November Earnings Report

Lowest Adsense month all year *sigh* – I even have about 9,000 more page views than I did in January (when I made over $400) but the number of clicks is down by about 200 and my daily average is down $4. I’m not understanding this trend. It could be that my early money makers aren’t getting the visitors like they used to but the page views are up just because I have more content out there overall. Oh well, I’ll keep plugging away. One of my old Xfactor sites is doing OK this month with Christmas (it’s UK focused too).  The niche blog I’ve been working on has over 22,000 exact matches so I’m really excited about that. So far, the site isn’t ranking but I haven’t done much promotion yet.

Anyway, I’m kind of taking a break this month. I’ve lost some steam and just want regroup a little. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels. Working a lot but not much to show for it in terms of a major jump in income. I feel like I should be making a lot more by now. I still believe this can work but I just need to focus. And with Christmas around the corner and some deadlines at my JOB, IM needs to take a backseat for awhile.

Adsense $257.88
Clickbank $40.06
Amazon $101.18
eHow $30.45
eBay $50.19
CJ $13.00
Independent Affiliate #1 $5.00
E-product $51.87
Independent Affiliate #2 $59.60
Chitika $0.21
Infolinks $1.21
CPALead $2.63
Linking Loophole $12.49
Zazzle $72.01
TOTAL $697.78

October Earnings – New Record and Future Directions

Sorry I’m a little late posting…I have been out of town visiting family and it was just too busy to do any work. It was kind of nice to take a break from IM. I thought about it a lot though like – where do I want to go from here? My head is just swirling and I feel like I am treading water right now. I am not going to make my original goal of quitting my job by next fall when my oldest starts school (unless there is some miracle…lol).

This is what I decided to do for now…I am going to revamp the top 10 or so sites I have. Redesign them, get new content, and properly promote them. I just read Pat Flynn’s new post on backlinking – it might help a lot of you as well. I’ve been reading and chasing around lots of different ideas and methods and I need to just stick to one.

Then, I am going to work on just two new projects next year. I have one domain that gets around 22,000 EXACT searches a month but dummy me has not put any content on it. It’s been sitting there just waiting. I’m feeling fairly confident that I can rank this one pretty high because the competition is not tough. This will be a proper niche blog using Niche Blogger strategies. There are opportunities to monetize with Adsense, Clickbank and other affiliate programs. It is a topic I know a lot about and feel like I could really help other people learn something. I think that has been what held me back…I don’t really trust an outsourcer to be able to write the content for that site but I haven’t spent the time to write the articles myself. I haven’t decided yet what I am going to do. I may outsource some and write the rest.

The other project is not related to niche sites in a direct way. It will be a site that hopefully will be a resource to help others make money online. That one will require a lot of research which I can probably outsource. Stay tuned – it will probably be awhile before I can get that one up and running.

Between those two projects, there won’t be a lot of time to mess around. I’ve been wanting to do more Amazon product review type sites, especially as we get closer to Christmas but I think that will just make more of a mess of things. I don’t need any more half-baked domains! That may be another future direction.

On to the earnings…. I didn’t make thousands like I had hoped (see my explanation here) but I did manage to make over $650 from costumes in October. The total I made on costumes since the summer when I started is about $850 or so. Not too bad I guess but surely I did not make a profit considering I spent a lot of my own time on those sites. Next year, I will pick maybe the top 10 performers and fill out the sites with more content. For now, I am tired of costumes! Amazon got a boost from costumes. I actually put up some quick HubPages just as an experiment. Got quite a few Amazon sales from one particular hot costume this year. Better than I expected. I’ll tuck that away for the future. HubPages might be good for doing product reviews instead of creating a whole web site. As far as I can tell, HubPages doesn’t take a cut of your Amazon earnings, which is great.

Obviously, I expect the total to drop back down again next month.

Adsense $323.43
Clickbank $79.98
Amazon $59.86
eHow $18.81
eBay $29.12
CJ $662.69
E-product $23.94
Independent Affiliate $23.90
Chitika $0.47
Infolinks $2.09
CPALead $14.46
Linking Loophole $12.71
Zazzle $70.94
TOTAL $1,322.40

Google Slapped Me

OK, I’m embarrassed… Google deindexed 7 of my Halloween sites. o_O I was checking rankings today and noticed too many of them were off the radar. I got that sinking feeling as I checked them using the “site:” command. It’s a good thing Adsense wasn’t on any of them. In fact, I only had Adsense on one of the sites that is still indexed as an experiment which I immediately took off, just in case they check that one too. The sites are all on my one reseller account but I have a lot more. I’m not sure if they are all going to get the ax eventually or if that is it.

I didn’t get any emails or anything but I’m sure it’s because they were considered “thin affiliates” which I totally admit. I just had too many sites and never got more content put on them.

I still had my best commission day today ($40 so far) but this is “peak week”. I’m definitely not going to make big money like I had hoped. I am worried now that more sites will be getting the ax :(

Guess there isn’t much I can do now. Hopefully the rest will fly under the radar for awhile until I determine whether or not to keep them. Since the Google tool changed, I can see now that I never would have bought about 75% of them because the real search numbers are too low.

Stay tuned…always fun with Google. No more mini-sites. I’m done. Guess I had to learn my lesson. Back to authority sites I go!

September Earnings Update

I’ll make this short – there was definitely an increase this month mainly because of the costume sales. It’s nothing to brag about but it’s something. Not all of that CJ total was from costumes – about $40 was my TNB site. I’ve already made $130 in October for costumes and the last week of the month is crazy in terms of search numbers – probably double or more of this week. Hoping I will see $1000+ for the month even after it was revealed that the search numbers weren’t as high as I thought.

In terms of ranking, there are several sites that doing the Google dance right know, which always freaks me out even though I’ve seen it before. They usually come back the same or higher. Two of my sites that have the highest number of searches just aren’t getting traction. I don’t understand why. I’ve been backlinking like crazy but they are still down at #150 or so. There is always next year, I guess! They will probably be ranking #1 on November 1.

September 2010 earnings:

Adsense $293.60
Clickbank $60.04
Amazon $15.78
eHow $20.40
eBay $29.64
CJ $219.14
E-product $43.89
Chitika $0.46
Infolinks $1.94
CPALead $1.40
Zazzle $25.82
TOTAL $712.11

Google Changed Their Search Numbers

After seeing a post by Carrie at Working Towards Home and doing a little searching, it has been revealed that Google has changed how they display the volume of searches in their external tool. Apparently, it is now showing only searches on Google itself and doesn’t include its search partners, as it did before. The numbers I am seeing now are just shocking and I am really irritated. I bought dozens of domains based on this tool and most of the costume domains I bought now appear to be utter crap. I now have 21 of 31 costume sites ranking on page 1 or 2 but I’m not seeing the traffic I was expecting. Now I understand why. Micro Niche Finder is still pulling old numbers, I think (probably still accessing the old interface of the tool instead of the new one). So the discrepancy in search numbers is very apparent.

I have several costume domains that were showing thousands of searches a month and now are showing only a few hundred. Terribly disappointing to know I’ve wasted my time on these sites. I can’t rely on Google of course to make sure that I make money but it sure is frustrating with this major game-changer.

Here are some examples, all using EXACT numbers. One site I have was 14,800 local and 12,100 global and now is 1900 and 1000!!! Another one used to be 8,100 local and 6,600 global. Now it’s 390 and 260 respectively. Damn! Now only 8 of my 31 domains are even showing over 1000 a searches a month. The rest are all under 1000 (and they used to be several thousand).

This is actually reflecting what I was seeing in my traffic and sales so at least I understand better what is happening. I am going to focus my efforts now on those 8 sites to get them ranked as highly as I can. We are closing in on just a month before Halloween so hopefully I will get a little something for my effort. I was hoping for $2000-3000 but maybe $1000 is more likely. That sucks. I am at about $150 for September for costume sales so I guess we will see.

This also means I need to reevaluate my other niche sites. I didn’t get through all my domains but at least the top two money makers (historically, not lately!) didn’t show as dramatic of a decrease. Maybe this means I can get rid of some domains that don’t have much potential.

Well, I’m sure some of you will be just as depressed as me but I guess all we can do is keep moving forward and hope that these new numbers reflect reality a bit better so our new projects will take off and be successful!

Here are a couple of forum threads on this topic I found if you want to read more:

Google Adwords Blog

What are your thoughts on this? Did you see major decreases like I did?