The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – February

I’ve made myself a challenge. I will be attempting to take my online revenue from $50/month all the way up to $600/month within 5 months. I started this challenge on January 1, 2014 and it will end on May 31. 2014. You see in 2013 I started making about $50 a month in revenue rather consistently, and now I’m ready to take it to the next level. I need this to be my full time job and I need it to happen as fast as possible. I’m willing to put in the effort and hard work it will take, and this challenge will help me to jump start my progress.

This goal is Phase One: Seed Money in my overall long term plan to work for myself. After I reach it, I will use that money to fuel Phase Two of my plan, which we’ll get into when it’s time.

February Overall Results

February turned out to be a great month in regards to reaching my goal, even though the month didn’t exactly go as planned. I had a record month in revenue and I’m well ahead of schedule for my goal. I did get a ton of work done in February, although not all of it was what I had planned for the month. A strayed off course a bit to start a side project (I know I’m not focusing here, but I’m an experimenter!) with my wife, and did something totally unplanned with my main niche site, but something that will be a huge help in optimizing the site to get the most value.

I’m starting to see that the fact I set a SMART goal is really helping me to stay focused and work on it as much as I can. For those who don’t know, SMART stands for - Specific,Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Each one of these is important to making the goal effective. Essentially if you string together a lot of smaller SMART goals leading up to a bigger vision, you’ll get it done.

Another thing I want to mention is that I don’t live in a bubble. I have a full time job, have to take care of my household, spend time with my wife, and deal with other matters of life, and only then do I have time to work on my internet marketing business. That being said, I do work on it multiple times a weeks for 2 to 6 hours, depending on how tired I am that night. Thankfully my wife is very supportive and I do a lot of my work on the laptop in the living room while we hang out. I told her to make this happen I’ll be working on it most evenings of the week for quite a while. As long as I’ll take a night off just to hang out or go out once or twice a week she’s 100% fine with it. She just works on her own projects (not web related).

February Revenue -  $404.90 ( 74.8% of my goal )

Here’s What I Accomplished with Each Niche Site

Niche Site #1

My goal was to write 15 new product reviews and articles, but I ended up only writing 5. I wrote 3 new product reviews, 1 pillar post, and a short article. The reason that I didn’t write more was that I stopped writing to implement a detailed tracking system for my website. I wrote about how I’m tracking affiliate links on my site but basically, I can now track all of the affiliate link clicks on my website and study what links get clicked the most, what products and features are the most popular, and gain a lot of other detailed insights based off hard data. I think ultimately this will play a large role in optimizing my website for the best results. I’m real excited about this.

Next month on Niche Site #1 - Now that I have my tracking system in place, it’s back to adding product reviews and articles. I’ll also be taking a closer look at all of the data I collect on my site, and start planning my next move. Because of how well this site is doing, and I can see a direct relationship with more articles = more traffic = more commissions, I think it’s wisest to put most of my time into this site again. My goal is to reach $600 as soon as I can make it happen.

Niche Site #2

I didn’t get to do very much with this website yet because implementing my tracking system on Niche Site #1 took up most of my time. I did create a few backlinks and I’m getting a trickle of traffic come in for a few longtail keywords so I know the site is indexed and ranking.

Next month on Niche Site #2 – Next month I’ll be resuming my manual backlinking and adding 2 new articles.

Niche Site #3

Again, I didn’t have much time to work on this site in February, but I did get a few backlinks. Just like Niche Site #2, I’m getting a trickle of traffic from a few longtail keywords so the site is indexed and ranking, even if the ranking is poor right now. The cool thing is that I did make 1 commissions form a product I reviewed so the site has paid it’s own domain registration for the year already. Even if I can get this site making only $100/month it would be a low cost passive income stream. I’m liking this site second best right now.

Next month on Niche Site #3 - Next month I’ll be resuming my manual backlinking and adding 2 new articles.

Niche Site #4

And yet once again, I didn’t spend much time on this site. I am getting a trickle of traffic from about 3 to 5 longtail keywords, but that’s about it. Just like the last site, I haven’t done enough to judge any results yet, it might be a great site it might not.

Next month on Niche Site #4 - Next month I’ll be resuming my manual backlinking and adding 2 new articles.

Summary

Overall I’m extremely pleased with February. Although I strayed off my plan of adding content all month and backlinking my new sites, I started a small side project and implemented an awesome tracking system on Niche Site #1. That will be huge. After 3 weeks of collecting data from my site, I can clearly see exactly what products are the most popular, what features are the most popular, and what links are getting the highest CTR on my site. I can now try experiments to increase my CTR and see what happens.

I did earn $404.90 in February so that was awesome. It was my best month as an internet marketer so far and it well exceeded my February goal of making $225. Near double that. I’m looking forward to receiving that payment at the end of April so I can start reinvesting it all into growing my sites and business. I feel like this is the beginning of my success. In March I expect this number to increase, however I have no idea by how much. We’ll see in about 30 days!

Earnings for February 2014 and Reaching My Goal of $600/ month Revenue by May 31, 2014

Month Niche Site #1 Niche Site #2 Niche Site #3 Niche Site #4 Total Revenue
January  $104.99  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $104.99 
February  $392.88 $0.00 $12.02 $0.00 $404.90  
March
April
May

 

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4 Comments

  • Jeff says:

    Dave – I just found this site (from niche persuits) and am looking forward to keeping up with you and your 600$ quest. I’m trying to do something similar (get to $500 by the end of june). Keep up the hard work!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for the comment Jeff! It’s been going really well so far on my challenge, but to be fair I didn’t even start my challenge until I had a website that started getting decent traffic and making regular commissions.

      Keep me updated on you progress too!

  • Miggy says:

    Thanks for this Dave, I started my niche site back in July. At the moment, it’s earning around $50 per month. I also want to take it to the next level. I’m going to do that in the next 60 days. I know this might be a little too tight. But I want to work on other niche sites, too. But before I do, I want to give this one a fighting chance, so to speak. I’ve got 2 other niche sites for development. But for now, I’ll focus on niche site #1. :)

    I’m going to follow your progress here and compare notes, if you don’t mind. :)

    • Dave says:

      You’re welcome Miggy! Just make sure you set SMART goals that will lead you to the end result you want. Write out very specific goals and steps to follow and you can do it!

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