$10K Challenge Update #9

Welcome to the 9th 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 (February 2017):

Key Successes

  • Traffic has hit a new record - 200,000+ visits in March
  • Started list building
  • Increased Shipped Items Revenue to Amazon by 24%

Key Failures

  • E-commerce project got delayed due to slow incorporation
  • Income potential dropped by 30% due to Amazon’s new fixed commission rate

Website Stats - March 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: 47 (+1)
  • Referring Domains: 284 (+38)

Traffic

Traffic

My site didn’t see any negative effects from the Google Fred update and traffic even hit a new record at 207,708 visits in March.

Income

Income

We finished March 2017 with $5,917.04 which was $685 less than what we had in February 2017.

While it doesn’t seem like a significant drop month-over-month, especially after the new Amazon commission change, what you don’t see in the picture above is that we were actually able to increase Shipped Items Revenue to Amazon by about 24%.

Here's more data on this:

February 2017

March 2017

Shipped Items Revenue

$77,902.12

$96,951.82

Earnings (Bounties not included)

$6,481.83

$5,767.04

Avg Commission Percentage

8.32%

5.94%

So, with the old commission rates, we should have earned $8,066 from Amazon in March.

It’s sad that Amazon decided to drop their commission rates, but let's not spend time crying over something that we don’t have any control over.

Some people might have been wondering if building Amazon affiliate websites is still worth it.

And my answer is a definite YES for a few reasons:

  • ​While it must have been awesome to get that 8.32%, earning $5,917 in a month is nothing to sneeze at.
  • There are many good affiliate programs out there. Amazon is just one of those.
  • Amazon is also not the most profitable way to monetize your site. And it shouldn’t be the only monetization method either.
  • It might be the easiest and fastest way to monetize, so we use it to help build the foundation of our online businesses.
  • But, after your site is established with strong traffic, you should look for other ways to monetize.
  • Most importantly, Amazon affiliate program is just the first step – what we’re really building is a media asset that can grow into a sustainable business.

To illustrate the last point, take a look at the image below:

This is a concept I borrowed from Rob Walling’s guide to bootstrapping a software business and made it applicable to our industry.

This is the right path that I believe everyone should follow in order to build a sustainable business starting with a simple Amazon affiliate website.

I’ll do a post explaining this concept in more detail soon.

What We’ve Done in March 2017

Other than executing regular link building campaigns and publishing new content, what contributed most to the increase in traffic and shipped revenue was that we went back and improved a lot of the old articles.

Basically, we made the articles more in-depth and did A/B test to increase CTR to Amazon.

A lot of work has been done to the e-commerce project as well. We have tested sample products from the labs to make sure they meet the quality we wanted.

We’re almost ready to start selling now. We’re just waiting for the incorporation to be done so we can fund inventory from the corporation’s new bank account.

Goals For April 2017

Our main focus in April is to try different ways to monetize the site better.

After reviewing the site’s performance over the last few months, I realized that it was heavily under-monetized.

At the level of traffic we’re getting now, the site should be making way past the original goal of $10,000 monthly.

So, the key manager of this project and I have mutually agreed that it’s time to refocus and spend most of our time on monetization instead of pushing for more traffic.

Our plan of action over the next 30 days includes:​

  • Test different affiliate offers and networks
  • Convert current traffic into leads by implementing some list building tactics
  • Create an autoresponder series to monetize the email list​

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my 9th update.

From now on, I’ll do this monthly so you can have a better idea on what I’m doing to grow the site.

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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