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My Business Is One-Year-Old: Where I Am Now And Where To Next?

First of all, I want to wish Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! Today is a holiday in Canada and we all enjoy a day off. The weather is chilling here, in Montreal, but it does not rain much. The trees are turning red and yellow and it all makes me relish jogging in a park along St-Lawrence river.

As you already know my blog and business got one year old in September 2016. I briefly mentioned it in my September 2016 income report and promised to have a separate post with more details. So here we go.

The Past Year: Projections And Reality

Retrospective: Reviewing Results

Here’s the chart that shows the projected income vs the real one by a website.

Past Year 2015-2016: Projected Income vs Real Income

Projected vs Real Revenue of My Websites in 2015-2016 – click to enlarge

You can see that I planned that the acquired websites (Elephant 🐘 and Horse 🐎 websites) will have a stable revenue that would grow by about 25%. Meanwhile, the websites I am building (Honeybee 🐝 and Rat 🐀 websites) would grow up to $550 a month.

The reality was quite different. Elephant 🐘 and Horse 🐎 websites have been bringing in about $1,100 a month on average (the calculation excludes October 2015 since I bought  Elephant 🐘 Website only at the end of the month.) Meanwhile, the websites I am building are far behind the projected results. In fact, they are gaining only a fraction of what I thought they would get.

Also, I have to say that I planned to spend $20,000 to acquire websites. In reality, I spent only $17,000. The $3,000 difference could have easily resulted in $150-200 increase in the monthly revenue thus overcoming the projections.

Conclusions

This brings me to a bunch of conclusions:

  • The acquired websites followed the projections and even exceeded them.
    I realized that I do not want to leave my investments on their own and not to try to increase ROI. Also, I do not want something like what happened to Jon from AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com happen to me.
    Thus I spent working on the bought sites more time that I thought I would – rather than spending this time on growing the websites I am building.
  • The built websites lagged behind the projections by a lot.
    Young sites take some time to grow. This is especially true if you are a beginner and are finding your way through it for the very first time. It makes it worse if you are like me and do not want to spend too much money. Also if you already have other websites to care of, it will slow you down too.
  • It may make sense to enroll into a paid program that teaches all the ropes and hoops of the niche website business.
    Taking a path, which free, is a possible option; however, it is longer to follow and filled with disappointments.
  • Buying an established website was a super great way for me to start.
    It helps me to keep my motivation up and running. If I did not have my Horse 🐎 Website and Elephant 🐘 Website, I would have probably given up.

So, what’s next?

The Next Year: Plans And Goals

Why am I making plans for as long as 12 months despite knowing that it all may go sideways like it did the past year? Because…

It's much easier to get to somewhere you want to be if you know where it is and what's the path Click To Tweet

Here are my plans:

Working With Existing Assets

I have 4 niche websites and I plan to take a good care of them.

  • Keep increasing earnings from the websites I bought
    • Horse 🐎 Website
      • apply in an affiliate program in its educational niche
      • run more experiments to find out optimal ad layout
      • add more content
    • Elephant 🐘 Website
      • it still has some room to grow (so cool, right?!?!? 😉 ) so I should work on adding more content
      • optimize mobile ads
      • run more experiments to find out optimal ad layout and improve Amazon conversion
      • keep fighting the competition
  • Rat 🐀 Website
    • Turn it into an authority site
      Yeah, I started thinking about becoming an authority! It feels quite rewarding to build a site that is trully helpful to people.
  • Honeybee 🐝 Website
    • Use it to experiment with a PBN
      I want to crack down the PBN secret! :)))
      Well, not exactly the secret since there is nothing mysterious about it. I just want to find out whether it is possible to build an effective PBN without spending hundreds of dollars. And if is it not possible, I want to avoid wasting money and make sure that each dollar I invest in a PBN will have a great ROI.

Keep Educating Myself

I am thinking of maybe joining Authority Hacker PRO, a premium training course by Authority Hacker, in 2017.
This directly relates to my goal of turning Rat 🐀 Website into an authority site.

I realized that while I did learn the overall way of building niche websites, the devil is in the details. There is still a lot to learn in order to improve my websites.

Expanding Business

I have an ambitious goal of spending at most $30,000 on acquiring more niche websites.

It would be buying at least one more established website about twice as big as Elephant 🐘 Website. Or it can be two websites of a similar size.

I do not know if I can stomach this spending, though. It makes me feel uncomfortable just thinking about it! I may wait until my two first acquisitions pay back and only then I would jump off the cliff again. We’ll see.

Plans For Next Year: Jumping Off The Cliff

What About Money? Income Goals

Where would I be in terms of money if I follow my ambitious plans?

Now I know the seasonality of my niches as well as their potential and I hope my predictions will be more accurate than before 🙂 In this chart, I have split the projected income by a website grouping together only the revenue from the sites I will acquire in the future.

Next Year 2016-2017: Projected Income

Projected Revenue of My Websites in 2016-2017 – click to enlarge

In short, here is the summary for each website:

  • Elephant 🐘 Website
    • the revenue should by 15% on average
    • the revenue is seasonal with a peak in summer
    • in summer 2017, its revenue should reach at least $1,500 for at least one month
  • Horse 🐎 Website
    • increase the revenue by 25% on average
    • the revenue is seasonal with peaks at the end of spring (May) and the beginning of fall (September)
    • in September 2017, its revenue should reach at least $300
  • Rat 🐀 Website
    • increase the revenue by 25% on average
    • the revenue is seasonal with a peak in late spring and summer
    • the revenue should double by summer 2017
  • Honeybee 🐝 Website
    • keep experimenting with PBNs
    • hopefully, I will see some success 🙂
    • the niche seems to have no seasonal peaks, which is great – however, it’s the niche that may benefit greatly from shopping rush during holidays and seasonal sales
    • I should start seeing a stable though low (<$50) revenue stream by spring 2017
  • New acquired websites
    • spend at most $30,000 (*shivered*) by March 2017
    • hard to predict what niches they will be in so I just assume they should bring in about $1,200 a month on average
    • want to diversify so I wouldn’t probably buy any more AdSense websites

Better Management

The projection chart also helps me to plan various things:

  • My expenses
    I know where I should get the lowest income flow and it would be wise to not have biggest expenses at the same time
  • Pushing before a website revenue peaks
    If I want to increase a website revenue, it would make sense to push harder in off-peak periods to reap more money during the hot season of the website niche
  • Effective management of my activities in general
    As I mentioned above, it’s better to push with a website when its high season is coming. Consequently, it’s better to pause working on some websites that are at the end of the high season and concentrate on the ones with the upcoming revenue peaks. This should make managing website activities more effective.
  • Preparing psychologically for the low season
    This is very important for keeping the sanity and spirit up, especially if some niches have overlapping low seasons.

Making Full Living Off Cloud

The 18-month deadline I set up in my first post will be due in March 2017. If I buy more established sites as planned in March, I will be able to reach the minimum I need to live off my online income and continue developing the business.

In reality, my total income is bigger than the one I get from the niche websites. I also have Kickfurther and my blog. However, I do not have any plans for these parts of my business.

Kickfurther may eventually die for me. They are now pushing non-US citizens out and I think that one day, I will have to leave the platform, too.

The income I receive from my blog is something I never planned. The blog for me is a way to organize my thoughts and plans and to connect to people. It’s good it brings money, too… but I do not have yet resources to convert it into a permanent revenue stream. It will change one day of course – but for now, I want to concentrate on growing niche websites.

Stay tuned! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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