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April 2018 Income Report: 2nd Best Revenue Month in Last 2 Years, Rescuing Horse 🐎 Website, MailShake “Bug”

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 πŸ“’ β“ I hope to gain trustworthiness with you and to keep some degree of accountability for myself.

The reports also motivate me.

I tend to forget my small achievements… and posts like this one won’t let me do it πŸ™‚ Apart from that, they help me to remember how much I have already invested. It’s a motivation to push even harder πŸ’¦πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

Read my income report #32 3️⃣2️⃣ to find out what happened in April 2018.

What happened in April πŸ‘

April was a good month with a great revenue.  My websites got a push from spring and showed great results. The result was that…

Second best revenue in 24 months πŸŽ‰

…that April 2018 became the second-best month for the last 2 years in terms of net revenue! Only May 2016 was better.

YayπŸŽ‰ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰  This happened thanks to the high season for all my Elephant 🐘 Website family and all other websites also produced some revenue. I will break a bit the usual structure of my post and present the 24-month revenue chart here:

April 2018 Income Report totals chart 24 months

Yes, in terms of the profit, April 2018 was not the best month. It is very important for me to grow my net revenue and not just profit. Why? Because I need to see what’s working and what not… and then, I can optimize my expenses to increase the profit (and I am very good at it πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ .)

Horse 🐎 Website revival

Horse 🐎 Website revival was supposed to be my focus #2 in April. And it was! πŸ‘

Got lost in my elephants, horses, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean πŸ€πŸ˜πŸŽ 🐝

What I have done so far since the beginning:

πŸ‘ improved the overall site look and bounce rate by adding a top menu and a sidebar
πŸ‘ got a few backlinks from forums and directories
πŸ‘ added AdSense ads and Amazon native ads to the sidebar

As you can see, it’s not much… I also research the backlinks of my competitors and found tons of black hat ones 🎩 that were placed as a result of hack attacks on some other websites.

In April, I was planning to finally email the owners of these sites to tell them about the bad links… however, by that time, the links were already discovered and removed. I even did not have to do anything. In total, the black hat competitors lost about 17 links πŸŽ© πŸ€Ί

All these actions (of mine and other webmasters’) resulted in the traffic growth on the website. The revenue followed it and it was quite a delight to see it.  You can check it out in the Income section; I decided to again post the AdSense revenues per site and not in one lump sum as before.

April_2018_Income_Report_horse_traffic_April_compared_to_March

Also, April brought in the first Amazon Affiliate sale from the website from the Amazon native ads I placed there.

Apart from that, I was working hard on creating the content plan and preparing article briefs for a writer. By the end of April, I got 6 briefs ready to be taken on and 5 more ideas with keywords that are ready to be turned into briefs. One of the briefs also became a test article and it allowed me to start interviewing writers (spoiler alert: I hired a writer βœ at the beginning of May.)

I can use everything I learned so far while growing Elephant 🐘 Website and my business is getting more and more scale-able.

MailShake unsubscribe “bug” πŸ›

In April, I continued pushing guest posting for Elephant 🐘 Website. I use MailShake for the guest post email outreach πŸ“§

Before I move on with my story, I would like to talk a bit about MailShake in the case you do not know what it is.

MailShake is a cold email outreach tool that sends emails to email addresses that you never contacted before (and who did not give you the permission to contact them beforehand) and then tracks email link clicks, email opens, and responses.

In addition, it provides a convenient way for the recipients to remove themselves from your outreach list by supplying a one-click unsubscribe link. You can insert the link into your email signature for easy access. Without the unsubscribe mechanism, the recipients who are annoyed with your emails can easily mark you as spam and it would be baaaad πŸ˜° πŸ˜° πŸ˜°

April_2018_Income_Report_mailShake 1

image credit MailShake

MailShake also tracks responses to your cold emails.

Each such response is classified as a lead. The leads are shown in a separate section that makes it convenient to track further interactions including opening events and, also, unsubscribes. When you are working with a lead (negotiating, for example), the lead is open. Once you get what you want from the lead, you close it and mark it as a win πŸ™‚ If the lead stopped interacting with you and/or unsubscribed, it is considered to be lost πŸ˜ž

April 2018 Income Report MailShake 2

image credit MailShake

Ok, now the story!

In my email signature, I use the one-click unsubscribe link since it seems to be so convenient to use. Right? Right. However, it can be a source of problems as it happened to me.

A while ago, I needed to send a follow-up to one lead, which was pretty warm and already willing to take in my guest post. So I did. The next day, I casually checked on my open leads… and noticed that the lead I followed up on the day before, unsubscribed from my emails after I sent the follow-up. What a bummer. Clearly, they got the email and decided they do not want to do business with me. Sad πŸ˜’ πŸ˜’ πŸ˜’

Later, I was working with another lead. I again sent them a follow-up email… and received a positive and reassuring reply pretty quickly, the same day. To my big surprise, when I was checking on my leads in MailShake, I saw that before sending me the reply, the lead got unsubscribed from my emails!

And pretty much the same time, I got a positive reply from the first lead I considered to be lost!

That made no sense… I realized that MailSahke may have a bug πŸ› in tracking unsubscribe events.

So, I wrote to their support. The support replied quickly; however, they refused to admit it was a bug. Instead, they offered a different explanation:

I’ve checked this out extensively and from our end it’s clear that those unsubscribe links were indeed visited for the recipients […] As people are reading emails, some email apps may actually pre-visit links invisibly in order to have them ready for fast viewing when the person actually clicks on them. Think about news articles that can take a while to load — if an email app was able to load that news article before you even clicked it, then it would load much faster when you actually did […].

So, according to the MailShake support, it happens very rarely and it’s the “fault” of the email apps. In order to fix it, they suggested to do the following:

I would recommend that you remove the unsubscribe link from your signature and instead say something like “Don’t want to hear from me? Reply with the word unsubscribe.”

Now, I do not know how many people from my lists really unsubscribed and how many “unsubscribed” because of their email apps. But indeed, the cases when someone unsubscribes and then replies to the email have happened very rarely.

I have not yet removed the one-click unsubscribe link from my signature. I guess I will do it eventually πŸ€”

LivingOffCloud blog πŸ““

In April, I worked on my LivingOffcloud (LOC) blog and published a post about QuadrigaCX verification: QuadrigaCX Verification Process in Canada: My Experience πŸ‘©β€. I have not written an article about CoinSwitch and I guess I will do it in May.

I do not know if you guys noticed but at some point, my blog stopped working πŸ›‘ The main URL was showing the posts list but once I clicked to go into a blog post, I got a white page with a plugin error message on top of it πŸ˜³

Turns out that one of the plugins got broken and I could not even login into wp-admin. I had to go to the File Manager on the hosting and delete the plugin files manually. It’s not the first time I am doing it on my blogs but it is never a pleasant experience πŸ˜’

My traffic was affected by the error for at least a week. Now, it’s back up.

April_2018_Income_Report_LOC_traffic_April

Personal life πŸ‘©

In April, we again almost did not enjoy a spring-like weather. Winter was stubborn to leave and it was again snowing β„❄❄ and rain-freezing. And it was again pretty! And slippery.

april 2018 income report 10 freezing rain

When it was not snowing, I did some cycling, finally!

april 2018 income report 5 first bixi ride

At my day job, April was quite a stressful month πŸ™

Don’t’ take me wrong, my day job is nowhere close to a walk in the park… πŸ˜’ but in April, it was particularly tough πŸ™ Because of that, I felt I was not as productive as I could have been in my second job. I tried to cheer up myself with photos – usually, it is one of the best remedies for me! So I went ahead and organized a mini photo shoot of me eating ice cream πŸ¦ on the snow (we had a snow patch left on a slope of a nearby hill.) Sam was the photographer πŸ“Έ It was fun!

april 2018 income report 20 icecream on the snow

Sam and I also took advantage of some rare warm days at the end of the month and had fun in Montreal downtown with musical swings. Each of the swings plays their own musical notes with every movement and if multiple people use them simultaneously, it creates a simple melody πŸŽΆ

april 2018 income report 30 swings in downtown

 

Ok, now let’s go back to the business!

Expensesβž–

In April, I again had regular high expenses. My VA was working hard and my expensive writer is a fast deliverer. I also bought an AppSumo deal with 100 photos from DepositPhotos and paid for 1 guest post.

Expenses
Expense Amount Notes
Outsourced writing $137.08 Ordered new articles
Outsourced work $205.52 Paid a VA for doing some stuff
Outsourced images $0.00 Ordered zero image designs on Fiverr
E-marketing tools $50.05 Paid for SERP tracking, MailShake, a cheap access to AhRef tool, MailShake, etc
PBN domain registration $0.00 Did not renew or buy any PBN domains
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)
Hosting $0.00 Did not pay anything for regular hosting
Domain registration $0.00 No domain renewals
Guest posting $27.00 Paid for 1 guest post
Photos $49.00 Paid for an AppSumo deal for a DepositPhoto pack of 100 images
KickFurther $0.00 No activity on the platform
Total $511.54

Incomeβž•

The income in April grew a lot compared to March. The high season for Elephant πŸ˜ Website and its family has started.

Horse 🐎 Website revenue is getting back on track. I added some Amazon Affiliate native ads to it and in April, the first sale happened. Even Honeybee 🐝 Website, which I gave up on a while ago, brought in one sale!

Each and every one of my websites managed to make some money this month.

Got lost in my elephants, horses, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean πŸ€πŸ˜πŸŽ 🐝

And I guess this was the reason why April 2018 became, in fact, the second-best month in net revenue during the last 2 years! Only May 2016 was better.

This is very cool because, in May 2016 (and in 2016 in general), I had a very vague idea of what I should be doing and how I should grow my websites… meanwhile this year, I put a lot of efforts into all of this and my results show that my efforts payback! Woo-hoo!  Also, my work now is scale-able and it means I can grow horizontally as I have always been planning to.

As mentioned above, I decided to split my AdSense income per website. Now you can see how much each of them bring in ads.

Income
Income Amount Notes
AdSense by Elephant Websites $245.57 Revenue from the 1st websites I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)
Amazon by Elephant Website $1,174.00 Revenue from the 1st website I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)
AdSense by Horse Websites $178.28 Revenue from the 2nd websites I bought
Amazon by Horse Websites $0.31 Revenue from the 2nd websites I bought
Amazon by Rat Website $41.09 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 $3.04 I monetize Rat Website through media.net
Amazon by Honeybee Website $4.50 Revenue from the website I am building myself with a PBN
Ads by the blog $4.98 I monetize my LOC blog with AdSense (apart from affiliate links)
ClickBank $$77.97 Recurring and new affiliate sales for Easy Blog Networks, a solution for PBN hosting
Bulk BuyHosting $36.40 Recurring and new affiliate sales for Buy Bulk Hosting, another solution for PBN hosting
Kickfurther $4.90 Online investments paid back; read more in my post about Kickfurther
Interest $0.50 Interest earned on a saving account
Total $1,771.54

TotalsπŸ“Š

Here are my totals for April 2018.

Total income $1,771.54 minus total expenses $511.54 makes a net profit of $1,260.00.

Here is the chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 13 months. I changed the chart timeline from 12 months to 13 in order to show you how the current month performed compared to the last year.

April 2018 Income Report totals chart

And here’s the chart for the last 24 months that shows that April 2018 is the second best month in terms of net revenue (not profit) during that period πŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œ Only May 2016 was better.

April 2018 Income Report totals chart 24 months

May 2018 PlansπŸ“…

In May 2018, guest posting ✍  for Elephant 🐘 Website will again be my focus #1.

Rescuing Horse 🐎 Website will be again the focus #2. At the beginning of May, I hired a writer, so the rescue operation should go even better from now on πŸ™ I may even hire a second VA to work on the website; we shall see.

I also plan to continue writing on the blog. After publishing a post about  QuadrigaCX verification, I am still planning to write about my experience CoinSwitch!

Since I am not sure about my posting schedule… you should stay tuned by subscribing to my emails!

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