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! 😀

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! 😀

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!

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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