Welcome to the income report for September 2012!
This monthly series details how I make money online and what I’m doing to improve these numbers.
Like many online entrepreneurs, I use these reports to motivate readers and also help me analyze what’s currently working (and not working) with my sources of income.
Every report is broken down into two sections:
- What I’ve earned
- Lessons I’ve learned
So let’s get to it…
Here’s the monthly breakdown for September 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): $4,339.12
- Self-Hosted (Email Marketing): $952.00
- Thank You Page: $1,300
- Total: $6591.12
- Last Month: $6721.08
- Difference: -$129.96
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: $1223.07
- Last Month: $1022.31
- Difference: +$200.76
III: Niche Sites: While I no longer build niche sites they still generate a little bit of income. Here’s what happened in September:
- Google Adsense: $12.59
- Commission Junction: $40
- Amazon Physical Products: $44.45
- Clickbank: $74.01
- Total: $171.05
- Last Month: $364.85
- Difference: -$193.80
IV: Amazon Kindle: Right now, I have three Kindle books:
- 55 Ways to Make Extra Money Online
- Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2012
- How to Discover Best Selling Amazon Kindle Nonfiction Book Ideas
As you’ll see (later on) Kindle publishing is turning into a major part of my business. But for now, I’ve earned a modest amount of income from my existing titles:
- Total: $688.31
- Last Month: $707.86
- Difference: -$19.55
V: Steve Scott Site: I also promote affiliate offers and my own information product on this blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a product promotion. But oddly enough, my earnings have increased slightly:
- Affiliate Marketing without the B.S.: $467.66
- Aweber: $5.70
- Adminer: $19.95
- Market Samurai: $47
- Niche Profits Course: $65.60
- Tweet Adder: $114.00
- Total: $719.91
- Last Month: $591.47
- Difference: +$128.44
VI: Mobile Apps: I’m in the process of building an app business. I’m getting them out there, but they haven’t generated a significant amount of income. Here are my apps. (Please leave a review on any of them if you can spare a few minutes):
- Funny Sound Effects Library
- Siren Sound Effects Maker
- 20 Scary Halloween Sound Effects
- Whip Crack Sound Effects
- 15 Dog Sound Effects and Whistles
- City Sound Effects and Noise Effects (Paid – Just launched last night)
- Total Installs: 4123
- Chartboost.com Earnings: $9.96
- iTunes Purchases: $34
- Rev Mob Earnings: $77.30
- Total: $121.26
- Last Month: $33.65
- Difference: +$87.61
Combine all six income streams and you get a…
Grand Total of $9514.72
- Last Month: $9441.22
- Difference: +$73.50
Once again, my income hit the $9000+ mark. That’s like four months in a row. I’m working hard to push past this plateau; but nothing has taken off yet. So I’m going to keep at it!
With that in mind, here are a few lessons I learned from last month…
The main reason I do income reports is to analyze what I’m currently doing to generate revenue. It’s not about counting dollars and cents. Instead the purpose is to figure out what’s working and focus on scaling these successful campaigns.
I realized a few things after analyzing my income from September:
Lesson #1: Establish Baseline Metrics
Nobody has ever achieved overnight success from their Internet business. Usually what happens is they’ll try something, see it works, and then do more of that. But you have to do one thing to see what’s working – Establish a baseline metric.
Baseline metrics are important because they provide a starting point for growth. These numbers determine your areas of focus and how you’ll take your Internet business to the next level.
As an example, I established a number of baseline metrics in September. Some of these were updates to tests I’ve done in the past. Others were new metrics I’m going to study moving forward:
- Opt in % (My affiliate marketing list)
- Open rate % (My affiliate marketing list)
- Total number of subscribers (My affiliate marketing list)
- Total earnings for each email in my autoresponder sequence (My affiliate marketing list)
- Subscriber value (My affiliate marketing list)
- Where people subscribe to my email list (SteveScottSite.com)
- Where people click – Using a heat map from VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com (SteveScottSite.com)
- What pages are producing affiliate income (SteveScottSite.com)
- Total # of app downloads (App Business)
- Average daily earnings (App Business)
- Total daily sales for each book (Kindle Business)
- Daily “Amazon Best Seller” ranking for each book (Kindle Business)
It’s been said that knowledge is power. And the best way to get knowledge about your Internet business is to establish baseline metrics that you’ll test on a continuous basis.
Lesson #2: Test Your Business Metrics
It’s important to test and tweak your baseline metrics. Your goal is to slowly improve these numbers as time goes on. Results don’t happen overnight. But they will increase if you commit to trying different things.
Also, I learned (the hard way) to never do more than one test. Instead test a single variable for a week to see if you get a positive improvement. Rinse and repeat till you see an improvement!
Here are a few tests I’m currently running:
- Split-testing the opt-in page (My affiliate marketing list)
- Splitting subscribers between two email lists. One uses an aggressive affiliate promotion model. The other is primarily content-driven. I’m seeing which one generates the most income (My affiliate marketing list)
- Different return email addresses. (My affiliate marketing list)
- Split-testing the click-thru-rates for the thank you page (My affiliate marketing list)
- Split-testing different banner ads and text for affiliate promotions (SteveScottSite.com)
- Different eCover images (Kindle business)
- HTML vs. plain text descriptions (Kindle business)
- Categories, tags, and titles (Kindle business)
- Keywords used in app listings (App business)
- Titles used in app listings (App business)
- Unicode descriptions used in app listings (App business)
These are a small sample of what I’m currently tweaking. The lesson here is to never assume something is the right way to do things. Run a test and see what happens!
Lesson #3: Get Your Ass on a Chair
This past weekend I attended a conference on Kindle publishing in Los Angeles. One of the speakers was Kamal Ravikant, author of Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.
When asked about how to complete a Kindle eBook, Kamal recommended a simple strategy:
A – Ass
O – On
C – Chair
Kamal talk about the importance of taking action. Want to achieve success with any form of writing? Then schedule time for writing and don’t make excuses. In other words: “Ass On Chair!”
I’m taking the AOC concept and running with it. I’ve written “Ass On Chair” on different whiteboards throughout my apartment. So whenever I feel motivated or lazy, I’ll see this statement which reminds me to get back to work.
Also, I’ve scheduled two hours each morning – Just for working on my Kindle book. My goal is to write 10,000 words each week. This works out to be a Kindle book every 2 to 3 weeks.
Overall, I recommend implementing some form of the Ass On Chair philosophy. Most of us are in the business of creating content. So it’s insanely critical to set aside periods where there’s not excuse– Get your ass on a chair and start writing!
September provided a number of lessons. Once again, my income didn’t change all that much. But it’s starting to become a little more diversified from the new businesses I’m building.
For most of 2012, I ignored the “testing and tweaking” aspects of my Internet business. Now I’m back and ready to focus on the areas that generate the largest sources of income.
That’s it for this income report!
Please comment below. Talk about any recent business lessons you’ve learned. Or feel free to ask about anything I’ve discussed in this post!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"