$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.

Related Posts

  • This is a great milestone Tung,

    You’re really going higher with this site and I love your approach. Might be applying same strategy on my own site.

    Have you thought of private labelling products related to your niche as Neil Patel did with his Nutrition Secrets blog? I’m thinking it might also work for you.

    Also, just an off point question, I recently changed my site to https and I’m recently using blog commenting as a link building tactic just to get things going. But when I leave comments on commentlov enabled blogs, my latest posts no longer show up because of the https.

    Do you think this might have a bad impact?

    Thanks

  • Nice job, Tung!
    A little bit confused. What do you mean by manufacturing all the products? You mean your own brands from scratch?

  • Great progress Tung. I’m actually doing something similar myself but with FBA instead of my own webshop. Will you be sending the physical products yourself to the customer or are you outsourcing this too?

  • So great to see this progress and follow along Tung and love you’re adding your own ecommerce store.

    Flipping this on it’s head, I wonder if we’ll see shopify store owners transition to blogging on wordpress root domain (with their store on a sub) so that they can diversify into AMZ aff?

    Cheers!

  • Hey Tung,

    Great achievements, I have a few questions like earlier I used some gray hat methods to rank my website and they worked well but now I am willing to cover them up and try the outreach method so do you think I should just leave those links as it is or disavow them after I get some whitehat links.

    Also I have like 151 returned items this year do you think I should do something about it like reanalyzing the products.

    Looking forward to the answer.

  • Great update. Having that ecommerce store added into the mix sounds really exciting! Cant’ wait to hear the next update, Im with ya and know you will totally blow past the 10k/mo goal.

  • Impressive progress. Nice job!
    That domain rating 46 is in ahrefs?
    How are you going to manufacture your own product? I guess through Alibaba.com?
    Thanks for sharing interesting ideas.

    • Products will be manufactured in the US. I care about the quality of what I sells so definitely not going the usual private labeling / dropshipping. We are building an actual brand.

  • Awesome update man! Just one quick question, you said you are moving to shopify and provided a screenshot. I understand you already tested this? What product did you ship then?

    Also, how will you check for private label vendors and fulfill from Vietnam?

    Thanks for your posts! It’s great inspiration 🙂

  • That’s a huge success that you are crossed $6k mark. I have seen many affiliate sites are hit hard from November even with good backlinks. What is your view about this? Any tips to stay safe?

    Thank You!

  • Hi tung,

    One question that you are planning to switch from Amazon to your own brand. Don’t you think it would go against your own methodology you are selling under Amzaffiliatebootcamp?

    I fully understand your earning point but that might hit your amazonaffiliate customers as they are sold a product which actually is not fully tested (10k)?

    • Hey John,

      AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp is a product designed for beginners. The goal is to take a complete beginner from 0 to $1000 $2000 a month with their Amazon affiliate sites within about a year. Some might be able to do more than that depending on the niche.

      You can see the promise is very clearly stated on the website here https://www.evernote.com/l/AM_Jgy0O6ghM16fykxgOAGe91tCxoTZ_Ssk

      Think about it this way: AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp helps people build the foundation of their business which could scale into 6 figure income.

      And as you can there are many people who followed the course and started to make money with their sites. So there’s no way anyone can say that this course is untested 🙂

      The beauty of the model that I’m teaching in AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp is that you’re not just limited to Amazon affiliate commission once you reached a certain level. There are so much more opportunities with an establish site.

      • Agreed, your move is very good, I like this way. You don’t need to give your hard earn customers’ information and more than half commissions to them.

        Here is a question, as you are not in the U.S, wouldn’t it be better if you use drop shipping with Shopify? please put light on it, maybe my question is wrong.

        • No. I want to build a real brand which could be sold for millions a few years later. I dont want to take the easier route. And I have a partner from the US which can help 🙂

          • Good, maybe I should wait to know more about your plan in your update #9, but here is a question if you can answer it. As I understand you are going to ask some companies to give you their products without a label on them, so you will sell them under your brand. right?

      • Is the AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp free or a paid subscription? Also, is this content new or from previous years? The reason I ask is your links to previous articles are a few years old.

        Thank you,

        Mark

        • It’s one-time fee (no subscription). The course is just one year ago – and it’s still relevant. But I’m making significant update to the course and raising price in 2018. All current members will get the updates as well so if you want to join – now is the best time to get it at lowest price 🙂

  • Wow Man, great job.
    You did very well in just 4 months….
    Recently i also started amazon affiliate site but still i haven’t been able to grab a sale, I don’t know exactly, why? but i think it will take time for site to grow and come in competition.
    Best of luck for your challenge.

  • I have followed your journey from the beginning and it’s amazing to see that you reached the stage where you are making your own products. Huge congratulations and best of luck in this new endeavor.

  • Hi Tung,

    If I may ask, where did you get all the images you use on your website? Are you using free images or stockphotos?

    Thanks for the input man… 🙂

  • I’m sorry if this question has already been asked:

    I see that you use the same (orange) color for buttons but different texts for buttons. Does this mean that you get the best results for this orange color in terms of CTR comparing to other colors?

    Actually, I have a lot of questions of how did you test conversion rates but this one is the most interesting one for me at the moment. I would be very grateful if you could share any insights. Thank you in advance.

  • Hello,
    Great post and congrats for your success.
    I wanted to ask that how much money do you spend on link building process?
    How much time per day your link building team works?
    Thanks.

  • Very excited to join your today webinar which will be schedule at 6pm, I am just start following your 10K challenge and this challenge is one of the reason I am felling so much confident and going to start my own affiliate website but some where I am confuse because I’m following the websites like dudeiwantthat or thisiswhyimbroke my website which is in development phase right now is also similar with these type of sites. I want to know is it the right thing to copy these type of websites please guide me in this. I will also share my website with you soon maybe in today webinar if I got a chance there.

  • Hi,

    Very good over the shoulder site building and you have been holding nothing back, thanks for some great ideas/\.

    You mentioned you are running out of keywords to write about yet you said you had around 75,000 keywords to start off with.

    How many keywords do you use per post or article?
    How do you integrate so many in one site?

    Thanks
    Merc

  • hello Tung,
    i have went through 8 updates, but was unable to find ”write in another post” about: Creating a master keyword list with 75,000+ keywords
    if you have forgotten about that this is a reminder 🙂

  • hi,
    Than let me rephrase my question, you have thousands of keywords ranked on your site but you do not have as many articles/posts so how does a site rank for so many keywords.

    I have done my keyword research and i have come up with about a thousand words and my question is how do i use them without having to write a post for each keyword.

    thabnks

  • Hi,

    Great going on term of traffic and revenue.

    I can see that initially you used an outreach service.
    Which outreach service do you use for guest posting.

    Is there any good service out there which can help to build good LINKS?

  • I have been trying to make money from blogs from past one year.

    I bought 19 domains and tried to grow them and failed miserably.

    What I am looking for is some course to grow my blog to make $20 to $50 per month so that I can sell off 15 blogs out of 19 and can try to grow the rest of them.

    Also I have these general questions.

    1) How many articles is required to get traffic of 100 to 200 visitors per month.

    2) With 3000 visitors per month is it possible to generate $20 to $50 income from affiliate sales.

    I know the numbers look too low but achieving that itself has become a big challenge to me.

    Also do you know some one who gives one on one coaching for few months to help out with growing blogs so that , that way I will say more time figuring out everything on my own.

    These kind of incomes are the only source of motivation for me to continue my journey online to make money.

    Thank you

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