May profits were down big time. There are 3 reasons for this:
1. I took quite a bit of time off (we moved house) which meant less time for monitoring paid traffic.
2. I started using and testing display ads with an ad management service. Testing took a long time and during testing revenue on an RPM basis dropped significantly. With paid traffic, once margins are break even, profits disintegrate.
3. I increased my outsourcing budget due to increasing the amount of content published each day. I increased this budget from $5,575 to $7,800 per month.
Result = lower, much lower profits for my authority B2C website.
Here are the numbers.
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.
May 2015 Income Report:
Niche Site #1 (Large B2C Magazine Style Website):
Display Ad Revenue: $127,781
Affiliate Commission Revenue: $2,680
Total revenue for site 1: $130,461
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: $7,919 (this is total revenue for site #2).
explain this model here.
TOTAL REVENUE BOTH SITES: $138,383
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: $2,444
- Facebook Ads: $96,977
- Bing Ads: $0
- Outbrain Ads: $9,474
- Spoutable Ads: $426
Total Expenses in May 2015 (both sites): $117,944
Net Profit for Both Niche Sites: $20,435
1. Display Ad Management Service / Testing:
In May I started ramped up testing with an ad management service. Basically the service handled all ads on my site for a fee. The 2 reasons I switched to a 3rd party ad management service are:
i. Security: I like the idea of having a service handle ads, especially Google ads to ensure my sites are not violating Google ad TOS.
ii. More revenue: While I can generate decent revenue with display ads, there are people who can do it better than me. I figured a service dedicated to managing display ads could improve upon my revenue while adhering to display ad TOS.
The issue in May was that when starting with an ad management service, there’s a period of testing and optimization which results in really low RPM revenue. When revenues don’t cover ad-spend, margins disappear as do profits. That’s the story with May’s income.
2. Switched from LeadPages to Instapage & OptinMonster:
One tech change I made was switching from LeadPages for email opt in software to Instapage and OptinMonster. I now use Instapage for squeeze pages and OptinMonster for exit intent sign up forms. You’ll notice I use these on Fat Stacks Entrepreneur as well.
The reason for the switch is two-fold:
i. I like how Instapage offers easy customization to their squeeze page templates. I can pretty much customize these pages any way I like.
ii. As for exit intent sign up forms, I find Optin Monster is more sensitive and has nicer form templates than LeadPages.
Niche Tycoon: Extensive 110 page guide stepping you through exactly how I launch and build highly profitable niche websites.
Niche Sniper: A guide revealing how I generate $7,000+ per month in passive income with focused niche sites in specific types of niches.
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.