A Tour of My New Office

June 16, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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It’s been a while since I published more of a personal type of post, and so I thought I’d post one to help change things up inbetween income reports and other affiliate marketing related posts.

As you may recall, last November I moved from my condo into a house. One of the major selling points of the house for me was that it had a nice office, complete with a nice built-in desk in the corner.

It’s located on the main floor close to the front door.

Here’s a short video tour I made of my office for you guys:

(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at TylerCruz.com if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see it.)

And some photos for those interested in just a quick peek:

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 under Personal 20 Comments

Affiliate Marketing Income Report: February 2014

June 5, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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Here we go, I’m up to February – only 3 more reports to go and I’ll finally be caught up to date with these reports.

I haven’t been getting as many comments on my posts as I used to in the past (most likely a result of my less-than-stellar post frequency the past year), so hopefully these reports still interest some of you out there and aren’t just becoming boring repetitive blog post filler.

I think part of the lack of response may also be due to my poor performance lately. It’s sure a hell of a lot more exciting when I’m pushing big numbers, and especially exciting when I’m setting new personal bests.

While February wasn’t a personal best (or anywhere near it), it was my best month in half a year, so it really helped to lift my spirits.

As with my last few reports, since this report is long overdue, my memory is going to fail on the particulars of what went on with my campaigns, so I won’t be able to go into too much detail in this post apart from the numbers (which are 100% accurate).

Anyhow, let’s get on with it.

February 2014 Affiliate Campaign Income:

$25,941.97

I decided to try some of the affiliate networks I hadn’t used in a while.

You can thank the weird penny numbers due to some currency conversion to USD…

Affiliate Network Breakdown:

  • Affiliate Network #1: $24,341.34
  • Affiliate Network #2: $736.60
  • Affiliate Network #3: $407.00
  • Affiliate Network #4: $410.03

Expenses:

$15,900.52

I remember in February also revisiting some old traffic sources. I saw some early success and got excited, but then it fizzled out.

Traffic Source Breakdown:

  • Traffic Source #1: $1,538.25
  • Traffic Source #2: $59.50
  • Traffic Source #3: $10,539.33
  • Traffic Source #4: $2,641.33
  • Traffic Source #5: $1,077.11

Net Profit:

$10,041.45

While $10,000 a month net profit only works out to an average of $330~ a day ($500/day if you count it as a regular person’s workweek, since I work everyday), there’s just something about the "$10,000" number that is so satisfying. It’s most likely the simple fact that it’s 5 digits instead of 4 Smile

That works out to a high 63% ROI too.

2014 Affiliate Marketing Results

Now that I’m into my 2nd year of these affiliate marketing reports, here’s a recap of how 2013 fared for the entire year:

Year Gross Expense Net ROI
2013 $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Total: $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Monthly Average: $68,657.00 $47,085.36 $21,571.64 46%

And here’s a monthly breakdown of 2014 so far:

Month Gross Expense Net ROI
January 2014 $10,922.80 $8,908.47 $2,014.33 23%
February 2014 $25,941.97 $15,900.52 $10,041.45 63%
Total: $36,864.77 $24,808.99 $12,055.78 49%
Monthly Average: $18,432.39 $12,404.50 $6,027.89 23%

I’m averaging $6,000 net profit per month so far this year. Not too bad, but nothing to write about home about either…

Net Profit Projections

This is just a reminder that I decided to cease including my graphs for projected future numbers, as I decided that there really are no trends when it comes to affiliate marketing. It’s simply far too volatile, and so much of it is out of your control.

February Recap

In February, I was finally beginning to get settled into my new house, and my puppy was pretty much house-broken.

I was able to find a bit more time to actually work, but still the majority of this time was spent on catching up on neglected things (mainly e-mail).

Affiliate marketing-wise, I mainly did the same as per usual, apart from trying old traffic sources and affiliate networks that I had used in the past. The improvement in income is mainly a result of the usual unpredictable nature of this industry.

March Plans and Predictions

Normally in this section I list the plans I have for the upcoming month as well as predict how I think the month will fare profit-wise. However, since March has already come and gone, I will be skipping this section in this report since I already know how it went.

I plan to publish March’s affiliate marketing income report around probably 7-10 days from now, after I get another couple posts up first. I’m really starting to get caught up now anyways Smile

Posted: June 5th, 2014 under Affiliate Marketing 22 Comments

Blog Updates: June 2014 (End of Series)

June 3, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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Do you remember these?

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you probably will.

In my "Blog Update" series I list any notable improvements, modifications, or milestones related to my blog such as new plugins installed, design changes, or new features. However, I try to only list things here that I haven’t already announced or touched on in other posts.

My last update was made nearly THREE YEARS AGO! Despite it being so long ago, I’ve actually been keeping a file updated with all the changes I’ve made under the hood since that time, so I’ll be able to give an update on them.

However, this will be the last post of this series. It made sense when I first started the series because my blog had more of a focus on actual blogging, as well as trying to grow my blog. Since I’m now focused on affiliate marketing, coupled with the fact that all I mainly do now to my blog is update WordPress and plugins, I feel that the series has run its course.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d do one last post just in case anyone is interested in seeing some of the changes my blog has undertaken throughout the past 3 years. Ironically, though, I believe that my current readership is now comprised mostly of affiliate marketers with very few bloggers…

Anyhow, are most of the modifications and improvements I’ve made to my blog over the past few years:

Custom Changes & Modifications

WordPress & Plugin Upgrades

  • I installed the plugin Socialize v2.0.6. It’s a nice plugin which adds social bookmarking links to posts (these are the ones you see in the top right corner of my posts: Twitter and Facebook). The plugin lets you display in posts and front page, and has a lot of customizing options such as adding different buttons/links. I later upgraded it to v2.1.
  • I upgraded the plugin Akismet from v2.5.3 to v2.5.5, again to v.2.5.6, and once again to v2.5.7. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s "Comments" admin screen. It now ships with all WordPress installations. Again later, I upgraded Akismet to v2.5.8, v2.5.9, and finally to v2.6.0
  • I upgraded WordPress from v3.2.1 to v3.3.1, again to v3.3.2 (which was just a minor security/maintenance release), and then again to v3.4 (a larger release, but mainly added theme improvements and more API stuff for developers). I continued to upgrade to v3.4.2 (mostly just some security and bug fixes), and then to v3.5 "Elvin".

    However, this particular version broke my blog because of my plugin Popup Domination, so I upgraded Popup domination from v2.0 to v3.3.4.1. I didn’t backup/export my details, so I ended up having to recreate my forms again, but I was lucky that I had a screenshot from an earlier post so that I could make it exactly like before. In addition, version 3.0 of the plugin turned out to be a massive improvement over v2.0 (easier to set up and manage, has analytics, and even built-in A/B split testing!), so it turned out to be a good thing in the end.

    Later on, I upgraded WordPress again to v3.5.2 (minor bug and security fixes). There were a lot more upgrades for a while, but I fell behind in keeping it up-to-date, and didn’t upgrade again until v3.8.1 10 months later, so that was a huge jump between versions there.

    More recently, I upgraded to v3.8.2 (mainly security fixes), and again to v3.9. There have been a lot of updates rolling out recently…

  • I later upgraded Popup Domination from v3.3.4.1 to v3.3.5.2. I upgraded using the WordPress ‘automatic’ upgrade instead of doing it manually which is something I don’t normally do, but did this time because it’s a paid plugin and a bigger pain to get the update and do manually.
  • I upgraded upgraded Kimili Flash Embed plugin from v2.1.5 to v2.2, then again to v2.2.1. Kimili Flash Embed is a nice plugin that lets you embed flash into posts. I upgraded again later to v2.3, and again finally to v2.4.0.
  • I upgraded the plugin WP-Polls from v2.61 to v2.6.3 (mostly minor bug fixes and small adjustments). WP-Polls is a fantastic poll plugin that is quite versatile and works great. Can add to the side or inside of posts. I later upgraded it again to v2.6.4, and finally again to v2.6.5.
  • I upgraded the plugin Email Users from v3.4.0 to v4.3.14. I wasn’t sure why the big discrepancy in version numbers (there was no version history listed prior to v4.0). I later upgraded again v4.3.21, which caused major issues (fatal error upon activation), so I ended up uninstalling the plugin it. I had only used it like 3 times in the past 8 years anyway, and can always find a substitute if I need something like that in the future.
  • I upgraded MobilePress plugin from v1.1.5 to v1.2.1, and again later to v1.2.2. MobilePress is a free WordPress plugin which makes your WordPress blog mobile friendly.
  • I installed User Role Editor v3.14.1 plugin since my hired writers (for some paid reviews) couldn’t use embed code when drafting posts. User Role Editor is a nice plugin which adds the ability to create user roles and privileges (similar to vBulletin and other CMS’s). It’s very handy and useful. I definitely recommend to anyone who has more than one contributor on their blog.

    Later I upgraded to v4.10, again a day later to v4.11, then again a week later to v4.12… as you can see, this plugin has tons of releases with small improvements and bug fixes; it’s very well supported.

  • I removed one of my oldest plugins: Digg This since Digg is now dead.
  • I removed Dean’s Permalinks Migration plugin, which was a URL migration plugin that let me  safely change my permalink structure without breaking the old links to my blog. Basically, it wrote old URL’s from when I switched from Blogspot to WordPress eons ago. I simply don’t need it anymore (plus it’s not supported anymore anyway).
  • I upgraded Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator plugin from v4.0 BETA 3 to v4.0.2, and again later to v4.0.3. This is a plugin for SEO-friendly link structure.

Advertising Changes

  • I added sponsored tweets to the advertising page.
  • I updated the advertising page (up-to-date stats, pricing adjustments, etc.)
  • I raised the price of my sponsored tweets from $20 to $30, again later to $45.
  • I added a Clickbooth testimonial to my advertise page.

Content Changes

  • I removed half of the links on my blogroll (mid-right side) due to either my own link being removed from their blog :( or their site being dead or inactive.
  • I did blogroll link exchanges with LukePeerfly and JustinDupre.
  • Did a massive overhaul and update of my Recommended Resources page. It is still pretty current, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
  • I updated my Contact page to include chatroom and updated text.
  • I added a "Chat" link to the navigational menu (I spent far too long figuring out how to get the "New!" text to work properly in multiple browsers… like, you really don’t want to know how long I spent on that).
Posted: June 3rd, 2014 under Blog Related 4 Comments

Affiliate Marketing Income Report: January 2014

May 27, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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Okay… I’m making some progress with these reports… I’ve finally made it to the current year!

In January, I got an 8-week-old puppy. This proved to take up an astonishingly massive amount of my time and energy. I really struggled to find even a couple hours where I could actually sit down and work properly.

As a result, I didn’t do much affiliate marketing-wise (my focus at the time was catching up with e-mail), apart from keeping some existing campaigns running and testing some small campaigns on other traffic sources that I had tried in the past.

As with my last few reports, since this report is long overdue, my memory is going to fail on the particulars of what went on with my campaigns, so I won’t be able to go into too much detail in this post apart from the numbers (which are 100% accurate).

Anyhow, let’s get on with it.

January 2014 Affiliate Campaign Income:

$10,922.80

In January, I ended up using only one affiliate network:

Affiliate Network Breakdown:

  • Affiliate Network #1: $10,922.80

Expenses:

$8,908.47

I ended up using a total of 6 different traffic sources during the month. From time to time, I’ll go back and re-try and re-test traffic sources I’ve tried in the past that didn’t perform well but had potential. I almost never re-try traffic sources that were down-right horrible (-80% ROI) though.

Traffic Source Breakdown:

  • Traffic Source #1: $4,087.67
  • Traffic Source #2: $2.87
  • Traffic Source #3: $3,952.83
  • Traffic Source #4: $245.59
  • Traffic Source #5: $200.00
  • Traffic Source #6: $419.51

Net Profit:

$2,014.33

Meh, pretty crappy. That’s like what… just slightly better than McDonalds wage?

Oh well. It’s sure a hell lot better than flipping burgers and fries all day.

That works out to a 23% ROI too, BTW.

2014 Affiliate Marketing Results

Now that I’m into my 2nd year of these affiliate marketing reports, here’s a recap of how 2013 fared for the entire year:

Year Gross Expense Net ROI
2013 $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Total: $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Monthly Average: $68,657.00 $47,085.36 $21,571.64 46%

And here’s a monthly breakdown of 2014 so far (rather pointless now considering it’s only the first report of the year!):

Month Gross Expense Net ROI
January 2014 $10,922.80 $8,908.47 $2,014.33 23%
Total: $10,922.80 $8,908.47 $2,014.33 23%
Monthly Average: $10,922.80 $8,908.47 $2,104.33 23%

Not really the best way to start off a new year… but the positive news is that I managed to profit every single month for the past 13 months in a row.

I averaged $21,571.64 net per month in 2013, so I have a long way to go just to match last year’s numbers, let alone surpass them.

Net Profit Projections

I decided to cease including my graphs for projected future numbers, as I decided that there really are no trends when it comes to affiliate marketing. It’s simply far too volatile, and so much of it is out of your control.

The graphs were all over the place and the predictions were just unrealistic; there’s no way I would ever let my campaigns finish $75,000 in the red.

All you guys really care about is the bottom line anyway; the gross, expense, and net numbers.

Lastly, it’ll make these reports a little bit quicker to do up in the future!

January Recap

As I mentioned in the introduction, I got an 8-week-old puppy in January which took up a tremendous amount of my time, so my affiliate efforts for the month were mostly limited to letting things run low on auto-pilot, apart from doing some small tests on older traffic sources.

Most of the work that I did do when I managed to find some time and energy to work, was getting caught up on my very backlogged list of e-mail.

As a result, my overall numbers (both gross and net) were very low.

February Plans and Predictions

Normally in this section I list the plans I have for the upcoming month as well as predict how I think the month will fare profit-wise. However, since February has already come and gone, I will be skipping this section in this report since I already know how it went.

I will have February’s affiliate marketing income report up in probably 1 week from now, after I get a different post I have in mind up first.

I’ll give you a hint though; the results are far different from anything you’ve seen me post in the last 6-7 months.

Posted: May 27th, 2014 under Affiliate Marketing 12 Comments