If there is anything that you need to keep in mind as a writer or marketer these days is that just about anything can happen at any time. You can usually count on taking steps forward and backwards month after month and although one month may be a step backwards the overall trend tends to increase so long as you constantly put in the work to grow your portfolio of content.
A few months back I posted my strongest month of earnings on InfoBarrel ever, $619.58 back in February. The following months saw a significant drop due to various ranking factors and on page conversion rates. In the past couple months I’ve spent a small amount of time optimizing my current publications by adding pictures and strategic links to Amazon. This, coupled with a finalized site design by the admin which results in better conversions, has led to a nice rebound in my earnings.
In May I reported an overall income of $447.76 and I can happily report that in June I saw an increase in my overall income here on IB increase by 15.9 percent to $518.78. This is the result of better conversion rates with Adsense & Amazon and poorer conversions with Chitika. This is an acceptable tradeoff in my book and I am now only 19.4% below my earnings level in Feb – I’m inching back. :)
As I outlined in my posts on making more money on your articles by adding pictures and my follow up on how to contextually link to your pictures to increase page views, viewer engagement, and ultimately better earnings I ended up following my own advice despite minimal effort on my part.
As I’ve divulged in the past my wife and I now have an infant in the household and I’ve devoted much of my free time to spending time with the little one and helping my wife around the house. This is a conscious decision I’ve made for the time being and it is a testament of the joys of building up these residual streams of income. Despite the fact hat I’m not working as much as I was before I’m still making plenty of cash on the side of my day job. :)
Anyway, to illustrate the benefits of adding pictures to your articles and linking to them contextually I can report that my Adsense earnings on my media pages for the month of June was $75.07 up from $33.00 the month prior. My conversion rates on those pages are roughly three times that of my regular article pages too. This means that I only need a quarter of the page views to earn at the rate of my normal article pages… and since it’s so much quicker to add a few media pages to an existing article it is a very efficient way to boost your earnings in less time than writing a whole new batch of articles.
My June Income Breakdown
In June I emphasized regaining Adsense income via media pages and as a result my Adsense income increased 14.3 percent to $341.02 up from $298.24 back in May. I also posted enough points to put my July into the 90 percent ad share level (up from 75 percent in June) so my July should be a bit better without me having to do anything.
Amazon was a notable increase month over month. My travel coffee mug article continues to rank well and earn well It made just shy of $30 on it’s own over the course of the month on Amazon. It has never gotten up to a number one rank but it’s been as high as number 5 for it’s main keyword: “best travel mug”. Currently however it is dancing in and out of the SERPs. I also have some other strategically placed contextual Amazon links which have performed well. As a result month over month my Amazon earnings increase by 37.7 percent to $144.50 from $104.94 the month prior.
Chitika has been an underperformer predominantly due to things out of my control. It is a sidebar ad unit which has lost prominence due to site redesign and ad placement. Relatively speaking I think mine perform well because many of my articles are better suited for Chitika ads than some other types of articles but nevertheless my Chitika earnings continue to be only a small drop in the bucket. This month they dropped 25.4 percent to $33.26 down from $44.58 back in May.
During the Month of June I also started experimenting with a small handful of Commission Junction links here on IB. I have yet to earn anything on them but have noted a few clicks. With clicks con eventual earnings so I will continue to build upon these at a conservative pace.
Unfortunately this is one area where the “one step forward, one step backwards” comes into play. I’ve been a registered CJ affiliate for a while now but have never really used them much until the last few weeks. Unfortunately this has triggered me as a dormant user in danger of losing my account due to inactivity. We’ll see if they close my account or not; hopefully not because I’m finally putting some effort into using their platform.
My InfoBarrel Income Summary
Commission Junction - $0.00
Chitika - $33.26 (-25.4%)
Amazon - $144.50 (+37.7%)
Adsense - $341.02 (+14.3%)
Total - $518.78 (+15.9%)
You can see a summary of my past months earnings here on my main InfoBarrel Income page or just glance at the graph below. Regarding the graph – please note that I started making more substantial money here on IB in the August 2010 timeframe simply because I stopped focusing on IB as a place just for backlinks and more for a place for earnings. Now I use the site for both – really, it’s a good place here. :)
My Plan For July 2011
As I’ve noted a few times here, this business (or hobby) is all about accepting the downs with the ups, the setbacks with the successes, the ebbs with the flows, and the steps forward with the steps backwards. You always have to assume that that you have to adapt and that things will never stay the same.
I’ve worked on building more Amazon earnings into my repertoire here on IB for a while now. It certainly hasn’t been my main focus but it is something I’ve emphasized. Unfortunately I live in California and have been cutoff from the associates program due to the pen stroke of Gov. Jerry Brown. Thanks Jerry for taking my income away from me and subsequently decreasing the taxable income I pay to the state – that made sense. :/
Anyway, I’m considering the idea of forming a legitimate business entity out of state for my IM business but until then my Amazon Affiliate commissions will be zero. That erases a lot of the progress I’ve made here on IB as well as a number of my personal sites across the internets. I am pleased my Adsense share here on IB will be 20 percent higher in July than it was in June, that will help absorb some of the lost income here on IB but much of my time due to that that legislative act will be spent outside of the IB domain reworking my other sites. I have to remove Amazon links and find other ways to monetize those sites to make up for my lost Amazon monies.
I am starting to focus more on Clickbank on some sites, Share-A-Sale on others; Adsense may come into play on others. Maybe I can add CJ into the mix so that I don’t lose my dormant account. :) I even started a joint venture on a new site and am starting to produce my first ebook based on content posted on my first blog. I am ranked number one for a moderate traffic keyword which I can turn into an ebook and sell.
I also plan on using my tools more aggressively on my best performing sites to increase the eyeballs those sites get. You always have to adapt. I’m unsure how things will turn out but I keep marching forward. When one door shuts you have to turn around and find a new door to open.
Good luck to you all; please diversify your business (or hobby) and always make time for both work and play. As I’m finding out with our new son its worth it to make time for loved one’s in your life. Work is important but we do it for a reason and it’s not to simply make more money but to live our life instead.