March 2013 Earnings & Spending Report

Yay! Life in the earnings department is back to normal and panic mode has been delayed for now. I more than doubled last month’s total coming in this month at $6,458. The somewhat worrying thing is that I didn’t do anything different this month. It really does just seem to be a crapshoot these days. If lots of advertisers get in touch… good month. If not, I’m slightly screwed.

I’ve sold three ads on my Kigali life website with another on the way soon and I think I’ll be collecting payment in April or May. So that’s a step towards diversifying away from guest posts and I’m very happy about that. I wasn’t sure if my Kigali site would work for online advertising, but it seems like there are a lot of businesses who are keen to know more, and that’s without me even approaching anymore. So it looks like it could be a steady earner for me. It’ll increase my workload trying to keep these advertisers happy, but I’m looking forward to building some relationships in the Rwanda business community so it’ll be good, I think.

Earnings Breakdown:

  • Adsense — $225 - Another low month. I’m really not seeing any quality ads showing up with Adsense these days. I wonder if their days (and as a result, mine) are numbered!
  • Affiliate sales — $105 - A bit better, but still bad. My only affiliate program that’s doing anything these days is World Nomads. But that’s probably because I haven’t loked at any of my other affiliate networks in… years? So they’ve probably all expired and changed. I really should sit down one week and go over everything. Maybe this will be the month that happens!
  • Advertising — $6,058 - I had a pending payment of $1,200 from February which is one reason why that month sucked so bad and March was a bit better. But otherwise just the usual medium-sized deals and a few renewals streaming in.
  • Ebook Sales — $70 - Ten sales.

Spending Breakdown:

Another pretty low spending month in March at $390. April (or maybe May, depending when I get the work done) should be a higher spending month as I have a bunch of programming things I want to get done including a restaurant search and taking the site mobile in a more functional way than I have now.

  • Link Building Services — $147 - I’m still using Linkvana (14 day trial for $5 affiliate link/50 free outsourcing credits affiliate link) but I haven’t actually done any link building for the past coupe of months. I need to get on that!
  • Go Daddy – $90 - A bunch of domain name registrations and renewals. I’m now the proud owner of many Eastern Congo-related domain names. Haha… we’ll see how that goes!
  • Facebook Ads – $110 (£72) - This money bought me around another 2,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook. No idea whether this is worth the money but my feeling is that I have the money to spend and I have a good feeling that having a lot of Facebook page readers is a powerful thing, at least in this Kigali niche. I’ve had a lot of interaction and feedback from the Facebook people and it really is a great way to get the word out about a lot of things. I’m going to keep pushing this and will probably spend a similar amount this month, so it’ll be interesting to see the effect it has on how many likes I get as compared to February.
  • Content – $38 (£25) - I pay a writer for some content on a British Travel site and she wrote one article this month.
  • Ebook — $5 - Monthly cost to sell my ebook.
February was a definite kick in the pants. I’m not sure how long this model of earning will work for me and February was a bit of a scare. Plus I met with the guy who owns Eatout.co.ke and he wants to do something similar in Rwanda. He wanted me to do some work for them but I’m not interested in being employed again anytime soon so will keep doing my own thing. But it was great to meet the guy… he’s a very smart internet entrepreneur and I learned a lot from talking to him.
But what this has meant is that I’ve seen that some competition is coming my way and it’s motivated me to make the best website I can make for Kigali. Their focus is restaurant reservations which isn’t really something I can or want to compete with, but my goal is to have a strong site for restaurants etc… make sure that mine is the one everyone knows about and comes to so that when they finally get to Rwanda, they might want to consider a partnership or something. We’ll see! The main thing for me is that I’m really motivated to work on some things I’ve been putting off for a long time. Competition is good!
So my main focus right now is my Kigali website. I’m putting a bunch of effort into it, starting to do some ad deals and really enjoying managing the whole thing. Anyone who’s got a community site similar to mine should take a look… I’m really proud of what I’ve got going over there but I’d love to hear what other people are up to in this city guide type niche.
Ok… that’s all from me. Happy belated bunny day and I’ll speak to you all soon.