This is my 27th income report for this blog.
Every month I publish a post like this showing:
- how much money I made
- what I worked on
- and what my plans are for the future.
These reports will help me keep myself accountable, and hopefully I can help you figure out how you can make money online.
What I Did in May
I spent the beginning of May working lightly and trying to rest, but then I read two amazing books that completely changed my mindset. (More on this later.)
- Published 33k words on WHQ. The goal here is to increase the amount of informational content on the site and get over the Fred issues I’ve been having.
- I also added some backlinks, and my VA found 50+ websites for guest posts. WHQ has enough content by now, and I need high quality links to get the site to earning $$$$ every month. It is in a very high competition niche though, so that’ll take more time.
- Published two posts on my blog with a couple more saved as drafts. It’s crazy how much you can do when you’re not a full time student!
- Published my third income report roundup!
- Started selling my website on EmpireFlippers. I’ll write a blog post about the entire process later, but they’ve been great so far and I’m positive my site will sell in June.
- Added 5k to EGE. This is the site in the low-competition niche post. I plan on growing this site out once I sell BAB, but I put it on pause for now because I might have to include this site in the sale and there’s no point in growing it right now if I have to sell it off before it makes any money.
- Read two amazing books that shifted my mindset. Both are by the same author and have some overlap, but one is from 2011 and one was just published.
- The Millionare Fastlane – I read this book a year ago, but it didn’t have an impact on me. I re-read it at the beginning of May and understood everything in it. I could finally relate to what MJ (the author) was talking about.
- Unscripted – Got this book on launch day and finished it on the same day. This book is much longer than the first one, but it covers much more info also. It’s harsh, it will make you rethink your life choices up to this point, but if you think about his message you’ll understand the power in this book.
- Read through 3 copywriting books, took notes, and thought about the information in the book. I will be re-reading these in June or July to truly get the info into my head.
Plans For June
I finally realized why I’m not making as much money with Amazon affiliate as I thought I would by this point (multiple reasons), and why niche sites and the way I do them isn’t a sustainable path to wealth and financial independence.
Why I’m not making bank with Amazon affiliate
Last year if you asked me how much I’d be making with Amazon by now, I would’ve said 5k/month if not more.
As you can see, the reality of 1-1.5k per month is very different from the expected 5k.
Why is that?
- Mindset – I expected the money to come easily, and I didn’t think of all the obstacles I had in my way. I also didn’t have a reason for why I needed the money.
It was just: oh yeah, more money would be cool and useful, but I never established why I wanted it, so I didn’t have a reason to work for it as hard as I should’ve.
- Work ethic – I hired a VA last August, and while she’s absolutely amazing, I put too much work on her without working a ton myself. Of course, it was my first year of college, but the issue isn’t that I didn’t have time.
The issue is that I didn’t want to work because I thought the VA and the work I previously put in would carry me forward and make money. I didn’t spend time writing content, doing SEO, or figuring out ways to improve my sites, and that bit me in the ass when Fred and the Amazon commission update happened.
I’m currently selling my BAB site, and I see so many ways to improve its earnings with very little effort. If I actually thought about this earlier, my income would’ve been 1.5-2x higher, and I’d be selling the site for double what it’s selling now.
- Goal setting – As I said above, I didn’t have a reason for why I wanted to make money. However, I did attempt to “set goals” without thinking of whether those goals aligned with what I ultimately wanted. (And how could I have known if they aligned or not, because I didn’t know what I wanted?)
There were also no consequences if I didn’t accomplish my goals. I didn’t write the posts I needed to write? Oh well, that’s fine I’ll just do it next month because my income is still fine.
I didn’t do any SEO? That’s fine! The site will rank eventually anyway!
Why the way I (and most people) do Amazon affiliate isn’t a sustainable path to wealth and financial independence
I don’t want to say that you can’t use niche sites to reach financial independence and/or become wealthy.
Maybe you can.
However, the way I (and most people) do it, isn’t a great way to become wealthy.
There’s a couple issues that come straight from the books I read:
- Barrier to entry- While starting a niche site is a bit harder than starting a random blog, the barrier to entry is still low.
Sure, you have to do keyword research, write content, and do some SEO, but with the amount of amazing free guides online, the barrier to entry is very low.
There’s also a ton of paid online courses, and I’m sure if you’re still doing Amazon affiliate, you’ve noticed affiliate sites popping up left and right even after the Amazon commission update.
The lower the barrier to entry, the harder it is to make more money because you’re competing with so many other people. Of course, there’s still the barrier of producing amazing content, having great SEO, or being a niche expert, but most of us don’t do that with our sites.
- Control- This is a big one. We control our site and the content, but we don’t have control over the products, the prices, the commissions, and Amazon.
The worst thing that can happen with the lack of control is Amazon removing their affiliate program.
That’s the sound of people’s bank accounts emptying as they struggle to get into other affiliate programs or make less money with them.
- Scale- Can you go from making $5,000/month with Amazon to $50,000/month?
It’s definitely possible, but you need to have great systems for everything you do and a great team.
Good luck getting to a sustained $50,000/month by yourself without blackhat strategies.
Even the “niche experts” that brag about their sites that are making $5,000 per month are more focused on creating courses or “masterminds” instead of creating other niche sites.
If it was as easy as they said it was, why wouldn’t they put in their $5k/month into creating 10 Amazon affiliate sites that each make $5k?
Oh wait, that’s because it’s harder than it seems.
- Need- Most niche sites that are created don’t actually fill a need in the market.
Look at the top 10 results for a term in your niche.
All the sites have similarly structured content, with similarly structured comparison tables, and similar information they get from other people’s reviews.
We’re basically middlemen between Google and Amazon, and while that can be profitable, sooner or later this “loophole” will go away.
Am I done with Amazon affiliate?
It might seem that I’m getting out of niche sites for good, but I’m not.
I’m selling off one of my sites, and I will continue working on 2 sites that have great potential.
I will be creating systems that make the business scalable, providing more value than all of the sites in the top 10, and doubling down on new SEO strategies.
However, even with all of that, my ultimate goal with these is to increase their income and sell them off.
One of these sites I’ve been working on for over a year. It’s in a high competition niche, and once I finish doing SEO, it has the potential to make $2k-$10k per month.
The other site is in a lower competition niche, and I can get it to $500-$1000 per month.
While those aren’t life-changing numbers, the $75,000 – $250,000 I’ll get from selling off these sites will be more than enough to last me for a couple years while I build a different business.
Plans for June
- Sell BAB.
- Get at least 15 do-follow backlinks to WHQ.
- Add 10k words to WHQ and 20k words to EGE if I don’t have to sell it.
Traffic is higher due to my comments on other blogs.
Amazon Affiliate Websites Traffic
This section is for those interested in my Amazon affiliate sites.
Most of my income is from Amazon, so I thought you might be interested in seeing how much traffic I get on my biggest sites and how much money they make.
BAB is my highest traffic site by far (I have acronyms for all of my sites because I don’t want to reveal the URL, but I need some way to keep track of them.)
I made $541.04 from the site this month, compared to $906.8 in March.
The income drop is less than I thought it would be, but still significant due to the seasonality of the site.
Last year the site would’ve made $250 with the changed Amazon commissions, so it’s nice to see that it basically doubled.
It’s also good for the sale of the site as it increased my average earnings by a bit.
WHQ is a site that I removed from this section previously, but I’m bringing it back now as it’s on the upswing.
It made $57.10 in April compared to $70.07 in March.
This is due to my obvious drop in traffic and rankings, but my VA and I are working hard re-ranking this site.
Here are the numbers that everyone loves to see!
- Amazon Affiliate- $1030 Solid income for an “off” month. If only WHQ was actually making real money…
- Content Samurai– $677.28 Another solid month. Not much to say here.
- UserTesting- $30 I did a couple tests. $30 in 30 minutes. Easy money to invest in content.
- PlayTestCloud- $9 Another quick and easy boost. 900 words of content for 10 minutes of work is no joke. 🙂
- Total- $1746.28 Somewhat low, but next month will be my highest by far because I’ll sell BAB by then.
- SerpLab- $5 Keyword tracking.
- SEO- $75 Group buy SEO and PBN links.
- Upwork- $220.92 Content for WHQ and EGE.
- VA- $825 High expenses month for me.
- Aweber– $49 Payment for 3 months.
- Beacon – $29 Great plugin for creating eBooks. Will be updating my content upgrades on my site soon. 🙂
- Total- $1,204 Yet another month of ridiculous expenses. Who could’ve guessed? 🙂
Total Profit: $542.37
My lowest profit month since December. Next month will be the highest, but I gotta work hard to make sure that July and August don’t dip below $0.