Skeffling’s August 2012 Online Earnings Report – This is getting weird!

by Skeffling on September 1, 2012 · 95 comments

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So how did we do? Well again, I think the summer treat us pretty well for online earnings.  I know we had record breaking sales on some days and on average,  sales were up.  Hitting the 8%  Amazon commission on the very last day was a first, and highly recommended!  I only ever reached 7% before, last month.

Despite being so unsettled in August with putting the house up for sale an all the turmoil that goes with that, online work continued for the most part thanks to our 10 hour a week VA.  We got another 40+ Squidoo lenses posted, 3 of the first Kindle Books published and a bunch more articles outsourced.  I wrote some more content for my e-book and did more editing while we took a few days to get away and house hunt while my sister came and farm-sat for us.

Offline, I have been able to get outside and clear my head as this is like a dream  I managed to dry a ton of herbs (sage, thyme, mint, rosemary, basil and lemon balm), and picked our harvest of blackberries and the zucchini are going crazy.  It will be salsa time soon, as the peppers, garlic, onions and tomatoes ripen and making all these home grown goodies to take with us will be a great way to tide ourselves over til a new veggie garden is established.  Being out in the veggie garden with the sun shining on my back helps me escape the stress of looking at all the things that need to be packed or done in the house before we leave too!

So, without further ado

August 2012 Online Earnings

Adsense $68.88

Chitika $0.71

Kindle Books $11.02 (3 of the first new titles this month)

Zazzle $25.37

Hubpages $25.39

My own IB/Seekyt/Wizzley/Squidoo Affiliate Amazon.com $3139.61 (up from approx $1070 in July and $200 in June)

Amazon.co.uk £32.88 up from about £1.50 last month so $52.60US

Clickbank and Shareasale Affiliate $142.38

Edited to Oct Payday Squidoo Amazon and Adshare commissions $2830.60 

Grand Total is $6296.56 (I can’t believe it either!)

(and way better than the 25 cents last August!)

 

Observations and stats

Average earnings per article is $11.34 over all my 556 articles

Official Average earnings per Squidoo article is $17.52 per article (was estimated at $16.70 before payday amounts finalized) over  319 articles (about 40 of them brand new this month).  I counted $2759.77 in from Squidoo from my own Amazon affiliate results for an estimated Squidoo total of $5590.37

I broke my highest sales record of $4800 previous daily sales,  with $5000+ in sales twice, then had a $6200 sales in a day, then the new record high sales day was approx $8260 and included a $2999 acoustic guitar which earned $239.92 alone.

So there were more smaller sales from more lenses this August.  Generally sales of higher ticket items were down and definitely the best performing eraly summer seasonal articles were way down.  With the switch of some of the top performers to my own affiliate links in late June, I have lost some analytics, but I am not too worried, I have been able to observe pure Squidoo data for months now and have certainly drawn some conclusions.  Quite honestly I do not feel like having separate tracking IDs for each article and having to match them up with  the Squidoo data too calculate each articles earnings separately.  It is already taking a good 3 hours to total these up at month end, and it is still just a conservative estimate til payday in 6 weeks.

The smaller sales were for videos and movie rentals and purchase, and I think maybe some going-to-college cheap appliances, as it was  definitely a different breakdown to other months, and 4-5 month old lenses that had not sold anything ever, came to life.  There were also more sales from brand new lenses too, always a good sign!  I love to see a sale the same week!  One sold something first day, from 2 visitors!!

I figure I had to have sold at least $120,000 in products this month, as my own Amazon sales were about $46,000 and my Squidoo pay was on average half that 8%  commission, so likely twice the sales volume.

With my own links, I think the ctr has gone up on those articles, as the images are bigger with a text module than the Amazon Spotlight.  That may have led to such and increase though traffic is increasing on my top non-seasonal articles too.  One hit 800 views in a day, that was one huge spike as the next best day was $500.  My traffic and sales are always higher on the weekends!

5 things I learned in August

  1. How to run a list and use Aweber!  Thanks to all the brave souls how have signed up!   Mrstuckens has been helping me so kindly with WordPress and Aweber.
  2. How frustrating the formatting can be for Kindle books, and how to do a linked Table of Contents.
  3. How much fun it is looking on Fotolia for images and turning them into ebook covers.
  4. That I can actually continue to have fun learning new things to do online, while someone else does the boring stuff
  5. That I have actually been helping people, and they have the Amazon sales to prove it.  Thanks for letting me know!

Plans for September

I need to tell everyone how to do this!

#1 priority is get the Squidoo book finished and figure out how to distribute it.  I need to listen to Pat Flynn’s e-book podcast again.  I know how to format and post onto Kindle now, but want to be able to have it straight from the site, so am looking at E-Junkie, likely.  I’d love to hear if anyone has any comments or experience with non-kindle e-books.

Squidoo

Nathan is going to take over getting content and putting it up onto Squidoo.  If we can keep at 40-50 a month, that is about a weeks work total each month to just keyword research, outsource, check and put up new lenses.  He wants to write some of his own to get a feel for it too, which is great! I look forward to reading them.

He is also going to check through all my lenses  and update and make sure none of the lenses are considered poor as I think some of the long product names may be triggering Squidoo’s filters.  I think they changed something over the summer, now if republishing, a warning has come up on some and I want to have them all clean as a whistle.  We don’t know which are affected until we re-publish, as there are no warning signs or notices.  We will update content in Oct for Christmas, make sure all the products and links are good, and replace outdated.  I am wondering if we should combine the jobs or get the lenses straightened out and manually approved as soon as we can.

Other Web 2.0

I want to get some articles up on Seekyt too if I get chance.   I still have all my keywords at Zerys, so could order a second set of each very easily then outsource the posting.  We need to diversify websites and I’d like to get the Adsense income up too as it is steady in the $60 each month.  At least this month, the non-Squidoo earnings are to around $700, so that is better.

I would love to add some more InfoBarrel articles to my stable too!  And am considering buying the right quality Adsense articles at the moment.

Other Websites/investments

I have been keeping my eyes open and checking out Adsense Flippers for non-branded websites to invest in to help diversify, ideally something set up for Adsense that I can add Amazon or Ebay to, ideally in a niche that is already working for me.

My Niche websites sold zip this past month.  No biggie, I haven’t back-linked at all and am “still testing the effects of doing nothing” (spoken like a true procrastinator!).  Most were seasonal for the summer, so I won’t really know til next year now.

Kindle Books

Also, I want to get more non-fiction ebooks up and going on Kindle.  I got 3 titles up and sold 4 copies total, in approx 2 weeks, which I am quite excited about as there are no reviews yet.  I have  a pseudonym there.  I had considered bugging people for reviews, but think I will just do the right thing and go without that help.  I may set up a Squidoo profile to help promote them and review related products too.  I have had fun doing the book covers though I know for the time it took, I should have let someone else do it.   I enjoyed it, and they can’t be too hideous if I sold some!

I have more books being outsourced and underway and need to do some more research to come up with more ideas for books that will really help people.

Nathan wants to do fiction and he has some awesome ideas.  We think we have found a writer to do his, so he will be spending time working out plots etc and getting things ready to write this month.  About 5 years ago, we talked about jointly writing up some of his Sci-fi ideas, but better have someone who doesn’t do run-on sentences!

Overall

Hopefully all the house hassle will die down soon, and we can sit down to figure out all the priorities and I can get on with some social things I need to do.  Nathan is way more focused and organized than I am, so I think this will be a great team.  He did project management, business contracts, hiring and ran the training program  and can probably help more than I even realise right now.  So he is officially off, so I hope we can do half as well next month.  We are so looking forward to our new adventure!

If you are new to the blog and curious how fast this has come about, read this summary now of previous earnings amounts,  Another make money online blog – Why would you read it?

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask them below!

 

Tiffany September 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

OMG…Claire..this is amazing. NOT weird at all. you are rocking and rolling.

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for reading, it is hard to believe. I hoped maybe I could reach, 5k, but 6k, it’s crazy! It was because I hit 8% on my own Amazon, it bumped it up and over when I checked this morning! I really hope everyone else had as good an August!

Ash September 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

My top lens using your tips got 30 visitors one day in the week and 13-25 other days I cannot wait to see your ebook earnings that’s sure to diversify the income. How is wizzley for you ?

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

That is very respectable Ash! You may have other lenses do even better than that as you uncover cherry keywords. As the traffic grows, the click-through rate will start to be more important and tweakable! I haven’t checked my stats on Wizzley lately, my Amazon was $63.64 from 50 articles this month, think my adsense was like $5 or $10. The articles are similar to my Squidoo ones, so they compare in content.

Yes, people certainly seem to be interested in the book! ;-)

Darren September 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Holy Mother of Pearl Claire; I wish I could aspire to those sorts of figures so quickly!
Those sorts of figures would make me consider leaving my job as well!

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Yes, I was willing to leave long before now, darren! It’s seriously in the keywords, and maybe the platform a bit too. You can do it too!

Knighttrader September 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Wow! what an amazing journey, going from 25cents to over $6K. You are a inspiration for others to follow.

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Thanks Knighttrader! I have worked hard, but been lucky that the first things I really tried worked so well! I know, you already know, if something is working well and earning you money, do more of it! That is what keep the earnings rate so high, per article.

jjhansen September 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Wow! Wow! Wow! Go on Skeffling. This is simply incredible. Congatulations on your well-deserved success. You are my idol!

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hey jjhansen, Thanks so much. It is pretty unbelievable!

adragast September 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I will definitively buy your Squidoo guide (well, still not sure how this kindle thing works on PC). I haven’t made a single sale yet, so I really need to improve that part.

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Hey Adragast. Thanks. You can read Kindle books through the cloud at Amazon, but I’ll try and figure a regular ebook everyone can read on the computer. That’s it, there’s a learning curve to all this stuff! Slows me down!

adragast September 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I did it, I got some sales at Squidoo! I cannot believe it. 6 in a row. Wow, this is really exciting. They have nothing to do with what I wrote about (had actually no idea what those items were), but I am happy anyway :-) Thanks again for your help.

Skeffling September 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

That is awesome, good for you! I told you it was addictive. Congratulations and I hope you get many more!

Quinton Hamp September 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Congrats on hitting the 8% mark!

I want to say thanks for all the tips you gave me in the comments on your last months’ earning report. I have a couple of lenses on page one of google for their terms (low monthly traffic, but, still), and have made two sales from squids totalling just over $20 in profit… I’m pretty excited, but I keep telling myself to wait until 6 months to start playing with averages.

19 lenses down, 381 to go…. (that is, IF I am as successful as you!)

Get outdoors all you can. I miss the out of doors and farming. That’s the good life.

P.S. Looking forward to the e-book release… I’ve been preselling it to a few family members.

Skeffling September 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thanks Quinton. You are welcome for the tips. I am glad you are seeing results already! Not bad for August and not back-linking. Thanks for the book pre-selling efforts! All this is common-sense really. It seems like people are trying it, which is good because once the results start to come in, it totally hooks you and makes you want to do more! Good luck with getting more lenses up!

Elle September 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hi Claire,

Great earnings report. My amazon earnings from my squidoo lenses are improving, got 12 sales in August.

As you know I have already signed up to zery’s and hope to get some articles written sometime this month. I have outsourced my content before so looking forward to seeing some articles for my lenses.

Thanks for your help and look forward to reading your ebook when it is released.

Elle

Skeffling September 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

Hi Elle, Thanks for reading and your comments. That is great yourself! Once you know something is producing results, it is smart to go for it. I know I couldn’t have had this rapid income growth without outsourcing. Last month was the first month I didn’t quite spend it all back on the business. But it is there waiting when I have more ideas. I have been happy with Zerys for the three kindle books I have published too. There are some very professional writers there! I just need to think of some more ideas. I really hope the Squidoo e-book helps, though it sounds like a few people have got a decent start already and it is great to see people acting on my tips!

Ddraig September 2, 2012 at 6:33 am

Claire, amazeballs lady!! Your figures speak for themselves and you must be over the moon.
6k is like 6 months wages for my OH, so you can imagine why I go for it tooth and nail.
You have worked so hard to get to this position, I hope you hit double k’s next month x

Skeffling September 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hey Emma, isn’t it great? One of your comments on my earnings reports last fall or in the winter stuck with me you know, you said, won’t it be cool to look back in a year and see how far we have come! You were so right. If you look at this as a business, you can still write the other stuff you want to for pleasure in your spare time, and do the main lees interesting work to bring that income in and pay the bills first. Look at it that way, that is buying you freedom and it is easy to motivate yourself! I totally look at it as a cool computer game I am playing too where I get cheques in the mail and paypal balances.

I hope to take as many people with me as possible, and get them earning online too and feeling how great it is. I mean we can’t all do exactly the same things and will never do them all the same way anyway, but once you get fluent in this, the principles apply to lots of online stuff.

Ddraig September 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Bless you Claire, I have been concentrating on Squidoo the last 2 days and my favourite lens looks like it will hit tier 2 for the Sept 15th payout, I’ll let you know if it does.
Rinse and repeat as they always say, so I am going to get on with it. I have spent far to long concentrating on Adsense when I think I would do better with Amazon.

I remember saying that as well, how strange? I’m not where I want to be quite yet, I think that is because I haven’t forced myself to have a concrete goal, I will put it here, I wish to be at £700 a month by Xmas! There, said it, don’t care how or why, that is what I want to have earned in one month by then.

Skeffling September 3, 2012 at 6:48 am

That is great! I know you will get where you want to be now that you know what to do and want to do it badly enough! Good luck on that goal. It is totally doable!

Gina September 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m excited for you ebook. I’d love to see it on e-junkie as well since I don’t own a kindle. I see that a lot of probloggers tend to use it. Makes it easy to purchase.

Skeffling September 3, 2012 at 6:56 am

Thanks Gina, I am excited too. I hope it helps people. I guess it will only help the ones that act on it! I am working on it as fast as I can, but is definitely getting longer as I add more useful things I do that help me! When I need a break from the writing and editing, I’ll checkout that podcast and the book distribution sites. I will need artwork too and to write up a non-cheesy copy page. I got a great little book on copywriting on Kindle, and just read it though the cloud as I don’t own any kindle tablets or anything either.

SincerelyT September 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

This is for Gina and everyone else. Amazon has something called “Kindle for PC”. It’s free to install here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

This is not an affiliate link and Skeffling I hope you don’t mind me sharing this link. You’ll be able to read any kindle ebook on your computer with this.

Great job this month Skeffling!

Skeffling September 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Hey Sincerely T
Thanks for stopping in, and thanks so much for sharing that. That is great. I have only ever used the cloud thing right at Amazon, but that looks useful! Cheers.

Gina September 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thanks, Sincerely T; however, I won a Mac, and I’m not sure if Amazon has an app for that. But I’m sure other readers will find this tip useful.

SincerelyT September 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hey Gina, here is the Kindle for Mac free download:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_mac_ln_ar?docId=1000464931

Shivon September 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Wow!! ….Skeffling you’re unbelievable. Everytime I read your income report, I just want to fall over, or do a backflip. Y0u must be a really smart cookie, but for sure a Rockstar when it come to earning online. Maybe one day I can make a dollar or two. I love reading your income report….Great Job!!

Skeffling September 3, 2012 at 7:00 am

Hey Shivon, Thanks so much. It is all down to looking for patterns and building more of what pays the best, so you are getting the best return on your time, I have been very lucky along the way too that I decided not to back-link or that picked a good platform or two, and that I even when back to Squidoo, that was just chance really! You will earn, it is just a matter of time and if you only see things not working after months, look to change things more radically. Are you happy with your keyword research as that makes a big difference to being successful?

Kevin September 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Congrats on the sharp increase all around. As I have stated before, I have never really been a fan of squidoo but the eBay modules are really the way to go. Instead of merely getting a small amount for each click, you get a percentage from each sale. I used your Amazon tips on my eBay tips and all I can say is “wow”! In fact, I made 30 sales on one lens this weekend (that I made the changes to on Thursday night) and the lens is not even a month old. 30 sales in three days on one lens from your modest tips. Like I said, WOW! Guess I’ll need to spend more time with you over on squidoo. Thanks again.

Skeffling September 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Wow that is awesome! I did say some of it works fast. You must have some decent traffic already. I totally figured this stuff works for Ebay too, I just haven’t had time to get to it yet! What did you do specifically? Was it something that caught them at the end about to leave the article? That seems to give the quickest results from what I have seen ;-). If anyone wants to use used, refurbished or deals in their buyer keyword phrases and titles, they totally should have an ebay module or more in there. Thanks for letting me know, that is so cool! I know you’ll kill it, now you are getting the hang of it :-)

Bethany September 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Holy Carpo! Good job! I’m also in the throes of moving at the moment but I have two things on my mind for this winter – figure out how to really find those “cherry keywords” and also a thorough breadmaking class project I want to do for my website. Totally different projects, but both I’m hoping I’ll make some $$ from it :)

You, my dear, are my hero. Hurry your butt up on that book!

Skeffling September 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thanks Bethany, I hope you can find those keywords now with the right tools! Yes having unrelated projects makes it interesting. We usually ship fertile rare breed chicken eggs in the winter, but if we end up selling before the snow flies here, we won’t have the housing to keep the different breeds separate. I am sure I will find something else to do though. I am working on the book today!

Bethany September 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Oh and – (isn’t it funny how I always leave two comments?) regarding your ebook, here’s what I’d do personally…

Write your book and put it up on ejunkie. Then, either write an ebook “lite” or outsource someone to take your content and condense it in some way and offer it as a kindle book. Maybe even just one part of it or something?

This way, you are putting out some really great helpful content on Kindle that will potentially whet the appetites of people who might want the rest of your info.

Using e-junkie or some other non-kindle method will also (as far as I know) allow you to pay affiliates a higher commission and set a longer cookie which will translate into more people promoting it. Many companies that are huge got that way when they started having affiliates promote their books, which makes sense.

I personally can tell you right now that if your book has the same kind of content that I’ve read on your blog, I’ll promote it. I’ve got a mailing list full of rural homesteaders & farmers who are always asking for ideas of ways to make extra money :)

If you do it this way you DO want to be careful with the Kindle book – it is against their terms to just publish a book for the sole intent of using it to market another product but if you write something to put up there, you can direct people here to your blog and/or mention that you have more of a “full meal deal” available here on your website.

Skeffling September 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

What a great and helpful idea Bethany! Thanks. There is a ton of content in the book, much like what you have seen and hopefully more organised and methodical and easy to follow (hence the delay editing and organizing), so it would definitely be possible to do a shorter version of it on Kindle. I have a good idea of which bit too! Thanks for the warning too!

Thanks for the offer of promotion, that is so kind and I hope it would help your readers. I am sure more homesteaders will discover the online earnings potential over time. We already have figured out online forums for networking, livestock sales and moral support with homesteading and farming ups and downs!

Diane September 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hey Skeffling! You are doing an amazing job, what a hike from last August! Just a question. I have 35 lenses but have been using their Amazon modules, if I use my own affiliate code do you just put it in the text module?

thanks!

Skeffling September 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Thanks Diane! And thanks for reading! Yes I put it in the text module, screen shot, crop then save an image from Amazon and make the link to it an affiliate link (just inside the quotes like Infobarrel). Then I just put in a bolded affiliate link for the product (so just use the whole contents of the product link code box at Amazon) about 1/4 to 1/3 way up the text (say after the first paragraph), kind of level with the bottom of the image.

You can likely increase ctr with a in text link to the reviews or product with a “see reviews here”, or “more features here” anchor text right in your reveiw to hook people. That is the type of info I learned from Chris Guthrie. I am a bit lazy on the lenses as they earn so well and figure out when I run out of keywords I’ll start, tweaking them all to earn more! I have seen some pretty cheezy graphics and know many top lensmasters tweak code like crazy. I stay away from it as I am not technical and would rather spend time getting more content created that sells just fine as it is. I hope that helps!

Andy September 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

OMG!! $6K Good for you! This is astounding, and as you can see by all the comments here — we all agree that you deserve it for sharing so much and for your work! As I mentioned before, I’m seeing sales over there now and you get all the CREDIT!

I love that you think you’re LAZY. I can only imagine what happens when you and your husband Nathan crank on this together! Wow…

Seriously, though… do you ever worry that eventually Amazon will be saturated by Squidoo and make this all very difficult, or is it still the Wild West and there’s plenty of room for us all?

(I have friends who are considering the AdsenseFlippers stuff too, but there’s a Chris Guthrie podcast (I think) about just offering to buy a site you like by contacting the owner. It’s often a great way to pay less than 20x earnings… Flippa is becoming very expensive to sell sites — what we actually need is another TRUSTWORTHY website marketplace!) Skeffling’s Site Emporium DOT com!??!? — and yeah the KINDLE T.O.C. thing was a real pain in the butt!!

Skeffling September 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

I am so glad you are seeing results Andy. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Good question, all I can give is best guess. I think Google not indexing too many similar pages based on the same keywords will keep competition down on Squidoo a little, and should make the smart people choose phrases that are not already taken. I think competition will increase over time for sure if Google only indexes about 1.5Million squidoo pages, but this will also influence an increase in the quality of the lenses based on the Squidoo ranking system. I figure my 3-5 article lenses will need to be added to over time, if the earnings/rankings slip.

As I see it, when doing the Squidoo site search, the higher ranked ones within Squidoo seem to be the ones that will rank better on Google too, so the Squidoo ranking will play a part and can’t be ignored. I just really don’t like those long cheesy pages that go on forever and imagine I will be having to compete with them for ranking and search for some of my phrases at some point.

With anything Web 2.0, we are still counting on a site being up and running, that we have no control over. So as crazy as my earnings are, I plan to diversify and not have all my income from this one place. But this is still just the thing for people to get that confidence and cash boost to be able to cut down or stop working, and free up time to learn other things that work too. I mean they are learning some solid principles about keyword research, writing for the reader with in-depth LSI phrases, and in page layout that will pay them dividends on their own sites or other web 2.0 sites online, if even the return diminishes over time. I think the demand for online products is still rising (last year was the first year Cyber Monday Online outsold Black Friday Bricks and mortar), so the market is getting bigger, but the competition with other writers/IMer on Squidoo will also increase IMO! That is what is starting to make me re-consider Hubpages too!

Thanks on the buying sites info. I bought Chris’s Site Finder Pro and watched all the videos in May (which are awesome) on how to know what you are buying is good. I think the making an offer info was in there, I know I have seen it, or listened to it (podcast?) and what he uses to choose them. I wasn’t quite ready to buy then, but the income warrants it now. I want to buy one or two trustworthy sites that earn adsense that I can analyse the mechanics of (ala reverse engineer) and then recognize those qualities again in the stats and analystis when making offers. So use Adsense flippers as my training wheels! I can add value with Ebay or Amazon, or even Ebooks to pay back sooner too. That’s why the Adsense site specs have to suit and I haven’t found one yet.

Dave September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Wow. This is amazing! So overall, you got over a hundred lenses in squidoo now?

How many lenses do you make per month?

Again, congratulations! That is amazing.

Skeffling September 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

Hey Dave, Thanks. We are getting about 40-45 up a month, but I had a couple of months early summer when it was higher than that. I have over 300 lenses now but many are not really mature yet and are for winter topics, though it is neat to see some of the new ones selling already!

Dave September 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

40-45?? Wow! Amazing!

I need to do that too. :)

Thanks again!

Bob September 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Fantastic news, Claire. Way to go! I am happy for you and your husband. I’m sure with him on board, complementing your work style, you will become an unstoppable force of good for the IM community, not to mention your bank account. I also like the way you’re diversifying your income sources.

So, let me see if I understand this correctly. In addition to splitting Amazon module money with Squidoo, they will let you embed your own Amazon affiliate links in a text module?

And one other question: why choose Squidoo over a blogger blog (e.g. keyword.blogspot.com)? Do lenses rank better?

Continued success to you and your hubbie.

Skeffling September 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

Thanks Bob! We are so lucky! Your are right on the complementing. There are things that take me 2 or 3 hours to do that he can do in half an hour, so we should be more efficient ;-) I am sure we will be managing more people as time goes on, and he will certainly be in charge of that!

Yes Squidoo will let you keep 100% of earnings from your own affiliate links. I don’t want to abuse this privilege, but I do see some pretty long pages full of the users links sometimes. I have switched over a small portion of my articles (maybe 10%) to my own links in a tidy text nodule, rather than the spotlight and I think because the image is bigger the ctr goes up 5 to 10 %. I always have an Amazon search module at the bottom of each article that has proceeds split with Squidoo.

Read this info knowing I don’l like to backlink!! I have some blogspot blogs and the Squidoo just rank and sell better for the same kw. I have one blog for the same kw as a lens and the lens makes way more money even though it sends traffic to the blog too. You don’t have to add as much content for the return, just a single page over multiple posts. If you want/need Adsense income, the Blogspot is the only way you will get it separately as the Squidoo has the Adshare. I’d be more likely to use blogger for more Adsense keywords where there is not an Amazon product that applies, but I’d probably use Infobarrel and Seekyt ahead of them anyway. I maybe have not harnessed the full potential of blogspot, as I have heard good things about it, but it just seem like it is not worth the extra work at this time for me.

Ann September 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Congrats on the sales! I only have a few articles on Squidoo but I have several craft books on Amazon Kindle that are self-published and do well. If you have any suggestions on writing articles on Squidoo to promote my craft books let me know.

I also write for Examiner and enjoy it. Lately I have written a couple of reviews on other peoples books and eBooks. If you would like any tips or suggestions on Amazon Kindle books or publishing your eBooks on Barnes and Noble let me know since it’s my main source of income I have learned a lot by trial and error.

I don’t know how you find the time to do everything, I can barely write 3 or 4 articles a week plus promote my Kindle books.

Skeffling September 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

Thanks so much Ann! Thanks for the kind offer! I may take you up on it! ;-) Sounds like you are doing very well.

We can’t do Barnes an Noble here due to us being in Canada, and we don’t have a Mac for apple submissions yet, but we are looking at the Kobo as another source which I believe is Canadian. I think it makes sense to submit books to sell as many places as you can (bearing in mind any exclusivity agreements) as it is more exposure/possible sales for a few hours formatting after it is already written. I haven’t done any promotion on my books yet (want to get a few more titles up first), how are you promoting yours? I was going to write some Squidoo lenses and have a domain name too for a website. Thanks for the Building your book ASIN too.

Ann September 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Oh, be sure to download and read Building Your Book for Kindle from Amazon it’s a free download to help you with your Kindle books ASIN B007URVZJ6

Salman Riaz September 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

Amazing achievement, Claire. Congratulation!

Your continuous progress is impressive, and I wish you the best with your future work.
Regards.

Skeffling September 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thanks so much Salman for your kind comments and your visit. I am enjoying working online a lot! I hope to see you again!

Ash September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

To set up an ebook from the site itself read this post from pat flynn: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-publish-an-ebook-series-part-5-tools-and-automation/
you’ll need e junkie, your product file, and a payment processor (if you want).

Skeffling September 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Awesome Ash! Thanks so much for that! I’ll check it out.

Cathy September 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Congrats Claire. I’m a new reader after hearing you mentioned on the Adsense Flippers podcast.

I’m relatively new to Squidoo even though I have been a member there for 3 years. I just started building lenses and am up to 9 and am already amazed at how fast they convert compared to regular websites. I can’t believe I’ve already made over $30. So I definitely plan on making more lenses.

Just curious, how many active lenses do you have right now?

Skeffling September 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Hi Cathy, Welcome to the site! Thanks. I listened to it too, another good one. I am glad you are seeing results too.

I think I have 338 lenses right now. With the help of a VA for 10 hours a week for posting, and outsourcing the lens article-writing, and all the content checking, editing and copyscaping, we have been getting between 40 and 50 lenses up per month, so many of those are still quite new. I am sure you will be making more too. We need to diversify income too, but figure we can keep the Squidoo ticking over while we do other things, and we are in the process of updating them too, so that the links are good for the Holiday shoppers.

Kingpeng September 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

Hello Claire, I’m very interesting in your Squidoo Amazon ebook, it seems that this guide cann’t be bought now, do you have any plan to release it?

Skeffling September 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Thanks for your interest. I am working on the Squidoo e-book as fast as I can. It seems painfully slow this month as we have constant interruptions due to having our farm for sale. We had a showing today and wasted another whole day tidying it, Friday will be the same too. It is getting closer to being done and I know there are many people wanting it. I hope it is worth the wait. I want to it to be helpful and easy to follow. If you sign up on the email list, I will be sending an announcement through there when it is ready. I will do a blog post to announce the launch so if you have RSS feed it would come up then too. Claire

Eric September 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hey Claire! Wow you are doing awesome! Very inspirational! I just ran across Pat Flynn about 3 weeks ago and since then I’ve been researching money online and decided that article writing would be the best place to start…So Ive been looking all around at peoples advice and earnings, and bought the Infobarrel ebook from Howie & Jason. Just started reading it yesterday…I’m trying to do all the research possible before i start so that I don’t waste any time making mistakes others have made and wrote about. I’ve been reading your content in my spare time all day and I’m in shock of how fast you have grown..from a couple hundred bucks a month to 6 grand in less than a year! I’m very glad I found you and love your content…look forward to buying your ebook! I was going to start with infobarrel as soon as I got done reading the ebooks, but now I am considering just reading thier SEO book and all of your advice and starting with squidoo to do product reviews…I think since Christmas is not to far off I would do a lot better to do that and expand to infobarrel after the holiday sales. Do you think that would be a good idea? How come squidoo is seemingly so much better for product reviews than the other article submission sites? Thanks so much!
Eric

Skeffling September 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Eric Thanks for reading and your kind comments. That e-book by Howie and Jason is awesome. That is a great start for you. I bought it a year ago and was stupid enough to only ever read the main book. The main book is a bit dated as it is on how to use IB and it has changed a ton, but I just read the extra reports on SEO, LSI, trouble-shooting and keyword research this month and it is solid GOLD, they are not dated at all and full of everything you need to know to do amazingly well on Adsense sites.

My way of doing things for Amazon is definitely different, keyword sources and ratios etc, but the LSI and buyer keywprd phrase stuff is similar the actual writing of an article can be similar depending on what you want to provide the reader with.

I seriously earned most of my December Squidoo money last year with articles written in late Nov and Dec! I definitely earn more money per article on Squidoo at the moment, but I think Adsense is harder to earn as much, but has the advantage of being way more passive as you don’t not have to worry about the links. I was just getting going this time last year and spent the bulk of my time on IB until early Nov, and did just fine. I plan on mastering the Adsense writing too ans will be spending more time on IB, and Seekyt. I just invested in a group of nearly 100 Infobarrel articles that are on more promising topics than mine for Adsense earnings, homesteading articles do not get clicks! Main thing with IB, is make sure you have plenty of images to give you those Media pages that earn very well. You can totally do both, once you become familiar with one.

I get bored doing one thing, so I have done that from the start with multiple sites, but I know I am in the minority as everyone else seems to feel like they are spread too thin doing that! Actually I wrote an article (in 2 parts) on IB in Jan on writing on 4 sites in sequence for a particular product niche to get the best return. Maybe it will work for you. maybe not, but it shows some of the differences I have seen writing on a few sites at once.

Write on Seekyt, Infobarrel, Squidoo, and Wizzley to Earn the Best Return – Why?
Write on Seekyt, Infobarrel, Squidoo, and Wizzley to Earn the Best Return – How and When Strategies

I think Squidoo does well for sales due to the lack of stinginess with Amazon links (same with Seekyt-they do well too), allowing you linked images, modules/widgets and in-text links to give a variety of links to increase click through. the layout is clear and colourful and seem to attract people. The authority seems to bring the rankings and traffic with very little extra effort after choosing a keyword wisely and writing a good article for your readers to save them time, hassle and money. Good luck with your IM career, the main thing is that you start something, no matter where. It won’t be a mistake if you choose the “wrong” place, it will just be more diversity later. Claire

Eric September 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thanks Claire for the links and the info…very helpful! I will definately sing up under you when I sing up in a week or so…I’m going to sign up for all of them starting with squidoo here in about a week once I get my reading and studying done. Hope to see you break 8,000 this month :)

Skeffling September 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Eric, looking forward to seeing how you do!

Eric September 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thanks, and down here in America, sing = sign lol

Skeffling September 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

No problem! ;-)

Justin September 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hey Claire!

So we’ve started our Squidoo Lens building test! We’ve got a couple up, but I’m really just muddling my way through it so far…playing with the different modules, looking at different layouts. It’s kind of fun and a nice break from our typical niche sites, heh. I have my assistant helping me and she’ll document the process if/once we get it working.

It’s interesting your Squidoo work has caused quite the stir. I know that Kindle books are all the rage right now. One of the membership sites we’re in has formed a sort of Kindle eBook mastermind. They help each other with ideas, purchase each others books, review them, etc.

I was thinking that, when you finish your ebook, you may want to include something similar for your Squidoo lenses? Charge a minimal monthly or annual fee as an add-on at the end of the book and start adding a network of people on Squidoo. You can read/promote each others lenses, give tips/tricks, etc.

Skeffling September 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I had an awesome long reply that is gone into cyber space. I am a terrible typer and must have hit something dodgy! It is great you have got started. It is great to hear, and I have been amazed how many people I know that have taken action.

I started this account the other day to show examples and this is one regular 3-5 product review lens as I do them. Amazon says they don’t like cookie cutter lenses, but this works for me regularly!

http://www.squidoo.com/what-is-the-best-treadmill-to-buy-for-home-use

I am not too adventurous in my modules, just text for my affiliate links (or Amazon spotlights) and and Amazon search at the bottom (that one is crucial). This layout usually gives 20-40% ctr if the products are household ones that are well chosen and top rated. This is a new lens with hardly any traffic yet so I can’t tell you the ctr of this one. Typically the higher end of the range %age ctr is more likely with 5 products rather than 3.

Take a look and see if it helps. Ask if you meed more clarification. Everyone has their own way of doing lenses, there are infinite combinations of module really, but maybe this will take some of the guesswork out of it. Mine are very short compared to most on there and I imagine I will have to make them bigger and more comprehensive in order to compete with other similar lenses to maintain rank over time.

Here’s another on my Skeffling profile that is similar format, the intro was a bit too long so I broke it up with a sub head. That text module could have been added near the end too, to get the first product right up under the intro.

http://www.squidoo.com/best-trail-camera-for-the-money

Omar September 23, 2012 at 1:11 am

Wow….the rate at which your earnings have grown is amazing!

Quick question about your income statements:

What is the difference between
“My own IB/Seekyt/Wizzley/Squidoo Affiliate Amazon.com”
and
“Squidoo Amazon commissions”

They both seem to have to do with Amazon commissions…confused :)
Thanks

Skeffling September 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Omar for reading and commenting. It is pretty crazy! But I’ll take it!

The My own… is my Amazon affiliate account income where I place my links on those sites and get paid directly from Amazon by Cheque. I do have some Squidoo lenses I have changed over and have my own links in.

Squidoo Amazon commission are from sales on Squidoo that go through Squidoo’s Amazon affiliate account, it gets shared with Squidoo and they pay me 50% of the total commissions by Paypal.

Hope that clarifies!

Omar September 25, 2012 at 1:54 am

I see, thanks and good luck with your continued success!

Darrell September 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hey Claire

Great article and I appreciate you sharing your earnings etc.

I’m new to Squidoo and haven’t really done anything because I’m more focused on building some of my authority sites out right now. So, do you just have 1 main Squidoo account, or do they let you have multiple ones with the same name etc?

Also, I noticed you put the Amazon prices beside each buy button? Are you allowed to do that under Amazon terms or is there a chance you will get into trouble by doing that?

Cheers

Skeffling September 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Hi Darrell
Thanks for reading. I have multiple accounts with different names, my husband has some now too. They need unique emails which is a slight pain!

The articles with Amazon prices are Squidoo’s Amazon’s links and I think are feeds. I think posting a set price for an item violates Amazon TOS, if I mention a price in the text, I usually say it’s around $90 or just under $100 but nothing too specific. I think other lensmakers have figured out the feeds for prices and top lists etc, but I haven’t used anything complicated code-wise. When I use my own links I don’t include the price at all.

Frederik September 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Hi
I recently stumbled upon your blog, and think it is very encouraging to see some who does not have millions of pageviews monthly, still profit heavily from online marketing..
If I’m right your business model is to outsource product based articles and post them on 2,0 sites like Squidoo, Seekyt Wizzley etc? (correct me if i’m wrong) however, it seems to work awesome for you!

Skeffling September 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Hi there Frederik, Thanks for visiting. You are correct. Yes, I guess my approach involves earning money from the content there and then on the page as it is posted, not using those pages for link juice etc. That seems a waste of time and money when you could be earning money on that first visit. It is more cost effective and pays the outsourcing off quicker too ;-)

By using buyer intent keywords for the articles, you lower the number of page views you need before someone buys, and before you earn.

I plan diversifying by setting up more of my own Amazon sites, investing in Adsense websites, outsourcing Kindle and doing web 2.0 that has more of an Adsense component, as this is a totally disproportionate distribution of earnings. I guess it means I have figured out how to make it work, and that can easily be applied to other areas.

Eric September 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi again Claire! I was just reading up on the new comments which prompts the question: What is the advantage of going through Squidoo’s Amazon Affiliate program if you are splitting the commission with them? Thanks!

Skeffling September 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Hi Eric, good question. The main one is a (slight) diversification of payouts, and Squidoo pays almost a month earlier for the same month as Amazon. If anything happens to my Amazon Account, I would still get a nice paypal payment from Squidoo. I have no problem supporting the site’s hosting either and only changed any links over to mine (maybe 10%) in July.

Eric September 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Ohhh, that makes sense…it seems too that it would be an advantage to be able to mention a price (per date) or a rough price too on your lens. Thanks again!

Anthony September 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Hey Claire, I found your site after being mentioned in the adsense flippers podcast and I am a fan of your success and am going to follow in your footsteps as my funds are too low right now to build lots of microniche adsense sites.

So far in my keyword research I have found 3 keywords and wanted to know what you think before I dive in. So far I found 3 keywords that have 91, 140 and 260 monthly searches and intitles of 4, 4 and 6. I think I am on the right track but wanted some advice from an expert before I started writing.

Also, do you have any idea when you will be releasing your ebook? I would love to give it a read.

Thanks

Skeffling September 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Hi Anthony, Thanks for reading. Those sound like an awesome ratio, I’d go for them ina second. Only thing to check is are they buyer oriented enough? Another double-check, is see if the phrases are used in the titles on Squidoo as it may be harder to index if there are already lenses with them. Good luck with them.

Anthony September 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

So I made a mistake and was using intitle: instead of allintitle: :(.

How far along are you on your ebook? I have read over all of your post a few times and would love to know the rest of the tricks you have up your sleeve.

Skeffling October 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Glad you have it sorted, the book is slow going to be honest. It is all written so far, until I add a few more tips, I have big sleeves! We have so much work to do on the farm here to get ready for severe winter weather and the complication of a house move in there somewhere. I am having a hard time concentrating on anything.

I am adding more and more to it based on questions too and it is so hard to simplify and organize all the subtle things I know and have learned doing this. I didn’t realize how much I knew until people started asking Qs on here and even training my hubby to do this, I am realizing there is a reason behind everything I do, it’s so hard to document that! I am trying to make it a simple step by step guide, how to, with lots of usable info and a bit of reasoning if you want to evolve your own way, checklists and troubleshooting.

Oloo September 29, 2012 at 6:07 am

Claire this is awesome! The income and progress you’ve made with this system is just amazing. I found your blog three days ago and already read almost the whole thing, including comments. Signed up for your email list and got even more good stuff – the outsourcing instructions are extremely useful. Thanks for sharing!

Skeffling September 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Hi Oloo, thanks for your kind comment. There is a lot to read isn’t there!? Hope it helps you. And the outsourcing too, we are way behind on posting them now!

steve September 29, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi,
A great site and some nice earnings! very inspirational my Amazon sales are slowly starting to build momentum so I’ll be bookmarking this site and checking for more tips.
I’ve learnt some excellent ideas from your Squidoo tips that I am going to go back and implement on my existing lenses today. Thanks for sharing.

Steve

Skeffling September 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Steve, I am pretty happy with the earnings for a start. Yes, depending how many lenses you have, the first few rounds of tips may take weeks to do! If you just do one thing fast right away, add the Amazon search module at the bottom of each lens. Good luck!

Danielle September 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

How did I not find this blog before last night? I’ve read every post but I keep coming back to see if I missed something. :)

I wanted to let you know I’ve used ejunkie in the past and liked it. Another option you might want to consider is Smashwords. I’ve got a couple ebooks up there and they are making some sales. The think I like with Smashwords is that people can get them in many formats including .mobi and epub so that they are good for most ereaders.

Skeffling October 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hi Danielle, Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope it helps a little, it is dense reading, some people say they’ve been taking notes, haha! Thanks for the tips on hosting the ebook. It is slow going. I’ve had constant disturbances here in Sept and I keep adding more and more stuff!

As far as length of articles, I am having them created longer now, but know I will need to be adding content over time or selling off lenses. I login everyday, and add new lenses fairly regularly. I think that being social (when I get chance) and having awesome low comp kw that bring in Google traffic daily with good ctr goes a long way to keeping the rankings up too. Not sure if that helps much, ;-) Claire

Adrian Abrate September 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hi Clair, love your work and a very inspirational story. You’ve actually perked my interest again in Squidoo (I created 4 lenses at the start of the year that never went anywhere).

I was wondering if you have seen any change in your traffic/rankings since the latest Google Algorithm change. It targeted site with exact match domains, which Squidoo doesn’t use, however people do tend to optimize their page names for SEO on their lenses.

Very interested to hear if Squidoo is robust enough to survive a lot of these Google updates.

Thanks,
Adrian

Skeffling October 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Hi Adrian
Thanks for commenting. I didn’t know about the update til just now…we have been crazy busy dealing with a property sale. I think the algo may have increased traffic to my lenses overall and a couple spectacularly!

My top lens was fluctuating between 200 and 800 daily views the past few months, and I mean fluctuating, not weekly spikes. It hasn’t been below 500 per day since mid last week and broke 1000 for the first time ever (for any of my articles) on Sunday. A 75% of the traffic is referral (image?) and quite a bit is direct too which is weird, and the ctr has dropped to 23% from about 29% so the traffic quality may have changed a little. I will take a look and see if more are coming through images as I usually have them, titled with the kw phrase.

I went through and added up all my Squidoo sales this morning to do my earnings report, which involves going into the stats, then the earnings. So I got a glance at each by month traffic stat, and it seems the only ones with lower traffic in Sept than Aug/July were summer articles, and most that were still not on track to beat Augusts traffic numbers, a few days ago, did so quite nicely, so I think the traffic was up the last few days. I usually have way more traffic on weekends anyway, so I will need to wait a few more days to be sure.

I usually check to see if there has been a Google update when I get a big jump in traffic (there usually has been) as I don’t track rankings and had been too busy this weekend. So no guarantees, but it looks like a better bet than a small EMD niche site at the moment. I guess going from 3 views to 1 a day is not a financial disaster for me on mine!

Linda October 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Can’t wait for your next update to see how well you have done!

Skeffling October 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Thanks Linda, I finally got it up! Hope you had a good month too. ;-)

Anthony October 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Claire, did the recent google update have any effects on you? I just started publishing so I dont have any real info

Skeffling October 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Hi Anthony,
My handful of niche sites are lower on traffic since Friday, but a drop from 3 views a day to 1 is not that different financially! Most of my web 2.0 are up slightly. I am not to worried about it. I was kind of expecting it on the niche sites, I was doing a very lazy experiment!

Sudarshan October 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

Waiting for your October Earnings report :) Hope you had a great month!! You are an inspiration for people like us and one good thing is you are very transparent which many webmasters don’t really are. Keep up the good work and thanks for giving all these free information :)

Skeffling October 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Thanks! I hope this helps a little. The month was not too bad for earnings, though we were very busy at home!

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