started tracking the earnings from the rest of my autoresponder sequence.  Without a doubt, I earn way more than the $1.17 per subscriber.  I’m sure it’s close to two dollars for every person on my list.  That means I can spend more on any paid advertising channel I pursue.

The lesson here is you want to track everything online.  Paid traffic is all about knowing your metrics.  And the #1 metric of them all is knowing the value of each visitor and list subscriber.

Lesson #3: Publish More Kindle Titles

I’ve written extensively about how Kindle publishing will become a major source of online income.

Right now I have two titles in the marketplace.  And I was happy to see a $300 bump in income from the last month.

But there’s only so much testing and tweaking that can be done before you hit an earnings plateau.

The best (and only) way to experience long-term growth with Kindle Publishing is to get more titles into the marketplace.

Put simply:

More Kindle Titles = More Money

What I learned in the past month was the importance of creating more titles that people want.  I can’t sit around resting on the success of what I’ve previously published.  I have to get stuff into the marketplace.

Fortunately, I’m about to release my 3rd Kindle Book:

“How to Discover Best Selling Amazon Kindle Non-Fiction Book Ideas”

Then in a month or so I’ll publish the “Get 100,000 Visitors” title I discussed here.

The lesson here is you need to create a system for releasing Kindle titles on a regular basis.  Some might be duds and some will be home runs.  The important thing to is to set up a publishing schedule where you’re getting titles into the marketplace.

Final Thoughts…

Recently I determined four online business models I’ll pursue in the future:

  1. Affiliate marketing through paid advertising
  2. Developing mobile apps monetized through RevMob.com
  3. Publishing Amazon Kindle eBooks
  4. Marketing quality Internet marketing offers on SteveScottSite.com

No matter what business you’re in, it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll increase your income.  The key here is to figure out what propels your business forward and focus on that.

I’ve identified the four steps for growing my business.

Now it’s your turn.

What are you doing to increase your Internet income?

Respond below and let me know your thoughts…

Take Action. Get Results.




P.S. Struggling with your Kindle books? Don't know how to get started on Amazon? Looking to generate an additional stream of income?

If so, click here to grab "Kindle Publishing Checklist: The 46-Step Plan for Turning an Idea into a Best-Selling Book"


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Hague

Hi Steve,
Great stuff again this month thank you for sharing. Your point is well taken on metrics, knowing what a visitor is worth is critical to knowing how much is enough to invest in traffic driving systems. I’m using FB ads now and seeing some good results at what seems like low cost but guess what? Since I dont have any metrics I really don’t know:)
Tim
P.S. My big takeaway for the August numbers is you are not only diversifying more but you are fishing in new markets and that will eventually help you go from consistent to growing I bet:)

Reply

Steve Scott

I haven’t tried FB ads (besides to get likes for my page.) So I’d be interested to hear what results you’re getting. Keep me posted!

Yes, I’m definitely into diversification. I learned a hard lesson from the Google Penguin update that you can never rely on one source of income. So I’m working my butt off to explore different avenues for revenue.

Only time will tell if I’m on to something with a few of these strategies. :-)

Reply

Jennifer

I absolutely LOVE facebook ads! I’ve literally only been using them for a week or so to get new Likes. The biggest benefit is how little it costs to expose your business to a very targeted segment.

The more you know about the exact target market the better your FB ads are going to be. This week I have spent a little over $5 and have had 63 page likes which ends up being around 8c per like. It’s INSANE value.

Reply

Tim Hague

Hi Jennifer,
I’m interested in knowing more about how you are getting such great value out of FB AD’s…8 cents per like is insane…send me a note on FaceBook, I’d love to pick your brain:) my FBpage is /StartYourWebSite
Thanks,
Tm

Reply

Steve Scott

Jennifer — I’m interested as well. Feel free to send me an email and perhaps we can exchange information/techniques. Your thoughts?

Reply

Jennifer

Hey guys,

Emailed you both =) Enjoy!

Reply

Marius

How FB ads is working for you?
I am thinking to use them as well. Which converts better? CPC or CPM?

Reply

Tim Hague

So far it’s costing me about $0.34 per like…I haven’t done much to market those folks yet but planning to in the near future. They are certainly targeted for your niche…

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks for jumping here Tim…I haven’t really tried FB Ads; so it’s good to someone else is doing.

Like the new Gravatar image :-)

Reply

Tim Hague

Hehe, I’m reminded how hard it is to find a decent photo of myself, as a father of 3 I’m usually the one holding the camera and when you look back 40 years later via photos it’s almost like you didn’t exist!!:)

Reply

Marcin

Hi Steve,

congrats on increasing your income. I think you made a great decision if it goes about using paid traffic & estimating your value per subscriber. I wonder how much time/money does cost you driving traffic to your main authority site at the moment, maybe you could say a little more about that? 11,831 subscribers in 8-month period is a pretty nice number many people would love to have!

Awesome Kindle results, that’s really encouraging as I’m about to enter this market as well. I’ll outsource my first book this week. Any advice on formatting?

PS. I know it can depend on a niche, I’m also curious what email open rate do you consider as a good one. My average is about 20-30% and I’m pissed it’s so low :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Right now, my main authority site gets ALL of its traffic from old YouTube and ezine articles. I don’t do a think to get this traffic. So it’s basically on autopilot.

With that said, it’s only a matter of time before it dries up. So I’m looking into paid traffic as a way to mitigate some of the loss in traffic that I’m starting to see.

I’m kind of bad at formatting. I also learning how to do it right. I actually bought a fancy piece of software to handle it. I’ll try it out for my 3rd post and let everyone know about the results. Till then, I’d recommend doing a Google search for “Kindle Formatting” or “Kindle Conversion.” You should find some decent resources.

20 to 30% isn’t that bad. One thing, try split-testing headlines and seeing which one gets better clicks. Testing different things is the only way I’ve found to bump up open rates.

Reply

Marcin

PS2. Thanks for sharing these income report, great stuff man.

Reply

Jens P. Berget

Hey Steve,

I’ve been thinking of Kindle marketing. Do you recommend writing all the books yourself, or do you believe that outsourcing is an option?

Your reports are awesome.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Jens.

My opinion is it’s best to do the writing yourself – Especially if you’re trying to establish authority.

But if you have an expert on a particular subject (someone who is more knowledgeable than you) then that might work as well.

For me, I found it’s best to do all my writing. It’s tedious, but it’s worth it because I know that the content is really what I’d want people to do.

Reply

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

Hey Steve,

You’re doing AWESOME with the kindle books! I have 3 for sale and they only make me around $60/month. Looking forward to your upcoming books too!

In other news, you’re beating me in app income by $22.45 so it looks like I have some work to do :P

Thomas

Reply

Steve Scott

Hey Thomas-

With Kindle, I think it really comes down to finding the right topic and then getting your book on the important “People Also Read…” sections. I’m still trying to figure out Amazon – Hopefully this will lead to information that I can pass along.

Yeah, the app income is underwhelming. Maybe RevMob will be the answer…I won’t know till my darn updates go through. Been waiting for a week now :-(

Reply

Mauro D'Andrea

Hi Steve, glad to see your third income report.

I like a lot your lesson #2.
In these days I thought few times about using paid traffic.
Although I used Adwords a lot in the past, I don’t know very much about paid traffic.
(Especially, because I used Adwords to test landing pages, not to earn money)

Regarding your question: lately I made a video course for my blog about personal improvement.
Now I just have to launch it.
Also I am planning to bring more traffic to it.
My ultimate goal with that blog is to make few products that are the ultimate solutions for people.

Reply

Steve Scott

Paid traffic is definitely tricky to understand. You could easily lose a lot of money if you’re not careful. I’m in the research phase now…but will be experimenting with a lot of things pretty soon.

Sounds like you have a solid plan there. Good luck!

Reply

Mauro D'Andrea

I do, that blog is doing very well :D
Thanks Steve!

Reply

Samuel

Hey Steve,

Thanks for sharing your income report. I have been testing with Kindle ebooks also. Interesting my ebook is in the dating niche and I’m not seeing the kind of sales I would like. I initially sat back and let Amazon provide the visibility for my book but that isn’t working as I thought. I am realizing I have to take an Internet marketing approach to promoting the book. So I created a check list of things to do after a book is released. When you create your Kindle post I’ll share what I’m doing as well. Also do you publish on Nook? I just did that last week and waiting to see how that goes.

Reply

Steve Scott

Hey Samuel,

Sounds like a great idea! I also threw up my first two books without any sort of strategy. But with my third, I’m going follow a specific checklist and make a strong push in the KDP 5 day freebie.

Anyway, I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing to launch your books.

Reply

Samuel

Most definitely Steve,

I’ll look out for your post and share it there for everyone to check out. Just checked my Amazon account and got a few more sales! Woo-Hoo!!

Reply

Steve Scott

Congratulations. The one thing I’ve learned is Kindle sales can often languish for months and then suddenly they hit the right “Customer’s Also Bought” books and then suddenly explode in sales.

Reply

Joe Awesome

Is “Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2012″ a kindle book? The link goes to a sales letter.

Reply

Steve Scott

You’re absolutely right! Sorry about that…I’ve changed the link and it now redirects to the Kindle book.

Reply

Greg

Hi Steve. You certainly have a diverse portfolio of online income sources. Something to aspire to. I’ve joined your list and look forward to learning and earning!

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Greg. I’m definitely trying to diversify my income streams – So I’m not so depended upon one thing that is (sometimes) beyond my control. Ultimately I think that’s something every online entrepreneur should do.

Reply

Eddie Gear

I am so overwellemed by the income you are earning from your blog. I would love to someday earn as much as you. But for now, I will start with 1000 Dollars.

Reply

Steve Scott

Eddie – Don’t discount $1000 dollars. That’s an admirable goal and something I think all new online marketers should target. The cool thing is once you hit that mark…it’s easy to find ways to scale, replicate and build on your success.

Reply

adi

hey steve do you think we must diversified our income streams to earn more ? or just one income streams is enough ?

i am currently stepping on niche things

Reply

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