• Home
  • Income Reports
2

January – February 2020 Income Report: Biggest Revenue Ever ๐Ÿค‘, Biggest F***k-Up (Also) Ever ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ, New Team ๐Ÿค—

Howโ€™s the new year been treating you so far?โ˜ƒโœจ

On my side, these first two months were amazing! Not only I hit the highest revenue number since ever – I also updated my team with some great new members! 

Well, amazing except for one thing…

I also paid the biggest amount for a piece of content I had ever had (and hopefully I will have ever to pay) ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ฑ and it was one the biggest mistakes since ever ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Thatโ€™s said…

Welcome to my first bi-monthly income report of 2020!

I am now doing bi-monthly income reports because it saves me time โณ and reduces the amount of identical content in my blog ๐Ÿ’ค

Rather than creating yet another boring IR, I better spend time on writing other posts that are hopefully more interesting than money reports ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

So read my income report #53-54 to find out what happened in January-February 2020.

My biggest f***k-up up to the date ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

So I wanted to hire new writers and I posted a job on Problogger.

The candidates started sending their proposals and rates.

And the thing is that some of them sent a rate per 100 words and some sent a rate per 1 word. It was quite confusing and in order to track the applicants and their rates properly, I made a spreadsheet.

Everything was going wellโ€ฆ

Until something got totally skewed in my mind.

I bet you already guessed, didnโ€™t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I mixed up a 100-word rate with a 1-word rate!โ˜ 

I made a mistake and sent a test article to a writer who was changing per word and her rate was $0.32โ€ฆ. $320 per 100 words! ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Meanwhile, in my mind, her rate was per 100 words. All I was thinking about what a great deal I was getting ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

We exchanged emails, talked about the rate ๐Ÿ˜ฌ, set up the deadlineโ€ฆ

We even had a Skype meeting ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Back then, it surprised me a lot but now I understand why she did it. For her price, I wonder it was only one meeting ๐Ÿ˜…

Then, she sent me the articleโ€ฆ

And thenโ€ฆ She sent me the invoice๐Ÿ’ฅ

๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ฆ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I saw the price and first, I thought it was a mistake.

I kept believing in it for about 2 more minutes ๐Ÿ˜†

Then, my heart finally skipped a bit.

Then, I saw it all! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ˜ต

I saw the rate how it was supposed to be and I laughed for about 30 min ๐Ÿ˜‚

The writer was very transparent and very clear about her rate from the very beginning.

But somehow, I kept not seeing it.

It was purely my mistake and I had nothing else to do but to pay ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

This is how I spent $560+ on an 1700-word articleโ€ฆ

Invoiced by my writer, paid way too much!

And the thing is the article was not even that great ๐Ÿ˜’ 

The writer did not follow the brief properly and the formatting was weird. Even the color of her doc page background was not standard ๐Ÿ™„

My editor also did not like her attitude towards the comment (but I was like – yeah but sheโ€™s cheap! Letโ€™s hire her! ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ)

The moral of the story: Price does not define quality ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

The lesson learned: Verify the price before placing the order ๐Ÿ™„

Team update ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ

Writers

But all well what ends well ๐Ÿ˜…

On Problogger, I managed to find a good writer who is relatively inexpensive and does a great job. 

Also, my last apprentice who I hired in October on Acadia and who finished his apprenticeship at the beginning of January got transformed into a writer!

When I hired him for the apprenticeship, I was very excited. The guy is super intelligent, very hard-working, and happens to love the topic of one of my websites! ๐Ÿค— It was a perfect match made in heaven ๐Ÿคฃ

The apprenticeship passed very quickly. We liked working together and it was a mutual desire to continue working. 

And bingo!

Turned out the guy loves writing and was dreaming of having a freelance writing career ๐ŸŽ‰

And I was in a need of writers ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hired him on the spot ๐Ÿคฉ 

Now, he writes awesome well-researched articles about the topic he loves and I am very happy ๐Ÿค

Virtual assistant

Another position where I wanted to โ€œupdateโ€ in my team was a virtual assistant (VA).

My VA at the time was totally slacking off. She was not giving me enough time and it was hard to communicate with her.

I was quite fed up and decided to find a new VA.

I headed over to onlinejobs.com in a search for a perfect assistant.

I ended up interviewing 17 candidates ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and found one I liked ๐Ÿ‘

Itโ€™s so good to finally work with reliable people ๐Ÿ˜…

HTTPS migration ๐Ÿ”’

I know I knowโ€ฆ

Everybody did the HTTPS switch in 2014 when Google announced:

[…] we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.

Me, 6 years later, finally switching to HTTPS ๐Ÿ˜…

In January, I migrated 3 out of 4 websites – and guess what? It was easier than I was imagining all these years ๐Ÿ˜† 

As a byproduct of the migration, I created a fully functioning staging environment where I now test my websites and work on resolving plugin conflicts without jeopardizing my production websites. 

This was on my TODO list since a while so I managed to kill two ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿฆƒ with one ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ˜›

Website updates ๐ŸŽˆ

To refresh your memory about what the website nicknames mean, read here.

Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website

This website is my prime focus. I keep working on increasing traffic and pumping money into the content ๐Ÿ’ธ

In January-February, I did a huuuuge thing that I had been planning to do for a long time!

Along with migrating the website to HTTPS, I alsoโ€ฆ migrated it to a new domain ๐Ÿ’ฅ

The reason for this drastic move was to better reflect the topics the website is about. Yes, thatโ€™s the price I had to pay eventually due to a domain name being too specific ๐Ÿ˜’ 

After coming up with this idea, I waited for about 6 months because I wanted to do the migration during the low season to minimize the revenue loss.

I thought I would have 6 months but in reality, I had only a short window of 2 months consisted of half of December, January, and half of February ๐Ÿ˜’

The migration happened at the end of January and the organic traffic is still about 15% lower compared to the old domain during the same 5 weeks right before ๐Ÿ˜’. However, due to the seasonality of the traffic, this number should have been not even the same but about 13% higher ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Elephant organic traffic before and after domain migration recent

At the same time, if I compare the organic traffic after the migration with the organic traffic during the same period a year ago, the numbers are actually up by 75% ๐Ÿ˜œ

Elephant organic traffic before and after domain migration 1 year

Clearly, I was not wasting my time during the last year – but I wish I thought of and did the migration back thenโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.. ๐Ÿ˜’

Apart from the migration, I kept pumping new content into the website. It was easy thanks to my new great team! ๐Ÿ’—

Baby ๐Ÿ˜ Website

This website also runs on its own without me doing anything special to it. I did not publish any content except for some guest posts when they came my way.

Itโ€™s a great cash cow running on autopilot ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โœˆ๏ธ ๐Ÿ˜† 

I am having some plans on how to extend itโ€ฆ. Will reveal them in my next income report in 2 months ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐Ÿ€ Website

As of ๐Ÿ€ Website, it is still on hold ๐Ÿ˜’ I decided to focus on two other websites. It seems that a tighter focus has been paying off so far.

I am thinking of selling it the same way I did with my former ๐Ÿ Website and ๐ŸŽ Website.

Got lost in my Elephants, Rats, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean.

LivingOfCloud (this blog)

In this blog, I was moderately active and published just a handful of posts:

๐Ÿ‘‰ LivingOffCloud SEO & Affiliate Marketing News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: January, 2020
๐Ÿ‘‰ My Business Year 2019 In Review: Successes ๐ŸŽ‰ Struggles๐Ÿ˜ฃ And Plans๐Ÿ“
๐Ÿ‘‰ Ezoic Review: How I Increased My Ad Revenue By 3
๐Ÿ‘‰ LivingOffCloud SEO & Affiliate Marketing News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: February 2020

After doing my business year 2019 review, I realized how pivotal for me was switching from Adsense to Ezoic, a better ad publisher platform. Thatโ€™s why I decided to write about it

If you are still thinking of switching to Ezoic, I highly recommend doing it. Itโ€™s just money left on the table (and you can apply via my affiliate link and I will get a small cut).

My peers ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

I get to know more and more fellow niche website masters around me. 

I think only in Montreal I know (virtually) at least 5 people ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜†

Outside of Montreal, I know 2 or 3 more Canadians doing approximately the same things I am doing.
And this is great ๐Ÿค—

We even decided to make an offline meeting! It will happen at the end of March ๐Ÿ‘ Sooooooooo looking forward to it! ๐Ÿคฉ

Personal life ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป

In January and February, not much happened.

I was so consumed by my business that the rest of my life was just a blur. No, it was all great and fulfilling – I met with my friends, went to parties, cooked great food, did a lot of workoutsโ€ฆ

But all my thoughts were about my business ๐Ÿ˜…

BTW speaking of cooking.

I learned how to make bread at home and have already produced 7 loaves. People loved my bread and it made it a great party gift.

Hereโ€™s one of my bread babies (it’s #8, I assign numbers to them ๐Ÿ˜):

One of my bread babies so yummy

And some photos of me, just proof my life is not only about sitting in front of the computer! ๐Ÿ˜…

Stretching with weights:

Staying healthy and not always in front of the computer

In a resto waiting for a girlfriend of mine to have a delightful conversation about โ€œthe ultimate question of life, the universe, and everythingโ€ ๐Ÿคฃ

Meeting up with a friend

I also went to a cryptocurrency meetup, I was super tired but glad I came – they helped me with my crypto wallet ๐Ÿ‘

at a cryptocurrency meetup

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

Revenueโž•

Starting from this income report, I am changing the format of how I will present my revenue. I want to optimize the time I spend on its preparation and keep it informative for you.

The income in January – February was the highest I ever had ๐ŸŽ‰ January was the best month ever ever since I started this business and February was the second-best ๐Ÿ˜

Got lost in my Elephants, Rats, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean.

Let’s look at the income numbers in the details.

All numbers are in USD.

Website Amount
Mother Elephant $1,649.95
Baby Elephant $3,541.27
Rat $6.23
LivingOffCloud $577.62
Other websites $5.28
Total $5,780.35

Hereโ€™s where my income is mostly coming from:

  • Ezoic is great for display ads and I write about in details here
  • Amazon Affiliate
  • Guest posting (yes I do sell guest posts on my websites ๐Ÿ˜ฑ)

January and February were the best months ever in terms of revenue ๐ŸŽ‰ It is even more exciting if you think that this was the end of low season and I have a high season in front of me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Expensesโž–

Starting from this income report, I am changing the format of how I will present my expenses. I want to optimize the time I spend on its preparation and keep it informative for you.

In January – February, the expenses were very high because of my stupid mistake with the writerโ€™s rate ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ and because I invested sh*t loads ๐Ÿ˜ง of money into the content.

I pay for many services on an annual basis. However, in my income reports, I spread these expenses on a per monthly basis as if I were paying for them every month. It should give a better understanding of my expenses each month.

All numbers are in USD.

Expenses minus content

Expense Amount
Tailwind $59.92
Mailshake $33.17
GSuite $23.74
ActiveCampaign $15.30
GeneratePress $5.00
Elementor Pro $6.13
AAWP $10.05
Ad Inserter Pro $2.99
Perfmatters $6.41
SerpRobot $9.98
Other tools $25.98
Hosting $25.98
Domains $9.60
Virtual Assistant $242.00
Digital marketing apprenticeship $0.00
Graphics $0.00
Link building $250.80
Courses $298.50
Misc $139.00
Total $1,164.54

Tailwind (an app for Pinterest and Instagram) has been crucial to growing my revenue. If you wonder how I do Pinterest marketing, go ahead and read my post about it.

I use MailShake for cold email outreach. When you are building white-hat links in an efficient way, itโ€™s a must to use a tool for that (and GSuite to avoid your emails going directly into spam ๐Ÿ˜ฑ).

On the WordPress setup side, I use a premium WP theme GeneratePress since itโ€™s fast and highly configurable.

I also use a few premium WP plugins:

My virtual assistant (VA) is my right hand. My business would simply die if I didn’t have one! My last VA hire is from onlinejobs.com.

Apart from having a VA, once in a while, I get a digital marketing apprentice. I find apprentices at Acadium (former GenM). If you have never heard of this service, read my post about it.

Content

Content is an investment in your business. I decided to track it separately since itโ€™s an important part of future success.

Here, I will give you a break down for each website. Each content expense includes content editing and management.

Website Amount
Mother Elephant Website $2,199.45
Baby Elephant Website $707.53
Rat Website $0.00
LivingOffCloud $0.00
Total $2,906.98

For content, I have in-house writers who I found myself on various platforms including ProBlogger and Upwork.

Also, once in a while, I use the services of a writing agency ContentPit.

Got lost in my Elephants, Rats, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean.

Totals ๐Ÿ’ต

All numbers are in USD.

Here are my totals for January – February 2020.

Total revenue $5,780.35 minus general expenses $1,164.54 minus content expenses $2,906.98 makes a net profit of $1,715.54. This number should be divided by two since it’s for both January and February.

Here is a chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 14 months. I used the 14-month timeline instead of the 12-month one to show you how these months performed compared to the last year (click on the image to enlarge):

Jan-Feb 2020 Revenue, Expenses, and Profit for the last 14 months

Don’t miss a post – subscribe to my newsletters!
I love my subscribers and often send them exclusive content that nobody else sees ๐Ÿค—





Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post 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! ๐Ÿค—

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments