January 2012 Income Report

It’s that time of the month when I reveal how I’m doing with my niche sites and how much money I’ve made. These figures are gross and so don’t include any expenditures such as domains, hosting, etc, and most importantly tax, and I thought it was important to let you know that. I haven’t had to fill in a tax return yet as I’ve only been creating these sites since May and so haven’t completed a full tax year yet, but come January 2013 I will be filing my returns and so I’ve got to remember to save about a third of my earnings for that.

Why do I share my earnings?

I personally enjoy finding out how others are doing with their niche sites, and so why not share how I’m doing? Perhaps if this was my full-time income and a full-time business then I may be a bit more reserved about sharing these details but for the moment there’s no harm. I also like to think that visitors to this site enjoy reading about those who earn a very modest income as well as those who are earning tens of thousands each month.

How much did I earn?

This month has been a great month and I’ve been able to diversify my income with earnings from Amazon Associates, the affiliate scheme run by Amazon. AdSense has yet again been my main earner and it’s great to see those sites I created 9 months ago coming january2012incomepie January 2012 Income Reportinto their own with very little work from myself for the past couple of months. I have seen some of the smaller sites tail off though and I will need to put more work into them if I want to get them earning again.

As you can see I’m almost back to my August peak for AdSense income and I think the Panda update in September did me a favour by clarifying my way of creating sites. I’ve been focusing on producing good content and have also done minimal backlinking, so my sites are very much focusing on organic SEO. Perhaps this has effected some of my smaller sites, but I’m happy with it that way.

When you add the Amazon income of £42.92 to the £387.32 from AdSense then my grand total for the month is £430.24 ($676.77) which is my highest total yet! Looking at the graph below you can see that I’ve gradually emerged from my massive dip and hopefully this will continue, but I know I’ve still got more work to do and really need to get some more profitable sites up and running to up this income as I’m probably at income saturation for several sites. I’m too well aware though that another Google update could come along and hurt my earnings and so don’t take anything for granted. So the name of the game is diversifying my income streams.

totalmonthlyincome January 2012 Income Report

Focusing on affiliates over AdSense

I’ve enjoyed making AdSense sites but have been focusing on affiliate sites using Amazon Associates and Affiliate Window. I’ve mentioned previously how the sites I make for these are slightly different from AdSense monetised ones and so it took a little effort to get my head around that, but I think I’m on the right track. People who get onto my affiliate sites are already in the mood to buy so if I can get them onto Amazon via my affiliate links then I can earn a 5% cut of whatever they buy which if done right is much more than I would’ve got for an AdSense click. I am well aware that the bulk of my earnings are still from AdSense and there are still sites that work better with AdSense so perhaps I should shift some of my focus back.

One thing I did learn is that there is always smallprint, and Amazon.co.uk referral fees are capped at £7 per item and so it’s not worth marketing products over £140. A friend of mine bought 4 expensive speakers for a total of £1100 through one of my sites I’d been showing him, and instead of getting £55 commission I got £28, which is still good but not as great as I was expecting but perhaps I’m just being picky. Obviously I won’t be having this ‘extra income’ again and so I will be pushing to get more organic Amazon income next month.

Amazon January Orders January 2012 Income Report

The good thing I’ve noticed about affiliate sites is that even with less traffic I can still get sales as visitors are in the ‘buying mood’, where as if the sites were using AdSense I would expect far less clicks and income, so think about how you monetise your sites and what would work best. Some of my sites have solely AdSense, some have solely Amazon, and I’ve even been able to put some Amazon affiliate links on my sites that were already doing well with AdSense. Just because you’re doing well with AdSense doesn’t mean you can’t do even better by shifting some focus onto affiliate marketing.

Is this passive income?

‘Passive Income’ is used a lot for those who run PPC/Affiliate websites and after 9 months of this I can definitely confirm that it is not passive, and to say so takes away a lot of the hard work we do. It definitely takes work to do the following:

  • Keyword Research
  • Creating websites
  • Creating content
  • Ranking
  • Selling

All these take time and effort and for someone like me who has a day job too this means working on evenings, weekends, etc.

The only thing remotely passive is getting clicks and sales. I love waking up in the morning and seeing that people have been clicking away or buying through my affiliate links and seeing that money come in doesn’t seem to equate with the work I’ve previously put in. Obviously if I wasn’t making anything then I would be a bit narked but money is trickling through and I suppose I can see that some of my sites are moving towards that ‘passive’ status where all the hard work has been done and they are on auto pilot. They are still getting good clicks and as the domains age that will hopefully get better. OK, so I do need to keep and eye on the sites but I have a couple that I can leave alone now so I can focus on newer sites.

I guess that means that some of my income in passively earned but only after lots of hard work if that makes any sense.

How have you done this month? Please leave a comment and let me know as I love hearing how others are getting on.

14 comments on “January 2012 Income Report
  1. It’s awesome to see your income growth. Jan was slowing down to me comparing to Dec.

    I’m refocusing and growing big in Feb. Sometimes we are just busy, but focusing on the growth is the way to go. It will just pay out down the road in April or May.

    Yeap, it’s not truely “Passive”.. just nice to see our niche sites running 24/7. I learned from NSM that it’s all about Process and how to streamline.

    I’m planning big for my Adsense income growth.. Hope I could share more later.

    • I need to focus again on AdSense as it is giving me better returns than Amazon, and getting some more sites earning will be great for my income.

      Good luck with your February growth.

  2. Glad to see you have recovered from Panda. My January was my worst month for well over a year so no recovery from me yet!

    You’ll be catching me up soon no doubt. Good luck!

    • I’ve got a while to get to your earnings but January was good and definitely looks like I’m over Panda for my big sites, but some of the smaller ones have dropped off completely. I’m looking to go back to these small sites and improve them rather than just building new sites. Hopefully there’s still some life left in them yet.

      Let’s hope February is better for you.

  3. Great stuff Adem! Impressed with your Adsense income, how many sites make up your Adsense earnings?

    I’m lucky to have an older Amazon Associates account and still get 4% per sale, otherwise I’d get a bit annoyed with getting £7 for high ticket items too!

    • Thanks Darren, not quite up to what youre making I expect, but I’m happy with it. My AdSense earnings are only from a few sites and that leaves me a little vulnerable as if one goes then it takes a big chunk with it. That’s why I’ve been looking at Amazon, etc. I do need to get some more of my sites earning though and the potential is there if I can do the hard work.

      Most of the items I’m currently promoting are around the £50 mark so 5% i better than 4% with those, but it would be nice to have no cap for the big sales.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Brilliant income growth, I’m yet to start building niche sites but it’s certainly something I hope to dive into over the next few months, gives me hope this does! :)

    How about this site, are you making any money? Sorry, I’m new here!

    • That’s one reason why I post my income on here. It’s not amazing but hopefully shows the levels most people are earning and not just the mega amounts the big earners make.

      As for this blog, I get a couple of adsense clicks now and that’s all. If I posted more regulalry then maybe.

      Good luck with your niche sites.

  5. Adem…

    This is an impressive report! … I really need to work hard im stuck in a rut at the moment about giving up on US and worldwide rankings and just solely going for UK rankings…

    Your report is a clear indication that there is money to be made in the UK rankings!

    Congrats

    Ian

    • I like going for the UK sites as I know what I’m dealing with and there is also less competition. Also .uk domains are much cheaper than .com!

  6. @Ian: why are you giving up on US ranking? I am thinking of moving away from UK ranking to the US as there are more searchers?

  7. Hi Joe,

    I am not sure about you but i live in the UK and my girlfriend is good at shopping so between us i know whats trending in the market.

    google.com is just too hard to rank on certain keywords … some of my domains are sitting in page 2 and wont move (been like that for years) others aint even in the top 10 pages…

    All the UK sites i have created i have been in the top 10 within months, Adem is earning a very solid amount in this report and with more and more of the UK getting online and the faster fibre internet connections BT and Virgin have been offering and maybe the UK getting out of the recession i can only see more people going online and more people buying online.

    With this in mind i am going to put my full focus into UK website building.. yes theres less traffic but its also easier to rank and make money.

    I am not in this for getting mega rich… i am in it because i enjoy it and i want to maybe make an income like my full time job doing it part time.

    Thats my reasons :)

    • Hi Ian,

      I used to live in the UK but am in Thailand now so am a bit out of touch with what is selling at the moment. When I lived back home I’d walk into Dixons or similar and see what was on the main display then make a site about it as I knew people would probably see it in store then look online for a price comparison. Or things that were being advertised loads on TV etc.

      That is interesting about google.com being too hard to rank for. Never heard that before. Doesn’t sound too promising! I’ve got about 15-20 sites targeting the US marking that I am working on so will see how I get on.

      I used to find it fairly easy to rank UK sites but not any more. Most of mine are now well off the top spot and some are well off the top page in Google.co.uk

      I do this full-time and my current earnings are not enough but I’d be happy with £2000 per month right now thanks to all my setbacks.

      Thanks for the info.

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