This is the July 2020 update for my Outdoor site. Check out last month’s case study.
July earnings were through the roof (but most likely not sustainable due to getting lucky with my email list). Here is what this update will cover:
- Traffic and earnings stats for July 2020
- July 2020 improvements
- Planned improvements for August 2020
- Develop a niche media agency?
Let’s get to it!
- Overall traffic is up ~1%
- Revenue was $7,539.53 (Comparable to $3,858.34 in June)
- Email list brought in $2,802.8 of the revenue!
- Private brand partnership on Amazon generated a small $30 —> The goal is they paid out so I can scale this!
- 27 new articles added
- Optimized the top ~30 pages to have comparison tables, affiliate links, and CTA buttons
📊 Traffic Stats for July
Here is a comparison between July and June 2020:
- Organic Search: 7.24% increase (36,850 in July vs 34,362 in June)
- Social: 68% increase (5,872 in July vs 3,486 visitors in June)
My content and on-page technical improvements are paying off. There were no Google algorithmic updates in July so this is the result of my content moving up over time in the SERPs.
Here is a breakdown of traffic by source:
Visitors by source:
- Facebook: 3,142
- Twitter: 2
- Pinterest: 2,606
- Reddit: 19
💰 P&L in July
- Revenue: $7,539.53
- Comparable to ~$3,858.34 in June 2020
- Costs: $1,874.56 (compared to $1,828.3 in May 2020)
- Profit: $5,664.97 (compared to $2,029.96 in May 2020)
For the costs, I spent $1,310 on content, $84 on my VA fees, $200 on social media VA fees, and the rest on miscellaneous items.
Here is the %-based revenue breakdown for the site so far. We can compare this month-by-month to see how my site is doing in terms of diversification.
My goal has always been to diversify my income and traffic sources so I am not reliant on one.
Let’s compare that to June 2020:
Note (I know everyone knows this but have to mention): pie charts show percentages. You can use them to check which % of profits make up the whole. Comparing one pie chart to another just gives you an idea of diversification, it does not mean my income went down from one source.
Other Affiliates vs Amazon
As you know from my previous case studies, I am trying to reduce dependency on Amazon (but in a profitable way of course).
In July 2020, my Other Affiliate revenue was 35.3% ($2,607) compared to Amazon Associates which was 18.3% ($1,352).
I was successful in diversifying. Now the trick is if I can sustain this long term while continuing to “grow the pie”.
1. 📤 Email Marketing Strategy
For an intro to my email marketing strategy for this site, please visit the June 2020 update.
Subscriber Count 📈
I added a total of 850 subscribers to my email list this month.
I have about a 0.25% unsubscribe so I lose about 40 subscribers each email blast. That’s a big high for me!
The thing that I keep track of is if I am making revenue. Email churn is going to happen but as long as my profit is positive (taking into consideration my time), then I am all for it.
So far, email profits are great. Let’s cover that.
Revenue from emails I send
Emails were my biggest earner by far.
I made $2,802.8 out of $7,539.53 from my email blasts!
Remember I do not have my own products. I just promote other people’s products either physical products or virtual (like ebooks, courses, etc).
Renting out my email list
A portion of my revenue ($776.20) was from renting out my email list.
Companies and other marketers reach out to do partnerships. They are willing to pay me a fixed payment (around $400 is what I charge) to send a dedicated email to my list with their offer.
What they are looking to get are (1) sales of their product, and (2) more email subscribers.
This was an easy way to earn significant revenue. I cannot expect this income every month though since there are only so many players out there willing to do this.
What’s next for email?
I am working hard to develop a VERY long drip campaign. I currently have 12 emails in my campaign.
Here is my structure:
- New subscribers join my email drip campaign
- After the campaign is done for that subscriber, they get added to my email blast list
- Every few days I test new emails (with new offers) to my email blast list
- The emails that were successful (see below) get added to my email drip campaign
This way I have a batch of subscribers (about 14,000) that I can test emails with.
Over time, I am building up a long sequence of drip emails that have been tested for success.
What do I define as a success? Here are the criteria:
- Open rate of 20-30%
- Clickthrough rate of 2-3%
- Sale conversion rate of 3% or revenue of $100 per email blast
If all of these criteria get hit, then the email gets added to my drip campaign.
All too often, people put together long email sequences that do not have a purpose. The purpose is to provide value and earn money. Your subscribers did not subscribe for you to tell them a random story in each email. Get to the point (but do not spam)!
Income diversification is working!
If you have been following me on my case studies, you know that I love income diversification.
With Amazon cutting commissions in May, and Walmart will be following suit to 1%, diversification is not a luxury it’s a requirement.
From the get-go, I’ve pushed for income diversification even though it may be the case that I earn more focusing on one affiliate.
What I do not want to do is spend a TON of time upfront optimizing for one affiliate program (e.g., Amazon), and then if they reduce commissions drastically, then having to go back and update all links to another program. This can take weeks on a big site and I do not want a drastic loss of income. Therefore I try to diversify the links.
Here is my month-by-month breakdown since acquisition:
Each row is a “brand” that has its very own affiliate commission structure. It may be that they are part of a bigger network like Commission Junction, AvantLink, private programs, etc, but the goal here is that they have a dedicated manager with a dedicated commission structure. That is my criteria for diversification.
📆 Plans for August 2020
I have big plans for August. Here they are:
- Content: put out another 30-50 articles (more if possible)
- Email marketing: continue improving and automating
- Facebook Groups: this niche has a “community” nature to it. I will be venturing into developing a Facebook group to drive traffic to offers and my site
- Acquire Social accounts: I would like to explore acquiring pre-existing social profiles like Pinterest and Facebook groups. I hypothesize that I can buy large following profiles and post my articles to drive traffic. Instead of building a following that can take months, this makes sense to me
- Acquire media assets: like acquiring accounts, I would like to explore acquiring assets like e-books, PDFs, etc. that I can rebrand as my own to give away for free to my subscribers or sell. Hiring someone to do this can be a hit and miss so why not just acquire.
🆕 Develop a Niche Media Agency!?
As I have continued in my journey with this site, I’ve been seeing many brands, bloggers, etc reaching out to me for partnerships either through my site, email list, or social profiles.
There is a gap in the market for a proper media company to provide services to these brands to promote their products to a niche market.
I have the right expertise and the right asset with this site to develop a media agency in this niche
The services I can provide are the following:
- Social shoutouts to Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Pinterest profiles, Twitter, and Instagram
- Email blasts to the growing list of subscribers
- Hands-on product reviews posted on the site
- Press releases focused on the niche
- Social media management for brands
I have also built relationships with many others in my niche and can leverage that as well. I will be continuing to think about this new project going forward.
My plan for August 2020 to continue acquiring assets (sites, social profiles, etc) will only help strengthen my potential Media agency. As the more assets I have under the agency, the more reach I will have.
Stay tuned on this! I will give an update each month about my thoughts on the agency.
That wraps up July 2020. Let me know if any questions via comments!