Note: Be sure to read the very bottom of this report to find out why this is most likely my last blog earnings post!
Last month my blog income finished with a very disappointing $3,329.24. While making $3,000 a month from a blog is nothing to scoff at, it was still disappointing because I had been averaging $5,000 a month for the 4 months prior to that.
With most anything in which you are not working with pre-defined, fixed numbers, you are going to run into the inevitable variance and standard deviation. Basically, sometimes you will have better numbers than usual and other times you’ll have much worse numbers than usual. Poker players often have different levels of variance in their profits due to their style of play; loose-aggressive players will often see higher degrees of standard deviation while tight-passive players generally take less risk and therefore have a more steady line of daily income.
My blog income used to be very predictable as it was comprised mostly of private ad sales. However, now that affiliate referrals make up a large portion, my blog’s income can sway in greater deviation since it is dependant upon other people’s income.
December may have been a slower month than usual, but January made up for it by being a better month than usual. In fact, it ended up being my blog’s best month ever, setting a new record. It didn’t just beat my previous record by a couple hundred dollars either. January completely smashed it by $2,000, finishing with a pretty amazing $8,688.06!
This extraordinary month was possible for two reasons:
First, my private ad sates were much higher than usual. My Embedded 300×250 Banner came up for renewal again and the same advertiser renewed it for another 3-months. This is partly why my private ad income was slightly lower than usual the past 3 months. I also received a paid review and a paid plug which help a lot considering they cost $175 each.
Secondly, my biggest MarketLeverage referral started pushing huge numbers again which helped push me over the top.
Here is a chart depicting the growth trend of my blog during the past 12 months:
That dip in December 2008 really looks bad, but April 2008 saw a big dip as well when my sites went down for 10 days and now it doesn’t look so bad. It’s hard to believe that it was only 12 months ago when my blog brought in $1,000 a month. From $1,000 a month to nearly $9,000 a month in just a year is my kind of growth!
If we assume my blog averages $8,688.06 each month for 2009, not decreasing or increasing, that would work out to $104,256.72 for the year.
Here are my affiliate sources. As mentioned above, my biggest referrer came back strong in the latter half of February which really helped pump up my MarketLeverage referral income. A nice new addition to the affiliate sources came from XY7 for the first time after holding my first Affiliate Marketing Competition with them, bringing $370 in referral income.
The pie chart below shows MarketLeverage continuing to dominate the rest of my affiliate sources. It would have almost fully comprised of the entire pie if it wasn’t for XY7. Actually, 6% for its first month on my blog is quite good.
Looking at my blog’s earnings breakdown pie chart below, I’m still not sure what the best mix is, but I think the most I’d ever want one single source to take up would be around 70% at the most.
I’m happy with the distribution of the pie chart below, although you can expect the Affiliates piece of the pie to continue to overtake the Private Ads section soon.
- MarketLeverage has continued been a fantastic revenue source for my blog. In the latter half of 2008 alone, my referrals have generated me over $18,000 in commissions. This is not counting the money I make with them through my PPC affiliate marketing efforts.
- XY7 is a new source of referral income for my blog, but in its first month being promoted on my blog it has already generated $371.
- WordZe has continued to prove to be a consistent source of residual affiliate income. I only wish I catered more to affiliate marketers so I could promote it more. Their referral program is really lucrative, check it out if you have the chance, or read my extensive review of them.
BannersMall has an affiliate program and since their service is awesome their conversion rate is very high. I made $85 from them in March of 2008 which says a lot about their conversion rate considering I only get 10% and their banner prices are cheap…
Private Ad Shoutouts
I’d like to give some quick shoutouts to a few of my repeat sponsors and advertisers:
MotiveInteractive – They’ve been my 300×250 Embedded Ad Sponsor since March 2008 and have continued to renew every month. They’re now also my 728×90 Leaderboard sponsor which the recently renewed for another 3-months, as well as one of my 125×125 banner sponsors.
BooksWealth.com – This is their 10th month renewing their 125×125 Sitewide Banner with us. Scott Phelps runs the site and also writes great guest posts here, so if you haven’t checked BooksWealth.com out yet, maybe you should!
SharpWitDesigns.com – Another advertiser who has renewed many times. Need a custom WordPress skin? Check out their colourful designs.
SEOIntelligence – SEO Intelligence is a comprehensive set of SEO analysis and keyword building tools which can really help you to improve your rankings on search engines. View my in-depth 1-hour screencast review of them here.
SpeedPPC – Speed PPC is a software tool that helps you generate thousands or tens of thousands of keywords and ads for your PPC campaigns within seconds. It will create highly targeted longtail keywords and ads built upon a set of predefined lists that you create. I personally use SpeedPPC for my own PPC affiliate marketing.
- InspiredMoneyMaker.com – This is Paul Piotrowski’s blog. You might find his name familiar from the superb guest posts he occasionally submits to my blog.
Get a Paid Review
For $175, you can order a custom review written by me on your website, service, or product. I cannot guarantee a positive review as it is after all a review and not one long ad. However, you will get the benefit of receiving an entire post written about your company or product in great detail.
Feel free to view some of the many past paid posts I wrote. Below are the most recent ones:
- A Timesaving Site for Domain Flippers
- Review of Amped Media
- Spy on Your PPC Competition with PPC Bully
- StoreStacker Review
- CoolProducts Review
- Iranian Blogger Nima Heydarian
For the same price, you can purchase a Paid Plug, which is essentially a paid review written by yourself.
This is My Last Blog Earnings Post
This is likely the last Blog Earnings post I make on my blog. I first started making these reports in July 2007 and have managed to provide a detailed report at the beginning of each month since then.
I’d love to keep doing them, but once PublisherChallenge launches it will pose the issue of where to attribute referral income to. Unfortunately, very few affiliate networks offer any sort of subID tracking for their referral programs which makes determining the source of them impossible.
Because of this, I essentially have to attribute my referrals to one source. Since I’ll be using PublisherChallenge to promote my Affiliate Marketing Challenges and the site’s revenue model is based on referral income, I’ll be counting my affiliate network referral income as being from PublisherChallenge.
Now, I could mark a line where my existing referrals from my blog lie at and continue to count those towards my blog, but that would require a lot of hands-on accounting and be very convoluted, especially the way DirectTrack is set up.
I could also continue with my Blog Earnings reports, just not counting my referral income, but that would effectively be portraying false data since I’ve worked hard the past year to grow my affiliate income source on my blog.
Due to these reasons, this is likely the last Blog Earnings post I make on my blog. I hate to stop them as they provided great motivation for myself and are inspiring to look back at how much I’ve grown the blog’s income over the years.
To make up for what is probably the end for these Blog Earnings reports, I’m considering making a new series: Merendi Networks Earnings Report. Basically, I’d provide an approximate total of all my revenue streams from various sites and sources, breaking them down by site.
For those of you who are very long-time readers of my blog, back to the days when it was entirely pink, you will remember who I used to provide my monthly and daily average income on the right side of my blog. If I start this new series, it would essentially bring this back in a way.
I still haven’t decided if I should start this new series or not. These reports take me a long time to do, and doing a full site report would probably take even longer. Let me know what you think.