April Income Report (+My New Theories on Metrics that Matter Most)
I can't believe it's that time again! Months are flying by and we're still stuck at home. Hahahaha.
I feel so blessed that the pandemic hasn't impacted my income in my business (even though I wish it was higher). In fact, this was a record month for me in terms of sales and learning lessons, and I plan to share those with you here.
I know the pandemic will have some impact, but I think it's a great time to start a business that helps get us back on track.
This post will be long because I learned so much this month that I want to share with you, and that I think will be game-changing for my business.
So let's jump right in...
There are Several Metrics, but they Don't All Correlate to Great Income
First, I really have been paying attention to metrics: my own metrics and other people's metrics. I've been reading income and traffic reports like nobody's busiiness. Hahahaha.
I wanted to know what metrics I should really focus on controlling to get from where I am to where I want to be, and I think I've answered that question.
I've toggled back and forth on improving my quality, increasing my publishing schedule, branching out to new platforms for additional traffic sources, and so many other experiments, but none of that is the supreme metric. They're all good, but not the most important, and I'll tell you why from my experience.
When I focused on Quality
OF course, we all know quality is important. You can't write rubbish or create garbage content and expect to get a long-standing engaged audience. It just doesn't work like that. For a period of time, I took my results personal.
I would look at blogs with 1 million pageviews while mine had much less, and think, "they must be that much better than I am". In some cases, the content is epic, but in many cases, I think my quality is on par--thanks to my recent feedback studies.
I used a tool called "Hotjar" to do a poll on my site that started at the beginning of April. From the poll, I had 221 responses, and an 86.4% in customer satisfaction when my readers were asked "Did you find the information you came here looking for?".
Added to that, when I look at metrics like likes vs. dislikes, or engagement, I feel that users are happy with my content quality. As a result, I decided to tick that box and say, that's not what's holding me back. Before, I didn't know and I wasn't confident, but after over 1 month of watching reader feedback and seeing most people satisfied, I know quality isn't the metric I need to focus most on to get optimal results.
When I focused on Publishing Schedule
Publishing schedule is another metric I've focused on alot. I know sites with lots of traffic usually are very consistent. They might post once per week 5k+ word articles that are super in demand, detailed, and demonstrate expertise, or they post more frequently (3+ times weekly) with 1k-2k articles attacking several questions people have.
From observation, I don't think the 1 per week method works great on bloggers with no list, small social followings, and little site traffic, so I chose not to go that route.
I started out each of my traffic channels with a 90-day daily posting challenge, and I still believe that was so key for me learning how to get the habits in place for each platform: get more comfortable on camera, get a smooth workflow, and learn what it takes to thrive on each platform.
I have noticed that I publish more than many people who have more traffic and sales than me though. Hahahaha. I won't slow down (at least until my audience is grown and more engaged), but it means to me that my publishing schedule isn't necessarily the problem.
How many platforms I publish Content on
When you watch people like Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, they're EVERYWHERE. It can make you believe that maybe if I was on more platforms, then I'd have better results.
Well....I tried it. I currently have content going out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (very regularly), my blog, and on Youtube. I've noticed that there are people who are only on 1 or 2 platforms and get hundreds of thousands of visitors to their websites without video or audio, and I'm addressing the whole gamut. As a result, I know it's not that I need more traffic channels.
High Ticket vs. Low Ticket
I'm sure you've heard the argument about high ticket vs. low ticket products. Some people have advised that they make more money because they sell high ticket products.
I can understand to some extent. My dad was in real estate my whole life selling houses at $100k or more. I also watched documentaries like Ray Kroc's McDonald's story, and it's obvious that he went from selling paper cups to selling franchises. It's pretty obvious that if your selling paper cups vs. selling franchises, you're probably going to make more money with the franchises, right? Especially a catchy one like McDonald's.
The truth I've found is that it's not so much about high ticket or low ticket as it is about high lifetime customer value. In my niche, I have the opportunity to sell many things. I could do like entrepreneur.com and sell franchises, I could sell $1k courses, or I can sell WA: each would yield a significantly different cost per sale.
It may not take me much skill development to change my cost per sale, but is it where I want to go right now? There are people who are selling products that are $200 and making $100,000+ per month, and there are people who are selling products that are $1k+ and they're making $10k or less, so is it really the price of the product, or the percieved value and trust associated with the product that matters?
It's not the price that matters most. Companies like Starbucks can have high lifetime customer value by offering a product that people want to come back for again and again. I believe that's the opportunity that I can create for myself by partnering with companies like WA.
Who knows...maybe I might sell franchises too someday. Hahahaha.
These Metrics do Matter but they're not Standalone
You can have alot of posts, publish on several platforms, publish very often, and have high-quality, and still not make a full-time income. I've proven that. These metrics don't stabdalone.
I've improved my on-page and off-page SEO too, while some people have millions of visitors to their sites, don't pay for traffic, and don't even know SEO! So, what metrics really matter?
What Metrics Really Matter?
All of the metrics (publishing schedule, content quality, # of platforms you're publishing on, and cost-per-sale) matter, but they don't matter as much as # of impressions.
If you publish high quality content very often, you have lots of posts, and you publish on lots of platforms, it can still yield you less than optimal results if you're not creating content that has a high demand.
The sites I've seen that have lots of traffic (like millions of pageviews) may only publish on a few platforms, but the content they're publishing is in high-demand, so they get tens of thousands of impressions on each piece of content, and in turn get millions of visitors.
I'll demonstrate this later in my post, so be on the look out.
My April Income and Traffic Results
Now, before I go too deep into proving what I mean, let's first take a look at my results for How to Entrepreneur for April.
My Search Console Stats
These are my Search Console stats as of today: 961k impressions, 28k clicks, 2.9% CTR, and 22 is my average position.
I just transitioned my domain: from .org to .com, so I'm not sure how long it takes to build authority on the new domain, but I've been seeing my results improve very fast as Google notices the change and switches the results from the .org to the .com. The .org still has impressions too.
My Google Analytics Stats
My users was 36,357, sessions was 44,457, and pageviews for April was 57,628.
2.9k goal completions = 6.72% of my traffic make it to my highest converting pages
My WA Referral and Sales Stats
35 New Sales (including 5 annual sales and 3 annual sales in one day!)
36 Recurring Sales
255 Total Referrals
170 Referral Credits
$1251 in approved commissions ($843 in annual commissions are still on hold)
218 Sales to go to make it to Vegas---I have to increase my pace!
Total Projected Income for April (I haven't recieved Youtube or some Affiliate Network payouts)
Some Highlights and Milestones
- I said this before, but I made 3 annual sales in one day! The annual instant offer experiment Kyle and Carson have been doing has been working well, and I'm excited to continue it. Some people have the excitement, but if they're not asked up front whether they'd like to save 40%, they may not know or take action.
- I've been making a consistent income from Convertkit, Podia, Flexoffers, CJ Affiliate, and Shareasale. Even $20 here and $100 there is helpful. I love recurring offers and the wide array of things we have access to in the affiliate networks.
- I've been getting around 1.4k-1.5k in traffic per day
- I got excepted into Mediavine, a premium ad network. You have to have 25k sessions or more to get accepted. My ads went live 2 or 3 days ago, and so far, it looks like I'll be making $12-$13/day from MediaVine ads, but their payout is on a NET65 schedule, so April income won't get paid out until July and so on.
- I've gotten paid twice from Youtube. I have 287 videos and I've made $166 the first month and $144 the secons month. Youtube changes the amounts they pay for views depending on several factors including season, so even though I had more views and watch time the 2nd month, I made less. I don't fully understand this yet, but I'll continue studying. Impressions matter so much on Youtube as well. I need to focus more on high demand-low supply content rather than lots of content!
- I had 35 sales this month so this was my highest sales month so far
- I had 255 referrals so this was my highest month in terms of referrals ever
Why I Don't Have Better Results
I had 8.5 as my avg number of referrals per day - 255 referrals for the month
From the 35 referrals, I had 35 new sales which means I had a 13.7% upgrade rate (if I did my math right...check it and let me know)
I don't know how many months people stay on avg., but I estimate it's 4 months considering I have a mix of annuals and monthly every month...I could be way off, but that's what I do.
When I do the math on the WA affiliate program calculator, it shows that I would need to get my # of referrals up by a little under 5 times in order to reach my 6-figure goal or $10k+ per month.
I need to hit and avg of 35 referrals per day at a 12% upgrade rate and 4 month average retention to get to $10.7K with WA commissions--this is my goal. I've already done lots to improve retention and upgrade rate, so I won't be focusing on those metrics as much until I get the # of referrals per day to my goal. Currently, my highest day in terms of # of referrals was 19.
To get to 35 referrals per day, I know I'd need to have my lows closer to my highs. In other words, some days 19, some days 55, some days in between, and so on. Hahaha.
With my current conversion rate of 6.72% making it to my highest converting pages and 2.9k goal completions, I think I need my traffic to go up at least at least 5-6x, nut I'm aiming for 10x.
Are Distractions Holding me Back?
In my previous posts, you've likely seen me share that I've had distractions, but this month, I analyzed whether it's my distractions that are holding me back, and the answer is "no".
I could probably have more productivity and mental clarity if I didn't have so many distractions, but that's not the main metric either.
For example, since the pandemic, I'm pretty much homeschooling, I have a 3 year old home, and I have lots of distractions, and shorter time blocks for working. Depite my distractions, I still invest a considerable amount of time, and usually have even more productivity with more distractions in many cases because I add more pressure onto myself.
I believe I can have better results from my efforts even with less time, so that's my mantra.
What My Traffic Needs to Look Like to Reach My Goals
In order to reach my goals, my traffic has to go up 5-6 times. Right now, I'm at 33k users per month, but to reach my financial goals, I need to be somewhere around 200K users per month, and 10x would be 330k users per month, so this is my goal.
How I Plan to Increase My Traffic
I don't plan on increasing my publishing schedule to reach my goal. I also don't plan on hiring. Instead, I plan on increasing the # of people who are demanding my content by focusing on higher demand topics and boosting some content with ads to get quicker traction.
I want to be an advertising master and give myself a good-paying job before hiring! Right now, my paystubs are laughable. I want to get to the point where Im happy to look at my paystubs,I can demonstrate that I can produce well enough to take care of myself, and I hire others, and feel confident I can take care of them well too.
That's my strategy. Everyone approaches business strategy different.
Comparing my Data with Top Bloggers' Income Reports
Leaving personal life, skills, and the other factors we've listed above aside, let's look at data comparing my stats with others.
Bluehost Affiliates are Thriving
Top Bluehost Affiliates like Pat Flynn and Michelle Shroeder Gardner make $30,000+ in affiliate commissions from Bluehost. I don't know how much they're making per sale from Bluehost, but I think it's safe to say it's close to the avg per sale value we get from WA ($100 or maybe $200) and I'm confident WA is a better product.
I think WA affiliates can outpace Bluehost affiliates if we master traffic generation better. Pat Flynn shows that he gets 1 million monthly pageviews or more. Michelle Gardner shows similar stats (around 1 million pageviews).
Other high income bloggers (making $50,000+ per month) are making more money than my $2k and here's the main factors I think that make the difference:
# of impressions - They may get lots of impressions from SEO, Pinterest, and their email lists which drives their traffic #'s up because they write on topics that are in high demand for their new users and for their returning users--this can be tough to do.
Some content can attract new users, but won't bring people back again and again. If I can get impressions from my new users by focusing on high demand topics in the market, and I can get impressions from returning users by addressing pain points that would bring people back, I'll be well on my way.
Clickbank Affiliates are Thriving
On the other hand, you have Clickbank affiliates like Robby Blanchard and John Crestani who say they're earning $700K+ per month. Again, I don't know how much they're making per sale, but I know they tend to have a higher refund rate, and lower conversion rate than we have at WA. They also don't focus on retention. Instead, they focus on high ticket products and driving paid ads.
I haven't seen them show their traffic numbers, but I think it's safe to say, WA affiliates have landing pages and funnels of equal or greater quality, but they get less impressions. Since they're paying tens of thousands per month in ads, they're getting boat loads of people seeing their offers and even if they have a low conversion rate (which is made up for with a high ticket price), they can still have a high income.
People selling their Own Products
I also look at individuals who are making a killing selling their own products (like Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus or Sarah Titus) who are making $1 million+ annually (between $100k-$400k per month from their blogs). Usually their products are $200 or less and they might have bundles that take it up to $1000 sale per customer.
I still believe WA affiliates can outpace the lifetime customer value if we offer a superior experience here. The thing that I notice about them is they might not publish even as much as I do (even though they likely started out aggressively publishing), but they publish on high-demand topics, they have email lists of 50k+ and social followings with huge reach, which combined gives them major impressions: some from SEO and some from social media and email lists.
Wow....That was alot of information that I've laid out: some my current theories and some facts. Overall, I'm changing my focus from publishing schedule and # of posts to # of people seeing the posts--whether by ads, focusing on growing social following, or by researching the demand for my topics more carefully.
I want to take my traffic up drastically and in turn, take my sales up drastically. Once I've achieved my 6-figure goal, then there are many more after that. I have smaller milestones before I even achieve my 6-figure goal, but this plan here will take me to each of them.
If you play around with the WA calculator, you'll see the possibilities are endless if you're a good strategist.
What do you think...do I have a sound plan? Am I missing more than impressions? I can admit that my quality should keep improving, but what else do you think? Why are some affiliates making $700k per month and others are making $2k? Is it quality, time in the industry, publishing schedule, work ethic, email list size, social following size, or do you agree more people are seeing their work (by a combination of email list size, # of impressions on Google, social following, etc.)?
I'd love to hear your responses.