I know many of you come here just to look at the revenue reports so it was one of my priorities to get something put together as soon as possible.
If you read our last article: Big Changes at moms-make-money.com you’ll know that there are – well – big changes here. Deby is now focusing all of her attention on her main site Sew So Easy and we’ve taken over the reins here. Our focus will change a little bit from Deby’s and we plan to keep the site updated with articles and of course revenue reports on a regular basis.
Things to keep in mind when looking at our revenue reports are:
- Our current revenues are way lower than what Deby’s are.
- Our revenue comes from passive sources on several different websites.
- We don’t currently have our own products for sale, we make essentially all our income from affiliate sales.
While our numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as Deby’s were, we are really near the beginning of our journey so hopefully as you follow along, we can grow our incomes together and you can see what is truly attainable as a part-time income with the goal of making it a sustainable, full-time income in the future.
I have plans on writing an article in the near future on what our plans and goals are short-term, medium-term as well as long-term. As well as the steps we plan to take to get us there. But until then, I present a snapshot of our short journey into making a passive internet income a reality.
We currently own seven websites that generate (or are supposed to) income, including this one. For competitive reasons, we have made the decision to not share the sites in our reports – there is simply too much chance of people copycatting the sites to cash in on the successful ones. I don’t think it matters really whether you know exactly what the site looks like or what it sells or promotes since we’ll get into all the details of how to make these sites, finding good niches, etc. in future articles. This site (moms-make-money.com) will of course always be known and we will most likely separate it’s income from our other sites in future revenue reports.
Out of the seven sites we own, three of them generate a profit, one of them pays for itself (hosting, domain registration, etc), two of them make almost zero dollars and the final one (this site) is currently unknown since we just acquired it. While it may seem like our success rate isn’t the best, there are a number of factors involved.
- Not every website you create will make money. Even the most successful and talented entrepreneurs on the internet have failures.
- We had plans of re-investing a minimum of 50% of generated income back into the sites by either spending on existing sites or building or acquiring new ones. Unfortunately we got hit with a large and unexpected bill from the tax man that equaled virtually all income made on the sites in 2015. We could have invested out of our own pockets to grow the business but we had decided from the start to grow our online business organically so our investments for most of 2015 were negligible. FYI – the tax bill had nothing to do with our online business.
- We are still learning too. While we might have close to twenty years history creating and running internet businesses, much of our experience is from years ago and with the way the internet and marketing changes constantly, much of what we know from before just isn’t relevant anymore. For instance, social media has become an important part of marketing and networking that a few short years ago wasn’t even on the radar.
- Only so many hours. Our online businesses are still part-time for us and the hours available to work on them varies greatly. Inevitably, more work tends to be focused on the sites that generate a good income, leaving stragglers behind. That might not always be the best way to prioritize your time but it is natural. I plan to change that focus in the near future, it will be one of our short-term goals.
- Competitive niches. Sometimes a niche can be chosen that is very competitive – i.e. – there are a lot of strong websites online that are doing the same or similar thing that rank strongly. Often these are centered around high traffic keywords and can be difficult to break into and get any meaningful traffic. Sometimes it just takes more work to start seeing that traffic come in but the rewards can be high. Keyword research is the key here – we’ll be getting more into that in a future article.
For this report (and only this one) we are including data for the last 14 months as that is how long we have been running our online business. In future months, our charts will be a rolling twelve months and probably some YTD figures thrown in for good measure.
Until I started writing this article, I had never accumulated together traffic statistics for all our sites and it is a bit of an eye opener. As you can see, traffic ramped up very quickly in December 2014. We bought a site that month that did very well in traffic right off the bat as well as opened another site built from scratch.
This traffic chart shows traffic only from four sites – three that generate a profit and one that makes at least enough to pay for itself. The two sites that make no money would get added to the mix if and when they show a profit. Starting January 2016, we will be including traffic statistics for the moms-makey-money.com site as well. I think we may break down the traffic for all sites along with revenues so we can all get a better idea of how things are progressing. This is new to me so definitely a work in progress.
Enough talking, on with the chart….
We hit a peak in traffic in July 2015 and traffic ramped down considerably after that although it has started to climb back up. I don’t have any firm reasons for the drop in traffic as there was no corresponding drop in our search engine rankings. Traffic did start picking up after the summer months so I can only attribute the drop to lower interest in our niches during the summer holidays. Interestingly, although July was our peak traffic month it was only our 5th highest month in sales as you’ll see below.
Remember what I said above – our revenues don’t hold a candle to what Deby’s are. My goal for the first year was to generate $1000 per month in income. And as you can see, we reached that goal by our third month. Our goals – which we will get into in more depth in a later article – are to double our sales every year for five years. So $1000/month the first year, $2000/month by the second year, up to $16,000/month by the fifth year. While we are barely out of the gate so to speak, we are right on track to easily meet our second year goal on time or ahead of schedule.
I have to say that September disappointed me greatly. I did not want to see any month drop below our goal of $1000 but there you have it, the fickleness of an online business. Nothing ever goes up in a straight line and there will always be bumps in the road.
All in all, 2015 was a very good start for us, with total revenue reaching $15,184.83 or $1265.40 per month . While I’ve displayed two months in 2014 in the chart, they are not included in these figures.
Interestingly, November and March respectively were our best months of the year and yet pageviews were down from the peaks of May to July. Whether these traffic and sales trends continue into 2016 is of course yet to be seen but I’m hoping with the addition of this site and possibly more this year that spreading out over more niches will help reduce volatility in traffic and income.
RPM stands for ‘revenue per mille’ or Revenue Per 1000 pageviews. It is a good indicator of site performance, although every site will have difference rpm’s and performance levels. Just like cumulative traffic for all sites above, I had never until now looked at RPM across all sites. I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in our performance so far but on the other hand now that I’ve created and studied this chart, it gives some good indications of things to improve.