Skeffling’s September 2012 Earnings Report – A chaotic month

by Skeffling-ton on October 4, 2012 · 61 comments

If you are curious if we beat last months earnings, this is the place to find out!   Sorry I’m a bit late with it.

September was not too bad of a month for income.  For getting work done, it was frustrating and erratic due to constant random farm and house-selling interruptions.

I have had people asking me about the recent Google algorithm update and some Squidoo articles have an extreme spike up, others are slowly drifting down as they are seasonal summer articles.  There has been an overall increase in traffic in the past 5 days though.  I am not sure it is 100% due to the updates though, as I will discuss after the earnings numbers.

We did manage 40 new Squidoo lenses, and 26 other articles on Infobarrel and Seekyt as it was Nathan’s first month off.  I also purchased just under 100 Infobarrel articles on a variety of topics.  None have images, so I am planning to add media pages to help increase Adsense impressions and earnings.

The e-book progressed a little and really just needs editing and publishing, but it seems I need to find a way to work on it effectively in shorter pockets of time as it seems the interruptions are making it almost impossible to sit down for any length of time at the moment.  Thanks for all the well wishes on it, I am trying to get it done as fast as I can!

So here are the numbers you have been waiting for…

September 2012 Online Earnings

Adsense $89.07  We broke the old record by $19 as we are entering the season for my top earners on Infobarrel

Chitika $1.18

Kindle Books $23.37  Sold about 12 $3 books, 10 on, and 2 with no promotion at all (yet)

Zazzle $29.40  Looks like Belted Galloway bumper stickers are hot! Haha!

Hubpages $25.88

My own and Nathan’s IB/Seekyt/Wizzley/Squidoo Affiliate $3320.90 (32 cents from Nathan’s Amazon affiliate) 8% commission £28.97  so $43.46US

Clickbank and Shareasale Affiliate $35.30

Squidoo Amazon commissions including Adshare $3079.35

Grand Total is $6647.72

(confirmed at payout on Nov 15th)

Sales stats

Highlights were, one sale of a $5500 item less than 2 weeks after a lens was published.  Next biggest was our second highest-ever sale at $2600 sale on a 6 month old lens!

This month I kept track of daily sales and added them up on a spreadsheet so I know average sales per day were $4556.67 over the 30 days for a total sales of products of $136,700.  New record for daily sales was $10,045 in one day!

Average Earnings

Average earnings per article is $10.33 over all my 643 articles (not including the purchased ones, negligible income there right now-per tracking)

Average earnings per Squidoo article is $16.73 per article over 359 lenses (about 40 of them brand new this month).  I counted $2931.25 in from Squidoo from my own Amazon affiliate results for Squidoo pay total of $6007.60


Challenges in September

We have been battling the newer over-exuberant Squidoo duplicate content filters and resulting “low quality content” labels on a portion of our newer lenses on Squidoo, though the recent articles are well written, longer and better than some of the older articles.

We have have seen some articles published on Giant squid accounts and transferred to non Giant accounts were unable to be re-published and there had definitely been a sink in ranking even with likes and sales.  We think a label was being applied by Squidoo and affecting Google SERPs too.  If trying to publish for the first time on those non-giant accounts, articles just do not go live at all.  We think it is long item names/labels (triggering the copyscape), but when copyscape flags “queen size mattress” you have to shake your head.

So we have spent hours checking many (60+) articles with copyscape then we requested green-lighting on them over 3 weeks ago.  There has been no email notification they were cleared or denied, but yesterday, we realized we were able to republish after all (and others too, previously un-publishable but with no green-light request), so if you have any low content flagged lenses that you have checked in copyscape and are sure are OK quality-wise, it may be time to try republishing.  Anyone doing top X list product reviews may have the odd one pop up even when well-written.  We think there are trigger-words too, as well as multiple word-strings.

I think this is why our income increase may not have been as high this time, as the fall seasonal articles haven’t been getting the same level of traffic we were getting from the summer items or that articles usually give us a month or 2 after publishing.   I also think last month’s jump up from Augusts’ $4k was fluky, so I wasn’t expecting a $1000 jump this month based on how many fall articles we have, which isn’t many.

It could just be a buying lull too as we have had many small sundry items sales too, and we did have so many summer articles that are winding down now.  We also have no Halloween articles, except 2 I bought on Infobarrel that get more traffic than all the others put together.  I just have a mental sigh, when I think about writing about tacky Halloween, sorry!  I guess I should outsource them as I know it is a missed opportunity.

Much better now?

So I am speculating our recent rise in traffic may have been due to the google algorithm changes and/or may have been due to some invisible label/penalty being lifted by Squidoo.   Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

The on page keyword density is super low, often the whole string is only seen 2 to 3 times in a 600-1000 word lens and one is usually the title.  It is well under 1% anyway.  Of course there is no back-linking but the Ping and Submitstart to get them indexed, so if there was a Penguin-Panda update as well as the EMD update that would explain a relative rise, like we have had on other updates.


Hiring a VA

We have decided what work we want our VA to do, a bit of everything, so an “IM associate”.  We want to be able to add to, edit, optimize, improve LSI and update content and links, and post new content (mostly outsourced) and have them write as well if needed.  Virtual staff finders is interviewing them now to get to a short-list for us.  Nathan, has been working on that and we went over the interview package today as we should be interviewing next week.

Squidoo has taken a lot of time this month to try to sort out the low quality labels.  My stomach lurches when I see something like that even if it is a mechanical filter, so we have spent a lot of time trying to fix it, so it will be nice to hand that type of work off.  I hope it will free up our time so I can get the book finished and available quickly.


Upcoming diversification

This morning I heard Hubpages was either hit by the algo update or has some reorganization penalty they are figuring out.  I actually posted two hubs in a brand new account last night.  I thought it would be a good way to use up the 20 one-thousand-word articles I got outsourced in the summer for tiny EMD niche sites, and never got done.  That style is not going to work now for the niche sites, so I figured I could use the content up and thought I’d experiment there.  HP are amazingly fast to post on (after Squidoo) so I may proceed with that anyway, as Squidoo is not necessarily immune to updates like this and diversity is the key.

I have content already written for Seekyt too, so hope to get more up there this month.  The VA will likely start on that and we plan to have them using the tips from JCMayer777’s LSI and SEO reports to edit outsourced content and optimize On-page SEO.

I still plan to spend time publishing and promoting more Kindle books, there are 5 or 6 written now, from Zerys, waiting for covers and formatting and publishing!  2 more are currently being written too, I have a great writer and I want to keep her busy!  But I am not touching them, til I have my own book done.  Most of the other work can be outsourced, but not that.

One Google-free revenue stream I have is Zazzle and I still plan to increase that over time too, likely in the New Year!

I’d love to make Adsense payout monthly too, but I know building it up has it’s own risks too.  Getting the new Infobarrel articles optimized better is on the cards too.  As well as likely some outsourced IB Adsense-style content though I don’t want to spend much until I have a better handle on Infobarrel’s earnings potential as it seems to be a much lower per article amount than Amazon based content.

Nathan is starting an authority Amazon site for a niche that I have had success with the past few months, and it is not keyword reliant at all, so we may be able to share how we did that when it is up and running.


So lots of plans!  What are yours? How was September?  Did the recent algo change affect anyone?  I hope not or they were temporary!  What are your plans?

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