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September 2016 Income Report: Blog Is 1 Year Old, AdSense Warning, Low Season Started

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 my income report #13 to find out what happened in September 2016.

What Happened In September

Well, I cannot say it was a good month. Frankly speaking, it was quite a bad month especially comparing to the great summer. In September, expenses were high, and this was expected, but the revenue was low – and this was surprising.

But it was not all gloomy, either.

Let’s take a closer look.

My Blog And Business Is 1-Year-Old! Where Do I Stand Now?

I started my blog in September 2015 to describe my experience of making money online – or Living Off Cloud. More precisely, the first post was published on September 14, 2015.

Thus, my blog hence my business is already 1-year-old! Happy anniversary to me!

Results

So, where am I today? How much have I achieved out of the things I planned?

In the very first post of this blog, I laid out some projections about my future revenue.

August 2016: Grow the established websites to increase the revenue by 10%; grow the build websites by 300%; this gives the total of about $1600 / month

Here is the chart I built back then.

Projected Online Income from 2015

So, where am I now?

The established websites I bought have been bringing in more than $1000 per month on average and grew way more than 10%.

The websites I am building are very far away from giving the predicted amount of money, which I thought would be $400-$500 per each. Has not happened (yet)! One of my websites I am building myself is bringing about $50-60 a month on average while the other one brings me $0. It turns out that growing a website from scratch is much harder than bringing an established website to a new revenue level. The competition is stiff for the youngsters. Who knew!

Also, taking an active care of four websites simultaneously is probably not the best idea in the world. A thought that I am have taken on my shoulders too much has started crossing my mind more and more often.

Since doing a full analysis of why and where the reality parted ways with the plan is out of the scope of this report, I will write a detailed post about it. I will analyse the past year and outline the plans for the new year – check back soon.

AdSense Warning And How I Panicked

On September 28, I got a warning from AdSense about my Elephant 🐘 Website 😯

September 2016 Income Report: AdSense Violation Email

That scared the hell out of me.

About a quarter of my income comes from AdSense. If one of my websites gets banned, that would make a major impact on my revenue.

It does not say in the email but I had only 72 hours to fix the problem.

After receiving the warning, I spent two full days on this issue. I watched all the available videos and read all the policies inside out. I updated all my ads – they are now all responsive like never before. I added more content on some pages to make sure the mobile view shows only one ad per screen. I disable ads on some other pages to make sure the ads do not appear on non-content pages. I replaced all the original pictures that came with the website when I bought it with the ones that I am sure to have no copyright infringements.

I think I re-did a significant part of Elephant 🐘 Website, maybe, 25-30% of it. I really panicked here! Pheeewww!

After doing all this, I marked the issue as resolved (it popped up as a warning in my AdSense account, too). AdSense said they may spot-check the website again after the warning is marked as resolved. So far, I have not heard anything from them. Hopefully, they won’t find anything else.

I know there are AdSense alternatives exist out there. Many people like them better than AdSense since their policies are less strict. Still, I do not want to screw any of the monetizing options I have in this life heheheheeee.

If the AdSense policies compliance is something that bothers you, let me know in the comments and I will write a full post about it.

Kickfurther: Do I Have A Future There?

I feel like I am slowly moving away from Kickfurther. I still like the platform very much but there are two trends I do not like:

  1. too many consignment deals are getting into troubles;
  2. it seems like non-US backers are getting pushed out.

The 1st trend is not too worrisome – for me, at least. I understand that businesses may go through less than ideal periods in their lives and it affects the finances. I can stomach some delays.

As of the 2nd trend… now Kickfurther asks me to provide a US address. Which I do not have.  A while ago, I asked them how non-US users can withdraw their money. They said supporting non-US users is a part of their roadmap (long term) and for now, I can request a check to be sent. I guess I need to raise this question again and see what they will tell me this time.

The second trend will be the real reason why I may leave the platform. It’s too bad, I like them quite a lot 🙁

In September, I backed the following consignment deals:

  • Rise ‘N Shine Online with their beauty products
    This is the second time I am backing this business. I also participated in their first offer that was paid off 5 times faster than planned (in 1.5 months rather than 8 months.) Seems like a great business with good products!
  • DooKashi with their pet waste odor eliminator
    Seems like a decent company (it’s their second offer) with a good product.
  • Vaportini with their revolutionary spirit consuming glasses
    It’s their 3d offer and I already participated in one of them. Solid and honest company with solid product.
  • Stojo with their collapsible pocket cups
    Again, it’s their 3d offer and I already participated in one of them. Seems like another no-brainer for me 🙂

Many companies paid during this month and a few of them paid back everything. It is hard to track in Kickfurther who paid off fully when so I am not able to provide you the list.

If you want to try it out yourself, sign up with my referral to get $5 credit to start backing Kickfurther businesses.

Personal Bites And Bits

Got a gift bag from Empire Flippers for my testimonial 🙂

The goody bag contained:

  • the bag itself;
  • a t-shirt;
  • a sticker;
  • a pen;
  • a Thank You card;
  • and something that I really, really needed : a USB key! I lost my old one about a month ago and now I have a new one!

September 2016 Income Report: Empire Flippers gift bag

This is what was written on the card. Thank you, guys 🙂

September 2016 Income Report: Empire Flippers gift bag

Apart from that, September was a bit of stressful month. I injured myself while jogging and had to spend 2 weeks abstaining from sports at all 🙁

The work is busy with demanding work stuff and it seems it will become more demanding in the upcoming months. My work lunches are getting steadily consumed by various work stuff and it means I cannot spend this time working on my business. Oh well.

Expenses

The expenses in September 2016 went a bit through the roof. However, it is not a concern for me.

My business activity finally resumed and it means I am doing more improvements and actions that will result in a revenue increase (eventually hehe). I am trying new tools and they cost money. For example, I am looking at solutions for heat maps and for finding expired domains.

Another reason is my natural yearly billing cycle. Since my business started a year ago, there are some yearly expenses that come in the month of September. For example, I paid a lot of money to BlueHost for hosting.

Expenses
Expense Amount Notes
Outsourced writing $27.74 Paid for some new articles for niche websites
Outsourced VA $0.00 Did not outsource any work to a VA – I tried but my VA did not reply to my message so I finally terminated my contract with her
E-marketing and tools $231.00 Paid for Majestic, DomCop.com (a tool to search expired domains), LuckyOrange (a heat map / stats solution)
Regular hosting $155.58 Renewed my blog and niche website hosting, yeah….
PBN domain registration $65.76 Register a few new domains for PBN
PBN hosting $34.11 Paid for Easy Blog Networks, an awesome solution for PBNs (read my review to find out what it is) and $1 hostings
Donations $10.00 Donated some money to LibreOffice, which I use literally every day
KickFurther $295.96 Re-invested the paybacks received before
Misc $22.73 Paid for shipping of a non-functional power supply unit back to manufacturer
Total $843.18

Income

My September income sucks!

Elephant 🐘 Website was badly hit by the end of its niche season. People just stopped being interested in the niche and both the traffic and ad clicking dropped. In addition, I had to update all the ad blocks to comply with AdSense policies and such updates always lead to lower revenue. Each time a new ad block is created and posted, AdSense needs some time to adjust and start serving ads to it.

Meanwhile, Horse 🐎 Website had quite a bump in its revenue – I assume due to the fact that fall is a high season for educational niches. Since a while, I have stopped presenting AdSense revenue individually for each of my websites. Instead, I combine them together and show the total number. I started doing it to avoid accidentally breaking AdSense policies. The policies forbid sharing exact ad revenue numbers for keywords/niches. I do not share the exact niche of Horse 🐎 Website, of course, but I do mention it is an educational one. Maybe, it is already enough to score a violation from AdSense’s point of view. Who knows. So yeah, just believe me that its revenue was good 🙂 It was actually the best month for Horse 🐎 Website!

Rat 🐀 Website revenue was so-so. Fall is also the end of its niche season.

(Read here to find out what website nicknames mean.)

On top of that, KickFurther investments have paid back a bit – as usual 🙂

Income
Income Amount Notes
Amazon by Elephant Website $226.99 Revenue from the 1st website I bought
AdSense by Elephant & Horse Websites $697.76 Revenue from the 1st & 2nd websites I bought
Amazon by Rat Website $40.57 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
Amazon by Honeybee Website $0.00 Revenue from the website I am building myself
ClickBank $58.23 Referral and new sales for Easy Blog Networks – read my Easy Blog Networks review
KickFurther $169.58 Online investments paid back; read more in my post about Kickfurther
HPD Affiliate $9.80 Affiliate income from Human Proof Designs
Interest $1.66 Stashed extra money from fat summer months on a high earning saving account and earned interest
Total $1,204.59

Totals

Here are my totals for September 2016.

Total income $1,204.59 minus total expenses $843.18 makes a net profit of $361.41

The net profit makes September pretty much the worst month of the year. In terms of revenue, it is the second worse month after February.

Here is the chart with my revenue vs expenses. It does not include my big investments I made in October 2015 when I bought Elephant 🐘 Website, November 2015, when I bought Horse 🐎 Website, and in June when I bought some cryptocurrency.

Starting from this month, I will show my income history for the last 12 months.

september 2016 income report chart

October Plans

So, what are my plans for the next month? I have many of them!

I plan to continue working on increasing conversion on Rat 🐀 Website. I need to put its good traffic to work!

I plan to continue working on Honeybee 🐝 Website. This includes improving the PBN. I am currently exploring various options on how I can optimize my PBN building and I will write about them in a separate post.

I will continue becoming an analytics freak as I planned in August. More experiments, more data – more good decisions, more money! 🙂

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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