Each month I share any progress I’ve made on the road towards achieving the goal of a $1,000,000 online income with various strategies such as building niche websites, affiliate marketing, information products, and Amazon FBA to help you along your own entrepreneurial path.
By taking you behind the scenes on exactly how I’m making money online and documenting any wins, losses and important lessons learned along the way I hope that you can take something out of these reports.
I’ve personally gained so much inspiration from reading the income reports of other successful online entrepreneurs and seeing over their shoulder of exactly how they’re doing it, and so I feel compelled to write my own reports documenting my progress because I know the potential value that others may get from seeing behind the scenes of how I make a living online.
I hope to be some sort of example of what’s possible online for the everyday guy or girl coming from absolute ground zero (no money, no connections, and no business experience or knowledge). In fact, I come from below ground zero (in a lot of debt).
Also, by publishing these reports each month and openly sharing my results (good or bad) with you guys it creates further accountability and motivation for me to keep pushing harder towards my goals.
I don’t have a plan B, nor will I ever have one. It’s get rich or die trying, internet business style.
To my fellow entrepreneurs, and aspiring entrepreneurs – I invite you to join me on the adventure.
October 2015 Income, Expenses and Profit
|Online Business||Income (USD)||Expenses (USD)||Profit (USD)|
|Niche Site 1||$4585.59 (up $1466.04)||$24.90||+ $4560.69|
|Niche Site 2||$5.92 (down $75.86)||$24.90||- $18.98|
|Niche Site 3||$61.78 (down $96.80)||$19.70||+ $42.08|
|Amazon FBA||$0 (not live yet)||$135||- $135.00|
|TOTAL||$4653.29 (up $1249.02)||$204.50||+ $4448.79|
Niche Site 1 (NS1)
|Monetization Model/s:||Affiliate Marketing, Google Adsense|
|No. of Pages:||100+|
|Profit:||+ $4560.69 USD|
- Amazon Affiliate Commissions: $4,543.16
- Google Adsense: $42.43
Because I know people love screenshots as it makes this whole thing a lot more real, here are the Amazon affiliate sales for October.
I earned over 4.5k USD in commissions from the 155K in sales that I generated for Amazon which isn’t too shabby for a small to medium sized niche site that gets most of its traffic organically.
This income is 90% passive income (the site only requires a few hours maintenance per month) – that’s proof right there that building a niche website is totally worth the effort if you do it right and a strategy I recommend to everyone. Plus you can combine it with other popular money-making tactics like info products, coaching, and Amazon FBA.
And here are the traffic stats from Google Analytics for October which shows the site received just over 30,000 visitors for the month which is pretty standard for this site lately:
Success With Increasing NS1 Affiliate Conversions
After last month’s dip in income due to Amazon changing their commission rate in my particular industry, income is up this month because I managed to successfully increase my Amazon conversion rate (how many people actually buy something when I send them to Amazon with an affiliate link) with a little tweaking of NS1 last month.
I also increased how many people I actually sent from my site to Amazon by carefully placing more affiliate links throughout my site, but being careful not to over-do it with affiliate links which is probably not a good idea.
If you own a niche site/blog and do affiliate marketing, these two metrics (conversion rate and the amount of traffic you send to your affiliate offers) is NOT something to ignore. A slight increase in these metrics can mean a LOT more money over the long-haul, so spend the time to test and tweak. Even small changes to headlines, content, and even your design can improve converions. Also, this applies to product creators too.
It’s too early to tell, but from what I can see I’ve managed to increase conversions by roughly 1% which doesn’t seem like a lot but that equals thousands and thousands more dollars in my pocket over the long-haul. In October I received almost the exact same traffic as in September, but I made around $1500 more in affiliate commissions simply because of those increased conversions.
I regret not doing this sooner…think about how much more I could have made over the years with this site if I had made these changes earlier. Now think about how much you’ve missed out with your own site/s.
Niche Site 2 (NS2)
|Monetization Model/s:||Affiliate Marketing, Google Adsense|
|No. of Pages:||80+|
|Profit:||- $18.98 USD|
- Affiliate Commissions: $2.24
- Google Adsense: $3.68
This is the second niche site that I started, and even income is dismal I still keep it up because it occasionally has a spike in income and it also still helps people in its niche.
I haven’t worked on it in a long time hence why income has really dropped off with it (it used to earn a a lot more). The lesson here is that in this day and age you simply cannot just “set and forget” a site and expect it to continue performing well. You have to update it at least every now and again otherwise it’ll more than likely drop off.
When I have more time I will consider reviving the site, or levering the traffic to sell an information product and/or my own Amazon products in that niche. But it’s not a priority right now.
Niche Site 3 (NS3)
|Monetization Model/s:||Affiliate Marketing|
|No. of Pages:||30+|
|Profit:||+ $42.08 USD|
- Amazon Affiliate Commissions: $61.78
This is my latest niche website that I started last year. My aim is to build it up to earn a few thousands dollars per month with Amazon affiliate commissions, an information product to come soon, and then to also to combine it with my Amazon FBA efforts at some point too.
Once it (fingers crossed) starts earning a respectable amount, I will talk more about it, but it’s still very much in its start-up phase as it’s a long-term project for me (as all my projects are as I have a slow and steady wins the race mentality as opposed to the fly-by-night get-rich-quick attitude which never wins long-term).
PDR (Project Digital Rise)
In October I completed Part 5 of the Ultimate Guide to Building a Niche Content Website:
That was the only post I published in October for this blog (not including my September 2015 Income Report).
I’m all about QUALITY over quantity here at PDR – I won’t release a post unless it’s either different, better or more thorough than what’s already out there in the online marketing/business space.
It’s a crowded niche with endless information, so the last thing you need from me is more generic run of the mill information to further drown yourself in. I want every post to be valuable and unique in some way. If you’re also in a competitive niche, that’s literally your only chance to stand out. Don’t just be yet-another-generic-blog-about-health. Be different.
Oh, by the way I did get featured in this value-bomb of a post over at FE International which I do recommend you check out if you’re current working on a new site.
Some solid tips there from fellow niche site builders.
As for income, no income for PDR in October, but keep in mind that monetizing this blog isn’t a focus right now. Adding value and slowly building traffic is, and any income for now is a bonus.
I’m deep in the start-up phase of my new physical products business (selling on Amazon via the Fulfillment by Amazon program) and have spent my first dollars on inventory (product samples to be specific).
The whole process is taking a lot longer than expected (finding and dealing with reliable suppliers, waiting for product samples etc), but I’m staying patient and just taking it one step at a time.
If I see good results, I will share how I’ve done it, but until then I will not share advice on this strategy. I have a pact with myself to only teach things on this blog that I’ve actually had results with.
But what I will say now is this – from all of my years of experience with making a living online, selling on Amazon is one of the best opportunities I’ve seen and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to beginner and experienced marketers alike.
As for whether or not you should start a niche site or do Amazon FBA…my instinct is to say “why not both” because they can supplement each other (that’s exactly what I’m doing).
Are You Ready For Black Friday?
That’s it for this month’s quick update, it’s straight back to work for me now as the biggest few days in online sales (for the US at least) is fast approaching.
If you aren’t aware, Black Friday (27th November) and Cyber Monday (30th November), and the days in-between and after, is when online retailers offer their biggest discounts of the year. If you’re a product creator or affiliate marketer then you’d be wise to learn how to maximize your sales on these days.
Don’t believe it’s worth the extra effort to prepare for the upcoming holiday blitz?
Think again – last year over the Black Friday weekend I made almost 3K in affiliate commissions.
I’m not trying to brag in any way by saying that (a lot of people out there would see that as peanuts anyway, lol), but the point is that it’s WAY WAY more than what I typically make, and so it’s completely worth it to think about how you can maximize sales during this upcoming period (you still have almost a week to prepare).
Here are some ideas of things you could do to maximize sales:
- Letting your visitors know about great deals in your niche either via email or social media both in advance and on specific sales days
- Rounding up the best deals in your niche and compiling them on a special deals page on your site
- Checking that all your affiliate links are up to date and working, and that products are in stock (and continually check throughout the sales period)
- Advertising your special deals pages with things like Facebook ads
- Offering a discount on any of your own info products to get more sales
I hope you kill it, and I’m personally aiming to better my 3K from last year over the Black Friday extended weekend.
Focus on the Process, Not Results
That’s it for this month’s income report/update. As for my main goal of achieving 1 million in revenue by age 30, it may seem an impossible goal from the outside looking in considering where I am now, but I honestly feel like I’m on track.
The thing with online business is that oftentimes the work that you put in now doesn’t “kick in” and pay off until later down the track, and this past year I’ve put in more work than I ever have (setting up new projects, improving old ones) so I could very well start seeing the results of that work over the coming months.
Just gotta stay patient and stick to the process. The results will eventually come.
Either way, I’m happy because I’m grateful for what I’ve achieved so far and being able to do this full-time, and I quite enjoy the “struggle” to get to the next level. It’s exciting and it keeps me real busy – never a dull moment.
Don’t get me wrong though – I’m definitely not satisfied with where I’m at and know I can be doing better.
I hope things are going well for you in online business land, and definitely feel free to share your own results and/or insights in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your own journey with this.
I’ll leave you with with a solid quote which I posted on my Instagram which basically sums up my entire philosophy.
Stay strong, and talk soon : )