2015 was filled with highs, lows, growth, setbacks, pleasant surprises and unexpected challenges. Pretty much like any year in any job.
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If I had to choose 1 word to describe my online business in 2015, I’d say it was adaptation. I had to adapt and deal with growth as well as some serious challenges that required adapting and adjusting strategies slightly. It was both good and bad. Overall, I’d say the adjustments were good.
My one-word goal for 2016 is growth. We’ll see if that materializes. I set out my 2016 plans in below the income report.
Disclaimer: As usual, this 2015 annual income report pertains to 2 niche sites I own and publish. It does NOT include income from Fat Stacks or my local marketing business or new sites I purchased/launched in 2015.
I don’t include the numbers for all of my sites because that’s not the point of these income reports. I publish income reports to illustrate that the 2 different niche models I pursue (i.e. B2C and B2B) can work.
2015 Income Report (2 Niche Sites):
The following are figures for all of 2015.
Total 2015 Revenue
- Display Ad Revenue: $1,006,761.66 (Media.net = $106,521)
- Affiliate Commission Revenue: $32,120
Total B2C Revenue (2015): 1,038,882
Total 2015 Affiliate Commission Revenue: $96,821
Total 2015 Revenue for both sites: $1,135,703
Total 2015 Expenses (Both Sites):
- Instapage: $301
- OptinMonster: $87
- AWeber: $3,416
- Bluehost: $65
- Synthesis Hosting (Synthesis review): $1,617
- Dropbox: $131
- LongerDays (outsourcing services): $70,155
- Stock Photos: $3,991
- GoodBarber App Maker (monthly subscription): $576
- Amazon S3 Server: $15,092
- Facebook Ads: $538,228
- Bing Ads: $6,693
- Outbrain Ads: $85,938
- Taboola Ads: $331
- Spoutable Ads: $426
- SEMRush: $207
- SECockpit: $160
- WPEngine: $1,200
- Animoto: $312
- Sendible: $118
- Datafeedr: $117
- WeTransfer: $120
- LeadPages: $335
Total 2015 Expenses: $729,616
2015 Profit (2 Niche Sites): $406,087
2015 Return on investment: $406,087/$729,616 = 55%
There’s not much to add that I haven’t discussed in the monthly income reports.
Overall 2015 was excellent. It could have been better but it could have been worse.
I learned a lot.
Most importantly, I still love being a website publisher.
In a nutshell, 2016 is all about growth.
B2C Site Growth
I’ll invest heavily in more content and will be building out at least 2 more sites applying what’s been working well in the hopes to expand my B2C site business.
Traffic focus will be organic traffic (search and social), but I’ll continue buying traffic when margins are high and time required to manage campaigns is minimal.
B2B Site Growth
I’m actually going to invest more time into my B2B sites in 2016 by publishing more content targeting select B2B industries. I started this in December 2015 and will continue. The fact is the ROI by simply publishing content in the B2B sphere is extremely lucrative and more importantly, I enjoy doing it.
Local Marketing Lead Generation
In 2015 I invested nearly $10,000 in new sites for my local marketing lead generation business. I also ramped up my PPC campaigns that appear to be paying off (I need to crunch the numbers for the last 6 months).
If the numbers for 2015 look good for local lead gen, I’ll be investing more into my local lead gen business and will add it as a topic to Fat Stacks.
Fat Stacks Plans
I’m actually going to expand Fat Stacks topically by publishing more general interest business and careers posts. I know this is unconventional for a blog like this, but it occurred to me that my target audience could be broader. And yes, I will be using display ads on some posts.
I love all things business including careers topics, stocks, etc. I have an MBA so I have the knowledge and interest in these topics.
I understand this may fail terribly or be a big success. Who knows, but I’ve learned that I enjoy publishing sites that are broad in topic. That’s what’s worked well for me in the past and so it’s something I wish to test on Fat Stacks.
Get My Courses:
=> Niche Tycoon: My course on how I plan, launch and operate profitable B2C niche websites.
=> Niche Sniper: My guide on how I plan, launch and operate profitable B2B niche websites.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.