I returned to work mid way through July on a part time basis after a 5 week paternity leave (I had a great time off with our baby son and 3 year old son).
I hit the ground running. My first order of business was to improve ad revenue RPM and get some new Facebook ad campaigns underway. That’s what I spent my first 4 weeks back to work doing (hence my silence here for far too long).
In a nutshell, July numbers took a turn for the better. They aren’t huge, but they’re good and heading in the right direction. It’s August 11, 2015 while I write this and I can say that August numbers so far are awesome.
Please note this income report pertains to 2 niche sites of mine. It does NOT include net income from Fat Stacks (which is growing very quickly due to the popularity of my authority website course (now called Niche Tycoon) or my local offline marketing clients.
Here are July’s numbers…
July 2015 Income Report:
Niche Site #1 (Large B2C Magazine Style Website):
Display Ad Revenue: $21,555
Affiliate Commission Revenue: $3,175
Total revenue for site 1: $24,730
I explain how I generate this revenue from these types of sites in my guide here.
Niche Site #2 (Targeted Niche Site):
Affiliate commission revenue: $8,358 (this is total revenue for site #2).
I explain this model here.
TOTAL REVENUE BOTH SITES: $33,088
Expenses (Both Sites):
- Instapage: $29
- OptinMonster: $29
- AWeber: $288
- Bluehost: $5.95
- WebSynthesis Hosting (Synthesis review): $147.00
- Dropbox: $10.99
- LongerDays (outsourcing services): $7,800
- Stock Photos: $266
- GoodBarber App Maker (monthly subscription): $48
- Amazon S3 Server: $767
- Facebook Ads: $1,991
Total Expenses in July 2015 (both sites): $11,381
Net Profit from Both Niche Sites: $21,706.87
1. New Ad Management Service = Higher Revenue RPM
On July 15, 2015 I started working with a new ad management service. This service handles all ad displays except GumGum image overlay ads and my affiliate promotions.
I’ll get right to the point. This ad management service knocked it out of the park. Within 4 days, my revenue RPM was as high as it’s ever been and then kept on climbing. Here’s what they do that makes them such an asset:
a. Feedback: They review ad placement to ensure ad network compliance. This is very helpful because ad networks’ TOS aren’t always clear about what is acceptable ad placement and what isn’t. In a nutshell, they offer a nice layer of protection for ad revenue. If there’s an issue, the ad network takes it up with the service instead of me.
b. 5 Ads (instead of 3): Because they work with Google Ad Exchange, they make it possible to have 5 ads on a page instead of the usual Adsense 3 ads. That said, I’m not able to place Media.net ads in addition to their ads. That’s a cost of using their service. The reason for this is Media.net is a bidding network with their ad network so they can’t have external ad spots (at least that’s how I understand this limitation).
c. Massive bidding for ad spots = higher CPC. This new ad management service I’m using doesn’t restrict ads from Google Ad Exchange. They work with all the big networks such as Criteo, Amazon CPM ads, Adroll and others. This way more advertisers are bidding on your spots which means higher CPC. It’s brilliant and it works.
Which ad management service am I using? I reveal this (plus a lot more) in my Niche Tycoon course here.
2. Return to work = time to launch and manage Facebook ads
Before I went on paternity leave, I shut down paid traffic campaigns because I knew I wouldn’t be managing them properly. Relaunching was a lot of work and it takes time to get a stable of winning ads and slowly increasing the daily budgets.
Fortunately in July I managed to get a handful of winning Facebook ads running and am increasing the daily budgets almost every day. The result was a decent ROI on paid traffic in July. Of course, as you can see, I didn’t spend all that much so profits from paid traffic weren’t all that high. This will change in August.
3. Lower server costs (Cloudfare)
A publisher friend of mine recommended Cloudfare to lower server cost. I thought I was doing that with Amazon S3 buckets for media and Amazon Cloudfront. Anyway, I signed up to Cloudfare (the $20/mo. pro version) and lo and behold, my Amazon server costs were the lowest ever coming in at $767. This is fantastic.
If you get a decent number of page views, it’s definitely worth using Cloudfare.
4. Affiliate commissions continue to rise
Affiliate commissions still make up a pretty small amount of revenue from my B2C site, but they do increase every month (exceeding $3,000 for the first time in July 2015), which is great. In time, they’ll be a substantial amount of revenue as long as I keep doing what I’m doing.
5. Organic search traffic continues upward trajectory
July was a new record setting month for organic search traffic with a record-breaking 12,600 sessions in one day. Unfortunately not every day was that high, but the overall monthly traffic is in trajectory each month.
FYI, I cover organic search traffic extensively in my updated authority website course called “Niche Tycoon“.