$10K Challenge Update #8

If you're looking for update #9, click here. I forgot to edit the second link in the broadcast email.

Welcome to the 8th update of my $10K Challenge. If this is your first time reading, check out what this challenge is all about here.

Below are the things that happened since the last update (October 2016):

Key Successes

  • Traffic is still going strong at 150,000+ visits a month
  • Hit $6,800+ in revenue
  • Moved forward with a new exciting business opportunity to 10x revenue

Key Failures

  • Haven’t touched email list building at all 

Website Stats as of February 18, 2017

More...

Domain Profile

I used Ahrefs (paid) and Open Site Explorer (free) to help measure the effectiveness of my promotional efforts by tracking these metrics:

  • Domain Rating: 46 (+1)
  • Referring Domains: 246 (+74)

Traffic

Traffic

Traffic is still holding strong at 156,463 visits in January. 

Traffic last 4 months:

October

November

December

January

Sessions

162,767

169,290

135,700

156,463

Pages / Session

1.16

1.16

1.17

1.23

Bounce Rate

76.03%

79.15%

78.62%

73.27%

Traffic growth rate

4%

4%

-20%

15.30%

New article published

9

13

30

20

Referring Domains

200

229

228

236

Income

Income

We hit a new milestone for earnings at $6,863.08 for January 2017 after taking a dip in December 2016.

Most people got a huge raise in December due to holiday and sale seasons but it’s obvious that there were not so many deals for cosmetics and skincare products.

As for expenses, I’m still investing about $2000 back into the business mostly on content creation and link building.

Earnings last 4 months:

October

November

December

January 2017

Amazon Affiliate Commission

$5,536.00

$6,078.00

$5,566.79

$6,863.08

Clicks

64,410

61,080

48,700

61,140

Ordered Items

3,545

3,768

3,512

4,558

Conversion

5.50%

6.17%

7.21%

7.46%

Shipped Items Revenue

$66,338.79

$65,796.75

$68,254.99

$82,069.29

Earning per Click (EPC)

$0.09

$0.10

$0.11

$0.11

Average Order Size

$18.71

$17.46

$19.43

$18.01

Amazon Affiliate % Total Revenue

93%

96%

100%

100%

New Affiliate Offer Commission

$434.99

$256.31

New Affiliate Offer % Total Revenue

7%

4%

Gross Monthly Revenue

$5,970.99

$6,334.31

$5,566.79

$6,863.08

Month-to-Month Revenue growth rate

14%

6%

-12%

23.29%

Gross 2016 Revenue

$34,833.74

$41,168.05

$46,734.84

$6,863.08 (Gross 2017)

What we did in the last 4 months:

Sticking to our publishing schedule - The content team is still doing a great job at publishing 1 new piece of content per week day. However, we’re running out of commercial keywords to target so we’ll be trying some new types of content soon.

Running ongoing link building campaigns - Although it’s not the main focus for now, we’re still securing a few new guest posts a month. We also tested some new backlinking methods with moderate success.

Split-testing high performance pages - We've been using this plugin to perform A/B split tests on pages with highest earnings to get more clicks to Amazon. Here’s a good basic guide if you want to learn more about this.

And here’s the most exciting news…

We’re launching our own branded e-commerce store!!! - That means instead of sending the traffic to Amazon and only getting paid 4 to 8% commission, soon I’ll have my own line of branded products to sell on my website with much much higher margins.

I’ve been making a few rounds of testing to make sure that this strategy would work and the results have been really positive.

Here’s how I do the testing:

  1. ​Put a unique tracking ID tag on each page with more than 1,000 visits.
  2. Wait at least a month or two to collect earnings data.
  3. Run reports and identify top earning pages.
  4. Download the sales data for that page.
  5. Analyze the data to see what is selling well. Usually it’s the #1 product that I recommended on my affiliate content.
  6. Copy the packaging of that product 100% but put my brand on.
  7. Make a simple landing page selling the product on Shopify.
  8. Swap the Amazon affiliate link to my own Shopify store.
  9. Wait for a few days for sale to come in.
  10. If the numbers look good, switch everything back to normal and start manufacturing the product.

Here’s one example test result:

In this example, just simply by switching the Amazon links to my own Shopify store, daily revenue has increased by almost 3x. At 70% to 80% margin, that’s a lot of extra profits to add to my bottom line.

This strategy was largely inspired by Jon Haver’s Amazon Affiliate Site to FBA Business but with a new twist.

Instead of selling through FBA, I like to sell through my own Shopify store for a few reasons:

  • I don’t want to be too reliant on Amazon and put my business at their mercy
  • I want to have control over my own customer email addresses so I can market to them over and over again. And also there are a lot of marketing tactics I can try when selling off Amazon.
  • Margin is a lot higher. Typically a FBA business can have between 20 - 40% margin as you will have to pay all kind of fees. With my own store, margin can go as high as 80%!

I’m really excited to talk about this now as I’m about to finalize the paperwork and put in an order for the first round of products to be manufactured.

The plan is to be up and selling by the end of March or sooner.

There’s a lot more to talk about but I’ll reveal more in future posts.

Conclusion

So that’s it for my long awaited 8th update.

Personally I think adding the e-commerce can really skyrocket the revenue way past the original $10k goal I’ve set.

If you have any question for me, feel free to leave a comment below or post in our Facebook community.

You can also join my online course AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp, if you want to fast-track your way to success with building Amazon affiliate websites.

People are having great success with the program and many are on their way to their first $1,000 monthly. Check out some of the most recent ones below:

Click here to learn more about AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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