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November 2015 Income Report – Hitting $100,000+

November was always going to be an interesting month and I was extra intrigued to compile this income report.

After last month’s massive drop in Amazon income (which was replaced by money made on this site thanks to presenting at TBEX), I was worried that it was going to be quite bad. I had no real reason to believe that my Amazon income would increase – in fact since the decrease came from less people searching in Google for my main keywords, I expected it to continue for the rest of the year. With no boost from presenting at a conference, I was worried about a massive drop in income.

You can read last month’s income report here.

This expectation was further cemented by the fact that I knew I was going to spend all month in bed. I have just not been well and at least finally now I can share why…

I'm Pregnant!

I've been having to do any work in a horizontal position :-/

I’ve been having to do any work in a horizontal position :-/

We found out just after returning to Penang after Europe.

I have been so SICK! It’s not been fun at all and I have barely worked at all. Thankfully I am starting to feel a little bit better – hopefully that trend continues. You can read more about that and how digital nomad life is treating us all in my 11 month update here.

How does this affect things?

In some ways not at all,  in others, a lot.

We still have the same plans to go home next month. I am still just as determined as ever to keep my business going. However, I am going to have even less time to work.

As it is, I will basically only have two school days a week (so about 12 hours) to work as well as evenings. For what I remember about pregnancy, it’s unlikely I will have much energy to work much in the evenings.

Then when the baby is born (May/June), I’ll have 4 months “maternity leave”. The Australian Government pays for 18 weeks of maternity leave at minimum wage – but only if you actually take leave, so I’d be crazy not to. Since my income should keep coming in, it will be quite lucrative for me.

It’s also going to be an interesting test. How will my passive income hold up with 4 months away from work? We will find out how passive it is!

I plan to return to work at the end of the 4 months – I have no doubt I will be hanging out for it! However, I will not want to put a 4 month old into much child care, so time will be limited. I may also be lucky to actually find child care. We had such a hard time finding child care for Z when we return. It is ridiculous! Only one centre in our new area even accepts babies!

So how did we go this month? Nowhere near as bad as I expected. In fact, I am ecstatic at the results!

Travel/Life Update

Enjoying our river suite in the jungle in Bohol. Just amazing!

Enjoying our river suite in the jungle in Bohol. Just amazing!

We spent the first 19 days in Penang and then started our next adventure. My mum and brother came and visited us in Penang so that awesome!

Less awesome was how bloody sick I felt, so I barely did anything. It also meant that we had to change our travel plans. We were meant to spend the rest of November in the UAE but instead we remained in Malaysia and then headed to the Philippines slightly earlier than planned.

We did have a nice time taking it easy in KL and Port Dickson though.

So far the Philippines has been amazing – it’s invigorated me and thankfully I have started feeling a bit better.

It also feels like an achievement that we are doing no sponsored travel but mostly staying in 4 and 5 star hotels all on my income! Love it.

Where’s Sharon

It was a bumper month on this site with me having my best month yet! Again, this is the power of passive income as I worked far less on this site than any month this year and earned over $4,700!

Traffic

Page Views: 122,634 (up from 120,754)

You can read my secret to hitting 100,000 page views here.

Costs

HootSuite – $12
I use this for twitter scheduling

Writing – $100
Articles written by my brother.

GetResponse email service for managing my subscribers and autoresponders – $62
You can read more about the different email subscription services here.

Kraken Image Optimizer – $6
This tool optimises all the images I upload to my sites. You can read more about it here.

Tailwind – $20
Pinterest scheduling

Payoneer – $14
This is a debit MasterCard that I use to access Amazon money immediately. There is a 1% charge on Amazon deposits.

Instagram Scheduling – $20

RamNode Hosting – $12
Our new hosting service

MassPlanner – $14
Absolutely awesome tool for automating social media and growing accounts.

Total Costs: $260

Income

Advertising – $595 (up from $440)

Direct advertising – $28 (constant)

The Blogger Network – $567 (up from $402)

Affiliates – $4,191 (up from $3,248)

I made $1,467 across Amazon (down from $1,350). I also made $161 (up from $138) from an Australian affiliate, $9 from eBay and $98 from Klook (tickets for attractions).

I made $2428 from hotel commissions across HotelsCombined, Booking.com and Agoda (up from $1633). I also made $28 from Airbnb. This month saw a bigger slice again to Booking.com and Agoda as I try to diversify this income source. I am happy to say that HotelsCombined is less than half the amount now.

Income from Where's Sharon: $4,786 - $260= $4,526 (up from $3,316)

RPM:  $37 (up from $27)

RPM is an indication of how much money each 1,000 page views is worth to my site.

Digital Nomad Wannabe

Page Views: 13,659 (up from 7,767 )

This month was always going to see a drop in earnings as the big increase last month was driven by my appearance at TBEX Asia and promoting my first ever product (if you want to learn how to make money like I do – from SEO and affiliate marketing – check it out here!). Thanks to Black Friday sales, it was not as bad as I feared.

The positive of this month, however, was an absolutely fantastic interview with us appearing on Chris Guillebeau. This interview described us and what we are about so well! I wish I could write something as good for my own sites.

It’s not just good but drove a lot of traffic to this site which nearly doubled my page views from last month. Better yet, many of  the new readers subscribed! My number of subscribers increased by more than 50%. Thanks for joining us!

This should also be a lesson to the many bloggers among you – far better to spend a bit more time reaching out to people with websites that can drive traffic like this than waste a lot of time writing interviews for sites where you are going to be lucky to see a handful of people actually come across to your site.

Costs

eJunkie – $7
Service I use to sell my presentation product.

Total Costs: $7

Income

How to Gain Readers and Make Money: The Power of SEO Presentation – $211 (down from $423)
Learn how to make money using SEO and affiliate marketing.

MassPlanner – $26
This tool is fabulous for many social media actions across social media networks including follow/unfollow and scheduling.

GetResponse – $95
Our favourite email marketing service.

Long Tail Pro – $587
Essential keyword research tool that I use just about every day. 

SiteGround – $100
Our recommended site hosting

OptinMonster – $22
Essential tool if you want to increase your subscribers.

Tailwind – $35
Awesome Pinterest scheduling tool. Read my Pinterest strategy here.

NameSilo – $1
Cheapest domain costs and renewals that I am aware of. Use code: DNW1OFF to get $1 off your own domains.

Income for Digital Nomad Wannabe: $1077 - $7 = $1070 (down from $1888)
RPM: $79 (down from $245)

Niche sites

Site 1 Page Views: 11,702 (up from 9,359)
Site 2 Page Views: 13,113 (down from 13,283 )

I was so happy to find things picked up overall for my niche sites this month, especially as I did not expect it.

As I said last month, there was a big drop and my research showed its because nowhere near as many people search for my main keywords October – December. Thankfully things picked up again quicker than I expected.

In fact, Site 1 had its best month ever! Site 2, unfortunately, saw another drop.

The main reason for overall improvement on Amazon this month across all my sites (including Where’s Sharon) was that conversion rates were better than I have ever seen before. It was over 8%. Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw crazy rates – over 15%. As those days fell right at the end of the month, much of the income from those days is in December rather than November, so hopefully I will see another good month in December.

I also made money from both my new sites built using my current niche site building strategy combined with information in the book Cloud 1K, particularly the link building strategy in here. Unfortunately, it dropped but I still made money from the site where I stopped paying for links so that’s a bonus!

Costs

Writing – $50

Hosting – $3
PBN hosting costs

Payoneer – $31

Links for new niche sites – $44

Total Costs: $128

Income

Site 1: $1,841 (down from $654 )

Site 2: $1,375 (down from $1,789)

Site 3: $47 (down from $169)

Site 4: $31 (down from $49)

I made $3,294 (up from $2,661) across my niche sites.

Income from niche sites: $3,294 - $128= $3,166 (up from $2,472)
RPM: $127 (up from $108)

Work / Home / Life

Page Views: 16,400 (up from 13,257)

All income is derived from AdSense. This site continues to show how effective great keyword research is – especially nabbing keywords with high advertiser competition. It’s been a long time since I did anything on this site.

Income from Work / Home / Life: $492 (up from $317)
RPM: $37 (up from $24)

Earnings Total: AUD$9,254 (USD$6,799)

Up from USD$5,708 in October.

Average passive income per day for November = $308 (up from $257)

Also J made about $1300 from freelancing – I ummed and ahhed but decided not to include it here. Any money he makes from this now is simply as hobby projects and is just a bonus for us and I would rather our income reports just follow my online business, especially as he will be back in a traditional job soon – so the frelancing money is not something that is sustainable. He should start earning passive income from his gambling product again soon and I will add that.

It was hard not to include the freelancing money since that would have pushed the total to over $10,500 which would be a massively exciting achievement. I’ve actually always thought in my head that I would stop sharing once I hit $10,000 so maybe lucky for all of you that I didn’t.

For now, I am enjoying the fact that if I keep this up, I am well over $100,000pa. I am just about earning more than I did as an IT professional and given all the tax deductions I have, I am definitely clearing more than back then.

I left that career thinking I would never earn that much money again. You just never know where life will take you.

The best part is that I barely worked and we are saving money and this was a shorter month – it would have been over $9,500 if it had been a day longer especially after the boost in sales for Black Friday/Cyber Monday long weekend right at the end of the month. I am also happy that Amazon now accounts for less than half of my earnings instead of being a huge slice.

I left Australia to be a digital nomad thinking the biggest bonus of taking this time away would be all the time we would get together – and that has been great. However, I think the biggest bonus will end up being this business. Even once we are back in Australia, it will give us financial freedom and change our lives compared to the pay day to pay day living we used to do.

Plans for the Next Month

I am keeping expectations of myself low. I am starting to feel better but travel plus parenting plus feeling shite from pregnancy is hard work! I will keep doing what I’m doing and only real goal this month is to at least write detailed notes of the destinations we visit (and ideally published guides), keep social media going and ensure all our main affiliate articles are updated.

Obviously my next big milestone is $10,000 a month! I hope we hit it soon, but I don’t want to stress myself out chasing money as we don’t need more. It’s a nice to have. It’s far more important that I simplify my business as much as possible so that it will survive without much work.

In saying that, I wouldn’t need to earn all that much more and J wouldn’t have to work when we return to Melbourne. That is huge for us! He does like working though, and I think it would be better for us to not be together all the time, so our dream scenario is him taking on a couple of short term contracts a year and taking a fair bit of time off as well, especially when the baby is born. I would love it if he could take paternity leave instead of me.

You can now read my December income report here.

 I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips or advice.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! I appreciate it 😀

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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