WPtube April
If you're curious to know why on Earth I'm sharing my online income reports, read here. This report is about the money I make from my websites. It doesn't take in consideration other sources of income, such as my WordPress consultancies.

I’m a bit late with the report, mainly because I’m having a busy and exciting time. I’m doing new things and meeting new people – the reason why is explained later in this post.

I’m back in Amsterdam since over a month now and trying to make the best of my time here.

 

What’s going on

Mobilegeddon no problem?

On April 21st Google released a largely anticipated algorithm update affecting searches from mobile devices. The risk for webmasters was to have their website removed from the mobile search results (currently around 40% of the traffic comes from mobile) if their pages were not mobile-friendly.

The truth is that so far nobody observed big changes in traffic, but lots of website were made mobile-friendly in a hurry and the resulting pages are often worse than before.

I launched a mobile version of ComoHacer using the WordPress plugin WPtouch. The plugin provides a theme specific for mobile devices, with no need to change the desktop theme. With few customization I added the ads to keep monetizing the mobile traffic… but!

In the midst of the changes I mistakenly removed the most profitable Adsense ad from the website!

So I thought that I was affected by Mobilegeddon, but numbers didn’t match up. The traffic was there, but earnings dropped. By the time I realized what happened I’d lost at least €80 of passive income.

All this because I didn’t spent enough time checking the issue. This is a big downside with working on many websites!

 

Update on ComeCostruire.info

Mid-December I soft-launched the new website: ComeCostruire.info, the Italian version of ComoHacer, my Spanish blog about manual works and DIY.

April traffic was up to 2,285 visitors (+17.91%) with 3,927 page views (+13.43%) with absolutely 0 effort. No link building, no marketing, no social media.

comecostruire_ga

 

I’m also pleased to see the growth in the new Google Webmaster Tools interface:

comecostruire gwt

With such a great traffic you would expect me to break the bank, but hold your horses because Adsense generated just €7.87 (was €6.19 in March).

 

I initially invested in this project €360, so it’s gonna take a long while to recover but the traffic is still growing so I may reach €8 next month 😉

 

WP Tube update

In April I released a new minor version of my WordPress theme – version 5.2.2 – with some fixes and little improvements.
I also discovered that there were more than 200 monthly downloads of the free version linked directly to the .zip file and totally invisible from Google Analytics. I changed that, forcing users to go through the ‘order’ process that allows me to get their emails for future marketing.

I thought that this was my best idea ever, but actually after the change I had 10 days with no sale of the Premium version. WTF?

WPtube April

My conclusions:

Requiring more steps caused less people downloading the free version.
Without trying the free version, people don’t buy the Premium version.

I verified this tracking how many sales are coming from the promotional message in the free theme. The traffic converts a good 6.45%!

Here my lessons learned:

  1. Improve the free version to have more people buying the Premium
  2. The more easily they can try the free version, the more Premium will sell

In conclusion, in April I sold 14 copies for a total of $546. with 1 refund.

 

 

Income Breakdown

Let’s get down to the numbers!

  • Advertising
    • Adsense: €527.46 (was €660.26) – dropped because of my ads error!
    • Feedblitz: €146.56 (was €88.45) – ads places in automatic newsletters = passive profit
    • Direct Ads: €165.63 (last month €32.63) – got an advertising campaign on AidBoard
    • BuySellAds:€22.99 (was €39.23)
  • Job Board Services
    • Job posting & Resume: €38.18 (was €36.77) – another bad month for my job boards
  • Affiliate Programs
    • Lead generation: 0
    • Product affiliation: €97.13 (was €139.3)
    • Amazon program: €208.36 (was €416.19) – down this month, it sucks!
  • Sales:
    • ComoHacer ebook: €8 (was €16.55) – one copy sold
    • WP Tube theme: €486.53 (was €582.74) – less than usual but I know why!
    • Website sale: 0
  • Online Consulting
    • oDesk: 0 (was €910)

Total Gross: € 1,700,84 (last month € 2,931.32)

 

Expenses Breakdown

Note: some links to products and services may have affiliation. This means that if you’ll buy I’ll get a commission. Never the less, I’m only mentioning here services that I use myself to operate my websites.

  • Hosting
    • Site5: €19
      • This is the hosting I’m using since a few months and totally happy with. They have servers in Amsterdam too, so I use it for my European websites.
    • HostGator: €18
      • This is a popular cheap hosting provider with servers in US. I still use it for some websites with majority of traffic from Americas, but their support is getting worse and worse!
  • Mailing List services
    • Aweber: €65
    • Mailchimp: €47 – Monthly charge for list size 2,801 to 5,000
  • FlipFilter: €10 – very useful service for website buyers, crunching big data from multiple marketplaces for you
  • Outsourcing
    • Articles: €80.20 (was €1131.4) – no investment for ComoHacer, but regular articles from writers
  • Memberships
    • The Dynamite Circle: €130 – great community of online entrepreneurs, paid three months subscription
    • SEMrush: €59 – PRO membership of this excellent tool to analyze search engine results and competition
  • Software: 0 (was €91)
  • Website acquisition:0
  • Domain renewal: €79 – new entry, from now I’ll also report expenses related to domains registered at Godaddy

Total Expenses: € 507,2 (last month € 1.349.4)

 

Net Total April 2015: € 1,193,64 (last month € 1,581.92)

 

Conclusion

The drop in earnings from Adsense (my mistake), WPtube (a change that gave negative results) and Amazon (quite disappointing) resulted in the worst month in a long time.

It became obvious that running the websites like I’m doing now can provide for a nice lifestyle on the road, living the digital nomad life combining working with traveling, but isn’t really a growing business.

And considering that in May I’m celebrating three years as a self-employed, I feel it’s time to dedicate more time trying to answer the quintessential existential question: what do I want to do with my life?

 

 

I need good vibe, do leave a comment 😉 Thanks!

Online Income Report – April 2015
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Written by Daniele
Hi, I’m Daniele! In April 2012 I quit my full-time IT job to pursue entrepreneurship and a location independent lifestyle.