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!
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!
Getting 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 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).
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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