My goal was to cover 100% of my average expenses here in Medellin ($1,200) and to ramp up the income generated exclusively from my website to $500 per month by the end of the year.
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 living overseas in the pursuit of becoming location independent.
On to this month’s report…
October 2014 Income Report
Each month I report on what I did well as well as what I could stand to improve on.
What Went Well
1. REI Giveaway
I was able to partner up with REI.com on a $250 gift card giveaway in advance of the holiday season. By the way, still time to enter, it ends on 12/3 at 7pm EST. It has been a pretty big success, I’d say. My first contest for an Aeropress coffee maker garnered 100 entrants. Currently the REI contest has garnered about 1,200 entries.
I’m hoping I can relay the success with this contest into future opportunities with other businesses for both free review items, press trips, and paid opportunities.
2. Social Media Increases
Going hand in hand with the raffle above, my follower count on Twitter and Facebook increased significantly during that time period as well. During the raffle time period I increased my Facebook followers from 1,187 to 1,449–nearly 300 new followers (20% increase). And on Twitter, prior to the contest I had 1,645 followers, which has since increased to 1,952–again about an increase of 300.
Social media numbers in and of themselves, of course, don’t really mean much–but it does help when having initial conversations with potential advertisers or soliciting press trips.
3. Site Traffic
Traffic at D2D has been stagnant around 10,000 for the past six months or so. I haven’t really been able to break out of that mark. November saw a 30% increase in visitors over October and got me over 12,000 visitors in a month for the first time ever. Again, that is primarily due to the contest, but I’m hoping that some of that traffic will “stick” for December.
What Did NOT Go Well
Another slow month for a variety of reasons: For one, the slow tourist season continues to drag on, I only got like 3 inquiries for the month. For two, the latter half of the month wasn’t feasible in terms of hosting due to my time in that apartment coming to an end and needing to wrap up everything and get out of the house.
In terms of the Airbnb business, I do think in the end it was definitely worth it. On the worst months (excluding this one) I was able to reduce my costs to a little more than what I’d be paying to rent one bedroom in a place. And in the best months I was able to fully cover my rent and utilities. Pretty good. Not to mention having a big place all to myself at times, which is nice.
Get started with Airbnb and claim a $25 credit toward your first stay with my link.
2. Affiliate Sales
Amazon.com sales were slightly up compared to last month, but they are still WAY off from where they used to be. Likewise, I did not make make any additional affiliate sales for the larger payout products like those from Unconventional Guides, which saved my income last month.
I have been sending out a Dirtbag Deals of the Day emails to my new list in the hopes that I might be able to pick up some gear affiliate sales, especially during the Holiday season. Thus far it has only resulted in a $8 commission from a Backcountry.com purchase.
Full Financial Report
$0 – Airbnb Rental
$400 – Freelance writing and other work
$133.56 – Affiliate sales and advertising from D2D
-$98.20 – Amazon Affiliate sales
-$27.12 – YouTube Videos
-$0.28 – Adsense ads.
TOTAL = $533.56
GOAL = $1,200 per month
44% of expenses covered.
My income decreased 26% compared to October.
Airbnb rental income was down to $0 for the reasons we already went into above–and going forward it obviously won’t play a role in my income reports for the foreseeable future.
Freelance income was up 18% which is always nice to see, especially two months in a row of increases. About 35% of the $400 was from freelance writing projects (a portion of which will no longer be possible after leaving Medellin) with the rest being from a single client working on WordPress related things, which should continue in some capacity in the immediate future.
Website income was down 45% which was pretty disappointing. Two months of decreasing returns is not a great sign. Summer was great, fall was bad. Here’s to hoping the holiday purchases in December will pick up and make up for some of this disappointing down turn.
Odds and Ends
So I’ve now moved out of my apartment in Medellin and am biding my time over these final days. It will undoubtedly be a bit strange returning back to the States–there is bound to be some culture shock, especially for how much things are going to cost!
I ended up deciding to put my household furnishing into storage here in Medellin for the future… Strangely enough this move out of my apartment is the biggest move I’ve ever made. In all my previous living situations I never really owned much more than a bed and a few odds and ends.
This time around I had to move out absolutely everything.
I’m still planning for my January visit to Florida with Andrea, thinking about Alaska for February or March to see the Northern Lights, and then planning next year’s big adventure (stay tuned for the details on that one!).
Speaking of work and income, check out this great post by Brendan of Semi-Rad about being a Vagabond on the Clock: How to Work from Anywhere–it’s a great read and yours truly even got a little shout out! 🙂
That’s all I got for you this month.
If you found this post interesting or insightful please don’t forget to Like it, Tweet it, or otherwise spread the word among your social networks. Cheers!
As always questions, comments, and feedback are extremely welcome.
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