Flip Report 5

🎉 Right On Schedule & With RECORD Months

So far, 2020 is looking up, with a couple sites having record months in February!

In the last report, I talked about how in November, 2019 I added all of my sites into my project management system where they’d get treated just like any other client.

Since making that change, a lot more work has gone into the sites compared to beforehand. Mostly in the form of new content.

I plan on continuing to treat my affiliate sites as “clients” (for all intents and purposes), but this has had some adverse effects that I’ll have to fix this year if being able to put enough work into my affiliate sites to create these reports is going to remain viable. 

Since more work is going into the sites, more of my time is taken up working on projects that earn very little money in comparison to my agency – and, to be frank, it simply isn’t worth the time effort right now.

So, my goal by the end of the year is to have each site doing ~$500/m, which is still quite small (average SEO client at the agency is ~$2,500/m), but I wanted to have a realistic goal.

To have each site be at that mark, I may sell off some existing sites to free myself up more to work on the bigger sites or possibly sell off most to buy a larger site. I’m still not 100% sure. 

I could free myself up more by just hiring someone to handle what I’ve been doing (content outlines, site changes, etc) but I think that takes away from the “heart” of this series. 

At least, not until the sites are earning more.

Enough about my affiliate-life crisis. Let’s talk about the sites.

Sports Site

Not much has happened on this particular site in the past 2-months.

4 new money pages were published and all of the existing pages were updated to be “2020”.

If this site doesn’t see some decent improvements by the end of the summer (which is when the seasonality of the products starts to die off) then I’ll probably sell it for a loss or sit on it indefinitely.

When I bought the site (this was my first site), I jumped in with both feet and minimal research as the other sites in the niche are fairly simple and the products aren’t complex.

The challenge is that the products change constantly, and not just being outdated – but being unavailable for sale. It’s an uphill battle keeping content up to date.

About 30% of the total products reviewed on the site are not currently available for sale. I’ll have to go through to make sure the content gets updated.

On one of the new pages that were created, from the time I ordered content from the writer and the time they got the content back to me (2-3 weeks), 50% of the products in the review article were no longer available for sale.

This likely is due to the seasons picking up and new products being released, but at this point – just keeping up with updating the existing content will push the site further in the red.

P&L (Jan – Feb 2020)

Expenses

Content ($167.5)

Revenue

Amazon Earnings (Jan) $82.27

Amazon Earnings (Feb) $90.18

This puts the site at a $8,783.74 loss so far. 

Outdoors Site

I’m SUPER happy and also super surprised with how well this site did in February. 

It had its highest earning month since I bought it, which is great, but also a little sad since it was averaging the same amount before I bought it.

 4 money pages were updated to be much more helpful and I updated the site to 2020.

The money pages were the 4 highest-traffic pages, so the conversion rate may have increased due to the changes.

I used to have click tracking set up on all the affiliate links, but I played around with the site enough where I’m 90% sure it’s broken now.

Another thing I did was completely reorganize the top and sub-level navigation on the site to make it easier to find review pages by specific types of reviews (product, category, brand, etc).

P&L (Jan – Feb 2020)

Expenses

Content ($149)

Revenue

Amazon Earnings (Jan) $99.88

Amazon Earnings (Feb) $207.78

This puts the site at a $4,227.94 loss so far. 

Tech Site

Something that I didn’t mention in the last report (nor do I think it fully registered to me) was that, despite being a tech site reviewing popular types of products, there was almost no change in earnings during the holiday season.

Nov – Dec had similar earnings to the months prior and Jan – Feb wasn’t much different.

The more I think about it, the more puzzled I am… Is there something I’m missing?

I’d rather have stable earnings than see drops, but I would have expected some nice gains during the holidays?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

5 new money pages have been added to the site, and it was also updated to 2020.

P&L (Jan – Feb 2020)

Expenses

Content ($315)

Revenue

Amazon Earnings (Jan) $150.36

Amazon Earnings (Feb) $171.96

This puts the site at a $2,755.89 loss so far. 

Automotive Site

Once again, this site is breaking records.

The site has almost tripled in earnings in under a year despite no further link building and minimal content creation (before Jan 2020)

If you ask me (not that you did), the site was ripe for growth when I got it.

While it certainly has problems (basic design, not too great content quality, and the previous owner was using PBNs), nothing was abused heavily. 

Less is often more, sometimes you just need to let Google do its thing.

In late February, 11 new money pages were added to the site and another page got its content updated.

There would have been a 12th new page, however, I sent the wrong content brief to the writer and the content I got back was completely unusable. 

Certainly a waste of money, but oh well.

Aside from that, I also updated the site to 2020.

Since the site is doing so well, I want to push working on the CRO side of things up my list of priorities since a 20-30% boost in earnings would be fairly worthwhile at this point.

P&L (Jan – Feb 2020)

Expenses

Content ($708.75)

Revenue

Amazon Earnings (Jan) $319.84

Amazon Earnings (Feb) $693.1

This puts the site at a $717.65 loss so far. 

Pet Site

I finally got around to working on this site.

Bought a premium theme and played around with the design. I think it looks really nice. Now, I just need to transfer all of the content to the new theme – which, I’m hoping to finish in March.

P&L (Jan – Feb 2020)

Expenses

Theme ($59)

Revenue

Amazon Earnings (Jan) $39.11

Amazon Earnings (Feb) $23.17

This puts the site at a $344.61 loss so far. 

Feeling Good About 2020

I’m looking forward to continuing to work on the sites this year and probably make my first site-sale as well.

The next report will probably be in May or June, so keep a look-out 🙂

What do you think about my goal of having any site I keep at $500/m+ by the end of the year, achievable?

 

That’s it for this report! Have a question? Post it below 👇

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Become My Stalker

My $42,120 Mistake

On February 1, 2017, my lease went into effect and it almost killed my business.

Over the next 3 years, I would spend over $42,000 in rent, electricity, and internet. Not counting the cost of furnishing, office supplies, travel expenses, etc.

A couple of weeks beforehand, I had just closed 2 more clients. My MRR was now $8,000.

Thinking I “made it” and thinking that people who’ve “made it” have offices, I got an office.

~2500 Sqft (~232Sqm) in the heart of downtown, my name laminated on the outside of the building (and a couple of places inside too), what else could an ego want?

The funny thing is, for someone who had “made it” I stopped paying myself anything at this point.

I was still living at home with my parents, so my expenses were very low.

As soon as I got the office, I went from paying myself very well – to only covering my expenses.

Instead of getting an apartment or giving myself a consistent salary, 95% of what I made went right back into the business. And this made 100% sense to me at the time.

Time went on, clients came and clients went. But, even as my MRR began to steadily grow, slowly but surely, my office went from my pinnacle of achievement to the greatest barrier to my growth.

One of my largest clients was an agency I white-labeled for, they paid for most of the tools I used. Eventually, issues came up – they owed me over $10,000 (a story for another day) and we inevitably stopped working together.

In a matter of months, I went from working from home paying myself $5k/m with almost no expenses, to needing $5,000/m to break even.

There were times during 2017 where I would spend over 48-hours at the office, working non-stop and sleeping on the floor for a couple of hours at a time to keep things afloat.

I took on overhead that I could “pay for”. I had the money, I paid all my expenses every month and never went into debt, but I really couldn’t afford to drop that much on an office.

There were times when I couldn’t pay myself more than a couple hundred bucks because I had to pay the $1,200 office expenses first. Times where I couldn’t afford to delegate tasks, to invest in marketing, or to take a day off.

This hurt my growth a lot.

Inflated my expenses, lowered my morale, and made me miserable.

Inevitably, I would have to move out of my parents. And I did. Which saw my expenses massively increase.

I now had to pay for an office and an apartment. I worked out of the apartment, the office was just another line-item expenses. I wasn’t even using it for the last year that I had it!

Last Sunday, I handed in the keys at the end of my lease.

$42,000 spent in 3-years. $0 returned.

A week before turning in my keys I committed about the same amount I was paying per month for the office into a marketing campaign that will last for at least 12-months.

A campaign that could easily be worth $100,000 – $250,000+ in the next 12-months.

Question your purchases, no matter how small. Limit overhead – you’d be surprised by how much money your business wastes over the course of a year.

How did that conference help you?

How better did that course make your services?

Was that business class flight for a 2-hour journey worth it?

Do you really need that office?

Now, imagine where you could be if you had invested that money in the right places?

Just my $0.02