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March 2017 Income Report: Mistake In Income Reports, Fred 👮 Update, Elephant 🐘 Website Family

In this blog, I write about what I am doing to create various income streams that come from online endeavors. The monthly income reports detail my results.

Why am I sharing my income publicly? I hope to gain trustworthiness with you and to keep some degree of accountability for myself.

The reports motivate me. I tend to forget my small achievements… and reports like this one won’t let me do it 🙂 Apart from that, they help me to remember how much I have already invested. It’s a motivation to push even harder!

Read on March 2017 Income Report, which is my income report #19.

What Happened In March

Mistake In Income Reports

While preparing this report, I noticed that I made a mistake in my calculation spreadsheet. Turns out that for the last several months, I was not including the AdSense revenue for Elephant 🐘 Website into my total income! It made my overall revenue number smaller by $200 – and sometimes even more than that.

I went to the old income reports and re-calculated the numbers. While the income breakdowns were captured correctly, the totals were indeed off.

The mistake got introduced in November 2016 and in all the next months up to today, the totals were under-reported. Such a stupid mistake! I do not like making mistakes that simply a result of an overlook 🙁

On the bright side, the actual revenue was higher. it means I did not lie to you about my “big” income numbers. On the other side, my reports are published in a few income roundup posts (the most famous one is by Mathew Woodward.) The total income number determines the position on the list. Theoretically, the blogs on the top of the list should get a better visibility in the roundup post and thus a better traffic. But regardless of the “rank,” I do notice when my blog appears in these reports – the stats jump right away. I guess the position is more of a vanity metric and does not affect anything.

On an even brighter side, finding the mistake was good for my morale and self-esteem. I, like you, always look at my totals. Getting them bumped up by $200 was nice 🙂 After all, I am not anymore a total loser with a dropping revenue!

I will keep the old posts as is without changing their numbers. I have just updated the total chart you see in the Totals section.

march 2017 income report selfie

Washroom selfie on March 8 while attending a meetup about gender inequality at work held by a friend of mine

Google’s Fred 👮 Algo Update

As you probably already know, Google made an update to the ranking algorithm in the beginning of March. While it was not an official release, SEOs noticed it and dubbed the changes “Fred.” You can read more about Fred update in a post by theSemPost.com.

While many reported drops in ranking, my websites did not drop. Elephant 🐘 Website and Rat 🐀 Website were already hit by the last Penguin 🐧 update while Horse 🐎 Website seems to be invisible (knocking on wood.)

What was affected is Honeybee 🐝 Website, the one I am ranking with a PBN. Ironically, its ranking only went up! Here is a chart from SEMRush where I track 10 low competition keywords for this website. On the downside, it has not yet affected earnings I get from it (currently a total round zero.)

March 2017 income report : Fred and Honey Bee website

Elephant 🐘 Website Family

Soooooooooooo, the elephants.

I already told you that I started battling the competition Elephant 🐘 Website got in the end of the last year by creating a new website in the same niche. I did not give it a name because it was not bringing in any money… until this March when it made the first Amazon sales and got about $14 🙂

I am super excited to see these sales! The site has a minuscule traffic, literally 3-4 visitors a day on average and I was skeptical that any of these guys would buy anything. However, the niche has such a big buying intent that even a teensy traffic converts.

So, the Elephant 🐘 brother is making money… should I give it a name and a separate record in the income table?.. No. I decided against it.

It is more convenient to track websites per a niche than individually.

Also, that’s not all.

When I bought Elephant 🐘 Website, it came with a small appendage. The appendage was a separate one-page website that the previous owner used for experiments in a sub-niche of the main niche. I never mentioned it in my blog because I never paid any attention to it. The traffic is tiny (though higher than on the Elephant 🐘 brother) and the site has been just sitting still without any monetization.

In the middle of March, I decided to put Adsense on it. In two weeks, it brought me about $6 💰 Yeah it is not a world-shaking amount… but still, it’s $12 a month for nothing. I can buy myself an extra lunch 🙂

So from now on, I will be tracking 3 websites under an already familiar to you umbrella name: Elephant 🐘 Website. It will be a little Elephant 🐘 family of mine 🤗

Working With VAs

In February and the beginning of March, I was working with two VAs. One – let’s call him Ted –  has been with me since the beginning of the year and another one – let’s call him Alfred – just started working after he sent me an email offering his services.

By that time, I got a bit tired of Ted. He had a particular attitude and refused to do a couple of tasks. He was also quite slow. When I mentioned it to him, he promised he would improve.

The other one, Alfred, was eager to listen and work – and asked for less money. He had less experience (I was his second client) and really wanted to make an impact.

So, I gave work to Alfred while keeping Ted on a backburner by having his contract paused. Eventually, Ted became very insisting on resuming work. I still could not decide what to do with him (keep or let go?) so I resumed the contract.

I gave him a task of collecting the PBN email accounts under one proxy account. There were maybe 12 emails and I also provided very detailed instructions.

I was online with him while he was doing the work in case he had questions. It allowed me to measure precisely how much time he spent on it. Well… It took him 50 min to do the task! 50 minutes!!! I re-did his work just for fun (and to measure the time, of course) and it took me 9 min to finish it all. 50 min versus 9 min. What do u think?

No way I was going to keep him any time longer. I canceled his contract right away. And I regretted I had not done it before.

I am getting more and more experienced with VAs and having less and less trust for them. With Alfred, I spend the first 4 weeks babysitting him while measuring his speed and the quality or work. No way I would allow him to “roar wild” before I gain any trust.

Never let a new VA work unsupervised in the beginning. Even if they seem to have a lot of experience. Even if they did tests and interview perfectly well. Even if you gave very detailed instructions. You never know what kind of person they are and in what kind of environment they work. Otherwise, you may waste quite some money. Your business and wallet will thank you for staying alerted 😉

Now I am again down to one VA.

PBN Maintenance

PBN maintenance is no fun 🙁 I feel like I often lose the battle.

For example, in March, I lost one of the domains. The reason was simple – I missed the domain renewal date and did not pay for it in time. I woke up one month later and the domain was already gone.

I discovered it thanks to Easy Blog Networks, a solution to manage PBN blogs.

While checking some other blog, I noticed on the dashboard that the health of some other domain dropped to zero. It looked weird and I tried to open the blog to understand why. I could not log in… after checking the email, I knew the reason.

After making the discovery, I went through my other domains and found out that:

  1. one more domain expired but was not yet gone;
  2. another one got offline due to the hosting suspended because of a missed payment.

I clearly have to come up with better notification alerts! To improve it, I redirected all PBN email addresses to one proxy email where I can keep an eye on all warnings.

You may be wondering why I do not have my domains on auto-renew since it would eliminate all these problems.

Well, maybe, I should… At the moment, I follow a scheme of minimizing the amount of money paid for PBN blogs. If a blog is no longer good in terms of the metrics (happened to me a few times) or gets deindexed (so far, never happened), I know that the domain or its hosting (for the ones that are on individuals hosting plans) won’t get renewed and I won’t waste money.

Maybe, it is not the best approach for me since it provides more troubles than benefits for me…

Guest posting

As you know, I am building the backlinks for Elephant 🐘 Website by doing guest posting.

So far, it goes super slow. It takes at least 3-4 weeks on average from a pitch to a published article.

I managed to get only 2 links so far, one in February and another one in March. The third link is in the process of closing, just waiting for the blog owner to finally review my post.

I wonder what’s your experience with it guys? Do you see a faster turn around?

Blog Update

As planned, I created a page with the tools I use and recommend. The list turned out to be rather big – and I have remembered a few more I did not add. I may add them later. Let me know what you think about the list as well as whether you have any recommendations.

You can find the list here.

Expenses

In March, I worked with many freelance writers and two VAs. I did not do anything crazy productive so my expenses were kept relatively low.

I also switched from GoDaddy to Namecheap for a domain registrar for my regular (not PBN) domains. It is crazy how much GoDaddy charges after the 1st year! Twice or even more as much as Namecheap does! I prepared a comparison table showing how much money Namecheap can save on domain registration – see it on My Tools page.

Expenses
Expense Amount Notes
Outsourced writing $55.49 Ordered new articles
Outsourced VA $47.52 Worked with 2 VAs
E-marketing tools $50.95 Paid for stock photos, cheap access to AhRef tool and proxies for Domain Hunter Gatherer
PBN domain registration $10.28 Some PBN domains got renewed
PBN hosting $42.90 Paid for Easy Blog Networks, an awesome solution for PBNs (read my review) and Bulk Buy Hosting (here's my review)
Domain registration $39.73 Renewed some of my non-PBN domains
KickFurther $0.00 Did not re-invested anything
Total $246.87

Income

Elephant 🐘 Website and its relatives (see above what it means) have entered the high season and it has improved the income number. Horse 🐎 Website is also doing pretty well despite the fact it is not its high season yet (it will be in May.) Read here to find out what website nicknames mean.

New Amazon rates affected my income very positively. Elephant 🐘 Website is one fire with Amazon conversions and I get even more money than before!

I am glad to see that my income again got 4 digits in the number 🙂

Income
Income Amount Notes
Amazon by Elephant Website $456.66 Revenue from the 1st website I bought
AdSense by Elephant & Horse Websites $458.93 Revenue from the 1st & 2nd websites I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)
Amazon by Rat Website $22.37 Revenue from the website built by Human Proof Designs; check their website to see if you can get a ready made niche website for yourself
Ads by Rat Website $0.58 I have started monetizing Rat Website through media.net
Amazon by Honeybee Website $0.00 Revenue from the website I am building myself with a PBN
ClickBank $50.31 Recurring and new sales for Easy Blog Networks and Ultimate Azon theme for WordPress
Bulk BuyHosting $37.88 New sales for Buy Bulk Hosting, a solution for PBN hosting
KickFurther $29.98 Online investments paid back; read more in my post about Kickfurther
Interest $3.28 Stashed extra money from fat summer months on a high earning saving account and earned interest
Total $1,059.99

Totals

Here are my totals for March 2017.

Total income $1,059.99 minus total expenses $246.87 makes a net profit of $813.12.

As I mentioned above, I found out that I made a mistake in my income calculation spreadsheet. Starting from November 2016, I was not including the AdSense revenue for Elephant 🐘 Website into my final income number. Hae making such stupid mistakes… but at least, the actual numbers are higher and not lower!

Here is the updated chart with the properly calculated revenue vs expenses. The chart does not include a big investment I made in June 2016 when I bought some cryptocurrency. The chart shows my income history for the last 12 months.

march 2017 income report chart

April 2017 Plans

My plans are very simple.

It seems to me that in April, I will keep pushing Elephant 🐘 Website and its family. I do not want its revenue to drop again. I need to do more guest posts and write more articles. Once it is secured, I will switch to Rat 🐀 Website and will try to recover it from Penguin 🐧 update.

Also, I need to submit my taxes by the end of April. I have started preparing the info for my accountant and I just need to finish it.

And of course, I will try to write about my experience in the blog! Since I am not sure when I will post the next post… stay tuned by subscribing to my emails!

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Disclaimer

Some of the links in this income report are affiliate links. I will receive a small fee if you choose to buy after clicking on any of these links. Thank you if you do!

 

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