Category Archives: Monthly Website Reports

February 2015 Monthly Report

This is, as the title suggests, the monthly progress report for February 2015. This is the month where I became re-motivated in my mission to make this work. January was a poor month as far as performance goes and the the previous five months had not even earned a penny. I ran ads the entire time and tried to build organic traffic with no success. Even worse I had set it down and was only checking about once a week to see if any of my advertisements had done anything. Well one day in February I logged on and had earned a commission on a sale (maybe it had finally been long enough for the site to start ranking I’m not sure).

Whatever the reason the sound of a few pennies dropping into a bucket after hundreds of hours of work was satisfying. It has motivated me to continue working on the site. After making this first commission I became energized and wrote a few more articles.

These articles were not very important in the scheme of things if I am to be blatantly honest. However, they did draw my attention to the website. This was paramount that I was motivated and paying attention to the site.

What happened next was more of an accident. I was playing a video game and trolling the forums (ok I’m not really a troll, usually, I provide valuble input). Some of the guys (or gals, who knows) were playing around with a brand new system in the game. They had collected a handfull of data points and were attempting to figure out the formula behind the numbers (backwards derivation).

When I came across this (keep in mind I’ve taken 5 college courses,3 in graduate school, and 1 in highschool in statistics). I instantly knew that I could solve the problem and help people out. Naturally I did, I like helping people, and I posted the info on the forum. Unfortunately, it was rather complicated to explain. I figured well heck they do not have to know how it works to use it…they just need a calculator to do it for them. They can simply enter the independant variables and the calculator will provide the solution.

So I made the calculator and people liked it…so I made more calculators and people liked those as well. Now in the previous report I showed may tarffic from September to January. January had about 250 page views for the entire month a February was looking much the same. Then it changed google started pumping traffic like crazy to me (some people say that it takes about 6 months for content to rank which was about this same time, and lots of fresh new content). In any case traffic on my old pages increased and traffic on the new pages was solid.

September 2014 to February 2015 website traffic.
September 2014 to February 2015 website traffic.

Now keep in mind the bulk of that increase occurred over about a two week period and is partially a result of a sub reddit forum trending.  Needless to say I was very happy seeing this increase in traffic. I attribute about 50% of this to the calculators from looking at the real numbers and the other 50% to older content and some newer content.

An initiative I quickly took upon realizing that a significant portion of my web traffic came from the video game community is to begin reviewing some products for thatcommunity, namely computer peripheral devices.

Financials:

Profit

Advertising & Commissions – $1.97

Expenses

None

Total: -$18.03

So..yeah still in the red after hundreds of hours and half a year of work. This could be the blog to inspire you to not start a website. Fortunately, I am very stubborn so you can continue to read about my lack of success. I really am pumped about the traffic increase this month and casually optimistic that things may improve going forward. If I achieve the goal of the website self funding itself by the end of the year then I have a few other projects I might start working on while I continue this project.

The Beginning September 2014 – January 2015

I did not conduct monthly reports from the beginning it is currently March and I began last September. I am starting monthly reports to track my own progress and so others can see as well.

Let’s see…where to begin… I have always been interested in running my own website I guess it really began when I was in elementary school. Here is one of my earlier attempts at a webpage (please don’t laugh to hard, were you coding in html in middle school) . I cannot find any earlier pages but I probably began dabbling a few years prior to this page using free website hosting websites.

The page above was also my last webpage to attempt until this one that you are reading currently. Like I said I have always been interested in having my own webpage and in 2014 I was reading Pat Flynn’s website and two week later I said shoot I’ll give it a shot part time and see what happens.

Now I must admit my recollection of web design involved tediously programming in html (like in the 1990’s) and I was not looking forward to learning html but I was committed. I went to godaddy.com and bought this domain and a year worth of hosting (about $20 on a special introductory offer). The goal is to by the time the introductory offer ends that I will have enough traffic and content that the website will pay for it’s own hosting.

I had a side goal of having a professional looking site that could be used to apply for future jobs. Kind of a display of my skills and abilities. Finally, I wanted to share my ideas and thoughts with the world.

I spent about two weeks brainstorming website ideas to get what I thought was the ultimate url: ASolutionADay.com  it was easy to remember and the title gave me a goal and a purpose “To produce A Solution A Day”. Then I bought the URL and a hosting plan using godaddy.com. The hosting plan came with Website Build a graphically oriented web design platform. I quickly realized that I didn’t need to learn html (apparently 15 years is a big time frame when talking about internet technology). I also quickly realized that Website Builder was inadequate and too simple for what I wanted to accomplish.

I spent the next day and a half researching and finally decided to use WordPress. I called godaddy and asked for them to switch my product to the other introductory offer. Which they did without any hassle. I have been using WordPress ever since and really like the product.

Very quickly I found out that there are two difficult things about successfully making a website on the internet:

  1. Generating Content
  2. Generating Traffic

In my opinion (after 6 months of doing this) content is king. If you do not have content then there is no reason for anyone to visit your website. Secondly, your content can be amazing but if people don’t know you exist then it doesn’t matter.

My focus is on providing good content that provides use or value in this goal I feel that I do well. Looking at graphs and reports the general trend was from September to November …I think part of this was inflated due to asking question on forums and getting help from people who have been doing this longer than myself.

September 2014 to January 2015 website traffic.
September 2014 to January 2015 website traffic.

In mid November I got frustrated and overwhelmed (thesis in graduate school) and the website fell to the side. I stopped producing content and pretty much abandoned adding to the site.

In December in an attempt to re-motivate myself I posted some of my previous academic content on fracking (which I should have scheduled on a weekly basis to show Google that I was regularly putting out content.

Oops, I forgot to mention that in September I put some affiliate advertising on my website (which I continue to use affiliate networks and other advertising programs). From September to January I successfully earned $0.  Currently it is March 2014 and I will write about February soon (the month things changed) and then March. Following this I will do a monthly posting looking at what has and what has not worked for me, You can compare this to Pat Flynn (this is his first year, so I have no idea how my first year is comparing and these are his monthly income reports) who has posted monthly reports for several years now.

Total Earnings to date:

$0

Total Expenditures:

$20

Grand Total:

-$20

So far this is pretty bleak as far as hitting my goal of self funding the website after one year (will need to make $9.99/month by September).