If you’re curious to know why I’m sharing my online income reports, read here.
On a personal level, July has been a terrible month for me. I spent the whole month in Italy, close to my family, because a dear aunt got really sick.
Being able to stay close to her and to the people I love was the best thing I could do, and made me realize how lucky and free I am with my online work.
Below the report of this tough month.
What’s going on
The launch of WP Tube 5.0 theme
In May I bought a website selling a WordPress Theme: freeWPtube.com It’s a theme that allows to create video websites based on WordPress.
Last month I first hired a developer to create a new, better version of the theme, and then got involved directly in the development because I was unhappy with the results.
At this point I was facing a business decision: keep WP Tube a free theme or sell it as Premium?
The theme has been free of charge so far, and the previous owner was making some money with additional products, such as hosting commissions and link removal.
This didn’t seem very effective so I wanted to sell the new version as Premium theme.
But… even in the domain name, there’s the word free and in June I built a newsletter with ~50 subscribers waiting for the new version to be released.
After some thoughts, I decided to leave WP Tube 4 available as a free theme, and release WP Tube 5 as Premium.
I also decided to offer it for free to the existing newsletter subscribers, that were diligently waiting for the news.
I offered two version: the standard version for 19$ and a version link-free (without links in the footer) for 29$.
I was a bit worried… what if people don’t like my move? will someone spend money to buy my new theme? will my theme be good enough?
I recorded two videos explaining the new features, wrote the newsletter text and officially released version 5.
Few minutes after, the first newsletter subscribers started downloading their free copy. They were really waiting for it 🙂
But what’s more exciting is that two hours after, the first sale came in!!
They were the most joyous 29$ I ever earn.
After that, I total 6 sales, not bad considering that I released it the 18th July.
I’m thrilled to see how things will evolve in August, a month that is part of the vacation season in the Western world.
Results from the new sale page in ComoHacer
Last month I hired Rocco via oDesk to rethink the sale page of my Spanish DIY blog. This blog came with an e-book with all the articles in an easy to read and print format and I believe this is an untapped source of income.
I spent too much time implementing the page so I only started pushing real traffic towards the end of the month. The result wasn’t that impressive:
I got just 2 sales over ~400 pageviews. This means a conversion rate of ~0.5% 🙁
Dear Rocco, this is not what I wanted considering I paid you 150€!
I have to rethink all the sale page now and try something new.
People love this website and are clicking on the banners to know more about the e-book. What’s stopping them from buying, I don’t know.
I’ll test different prices and different sale pages…
Cómo comprar casa en Holanda
In June I got my article ‘how to buy a house in the Netherlands’ translated to Spanish.
At the time I wrote my last income report, the article Cómo comprar casa en Holanda was ranking #1 on page 2 of Google Spain…. today, my post happily ranks #6 on page 1 of Google Spain!
The traffic on the page is still low (~40 pageviews in July) but as explained in this article, now that the post is on page 1 every step up will grow the traffic exponentially.
Time for the numbers!
- Adsense: €635.44 (last month €687.46)
- Feedblitz: €38.22 (last month €64.52)
- Direct Ads: €26.60 (last month €26.60)
- BuySellAds: €18
- Job Board Services
- Premium Job posting: €24.1 (last month €234.25)
- Resume Access:€158.19 (last month €105.57)
- Affiliate Programs
- Lead generation: 0 (last month €525)
- Product affiliation: €410.21 (last month €225.57)
- Amazon program: 0 (last month €3.84)
- Guest Posting: €0 (last month 0€)
- Product Sales:
- ComoHacer ebook: €28.6 (last month €13)
- WP Tube theme: €135 – new entry!
Total Gross: € 1,474.36 (last month € 1,885.81)
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.
- 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.
- Site5: €19
- Mailing List services
- FlipFilter: €10
- This is a very useful service for website buyers, crunching big data from multiple marketplaces for you.
- Outsourcing: 0
Total Expenses: € 133.56 (last month € 508.9)
Net Total July 2014: € 1,340.8 (last month € 1,376.91)
Lessons Learned in July
In July I had some success (the WordPress theme launch) and some failure (the ComoHacer sale page).
Overall was a decent month, but there are signals I should not underestimate.
First, paid guest posting is dead on my websites. Last time I made some money publishing guest posts, or better said sponsored posts, was back in April. Since the beginning of 2014, Google made clear trough Matt Cutts that writing guest posts as a way to generate backlinks is considered more and more as a spammy technique.
It took few months, but the number if inquiry about guest posting is significantly dropped. This means that, as a blog owner, I lost a source of revenue.
Second, AidBoard (my job board focused on International Development jobs) is turning into a philanthropic project rather than a business… it has lost direction in the last months. I added volunteering opportunities, but they are not what professionals are looking for. I removed the free posting, and upset few organizations. I reactivated the free posting, and nobody is paying. It’s a catch 22 but I have to rethink the strategy and possibly invest on it, as it used to be a profitable website with few loyal customers and enthusiastic professionals waiting for the weekly newsletter.
To summarize last month lesson, strategy is an extremely important part of running a business.I learnt this from the decay of AidBoard, and from the successful launch of the new WordPress theme.
One question for the readers: are my income reports clear enough? Can you follow or am I talking about things you’re not familiar with?
A feedback would be highly appreciated, I’d like to elaborate more on some principles behind what I do!