October 2012 Earnings & Spending Report

Well. After a couple of pretty average months, October 2012 went and got all crazy on me! I smashed the elusive $10,000 mark for the first time, coming in at $11,365 which is, as far as I’m concerned, pretty insane. I’m excited to have cleared that elusive $10,000 mark for the first time but it all seems a bit crazy. I’m still amazed each day at the kind of money companies are throwing at this sort of thing.

Most of this month’s earnings were due to one gigantic deal for just over £3,000. It was one of these dream deals – no negotiation, she wanted links in existing content so very little work for me, and payment straight away without even needing to send an invoice. I thought it was too good to be true and then suddenly I had a large sum of money in my Paypal account. Pretty sweet.

Earnings Breakdown:

  • Adsense — $384 - Adsense seems to be coming in closer to $400 each month which is nice to see. Again, I’ve put zero work into Adsense.
  • Affiliate sales — $99 - I think this is a sinking ship. Affiliate sales really don’t inspire me at all and they’re a lot of work if you want to really do well. I’m not paying them any attention at the moment and the results are obviously because of that.
  • Advertising — $10,805 - So that big $5,000+ deal was a big chunk of my earnings but, even without it, I would have had a pretty good month. I actually had a lot of cancellations this month so most of my deals were new ones. It’s good to see that people are still approaching me each month but renewals are great because all you need to do is send an email and wait for payment… not much new work required and who wouldn’t love that?
  • Ebook Sales — $77 - Eleven sales.

Spending Breakdown:

October was a biggie coming in at a total of $4,082. Spending went a little nuts last month but only because I acquired another website – The Backpacker Herald (yay). It’ll probably be my last site for awhile… although I’ve said that before. When a good website drops into my lap, I can’t help but consider it. I certainly wasn’t expecting to spend much in October so this decision kind of took me by surprise.

  • New Website – $3,515 (£2,200) - The casual mention of a site for sale in an email turned into an actual sale shortly after. Having just bought a site not too long ago, I wasn’t actively looking for more but this one seemed like a great fit, the price was good, I’d already bought a site from Ross before and managed to pay it off in four months, and the content and design of the site are good. So I went for it and I’m GBP2200 poorer and another website richer. I’m not expecting this one to do as well as Blighty Traveller (only because that would be too good to be true) but there’s no reason why it can’t. I’ve already sold a couple of guest posts so I’m on my way!
  • Link Building Services — $147 - I’m still using Linkvana (14 day trial for $5 affiliate link/50 free outsourcing credits affiliate link). I’ve seen some great results for my Kampala site so I’m still on board with them despite many people saying that the days are numbered for link building services like these.
  • Articles – $50 - Articles for Linkvana.
  • Domain Renewal – $26 - Go Daddy stuff.
  • iStockphoto – $54 - Bought some more photo credits.
  • Facebook Ads – $135 (£85) - I committed £100 across two sites for a month and I’ve been charged for a portion of that. I was just playing around the with Facebook ads idea and it’s turned into over 1,000 new ‘likes’ for each site in less than a month. Not bad value for money although the new likes doesn’t seem to be adding up to a higher reach. I might also experiment with sponsored posts which I guess is Facebook’s master plan.
  • Hosting – $150 - I paid a bit over a year in advance for some hosting.
  • Ebook — $5 - Monthly cost to sell my ebook.

This big freakish month comes at a great time for me as I’ve just spent £2,200 on that new site. Plus I just got a Rwandan work visa for two years which means I’m thinking more seriously about staying here for the long term which also means I’ve got my eye out for offline investment opportunities. It all sounds so fancy!

All up everything is running smoothly and November is looking like another excellent month. I’m going to be focusing most of my work this month on building the website for The Office, a co-working space in Kigali, Rwanda that I’ve just joined. I think I’ll also spend a lot of time on my Kigali life site just because it’s fun and also on organising everything I do a bit better. Less fun.

So that’s that! October is done. I earned over $10,000 in a month for the first time which is ridiculous and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year holds for this crazy website stuff that I do!