Hey guys, this is my second ever public income report where I give you an over the shoulder look of the results of my internet businesses in the past month to hold myself accountable, document my progress, and to help you by sharing any important lessons or strategies I learned to give you insights on what to do and what not to do when it comes to building income streams online.
Before I get into the actual business side of things, a quick personal update. I’m writing this from the beautiful beach of Waikiki in Hawaii. Aloha : )
I decided to stop here on my way to the US mainland because I wanted to break up the flight (can’t imagine anyone liking a crazy long flight in economy, especially if you’re like me and sleeping on a plane is a tough ask), and also to switch up my surroundings so I could recharge and do some reflection about some of my future plans.
I think it’s so so important do this from time to time – to take some time to slow down and really think about your direction and future goals.
Here is a snap I took at Waikiki beach:
Such a beautiful place – and even better once you leave the main touristy area. It’s been a nice way to kick off my first ever US visit, and next I’m heading to LA and Vegas to explore, attend some events, and to take some time off to fully recharge at some point as I’ve spent most of this year hustling like a madman. Breaks are so crucial and will actually increase productivity if you do it right.
Traveling and staying in these places isn’t what I’d call cheap, especially because I find it important for productivity to stay in a decent quality place that is comfortable (I’ve done the whole hostel and cheap-hotel thing in the past to save $$$ but got very little done).
But I don’t have a problem spending money on travel and seeing new places because that’s a big reason why I got into building businesses in the first place!
But don’t get me wrong – I do focus on putting as much of my money back into my current and new projects. I think that’s a smart move if you’re serious about long-term success in business.
My Newest Niche Site
In terms of business, in June I spent most of my working time on my niche sites, specifically my 3rd and latest site (“Niche Site C” in the monthly stats below) which I’m only just starting to monetize now.
It’s been roughly a year and a half in the making and for most of that time I’ve put many hours into it without earning a single cent. But that was my plan all along as I’ve got a long-term vision for it, as I do whenever I start a new business.
You’ve got to see the hard-work-for-no-pay period as an investment. You’re building an asset for the future which can pay you back many times over in the future.
That’s what creating passive income is all about.
I think that puts off many people from pursuing making money online – in most cases you initially have to put in a lot of time and effort with likely nothing to show for it for a while. It takes a lot of patience.
I think the “employee” mindset that 99% of people have, which is the notion that you must trade a certain amount of your time for a certain amount of money, is what stops many people.
What you want to have is a longer-term “investors” mentality.
When your business starts to take off a little, all that time and effort would have been very well spent and the results you may generate over the lifetime of your business will likely be disproportionate to the actual hours you’ve put in.
Only this month did I start monetizing “niche site C” slightly, and I made a few bucks, but in the next few months I’m putting even more effort into monetizing it so I’m hopeful the income for this particular site will rise. The hard work I’ve put into it since I started it over a year and a half ago will start to pay off.
This the lifetime traffic growth of niche site C which looks good to me so far:
Traffic only started to really build after about a year, and I think that’s a good time-frame to aim for in terms of having zero expectations, especially when building a content-based site that aims to bring in a lot of organic search traffic. It takes time to rank your sites, but eventually if your content is good and you’ve set your site up effectively a “snowball” of traffic will start for you. This has been true for most sites I’ve created.
Project Digital Rise in June
In June I didn’t have much time to devote to this blog and so the only post I published in June was my May income report. Felt a little naked after publishing that post.
I’m not used to revealing so much about my businesses and my income, but overall I think it’s a good move for this blog as credibility and transparency online is crucial these days.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on these reports and whether you find them valuable, because I write them as much for you as I do for myself to hold myself accountable to my lofty ambitions.
The Traveling Productivity Killer
If you’re on my email list (which I highly recommend you sign up for because some things I only share via email) you would have heard about a problem I had this month. Something I’ve had to wrestle with many times over the past couple years. I titled the email “what sucks about being a digital nomad”.
What am I talking about? Hotel internet!
Specifically – crappy, slow, constantly disconnecting dial-up-like “broadband” internet. Ha.
When you move around a lot you’re kinda playing Russian roulette with the quality of internet you’ll get. Ok, perhaps a little dramatic of a description, but as an online entrepreneur fast and reliable internet is an absolute must if you want to be highly productive.
Much of what needs to be done business-wise requires requires being online, whether that’s doing research, analysis, publishing, creating designs, running ad campaigns, conducting skype meetings with virtual assistants/clients, learning with videos or articles, etc.
Most hotels and short-stay apartments are fine, but some of the places I’ve stayed at lately have had some of the worst connections I’ve ever had. Felt like I was back in 1998 with dial-up.
Very frustrating. When I can’t get done what I set out to do I’m not the happiest camper. That’s a good thing I guess – not accepting anything other than taking action.
But it’s my fault and this mini 1st-world dilemma could have been avoided by a little extra pre-planning by either searching various customer reviews of the places I was planning to stay at for hints on the ‘net quality, or even better calling them up and finding out.
Lesson learned : )
Checking in with My 2015 Goals
I wrote a post at the start of this year titled My 2015 Business and Life Goals, and since we’re half way through the year I think it’s a good idea to check base and record where I’m at with them.
I’ve been checking them often throughout the year, as you should do when you set goals. Most people set goals for the new year, and then totally forget about them within a few weeks. You don’t want that to be you.
When you set goals you’ve gotta read them as often as possible and remind yourself of all the reasons WHY you wanted to achieve them in the first place. That’ll make sure they stay fresh in your mind.
So here is the list of the 15 goals I created back in Jan with added notes on my progress with each:
1. I will create and launch my first quality product on this blog by December 31st 2015.
This product was going to be my niche site guide, which I’ve since decided to make totally free for the world to allow it to reach way more people. Sure, I’m missing out on making more money in the short-term, but that’s ok because I’m thinking more long-term with this blog and building credibility and trust with my readers is a bigger priority than just cashing in as much as possible. People/credibility > profits
2. I will write at least 52 new high-quality blog posts (1 per week on average) on this blog by December 31st 2015.
So far this year I’ve wrote 11 posts for this blog (2 of which were deleted when I switched my blog names), so I’m quite a bit behind on this but that’s okay because I have many projects going on which take priority and also a big reason is some of the posts I’ve published this year have been very long, highly-detailed posts (the niche site guide).
But I’ll still aim to publish more posts in the 2nd half of 2015 to get as close as possible to 52 overall for the year.
3. I will publish at least 5 YouTube videos by December 31st 2015.
No progress made here yet – I’ll be creating these videos later in the year.
4. I will create a free valuable eBook for new subscribers of this blog by December 31st 2015.
I’ve got a rough draft of the book almost done, so I should be able to release it soon. I’m sure some of you will take a lot of value out of it. Of course if you’re already on my email list you’ll get a copy.
5. I will create another money-making niche site including writing at least 30 pages of quality content by December 31st 2015.
This will get done later in the year when I have more time, and I’m also considering doing a public case study documenting the process to give you an over the shoulder look at how I research, plan and execute a niche site.
6. I will publish at least another 12 new books on Amazon Kindle by December 31st 2015.
This goal has changed, as instead of starting a Kindle Publishing business I am delving into Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) which is selling your own physical products on Amazon. I think there’s a lot more opportunity doing this than with Kindle.
7. I will be earning at least $15,000 USD per month consistently from my online businesses by December 31st 2015.
If things continue the way they are, I have a very good chance of making this goal a reality. Fingers crossed : )
Health & Fitness
8. I will gain 9 KG (about 20 lbs) to reach 85 KG again (about 187 lbs) with a clean bulk by December 31st 2015.
Since writing this goal I’ve slowly gained 4 KG, so I’m on track for this.
9. I will try Yoga for the first time by attending at least 5 classes by December 31st 2015.
Haven’t tried Yoga yet, but it’s still very much on the cards very soon. I keep hearing so many good things about it.
Reading & Habits
10. I will read/listen to at least 20 non-fiction books/audiobooks by December 31st 2015.
Off the top of my head I think I’ve read about 6 books this year so I’m a bit off track but I can catch up with this easily.
11. I will attend at least 10 Toastmasters public speaking classes by December 31st 2015.
So far this year I’ve attended 3 toastmaster classes. Highly recommended if you want to take your communication to the next level. I’m working on this because one day I may very well do public speaking and/or YouTube presentations.
12. I will travel to Bulgaria for at least 1 week in February for a ski trip and entrepreneur mastermind meet-up.
Did this back in Feb and it was awesome. Met some fellow entrepreneurs from around the world, learned a lot, and had a blast. “Mastermind” groups are hugely valuable and literally every highly successful person I’ve ever studied, met or heard about has been part of at least one. I’m part of 2 so far, with plans to join more in the near future. Who knows, I may also create my own in the future through this blog.
13. I will travel to at least 2 new countries by December 31st 2015.
Already traveled to 3 new countries this year, so this goal is already done and dusted.
14. I will organize and host a family Christmas get-together in December 2015.
Still on the cards, but my family is scattered around so it may be difficult in terms of logistics.
15. I will take my Dad to the Australian MotoGP race for his birthday in October 2015.
I’ve had to can this one because someone in my family got engaged and the wedding got planned for the week after the race. Oh well, I plan to take him there next year.
I know many people dislike goal setting and think it’s a waste of time, or cheesy, or whatever. But the fact of the matter is, writing down your goals and reviewing them often JUST PLAIN WORKS. Trust me on that one.
Income Numbers for June 2015
Starting this month I’ll break down my current 3 niche sites into A, B and C. As you see below in the figures, niche site A earns the majority of my income, but I’m working hard to diversify because that’s key when making money online.
Niche site B is one that I have neglected for years, and its dropped off a lot in terms of traffic and income (it used to earn me hundreds per month). I’ll likely make a post about that site and why it fell off – I could have avoided it had I kept working on it but I saw a lot more potential with Niche Site A and so I doubled down on that one and put a lot more focus on it hence why it does so well.
I keep Niche Site B up and running because it still helps people (I still get the occasional thank you email from readers), and some months it has a little spike in earnings. But this month it produced next to nothing.
Niche site C is my latest niche site that I spoke about above. I’m excited for its future and traffic is steadily growing. I only just started to monetize it this month and I’m working to have it earn at least a few hundred per month by the end of the year.
As for Amazon FBA (fulfillment by amazon AKA selling physical products on Amazon) – I haven’t launched my product yet but hopefully it’ll start to produce an income soon once its released and I’ll share what I learn here on the blog. Right this moment selling on Amazon is a very good opportunity to get into, and it’s not too hard.
As for this blog, it’s a long-term project and monetizing it isn’t a focus for me right now so in my eyes anything I earn from it is just a bonus. My aim with Project Digital Rise is to just add as much value as I can to fellow entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. In the near future I’ll put more focus into generating a healthy income from it.
Note all figures are in my local currency AUD (Australian Dollars) – the numbers work out a little less when converted to USD.
Niche Site A
- Amazon Affiliate Sales: $10,539.56
- Google Adsense: $91.69
Niche Site B
- Google Adsense: $11.80
Niche Site C
- Amazon Affiliate Sales: $88.40
- $0 (product not live yet)
Project Digital Rise
- Affiliate Sales: $0.79
Total Income: $10,732.24
Expenses for June 2015
- Hosting Fees: $76.06
- Advertising: $48.97 (Facebook ads for a niche site)
Total Expenses: $125.03
Total Profit for June 2015
It’s been another solid month in terms of output and results for me, and I’m really pushing hard to reach my goal of 15K per month by the end of this year. I think that’s very doable especially with the likelihood that some of my newer projects like Niche Site C and my physical product will start earning soon.
So that’s it for this month’s report, and I hope you took something out of it. If you have any type of feedback or suggestions, good or bad, do let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading guys, take care and speak to you soon. Now get back to work 😉