During the month of April, I feared my business would fail.
Turns out my fears were overblown.
I think as an entrepreneur we have all experienced the emotions that come with owning a business. One-day you look at your earnings or traffic statistics and it feels like you are conquering the world! Then the next week, you see everything take a nosedive and you wonder if you have any control.
Well, fortunately when you average things out, they tend to not be as nearly as bad as your worst nightmares, but also are rarely better than your wildest dreams.
I’ll explain a bit more about why I was a bit anxious about my business this past month. But I’ll give you a hint: the reason starts with A and ends with zon.
Oh, and I have a survey at the end of this post that I hope you’ll take. So, if all you do is look at the income numbers, I hope you will at least stick around by scrolling down and taking the quick survey.
But first…it’s selfie time! This is a really lame tradition I started a couple months ago, so I can’t stop now…
As usual, I am going to break each “brand” out with its own income table. If you just want to see the total overall, you can always scroll down. But if you like the additional detail on each brand that I operate, it’s all there.
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.[table id=17 /]
Overall, NichePursuits.com had a good month. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, other than I allowed a couple of guest posts that resulted in some unexpected commissions.
Tung Tran wrote about 5 white hat link building techniques. He sells a training course for building Amazon affiliate websites, and turns out a few people were interested in buying.
In addition, Dom Wells did a guest post on How to Systematically build out niche sites. Quite a few people went over and purchased his Done for You Niche Site Building packages. This resulted in some decent commissions for me this month.
You will also see that I added Click Funnels to the income report. I haven’t made any sales yet, but Click Funnels is a tool I started using on a couple of new projects. I really am enjoying how easy it is to create sales pages, sales funnels, and integrating everything into one system. If you are creating landing pages or sales funnels, I recommend you check it out here for a 14 day free trial.[table id=18 /]
As I was following the earnings throughout the month for this home goods brand, this is when the fear of failure starting sneaking in. As I mentioned before, I blame Amazon for the rough month!
As you can see from the income chart above, our top selling product on Amazon was down nearly $2,000…which accounted for all the decline in income for this brand.
The reason for this drop in earnings is an Amazon quality check. When a certain numbers of customers return a product and provide feedback, Amazon has the ability to shut down your listing while they review the quality of your inventory. This is what happened for about 5 days. No sales at all for 5 days is where all the loss came from.
Without going into too much detail, “Amazon Product 1” can receive very subjective feedback. Some people love it just the way it is, others return it and provide negative feedback. Again, its subjective. Some people say the Mona Lisa is a beautiful piece of art, others think they could do better.
So, Amazon shut down the listing, reviewed our inventory and listing, and then listed it back as usual…no problems at all found.
I understand why Amazon has to do this, but it’s incredibly frustrating when you lose out on a $2,000 in profit because of it.
However, the product is back up for sale and moving a it’s usual pace again. I expect May to be a good month for this brand.[table id=19 /]
After a bad month in March, the fitness brand has made a comeback! The biggest reason for the higher earnings was the fact that we didn’t do any giveaways during April.
In March, we had discounted our new products that were selling on Amazon and we were losing money on each unit “sold”.
I’m also hoping by the end of May, we will be able to launch at least one of the new products we’ve been developing for the last several months. It’s taken much longer than expected, so I hope it’s worth the wait.
I’m actually strongly considering starting a Kickstarter campaign for one of these new products because it’s a bit more unique. However, nothing is finalized yet. I’ll let you know once it actually happens. (Do I smell a Kickstarter case study in the future??)
Want To Build Smart & Relevant Internal Links...Quickly?
Link Whisper is a revolutionary tool that makes internal linking much faster, easier, and more effective. It makes it simple to boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. You can use Link Whisper to:
- Bring out your orphaned content that isn’t ranking
- Create smart, relevant, and fast internal links
- Simple yet effective internal links reporting: what has lots of links and what pages need more links?
We’ve put a lot of effort into this music brand, so it’s nice to see a small uptick in profits for April. The brand is moving in the right direction for sure.
You will notice that sales are way down on Amazon and way up on Shopify. This is by design as we are trying to push all our traffic to our own Shopify store.
We ordered a bunch of new inventory and we are now all stocked up and ready to grow (this was a much bigger effort than this one sentence might indicate).
I believe that we made some tweaks near the end of April that is helping things pick up in May (new Facebook ads, landing pages, and more). We had an excellent first week in May, so I expect May to be much bigger than April.[table id=21 /]
The Amazon incubator suffered from another Amazon hiccup. As you can see “Product 12” was down over a $1,000. This was another case where Amazon took down the listing. However, we are not 100% sure why on this one, or if we will ever get this listing back.
We are in the process of researching the black box that is Amazon, and seeing if there are any options. None of our other listings have any issues, so this is specific to this one product.
Overall, we hope things pick back up once we have a couple of products back in stock that have been out.
Total Income for All Brands – $29,474 (Last Month $29,126 / +$348)
So, despite all my worries with Amazon and other issues that came up, I was still able to eek out a small increase in income during April.
I’m happy to have a flat or slightly positive growth month when so many things seemed to go wrong. I expect good things going forward!
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.
- Long Tail Pro Ownership. I still own a portion of the Long Tail Pro business and receive quarterly distributions based on net profits.
- Investment websites. I have invested in several other websites. For most of these I own anywhere from 5% to 33% of the business.
- Jake FBA Business Partnership. I invested in an Amazon FBA brand that Jake runs personally.
New Projects…(Big Deal, Short Section)
As you can see from all the brand reports, I have a lot going on. However, I happen to have 2 new projects in the works that I’m very excited about.
One of the projects is specifically for Niche Pursuits readers, that I’ll be able to share more about in the next few weeks.
The second project is a software tool for Amazon associates. That’s right, I’m diving back into the software business!
I sold Long Tail Pro a year and few months ago, and I’m ready to dive back in with another software tool. This should be ready for beta testing in the next 4 to 6 weeks. I’ve been working on it behind the scenes for the past 6 or 7 months.
That’s all I’ll say about the new projects for now. However, just be aware that a couple big things are coming very soon.
Niche Pursuits Survey!
It’s hard to believe, but it was just over 2 years ago that I conducted a survey to help me better understand the obstacles that my readers face. I gained some excellent insights with that survey, and I’m now asking for your feedback again.
I put together this survey to help me better understand what you are most interested in learning about, what struggles you are having, and the types of things you want more guidance on.
I would GREATLY appreciate it if you took just a few minutes to answer this short survey.
Overall, I appreciate you reading this income report, and would love to hear any feedback that you have.