Affiliate Marketing Income Report: July 2014

September 27, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz

сондажи

Yup, it’s another report. I don’t want to get too behind these things again, so I thought I’d go ahead and get July up before I let my procrastination get the better of me.

With both May and June being great months for me (netting $18,249.99 and $17,658.23 profit respectively), I had a continued determination to keep my numbers up.

I wrote about this before, but I have an odd sense of motivation; if my numbers are doing well or really poorly, then I feel urged to work more and get my numbers up. In contrast, if my numbers are just low to mediocre, then I get a bit lazy and complacent. I think it’s partly because if my numbers are really low, then I simply need to work on getting them up, and if they are doing well, then I want to try to hit new personal bests due to my uber-competitive nature.

Anyway, let’s see how July 2014 fared:

July 2014 Affiliate Campaign Income:

$50,162.81

A bit lower than both May and June, but still pretty good.

Affiliate Network Breakdown:

  • Affiliate Network #1: $24,989.95
  • Affiliate Network #2: $6,019.04
  • Affiliate Network #3: $14,313.00
  • Affiliate Network #4: $4,840.82

(This includes conversion from foreign currencies to USD)

Expenses:

$37,073.59


Traffic Source Breakdown:

  • Traffic Source #1: $28,399.02
  • Traffic Source #2: $2,672.02
  • Traffic Source #3: $5,331.97
  • Traffic Source #4: $670.58

Net Profit:

$13,089.22

Okay, so it’s a bit of a drop from May and June… that’s okay. The truth is that I’m always pretty happy whenever I break $10,000/month profit.

2014 Affiliate Marketing Results

First, 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%
March 2014 $24,202.06 $15,408.95 $8,793.11 57%
April 2014 $3,486.55 $3,150.00 $336.55 11%
May 2014 $57,015.00 $38,765.01 $18,249.99 47%
June 2014 $60,753.58 $43,095.35 $17,658.23 41%
July 2014 $50,162.81 $37,073.59 $13,089.22 35%
Total: $232,484.77 $162,301.89 $70,182.88 43%
Monthly Average: $33,212.11 $23,185.98 $10,026.13 43%

Hey, I like it! $70K net so far this year with an average of $10K/net a month. I’m on pace to hit $120K profit this year – which may sound good, but it would only be half of what I pulled in last year.

Hmm… can’t be greedy though… $120K/year is still pretty good!

The Larger Picture: 19-Month Analysis

Below are my overall numbers from my campaigns since I started recording them in January 2013:

January 2013 to July 2014 Gross Expense Net ROI
19-Month Total: $1,056,368.78 $727,326.22 $329,042.56 45%
Monthly Average: $55,598.36 $38,280.33 $17,318.03 45%

What’s interesting is that even though I pulled in $13K profit last month, it still brought my overall monthly average down. That just shows you how good 2013 was for me…

July Recap

I didn’t do anything too interesting in July. Mostly, I maintained what I had going.

In addition to that, I continued launching a lot of campaigns on that new traffic source that I started in May in order to try to learn it better and find profitable targets. It’s really not a great source, but it does have a few pockets of profitable targets here and there.

I also revisited an affiliate network I hadn’t used in quite a while… like 8+ months or so. I had done good volume with them before, but their offers fizzled out for me and they weren’t really getting many new ones so I let them be until now. Their new offer did really good for me, which you will hear more about in my August report.

August 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 August has already come and gone, I will be skipping this section in this report since I already know how it went.

Stay tuned to see for yourself!

Posted: September 27th, 2014 under Affiliate Marketing 15 Comments

An Update on My Real Estate Investing

September 22, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz

A couple of months ago, I announced how I was thinking of investing $200,000 in real estate.

It wasn’t just a passing thought. I am very serious about this and will likely be purchasing a property soon enough. If you haven’t read my other post yet, you might want to go and take a look as I explain why I’m taking such a large deviation from the online world.

I’ve done a number of things and made decent progress since my last blog post, but am still taking things relatively slow. This post will focus on what I’ve done since my announcement on getting into the real estate game.

81

Met With My Accountant

While I’m still waiting on my corporate year end returns to be completed (they should be done any day now), I arranged to meet up with my accountant to discuss my financials as well as real estate investing and investing in general.

I walked away from the meeting with the following things in mind:

  • He agrees that real estate investing is a good option for me and my situation
  • He believes that any rental income made is minimal at best and that the real money is made when you sell, insinuating adding value
  • I learned the basic of capital gains

I also discussed other things with him as well, but the above is what we mostly discussed in terms of real estate.

Spoke Further with My Mortgage Broker

I communicated a bit more with my mortgage broker (whom I’ve used for my past 2 personal purchases). I have yet to receive an official pre-approval because she needs my corporate year ends first… but I urged her for an unofficial one until then.

She tells me that for investment property, unlike personal property, the banks look very closely at cashflow, and that is the primary ingredient when it comes to lending approval. In general, a 20% down payment is allowed.

She left me a voicemail saying that properties up to $800,000 (and perhaps a bit over) are within my grasp.

Both the local market and interest rates are starting to rise fairly rapidly here, so I should not wait too long.

Hired a New Realtor

I was very much on the fence on who I should use for a realtor.

The realtor I had been using for my condo sale and house purchase was fantastic, but this is business and I really wanted someone who was investor friendly and an investor themself.

I did a lot of research and reached out to a number of investor-friendly realtors here and was surprised when none of them contacted me back.

When I hire someone, I’m all about quick response time, so the fact that they didn’t even bother to respond to me was not a good sign.

I ended up going with a local realtor/investor who I had already been communicating with on an online real estate investor forum. He is a numbers guy like me and actually has a background in the computer software business before he sold it and moved on to real estate.

His focus is on profitability and investment and not on smacking on cologne and shaking hands, which is what I am looking for. He is also very eager and willing to help me learn the ropes of real estate investing, and so I am getting the added benefit of a mentor in that regard.

He is very passionate, too. In his first follow-up e-mail to me, it spanned 8 pages and (I just pasted it to Word) included 2,370 words, and it wasn’t a pre-canned response. It was well-written and thought out. That should give you an idea as to his commitment.

Anyway, after a lot of e-mail exchanges, we met up in person just to make our meeting "official" at his and his wife’s (I get 2 realtors in one!) office to do some more discussing and narrowing down of what I’m looking for.

The Numbers Game

Even though I struggled through math in high school, I absolutely love analyzing things with numbers. I do it every day in affiliate marketing, but it’s even more prominent in real estate… in fact, it’s really mostly about the numbers which is why it’s such a good fit for me.

I created an Excel sheet to work out the numbers on potential property purchases. It is constantly evolving and improving over time as I learn new things. Below is a screenshot of one of the properties I had looked at:

82

Not seen here, there is also a second tab sheet at the bottom which includes a very detailed and comprehensive mortgage calculation breakdown from a template I had downloaded. It includes a lot of features, my favourite being extra payment calculations (how things would look if I made an extra X payment every X frequency, for example).

Looking at the property analysis above, you can see that it’s not a good buy for me, as I’d end up losing $250 a month.

I am a bit safe on the numbers (the added 5% contingency fund for example isn’t exactly needed when I already have Repairs and Maintenance at 10%), but it’s always better to be on the safe side and be pleasantly surprised later, than try to make the numbers work and be in big trouble down the road.

My New Targets

My original plan when I decided I wanted to buy a rental property was to buy 1 (or 3) cheap apartments in cash and start cashflowing from the get-go. I also enjoyed the fact that there’d be a hell of a lot less stuff for me to worry about since I wouldn’t have to worry about anything outside of the interior of the unit.

The problem with apartments, I soon learned, is that in my local market the strata fees (basically like HOA fees in the US) are so high and the rent so relatively low (in comparison to price) that after all expenses and contingencies are accounted for, I might walk away with $100 profit a month on a $70,000 apartment.

$1,200 before taxes on a $70,000 investment is a 1.7% ROI in my first year. No thanks.

My corporation pays out around $5,200 a month in salary (and taxes) to myself. That means that if I wanted to "retire", I’d need literally 52 of those $70K apartments to do so. That would cost me 3.6 million dollars. There are better opportunities for my money out there.

What I’ve learned is that I what I really need to do is add value if I want to make money in real estate. It’s just like website flipping. Nobody is going to sell a website that is consistently making $1,000 a month profit for $12,000, because anyone would snatch it up at that price and just wait a year to make his money back. They will list it at a far higher price. It is then up to the buyer to add value, whether it be redesigning the website, adding more features, or obtaining more traffic.

The same thing goes with real estate. Listings will be listed at fair market value (more or less) – the trick is to find properties where you can add value to extract more out of it than what you put in. Apartments offer the least amount of value possibilities since you are limited to just the basic interior of the unit – and even then, you can only raise rent by so much, that any increase in rent via renovations is negligible.

And so, what I’m looking for in an investment property is changing. Apartments are definitely out. Small multiplexes (4-10 units) aren’t looking too great for me either… but aren’t out of the running yet. The problem is that I’d need to put a much larger down payment in order for them to turn a profit for me, otherwise the mortgage just eats it all up. Basically, I’d need to put down (that’s not the purchase price!) around $350,000-$400,000 in order to cashflow on those properties, unless some really good deal pops up.

Full duplexes are definitely an option (this one tickles my fancy) – although there aren’t that many to choose from here.

My realtor has been working on opening my repertoire to adding in single family homes that have room for a carriage house in the back, and then building a carriage home on the land and basically getting 2 rents out of one land property.

My city has a bylaw that allows carriage homes to be built here and rented out; I looked at a nearby city that allows for carriage homes, but they aren’t allowed to be rented out… so maybe this is a way that I can take advantage of my local climate (because investment real estate here can’t compare at all to most of the states!)

In fact, this is what my realtor does for himself as an investor, and so he has a lot of first-hand experience doing this. I’d definitely need my hand held if I was to go this route though, as I’ve never gone through the process of having a house built from scratch before (I’m not looking forward to all the city red tape, let alone all the contracting crap!).

I’ll Keep You Posted

Anyhow, there’s my update on my real estate investing stuff.

It’s completely different from the world wide web so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully it doesn’t alienate too many readers either. And I can promise that my posts will get pretty damn interesting if and once I ever acquire up to 3+ properties.

Posted: September 22nd, 2014 under Miscellaneous 12 Comments

The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix Outside of The United States!

September 9, 2014 Posted by BarryTE

Disclaimer: The following is a “paid plug” and was not written by me, but by the advertiser themselves. If you’re interested in purchasing a paid plug, please visit my advertising page.

I’ve decided to arrange with Tyler Cruz a guest post to help people unblock online services, so you can access Netflix, Spotify, Pandora and any other streaming service from anywhere in the world.

Netflix is one my favourite video streaming services available today, it gives me access to thousands of TV shows and movies, from Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, to House of Cards and Battlestar Galactica.  It’s definitely the king of video streaming. Whilst this is great news for those of us in the States, if you live or you are traveling on business outside of the US, you’ll be greeted with this rather depressing message “Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country yet.”

Netflix, as with all websites, can detect where you are in the world by your IP address. Every time you visit any web page you reveal which country you are visiting its page from.  This is the reason you cannot access Netflix when you’re outside of America – Netflix’s system knows you’re abroad, it sees your non-US IP address, and blocks your access.

The Secret to Unblock Netflix

The key to unblock Netflix is to fool it into believing you are in the States, and if you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that’s exactly what you will do.  VPNs have received a lot of press over the past year as more people are using them to secure their data when using  public Wi-Fi, they know that can hide their online activity from governments using a VPN, and of course, people are using them to bypass restrictions set by video streaming sites – namely Netflix.

How to Change Your IP Address

If you’re based outside the US then you need an American IP, and you can obtain one of these by using a VPN.  I’ve been using the VPN provider Hide My Ass! (I love the name) for a few months now, and I have found them to be the easiest one to use.

How to Use Hide My Ass!:

To get started, you will need to sign up to Hide My Ass! and purchase a subscription. They have three different ones to choose from,  a monthly, 6 months and yearly subscription – saving you up to 43% off!

Downloading their software only takes a few minutes, and you don’t need to be tech savvy to be able to do this!  Next, simply choose an American server because remember – you need an American IP address to be able to watch Netflix. Then click connect, and that’s it! Now you have an American IP address you can watch all the shows Netflix has in its database, and you can also access a multitude of other video streaming sites as Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.

In the screenshot below, you can see how easy it is to connect through the HMA! VPN network.

Now anyone, not only US citizens can receive all the benefits Netflix has to offer! Pretty cool stuff!

Why is Hide My Ass! the Best VPN Provider?

I simply cannot recommend Hide My Ass! enough – they are worth every penny! They have more servers in more countries than anyone else – at the time of writing this post, they have 641 VPN servers in 168 locations in 76 countries, with an impressive 80,787 IP addresses. Speed is critical for your viewing pleasure, and their servers are fast, I’ve not encountered any disruptions. I haven’t had the need to contact their customer support, but if you do, it’s great to know that they are available 24/7 via LiveChat, email or you can call them up.

By the way, if you encounter a problem registering for a Netflix account, you can easily fix this by entering an American ZIP code. You can perform a quick Google search to find one, for example, a New York ZIP code is 10010 or check out http://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/ for thousands of others.

Posted: September 9th, 2014 under Paid Reviews 2 Comments

Affiliate Marketing Income Report: June 2014

September 6, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Let’s get back to business folks.

With May 2014 being a great month for me, I was once again motivated to put some effort into my campaigns in order to keep my numbers up. It seems that that effort didn’t go unnoticed, as June 2014 ended up being another great month for me.

It’s interesting… at one point I was almost starting to get a bit "bored" of any month that did well, but didn’t set a new personal best, due to my competitive nature. Part of this stems from the fact that I’m still on a fixed salary that I pay myself; I haven’t increased it for about 18 months now or so. As a result, my corporation could be making $100,000 profit a month and it still wouldn’t affect my daily life.

But now that I’m looking to get into real estate, I want every extra penny I can get so that I have that much more to put on the down payment, which will in turn improve cashflow and make things a lot less stressful once I do buy a place.

With the obligatory introduction done, let’s take a closer look:

June 2014 Affiliate Campaign Income:

$60,753.58

This was actually my highest grossing month in 11 months!

Affiliate Network Breakdown:

  • Affiliate Network #1: $21,337.27
  • Affiliate Network #2: $2,188.00
  • Affiliate Network #3: $36,891.50
  • Affiliate Network #4: $336.81

(This includes conversion from foreign currencies to USD)

Expenses:

$43,095.35


Again, this was also my highest month of expenses in 11 months (not so proud of that one, heh). Unlike May, I cut the number of traffic sources from 8 down to 3; keeping only the ones that worked.

Traffic Source Breakdown:

  • Traffic Source #1: $34,716.12
  • Traffic Source #2: $3,865.19
  • Traffic Source #3: $4,514.04

Net Profit:

$17,658.23

Nice! That’s just under $600 less than what May 2014 did.

2014 Affiliate Marketing Results

First, 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%
March 2014 $24,202.06 $15,408.95 $8,793.11 57%
April 2014 $3,486.55 $3,150.00 $336.55 11%
May 2014 $57,015.00 $38,765.01 $18,249.99 47%
June 2014 $60,753.58 $43,095.35 $17,658.23 41%
Total: $182,321.96 $125,228.30 $57,093.66 46%
Monthly Average: $30,386.99 $16,426.59 $9,515.61 46%

Ahhh… that’s more like it – a combined total of $35,900 profit over the past 2 months.

The bad news is that we’re already 6 months into the year and it looks like I may only do around $100,000 profit…

I Hit The $1,000,000 Mark!

Woot, here’s a bit of a milestone:

Taking a look at my Excel spreadsheet, since I started recording my numbers in January 2013, I’ve grossed a total of $1,006,205.97! That’s a million dollars that was transferred into my bank account!

That works out to an overall average month net profit (spread across 18 months) of $17,552.96.77:

January 2013 to June 2014 Gross Expense Net ROI
18-Month Total: $1,006,205.97 $690,252.63 $315,953.34 46%
Monthly Average: $55,900.33 $38,347.37 $17,552.96 46%

I’m going to start including that little table above in future reports from now on as it’s actually pretty meaningful due to how up and down affiliate marketing can be month to month.

While I’ve hit the $1,000,000 gross milestone, I have a long way to go to do that in net numbers. Here’s hoping that I can actually manage to do that before not too long…

June Recap

I spent the majority of June working on two things.

The first was doing a lot of split-testing trying to learn and understand the new traffic source that I started in May (which I spoke about in my last report). Most of the campaigns I launched there were misses, but a few have been profitable. The problem is that the profitable ones do such little volume that they’re almost not worth finding…

So, that took a fair bit of time, launching and trying new campaigns on that traffic source. It also wasn’t self-serve, so e-mail discussions back and forth with my traffic manager definitely slowed the process down a lot.

Secondly, I did some work on my landing pages again, modifying my existing winners and trying some small variants of them which ended up being successful (I found a new winner with a higher average CR).

That, coupled with regular maintenance of my campaigns (such as going over my numbers, pausing targets, allocating budgets, etc.) is what I worked on in June.

July 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 July has already come and gone, I will be skipping this section in this report since I already know how it went.

Stay tuned to see for yourself!

Posted: September 6th, 2014 under Affiliate Marketing 26 Comments