***This article is updated weekly. Every week I will add an analysis of that-week's numbers underneath the table and move older weeks above it.
I think one of the most useful tracking methods an InfoBarrel writer can use is week-by-week statistics. It's a short enough time period to really see some trends emerge (better than monthly), and not so short that a bad day here and there will totally wreck your numbers.
I've seen excellent growth since returning from Hawaii September 6th, which is when I started stat tracking. I only have 1 article published prior to this which is not a charity article, my How To Get Rid of Raccoons article, which served as an SEO learning tool. It's the first article where I really tried to earn, as almost all my initial articles published between July 26 (sign up) and August 3rd (left for Hawaii) were copy & pasted from a wordpress blog and not optimized in any way. Just before I left I purchased the InfoBarrel Success program by Howie (x3xsolxdierx3x) and Jason (jcmayer777) - which I finally dove into on Sept 6, 2010.
I got my first click on September 9th, actually 2 clicks, for $2.98. I'm not sure on what articles unfortunately. An earnings trend didn't appear until the start of October, and in every week since my impressions, number of clicks, earnings, and earnings rate per article has increased almost without exception (sometimes one number has decreased, but the bottom line, earnings, hasn't).
Almost 100% of my earnings are from InfoBarrel. I get a bit from InfoPirate, SheToldMe, and Snipsly. Nothing from Squidoo (which I gave up on ages ago) or HubPages (only 7 Hubs at present).
But enough of me, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves:
Week-By-Week Earnings and Statistics:
I currently have 21 charity articles (this article will be #22). "Articles" is the total at the beginning of Monday, as I try to post all my articles for the upcoming week on Sundays (sometimes with a Wed/Thurs post depending on numbers). I've been good about this except for the end of November, due to the contest in the interest of fairness and "transparency."
Week 12: November 22 to 28 Analysis:
Despite not doing optimization on another 59 articles, my earnings rate per article increased yet again. At this point I'm making almot 25 cents per article every week - or one dollar per month. An interesting trend that continues: In a single day during this week I made more than I made over the entire week 4 weeks ago - Week 8 (Oct 25-31) had a total of $12.30. This week I had a number of single days that surpassed this total - the best being $20.02 on the final day. Also, at this point - I'm still yet to fail on a weekly-total projection, even though this week I had to earn $20 more than last, an average of almost $3 more per day!
I'm averaged a click on 2/3 articles over the week, which is slightly better than past weeks, and might account for the increased earning's rate per article
At this pace, it would take me 98 days to earn $1000.
Week 13: November 29 to December 5 Analysis:
This week was absolutely incredible. My goal of reaching $100 for the week was almost reached at the end of day six, where I had $99. Ending with $114.75 meant I saw an increase of $43.53 from last week - or $6 per day improvement! My earnings rate per article also exploded, seeing an 8.6-cent increase. This is an excellent number, as a lot of my future projections assumed a 0.33 earnings rate.
Fun number: at this rate it would take 61 days to reach $1000.
Two days earned around $25, with one a bit better and one a bit under. For me a new "all time high" daily total becomes the norm within 5-10 days. Hopefully I can achieve this as soon as possible, if I'm hitting $25 consistently by the end of this week, my goal of $700 for the month will be reachable.
My goal for this week is fairly extreme, $175. So far I've made all my earnings goals, even though I try to make them unreachable. This one is going to require a $25/day average - meaning a $9/day increase over last weeks average.
I will need about 5800 impressions this week to make $175.00, based on current numbers. This means I will probably have to make my best earners earn even more, because getting over a 50% increase in traffic seems unlikely. Hopefully I will start earning on Amazon as well, which would be a nice boost. My plan is to do as much rewriting as I can for HubPages, PostUROwn, and theInfoMine to increase the rank of some of my good articles, and hopefully cash in on a seconday earning source (I have yet to earn from an article site other than IB).
I've been doing more backlinking using my favorite social bookmarking sites with adsense revenue share.
Week 14: December 6 to 12th Analysis
Week 13 turned out to be an anomaly, not just my earnings, but the entire internet. A record number of users flooded the web in and around Black Friday (being from Canada, I was unaware of this until after the fact). So while my earnings from last week are down, the overall trend continues upward nicely. This is the first week my earnings rate per article has gone down, but saying above 0.200 is nice - meaning nearly $1 per article every month. My weekly goal of $175 was not reasonable on purpose, and I didn't come close, unless you count two sales of Market Samurai, in which case my total will end up right around $175 for the week after Amazon has been calculated.
At this point I've made about $275 in December, which is not quite on pace for $700 total, but I'm very pleased nevertheless - and assuming good growth patterns it's still very much achievable. I'm also extremely pleased that I'm finally getting some Amazon sales, which will augment my article earnings nicely. I expect a reasonably big upswing this week, as I will have around 475 articles that earn by the end of today (I determine my weekly "article total" amount by the number that are live by the end of Monday)
I might not make my monthly goal, but the earnings trend is very nice. This week if I maintain a 0.214 earnings rate I will be over $100, so I'm going to set my goal higher: $120. I'm also back in the running for the contest, which is unexpected but nice. This week I'm moving back to Winnipeg for the Christmas season to see family and friends, so things might slow down a bit, especially in terms of my forum activity and "lesson" type posting.
Week 15: December 13th-19th Analysis and Observations:
While week 15 didn't break any earnings records, I really didn't expect it to because of the late-December lull. Impressions and clicks were down, and my CTR was below 7%. My earnings rate per article is also the lowest it's been since the start of November. That being said, I would say this has easily been my best week yet.
Amazon is finally clicking, and since I made almost $10 this week off Amazon sales, this bodes really well for the future. This number offset a decrease from AdSense, that actually resulted in an increase in earnings over last week. I'm also over 500 earning articles going into week 16, which is awesome.
I don't have too many new articles from week to week this time, but that's because I spent a large portion of it setting up my new blog: Renegade Writer, where I plan on writing, podcasting, and creating videos about what I do. I've already received a ton of positive feedback, which I'm thrilled about. If you haven't checked it out, please do - I'm not proud of many things I do, but designing this blog, given my limited coding knowledge, is something I feel really good about.
At this point I'm going to need a holiday miracle (or a lot of people picking up Market Samurai) to reach my monthly earnings goal, but I'm not the least bit disappointed - things have been going great and look even better for 2011. I also haven't fallen too far behind in the contest despite relative inactivity this week.
My lesson for the week: Learn to do one thing really well at a time and really master it, then apply it everywhere. Then move on to the next thing and master that. Don't try to do everything at once. I focused on keyword research for a long time, then article writing - now these are pretty much automatic. My next goal is to continue Amazon optimizations and create a ton of blog content.
Another lesson: Titles are KEY. Learn to write good titles, and study the masters. I'd also recommend studying cliches, famous sayings, and reading poetry. Those skills will come in handy when you try to write captivating (and keyword-rich) titles.
|Impressions||Clicks||AdSense||Chitika||Amazon||Weekly Total||Earning Rate|
|Sept 27-Oct 3||54||282||2||$0.34||$0.26||$0.00||$0.60||0.011|
|Oct 4 - 10||68||531||20||$4.58||$0.84||$0.32||$5.74||0.084|
Oct 11 - 17
|Oct 18 - 24||92||600||35||$9.09||$0.99||$0.00||$10.08||0.110|
|Oct 25 - 31||92||805||34||$9.97||$2.33||$0.00||$12.30||0.134|
|Nov 1 - 7||159||1244||78||$21.46||$2.72||$0.00||$24.18||0.152|
|Nov 8 - 14||204||1351||102||$31.42||$1.76||$0.00||$33.18||0.163|
|Nov 15 - 21||236||2059||142||$42.69||$6.93||$0.00||$49.62||0.210|
|Nov 22 - 28||295||2361||206||$62.77||$8.45||$0.00||$71.22||0.241|
|Nov 29 - Dec 5||351||3583||293||$105.65||$9.10||$0.00||$114.75||0.327|
|Dec 6 - Dec 12||374||3392||223||$70.76||$6.77||$3.51||$81.04||0.214|
|Dec 13 - Dec 19||475||2893||189||$64.80||$8.96||$9.22||$82.98||0.175|
|Dec 20 - Dec 26||510||2355||195||$55.24||$5.59||$7.20||$68.03||0.133|
|Dec 27 - Jan 2||515||2969||239||$66.34||$1.57||$0.00||$67.91||0.132|
Week 16 & 17: The Holidays
I saw mid-November type earnings through these weeks, with similar page impressions and clicks. Hopefully this means my earnings will increase substantially when traffic recovers in January, as I have almost 2x as many articles. Other projects & holiday committments essentially halted progress over these couple weeks. My earnings rate per article is the lowest it's been since the end of October. When I started on IB my test number was 0.120, so I'm at least above my initial baseline.
I've found that traffic multiplied by 2.5 equals earnings in cents. This has held true for me pretty much this entire time. This is better than my initial baseline of 1 visit = 1 cent. I hope this increases as my articles mature and as I figure out what is most profitable and do more of it. Quick one this week - I'll get back into detail next time. Cheers!
Some Interesting Observations
Earning rate is the amount I can expect to earn from an single article over the course of a week. For comparison sake, Travis, Jason, and Chez often score over "1" in this column.
My top two articles are a holiday article ($12.85 - posted on Oct 31st) and an article with an incredibly low CPC, but a great Google rank and high CTR ($5.67 on 36 clicks, or $0.16 per click - CTR is 8.82%)
***I've removed the titles based on the advice of another IB member***
The point is that holiday articles are a great earnings boost - and don't be discouraged if an article has a low CPC!
I regularly have days where my CTR hovers around 10%. I believe Godfather25 also gets a high average CTR and lower average CPC compared to others. Again, look at your numbers and make them work for you.
So What Have We Learned?
1) The first couple weeks can be difficult, certainly. This is especially if you only have a few articles and they aren't optimized in any way. I didn't start earning until I was over 50 articles. Lots of people earn before this, and you can too if you learn some SEO principles and study some of the best here on InfoBarrel. I would seriously consider the InfoBarrel Success program. Jason and Howie have said it themselves, you can learn it all yourself, if you want. I'd rather save the time, the guessing and checking, all that annoying stuff - and spend it writing. Anyway, they offer a 100% money back guarantee so why not?
2) Use the forum - I guarantee that any question you may have can and will be answered by someone who walks the walk. Usually within a couple hours.
Another big upside of the forums is the support you'll find if you're having a bad stretch. It can be frustrating doing this "passive income" thing. Most of us don't have an overwhelming amount of real life support for "making money online"/"internet marketing" type endeavors - so we should all help each other out.
3) There are many different strategies you can use to earn. I have a high volume of articles that earn less per article than many others, but my earnings have shown this approach to work. There's no one "correct" approach - choose the one that utilizes your strengths best. I hate backlinking (I have tendinitis and can't do a bunch of window switching for title & tag gathering easily, or any other task involving a bunch of mousework.) My solution is more articles. While I actually hope to spend more time optimizing in December, clearly I could continue with article production and have a lot of success.
4) Your earning rate will increase even if you don't do anything. This one is for you Howie! As InfoBarrel gains authority as a website, your articles will rank better, and therefore earn more, even if you don't do a damn thing to them. I haven't optimized almost anything in November, yet each week my earnings rate has increased. The opportunity that exists to increase earnings just but doing a bit of extra work on the optimization side of things is huge!
5) Learn to utilize ALL avenues of income. AdSense, Chitika, Amazon; other article sites such as HubPages and TheInfoMine; Social Bookmarking sites such as InfoPirate and Xomba. This would be a "learn from my mistakes" tip, as I do very little of this. I would probably triple my income (if not more) if I had all of these revenue sources producing.
6) Keep writing and have fun. Every article, every click, every bit of passive income is a bit of financial pressure lifted off your shoulders. Whether you're single, a couple, have a large family, or are in a different situation, you can duplicate the success so many are having here on InfoBarrel. If you haven't signed up yet, you really should. In September 2010 I didn't know anything about SEO or article writing, but I should make about $300 in December, whether I choose to work or not. You can too. Good luck and happy writing.