I’m not entirely sure why, but for some reason it excites me when I read other bloggers talk about how much they earn. It must be something to do with the “I can do it too” factor that gets me motivated.
To keep the trend running I’ve decided to report back some of my results working online as well in the hope that I can motivate you. October also happened to be the best month ever for me so I feel like bragging a little :).
I encourage you to report back how you are doing working and/or blogging online, no matter how much (or how little) you earn. If you do please trackback, comment or link to this blog post so I can see.
I love seeing the dollar figures first so I’ll give a quick round-up of my turnover, but bear in mind these are revenue figures, my profits are certainly not this high (I wish!) and I’ll only provide generic details about the income sources since I don’t want to give everything away!
Note that not all the money below has been paid to me yet – some of it is affiliate income and the cheques have not come through yet. I also did some rounding for simplicity sake.
Amounts in $USD unless noted otherwise.
1. BetterEdit: $16,000+ (AUD)
This was a new monthly record, fuelled by my campaigning around the world.
2. Blog Advertising (internal): $400
This includes internal advertising not using a third party ad broker.
3. Blog Advertising (external): $450
Includes third party ad brokers such as Text Link Ads (aff) and RSS ads.
4. Affiliate Income: $4500
This was unusually high because of some big product launches but still reflects the potential for affiliate income from blogging – definitely better than AdSense in my case!
Total = $17,350 $USD*
*I converted the $AUD into $USD.
I’ll go through BetterEdit first. I don’t think I announced it here on this blog, but I brought on an administration person, Angela, who is in Brisbane. The timing was great in that I was heading overseas to Toronto and needed someone to take over the day-to-day running of BetterEdit and Angela happened to be looking for some stay-at-home-mum style work at the same time. I knew Angela from university.
It was a bit of a whirlwind around August since Angela had only just had her first child, Ella, and a few weeks later I handed the admin role over to her as I got on a plane to Canada. Fast forward now to November and everything has settled well enough.
I’ll just stick on my business systems hat on now for a second…
I can’t give all the credit to Rich Schefren for motivating me to get BetterEdit working without me doing the motherload of daily activities, since I had plans to do so long before I came in contact with Rich. However I can certainly say his coaching and books have been instrumental in forcing my thinking to be even more concentrated on setting up a business system (I feel so lazy now – I don’t want to do anything myself anymore!).
Seeing BetterEdit operate without me solidifies in my mind what I should be doing in my business and it’s mostly not what I do now, so there is a lot of work ahead as I build a framework around the talents of other people, and I have to find the right people yet too!
I don’t want to launch into a discussion of business systematization right now so I’ll save that for later.
Note that while BetterEdit’s revenue was great in October there was the added cost of paying for the new admin person and since I am travelling around the world (well Hawaii and Canada anyway) promoting BetterEdit, I had extra expenses, so the margin dropped quite a lot.
BetterEdit generally runs at around a 30% profit margin, which I think is around a loose average for businesses depending on the model. That being said I do not pay myself a salary at this time so really you could say the business has no profit margin at all and pays me an average salary instead. Since my involvement in the business at the moment is very little – I watch over things and make sure payments go into bank accounts and paypal accounts – about 1 hour a day on average, it’s a fantastic work-to-income ratio, but it did take five years to get here.
Blog Advertising Income
Advertising income is probably the most steady aspect of my blogging income. I don’t use AdSense on my blogs and rely on my internal system to sell advertising directly and via third party systems like Text Link Ads and RSS Ads provided by Feedburner at this time. I test other advertising systems infrequently and so far these two work the best in tandem with my in-house campaigns, however no doubt I could do better if I spent more time in this area. I don’t see it becoming dramatically better though, maybe up to $2000 a month on improved traffic, so I hope to pass this task (advertising management) on to an employee/outsourcer soon since my time is spent better elsewhere.
Have I mentioned before how much I love affiliate income?
Warning…this gets a bit long and rambling-ish…
While I am far from earning a living from affiliate income and unfortunately mine is still largely dependent on regular blogging, it is growing and building up on previous efforts. It’s especially exciting to see in the recursive income areas like membership subscriptions, where the referral income keeps coming month after month.
After being involved in one of the largest Internet product launches ever I can see how amazingly well the big affiliates do. I won’t name names (my regular readers will probably guess), but let’s just say I was part of a product launch that broke a lot of records and one record in particular really blew me away – for the first time (I think) an affiliate made seven figures from one product promotion. That’s a million dollars in affiliate commissions for one person, not to mention the multiple six figure earning affiliates that were involved too. The stars had to align for this to happen (great marketers, great product the market was hungry for, known experts behind the product and great promotional materials to work with), but it really shows what is possible from affiliate marketing.
I’m barely averaging a four figure affiliate income each month. The trend is definitely up and I would hope if I kept at it for a few more years, five-figure results may become the norm, with four figures coming in recursively, but that’s a bit far off at this point especially if I keep working the way I do at the moment.
I don’t consider affiliate marketing to be a good business model for me long term, especially if I operate in the “Internet marketing” industry, since it is saturated and as I have talked about previously, suffering from a terrible credibility issue. It would be difficult to ever find solid points of leverage as an affiliate marketer for Internet marketing products without some established credibility, contacts and history in the industry. The boat has sailed in this market and I believe guys like Allan Gardyne, who started before we hit the year 2000, are the last of the big earners in the affiliate Internet marketing industry.
I have no doubt many will start up and eventually start earning good four and five figure months promoting Internet marketing products using Internet marketing (how to make money online teaching others how to make money online – why does that seem incestuous?), but there won’t be any new millionaires made unless they are already making that, or close to it, now. Don’t get me wrong – I think the potential is huge for affiliate earning in industries OUTSIDE of Internet marketing, just don’t go thinking you will get really wealthy promoting only Internet marketing products.
Personally I don’t want to be forever making two to three thousand a month in affiliate commissions and be forced to constantly come up with new content to maintain it. Right now, at this point in my life, it’s not a bad side income, it keeps my cashflow going and it certainly is worth pursuing – but it is a difficult industry to operate in given the current conditions and I wouldn’t recommend it as the focal point of your business plan for the future. At this time it happens to be a great way to monetize my blogs while I still enjoy writing about Internet marketing – I can’t see that being the case for for the rest of my life and as I said, is not a business model – it’s just a revenue stream (and yes, my favorite revenue stream at the moment because it’s 100% profit!).
If you were to stop and ask me what I am doing right now I’d say I am working towards building a business that doesn’t require me to always produce content or step in and manage things.
If you were to look at my present reality, besides the success I have had automating BetterEdit and generating passive income from blogging, I am basically a self employed creative person doing an awful lot of technical tasks, with a huge list of to-dos that I do not want to do, nor should I, if I am to a build a business.
For the time being I’m not doing too bad, especially when month’s like October come by.
How are you doing?
Making Money All Over The Place