We are stepping into Q2 2012(April to June) and I’m thankful that April was over. It was a tough month regarding to the niche site traffic and my online income.
This is my 7th month really into this Make Extra Money Online business – I mean thinking and acting on it on regular basis.
I love writing this kind of income report for journey and sharing my experience. I’m more than experienced than I was a year ago. Let us learn and grow as a community together.
My 3 Lessons in April
1. Be Flexible about my business
Google had some new Panda and Penguin algorithm update and hit some of my new niche sites badly. Many of those new ones were in 20’ SERP in April and now are all out of 500+, probably sent to the sandbox.
Unexpectedly, my Adsense Income was double up. It was a pretty bad month in March and I didn’t expect it went well and hit another $100 Mark month finally.
Niche Site Traffic is pretty dynamic. Some keywords that are ranking today, may not rank tomorrow due to the competition and Google Algorithm change.
After Penguin update, I was sitting back and kind of like in a “reactive” mode. What could I do next? How could I maintain and even grow my business to the next level?
I don’t agree on those making money online fast, hit and run business model. I’m looking for a long term and passive income still making me decent extra income a few years later. All my hard-work today still pays off a few months later.
2. Being Focus and Productive is Not Easy
In April, I was “planning” to add in more content and built a few new niche sites for testing post-panda (After Blog Network being deindex update in March.)
Indeed, I added only around 10 articles to my best money making niche sites and some new ones.
I felt I didn’t accomplish much.
Also I didn’t hit my weekly blog post goal and only added 3 blog posts here in April.
Setting your goal and accomplishing “something” could be totally off.
Indeed of setting goals, I think it would be better to set schedule and stick with it, either outsourcing, posting, or backlinking for my niche sites.
Sometimes I am “working” online, and waste time on reading emails, blogs, twitter, and Facebook. I really like setting 25 min time-box, and focus finishing tasks these days. Check out this FREE desktop app at Focus Booster
3. Get to have Life Balance
Although my income was getting a little lower in April, I felt this was a much more well-balanced month regarding to work-load and how much time I spend on this business.
Being honest, it was about 1-2 hours a day which is kind of what I like to do online. Working too much doesn’t mean working smart.
Also things happen, life priority shifts and I focus much more at my full-time job (kind of satisfying to get more done there indeed). Family thing happens and I treasure much more time I spend time with my kids these days. They just grow fast and my “online business” is not totally the top priority.
I enjoy working and growing this business as this is “mine”.
Better Life Balance = More Productive = Happier Life = Enjoy more what I do online.
In Jan and Feb, I was very stress-out as those are the first months that I am “fully” involving in this business. I started blogging on weekly basis and trying to maintain my online business for 4-digit a month.
It took more than I could afford regarding to time and energy after 9-to-5 and family commitment.
Sometimes I just need to sit back and relax. Refresh my mind, and Have a fresh eye.
I was over-working from Jan – March. April was going slower than I’d like, but I feel my stress level went down as well.. which is great.
I get to enjoy life and this business journey. I love Spring and summer is approaching earlier than I thought this year.
I’m thankful that this Online Business is not my full-time and any extra income is bonus.
I highly suggest you to take a break from your Online Business. Have a refreshing view about how to go forward!
Online Income Report in April 2012
1. Amazon Affiliate ($237.82)
This was a bad month that I couldn’t hit 7% commission rate and shipped fewer than 110 items totally.
Some of my high traffic pages (~50 a day) were impacted and ranked out. You could tell that my conversation rate dropped. I could claim it was a tax filing month and people wasn’t in the mood buying online especially on my niche sites.
I enrolled Azon Commission Classroom in early April. Learned some new tricks and am pretty involved in the forum. I learn the best by watching training video and watching Case Study – how Jeff and Dave made some sales on a 10-page product review live site. Unfortunately, this is closed.
I highly recommend Niche Profit Course which have helped me to build my Amazon Niche Site Empire. It comes with Azon WP Theme that I have been using on my Niche Sites and you could check out Chris’ mini niche and authority Affiliate site Case Study – they are the models I have been following along these days. Check out my $11K Amazon income proof here.
2. Google Adsense (~$120)
Since many online folks got their Adsense Account Ban, I hesistant to post the traffic trend chart and specific number of my Adsense Summary Report.
One of my niche sites hit $100 Adsense in April. I’m going to grow it even bigger and add 2 articles a week on this Adsense site this month.
Google doesn’t like Thin Content Niche sites, and as a long term business, I am operating as an Adsense Publisher. I know this site is in decent paid CPC niche and people are looking for the information that I could provide.
I didn’t move fast enough for my Adsense Case Study as planned. All the Panda and Penguin keep me panic to react.
As April 1st, I have hit $1,000 Mark as Google Adsense income (I have accumulated this income from the last couple months.)
Adsense definitely works and one of the easiest ways to make money online. I’m testing and trying to grow it on monthly basis.
3. Affiliate Income ($195.54)
My Affiliate income didn’t do great as in March, which is kind of expected as I haven’t really promoted any Affiliate offer lately. (I only promote what has been working out for me just that there are too many spams out there.)
I’d like to focus more on my Core Business (which is Amazon and Adsense Niche Site), scale it BIG, provide a lot of values on my blog, and help others to succeed too.
Meanwhile, I’m exploring other Affiliate Network as diversifying my income stream.
CJ.com is my next. It really takes time to dig into it.
My Game Plan in May
My bottom line is to increase the traffic to my various niche sites. For Amazon Affiliate, driving more clicks to Amazon.com; for Adsense, more ads impression.
My to-do list:
1. Add 12 posts to my big Amazon Affiliate Site and 10 posts on various ones
2. Add 8 posts on my big Adsense Site and 10 posts on various ones
3. Work on my Azon Theme Niche Site (It’s a brand new.)
4. Work on my First Authority Niche Site (Will blog about how competitive this keyword and my approach is.)
5. Finish up my mini-site work for my Adsense Case Study (Have a follow-up post)
I will be out for 2 weeks vacation in June. Yes, I will be in Asia and I love to think outsourcing more and hope I could have more “done” in June when I’m on vacation. I will spend more time with my parents back home and just chill out.
After all Panda and Penguin update, I reflect and am lucky that 2 of my sites are not impacted much regarding to the traffic and income. They are just “low” enough that I don’t feel hurt. ☺
Update after update, Google just wanna honor more “authority” style sites. I heard the algorithm hurted some legit ones too which is another story.
I ran out of niche site content ideas. I’m thankful to get a copy of Erica Stone’s Niche Site Master and following the blueprint & 10 templates to add more “informative” posts to my Amazon Niche Sites. Those new pages should get more longtail keyword traffic.
Also I got Jamie’s Amazon Mind Control. This guide has listed out the 4 visitor buying thought process and I gonna create new Product Review posts with different approach. Highly conversion pages are what I need to grow my Amazon income. (I have been creating product review posts most of time but some are just not converting.)
The goal is to increase traffic to my niche sites by adding new fresh content and getting more longtail keyword traffic. I’m telling and proving to Search Engines that my sites are being updated and deserve for higher SERPs.
Be honest, I don’t have much to tell except that I’m testing out SocialAdr these days. This is a great service that I am paying $17 a month (the Lazy Free account) and have other members do social bookmarking for me.
It’s like having “outsourcing” workers doing social bookmarks across diff networks and working for me.
The work is so minimal that I really like and sort of passive. If I see good return, I may upgrade to the higher level one later.
I simple set up 10 url across my niche sites and let other SocialAdr members social bookmarking them on their accounts. You may have shared some of mine there already. I love receiving emails like this:
Google loves this kind of social signals as they are coming from different accounts and ip addresses. That is a lot of effort to get my niche site content shared socially. I do ping.fm another free service you should try out too.
I’d suggest you to register a Free Account at least, you could earn some free credits with 5 mins work a day. (The pain was the initial account creation and sign-up process; anyway, it was a free account, why not?)
The SEO world is not falling, just that I really don’t know what and how Google loves these days. At least I think Google wanna honor bigger and authority sites based on my recent analysis.
I have been reading a lot about Penguin Update and how this really impacts other Internet Markets. It really hurts those “thin” niche sites as well as some other Authority Sites.
After all, I don’t care much how bad the impact is. It’s all about how much traffic you get from the search engines, and social media.
I think the best way to be less dependent on Search Engine Traffic is to build a community page through Facebook and other Social Media. Get decent traffic from other source instead.
We shouldn’t have relied on GOOGLE too much. I’m learning how to drive more traffic from various sources. GOOGLE could snap your Search Engine Ranking BAD one day, but if you have great content, people follow and come back!
My Own Product Niche Blog
To diversify my income stream a little, I finally have my own product. Yes, I acquire the Azon Theme PLR right and I could sell it directly.
The site is still under construction and I’m writing unique related content and even out-source some of those. I hope this Niche product blog could help other Amazon Affiliates too.
I will blog how I customize Azon Theme and have decent conversion. Stay tuned.
New Authority Site Project
Creating new niche sites with thin content like those 1-3 pages one just don’t click. (For me, it’s not interesting and kind of dry for me. I enjoy getting more Adsense clicks, but not the work.)
To “test the water”, I am focusing to build my first (10-20 pages) mini Authority niche sites and throw in some “testing” money on Fiverr in May.
I prefer working on those over 5000 keyword search volume niche. Let them age and grow them big as 30-50+ pages.
I rather create new pages and rank them, instead of creating another new domain name and let it rank in 3 mos (it may not get any traffic after a few months though.)
I plan to find some long-term “winners” and make this kind of project as reproducible process.
For this IMT Community, big thanks and loves for all the retweets and regular visitors. Your support & visit traffic helps me move forward and continue providing values. I can’t GIVE what I don’t have.
I’m working hard and gaining some momentum, being a better Affiliate Marketer, and share more tips and news with you guys on regular basis.
I realize blogging is NOT my thing.. I rather work on my niche sites, than on this blog, but I love contributing and helping others to accomplish your goals online.
Sharing and Feedback
How did Panda and Penguin impact your Online Business? Do you have any plan in May? Let me keep you accountable too.