Time for another one of my monthly online income reports. I set the goal of earning $1,200 per month exclusively from my website and related projects by the end of the year.
You might be wondering why I share this:
These monthly income reports are meant to hold me accountable to both myself and my readers. They offer a glimpse into the nature of making money through a blog and other online endeavors, as well as my efforts to cover my expenses while traveling in the pursuit of becoming location independent.
On to this month’s report…
April 2016 Income Report
Each month I report on what I did well as well as what I could stand to improve on from a financial perspective, as well as a blogging strategy perspective.
What Did NOT Go Well
So last month I was amazed that paperback sales were outselling my Kindle sales for Big Travel, Small Budget… But I guess you should be careful what you wish for?
Paperback sales took a dive of 50% this month, strangely. Which means that for the first time since launching the book in August of last year that I earned less than $100 total in a month for my book.
Hopefully it isn’t an ongoing downward trend, but if I can get my act together and release this book I’ve been working on, I think it will also help raise sales for this book. At least that’s what other authors report, and why the writing biz is generally a multi-book affair.
No sales for April! That’s highly disappointing… Wouldn’t you love to pick up an awesome GO OUTSIDE t-shirt for yourself? 😀
What Went Well
Amazon Affiliate Sales
It seems like if I talk about something as going well or not going well one month, then the next month it reverses course.
I was lamenting Amazon affiliate sales last month, and then this month it nearly doubled.
In part I believe that my conclusion last month that some of my articles that earn me the most have taken a hit in Google search results was simply wrong.
The reality, I now believe, is that those related searches are primarily seasonal in nature. Looking back at last year, my biggest income periods were surrounding the summer… Which makes a lot of sense when you realize that my website is primarily outdoors focused.
It’s simply the fact that more people are searching for things related to hiking, climbing, camping, etc in the summer months. Which in turn leads to increased visitors to my site and the subsequent increase in earnings.
We will see if that holds true for the coming months…
Increased Site Visitation
But speaking of increased site visitation, April was a new record here at Desk to Dirtbag with nearly 40,000 pageviews over the month!
That eclipses the previous record of 35k set back in September 2015… Which was also when my site-related income took a dive.
I had a one-day visit record set as well with over 1,900 pageviews in a single day. Some big Facebook page shared an article of mine and was driving tons of traffic to my site.
The funny thing is, I have no idea what page it was or who was linking to me. That’s the weird thing about Facebook links, you can’t find them unless they tag your page which is fairly uncommon.
Working with Advertisers
The big difference between this month and last month is that I have begun working directly with a few advertisers.
In general, I dislike websites loaded up with ads. I’m sure you do too. Good news is that you have probably not noticed anything different and it makes for an easy (one-time) payment.
But I am debating about experimenting with Google Adwords once again… It’s been years since I’ve experimented with it on this site.
Previously Adwords simply wasn’t worth it. My site at the time had very few visitors and resulted in very little money. I’m considering adding ads across the website, and it could result in a relatively decent boost in the bottom line, but not if it comes at the cost of ruining the website for my readers…
So what do you think? If there were small Google ads placed in this article or in the sidebar, would that affect your opinion of the site or desire to read? What do you think about ads in general on websites? I’d really love to hear from you guys on this…
Full Income Report
-$283.96 – Amazon Affiliate Sales
-$230.00 – Direct advertising
-$27.04 – Big Travel, Small Budget paperback sales
-$60.21 – Big Travel, Small Budget Kindle sales
-$24.11 – YouTube Videos
-$4.99 – REI affiliate sale
TOTAL = $622.54
GOAL = $1,200 per month
52% of goal covered
A HUGE bump up in income versus March, with a 90% overall increase. It’s nice to see an upward trajectory on a few of my sources of income.
Though others took a downward trajectory, the increases from Amazon Affiliate sales were more than enough to cover those loses and push the overall number up.
Of course the direct advertising was a tremendous help as well.
What Else is New?
April was a good month!
The biggest thing for me was participating in my first ever organized race with the Corre Mi Tierra 10k! I completed the 6.2 mile race in 54 minutes and 13 seconds.
Nothing earth shattering in terms of the time, but I was happy with myself as a new runner in my first race. I wanted to come in below 1 hour, which I did.
The race was super well organized, well attended with over 3,000 participants, and was a great value at only $16 to participate. Read more about my experience at the Corre Mi Tierra race here in Medellin.
Of course, one success leads to setting your eyes on a more difficult goal…
I’m strongly, strongly considering training for a marathon.
The Maraton de las Flores here in Medellin is in September, which should theoretically give me sufficient time to up my game and get ready.
I’ve always wanted to run a marathon for the personal challenge. And this is a great opportunity, but it’s still an intimidating thought. In any case, I’ve begun a modified training schedule based on those by Hal Higdon and will probably make the commitment YES or NO in June.
Have you run a marathon before? I’d really love to hear from you about your training, preparation, recommendations, and so forth. Seriously! Shoot me an email…
The other big news is that I purchased a ticket back to Seattle to visit friends and family for the first time in a year! I’ll be heading back just a few weeks. It’ll be great to be home for a little bit.
Normally, flying from Colombia to Seattle would be a fairly expensive proposition (around $800 usually), but thanks to travel hacking like I address in my book, I’ll be flying round trip for only $117.06!
An incredible bargain.
The entire return leg of the trip is all in First Class as well. I’ll definitely feel out of place there, haha!
Read more details about my super cheap round trip international flight with First Class, or read more about how to start credit card hacking for fun and profit and get $150 for free (seriously)…
Speaking of travel hacking and this nomadic lifestyle… I just got word that the once a year Paradise Pack sale will be taking place in just one month! It’s a package of around 20 incredible courses about traveling and working from anywhere in the world.
I’ve picked it up for the past two years and the information always blows me away and helps me move toward my goals. This is, by far, the greatest value bargain for aspiring digital nomads and location independent pros. Expect to hear more about it soon, but also be sure to sign up for my mailing list so you don’t miss out.
That’s all I got for you this month.
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As always questions, comments, and feedback are extremely welcome.
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