March Income Report – Record Expenses

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March was another very busy month with the launch of a new business and the growth of my team. With the month being all about expansion the numbers took a little dip (hopefully temporary). Record numbers are great except when they are expenses.

One thing you may notice that is a little different is that I don’t track top line revenue on my income reports…why?

Top Line Revenue is a Vanity Metric

That is a bold statement and what I mean is that unless we are building a business to sell it the top line revenue number means much much less to my business then the bottom line net income number. Although it can help determine if expenses are keeping pace with revenue I like to keep my focus squarely on increasing net income not revenue.

This monthly report will share all the details about the different “divisions” of my business…

  1. Passive Income Website Portfolio
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome Blog
  3. Expired Domain Services (Domain Finding Service, Done for Your Private Blog Network, LightningRank)

Key Successes

  1. Building what is currently the Private Blog Network with the highest authority metrics on the Market(PA40+, DA30+) was not an easy and definitely was an expensive task. However, the quality of these sites and the initial rankings people are getting have me very proud. All sites have squeaky clean backlink profiles (100% real link profiles – 0 SEO) and the average metrics are over PageAuthority 40 and DomainAuthority 30. You can learn more about LightningRank here (currently in Beta Phase 2 with a discount)
  2. Niche Site Rankings – My efforts to build out my niche sites is starting to pay off again with a new site I built moving into the over $100 per month mark and another that I turned live in March making it to the first page right away and then climbing to spot 5 in Google after only a couple links from LightningRankkeyword
  3. Team Growth – With the continued growth I have invested back in building out an even better team. In March this included hiring a Canadian team member who is being trained to review and approve domains along with more website building team members. These investments freed up my time and resulted in record productivity numbers with over 115 websites being built between client sites, my own sites and lightningrank sites. All the sites had original articles created for them and look great…removing myself as a bottle neck released a lot of productivity!

Key Failures

  1. Costs – See note 1 & 3 above. The cost of building out LightningRank.com has not been cheap! I have started picking up the best domains at auction and some I am paying a lot for. Although I know I am building a business and asset which will be profitable and help a lot of people with rankings it hurts to run at a loss for at least a few months. item
  2. CPA Offer Management –This one caught me off guard! I had a good relationship with a key CPA offer for my student loan site but received an email saying that effective immediately they had “good news” the affiliate program was being shutdown! Once I got over cursing the tone of the email “good news – really!?” I struggled to find a suitable alternative and my income on that site suffered!

2014 Business Goals

Here is where I share my progress towards each of my key 2014 goals…

Here they are…

2014 Goal #1 – Increase the number of sites making over $100/month to 15 by building, buying or growing 8 quality sites.

2014 Goal #2 – Publish 52 Posts on Authority Website Income. For the growth of this blog there is nothing more important than consistently producing great articles every single Monday.

2014 Goal #3 – Produce 1 ULTIMATE post that will put my Ultimate Guide to Expired Domains to shame!

2014 Goal #4 – Automate the entire fulfilment process for my services side of the business while also improving quality.

2014 Goal #5 – Launch a new game changing business/service (this one I will not share until the time is right)

2014 Goal #6 – Continue ahead of the monthly net income curve targeting $15k/month in reliable online income by the age of 35.

Stretch Income Targets (BHAG)…

  • Hit my undisclosed “money in the bank” target
  • Average $10k/month net income for 2014

Part 1 – Passive Authority& Niche Website IncomeProfit/Loss

Still trying to improve my focus on this part of my business and have seen some solid growth this month even though one of the portfolios big earners took an earnings (not traffic/ranking) hit.

If anyone is looking to sell their profitable site(s) quickly let me know by emailing me.

  • # of greater than $100/month Sites = 9 (+1!)
    • Sites:
      • PMSL (big drop this month)
      • OIC
      • ACLSR
      • GFD (purchased)
      • RBC
      • RFNF
      • BCR
      • IF (purchased)
      • CCRB (Added this month!)
      • Revenue = $3,020.62
      • Costs= -$543.57
      • Net Income= $2,477.09

Mar Comment – Even though one of the anchor sites (my student loan site) took an earnings dip the entire portfolio saw a 15% month over month increase and the addition of 1 niche site to the “sizable earners” list. Overall a good month!

 

Passive income website portfolio

Public Case Study Site Status

AuthorityWebsiteIncome started with one case study – This site was started the same day as my case study site and every month I documented in detail exactly what I did to grow the site. It turned into a great site for me earning over $3k/month in its peak months and helped launch AuthorityWebsiteIncome. The monthly case study income reports have grown beyond just one site but I want to keep tracking this site separately from all the others so everyone can keep tabs on it.

  • Net Income = $528 (-65%) – Ouch – It will take another month but things are now sorted with the monetization again.
  • Traffic = 9.396 (+13%)
  • Citation Flow = 31 (-2)
  • Trust Flow = 18 (-2)

 

PMSL revenue and expenses PMSL revenue and expenses

MarComment–Like I mentioned above…the loss of the CPA Affiliate Program really hurt the site and I am still trying to test out my alternatives.

Progress on Key 2014 Goal…

2014 Goal #1 – Increase the number of sites making over $100/month to 15 by building, buying or growing 8 quality sites.

Progress:

 

number of strong passive income

PMSL revenue and expenses

Mar Comment – I added 1 to the site which I am happy about and looking forward to trying to stay on pace with my goal.

Part 2 – Authority Website Income Blog Profit/Loss

My commitment on this site is to provide once per week posts from me in and one MONSTER of an ultimate guide a little later in the year.

Here are the monthly stats for my site…

  • Visitors = 14,818(+14%)
  • Subscribers = 2,250 (+13%)
  • # of Posts = 4
  • Affiliate Income = $850 (+1%)

 

Authority Website Income Stat

Mar Comment–All metrics were solid in March. It is always good to see a growth in traffic. There are no plans to grow the affiliate earnings portion of this site.

Progress on Key 2014 Goal…

2014 Goal #2 – Publish 52 Posts on Authority Website Income. For the growth of this blog there is nothing more important than consistently producing great articles every single Monday.

 

Total Number of Post Published on AWI

2014 Goal #3 – Produce 1 ULTIMATE post that will put my Ultimate Guide to Expired Domains to shame! Plan is in motion but it will take several months to assemble all the moving parts.

 

Part 3 – Services Business Profit/Loss

In 2013 I had a LOT of growth in this area and plan to keep it going for 2014.

The key metrics I am going to share on this side of the business each month include…

  • # Sites Built = 97 (+41%)(doesn’t cover all sites)
  • # of Domains Found = 108(+83%)
  • Net Income = $3,392 (-63%)*

Note about the Net Income – each month varies greatly since the expenses for building the sites incur the month the sites are built while the income occurs the month the sites are sold. So there are months like December where I only have a handful of new clients but I am still building sites for all the others who paid in the previous month.For the accounting purists, yes, I am aware I am violating a GAAP accounting principle (revenue is to be counted in the months the expenses to earn the revenue are realized – but that creates more accounting headaches for me).

 

Service Business Profit Loss

Progress on Key 2014 Goal…

2014 Goal #4 – Automate the entire fulfilment process. I am personally still approving all domains and supporting client’s requests.

Big Progress! I no have a Canadian who I have hired to help me approve/reject domains. The process will continue. I am working towards a slick system that will have me only monitoring the process. It is taking longer than I would like but I need to move towards it deliberately every month!

2014 Goal #5 – Launch a new game changing business/service (this one I will not share until the time is right)

Something is in the work ;)LightningRank.com is a new game changing service but it is not it ;)

Overall Financial Goals

Original Monthly Net Income Target (original – $15k/month reliable income by age 35)

  • Target Net Income = $4,450
  • Actual net Income = $6,719

goal- 15k

overall net income

“Money in the Bank” Target

For those that have been trying to track their online income and reconcile with money in the bank it doesn’t take long to realize just because you think you made $1k in a month your business bank account doesn’t go up by $1k that month. The reason for this is that it takes some time for advertisers to pay their affiliates. Plus, some affiliate commissions you earned will be voided in the next month and you will not be paid for that commission you thought you made.

So for this reason a metric I am going to track in 2014 is my Money in the Bank target. Although I share a lot I am choosing to not actually share my bank balance…I will simply make it a % of my overall goal.

 

progress toward target

Mar Comment: All financial goals were achieved in Mar. Seeing a sizable income drop in Mar is never fun but I understand I am funding the base of the next phase of my business.

2014 Monthly Income Target

This is another big time stretch goal. In 2014 I am targeting to average $10k/month in net monthly income.

RUNNING AVERAGE = $10,018

  • January = $11,141
  • February = $12,193
  • Mar = $6,719

Final Comments

Although the income numbers are worse I am very happy with this month. On each of the 3 fronts of my business I managed to accomplish what I needed to…

  1. Niche Websites – Achieved high rankings on new projects and also brought another site into the $100/month portfolio club
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com – Published 4 quality posts on schedule
  3. Services Business – New great product created and the abilities of my team saw their biggest increase in months with the addition of another member and removal of myself from the process.

How was your month?

Read my Ultimate Guide To Expired Domains for SEO! (8000+ words and 5 step by step how to videos! all FREE) click here

Comments

  1. Jon,

    What’s your attack plan for dealing the loss of your PMSL affiliate? Are you going to switch over to more contextual ads or try for another affiliate program? I know Pat had a lot of success selling advertising on his site SGTHQ.

    • Jon Haver says:

      I have actually been able to get them back after testing out several other offers I had to come back to this offer. I have tried AdSense on the site but it didn’t perform as well.

      • Didn’t you say the merchant was closing the affiliate program?
        Do they now have an inhouse program with exclusive partnerships? This would require a lot of trust from your side as quite often the convesions are not very good trackable. Hope it turns out well for you.
        Good luck.
        T.

  2. Nice recap Jon. Sorry about the loss of a key student loan affiliate. Last year I worried about whether one of my key affiliates would shutdown too. As a result, I modeled a shutdown of the affiliate so I could actively work on other revenue opportunities BEFORE it shut down. Nothing lasts forever unfortunately.

    I decided to actually go consult for a key affiliate in SF this year to help ensure the success of the affiliate. In a way, I felt like a Venture Capitalist trying to help one of my investments.

    I really hope Google doesn’t do anything drastic to change your business service model. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a ton of changes over the years. I still think focusing on a PRIME site is the best way to go.

    • Jon Haver says:

      Hey Sam, that is a great example of a risk assessment you did on your business. I think the one site approach if you are endlessly passionate about a subject is the way to go if you have the time. For my limited time I would not be able to have as many projects on the go if I focused on 1 site (which is maybe a problem :) ). Thanks for the comment.

  3. Losing a CPA offer is crap-zilla.

    Good luck replacing it!

    Your post about outsourcing encouraged me to try Odesk again. Problem is, I need writers and there just aren’t many on there who want to write for 2-cents a word and deliver the quality I need.

    However, that failed experiment for pushed me into finding some friends who were either interested in writing or new writers looking for work. We’re only a week in, but the quality I’m getting is pretty awesome.

    So, indirectly, that blog post got me going. Thanks!

    • Jon Haver says:

      Hey Quinton, I feel your pain regarding the writers…it takes a lot of work to find writers that wl write for that price and it is almost impossible to find ones that produce the articles quickly/reliably for that. That’s great about the solution you have found!

  4. Dustin Jones says:

    Do you really consider spending money or investing a “failure” and a loss? Sort of sending the wrong message if you ask me.

    Would you tell the guy who puts away 10% of his paycheck towards his 401k and retirement fund that’s he’s losing his money?

    Just think the choice of words doesn’t match the business world mentality that many of your readers could gain a valuable point from. On a balance sheet, taxes and in your mind you would consider this an asset and hope to expect a return on your investment.

    No risk no reward.

    • Jon Haver says:

      Hi Dustin, thanks for the question. I do not consider it a failure but I do think of it as an expense. I think it is an important distinction between traditional corporate management thinking where people would rather earn $1M running a $1B busines than $1M running a $2M business. I know this example is extreme but the advice to grow grow grow and doesn’t translate as well to a personal business in my mind. The most important metric for my business is the net profit (yes I should invest in future projects but the money to do so must come out of this months or previous months income). So failure it is not but something I must control and manage it is. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Yeah, good going man! :D

    I’m still bootstrapping it in the PA 30+/DA20+ bracket myself. Using static S3 hosting to get different IP addresses from different S3 regions. About 6 PBN sites up and running that way now. And they’re doing wonderful things for my rankings. Planning to launch two more solid PBNs that way and add another two niche sites and I’ll have replaced my income.

    I can only imagine what Lightning Rank can do for your customers!

    • Jon Haver says:

      Right on, that is awesome success for you. Glad you are seeing results with your PBN. Yah the lightningrank power is pretty impressive!

      Jon

  6. Very inspiring Jon! Gosh I can’t wait to start sharing my successes online in the near future. I know so many of us niche and authority site builders all do it already but I believe there can never be enough success stories around, right?

    My goal was similar earnings like yours by the age of 40. I’m only 30 now but since starting to build niche sites recently, I think I may also get there by 35? VERY inspiring and exciting…

    Thanks for sharing these reports – they help a guy like me tremendously!

  7. Good to see the biz is moving onward and upward!

    When you hire a new team member, how do you go about them earning your trust to let them build sites or post articles to money sites?

    A few VA’s would make life easier, but I have a hard time trusting them with money sites.

  8. Hi Jon,
    Not sure if I missed the income round-up report for April (or May), but would really love to see how you are getting on! Do you have another update planned?
    Cheers,
    Alexis.

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