After a significant break from doing a real monthly income report, I've decided to give it another shot. I've done sporadic general business updates, but I'm now ready to get more consistent with sharing what's working in my business.
And the big change (that I've never done before), is I'm adding the income generated from NichePursuits.com! I've never shared the income derived directly from this site, but hopefully a few of you will find that interesting.
I hope seeing the inner workings of my business a little bit more, including the income from the various activities that I'm involved, will be motivating in some way.
I hope these monthly income reports are a win-win. I get a chance to reflect on my business and plan how I can do better the next month. You get a chance to analyze what's working in my business and get some takeaways that you can use to increase the income in your own business (hopefully).
I fully hope to make these income reports a monthly thing.
Oh and I figured I better take a selfie every month right before I hit publish on these reports so you can watch me getting older. This should be fun!
A Quick Explanation of How I View My Business
As you read the income reports below, you will notice that I've broken them down by “Brand”. In the last 6 months or so, I've started viewing my business this way…as a collection of brands that I'm trying to grow.
So, rather than just lump all the Amazon Associates earnings I make from all of my websites into one line item, I'm breaking the earnings out on a site by site basis. This will give a more realistic picture of what brands are working well, and which ones I need to put more effort into.
Some of the brands also sell products via Amazon FBA. For these brands, I have a website that I use to send traffic to my Amazon listings. These sites also make affiliate sales or generate Google Adsense earnings. As a result, I don't break out how much I make on Amazon FBA overall…but I categorize the earnings by brand + website.
I also have dedicated brand managers working on growing some of these brands, so I truly do view them as standalone businesses…rather than just a bunch of niche sites.
For example, Niche Pursuits is its own brand and I act as the full-time brand manager. I have a home goods brand that has its own full-time brand manager, etc.
So, with that brief explanation, here's the income report!
Please note: *Gross Profit is the profit after all costs of good sold. So, for any Amazon FBA product sales, I've already subtracted the manufacturing costs, returns, shipping costs etc. However, this is not a net profit number…to get that, I'd need to subtract out salaries, software expenses, etc.
NichePursuits.com Income - Feb. 2017
For the amount of traffic and size of my email list, I make very little on NichePursuits.com. To be honest, I have never focused very hard on making much from affiliate commissions. As a result, I believe that I can significantly increase the earnings on NichePursuits.com.
In my mind, I've focused more on case studies and tutorials that eventually helped me build a highly successful software company (Long Tail Pro). Now, that I've sold Long Tail Pro, I'm going to take a look at Niche Pursuits with fresh eyes and see how I can turn it into a higher earning brand without sacrificing the quality.
As you can see from the income above, I made a significant amount from promoting the Authority Hacker Authority Site System in January. I only sent out 1 email and never even mentioned it on NichePursuits.com…not bad. So, the income dropped significantly in February primarily due to the fact that I made a bunch of one-time sales for this course in January, but did no promotions in February.
Overall, I have some plans in the works to increase the income overall…and I'll definitely share what's working next month.
Also, please be aware that generally speaking, NichePursuits.com is a small portion of my overall income. Most of the revenue generated in my business is from the actual products and brands that I own outside of the internet marketing space.
So, I'm in the trenches with you guys building real businesses…not just talking about it!
Home Goods Brand Income - Feb. 2017
|Income Source||Gross Profit||Monthly Change|
|Amazon Product 1||$10,258.52||$(4,967.93)|
|Amazon Product 2||$2,414.54||$(2,257.90)|
|Amazon Product 3||$1,081.44||$158.76|
|Amazon Product 4||$279.14||$9.15|
|Amazon Product 5||$81.62||$(13.66)|
|Amazon Product 6||$(7.46)||$1,219.97|
|Amazon Product 7||$(150.65)||$2,184.67|
|Amazon Product 8||$(281.61)||$(281.61)|
My home goods brand is where I started my Amazon FBA journey. I'm very happy with the way it's turned out!
As you can see, most of the income is derived from the top 3 sellers, while several other products we've tried have just kind of fallen flat. This often seems to be the case. But overall, it's a very profitable venture.
We use our niche website to generate lots of free SEO traffic and then drive a portion of that traffic to our Amazon listings. This helps us generate more sales, which in turn helps us rank better on Amazon.
Because some of the articles on our site review products or target keywords outside of the products we sell, we also monetize the site with Amazon Associates and Google Adsense. This is sort of “bonus” income. Our real concern is selling our own products.
For this brand, I just hired a part time brand manager in January…and he will be starting full-time very soon! I'm excited to have Jason on board, and I'm sure I'll have a chance to introduce him more officially to the Niche Pursuits audience down the road.
While the income is down quite a bit for February, I am not too concerned. Here's why:
- January tends to be the biggest month after November and December, so a drop in February is to be expected. (Plus it's a shorter month).
- We are also going through a complete rebrand of our products. So, we've changed the domain name and did a 301. This caused our traffic to go down, but it's on its way back up and Google is catching up to everything.
March is off to a good start already, and so I fully expect this home goods brand to move back in the right direction.
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Tools Used in February for this Brand
- Jungle Scout – We constantly are using this to see how much potential profit we could make with new product ideas.
- Jump Send – Ever since the incentivized review changes late last year, I've avoided doing any sort of special promotions. However, now that the dust has settled, we started a promotion/discount for a few of our products using Jump Send (where we do NOT ask for reviews). So far, I've been very impressed with how easy Jump Send is to use, and how effective it's been in generating discounted sales.
Fitness Brand Income - Feb. 2017
|Income Source||Gross Profit||Monthly Change|
|Amazon Product 1||$695.36||$659.16|
|Amazon Product 2||$4.61||$4.61|
|Amazon Product 3||$(19.82)||$(19.82)|
|Amazon Product 4||$(37.44)||$(37.44)|
This is a site that I started several years ago; however, not until recently did we start selling physical products in this space.
“Amazon Product 1” is actually one we have been selling for several months, but it went of stock in January…but finally started selling again. The other 3 products are brand new and show a loss because we only sold a few at a discount.
This is a brand that Jake helps manage (along with several other responsibilities he has). Jake has been focused on hiring and managing writers/editors to beef up the site, and he has also started to do some more link building.
We have started to use Ninja Outreach quite a bit to prospect and find link building opportunities. Jake has had some great results using the software so far.
My plan is that when this brand (or any brand) does $2,500 in gross profit for 3 months in a row, I will hire a part time brand manager. I think this site has a lot of potential to be the next brand I hire for. I hope so!
Going forward, we will continue to do some additional promotions for existing products to help them sell a bit better. However, we also have a couple of brand new products in the works that are being manufactured right now.
The potential is very good that once we launch these 2 new physical products that this brand will start to take off and need a dedicated manager. There's just no way I could manage all these brands myself.
Music Brand Income - Feb. 2017
|Income Source||Gross Profit||Monthly Change|
Although this brand doesn't seem significant right now in terms of earnings, it's one that I'm VERY excited about. This is a brand that I purchased about a year ago off the Empire Flippers Marketplace.
The physical product associated with this brand is super high quality. In the past year, we have had ZERO returns. That's unheard of for an ecommerce business. People love this product.
However, because Jake and I have been so busy working on other brands and projects…this one has been somewhat neglected. I do believe this brand is going to turn around quickly though.
How I Built A Niche Site That Makes $2,985 Per Month
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In January, I took a risk and hired a part-time brand manager…a musician that actually understands this space and happens to be good at internet marketing. He's already implemented some great changes, and I really do think that the next 6 months will be quite good for this brand.
The “Shopify Sales” on the chart above refer to our own eCommerce store. We took down the store in February to try seeing what would happen if we sent all our traffic to Amazon. The end result was not good!
So, we are in the process of revamping our site and will focus on building a real brand with the majority of sales taking place on our own eCommerce site moving forward.
Amazon FBA Incubator - Feb. 2017
|Income Source||Gross Profit||Monthly Change|
|Amazon Product 1||$215.75||$(19.36)|
|Amazon Product 2||$590.78||$27.75|
|Amazon Product 3||$107.05||$1.36|
|Amazon Product 4||$6.55||$3.19|
|Amazon Product 5||$0.88||$69.92|
|Amazon Product 6||$19.79||$(11.78)|
|Amazon Product 7||$542.79||$(84.55)|
|Amazon Product 8||$29.75||$182.75|
|Amazon Product 9||$175.64||$(71.00)|
|Amazon Product 10||$-||$(134.19)|
|Amazon Product 11||$5.06||$(20.31)|
|Amazon Product 12||$591.72||$468.54|
|Amazon Product 13||$202.15||$189.05|
|Amazon Product 14||$6.68||$(18.50)|
|Amazon Product 15||$36.18||$(22.15)|
I have several other products that sell on Amazon that are in just about every category imaginable. If I see a good idea or want to test something out, I just launch it. I don't worry if I have an existing brand that it fits under.
So, for all these “misfit” products that don't fit under any of the previous brands, I call my “Incubator”. Jake manages all these incubator products and we try to get them to a point where it makes sense to build out a branded site and start pushing a bit harder.
As you can see, the incubator brings in $2,500 a month or so, which I'll take all day long for just some things we are testing out.
Total Income From All Brands – $24,254.01
I've been quite detailed in the income listed above. However, I also have several other sites or income sources that I prefer not to be as detailed with. I hope you don't mind.
Here's some additional sources of income that I won't reveal the exact amount of:
- Small niche sites making less than $500/month. I still have several niche sites from the “good ol' days” or a few that just haven't taken off yet that are not mentioned above. So, for any sites that make less than $500 a month, I don't plan on doing any sort of detailed reporting. If a site starts making more than $500 a month, I'll add it to the official income report.
- Long Tail Pro Ownership. I still own a portion of the Long Tail Pro business and receive quarterly distributions based on net profits. (The Long Tail Pro income listed above is only for my affiliate commissions from Niche Pursuits, not the total income I make from Long Tail Pro).
- Investment websites. I have invested in several other websites, some of which are quite valuable. For most of these I own anywhere from 5% to 33% of the business. However, they are all passive and managed completely by other people. Because there are other owners involved, I won't be disclosing the income from these sites.
- Jake FBA Business Partnership. I invested in an Amazon FBA brand that Jake runs personally. This business is doing well, but I am not comfortable disclosing income from this business, since I am just an investor.
A New Project and Your Thoughts
I do have one other project in the works that I am very excited about. However, it hasn't gone live and isn't making any money yet. However, I expect to share more about this “top secret” project in the next couple of months.
Overall, I've never shared the full income from NichePursuits.com, and it's kind of nerve wracking! And perhaps I picked a bad month to start showing income as it's down for a couple of my brands (including Niche Pursuits). But if I'm going to consistently share what's going on in my business, I have to share the good and the bad.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my first income report in a long time. Do you find this interesting at all? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.