April 2016 Progress Update

More is Going Out Than Coming In…For Now!

It’s time for the April 2016 progress update. Often times when building a business (or two or three), it feels like the cash reservoir is getting dangerously low. And in fact, it might be. In my case, I’ve been adding projects to my roster and each one takes time to show results or prove to be a dud.

Below is a picture of Lake Mead in Nevada; the water levels have been dangerously low for years now as you can tell by the water level compared to the old high-water line. This is the mental picture I have when I think of the balance in my business account!

Affiliate Disclosure | PrivateLabelPreneur.com

April 2016 Progress Update | PrivateLabelPreneur.com

Now that I’ve started Niche Site #1, there are really four “businesses,” or niches, that I’m tracking. In previous updates I lumped them all together and didn’t include the expenses (other than advertising), which made it hard for you to see the profitability.

I’m trying to figure out a way that I can give you a better idea of where the income is coming from and what types of business expenses I have so that you can tell what is profitable and what is not.

The thing that makes this difficult is that a lot of the expenses are shared across the websites. For example, I use Drip to manage all of my email lists. I don’t allocate that cost to each niche in my accounting and I don’t want to create added administrative tasks to my day, which distract from filling up the reservoir!

So I’ll break these progress update posts into four sections going forward:

  1. Niche Sites Information and Metrics
  2. Business Expenses Across All Niches
  3. 2016 Goals Update
  4. Niche Site #1 Update

Let’s give this format a try and you can let me know if it makes sense or not.

Niche Sites Information and Metrics

I currently have four niche sites. Each is listed below with some general information and metrics. I think this information is important to track because over time the MOZ Domain Authority and traffic should grow. If these metrics don’t increase, the likelihood of income increasing will be slim.

EscapingDodge.com

This is my first project and while I no longer actively post, EscapingDodge.com continues to get traffic and I earn a small amount of affiliate income.

  • Launch Date: March 2013
  • MOZ Domain Authority: 30
  • April Traffic: 2,662 visitors
  • April Page Views: 3,477 page views
  • Physical Products?: No
  • Affiliate Income: Yes
  • Status: I’m not currently posting new content on this site

MyBeerCozy.com

MyBeerCozy.com exists to create a brand presence on the web but the products are really affiliate links that go to our product listings on Amazon. The majority of our revenue comes from selling beer cozies on Amazon. We do occasionally get someone click through from our website and buy, that’s fun because you not only make the sale but you get a little commission to boot!

  • Launch Date: October 2014 (first product listed on Amazon, the website came later)
  • MOZ Domain Authority: 13
  • April Traffic: 364 visitors
  • April Page Views: 789 page views
  • Physical Products?: Yes
  • Affiliate Income: Yes
  • Status: I’m not currently posting new content on this site

PrivateLabelPreneur.com

PrivateLabelPreneur.com is where I spend a lot of my time. It’s the spin off from Escaping Dodge. I have a product to add to this site in the next few weeks and I’ll be adding print on demand products, too. Right now the affiliate income is minimal but I do hope to grow that. (Shameless plug…the Resources page is chock full of great tools and services that I use and recommend.)

  • Launch Date: December 2015
  • MOZ Domain Authority: 18
  • April Traffic: 704 visitors
  • April Page Views: 1,509 page views
  • Physical Products?: Coming Soon!
  • Affiliate Income: Yes
  • Status: Active

Niche Site #1

This is the new site that just launched.

  • Launch Date: April 2016
  • MOZ Domain Authority: 6
  • April Traffic: 237 visitors
  • April Page Views: 848 page views
  • Physical Products?: Yes
  • Affiliate Income: Yes
  • Status: Active

Business Expenses Across All Niches

The table below shows all of the recurring expenses I have that span all four of the niche site projects. This does not include advertising costs as that changes based on what I’m testing.

April 2016 Progress Update | PrivateLabelPreneur.com

Don’t be alarmed by the totals at that bottom. This list includes many services that I choose to test that you wouldn’t need to start your project. For example, you wouldn’t need Tubeshift or Rafflecopter right away if ever. I currently subscribe to these services so I’m listing them here. If you’re comfortable using your personal address, you don’t need a PO box.

Remember, too, that I’m a domain junkie so I have a bigger GoDaddy outlay than you would likely have; one domain might cost you under $15 for the entire year.

Another important point is that I’m running four websites on self-hosted WordPress, two of which require SSL certificates because I sell products (or will) on those sites. Because of this I’ve upgraded my service to a more expensive package. Your hosting costs with Bluehost, for example, could be as low as a few dollars a month to start one niche project.

If you have questions about any of the services you see listed, just leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email and I’ll provide an in-depth explanation of why I use that product/service and my opinion of it. Many of these are also listed on the Resources page.

Moving on…

2016 Goals Update for April

At the beginning of the year I set out some specific goals for 2016. This was before Niche Site #1 came on the scene and so I’m going to continue to report on this set of goals excluding Niche Site #1; I’ll report on that project separately.

April 2016 Progress Update | PrivateLabelPreneur.com

April income was not impressive. All of the income comes from Amazon revenue generated from My Beer Cozy sales and affiliate income, which can be from My Beer Cozy, Escaping Dodge and/or PrivateLabelPreneur. Lackluster income combined with a hefty advertising spend and I doubt I broke even for the month. Needless to say, no money came out of the business to fatten the owner’s pockets!

Niche Site #1 Update for April

As mentioned above, Niche Site #1 was launched mid April. I’ll be providing updates on this project each month. This project will include the income and expenses (excluding the recurring costs for shared services) so you can see what it would cost to do something similar yourself. As I mentioned in the launch post, this project is a combination of an authority site and a private label business.

April 2016 Progress Update | Niche Site #1 | PrivateLabelPreneur.com

I made a big inventory purchase in March, which is the big negative number in the Cost of Goods category. Another big expense for this project occurred in April; I hired a contract writer to help with writing posts on this site and I’m having artwork done for a new product. That is the big hit under Expenses for April.

April saw a few sales, but I have to admit that they were to friends and I also purchased one of the products. When the first stranger buys a product on the site I’ll be jumping for joy!

Lessons learned so far: I over bought inventory. I say that for two reasons

  1. First, I should have narrowed the choices for customers (this would have saved me time as well in taking images and setting up the products on the site).
  2. Second, I’m not permitted to sell this first product on Amazon (at least not yet) so I’m limited to selling on a website that doesn’t yet have a lot of traffic.

Summary

April sales on Amazon were down but I think Amazon must have changed something in their algorithms because every day in May so far has been at or over $100 in revenue. If that keeps up, I’ll be a happy camper!

In May I’m pushing to build out Niche Site #1, gain more traffic and get back links to the site. That’s a lot of work but it should prove to be worth it in the end. I’ll give you more details on how I’m going about that in future posts.

Call to Action

How did April stack up for you? What are your goals for May and are you making progress on them? I’d love to hear from you in the Comments or shoot me an email if you’re shy!

Now back to work for me!

Ree Short Sig


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  1. Diana Poisson May 13, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Thank you for sharing your progress! Though I have a personal blog, I’ve been thinking about doing a niche site in the future. This helps a lot with how to go about doing that. I can’t wait to see the future progress on your new niche site!

    • Ree Klein May 14, 2016 at 9:42 AM

      Thanks, Diana. I’m still not happy with this update format; I have to find a way to make it clear what it actually costs to create and run a niche site so that readers have a solid idea of what it takes. With that said, there are so many variables it’s not really possible to say exactly what building a site will cost. It can be less than a few dollars a month to hundreds depending on the business objective.

      I suppose being clear on the initial business objective is the most important element to understanding potential start-up costs. That’s worth a post all it’s own!

      Thanks for dropping by and starting the conversation ~
      Ree