This post is meant to be updated and reviewed monthly on the status of our journey to become a media guru creating values for viewers.
If you loved to follow us in this hustle/journey, be sure to come back monthly and see our progress against yours.
This post will be in chronological order.
A brief history of us. We have been on the Internet since April 2017, long before this income report and learned several things in the past years. We made The experiments include
- Buy from online / Sell on the local classified website (e.g. Craiglist): Our starting point of making money online, we just listed something we didn't need at home. it worked for us in our local marketplace as new things always get lots of views. We got our first sales triggered and inspired us. Why not make it bigger? We tried several items and many failed and surprisingly some items worked. The problem is it is really hard to automate / scale since you need to keep listing the item and meetup people. Recommended place to start while you keep your job. (income probably in hundreds if you are hardworking)
- Dropshipping in general (e.g. Amazon): Next step, we found an opportunity where some marketplace has item slightly cheaper than other marketplaces due to its discount coupons, cashback rebates, etc. registered in a local marketplace. Therefore, we tried and it does work for some items. Again it is hard to scale in our local marketplace and manage the pricing as our local marketplaces have no automated tools to reprice or check out of stocks. If there was, I guess there won't be such an opportunity. We still maintain this store with a handful of pretty stable items. (income in early thousands if you are hardworking)
- FB Ads + Google Adwords (for a while) + Shopify (dropship): We got attracted to the so-called expert youngsters sharing their success. It is so hard and there is a reason why less than 5% of people succeed here (we belong to "losers" 95%). Even if you target people interested in your topic, your post needs to be attractive among their other news feeds. This usually means a great video/image which is not our strength. We are not built to copy write or sell and it is hard. It is really easy to get traffic, likes and others though if you are a rich media company. Good "get-rich" idea to burn your cash and good learning lesson. Seeing how "experts" are selling courses and mastermind, we figure out how they keep making money (income negative and not recommended unless you have a real brand)
- Income School; Along the way, we got into the concept of SEO and there are several schools of thought. We don't agree with many of them and only when we stumbled onto Income School, we thought it gel with our philosophy. We bought a few defunct domains as we didn't have ideas and also a few new domains we liked (based on our local marketplace's demand). 1/2 year of creating content, we were pleasantly surprised that we got over 10k traffic in total. We decide to fully commit and will create tons of content. This is the purpose of our income report.
To clarify, we have 3 content sites in October that focused on creating content. The purpose of the monthly review is not to focus on our income/loss but to remember our ultimate goal of being a media guru.
Site 1: Niche Site for both men and women. The idea was from our local marketplace sales
Site 2: Location-specific travel site. Bought as an expired domain
Site 3: Niche site for a group of people. The idea was also from our local marketplace sales. Started recently since our Shopify domains are expiring and we wish to keep the renewal of the domains around the same period.
Income Report Review Oct 2019
We set some traffic goals for the 3 sites. Along the way, we think it is not a good goal as traffics is out of our control. It is also important to remember the concept of a ghost town. Even though we wrote several contents in Oct 2019, traffic fell for Site 1 and Site 2 due to competition and the new posts take time to rank.
We know it will work eventually because we are monitoring Google Search Console where (super highly recommended tool as Google Analytics doesn't tell you impressions). Overall Impressions is not a good measure too as usually Google puts your page in some unexpected keywords (due to related blog post).
Income is purely on Adsense (only Site 1 and 2) and expenses are for writing content. We do the keyword research and editing ourselves.
Some other Learning points
- GoDaddy Auction min withdrawal for PayPal is $25 and has exorbitant fees that weren't obvious throughout the listing process. We end up having a $20 balance with them and no way to see the balance. Still trying to list our failed domains.
- Transferring from the GoDaddy domain to Shopify can fail somehow. Failed once (we got charged and refunded) but worked 2nd time. Relatively seamless thereafter but was a scare.
- Creating a second Instagram account (for Site 3) was hard. We gave up as it asked for our verification and never replied since.
- Should focus on doable goals (not traffic)
- Traffic falls for top posts due to competition Decide not to compete with them first
- Try more "best" posts to compete on top keywords
Income Report Review Nov 2019
- Big dip on top posts for Site 1.
- Site 2 traffic drops as top keyword dropped in rank due to a highly competitive website
- Site 3 is done and will slowly add more articles.
- Started Site 4 / Site 5 to ensure all domain renewal around the same timing
- Exploring more tools too like SendFox (email sending by AppSumo. Not that easy to use/delete users but good enough. Almost paid but read reviews that there is a need to ensure bounce rate low else throttle badly. Also no email subscriber so far too so pointless to invest so much even though lifetime [their model probably cannot sustain too in the long run]).
- I tried Lumen5 and super impressed. Have done quite a few youtube videos in channel and will do more videos too as an alternative traffic
- Read Incomeschool recommending SendinBlue and Sendy (need to install so too troublesome). Same as SendFox, will only try when got more subscriber (putting the subscribe at the footer)
Moving ahead, expect controlled articles rates (around 2 articles/site/day) and focus on efforts in spreading videos at Youtube channels.
Income Report Review Dec 2019
- Site 1 traffic stabilizes around 4k. Focus is on Youtube as traffic seems easier and target the 4k watch hours required for monetization
- Site 2 traffic stabilizes to 2k
- Site 3 is having some traffic and surprising have more Youtube subscribers than Site 2
- Site 4 and 5 are growing slowly as expected
- Tried SendInBlue and not useful yet as Shopify mailing list is really full of spams
Income Report Review Jan 2020
- First thing first, more video (try 4k view hours and 1k subscriber first)
- Traffic might be seasonal as no new written content
- Need to learn writing better content
- Youtube ads are cost-effective without targeting (~0.04c/view), compared to targetting narrowly
Income Report Review Feb 2020
- Traffic improving across all sites. Potential to have 3rd site Adsense monetized.
- Spending more as starting content production again, plan to have 1 post every week
- Continue video generation and posts
- Got $75 in AdWords from the $45 spent in the video, need to think how best as unable to get meaningful returns, maybe when got a product to promote.
Income Report Review Mar 2020
- Read up Ahrefs free video course by Tim.
- Quite useful and reinforced the previous mindset of creating great content from Income School.
- The concept of customer acquisition instead of traffic acquisition (though we don't have a product yet, one way is to be a marketing agency).
- 50% / 50% - New content and old content as didn't have an industry gauge previously. Was just finding content > 1 year with poor results to analyze
- The link building ideas were acceptable too but still prefer Income School way of not focusing on doing it at all.
- So far saw that posts with a real backlink do really outperform, so they can understand why people want to do that. But not for us as we will play the long game of learning how to create great content (which we admit are really weak now but will learn on improving old content)
- Rewrote some old articles we did at the start. Only had 500 words which were ridiculous thinking about it now. Tried to repivot 1 post as competitive too. Added more content to a competitive post too to try.
- Income dropping but viewership was still good, might be due to the recent virus. Good time to use up the $75 ad credits
- Right now, will focus on rewrite old post without clicks based on past learning (don't compete with pages with backlinks). Will also reduce the video to only those with great viewership to improve CTR%
|Ultimate Goal||Be a Media Guru creating values for viewers first|
|Month||Revenues ($)||Expenses ($)||Review on Progress (Don't care traffic as estimate last 30 days)|
|2019 Oct||31||740||Site 1: Almost 10k. Try Ezoic
Site 2: Maintain 2.5k
Site 3: 17th Oct @ $7.27 domain. Target 30 Articles
|2019 Nov||25||610||Site 1: 6k traffic, youtube with 18 subscribers. Need 1k
Site 2: 2k traffic
Site 3: Still ghost town
Site 4: Started with 11 articles
Site 5: Started design
|2019 Dec||11||294||Site 1: ~4k only. youtube 18.8 hrs in last 28 days with 60+ videos
Site 2: ~2k, 9.5hrs with 26 videos
Site 3: Some traffic
Site 4: No traffic but articles
Site 5: Will start with articles to age only and default articles (as written already)
|2020 Jan||16||9||Site 1 (HQ): ~4k, 172.18hrs in last 28 days (mostly from paid ads)
Site 2 (VL): ~2k
Site 3 (DW): 117
Site 4 (DI): 3
Site 5 (MB): 40
|2020 Feb||29||229||Site 1 (HQ): 6.1k
Site 2 (VL): 3.5k
Site 3 (DW): 1.4k
Site 4 (DI): 70
Site 5 (MB): 9
|2020 Mar||20||336||Site 1 (HQ): 6.1k
Site 2 (VL): 3.7k
Site 3 (DW): 1.1k
Site 4 (DI): 218
Site 5 (MB): 18