My Monthly Income & Traffic Report – May 2013

income reportWelcome to my May monthly income & traffic report!

Each month I will be publishing a detailed report that tells you what I’ve done and lessons learned during the previous month. I will transparently show you how my online business is progressing including my income, expenses and traffic throughout my websites.

There are four main reasons that make me do this:

  1. To help me keep track of my own progress.
  2. To push myself to see improvements month after month.
  3. To lead by example by sharing both my wins and failures.
  4. To inspire other people.

Ok. Let’s get straight into this month’s report.

Important Going-Ons In May

May 2013 was an amazing month for my online business. Not only was my niche website able to make $1000+ in its 2nd month, but my keyword research service got a lot more clients as well.

I also noticed a spike in traffic to Cloud Living Journey as a result of being mentioned on other blogs, here are some of them that I like:

Thank you guys for all your support! @Spencer, @Jon, @John.

My Niche Website Project

Started in February 2013, the main goal of this public niche website project is to inspire people and encourage them to take action on the very first steps to build their own online business. I’m glad to experience both failure and success in this project as I firmly believe that failure is a good teacher and a good sign of a coming success.

After making $112.21 in its first month,  my niche website kept growing tremendously in both traffic and income. It even went above and beyond my expectation for being able to reach $1021.29 in May. It’s such a great feeling as this is my very first site monetized with Amazon!

I also noticed one copycat of my site at bestadjustabledumbbells[dot]com. I don’t know how he can get that aged EMD .com domain, maybe he owned it long before as the domain was registered on 2013. He rewrites my homepage and copies the article format and even the table. Such a good copycat! :D

This is actually a good strategy for anyone who has just started out and I even recommend you to do so if you haven’t started yet. It happens in every business, so I don’t care about you copying my sites. If you think you can make a better site and outrank me then go ahead. If I’m scared of being copied, I would not make this public case study :D. Spencer also was outranked by his copycat, but recently he has been able to take over the position and being #1 again. Competing in the top 10 is fun! :D

I just want to bring you a sneak peak at my site performance in June. Unfortunately, my site was hit by Google :(. My site was doing great while Penguin 2.0 was released, but it lost 50% of the traffic after the recent update.

It’s weird that my main keyword “best adjustable dumbbells” is still ranking at #1 and the secondary keyword “adjustable dumbbells” dropped from #2 to #8, but all the long tail keywords are dropped 200+ positions.

I’m still researching on this so I can’t make any conclusion right now, but I will keep you guys updated in the next post. A drop in traffic also resulted in a drop in earning, so I expect my site to make only $300 this month.

If you are inspired and want to start your first niche website today, here is the list of useful articles I’ve written:

Cloud Living Journey

I wrote only 3 posts for Cloud Living Journey this month, they are of high quality and get lots of comments but I feel that I have to publish more frequently, 2 posts a week would be great. Here is a list of what I’ve published in May:

Keyword Research/ SEO Service

I decided to close my keyword research service in the end of May. Reason? I don’t feel like doing it anymore :) Perhaps the earning was great,  I still want to have a source of income where my role is a manager, not a worker. And I’ve collected enough funds so I don’t need to make my living off the keyword research service anymore.

My SEO service is still doing great, I have only one client that pays me $200 every month. He’s happy as I was able to achieve #1 ranking for his site in just 2 months. Contact me if you need SEO :)

Ok, I think it’s time for some numbers …

Crunching The Numbers

Let’s take a look at the traffic stats first.

As mentioned above, Cloud Living Journey got a spike in traffic this month with an increase from 777 (26/day) to 4,752 (160/day) which is a huge boost.

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 3.04.15 PM

Most Popular Content

For the second month, my in-depth article about How I Built A Niche Site That Ranked #1 in Google and Made $93.32 in 38 days is still getting the most traffic as people really love case study.

My 1st Monthly Income & Traffic Report claims the 2nd spot because we are all curious about how much other people make with their online businesses, right?

The 3000-word article about keyword research also attracted lots of traffic as it went viral across Facebook and Twitter. Epic content really works!

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 3.06.32 PM

Top Traffic Sources

Google traffic has continued to grow very fast (ten times more than last month) as the blog is getting more natural backlinks through mentioning by other bloggers.

Facebook and internet marketing forums have proven to be great sources of traffic. I also have to give big thanks to Spencer (Nichepursuits.com) and Jon (AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com) for featuring me on their blogs.

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 3.16.14 PM

Subscribers

I’m getting more subscribers across different channels due to the increase in traffic. Here are the numbers:

  • Email: +120 (24 last month) / Total: 180
  • Twitter: +103 /Total: 312
  • Facebook: + 205/ Total: 281

Income Breakdown

Disclosure: many of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it and if you have any questions about any of the products or services please let me know!

Also, please note that these are figures from reports from each individual company for the previous month. It does not necessarily reflect the actual payment which, for some of the companies listed below, comes 30 to 60 days later because of potential refunds.

  • BestAdjustableDumbbells.org:
    • Amazon Affiliate: $1,021.29
      • Previous Month: $112.21
      • Difference: +$909.08
  • Affiliate Earning (mostly from CLJ)
  • Keyword Research Service: $1409.53
    • Previous Month: $719.24
    • Difference: +$690.29
  • SEO Service: $197
    • Previous Month: $200
    • Difference: -$3
  • Writing Service: $309.65
    • Previous Month: 124
    • Difference: +$185.35 
  • Other: $45
  • Gross Total In May: $3319.52
  • May Expenses: (Below is what was paid last month. It does not include pro-rated yearly fees. Most are related to new projects under development):
  • Content Creation: $233.03
  • Domain Renewals and Payments: $50.75
  • Warrior Thread Bumping Fees: $380
  • Black Hat World Membership Fee + Open Thread: $127
  • Long Tail Platinum Subscription: $12
  • Buy SEO: $184
  • Burst.net VPS Renewal: $12.95
  • Proxies (BuyProxies.org): $10
  • Fiverr: $15
  • Personal Stuff: $29
  • Odesk: $34.66
  • Serpbook.com (Online Rank Tracker): $9.95
  • Facebook Ad: $23.69
  • Amazon Affiliate Plugin: $9.97
  • Wpengine: $290
  • Other: $257
  • Total Expenses for May: $1679
  • Net Total in May: $1640.52
  • Net Total Previous Month: $429.49

An awesome month! My expenses are still high but I was able to increase my net total thanks to my amazon niche site and keyword research service. I also noticed an increase in affiliate earning from Cloud Living Journey, mostly from the amazing Long Tail Pro, even when I didn’t focus on monetizing the traffic going to my blog yet. I just want to focus on increasing other income streams outside the blog first, making money by telling people how to make money seems ridiculous to me.

As I closed my keyword research service and my niche got hit by recent update, I expect my income in June to be much lower. My plan now is to spend less on buying SEO and keep it in-house instead. I also have to reduce the cost spent on content creation and other things that aren’t truly necessary. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, right?

Final Thought

Time goes by so fast! We have gone through nearly half of 2013 and I haven’t reached 50% of my net total income goal of $5000/month. I have to work harder to scale established online business and find new income streams.

June is a special month for me as my birthday is near. I’m getting olderr!!! :(

Have anything to share with us? What are you having in store for June to improve your business? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Thank you again for your support, and I wish you all the best in June!

Email:
  • http://www.homelearningexperience.com Sibo

    Hey Tung, great achievement!

    An early happy birthday to you!

    Keep up your great work and sharing and I will come back often

    Cheers,

    Sibo

  • http://www.besttrampolineguide.com Jason

    Nice summary. Been following and subscribed to CloudLivingJourney which together with Spencer’s Niche Pursuits are greatly appreciated! By the way which country are you based in? Somewhere in Southeast Asia?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Yes I’m living in Viet Nam :D

  • NNV

    Keyw research service no longer available? 1400$ per month and you gave that up, i don’t get it :) Please do consider offering this service again, it was of good quality!

    • Marquis

      I’m so bummed the service is stopped. Tung can you make the service available for some of us???

      • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

        No hehe :D

  • Reggie Paquette

    Awesome work dude! Keep it up!

  • http://www.blogging24h.com Trung Nguyen

    I see your next monthly report, time gone so fast, but I’m happy when you succeed like that. Keep going, I’ll track your journey.

  • http://www.samyuk.net Sudarshan

    Congrats Tung Tran, happy to see that people are doing well with niche websites. Does that drop happen after penguin 2.0 updates. Did you feel the drop due to affiliate links in your website?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      My site was fine after Penguin 2.0… A drop just happened 1 week ago.

  • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/new-here/ Iain

    Great job man.

    Glad to see that your niche website has done well for a second month in a row.

    That is strange about your secondary keyword and how it dropped so much. I wonder why that is.

    I actually had the opposite happen. I had a niche website that I neglected. I checked Google Analytics the other day and I noticed a spike in traffic. My site randomly hit number one in Goole. It dropped a bit, but only to #2. Very odd.

    No new linkbuilding no new nothing. Very odd.

    Great work. Looking forward to your next update.

    • http://iworkofftheclock.com Chris Desatoff

      Sounds like your competitors got whacked by Penguin and you got first place by default. How awesome is that?

      Maybe “doing nothing” is the future of SEO hahaha! Congrats on that :)

      • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

        No we still have to do something :P

      • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/new-here/ Iain

        That’s the only thing I can thing of. I mean what else would have been the case.

        Here is a little update.

        My site is ranked number 4 now. I didn’t think it would last, but it has stayed there for the last little while.

        I agree with you Tung. We still have to do something, but it can’t be bad in Google’s eye or else they will give you the penalty.

        However, sometimes less is more.

  • http://authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon Haver

    Tung, great job this month. Are you selling your SEO services/keyword research through this website? or through offline channels?

    Best of luck next month and happy birthday!

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Most of the sales come from WarriorForum/BlackHatWorld :D

  • John P

    Great Work Tung!

    I’ve just noticed that someone has also registered the .co.uk extension in January this year.

    It would be good to know why the longtail rankings have dropped off for you. Do you think you’ll have time for a post on this?

    Cheers, John

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Yes I’ll definitely have a post for this as I’m researching on the reason why :D

  • Chris B

    Epic Results Tung :D

    You are an inspiration to all of us :)

    I’m surprised your ranking has dropped as much as 200+ places with your long tail keywords! Do you know why it is yet? Hope you get them back to page 1. What do you think the reason for it is? Possibly the back linking package you ordered or too much content too soon? Google always keeps us guessing…

    Just a suggestion, and we all MUST be the boss/manager of are own business so how about outsourcing all your keyword research, seo, writing etc so all you have to do is manage your team. You will still make a decent passive income with it :)

    Plus if you had a Hire Me button on your site here, you would make even more $$$$ :p All you have to do is teach someone your research skill, seo etc and have them do the work for you :D

    Then you will have more time and money almost 100% passively :D

    Sorry, don’t mean to sound judgemental as you’re doing an awesome job already :D

    One last bit! There’s a plugin called shortcodes ultimate which is really cool! If you put a label on your dumbbell site where your blue link says “click here to get $230 discount” you will increase your CTR greatly. I use the warning label which is a good orange colour that blends with amazon well.

    Keep doing amaaaaaazing things Trung :D

    Hope you do hire someone to do your gigs for you cus I will probably hire them knowing that it’s managed through you!

    Stay AWESOME ;)

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your advices :D

      Actually I outsource almost everything except the keyword research part as that’s the most important factor for the success of my niche website business :D.

  • Savior

    The Amazon site has made you $1000, so it’s profitable. You shouldn’t have revealed them as it’s easy to replicate. :)

  • Aaron

    Tung-
    “…but all the long tail keywords are dropped 200+ positions…”

    Can you give an example or two of long tail keywords that were affected? Thanks and great site!

  • http://iworkofftheclock.com Chris Desatoff

    Hi Tung,

    Congrats on a successful month! :)

    I have to agree with a previous commenter though…dropping your biggest earner (KW research) while your 2nd biggest earner (niche site) takes a hit just doesn’t make a lot of sense. I mean, if I owned this business and you were my manager…I think I’d fire you for that LOL!

    But, I’m not your boss, and as a fellow entrepreneur, I TOTALLY understand your desire to be hands-off and outsource the “work” to others as much as possible.

    But canceling the keyword research biz? Especially when it’s doing so well for you? There’s gotta be a better way.

    What if you were to hire a VA and train him/her to continue that biz for you? I mean, you already have built up some great momentum and reputation in this area, it’s a shame to throw that away.

    I fear you might regret that decision down the road. Please reconsider it.

    You don’t have to be the “worker” if you don’t want to. I’m sure you could find somebody willing to be your VA and learn to use your methods with LTP for a salary. Even if your outsourcing and other costs were to eat up 80% of your KW biz earnings, that would still leave $200 in your pocket every month — and once your VA is trained, you don’t have to do anything except take your money to the bank.

    Anyways, that was just my opinion.

    Congrats again on the success, and thank you so much for sharing your methods and earnings here. I’m getting to that point where I realize I need to start investing not only time — but money — into my websites to get them earning for me. So I really appreciate you breaking down not only your earnings, but your expenses as well.

    In fact, I’d sure love for you to do an epic post on how to SPEND money to make a successful Internet business. Lots of guys focus on earnings so much but they don’t go in to much detail on expenses.

    I’ve earned a lot about blogging and writing, SEO, keywords, links, etc, but I still don’t know jack about outsourcing and stuff…you know, all the back-end of running a successful site/s.

    Okay, Tung, thanks for the update =D I’m looking forward to your next post!

    Aloha, Chris

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your thoughts and long comment as always :D

      Yeah, my keyword research is my 1st biggest earner now. But I don’t feel like doing it hehe. I’m an emotional guy. If I don’t feel like doing it, I wont do it even if it bring me a nice amount of money :D. I just want to invest my time on something bigger.

      Tung

      • http://survivalknifeguide.net Paul

        Learn me how to do it proper :) – Not the technical part – I own LTP platinum, seomoz account, etc – I now how to do it, technically, but I do not know how you came to the “best table on the moon”.
        I know how to do keyword analysis if you give me the keyword, but it`s very thought for me to brainstorm the keyword ideas.

        • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

          Oh Hi Paul,

          You’re famous now for having outranked Spencer hehe. I always use this list of seed keywords http://www.mysimon.com/sitemaps/all-shopping-categories?tag=footer;ontology

          I’m curious about how you outranked Spencer so quickly. Would you mind sharing with us?

          • http://survivalknifeguide.net Paul

            I think I should make a blog about it or write a book :D

            Thank you for the tip.
            It was nothing genius on outranking Spencer, just hard work and a little sparking.

            Add me on fb to talk more: fb.com/paul.padurariu – You can leave this public, I`m not shy :D

        • Javier

          I have the same doubt as Paul. Using product seed keywords I get lots of ecommerce keywords but nothing like “best xxxxx” or “xxxx reviews” except I enter them manually.

  • Ta

    Congrat Tung, awesome and inspired month. :). I am always inspired by think about your age and your success.
    Thank you for all!

  • Mike

    Bold moves Tung, bold moves.

  • http://www.6packabsquick.com Josh Nelson

    Hi

    Does anyone know how I can recover a site that has been deindexed because of exact match anchor texts making up 80% of links?

    Thanks

  • Javier

    Do you think the drop in the traffic may be related to the link building service you hired at BHW?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      No, I don’t think so

      • http://survivalknifeguide.net Paul

        Why not my dear?
        Every “niche site” guru gets the fast way and buys link building services. I had my reasons why I ouranked Spencer. Let`s not be lazy anymore with our links.

        • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

          If I’m right, you are using SAPE links right? :D

          • http://survivalknifeguide.net Paul

            You are not right. I am not using others link building network.
            I`m more into old school white hat links and a bit of Becker`s (source-wave) approuch.

          • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

            Oh so you own a big blog network right? :D… I’m gradually building my own so it’d be great to be able to discuss with an experienced SEOer like u :D

  • Surendra Thapa

    Hi Tung,
    I am also creating a niche website, but I’m confused how to add social links? I mean should I create an individual Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media accounts for each niche website, or can I use one account for all? Please suggest me. I am so confused. Also, should I create business accounts or will it work with personal accounts? I’d be really grateful for the help.

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      i would create separate account for each website.

  • http://www.nicheclass.com/ Kulwant Nagi

    Such a great achievement man.

    I am damn happy after reading your success story, and each and every minute detail which you covered here.

    And also feeling little sad to hear about that copycat story. You know this is the biggest reason that people don’t share their niche blogs because people always copy them.

    But still no problem at all, because you can build another awesome niche blogs once you are aware about the basic strategies.

    I have also started niche blog (website link in this comment) and hope I will learn more from your blog day by day.

    Thanks and congrats !!

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Thanks for your words :D Good luck with your niche site too

  • http://www.blogsmartguide.com Phanindra

    Hi Tung,

    This is a very good resource. In fact I have found your blog in a different way and the story goes here.
    I have bought Long Tail Pro in Jan -2013 and when I was drilling down Amazon, I have stopped at one keyword “best adjustable dumbbells” and at that time .org domain was available. I was very much interested in taking the keyword and starting an Amazon affiliate site and in the process I have built everything in my localhost. Just when I was about to take it, got busy with my movie project and I completely forgot about it. Recently when I was checking all my old reports, I came across this keyword and I just did a quick search for the stats.Hmm.. You’ve got it man and proved it to be very effective keyword.

    Your strategy to have 1000 word articles will workout soon because that’s what Google is looking for. More and More quality content to make it more authoritative in the eyes of Google :) It will definitely succeed my friend. :)

    Your documentation on this blog is also very good Tung. Anyways, Nice to meet you my friend. Hope you always update it with valuable resources as you are doing now :)

    Regards
    Phanindra

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Oh :D I was lucky because you haven’t picked the .org :D

  • http://www.livelifefree.net/ Dror

    Can’t tell you how happy I am to see you succeed :)

    I also noticed some commentators didn’t understand your decision to give up up the keyword research service and all of them focused on the income you made from it but none gave any attention to the time you put into it.

    Most people fail to understand that time is your most valuable asset and by freeing yourself some time you can invest it into other areas which will in turn bring in more income.

    It would be interesting to see why you got hit on your site. Also, since it was a case study site, you could investigate, remove the bad links (if you have any) and submit the site for reconsideration with the disavow link tool. That would be a great case study if you could bring the site back.

    Are you taking part in NSD 2.0?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Thank you Dror :D It’s great to see you here. Congrats on your new blog as well. I’ll follow it :D

      Yeah you got my point about the keyword research service :D.

      I’m thinking about parcitipating in NSD 2.0… i’m waiting for some update from Pat

  • http://www.outlineforresearchpaperpro.com MTB

    Congratulations! That’s awesome. Seeing your success keeps me motivated! Thank you for keeping us informed about your adventures.

    I do have a question—where do you get the images for your site? For instance—the bag with the dollar sign on it. Is there a site somewhere that I could find those?

    Thank you, Tung!

  • Matt

    Tung will you do a post on building blog networks. Would love your insight on this.
    Thanks!

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Yeah I will do an article soon

  • Winston

    Tung,

    If you don’t mind my asking, how do you go about building a blog network?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      I will do a post about this

  • Alex

    do you invest in the link building service every month to keep up link velocity or are you going to stop building links at a certain point in the future?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      I will keep building links for sites with high potential to grow even further :D

  • http://www.external-battery-charger.com Kevin

    NICE!
    I hope to make even more money in the near future like you… :-D

  • http://joecanwrite.wordpress.com/ Joe the Content Writer

    Great earnings there Tung!

    What sort of SEO service are you offering?

    Hope the dumbbells site bounces back.

    Joe the Content Writer

  • Chris B

    Hey Tung,

    I read it’s your Birthday coming up, so Happy Birthday to you in advance and sorry if it’s a belated birthday message! ;)

    Have your rankings picked back up yet for your dumbbell site?

    Checked it quickly on aboutsus dot org and gave a few simple suggestions to improve your seo.
    http://www.aboutusDOTorg/BestAdjustableDumbbells.org#home-page-analysis-

    Though it might be of some help to you :)

    Keep being AWESOME my friend ;)

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Thanks for the suggestion :D

  • Mike

    Can you make a guide about buying expired domains for building links because that would be really helpful

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      It’s coming :D

  • Winston

    Tung,

    I don’t know if I missed it, how do you build links (aside from the BHW you purchased)?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      I use high pr links from my network

  • http://marc50267@gmail.com Marc

    Hi does a keyword have to have best or reviews in it?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      No :) Just make sure it has buyer intention

  • http://www.huongpr.com Hayley

    Great! Reach the goal this month nhe’!! ;)

  • http://www.fernandobiz.com FERNANDO BIZ

    Great breakdown and explanation on online money making. It’s a great inspiration for any new blogger and and people who does not make any money from their online platforms.

    After sharing with my girlfriend about you case study this weekend, she was inspired to started a new niche website in few hours and right now hard at work creating content and optimization.

    This site is a great place for people to learn the gimmicks an tricks to make online business a read deal to start form home.

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      Thanks for your kind words :D

  • http://www.bloedsuikermeten.nl/ yskan @ Bloedsuiker Meten

    Great earnings! Your casestudy gives me inspiration to continue with my smaller niche websites.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Janssen

    Tung, awesome job so far! And happy birthday!
    I was just wondering, what theme are you using on that niche site?

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      I use Genesis Framework and Lifestyle Child Theme

  • Matt

    Tung
    Hope you have another informative post coming soon! It’s been too long!
    Looking forward to hearing you discuss more on:
    1. Recent traffic hit on June 5 and reasons why
    2. How to build a private PR network.

    thanks

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      #2 will come today :D

  • http://www.cacracker.com Noor

    My monthly visits are 81K and page views are 1.80 lac, what should be my alexa rank. ?? My page views are same for each month around above numbers.

    Plz tell. Thanks.

    • http://www.cloudliving.com/ Tung Tran

      I have no idea as I dont really care about Alexa :D

  • http://www.adetechblog.com Adesanmi Adedotun

    When I read about how people make money online I become amaze and perplex about the kind of stresses that must have fetch them that…, This great I must confess

  • http://onlinepassiveincomehq.com Armaan

    Hi Tung,

    Very inspiring income reports :)

    I’ve also started my niche site journey and have set myself a target of earning $300/month in the next 6 months

    http://onlinepassiveincomehq.com/amazon-affiliate-niche-site-project-the-strategic-plan/