Blogger Income Report: August 2016
For August 2016’s income report, I’m recapping the information a little differently.
I usually recap the highlights from my Amazon Affiliate site, but this month I tried a few new ideas to make money online. I want to show you just where the money goes when trying something new, and potentially lucrative, yet initially expensive.
Most people know the phrase you have to spend money to make money. This month included a fairly large expense on my part. I have mostly learned about affiliate marketing from reading blogs and watching Youtube videos.
I came across a potentially lucrative concept called Pay Per Call Marketing early in August. As with most “make money online” concepts, I randomly found a guy’s blog and videos (Leonidas Marketing Blog) about Pay Per Call advertising whereby the publisher (you, me, him) set up Adwords campaigns to drive traffic to businesses who in turn pay you for the calls that meet their conversion criteria.
Long story short, I signed up for the opportunity to spend my money to make other people money via Ringpartner.
If you are interested in becoming a PPC advertiser there are lot of companies offering the service. Unlike most affiliate marketing programs, Ringpartner actually does a phone call verification to make sure you sound intelligent and skilled enough to implement a campaign for the companies they work with.
With my background in Affiliate marketing and setting up websites, I passed the test and was approved.
I spent a week learning how the process of Google Adwords works, implementing keywords research, paying for traffic, and so forth. In the process of learning from Leonidas, I came across another successful publisher named Raj who is also featured in the Ringpartner Youtube Channel.
Learning a new marketing strategy can cost money. My upfront expenses have been Raj’s course, Pay Per Call Exposed ( well worth the money! ) and the Adwords/Bing advertising expenses.
So far, I’m out about $300-$400. I’m not excited to spend more on Adwords until I can put in more time upfront to learn Raj’s system and increase my ROI.
The downside to the PPC marketing campaigns that I ran were Repeat Callers.
I ran a series of ads for a phone chat line. Unfortunately, a majority of the callers were either repeat customers or their calls were under the 120 second threshold to make a profit.
From my experience talking to Raj (he has been good about emailing me if I have a question), the best ways to make money are to find areas where the campaign meets and urgent need – such as water damage, emergency plumbing, etc.
Next Steps with PPC:
My next step with Pay Per Call marketing is to find a campaign that has a shorter conversion time (120s is a lot) and has less of a chance for repeat callers. I won’t be paying for online dating campaigns on Adwords again unless I can find a way to eliminate the repeat callers.
Secondly, it’s totally possible to advertise in channels other than Adwords. Setting up videos, side-bar ads on niche websites I own, and other creative outlets that are FREE is a great way to get callers without spending money.
While PPC can be lucrative, the learning curve is expensive.
If you want to know more about Pay Per Call Advertising, here’s a video from Ringpartner detailing the steps to set up a campaign with their program.
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My family started an online business in March – Mauch Studio – selling Alpaca Blankets, scarves and ponchos.
March isn’t the best month to start selling cold weather products because… well, it’s going to get pretty hot, pretty soon. This year’s July was the hottest on record. Not a lot of warm and fuzzy blankets flying off the shelves during a heat wave.
Luckily sales started to pick up again in August, and we made over $500.
There are 2 concerns I have right now about our products and implementing the store online:
- We have a lot of 1-off, unique color blankets. The amount of time it takes to prep and photograph the product is a couple of hours per item.
- Starting in the wrong season isn’t a great way to make money.
Despite the slow take-off, we are also signed up for some local markets offline this fall and will be selling at a venue in Pennsylvania with foot traffic of over 350,000 peds in 7 days. That’s a lot of exposure 🙂
We are lowering our prices to meet the market’s core customer base. Basically, for the blankets & throws, we will be selling closer to wholesale pricing… scarves and ponchos will be full price. We have a few hundred items to sell, and my goal is to sell out, and fix problem #1 above.
Long term goals:
I’d like to meet the factory minimums and buy our own custom colors instead of buying from stock. Their stock products are gorgeous, but I prefer to have fewer SKU’s and a deeper inventory. This will make photography work and buying ads easier. There’s really no use in spending money on ads for unique items or advertising products that are out of stock after the first purchase.
I’ve also listed us on Amazon. We had a couple of sales in August. The fee Amazon charges vs. Shopify monthly store fee and their cut Shopify takes from each item sold is basically a wash. I think it’s good being on both sites to maximize the customer potential.
Self-Publishing – Kindle
In July I put together a Kindle book about a diet and food plan that interests me personally. It’s basically a recipe book. I published it on Kindle, and that book, combined with 3 others, earned me a total of $11.04 in August.
What am I doing wrong with Kindle?
3 of the 4 books I’ve written are so niche specific & micro focused, there’s no mass appeal.
And, I’ve not been advertising for them. No marketing, no sales.
For the recipe book (smoothies), I set up a Facebook page that relates to the category and am getting organic likes. Not sure if the likes = money, but for now it’s sitting out there organically bringing in traffic. My goal is to keep working on products in that specific niche. I’m not much of a dieter or recipe buff, but I really like this niche and have started to implement some of the strategies to improve myself.
How can I make more money with Kindle?
The best way I have heard of to make money with self publishing is by either writing a TON of books, ie hundreds if not thousands, or by pre-selling, marketing, being a legit author – like James Altucher. Either way, both forms of Kindle publishing take effort and a marketing plan to create revenue.
Only 1 of my kindle books is under my name because it’s about photography – my other passion aside from online marketing. Check it out here: Macro Expressionism
Self-Publishing – Blurb.com
My passion is photography – specifically, macro photography. A couple of years ago I sold some of my photos to an architectural firm in NYC. And, I’ve also sold a few pieces from an online store.
In August I made a magazine featuring my work using the Blurb platform. Because my background is design, it was easy for me to layout a magazine using Adobe Indesign.
My goal is to put together a quarterly magazine featuring my work and the photography of others.
What’s my overarching objective self-publishing with Blurb?
It’s more of a marketing tool for me to share my work with potential buyers and also feature the work of other photographers.
I shared a copy of it with a friend who owns a frame shop, and she want some limited edition prints to sell in her shop. Score! 🙂
Amazon Affiliate Niche Website
This month I had my biggest month ever with Amazon’s affiliate program. I also have had a big increase in traffic to my niche website.
I did not publish any content in August – nothing.
My August total is: $287.72… a new high! It’s almost double what I made in July.
Back in March or April my goal was to make $100 per month by May… I achieved that in June, and since then, my site has almost tripled overnight.
Right now, my Amazon site is on auto-pilot. I am a little scared about this because I want to keep ranking in Google. My goal for September is to publish 1 or 2 posts to keep the vibe alive with Google.
I started my niche website in 2014… and made $.02 with the Amazon Affiliate program in August 2014.
2 years later, I find the the amount of growth (with erratic monthly postings or sometimes no postings at all if I don’t have time) crazy cool. When I started publishing earnings reports 7 months ago, I had an image of coffee cups representing how many cups of coffee I could buy a day with my earnings…. I stopped that graphic a couple of months back… who wants to buy 10 cups of coffee a day??
I’ve officially moved on from coffee to latte’s! I believe my income can get me 3 latte’s daily now… and a lot of extra calories to boot.
I am excited that I’ve hit over $1000 this year with the affiliate program, and it’s only going UP! I keep wondering if anyone would like to buy my site… it’s not a big earner yet, but it has the foundation there for more growth. If you are interested, send me an email 😉
This month I’m adding in my freelance income to this report.
I’ve been doing some photo editing for a company who designs/sells luggage.
I used to work as a bag designer so I have some connections who need support with their product shots.
It’s only 10-15 hours a week, and not every week either. I only worked 4 days this month for the freelance support.
Total Income Blogging & Online Marketing vs. Expenses:
When I add in “everything” I am doing, not just the Amazon affiliate marketing, there is a lot going on.
So, how do I live on only $1400 a month? I am in a relationship and don’t go it alone. 🙂 I am currently in the process of interviewing for jobs that utilize the skills I have learned from doing all this stuff online. Blogging, graphics, social media = a really nice resume.
Now that I’ve recapped my best month ever online… my goal is to share my journey and inspire YOU along the way. Whether you want to become a freelancer, affiliate marketer, start your own business… or try something new like PPC marketing, there are a ton of ways to make money online…
If you want to learn a blogging system and make money from affiliate marketing or even by using Adsense, there are a lot of programs out there to teach you. I recently came across Jon Dykstra’s program and think it’s a good investment if you want to learn how to make money from websites that are niche related and use advertising as the core revenue source. Check out Niche Tycoon for more info. Jon seems like one of those good guys on the web…
See more Blogger Income Reports from these Successful blogging gurus:
**Please note, there are affiliate ads or links in the above post. I recommend products when I find them useful. If you buy a product I may make a commission at no cost to you. This is a full disclosure.