November 2014 Income Report

My last income report ended on a positive note. Sadly, November did not turn out to be the productive month I had hoped it could be due to circumstances outwith my control.

I will talk about these issues later in the report. Firstly, I would like to show you all how much I earned and how traffic changed on this blog.

As you all know, my income reports includes income earned through this blog and does not include income generated through other projects of mine, such as my internet marketing discussion forums Rise Forums.

Traffic Statistics

In last month’s income report I noted that I had published 21 blog posts in August, 22 in September, and 31 in October.

My initial plan was to increase posting frequency to between 12 to 15 blog posts per week in November. Since I was unable to devote time to writing myself, I dropped posting frequency down to one per day.

Due to this, I only published 39 blog posts in November. It is perhaps wrong of me to use the word “only” as this is 8 articles more than the previous month; however it did fall short of the 50+ blog posts I was hoping to publish.

November 2014 Traffic

Let’s not beat about the bush, it is disappointing to see traffic decrease in November; even if it was only by a small amount. I published a higher number of articles in October and in November and have not seen a corresponding increase in traffic.

  • Sessions (Visits) – 25,742 (-2,129)
  • Users (Unique Visits) – 22,000 (-1,904)
  • Pageviews – 37,018 (-3,117)

There are a few reasons why traffic is not increasing. Firstly, from an SEO point of view, I am not generating good incoming links to articles. Secondly, I think this blog has lost a little direction.

The majority of blog posts on this blog recently have been reviews. Reviews are something I wanted to add to this blog as it ties in well with my resource directory, can increase income on this blog through affiliate commissions, and in the long term, may also generate incoming links as people will link to these reviews.

However, I have the balance all wrong. Reviews should make up about 20% of the blog posts here, not 80%. I need to focus more on more interesting topics and make sure this blog keeps its personality. I do not want to become a generic review blog. I want useful reviews to be published in between opinion pieces and other in-depth articles.

On a positive note, I have been very happy with the quality of articles that guest posters have been writing for me. I certainly have no complaints in that regard.

My only complaint is about myself – I need to write more articles. I also need to write with the same passion that I used to. When writing becomes something you feel like you have to do, rather than something you want to do, quality can suffer.

I still love writing, but I think that at times I did not put the same energy I did into blog posts for this blog as I was busy with other things. That is something I am going to change. Don’t misinterpret this as me being negative. I just know what I am capable of and know that I am not reaching my full potential :)

Readership & Social Media

My snail-like pace towards social media success continues. Yay!!!

This is not something that really bothers me. I am not active on social media and my growth reflects this. Additionally, if I do increase traffic to this blog, my social media reach will increase as a result of it.

Income & Expenses Details

In total I earned $1,722.15 in November. However, I paid out $1,478.10 in respect of guest posts and other expenses.

Therefore my total profit was a measly $244.05. This represents a huge drop in income from previous months. I completed a long article in November for a client that has not been approved as yet. That would have increased revenue by several hundred dollars; however, it has not been approved and payment has yet to be sent. As such, I decided not to include the income in November’s earnings and will instead be included in next month’s report.

Still, I can take a little solace in the fact that affiliate income increased. Had I been in a position to write more articles for clients, November 2014 could have been my best performing month to date, not my worst. Plus, it is not like I have lost any clients, therefore my income next month should be as high as it normally is.

Income

  • Freelance Blogging = $756.40 (-$2,105)
  • My Books – $132.84 (+$34.49). This includes digital and printed book sales.
  • Affiliate Income = $582.91 (+$175.23)
  • Advertising & Sponsored Posts = $250 (-$1,150)

Expenditure

  • Writing Expenses (Guest Posts) = $1,329.10 (-$350)
  • App Sumo Giveaways (Black Friday Deal) = $149
  • Advertising = $0 (No Change)

* Difference in income and expenditure from previous month shown in brackets.

The Road to Recovery

There is a reason why I was not able to write for clients in November.

Regular readers of this blog will know that around two and a half weeks ago I crashed my car. Considering what happened, I am very lucky to be alive. My tyre had blown whilst driving in the Motorway early in the morning when no other cars were on the road. If this had happened just three or four hours later, I may not be here.

I escaped relatively unscathed. All I had was a slight bruise on my forehead from hitting my head on the car when I hit the barrier (I probably hit the steering wheel but I cannot remember). Due to this, I had concussion and whiplash. I also felt nautious.

The day after the crash, my friend Mark took me to the hospital. They checked me out and said that I would be ok, but to watch my symptoms and go to hospital right away if I vomited or felt worse.

A few days later, myself and five other friends headed over to Spain for a holiday for four or five days. This was a reunion trip to celebrate a trip through Asia we all did together over 10 years ago. Two of us from Scotland, one from Ireland, and three from England. We have stayed good friends since the trip and it was fantastic catching up with all of them (despite the headaches).

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In the afternoons we cycled to the next town for a few light refreshments.

Throughout the trip I suffered from headaches and nausea. I also had other concussion symptoms such as forgetting what I was saying mid-sentence. It was frustrating to have to deal with that on a holiday I had been looking forward to for months.

However, on the other side of the coin, I could not have done any work if I had not gone on holiday. So perhaps it was for the best that I was away from the computer during this time.

Standing on Bridge
We left the cold shores of the UK to the Sunny coastline of Spain.

I arrived back from Spain last Monday. The next day I went to the doctor for a checkup. He checked me over and said that he thought the headaches were coming from pain in my neck but said that as long as the pain is going away every day, I would be ok.

Feeling Down After the Holiday

KevinMuldoon.com is an internet marketing blog. Most blogs of this nature spend a lot of their time and energy selling the dream. They try and convince their readers that working online is the greatest thing in the world and it is always happy sailing.

That is not the case.

I love working online, but it is no different to any other job. There are times when it is hard work, times when it is frustrating, times when you miss the social interaction that working alone starves you off.

I am generally a happy guy, but I have to admit that I was pretty down last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

There were a few reasons for this.

Firstly, I was still getting used to my girlfriend not being there. I had crashed my car 30 minutes after dropping her off at the airport and then went on holiday with friends a few days later. Therefore, I had been too busy to concern myself with the fact she was not in the house anymore and I was living alone.

Once I had returned from holiday, I had to deal with the post-holiday blues, the fact my girlfriend was not here anymore, and get used to the fact I was living alone again. I have lived alone many times and enjoy it (mostly); however it was still weird going from being with someone every day to being in the house alone.

The bigger problem was that I was still having bad headaches from the crash. I sat there every day at the computer. Answering emails and responding to threads on Rise Forums was manageable. The problem was that I could not write. I simply could not write.

I had articles to complete for clients and I was struggling to write more than a few hundred words per day. And those few hundred words would take me hours to complete.

I was sitting there trying to write but I could not focus on anything due to the headaches and concussion. Thankfully, the clients I had to complete articles for were very understanding of the situation. Still, I found it frustrating.

I also started to worry about the fact I could not work. If I work hard, I can make several thousand dollars per month from freelance writing, however if I don’t work, I don’t earn. That is the harsh reality of working on a contract basis (whether you are a writer, designer, or developer). I was concerned that my savings would start to dwindle.

This is not something I have ever had to deal with during my online career (in my near 15 years of working online, I have only been freelancing actively for the last year and a half). In the past, my income was not affected greatly when I took time off. I had the flu for a week or so in November, and then when I was getting better I crashed my car and got concussion. I did very little work during the month because of this.

Last Friday, my head felt a lot better and I was able to complete the two articles I was working on for clients. I also wrote a quick article for this blog. I began feeling normal again.

However, it was clear to me that I need to increase my passive income as a matter of urgency so that sickness and holidays do not affect my monthly income as much.

Final Thoughts

Since I started publishing income reports last year, I have consistently pointed out that too much of the income for this blog comes from freelancing.

I have always known that if I was unable to write, my income would drop. So while it is disappointing to see my income drop in November, it is obviously not surprising since most of my income is currently generated through freelancing.

In the grand scale of things, this is nothing more than a minor blip as income should be back to normal next month. There are some positives to be taken from the fact that affiliate income increased, and I have a lot of ideas buzzing around my head on how I can increase passive income. More on that later :)

With regards to my income reports, I believe it is important for me to show readers the good months and the bad months. It helps put things in perspective and gives everyone an honest look at the difficulties I face during my online career; warts and all!

I hope you all enjoyed this month’s income report.

On a personal note, I would like to thank all of you who sent me well wishes and contacted me to make sure I was ok. I really appreciate it.

A big thank you also has to go to the Rise Forums members who grouped together and sent me a gift card and well wishes on a quick recovery. This includes Boris Beo from OptinLock, Brian Jackson from Okay Marketing,
Heather Ash from Happiness Mama, Joe Fylan from Joe Can Write, web developer Kris Hoja, and Leo Koo from Tech Garage. It was a great gesture and something that really took me by surprise. Thanks guys :)

As always, if you have any thoughts on this month’s income report, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Kevin