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 ended 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.
* The image to the right is my desk at my day job
May Overall Results
So after a stellar April – May ended up not so good revenue-wise! I’m really glad that I reached my goal last month, because I sure didn’t this month! The month actually started out really good, looking to be my best month to date but then halfway through the month I lost some rankings on my main site. More about that below…
So even though my revenue for May was down, I’m still REALLY excited about everything as a whole. I still made some decent passive income, all my sites are doing okay, and I’ve been investing a lot more money into building out my sites. I’m outsourcing all of my niche site content now (never on this site!!) and I like where I’m positioned. It’s still a large step up from where I was 6 months ago and I’m extremely excited about the upcoming months!
May Revenue – $321.32
Here’s What I Accomplished with Each Niche Site in May
Niche Site #1
Ahh … niche site #1 … my money site … my baby … you had to let me down this month!! (shakes fist). This site was doing great until about halfway through the month when my rankings for my main keyword dropped from #1 to #4 – resulting in a loss of 40% of my traffic. Aside from the loss in traffic, it seemed like my Amazon conversion rate was much lower (around 3% compared to my usual 6% – 9%). So I took a look at the Google Keyword Planner and saw that May was actually the lowest month for total searches for many of my keywords. I guess May is just the low month in my niche anyways.
I looked into my decrease in rankings across my site, and it turns out that I only lost a few spots on a few big keywords, so I’m still in good shape overall. It just so happens that the larger keywords I dropped a few spots for were also my high traffic and money keywords! I’m still confident that I will see the rankings and numbers come back. I’m in it for the long haul on this site. I think it has the potential to make a few thousand dollars a month.
So May was a good month for this site despite the rankings drop and earnings drop. The reason I say that is that I added 16 high quality full product reviews to the site! (my goal from last month was to add 10) That brings my total reviews up to 30 on this site. That’s enough to fill out my buyer’s guide and feel confident that I have a decent sized great site that I’m proud to show people in related niches when I start reaching out.
The Future of Niche Site #1 – This is where I will be putting in most of my time and resources for the rest of this year. I’ll be going full force on Niche Site #1 and I’m confident that I’ll surpass the revenue that I was at last month in time.
My First Giveaway – Right at the end of May I spent almost $200 buying three of the top products in my niche. First I’m going to take tons of pictures and do a thorough real review of all 3 products. Then after that I’m going to run a sweepstakes and give all three items away. To promote my giveaway I’m going to reach out to a few hundred related blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts to let them know about it, and that it might be great for their audience. I’ll also be setting up a popup window on my site to promote it to all my organic and referral visitors. My goal here is to get a bunch of natural backlinks and create a lot of buzz around my site and brand.
That will be phase one of my outreach program designed to attract natural real backlinks.
I was also thinking about other ways to get my #1 rankings back and improve my overall site rankings, and I decided that rather than focusing on link building (except for my giveaway), I’m going to focus on improving my content. That will be Phase two – improving my current content. Now I think I have really good content on my site already – but it can always be better! Now that I have 30 full product reviews and 5 other good information pages, it’s time to take this site to the next level and dominate in my niche.
Niche Site #2
So I was doing some basic blog commenting on this site in the first of of May, but then when I saw the Google updates being rolled out I stopped working on this site to let it ride for a few weeks to see how it fared with the updates. I did have one 700 word article outsourced for this site but haven’t had a chance to get it up yet. Other than that I’m holding off on working on this site for a few more weeks while I focus on other things.
The Future of Niche Site #2 – I know this niche has a lot of potential, so I’m going to start having outsourced content published bi-weekly on the site. I’ll also be tossing a few PBN backlinks at it from Lightning Rank or something to try to give it a boost. I probably won’t talk about this site much on my blog though, unless it really starts taking off.
Niche Site #3
The Future of Niche Site #3 – I’ve already made 3 commissions on this site, even when I’m only averaging 3 – 5 visitors a day. My plans for this site is to start adding outsourced content regularly, and adding some PBN backlinks. Simple enough. Just like the last site, I probably won’t talk much about this site on my blog unless I start seeing some good results.
Niche Site #4
Niche site #4 has pretty much the same fate as niche site #3. I stopped backlinking during the Google updates, and I added 1 new outsourced article to the site.
The Future of Niche Site #4 – Moving forward, I’m just going to keep adding content to the site and a few PBN links. If the site starts to show promise, get traffic, and make some commissions I’ll start focusing on it more.
I reached my goal of making $600 in one month a month early! That felt really good, even though I saw the large drop in revenue this month. I believe that my drop in revenue is temporary and I fully expect to get my numbers back up soon. I’m having all of my niche site content outsourced now, so already I’m seeing the benefits of outsourcing. I was able to publish 19 new pieces of high quality content in May, which is the most I’ve ever put out in one month.
I really enjoyed putting myself up to this challenge. By doing that publicly it really forced me to work hard at it so I didn’t look like a lazy slacker! When I started Niche Site #1 it was making about $40/month and I had just recovered from a Google penalty. Traffic was still under 100 visitors a day but I had a feeling it was about to take off. I had put 8 months of hard work into it before I even made my first $100 from it. I believe that I might not have worked hard enough and gotten enough done to reach my goal in four months if I didn’t put myself to the challenge.
Major Lessons Learned with This Challenge
So now that my challenge is over, I wanted to reflect a bit on how it helped me in my overall long term goals. I can honestly say that conducting and documenting this challenge has helped my in many different ways.
- First off, knowing that people have been following along keeps me accountable and working towards my goals. I want to have great results to show you guys!
- The second big lesson I learned was that I have a lot less time than I would like to work on these sites and build my business. Now that I’m outsourcing all of my niche site content, I should be able to get more done on every site than in the previous months. I just started outsourcing the content in April, so it didn’t really have time to affect my results for this challenge
- Third, that I really love talking about, documenting, and sharing my struggles, victories, setbacks & progress on building my own business and becoming financially and location independent. The response has been overwhelmingly great and Ill definitely be putting a lot more into this blog in the coming months.
- Fourth, I realized that it’s a lot harder to work on 4 sites as once than I anticipated! It doesn’t help that over the last two months I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life that has been getting in my way of working on growing my business. That’s one reason I’m really happy that I can outsource my content creation now, so even in months when my available time to work on my sites is lean, I’ll still get a lot done. In months that I can work a lot on my sites … look out!
- Fifth, that website earnings can be very volatile! This month I had my second lowest earnings since I started the challenge. All because of dropping 2 or 3 rankings for 6 keywords. That can happen when you go from #1 to #3 – it had a huge effect on my revenue.
The Challenge is Over, So Now What?
I’ve really had a lot of fun writing these monthly updates, so I thought “why stop just because my challenge is over?” April 2014 was my first Monthly Business, Traffic & Income Report, and I plan on putting one out each and every month. I really loved how the challenge kept me working hard and I really did feel accountable to those following along.
By the way, thanks a million to all of you who did follow along! My traffic here at the blog is on the rise and I’ve gotten a lot of great questions in the comments and private emails I’ve received. I’m really stoked that so many people are actually interested in following along with me. That definitely inspires me to keep going and step up the quality, quantity, and usefulness of what I post here.
Thanks for following my challenge, please check out my income reports if you want to continue doing so!
Earnings for May 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|
Table of Contents
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – Overview
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – January
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – February
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months – March
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months- April
- The Challenge: From $50/Month to $600/Month in Five Months- May (you’re here now)