Welcome to my first ever public income report where I share in detail the results of all my online businesses to give you a behind the scenes look into what I’ve been working on this past month, what’s been working well, and what hasn’t been working so well to help you with pursuing your own online income goals.
This is new territory for me, but I’m excited to “expose” my online operations from now on and add a deeper side to this blog.
These reports will include all of the revenue, expenses, and profits from all my online businesses to the exact cent and I openly share all of this to document my progress, hold myself further accountable to keep pushing towards my goals, and to share any lessons or actionable tips I learned from my findings in that month.
I’ve personally received so much inspiration and insight from following along with other business blogger’s income reports so I hope that someone out there can take something out of this. Remember that anything I share here is just my own experiences and thoughts.
Ok, let’s get into my first report!
May 2015 – What Went Down
This past month was a real busy one for me and I spent the majority of it working long hours on multiple projects. These are some of the noteworthy things I worked on in May and what I learned from it all:
Happenings With My Niche Sites
In May I spent a ton of time converting a couple of my older niche sites (which I keep private for now, check out my Income Reports FAQ to learn why) to become mobile-friendly due to Google’s new algorithm changes which I spoke about in this post. I actually started the converting back in April but the workload lapped over into May because I had a ton of pages to convert and the way that I had set up these sites meant I had to convert each page manually.
As for the Google mobile update, traffic numbers look good and I haven’t seen any changes so far. So chances are I’m in the clear in terms of mobile friendliness for now. If you have a site that isn’t mobile friendly, get onto it now because from now on Google is using it as a ranking factor.
In terms of my niche site strategies moving forward, I will continue to improve all of my sites and I am also considering starting yet another one this year at some point when I have the time.
I have a fair few decent ideas for niche sites stored away in my seemingly never-ending stash of business ideas. So many ideas, so little time. Story of every entrepreneur’s life?
If I do start a new site I will seriously consider doing a detailed “live” case study as I go along with it, sharing everything including the important bits like niche research, keyword research, marketing and content strategy.
Blogging Happenings and the #1 Resource for Niche Sites
In terms of this blog, which let’s not forget is part of my overall mini online biz “empire”, during May I worked hard on creating the first two parts to my step by step guide to building a niche site and making it as detailed and simple to follow as possible.
- The Ultimate Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Site or Blog: PART 1 – Introduction to Niche Sites
- PART 2 – How to Easily Find Lots of Niche Site Ideas
I’m really satisfied with how the guide is turning out so far and have received some really good response from a few of you via email – thanks guys I really appreciate the support! Motivates me to keep making this guide even better and make it THE go-to resource on building niche sites in 2015 and beyond.
I was initially going to compile this guide into an information product such as an online course or an eBook that I would sell, but I decided to release it publicly because it will reach so many more people that way and spread awareness of my brand.
There is a lot of info out there about building niche sites, some good, some average, and some plain destructive, but it’s all scattered all over the place so I can imagine just how confusing it would be to someone new to all of this. Then there’s the issue of knowing what strategies are current, and what aren’t because starting a niche content site or blog these days is a whole different ballgame then say a few years ago.
Part 3 has been written, and now I’ve just got to edit it and add some final touches. So stay tuned for that soon if you’re following along, I’ll release it as soon as humanly possible but I have SO much happening right now so please bear with me 🙂
Changing Blog Names – My Reasons Why And How It Works
For those who are new here, I actually just finished re-branding this blog from Limitless Tenacity to Project Digital Rise. Technically this change was done this month in June, but I might as well include it for this May report whilst its fresh in my mind.
The idea of changing names has been popping up in the back of my mind for a couple months or so, and after thinking long and hard about it I decided its probably a good move. Plus, better to do it now whilst the blog is still very young, rather than later when it could be a much bigger headache.
Whilst I like “Limitless Tenacity” and didn’t mind the fact that some people would inevitably be put off by the intense nature of it, it was a bit too vague for my liking and I felt like I could think of something better that better represented what this blog is all about – business, business, business.
I started this blog without knowing the exact direction I would take it in. My thinking back then was just start a personal blog, write about whatever I felt like, and see where it takes me. But now after some blogging experience I’m a lot clearer about where this blog is heading.
I spent a few days brainstorming for new names, and then out of nowhere Project Digital Rise just came to me and it immediately clicked in my mind. Sometimes you just have that gut feeling “yep, this is it”.
But even though this blog is a baby in terms of size and age, the switch was still very much a headache, and took a lot more work than I initially realized.
It’s definitely worth it though – if you have a blog or any website for that matter and you’re really considering a reincarnation – don’t put it off and get it over and done with sooner rather than later. There’s always a risk of losing your search engine rankings, and some of your site readers, and the bigger and more established your site is the more damage you could do.
The only downside to the switch was that I lost all my social share counts for each page so they all start back at 0. Ah well! Then there’s the fact that I lost some search rankings for this blog, but they should come back as I have done a redirect on my old domain to this one which passes most of the old “link juice” from the old domain.
I also lost a chunk of traffic due to deleting a bunch of generic posts I wrote on Limitless Tenacity that doesn’t fit into the overall theme of this blog anymore.
For those wondering, this tutorial was the best I found on moving a WordPress site from one domain to another as smoothly as possible, including how to do proper redirects.
I hope you like the new name as much as I do. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it 🙂
Digging Up Old Income History
I spent some time with what felt like a wild goose chase digging through my affiliate, Adsense, and bank accounts to compile a list of every single cent I’ve ever earned online since that first day when I started my first site way back in 2006 as an 18 year old.
I thought it would be interesting to document my entire online business income history so far.
I think it paints a picture of the typical reality and up and down nature of being an online entrepreneur and trying to make money online.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think it’s a common trend among internet marketers. My long-term plan is to become more stable and established with my businesses.
Success, whatever that means to you, is never a straight line so don’t ever get discouraged by setbacks. At least that’s been the case for me so far along my journey, and from what I see in literally every single successful entrepreneur I’ve ever met or studied.
You have got to be in this for the long-haul – forget “get rich quick” thinking and dedicated yourself to small continual improvement over time. Yes, I have a goal to become a millionaire through online business – but I don’t expect it to happen overnight.
My First Physical Product
During May I also started to delve into new territory which is exciting – selling a physical product online.
I’ve been looking into doing this for a while now, and I’ve decided I may as well get it started sooner rather than later. I’m still in the planning phase for my product, and I will be selling through Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon), at least that’s the plan initially.
There are always other ways to sell physical products, but from what I’ve researched Amazon is an excellent way to get started and fairly beginner-friendly. I spent quite a bit of money to join the Amazing Selling Machine course which is guiding me through the whole process.
When I want to learn something I don’t hesitate to spend the money necessary to learn from the best if at all possible, and from what I gather from multiple trustworthy sources – the Amazing Selling Machine course is amazing (no pun intended).
I’ll be reporting the progress and results of my physical product launch in future reports.
Income and Expenses for May 2015
Note all figures below are in my local currency AUD (Australian Dollars) – the numbers work out a little less when converted to USD.
I currently own 3 medium-sized niche sites with the largest at a bit over 100 pages and the smallest at roughly 30 pages. Affiliate income makes up the vast majority (from Amazon’s affiliate program for those wondering), and Adsense makes up the chump change.
I could actually earn a lot more from Adsense with my current traffic, but I choose not to push Adsense too hard because I personally think it lowers the user experience a little. So I’m very strategic about where I place ads on my sites, I don’t want to lose a visitor by displaying too many ads and in too prominent of a place.
- Affiliate Marketing: $10,347.99
- Google Adsense: $121.56
- Total Income: $10,469.55
- Hosting Fees: $74.14
- Total Expenses: $74.14
- Net Profit = + $10,395.41
I’m yet to monetize this blog, but I will soon with affiliate links to my favorite business tools and resources. I’ll only ever recommended the tools that I personally use and highly recommend. Anything I make from this blog will then be reinvested back into the blog and my other projects.
- Themes and Plugins: $340.72
- Hosting: $38.02
- Domain Name: $14.25
- Virtual Assistant: $35.19
- Stock Images: $36
- Total Expenses: $464.18
- Net Profit = – $464.18
As mentioned above I’m still planning my physical product business so nothing to report here yet but next month should be different – it’ll probably be in the negative though because first things first will be stocking up on some inventory.
- Net Profit
Totals for May 2015
Total Income = $10,469.55
Total Expenses = $538.32
Total Net Profit = + $9931.23
Overall my businesses performed fairly well and I’m happy with the income this month. All of the work I did this month will pay off later down the road – that’s how passive income works; you put in the work initially and then it (hopefully) comes back to you many times over. That’s the beauty of it.
If you remember from my 2015 goals post my income goal for this year is 15K per month consistently, and I think with all of the new projects I’m working on I have a chance to reach that very soon. But it’s always tough to predict – just gotta put in the work and let the chips fall where they may.
The Best Thing About Working Online
Overall it’s been a hectic month in terms of work-load, but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now and am excited with all of the new projects I have going on.
But I’m also looking forward to taking some much-needed relaxation time soon and a spontaneous trip overseas next month is possibly on the cards – this is perhaps what I love most about being a digital entrepreneur.
The ability to just get up and move at any time – it truly never gets old and this reason alone is enough motivation to start an online business in my opinion. Adventure is something I just can’t live without 🙂
Anyway, I hope you got something out of this report and I’d love to hear what you think!
Also feel free to give me suggestions on how I could make these more useful to you moving forward, I’m all ears.
Have an awesome June and speak to you soon.