2019 Report : My breakthrough year

Last Update: January 20, 2020

Hello everyone. My name is Stratos and I am here to give you a detailed analysis of my 2nd year in WA. I became a premium member in the beginning of 2018 and you can find my first year's report in my blog here in WA.

For those unfamiliar with me I have an Amazon affiliate website that deals with home cinema equipment reviews, home media movies reviews, articles and news. My niche is super competitive as there are many big authrity websites in this field that almost always occupy the top spots in Google search. Names like CNET, Digital Trends, Rtings.com, Projector Central, whatHIFI, TechRadar and FlatpanelsHD among many others is some of the competition I am facing. There is so much competition that I thought a lot if I should take tha pludge and go for it.

In the end I decided that I would try it. The biggest mistake many people do is start with a niche that they are not very passionate about and after some time they loose interest. For me, home cinema and movies is what I absolutely adore and since I had no other passion I decided to risk it.

Fast forward 2 years and it seems that it was all worth it. I am still far away from having a full time income...or even a part time one...but as you will see from the charts below the last few months things took a wild turn.

Traffic

Obviously the single most important aspect of any website is traffic. Organic traffic comes from search engine searches and the higher you rank the higher your traffic will be. But this takes time and there are many factors that need to be considered in order for Google to trust you and start placing your articles high enough to get any considerable traffic.

But what I need to point out is that this takes a hell of a lot of time. In the chart below you can see how things went for me. The blue line is my 2019 traffic compared to the other 2018 line. For the better part of the year I was constantly posting 2 articles per week.

Even so you can see that for many months there is no improvement whatsoever. On the contrary after the June 2019 Google update my traffic even went down. And here lies the reason why many people get disappointed and quit. They see no improvement after a few months so they loose any motivation. For me this reduced traffic did the opposite. I became even more determined to make it work so I kept producing content.

And Google rewarded me for this in early October. For the better part of 2019 my traffic never went above 150 visitors. From October traffic literally exploded and reached its peak during Black Friday with 1800 visitors.

But the most important is the amount of traffic I have right now that all the dust from the holidays have settled down. Things seems to have stabilized around 800-1000 visitors per day which is more that I could ever dream a few months ago.

Income - Expenses

With increased traffic you increase your chances of more sales. In 2019 I added Ebay as another way of income with their Ebay Partners affiliate program that is very similar to Amazon's.

One thing to point out is that from now on I changed my way of calculating my income. Instead of taking into account how much money I made every month I decided to calculate my income by the deposits in by bank account. I did this because of currency differences and also bank transfer percentages. So in my income report below is not all the money I made in 2019 (the last couple of months I haven't yet received) but only what has so far been deposited in my account.

This way I can have a more clear idea of how much net profit I make.

Amazon US

For comparison's shake I will try to keep things as simple as possible. Below you can see how much I made in both my years so far so you can see the kind of difference 1 year can make.

2018 - 88,32 euros

2019 - 235,44 euros

Amazon UK

The UK Amazon seems to be a tough nut to crack. Although I have made a few sales they are far too small and as such I haven't received any deposit from them yet.

Ebay Partners

Ebay was the new entry in my 2019 list of affiliate income sources. Since I only started to use them in late 2019 I haven't made a lot. But these early days of 2020 I have already surpassed what I made in 2019.

2019 - 5,83 euros

Adsense

Now with adsense things are pretty clear. The more traffic you get the more income you make from advertising. Having so little traffic my only option was adsense. It may not be paying a lot but even a little income was not bad. You can see the difference between the two years and this is the result of my traffic explosion in the end of 2019.

2018 - 55,50 euros

2019 - 269,47 euros

Mediavine

Since I managed to catch the minimum of 25,000 sessions in the end of 2019 my first goal for 2020 was to change my ad network to Mediavine. I have heard only good things about them so it was a given that I would switch my ads to them. And I can now confirm that just a few days ago I am officially with their network. So expect my next year's report to see how I will do with this ;)

Income Summary

The best thing that I did was that I decided to take the Black Friday deal in 2018 as up to that point I was paying a monthy subscription which raised my expenses a lot. Taking the WA deal saved me a ton of money that you can see from my totals below. In conjuction with my increased traffic that also increased my sales and advertising fees things turned from red in 2018 into black for 2019.

Total Income - 2019 (Includes all sources I currently had) : 510,74 euros

Total Expenses - 2019 (Includes WA and hosting subscriptions) : 349,31 euros

Total - 2019 : +161,43 euros


Total Income - 2018 (Includes all sources I currently had) : 143.82 euros

Total Expenses - 2018 (Includes WA and hosting subscriptions) : 709.99 euros

Total - 2018 : -566.17 euros

Don't forget that my real breakthrough only happened in October so most of my income came in the last months of 2019 that is not even calculated in the above numbers. 2020 already looks way improved as Amazon sales have increased and with the addition of Ebay and Mediavine I expect to have even more growth in 2020.

Goals

My goals for 2020 is to start my email marketing in a few months time. I have heard that it's a very important factor of affiliate marketing so I plan to give it a try also. My long term plans is to start youtube videos also but since my time is limited this will probably have to go after email marketing, probably towards the beginning of 2021.

Lastly I would like this year to be my last that I have a full time job. If I can manage to make enough from my website until the end of the year that approaches what i make in my full time job then i plan to quit and completely dedicate myself to my online business.

Closing

What I have seen is that what i am doing works. This means that posting 2 good quality articles per week brought me to this point and I am not planning to change that. I don't have time for anything else as my full time job and family don't allow for more at the moment but I am determined to continue on this path of success. I know that it may take more time than others but this does't bother me. The end result is what matters no matter the time it takes for me to achieve.

To all those that are facing difficult times with their websites I tell you this. Be patience, follow the training to the letter, watch all Jay's webinars and be consistent with the content you make either it is 1 article or 5 articles per week. And don't give up if after a year you still haven't seen any improvement. My chart above is the real proof that it can take years before Google will pay attention to you but eventually it will!! And when it does there is no going back.

Have a nice day and wish you all the success in the world my fellow WAers.

Stratos

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amhil23 Premium
Damn man, it just goes to show that as long as you trust in the process, success is bound to happen and from what it looks like, that's exactly what's happening to you!

I wish you a ton of success for the rest of the year and hopefully myself and many others in the community can join you along the way!
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StratosK Premium
Thank you. That's the reason I made this report. To show that success will not come overnight and hard work needs to be done before any result is bound to come.
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DouglasPlumb Premium
Great post and so happy for you with making your site work. I am so glad also to see that the training here and running the marathon and adding content really works in the long run. Wishing you to find great success in 2020.
All the best
Douglas
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StratosK Premium
Thank you Douglas. I hope others will get inspired by seeing that this actually works.
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DouglasPlumb Premium
You are welcome and I’m excited to see what this year brings.
Douglas
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StPaul Premium
Dear friend, I was expecting this post from you and thanks for sharing. I got great insights and inspiration from your post.

May I ask...

Total - 2019 : +161,43 euros... Is that 161.43 or 16143.00 Please advice...
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StratosK Premium
It is 161 euros Paul. That is correct.
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StPaul Premium
Thanks a lot, my friend!

2020 is going to be awesome for us. I am sure 2020 is going to be amazing.

From the bottom of my heart I say this, I want to see your post about resigning your full-time job.

Keep up the great work. Just Mediavine itself can get you reasonable amount. Qualifying for Mediavine is a great achievement.

I am a fan for your hard work.

GOD bless!

Your Fan,
Paul
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StratosK Premium
Thanks Paul. I really appreciate the support. When that time comes I will announce it for sure!

I also wish you to find the success that you seek. Be well!
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StPaul Premium
Amen!

GOD Bless!
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FluffyDuck Premium
Fantastic effort Stratos. Good to see a success story in a non-WA niche. Gives the rest of us hope that we can get there too.

Thank you for sharing.
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StratosK Premium
You can. It just needs a lot of determination.
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PetervanDijk Premium
Good luck to you Stratos!! Hope you will achieve your goals.
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StratosK Premium
Thanks Peter. Wish you all the same.
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