Skeffling’s May 2012 Online Earnings Report – Did she break $2000?

by Skeffling on June 4, 2012 · 18 comments

Now REVISED with actual payouts.

Earnings mean you work for your money, and income could cover a number of nefarious sources of cash.   I am still calling it earnings for May, thought technically it’s royalties and commissions this month, as I had an irritating month as far as being able to spend good juicy time writing.  The outsourcing evaporated as my freelancers got busy with summer.  I was called in unexpectedly to work as a dental locum this month and as it was a favourite office of mine that needed me, I had to say yes.  So I lost 3 weeks, although I could use the wireless Internet in the hotels.  The nearest place I worked was 3.5 hours from home.

I am looking forward to the day when there is no doubt in my mind as I say “No thanks”, and that day is coming soon thanks to my online earnings!  I don’t expect to replace a full dental income with online earnings, and am willing to live on a lot less to do something more inherently enjoyable and fun and way less stressful.  I think eventually the income will build as my royalty-type earnings pay the bills, and free up my time to learn and try more income adventures online.

Anyway earnings-wise, May was a corker and highlights are I had some custom software made to speed up one step of my keyword searching, and learned cPanel and how to set up WordPress blogs.   I never really map out my months, I just go by what interests me, and I did make some headway, though it was random as usual.

 

May 2012 Online Earnings

 

Adsense $62.63

Chitika $2.85

Zazzle $144.45 (someone bought 600 postcards with one of my chickens on)

Hubpages $5.58

My IB/Seekyt/Wizzley Amazon.com $222.98

Amazon.co.uk £48.09 or $72.14US

Clickbank $61.28 (chicken coop plans for my hobby farming niche)

Squidoo Amazon $1623.94 (incl. conservative $150 estimate for adshare)

EDITED July 13th with actual Squidoo earnings, it was not $1623.94 but $2116.77.  Difference is  $492.83 higher than I thought!!!

 

Old Total is $2195.95US

Revised total for May is $2688.78

 

Average earnings per article (with Squidoo adshare estimate included) $5.20 per article,  that is up from $2.43 per article last month.

I only added 4 more articles this month and my income more than doubled,  I think it is articles maturing, as at least 2 took off like this one in one of my profiles.  Believe me, I wish I knew what caused it.  Obviously Google picked it up somehow.  It had been selling an Amazon item daily since the jump.

I can tell you on this page, in a given day, about 20 of the Google search views come from about 3 keyword phrases, almost all the others are unique with one hit per phrase!  This article earned me $104.29 this month from Amazon and that was after sharing 50% with Squidoo, so take your time and use your LSI and synonyms.

I am not much of a back-linker, just the bare minimum to get things indexed.  There were no linking sprees with any of these.  I like each article to stand alone and be useful to the reader, and not be there just to support another article. I think that is why the average earnings per article is higher.

I just realized based on my commission rate I sold about $58,000 of Amazon goods in May, which is about right as it seems to average about $2000 a day.  Best day was $4800, but I had 3 days that topped $3000 in sales and many in the $2000s and $1000s.

Interests (not really goals) for last month

 

Buying Domains

After listening to all 18 Adsense flippers Podcasts in April, I was inspired to think about setting up websites and doing something with some domains that I’d had since Nov.  I actually blew all of March’s earnings on domains, gulp.  I had planned on spending maybe $200, but once I had my keyword research done, there were so many Exact Match Domain  (EMD) .coms  that I thought looked good, that I had to have them, 55 domains later!  I think they were all available because I go for low search volume.

 

Niche Websites

I also bought Chris Guthrie’s Site Finder Pro and watched all 4 hours of video in one sitting one day before work.    Not only do I have an idea of how to buy at auction, but I have an idea of how to document my sites for sale if I ever decide to.

So I actually set up two WordPress Amazon niche sites, it was so much easier than I thought.  It was partly my work, partly outsourced, and the main page of one is ranked #3 for the kw on Google after 9  days and the other #8 after 12 days and has 5 pages other in the top 60.  The second earned 17 cents in Adsense already.  Both sites have had Amazon click outs but no sales yet.  I am kind of experimenting with size, number of pages and format, as I have another 70 odd domains to populate.  I did earn $1.04 from Godaddy Cash Parking but can see that is not going to pay for the domains.

The plan is to continue to input all my earnings back into the business til August then draw a modest income and stop working a job, and it looks like I’m on track.  There is always that niggle that nothing is forever and affiliate accounts and websites can come and go.  By diversifying and getting the earnings up on my own niche sites, I can lessen by dependence on Squidoo as I fully recognize that without  Squidoo, I would have made the more usual $572.01 for 422 articles.

 

Automation

So I went to Fiverr and now have a custom program to speed up my kw research.  I have always been hands on and intuitive when it comes to kw research, and seems to constantly be evolving, and I often do not use the programs exactly as intended.  It is so cool to see the software go through a big list quickly, and I am totally learning to spot patterns and promising phrases before I get them into a spreadsheet.

I go for very low competition and am learning from older articles getting more traffic (that I did when I didn’t know any better for more competitive phrases) that I can probably compete better than I thought, but what I have been doing is working so I should do more, though I bet the potential growth over time will be smaller than an article or site based on a highly searched phrase.  I have experimented with some new parameters with similar search to competition ratios, but way more pages and searches to compete for.  I just don’t want to have to back-link to rank, so will see how these go.  It is so new, all I can tell you is they are not getting much traffic yet.

 

Continuing Education

I started listening to Chris Guthrie’s “How to make money online” and to Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income” podcasts in May with all my driving.  I still have another 20 of Pat’s to go.  I am trying to educate myself to other online businesses and paths,  and also prepare my subconscious to recognise opportunities and what is involved in true success online.  There are a few things becoming clearer, but I am in no rush.  These guys have some interesting guests and great helpful content and are well worth a listen.

 

Stuff I didn’t get to (yet)

 

Selling Lenses

I had been looking at selling Squidoo lenses and haven’t got any further in setting something up for sales yet, though now I can do WordPress, I may set a site up for that.   I think I will have to keep them at least 6 months before selling as evidenced by the traffic/jumps I got in May.

Adsense

I didn’t get any more Adsense studying done, though I likely will do that when I get the sites up an earning something while steadily adding to the Web 2.0 articles.  I will likely go straight to Adsense sites over Web 2.0 as the pay seems to be some much lower for the effort, though I admit it is hands off really.  I think I will need a different set of kw ratios and criteria for Adsense sites, way more searches.

More Stuff for June

June is going to be busy too as I have more work booked, after this first week off, but if it is anything like May, it should be all good.

More Websites

I am trying something else and outsourcing a number of 1000 word articles/single page website main pages,  through an online company, as I need reliability and steady production and quality all at once.  The software on the site is awesome for keeping track of long term projects and getting you exactly what you need.  The 1000 word pages I am hoping rank well due to their content.

If web sales take off I will expand the best websites with more content and posts and reuse that 1000 word content somewhere, if no sales, then maybe I will build them up a bit anyway.  I am going to be collecting data and making sense of all this as it is still all so new.  I love this side of things, experimenting and looking for patterns.

More Articles

My articles earn pretty well, so of course I have to do more.  May was kind of a loss for adding new content,  a lot like Dec/Jan when I spent a month working on Zazzle.  I will feel happier with “more” articles published.

An Ebook?

Along with sharing tips on with this site, I am considering writing a “How to do well selling Amazon on Squidoo” e-book,  so all the info I have been posting on Amazon selling, and making the most of Web 2.0 in various articles is in once place.  If you think you may be interested in the future, comment or just keep a eye on this spot.  I am working on a spam-less email sign up, but I am still a bit new to WordPress!  Lil Black Dress has been helping me, but I have been dying to post this report, and am so imaptient, I’ll do that later!

Videos

I am also considering doing some step by step videos for both how to do articles that sell and likely websites once I know what I am doing works.

So words of wisdom.  I don’t really have any right now, though I will be posting more posts on here on specific things you can do that will help your Amazon income on Web 2.0 sites.  I hope I can report on the niche sites too, but it’s early days.

I’d love for you to comment and any questions you ask may be topics for other posts. I know I was aksed about the scraper tools so worked on this today, Keyword Scraper Tools I Love to Use and How I use Them

Andy June 5, 2012 at 12:56 am

This is really awesome progress. I think it’s great that you’re starting another Make_Money_Online-type blog since it’s actually working out for you. I’ve watched you progress at IB and I just started at Squidoo myself… I’ve been spending more time with niche sites. Good luck with everything!

Skeffling June 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

Thanks Andy. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with the Nichhe websites. And thanks about the blog. I realized that apart from 17 cents from a new niche site, all my income came from free methods, so hopefully others can do it too with a minimum amount of investment.

Good luck at Squidoo.

ash July 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

are you focusing on any niche site in particular

Eleanor June 5, 2012 at 4:55 am

Hi

Impressive month for you skeffling. I continue to write more squidoo lenses and hope to see some sales from them in the future. Just one quick question, how many searches per month do you choose for your keywords?

Eleanor

Skeffling June 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

Thanks Eleanor. In the last month I have tried something a bit different (with way higher searches, some are 18,000 searches but it has to be an emergency item people buy almost immediately) but most are in the 50-100 range. Some are as low as 30 searches monthly on Google kw estimator and the very rare one is over 500! I may try so that are flat line zeros on both tools on the strength of the buyer intent of the keywords, when I run out of others!

Honestly, how best-selling the item is, and the buying intent of the kw is actually more important than the number of searches!

I figure if it is selling on Amazon, and a handful of people are looking for it with a kw I like, and I can write a good LSI article with the right layout, stuff will sell and it has been.

It does seem to be a crazy approach, but it’s common sense too, the best sellers are bestselling, no matter how people found them. Hope that helps.

Wendy June 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm

So impressive and inspiring. I can’t wait for your ebook and will shortly be using your link to get amasuite. On that note I was wondering what method you use for your amazon.co.uk articles as amasuite is just for .com? I’m in the UK and although I am a .com affiliate I would need to earn a lot in order to make it worthwhile ; they only pay via check or gift certs to foreigners and I know there’s a fee involved in cashing foreign currency checks at this end. Consequently I’m more interested in cracking the UK market.

Is it just a case of you knowing what might sell and targeting at the UK instead of US?

Apologies if this is a dumb question! Any help you can give is appreciated.

Skeffling June 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Wendy. Most of the Squidoo UK earnings is putting an additional link to the category of products on amazon.co.uk (I manually search and sort by top rated then link to that search page).

I do it with articles I know are getting more UK traffic. I have one article that is over 50% UK versus US (not on purpose), so I make sure they are in there. Others are more random when they have it. I am English and know gardening is a good bet for doing a UK link, but if someone collected analytics and saw over 20% UK traffic, it may be an idea to put them in. I do them as a “Big Arrow” link at the very, very bottom of the articles.

For niche sites there is the Easy Azon plugin that detects where someone is in the world and as long as there is the same item on the site from the country they are on, the link will go to their country’s Amazon.

On the weekend, I tried to set this up on one of my niche sites for the first time, but I think there is a technical hitch, so it can login to my “API”? as it just stalls when search for items to list and link to. I hate asking for help so will either figure it out and try again or work around it but that Wordpress plugin may get you the best of both worlds. It’s by the same guys as Amasuite, Chris Guthrie.

Hope that helps, ;-) Thanks so much for your comment and support!

Wendy June 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

That’s super helpful, thank you. I hadn’t thought about using analytics to find out where the visitors are coming from, that makes perfect sense. And also proves it was a dumb question, but thank you for answering it with such grace! I am definitely going to buy amasuite this week under your affiliate link so your time helping me will not be in vain :-) Thanks again.

Skeffling June 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Haha! It’s not a dumb question at all, it’s so hard to know where to start. The only reason I know, is it’s the result of observing results which is invaluable!

What made me notice was a low click through and sales on a page with pretty good traffic, and then all the google.co.uk searches.

I love looking for patterns and trends in things, which is handy for internet marketing!

Wendy June 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Ooh btw I forgot to mention earlier that amasuite have released an update this week and it now includes amazon. co.uk for the top lists and the keywords! It’s like they were listening to our conversation! Just in case anyone else asks you or there are UK peeps reading this.

SincerelyT June 9, 2012 at 2:55 am

Hey Skeffling! Awesome post. I’m totally interested in your e-book and will be in line to purchase it if and when you do decide to sell it.

Skeffling Lavender farm June 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Sincerely T for stopping in and your kind comments. I am glad you liked it. I can’t believe it myself!

Thanks for the interest in the E-book, it will be full of good stuff for sure! I want to get it out soon, but don’t want to rush and do a bad job either!

Chris Guthrie June 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for the mention in your post / it’s fun to read these income style updates.

Very intersted in your Squidoo idea of selling the lenses. If you can sell them for a solid multiple it makes sense to try it though (as long as you can scale the creation of the lenses – that might be the one thing that will be a potential constraint you’ll need to address)

Skeffling June 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thank Chris, I appreciate you stopping by and reading! It is certainly fun to be able to write a report like this!

I’d still like to get some websites up and be able to sell them, but the Squidoo seems easy to crack and lens transfer is so easy. I am sure it is a much smaller market than the whole rest of the web, but it is a start. The capital will help with outsourcing and growing the business faster though. Being a Giant Squid on Squidoo means there are custom templates you can use that can speed up lens creation significantly, and outsourcing content is working well.

Ash June 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Will you be doing your own podcast I think it would be a big step in exposing this blog to a wider audience I would be the first to listen, another massive thing is you should include a subscribe by email button, or Rss button so people can keep up with the blog (you may have already thought about this)

Skeffling June 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hi Ash, Thanks for your encouraging comments. Good question, I have honestly been considering it, and videos. It wouldn’t be for a while. I have a lot more to learn yet, but have been considering the path forward carefully. I am figuring out the feed stuff and subscription and getting the site ship shape. As I said, lots to learn!

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