I was about to quit.Thank Fck I didn't!

Last Update: April 01, 2017

(Apologies for strong language in the title...but if you knew the kind of month I have had - especially that last half!)

Hi WA\rriors and WA'rroretts,

It is that time again, a quarterly self accountability report and see how I have been doing and as you can guess it has gone pretty well.

At the beginning of this month, which is month 16 of my debut site I was seriously considering dumping it - not quite quitting just...well...

You know that feeling you get when a job or relationship is just not working out for you and it is time to move on....yeah THAT feeling!

Hey! everyone is going their sepárate ways right?

The UK...

Brexit ..whole EU thing

Why not me and my lil' bloggy wog!

After all it was not producing a substantial income other than a bit of lunch money.

Admittedly, some signs were there especially when I was able to compare how it was doing Vs last year particularly in February, the first month when I, and the site got its first ever sale last year ($3.40) Feb this year ($219)..quite an increase 64x increase in fact.

Still, I was very discouraged at not quite beating the $300 mark per month..a mear $10 average! quite frustrating when you consider the site was regularly making $200+ monthly since April of last year (2016) (which included a $200 day!)

I put this down to "Beginners luck" and able to compare how the site was fairing on a month by month basis against a rather popular and detailed case study by fellow Wealthy Affiliate member Veronica and her Amazon case study over on itsvicky.com/case-study

Having seen her stats and the details (let alone the wonga $$). I knew something was not quite right! Stats wise I whooping her case study sites ass! I had...(comparing my site and its previous fe months to her case study sites previous months..)

  • More traffic!
  • Greater Ave No of page views per visitor
  • Visitors were spending longer on site..

But I was getting far fewer sales...the real stat that counts! Did'nt quite take genius to figure out something was wrong with my site something needed fixing.

Then a stroke of luck hit me a few times (and they say lightening does n't strike twice!..it did thrice!)

The stroke of luck as seeing Vitaliy's site (howtomakehonestmoneyonline.com) and three particular posts that came up on the site comments engine on here..

(perhaps a lesson as why not to speed read a post on the site comments area, you can seriously learn a LOT by reading quality marketing blogs that come up)

Time to bite the bullet, crack the knuckles and get some work done and see if this site of mine can coin it in (seriously I thought $300/month mark was the max for that site and niche)

Changes I made progressively through the quarter mostly Jan and Feb

  • Better Sexier titles - (..You.. know more appealing!, not just the boring keyword)
  • Better stronger and bigger CTA's (using largest H tag I could)
  • Fixing My more popular posts lead them to a product.
  • More reviews (I was lacking in commercial content)
  • Hired a Dr to do some of the writing**
  • Completely changed style (this is ongoing)*
  • Had an informative book written very much explaining how and why certain herbs can help my readers - free giveaway with links to the products
  • Got the SSL Installed and fixed!
  • Upped content creation from 15month (this was my last throw of the dice to 25 in March. The aim just now is to reduce content to 20, make ave of 20 for year 2)
  • More direct keywords with niche related terms, if not use niche related terms in the title.
  • Installed Easy Azon plugin (reason, I disliked seeing out of date pricing, this plugin uses the product API keeps everything up to date! (and converts better! due to professional CTA's)
  • Changed my outbound linking strategy - see the 10,000ft view give liberally but balance it out with internal links. If too many outbound and I cant balance out I make some of the references nofollow
  • Made a bunch of pillar style posts.
*Style change: more scientific approach and referencing to studies and clinical trials to prove authenticity and authority.**Took advantage of Malaysian Law that limits how much private Doctors can charge for 10min consultation. When I need an article done I book out 2 or 3 consultation periods and have them write for me during that time, brought the doctor to Upwork for convenience. Still works out at $15/20 per 1000 words as she is a fast writer and does nt really require to spend much time researching!


Initially changes were slow and negatively affected the site traffic dropped quite drastically from 4,500 in Jan to a taddle more than 3,000 in Feb

(Vitaliy G actually informed me that was pretty normal as google has to recrawl and re-index the pages where I changed titles. So no worries! - better still the improved titles and changes resulted in more ave no of pages viewed and even longer average of time spent on the site by visitors. In short better quality of visitors,more targeted!.)


Results For Q1 2017

Jan - new record - $252

Feb, Frustratingly $219 but encouragingly new record on amazon of $36

March: approx $722.54! EPM (sessions) $185.07 per 1000 sessions or each visitor had a value of 18.5 cents! nice!

Just a few bucks more and I'd have made more in March than I had in November-December, January and February together! how awesome is that!

My goal at the start of the month was to break the $300 mark by getting $360..I not only broke $300, but $400, $500, $600 and $700 too for the first time!

And that is an amazing feeling! ..hey! I just realised when writing this..I did n't just smash my goal of $360..I doubled it!

For the record, March was an important month - It's the month I got my first sales from my main merchant last year and from whom represent 90% of my income. Last year $56 for March..This year wow 11/12x that figure ($662.74)

As is evident...this time during my quarterly report I cannot begin with the title "I failed" I did n't..the goal was $1000 for the quarter. I did it..at the 3rd attempt! (try, try, try again!)

Before I end this, gotta give special mention to DomW and his rather famous success post,(https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/domw/blog/0-to-10k...) that I must have read about a hundred times for keeping me inspired, focused and hanging in there. (hope this is the avalanche he was talks about!)

As spring is in the air..love is all around us ..this is me and my blog..(how I feel about it now..see pic below!)..No need to go our seperate ways..just a simple misunderstanding..

sorry for doubting you my little bloggy wog!

So if you are thinking about quitting..Don't..quitting might just mean you miss out on a very profitable business at a crucial stage... or leave you feeling like the 5th beetle haha!

Goal Q2 2017 an achievable $2000 with one month topping $1,000 and to top 6,000 visitor mark with organic traffic.

Just to mention it March Traffic 3,900 sessions, with last week to 10 days indicating I have got my "lost" traffic back by averaging 150 daily.

Perhaps worthy of note, my site is not branded - no logo. That has been intentional as I did not wish to be seen as a commercial blog. That may change, at least as an experiement. Very little social media interaction that goes on other that you guys +1'ing me on google+1 rather tough site for social media (although pinterest and twitter are great..no "news feed" in either of them, notably)

Hoping this is the start of something great as going by Itsvicky's case study and how I am doing incomparison to her site I might yeild anything from $12k to $22.5k for year 2..(these things are hard to figure out and calculate..so many variables and moving parts)

Ciao for now

Derek


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RemyOryan Premium
I find these sorts of posts really useful derek. thanks for sharing mate.
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SimoninAsia Premium
This is awesome, you are being very generous by sharing your story like this... and because of that everyone who reads this post will pick up something valuable.

Here's what I can apply from your post:

1) Have the 'this will work attitude (temporary blips are inevtiable but this HAS to work.

2) You stepped back from your site and looked at it structurally and made the necessary changes and improvements. Love this!

3) You outsourced - to be effective you knew you had to get someone who knew what they were talking about to help.

Thanks so much for this!
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suea Premium
Congratulations Derek. You definitely have inspired me today. Something that I really needed right now!
Thanks again.
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jetaranda Premium
Congratulations on your success, I bought easy azon last year but didn't use until a few months ago. It really slowed down my website, did you find that at all with yours?
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veronica.l Premium
Thanks for the mention Derek :) I guess I have to step up my game lol, can't have you whoop my site like that :)
Just out of curiosity, do you promote all physical products? How many sales did you have in March?

Great results Derek, will be exciting to follow the progress of your site!!
Keep up the great work!!
Vicky
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derekmarshal Premium
Nothing you can do about It Veronica! as you are already way ahead month wise! I'm only on Month 17 (April already great signs of beating March!

But you can up your game and make month 26 onwards really diffucult for me to emulate when i get to that point..seriously **If** I can beat your month 22..From .December 2016...wow!!

Yes Physical products.

Sales breakown

Amazon 42 product sold
Lost Empire Herbs 50 products sold.

I have a subaffiliate* on Lost Empire of whom I get 5% of his gross sales. He sold 4 products

Total 92 + 4 by the sub affiliate.

*Direct sales NOT MLM just two tier affiliate program. Quite common.
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leighnih Premium
Aww thanks for sharing, very uplifting!
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you.
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RichBrennan Premium
Well done for sticking with it, Derek. Onwards and upwards :-)
Cheers
Rich
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derekmarshal Premium
Thanks. Doing better now in comparison to this point last month. Fingers crossed another great month. :-)
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Marcus1978 Premium
Great work! Glad you stuck at it. I was wondering recently how your site was doing. I remember you posting about your early success. I had assumed you were now rich, but it just goes to show the journey towards success is rarely a smooth one.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thanks Marcus, all swings and roundabouts sometimes. Never a smooth path as they say.

Here's hoping that it is on the right track. I have been thinking about taking a leaf out of your book and "not" recommending a product or particular type of product but a sneaky affiliate textual link behind it!

I do remember you done rather well out of not recommending a program of some kind yet got sales from that particular review a short while later!
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Marcus1978 Premium
Well, I haven't had lots of sales that way, just a few. Just a few days ago I made a sale for App Coiner, even though my reviews says it's aweful. So these sales do happen sometimes, but not a lot. Still, it all adds up.
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derekmarshal Premium
It is very interesting though. Every penny counts as they say.
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Jean1986 Premium
Awesome work. Wish you continued success.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank You kinly Jean :-)
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Calmkoala Premium
This is great, am so pleased to hear that all that work is paying off. Onwards and upwards now! Sue :)
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derekmarshal Premium
I am forever tickled pink at the user name Calm Koala! awesoem Sue!! and thanks
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Calmkoala Premium
Thanks! Mostly calm, but claws when I need them! Sue :)
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Sahbi77 Premium
That is very encouraging Derek, thank you very much. Keep it up :)
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you kindly Sahbi77. It does feel great to see 16 months hard work finally paying off
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Sahbi77 Premium
Dedication and mindset are the keys.
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littlemama Premium
What a great update Derek! Thanks so much for all your details and ao amazing that you made all those changes! This is more than what I was thinking you would do, so thank you!

You deserve all that your site is reaping for all your hard work! The fruits are falling on you!

Enjoy and please keep us updated as the year go on! :)
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littlemama Premium
Also I'd like to ask/clarify:

1) You went from 15 posts per month before, to 25 posts in March, and going forward, you'll do 20 posts per month?

2) Besides Amazon, are you using other affiliate networks or is the other program you're using now is private program?

3) Great people you have referenced up there (Vicky, Vitaliy, DomW), can you reference the DomW post you talked about? I'm sure I've read it but for anyone else who hasn't. :)
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you kindly Grace,

1) Yes. I initially wanted to continue doing 15 post per month but had an inspiring change an thought I's follow Vickies lead who also increased her No of posts from year 1 to year 2. The 25 posts per month for March, April and May is simply to catch up on the 5 missing from December, January and Feburary, June to November will be 20 posts per month.

2) Amazon represents at the moment 10% of my income. The other is Lost Empire Herbs who's program is now closed. I do have very good contact with them so those interested can PM me and I'll see what I can do (no promises).

I am moving more in the direction of Amazon though.

3) Link to DomW's inspiring post added.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you kindly, and that fruit sure tastes great! Thank you for inspiring me to share my little success story! :-)
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MarionBlack Premium
It looks like you're going in the right direction Derek. Keep it up.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thanks Marion, hopefully that is the site is now on the right track and full steam ahead.
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WilliamBH Premium
Totally awesome Derek .. Well done and inspiring.Cheers, William.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you kindly Willam
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GaryJr Premium
Congrats! That's awesome. Thanks for the motivation to stick with it.
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derekmarshal Premium
Thank you kindly Gary. So glad I stuck with it. I'd have lost a lot more that the actual dollar amount for March but quite possible a a bonafide business on the internet, which has been my dream for 4 years now!
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thriftymom Premium
Thanks for a very informative and inspirational post. Will save this for motivation and lessons. Thanks
- Ces
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derekmarshal Premium
Don't forget to thank Grace, (Littlemama) as well, she is the one that encouraged me to write a little field report! I tend to be quiet on here with the exception of the odd blog post here and there and quarterly updates!.

Ohh and Grace has an awesome post put together with a whole variety of inspirational posts.
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