My Monthly Business, Traffic & Income Report
April 2014

So here it is, my first ever monthly income report! I’ve always been a huge fan of keeping up with other people’s online income reports, I find it very inspiring. Up until now I have not published any income reports for two reasons, lack of time and the fact that I didn’t really have that much to report on until recently. 

Since January 2014 I’ve been posting a monthly update for a challenge I set myself that ends on May 30, 2014. I’ve had a great response from those who are following along with my progress, and decided that just because my challenge is almost over doesn’t mean I have to stop with the monthly updates!

monthly-business-traffic-income-report-april-2014

Hello, my name is Dave Nicosia and I work my ass off every day to achieve financial freedom and to become location independent. I’ve been struggling to make money online for the past few years but all my hard work is finally starting to pay off.  I post my monthly business, traffic, and income reports for the usual reasons – to help hold myself accountable, to build trust with you my reader, to be totally transparent with my online endeavors, and most of all to show others who want to make money online that it really is possible if you work hard, work smart, and never quit trying.

I used to think there was no way that I would be able to make money online – now there’s not a doubt in my mind that I will reach financial independence and become location independent within the next few years.

What Went Down in April

April was a great month for me on pretty much every level. I saw record traffic to my sites, improved rankings across the board, and best of all it was a record month of income for me. Not only that but I’m finally starting to get more regular traffic to DaveNicosia.com thanks to my frequent posting in the NSD2 forums, building my email list, and my latest Five Month Niche Site Challenge that I’ve been reporting on every month since January.

Niche Site Duel 2.0

I signed up for the NSD2.0 challenge last year when Pat Flynn started it, and I’ve been a very active member of the community there ever since. The forum has died down a lot and most people have lost interest in Pat’s Duel because the updates are spread so far apart and his methods for growing his new site are a lot different than what a lot of us “newbies” are doing with our niche sites. Personally I couldn’t identify that much with Pat this time around. 

I have however met a ton of great people over in the forum and I still try to be active over there to answer people’s questions as I can. Paying it forward. That’s also the reason I’ve been posting more often here on my blog, I want to pay forward all of the help that I’ve gotten along the way.

Side Note: My biggest website earner right now is Niche Site #1 – the one that I created specifically for NSD2. So although I don’t follow Pat’s NSD2 updates to closely, the duel definitely paid off for me!

income reportGetting Started with Outsourcing

April was the first month ever in my Internet Marketing career that I got paid enough to pay all of my monthly bills and finally start outsourcing content! Woohoo! 

I only had about an extra $85 this month to order content, but that bought me 4 high quality product review articles for my main niche site. It’s not that much but it still saved me hours of writing if I had done it myself. I still have to copy edit the text, post it to my site, and create all of the corresponding links and images that go on the page. Still each article only took me 15 minutes to publish, rather than an hour and a half for each article.

Where am I outsourcing my content creation?

TextBroker.com. Last year I experimented with outsourced articles on a few failed niche sites I built, and in that process I found 3 writers on Text Broker that wrote excellent articles for me. I reached out to my favorite of the three authors on Text Broker and she was still available to write for me. Her price had gone up a bit since last time I hired her but that’s ok because the quality of her writing has went up as well.

Right now I’m paying about $20 for a 750 word article and the quality is better than if I wrote the articles myself. I am going to start looking for another writer or two to do a few articles for me, just in case my favorite writer has to stop working for me for some reason. I don’t want to be left without a writer now that I have the money to hire one.

So now that I’m outsourcing all of my content creation I have more time than ever to work on SEO. It was really cool seeing 4 new review articles go up on my site with minimal effort form me and leaving me with more time for backlinking.

I’m liking this outsourcing thing so far!

Backlinking and Preparing To Build My Own PBN

I spent most of my time in April backlinking for a few of my more recent niche sites that I created, and my rankings are improving for each site I’ve backlinked to. Most of my backlinking at this point is done through blog commenting and using ideas form Neil Patel’s Backlinking Guide. I’m sticking with a slow manual backlinking approach for now since it’s working very well for me at this time.

April was the month that I started researching building my own PBN. Blog commenting and basic backlinking only gets me so far, and now that I’m bringing in more monthly revenue I’ll have the money to start building my own PBN. I want to get everything right when I start purchasing domains and setting up my private blogs so I still have a lot more research to do. Tons of people are having great success with using private blog networks these days. Now that I have more time thanks to outsourcing my content creation, and money coming in every month to support my infrastructure, it’s time to take my backlinking up a notch.

I won’t be talking about my PBN in very much detail though, as I want to stay as far under the Google radar as possible, especially in these early growth stages of my business.

 


Income This Month

Here’s a breakdown of the income that my websites have earned during this month.

  • Amazon Affiliate Program
    • Niche Site #1 – $606.79
    • Niche Site #2 – $0
    • Niche Site #3 – $5.29
    • Niche Site #4 – $0
    • TentCampingHQ.com – $4.79
    • TOTAL: $616.87
       
  • Google Adsense – $2.08
  • Host Gator – $0.00

TOTAL INCOME - $618.95

 

Expenses This Month

These are my complete expenses for this month. They include monthly subscriptions and one time payments.

  • Host Gator Web Hosting – $24.95
  • Google Apps Account – $5
  • AWeber Email – $19
  • Domain Registration/Renewals – $14.99
  • Outsourced Content – $85

TOTAL EXPENSES – $148.94

 

TOTAL INCOME – $618.95 (a new record!)
TOTAL EXPENSES – $148.94

NET TOTAL FOR APRIL – $470.01


 

April Traffic Reports

Normally I will just have my traffic stats for the previous month here, but since this is my very first income report I’m going to show the complete traffic since each site was started along with the traffic for the month of April.

DaveNicosia.com

DaveNicosia.com is my main blog where I document building my online business and publish these monthly income reports. I’ve owned the website for many years but only in the past year or so have I really started utilizing it in regards to building my business. Most years before this is was just my online web design portfolio.

Here’s my traffic reports for DaveNicosia.com during April (and lifetime).

davenicosia all traffic

April Traffic Numbers for DaveNicosia.com

Users – 246
Sessions – 364
Pageviews – 832
Avg. Session Duration – 00:04:04

I’m happy with my traffic for now, since I really only started focusing on this site at the end of 2013. I’m not in a hurry to grow this blog, I just want to find my way and share my experiences.

 

TentCampingHQ.com

Tent Camping HQ is a camping blog and Facebook community that I run with one of my good friends. He manages the Facebook Page and writes most of the articles, and I manage all of the technical details, website design, code work, graphic design, and higher level planning. This is the only niche site I own that I am willing to share the URL at this time. Maybe once I’m more secure in my online earnings and more diversified, I’ll share some more sites.

Here’s my traffic reports for TentCampingHQ.com during April.

tentcampinghq all traffic

 

April Traffic Numbers for TentCampingHQ

Users - 849
Sessions - 985
Pageviews - 1,424
Avg. Session Duration - 00:01:17

Total Facebook Fans – 3,715

This is a decent amount of traffic for this site considering the site is live with an slightly unfinished theme and it doesn’t get new articles posted to it very often. I haven’t worked on this website for a long time except for designing a completely new theme and coding it out. I don’t really plan on focusing on this site too much until my other sites are running smoothly and generating income.

 

Niche Site #1

Niche Site #1 is the site that I started for the Niche Site Duel 2. It’s an Amazon Affiliate site based around a popular category of product in the outdoors/tools niche. My main keyword gets 5600 searches per month last I looked, and there are hundreds of longtail keywords for me to capitalize on in my content creation. Not to mention a few thousand products that I can review. This site has a WordPress theme that I designed and developed myself, along with a custom buyer’s guide that I programmed to use in place of the sortable tables that so many people use.

Here’s my traffic reports for Niche Site #1 during April (and lifetime).

nichesite1 all traffic

April Traffic Numbers for Niche Site #1

Users - 7,107
Sessions - 8,106
Pageviews - 13,483
Avg. Session Duration - 00:02:14

This website experienced a record month in traffic totals in April. I had received a widespread increase in rankings in the beginning of the month and my average daily visits went up about 50 a day.

Niche Site #2

Niche site #2 is in a niche that is related to Niche Site #1, and has similar statistics. It is also an Amazon Affiliate site based around a specific category of products. This site also has a custom coded WP theme and my custom buyer’s guide. Other than that it’s a pretty straight forward niche affiliate site.

Here’s my traffic reports for Niche Site #2 during April (and lifetime).

nichesite2 all traffic

April Traffic Numbers

Users - 27
Sessions - 37
Pageviews - 61
Avg. Session Duration - 00:00:33

This niche is probably the most competitive of all my sites, and I really haven’t done much work on it since January, or ever for that matter. I just started backlinking a week ago and it only has about 7 pages. Soon I’ll be focusing more on this site.

 

Niche Site #3

Niche Site #3 is my third Amazon Affiliate website. I found the niche by scanning successful auctions over at flippa.com. I looked for a successful Amazon Affiliate niche website that had proven verified traffic, earnings, and wasn’t too competitive. Well I found one.

Here’s my traffic reports for Niche Site #3 during April (and lifetime).

nichesite3 all traffic

April Traffic Numbers for Niche Site #3

Users - 51
Sessions - 55
Pageviews - 62
Avg. Session Duration - 00:00:13

I haven’t done very much since January on this site either until I started backlinking in the beginning of April. On April 1st I didn’t rank at all for my main keyword, and on April 30th I was ranking #28.

 

Niche Site #4

Niche Site #4 is my fourth Amazon Affiliate website and I found the niche one day when I was researching a new purchase I was going to make. I noticed that there were quite a few niche websites ranking well for a decent term (3,600 searches/month) with pretty lousy backlink profiles. There was also a lot of Amazon products with lots or reviews and good star ratings in the niche. I realized immediately that this might be a great niche to get into and the rest is history.

Here’s my traffic reports for Niche Site #4 during April (and lifetime).

nichesite4 all traffic

April Traffic Numbers for Niche Site #4

Users - 19
Sessions - 21
Pageviews - 35
Avg. Session Duration - 00:01:32

And once again, this site only has 8 pages and I haven’t worked on it very much since I started it in January.  I started backlinking to it around the 10th of April. On April 1st I didn’t rank at all for my main keyword, but as of April 30th I ranked #27. Based off the lousy backlinking profiles of the other sites ranking, and my quick ranking increase from only a handful of backlinks I’m very confident that I can get this site to the top of page 1.

 

Lessons Learned in April

The biggest lesson I learned in April was that posting monthly updates without a doubt keeps me motivated, working hard, and reaching my goals. That’s why you are reading this monthly report right now. I also got to experience first hand the benefits of outsourcing my content creation, freeing up my time for other tasks such as SEO and planning a giveaway.

Goals Accomplished in April

  • Had my best month in income ever!
  • Had my first $500+ month (this was a previous goal of mine)
  • Had my first $50+ day (another previous goal of mine)
  • Outsourced my first 4 articles
  • Posted two large posts on DaveNicosia.com
  • Padded my business bank account with $100

What’s In Store for Next Month

  • Outsourcing 10 new product review articles for my Niche Site #1 (my biggest earner)
  • Backlinking like crazy for all of my niche sites.
  • I’ll also be finishing up my new site design for TentCampingHQ.com and launching it
  • Publishing my final 5 month challenge update
  • Finishing my research on building a PBN

I guess there’s nothing particularly exciting going on for me in May, just a lot of hard work doing what I’ve been doing. Ahhh … the glamour.

Well there you have it, my first of many monthly income reports! I hope you enjoyed it and please leave me some comment to let me know I’m on the right path. How do you think I did? Is my report too long? Too short? Too detailed? Not detailed enough?

Take care for now!

 

- Dave Nicosia

Twitter: @DaveNicosiaWeb
Google: +DaveNicosiaWeb
Instagram: lettuceplayguitar

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29 Comments

  • Jeff says:

    Dave –
    It looks like everything is going great and what an awesome earning month in april. I have been curious about outsourcing content as well, and was wondering if you minded sharing the name of the person that you used on textbroker. I am not that great of writer, but some of the ones that I Have hired are worse than me. I had a good month profit wise, and would like to reinvest in the business and making a few more niche sites. To reinvest like I’d like to, I need more content created, and for that I need more writers, and I’d like good ones to make sure that I can rank easily with quality content.
    I already have a niche figured out and some quality pages/posts to write, I just dont want to write them myself as I’m still focusing on my main niche site.

    Jeff

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Jeff! It’s definitely been a long journey with a ton of ups and downs, mostly downs until recently!

  • Scott says:

    Hi Dave.

    A quick question about TextBroker. I’ve been using oDesk with minimal success, and haven’t even heard of TB until now. Checked out the website, and I like what I see. Mind if I ask a question or two?

    When you list a job – how specific are you about what you want written? Do you just say “Write me an article on ” and they take care of the rest including researching the answer(s), or do you provide the research and the structure for them to work to?

    How do you know it’s not just a spun article? Are you checking for plagiarism? Google don’t like duplicate content so I am really cautious about this.

    Looking forward to some insight here!

    Cheers,
    Scott

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for the comment Scott!

      When I place an order at textbroker, I write an EXTREMELY detailed summary of what I want. I include the tone of the article, the purpose, any keywords I want included, the formatting like headings, sub headings, and bulleted lists. I don’t do the research but I try to list 1 or 2 example articles as well. The more specific you are the better your results will be. I only hire native English speakers too.

      I know it’s not a spun article because of the quality of writers I hire and I can tell spun content when I see it. Spun content is never as good as a well written piece.

      So on textbroker, I only hire 3 or 4 star writers that are native English speakers. I’m pretty strict. If the article they submit does not follow my instructions exactly, I request a revision. If it still doesn’t follow my directions exactly, I won’t hire that writer again. I also only work with writers that are good communicators and respond quickly to my email. In return I also respond to their questions promptly.

      When I started out on textbroker, I tested out about 20 – 30 different 3 star writers and out of those 20-30, I only found 3 that I would work with again. It’s a process and it definitely takes time and some $$$. BUt now that I have a few good writers that are consistant and communicate well, and get the jobs done fast – it’s easy sailing for now.

      If you go with textbroker – expect to have to sort through a lot of writers before you find the good ones.

      Hope that helps!

      • Scott says:

        Thanks for the great response Dave.

        Since this post, I have had 5 or 6 articles written now on TextBroker, and the results speak for themselves. I took the time as you suggested to get specific and set the mark high so they knew what I wanted. I stuck to 4 stars and all returned to me amazing articles within 24 hours! Whoops ass over oDesk. $70 USD we’ll invested in my opinion.

        Thanks again!

        • Dave says:

          That’s awesome Scott! I’m really glad it’s working out for you. I’m experimenting now with hiring writers on oDesk to write some secondary articles for a few of my sites, so we’ll see how that goes. Once I have some more experience I’ll e writing a more detailed post on my outsourcing experiences thus far. Keep up the hard work man!

  • Josh Escusa says:

    Nice one Dave. Keep up the good work and keep pushing it!

  • Prasad says:

    Dave thanks for this great income report. This is really motivating. Im also thinking of starting Niche website to start passive income. Can you share how you built links to niche sites.

    • Dave says:

      Hey, thanks so much for the comment Prasad! If I’ve motivated you then I’m doing what I set out to do! I’m sticking with this until I make it happen full time, and I really hope I can help others do it as well.

      As for link building, just google “quicksprout backlinking guide” and you’ll find the guide that I use. I’m also going to start using and building my own private blog network soon. Something that can really work to step up your backlinking game. That technique has been around for many years but seems to be just now really going mainstream. Good lock with everything and come back to comment again!

  • aaron says:

    Hi Dave
    Found your blog through the G+ niche community. Nice progress!

    After reading your report, it is high time for me to do the same as well. I think I am going to dust off a couple of neglected niche sites and see I can duplicate what you have achieved here.

    Very motivating!

    • Dave says:

      Hi Aaron, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you found it motivating. I feel like although I’ve been doing this fopr a few years … I’m just getting started, except this time armed with experience!

      Go for it man, get those sites dusted off, and let me know how it goes!

  • Trung Nguyen says:

    Hey Dave, I come your site through ASD that you already know. It’s great to see how much other earned by building niche sites. I’m on the way to create some huge Amazon niche sites, and hoping it can help I quit my job in the next 6 months.

    Thanks for posting and keep up your sharing.

    Trung Nguyen

    • Dave says:

      Hey there Trung, thanks for stopping by man! Good luck on your Amazon sites and I’ll be seeing you in the ASD Mastermind. I’ll have my first detailed update finished shortly. Come back and comment as often as you like!

  • Hey Dave, great article!

    I haven’t yet been able to read the entire thing (I do most of my reading right before bed), but I did see you ordered articles off TextBroker. I tried using them, but found it quite pricey for the level of quality. You basically have to go to the highest level (5, if I remember correctly) to get good articles. I found Elance much better for this. I actually paid $10 for articles between 600 and 800 words, which is way less than I would have paid at TB. The other thing I found much better there was the fact I was able to vet who I chose. In my job post I asked for samples, which were a very good indicator of that writer’s ability. There’s also a lot more communication between you and the writer, which worked out very well for me.

    Anyway, hope May’s been good to you so far (how did you do with Panda 4.0?).

    Cheers,
    Goran

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Goran! It did take me a while to find a few good writers on Textbroker. I do pay around $15 – $20 for a 700 – 1000 word article, depending on the writer, but for me it’s been worth it now that I found a few great ones. I’ll have to eventually try eLance as well. I’m just really starting out with outsourcing. I have recently found a new writer through Google Plus that I’m testing out.

      As for Panda 4.0 – I’m in the clear I think so far! Although I did have some issues in May I’ll be writing about in my next monthly income report.

      Take care and I’ll see you around!

  • Jason says:

    Hey Dave,

    Props on your progress so far!

    Looks like optimizing your first Amazon niche site with click event tracking has paid off!

    Now that your first site has an optimized design that works, do you find yourself completely rearranging the theme/layout of the Amazon niche sites you buy to look like your first site?

    Seems like you’d have a very scalable formula to work with once you make use of VAs.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Jason! So far I haven’t used any of my optimization techniques on other sites. It’s time consuming to set up and do, so I want to prove the worth of a site I have before I put that much effort into it. Once a site proves it’s viability, I’ll definitely be applying my techniques to them.

  • Doug Stewart says:

    Hey Dave,

    Great site mate. I found your site through Form Your Future.

    I was just looking at your great niche site stats. One thing I recently discovered from a friend was a plugin to reduce your bounce rate called “Reduce Bounce Rate” (amazing name), you may already know about it.

    After a friend told me about it I checked it out and it seemed legit. So I threw it onto one of my niche sites to test it out. This niche site was getting 5min+ average time on site but my bounce rate was like 70%+. Didn’t make sense to me. It has been 1.5 weeks since installing the plugin and my average bounce rate over that time is 11.8%.

    • Dave says:

      Thank you Doug. thanks for the tip on the plugin! Do you happen to know how the plugin works? I’ll check it out. Let me know if you see an increase in rankings form it! That’s what I’d be interested to know.

      Thanks for stopping by, see ya around!

  • Ryan Cruz says:

    Hi,

    Wow! I’m so happy I found your blog (FYF). I especially like blogs that are just starting because It gives me more motivation to work harder and smarter rather than following those who are seasoned. Although their methods are proven, it’s just that you have the same feeling with new blogs, I’m sure you know what I mean brother. I’m a new blogger http://www.iloveyoumomforever.com and I not really sure If I’m doing the right thing. But, like I said, having to know like you keeps me inspired that one day I’ll be financial and location independent. Good luck to you and more luck to me, lol!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for stopping by Ryan! I totally agree with you, I love reading blogs of those around the same level as me and a few steps ahead. I can relate with them much better. I checked out your site, what are your goals with the site?

      Good luck man and keep me updated!

  • Doug says:

    No probs Dave. The plugin uses Google’s event tracking API. A description of the solution implemented can be found here http://briancray.com/posts/time-on-site-bounce-rate-get-the-real-numbers-in-google-analytics

    Also Google has actually recommended implementing this to better calculate what they call your “Adjusted Bounce Rate”. You can read Google’s comments here: http://briancray.com/posts/time-on-site-bounce-rate-get-the-real-numbers-in-google-analytics

    Cheers,
    Doug.

  • Doug says:

    Sorry for the double post. I’ve seen no change in rankings at this stage. I don’t know this would actually affect your rankings as you’re effectively telling Google Analytics to calculate your bounce rate in a better way.

  • Miki Vicioso says:

    Good job Dave! great start! keep it up.

  • Gr8 job man i am also in the field of development too
    What do you think about Forum posting ?

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Seddek. Forum posting? I don’t really do too much of it. I think it’s good for a source of traffic, and to network in your niche if you really want to be active in it. I personally wouldn’t use forums just for backlinks though. How about you, do you use forums?

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