Back to Amsterdam after few weeks in Italy, visiting family and receiving the visit of some friends from Holland that made a very nice weekend together!
If you’re going to Milano before November don’t miss the EXPO.
Starting with this report I want to change a little bit the format. I’m trying to reach out more folks working on online businesses and doing similar things as I do, so I’ll try to add more value for them. Every report will include a ‘Tool of the Month’ section, about a software or service that I use and I’m satisfied with.
Let me say it straight: I hear everyday about new fantastic tools. I don’t even have time to try them all. Furthermore, it takes a while to figure out if a tool is really worth using it. The goal of this section is not to review new stuff, but rather to give earnest recommendations of what I works well for me.
The report format will be:
- What’s Going On: an update on the various activities I was busy with;
- The Numbers: the income and expense breakdown;
- Tool of the Month: a software or service I use and I’m satisfied with;
- Conclusion: some considerations and/or a lesson learned.
OK this has been the longest introduction in a long time, let’s move to the report!
What’s Going On
Update on QuadHangar
Last month I reap what I sow in June: the articles published picked up considerable organic traffic.
This is an example, and the number of visitors is still growing in August:
Having say that, I also worked on new content and optimized the pages for conversion.
The result is a nice increase in the CTR (click-through-rate) of the page, meaning that more people are clicking in the affiliate links (that are the links that eventually bring in the cash!):
This compensate the shitty news that my main keywords dropped down of several positions (from 6 to 9), meaning less traffic on the homepage.
First Earnings from WP-OK!
In May I secretly started testing a new idea: WP-OK. WP-OK is a way to market the WordPress maintenance and support service that I’m already providing to my freelance customers.
Too many people having an online business spend hours and days after the technicality of their WordPress site instead of focusing on the business and marketing aspects.
Or worse, they risk their business running old versions of WordPress and plugins that can cause all sort of security issues. And when a problem happen, it’s too late to discover that the hosting doesn’t have a proper backup to go back.
I’ve seen these situations repeating over and over in the years and that’s why I built my maintenance & support service that takes the pain away for a fixed monthly price. It’s a win-win situation because I get a steady income to run the service and the customer gets lots of value.
With WP-OK, I want to propose this service in the Italian market.
In May I prepared the landing page and started an AdWords campaign to attract potential customers. In July I saw some results, with two customers. Actually they didn’t sign up for the monthly service, but asked for a one-time help with specific issues.
In September I’ll have a marketing action to promote WP-OK in the Italian market… let’s see how it goes!
Hosting mishap: Site5 VPS4
At the beginning of June Site5 told me that my account was using too many resources, and they even called me to discuss the options. I was already thinking that was time to upgrade my sites to a VPS solution, so I gave them the OK to start the migration.
Well, the migration wasn’t as smooth as anticipated and I already reported last month about the struggles. Well, in July the struggles continued since I had too often errors on my pages.
At the end of the month I decided that I wasted enough time on this, so I upgraded the service from VPS2 to VPS4. The VPS4 is a virtual server with twice the power and capacity of the previous one (well, also twice the monthly price!) and after that change the problems are gone (knocking wood, it’s 2 weeks now).
Let’s get down with the numbers!
- Adsense: €380.66 (was €520.34) – ouch, this was the lowest month since December 2012!!!
- Feedblitz: €37.03 (was €69.6)
- Direct Ads: €131.23 (no change) – advertising campaigns on my websites
- Sponsored posts: €227.91 (was €226.58) – got another well paid review. Hopefully a positive trend!
- BuySellAds: €20 (no change)
- Job Board Services
- Job posting & Resume: €179.51 (was €231) – few paid jobs on AidBoard!
- Affiliate Programs
- Lead generation: 0
- Product affiliation: €113 (was €193.6) – TestKing, Pass4sure, Clickbank, SEMrush affiliate programs
- Amazon program: €775.16 (was €658) – Yes at least this did well, thanks to the drone website!
- ComoHacer ebook: €68.72 (was €24,47) – best month ever, is Latin America getting Paypal finally?
- WP Tube theme: €177.70 (was €398) – 5 copies sold, the lowest ever!
- Website sale: 0 – Nothing to sell at the moment!
- Product sale: 0 (was €170)
- WP-OK services: €98 (new entry!)
Total Gross: € 2,208.92 (last month € 2,642.82)
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 services that I use myself to operate my websites.
- Site5: €71
- This is the hosting I’m using and happy with. I recently switched to VPS2 solution. They have servers in Amsterdam too, perfect for my websites with European audience.
- 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!
- Site5: €71
- Mailing List services
- FlipFilter: €10 – very useful service for website buyers, crunching big data from multiple marketplaces for you
- Articles: €41 (was €187,6)
- Website acquisition: 0
- Domain renewal: €36.40 (was €10,43) – expenses related to domains registered at Godaddy
- Adwords: 0 (was €77.02) – this is an experiment for a business idea I’m testing, using a coupon credit this month
Total Expenses: € 496.03 (was €536.49)
Net Total July 2015: € 1,712.89 (last month 2,106.33)
Tool of the Month
The tool of the month is the fantastic SEMrush!
I’ve been using this tool from over a year and it’s great for:
- Checking how a sites is doing in the search engines (for example for which keywords is ranking)
- Keeping track of the positions in SERP
- Doing keyword research (check the section about SEMrush)
- Finding your competitors and see where you can beat them
- Having audit reports of the on-page technical SEO
To better present this tool, surprise surprise, I recorded a 10 minutes video:
It’s one of my first videos, be nice to me.
Back to sub-2000 quote!
Last month has been pretty shitty to be honest, because a few things under-performed. First the Adsense results were bad, second the sales of my WordPress theme were half and last, well last it was just July 🙂
It’s holiday season in most of the countries where I get traffic from so I’ve to practice acceptance and get ready for August.
What was your challenge in July?