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September โ€“ October 2020 Income Report: My Team Expanded๐Ÿ‘ฌ, New Challenges ๐Ÿ˜…, Website Updates๐Ÿ“ˆ

In September-October, the world kinda got back to normal while waiting for the important date: November 3 when the US elections were held โŽ

Amazon ran its Prime Day in October that smoothly shifted into Holiday Dash that will probably transform into Black Friday just as smoothly ๐Ÿ˜

How did you do during this period? My September was so-so but October was good ๐Ÿ‘

Thatโ€™s saidโ€ฆ

Welcome to my fifth 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 #61-62 to find out what happened in September-October 2020.

Moved to a new hosting ๐ŸŽ‰

In September, I moved to a new hosting on CloudWays ๐Ÿ‘ I like CloudWays because of the control it gives over the hosting machines. 

Thanks to that, I was able to find problems with the speed of my Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website and fix it. What I did was so-called de-Thrivizing. It is a process removing the ThriveArchitect formatting plugin and converting the posts to Gutenberg (the default WP editor).

Meanwhile, with CloudWays, my hosting expenses have increased by about a few hundred dollarsโ€ฆ ๐Ÿคฃ JK, it has gone up by approximately 3.5 times. I think that itโ€™s a very fair price for the speed and convenience ๐Ÿ‘

I plan to write a CloudWays review soon so stay tuned! โœ…

Sold my ๐Ÿ€ Website

In October, I sold my ๐Ÿ€ Website ๐ŸŽ‰ Now, I am have โ€œonlyโ€ five niche websites ๐Ÿ˜… 

The sale was done on Flippa, an Ebay-like platform for trading digital assets. I went with an auction and that allowed me to get a whopping $2,700 for a website that was making from -$10 to $15 a month ๐Ÿ˜œ

You can read all about the sale in my post.

Aaand right after I sold ๐Ÿ€ Website, my hosting on BlueHost expired ๐Ÿ˜… The sale was timed just right ๐Ÿ˜…โณ

Kinda did Prime Day ๐Ÿ˜’

Did you do anything for Prime Day that was held by Amazon on October 13-14?

At first, I did not want to do anythingโ€ฆ After Amazon cuth the affiliate rates, itโ€™s become much less interesting to play this game ๐Ÿฅฑ

However, on Prime Day itself, I saw that my site was making sales from the Deals pages that had nothing to do with Prime Day ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

So on the October 13 afternoon, I jumped on the bandwagon and spent two hours on putting up a landing page and setting up a pop-up directing to that page ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’ชโš’

Such a great planning and a total lack of impulsiveness ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿคฃ

What do you think โ€“ how much did I make as a result of my efforts? ๐Ÿค”

It brought me one sale. One! And that sale even never got completedโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜ญ so, the next year (if nothing changes) I will definitely be not playing this game again ๐Ÿ˜ค

Invested into my education๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“

In October, I bought an Instagram course ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜’

I am addicted to Instagram and I see that people who I follow make so much money thereโ€ฆ So I decided to invest a part of my September revenue into investigating this sales channel.

The course was interactive meaning that in addition to the written material, I also had a coach who was verifying my homework. Because of that, the course had a start, an end, and a schedule.

After the course finished, I understood one important thing: Instagram requires a lot of work โ˜น I repeat for you Nadya: Instagram requires a lot of work!

Moreover, this work cannot be automated ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ it can only be outsourced to another human ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Still, all this knowledge did not stop me from trying ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

I am obsessed with Instagramโ€ฆ We shall see for how long I manage to survive it before burning outโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Started preparing for Black Friday

I have started preparing for the biggest shopping event of the year early.

Very early.

In September! ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿคฃ

I created a few landing pages in advance so that they had a chance to rank properly.

Then, I have started collecting emails with promises to send exclusive Black Friday deals. This time, I decided to try to run email marketing based on the Authority Hacker Pro course

I have also run a few experiments to increase my CTR rate for affiliate products. Based on the results, I made some adjustments. I will soon write a post about these adjustments โ€“ stay tuned ๐ŸŽต

How are you preparing for Black Friday?

BTW, if you are not familiar with Authority Hacker Pro, check out my review.

Website updates ๐ŸŽˆ

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

Unicorn ๐Ÿฆ„ Website

This is the site I bought in April. It is the biggest website in my fleet as well as the most expensive among the sites I have ever bought ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜…

Given that, no wonder it is my prime focus. I have been actively improving it trying to increase revenue.

For this site, I am investing a lot of time and resources into producing high quality content like videos ๐ŸŽฅ and images ๐Ÿ–ผ

The images are getting created for Instagram slides. After I took the Instagram course, I decided to try it out with this website โ€“ it can definitely appreciate having a new sales channel ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Mother ๐Ÿ˜ Website

This website has now become my second focus. I keep working on increasing traffic and pumping money into the content ๐Ÿ’ธ

In September, the website got moved to a new hosting with CloudWays โ˜

As I mentioned earlier, thanks to that, I was able to find and fix problems with the website speed

What I did was so-called de-Thrivizing. It is a process of removing the ThriveArchitect formatting plugin and converting the posts that used it to Gutenberg (the default WP editor).

Apart from that, I intensively worked on internal SEO such as removing thin and irrelevant content, internal lining, experimenting with caching plugins, etc.

Thanks to that, the organic traffic in October grew by 22% compared to September ๐Ÿค—

Mother elephant organic traffic Oct 2020 vs Sep 2020

The bounce rate, which has been my pain since a long time, also jumped down ๐Ÿ˜‹

Mother elephant bounce rate Oct 2020

I have also kept working on restoring the Pinterest traffic. It is growing but not as fast as I would like to ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Mother elephant Pinterest traffic Oct 2020 vs Sep 2020

Baby ๐Ÿ˜ Website

Despite its name (Baby ๐Ÿ‘ถ), this site has been a mature adult that brings a steady hefty paycheck every month without any babysitting ๐Ÿ‘ (not like some other horn-owning sites ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜†)

In September โ€“ October, it did Ok. Given that its main income comes from ads and ad rates were not doing super well, its income is a bit down ๐Ÿ˜”

Baby ๐Ÿ˜ Website 2

Meanwhile, I got yet another Baby ๐Ÿ˜ Website ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚

It is in the same niche as the first Baby ๐Ÿ˜ Website but with a narrower focus. I pumped some money into its content using the same strategy as for its sibling (a convenient way to scale!)

It has been growing a bit but its income is still very small.

In September, I added it to Ezoic and The Baby ๐Ÿ‘ถ #2 made its first steps in the world of ads ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‚

If you do not know what Ezoic is, read my post about it.

LivingOfCloud (this blog)

In this blog, I have not been not very active. All my focus has been on my niche websites ๐Ÿ™„ However, I hope that thanks to the things I am doing, I will have more material than ever for this blog! I only need time to write it ๐Ÿ˜†

This is what I posted here:

๐Ÿ‘‰ September 2020 News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: Whatโ€™s New In SEO & Affiliate Marketing
๐Ÿ‘‰ 9 Of The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Review: Give Your Site A Great Home ๐Ÿก
๐Ÿ‘‰  Selling Websites on Flippa: How I Made A Mind-Blowing Sale ๐Ÿคฏ (๐Ÿ€ Website Is Sold)
๐Ÿ‘‰  October 2020 News Roundup๐Ÿ“ฐ: Whatโ€™s New In SEO & Affiliate Marketing

Other websites

Whatโ€™s included in this part are the sites that are currently either on hold or at the very beginning of the growth, or the ones that have just been acquired.

It makes no sense to write about them every month so I wonโ€™t! ๐Ÿ˜›


Got lost in my Elephants ๐Ÿ˜, Rats ๐Ÿ€, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean

Personal life ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป

Ah? Personal life? What personal life? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคฃ

In September-October, I was again working hard non-stop ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Especially in October since I started preparing for the Black Friday period.

In October, Quebec (the Canadian province where I live) got shut down for a semi-quarantine. Because of that, all my socializing was happening online (and I managed to work during the online parties ๐Ÿ˜ฒ)

Meanwhile, nature was incredibly generous for good weather ๐Ÿค— It gave us quite a few sunny warm days in September and October ๐ŸŒž

Before Quebec went into the second COVID lock-down, we jumped on the opportunity to be yet  allowed to visit public places and went for apple picking ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ

Apart from apples, we also picked up some pears ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜‹

pear picking

And took photos of rural houses of Quebec.

rural house

Despite being busy, I keep working out religiously because it gives me so much needed rest and stress relief. Hereโ€™s my selfie after running 10 km ๐Ÿ˜ 

Running Selfie

Apart from that, I was not willing to do anything during my rest time. I did not want to even capture the beautiful fall weโ€™ve had here. Hereโ€™s a photo from a few years ago that represents our fall well:

Gorgeous autumn leaves

Now, back to business!

Revenueโž•

The revenue in September-October was not bad. The ad rates started going up since this is the period when the ad spending is re-activating in anticipation of the upcoming festive period.

The direct sales on Amazon and other affiliate programs went up, also because of the approaching holidays.

September was not so good but October was much better ๐Ÿ‘ Overall, the revenue numbers were on par with the previous July โ€“ August period.

Here, I did not include the money I got for selling ๐Ÿ€ Website. The reason is that itโ€™s not a part of my recurring monthly revenue that I report here. Thus, it should not cloud my regular income picture ๐Ÿ˜€

Numbers


Got lost in my Elephants ๐Ÿ˜, Rats ๐Ÿ€, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean

Letโ€™s look at the income numbers in the details.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต


Website Amount
Mother Elephant $1,702.72
Baby Elephant $3,152.90
Baby Elephant 2 $28.76
Unicorn $4,437.27
Rat $61.13
LivingOffCloud $1,938.70
Other websites $140.63
Total $11,462.11

My top three income sources (in the revenue order):

  1. Ezoic, which is great for display ads ๐Ÿค— (read my review)
  2. Other ad platforms and affiliates (this is mostly for ๐Ÿฆ„ Website)
  3. Amazon Affiliate (still ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ)

Income proof

Now that I have reached a certain level of income, I feel like I should also post proof of it. I am myself having a hard time believing these numbers!

Hereโ€™s the proof from Ezoic:

Ezoic income

Hereโ€™s the stats chart from Amazon.

Amazon US:

Amazon US Sep - oct 2020

Amazon Canada:

Amazon CAN Sep - oct 2020

Expensesโž–

In September-October, the expenses were a bit higher compared to the expenses during the previous period

Itโ€™s because I bought an Instagram course. Also, my hosting expenses went up due to moving to CloudWays and I bought Thrive Leads for some of my websites.

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.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Expenses minus content


Expense Amount
Tailwind (a tool for Pinterest) $59.92
Mailshake (cold outreach mailer) $33.17
GSuite (paid Gmail) $23.74
ActiveCampaign $15.30
GeneratePress (a WP theme) $5.00
AAWP $17.92
Ad Inserter Pro $1.50
Perfmatters (a WP plugin for site speed) $6.41
SerpRobot (a SERP tracking tool) $19.96
Other tools $136.09
Hosting $$246.79
Domains $9.92
Virtual Assistant (outsourced formatting etc) $$335.08
Graphic design $$290.00
Link building $0.00
Courses $$484.74
Misc $30.00
Total $1,715.10

The hosting expense is high โ€œthanksโ€ to my ๐Ÿฆ„ Website that has a dedicated hosting on CloudWays.

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 didnโ€™t have one! My last VA hire was from onlinejobs.com.

Iโ€™ve also got a graphic designer, from onlinejobs.com as well. The graphic designer creates Pinterest images and makes video content.

Content

Given the nature of our business, content is an investment in the business. I decided to track it separately since itโ€™s an important part of future success.

Here, I will give you a breakdown for (almost) each website. Each content expense includes content editing and management.


Website Amount
Mother Elephant $933.63
Baby Elephant $0.00
Baby Elephant 2 $0.00
Unicorn $1,098.07
Other Websites $101.50
Total $2,133.20

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. If you want to try them out, I have a promo code for you: LOCPROMO10. The code will give you a 10% word bonus for the same price for new customers.

Totals ๐Ÿ’ต

Here are my totals for September-October 2020.

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Total revenue $11,462.11 minus general expenses $1,715.10 minus content expenses $2,133.20 makes a net profit of $7,613.82. This number should be divided by two since itโ€™s for both September and October.

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 to the last year (click on the image to enlarge):

a chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 14 months

My financial goal of 2020 has been exceeded ๐ŸŽ‰

In my 2019 review, I set the revenue goal for 2020 at $40,000. If you take a look where I am now, you can see that I have already exceeded that number by about $12,000 ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜œ

Again, I did not include the money I got for selling ๐Ÿ€ Website. It is because it is not a part of my regular monthly revenue and should not cloud the picture here.

Revenue + Expenses Per Year 2016-2020

๐Ÿ’ต All numbers are in USD ๐Ÿ’ต

Yes, partially, itโ€™s happened thanks to the incredibly good April. But even if I subtract the $6,000 I made in April, my progress would still look good ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿค‘


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