One of the key features of writing about the details of an online business for those interested in behind the scenes stuff is the income report.
I used to publish these reports on a monthly basis at Consumerism Commentary, though it was a full income report, mixing business with personal income, because that was the purpose of that website. I also published a monthly net worth report to help track my own finances.
I stopped including business income when I was preparing to sell the website. That kind of information should be privileged at that point.
Here we are again, starting from the very beginning, with High Yield Savings Accounts.
The sale notice for the website indicated it was currently earning $15 to $20 a month on AdSense and pay-per-click tables (tabular data from financial advertisers — the QuinStreet and BankRate rate tables).
The reality is that with numbers so low, it doesn’t really matter if they are accurate. $20 a month might as well be nothing.
And so it might be. Here we are with 15 days of AdSense, Analytics, and revenue in February.
|Revenue by Source||Feb. 2017*|
|BankRate Savings Table||0.00|
|QuinStreet Checking Table||0.00|
|GA Page Views||305|
* Data reflect a partial month.
Well, we can just call this a baseline.
(Want to really put this in perspective? At the end of my ownership, Consumerism Commentary generated over $200,000 in monthly revenue, with final months over $250,000, and minimal expenses. And I was comfortable with the sources of the revenue. But by that time I wasn’t revealing my income in monthly reports. I should have marketed myself as an online-business expert at the time… it seems to be an interesting way to take advantage of the success and have a different type of income source. But I wasn’t interested. And I still don’t want to sell “courses.”)
The truth is, I have no idea what kind of revenue the BankRate and QuinStreet tables are generating. It could be more than zero.
QuinStreet believes the table has been deactivated (but it’s certainly still displaying ads and driving whatever minimal traffic there is and probably even getting a conversion here and there). I’m still trying to get in touch with BankRate.
So I’ll continue to wait to hear back from these representatives. Maybe we’ll see some progress transferring advertising accounts over to me and getting a handle on what they’re producing, if anything.
But none of this matters a great deal until traffic increases. The site is basically starting out completely unknown. But the domain name has an eight-year history. Again, I see a lot of potential here — and that’s why I made the investment. It’s an uphill climb, and I think it with be worthwhile.
There was no new content added to the site in February, and there may not be in March, either, as my next focus is to clean up existing articles.
And I’ve got my work cut out with this project, dealing with articles like, “Online Savings Accounts Feature the Highest CD Rates.” What does that even mean? So. Much. Potential for improvement. (No offense to the previous owner or other editors. I do understand the strategy; maybe it worked.)
I’m also not going to promote any of the revenue-generating pages until I’m sure I know where the revenue is going.
It’s a methodical approach that plays out over the long term and recognizes that this is one of just several projects in which I invest my time. Of course, none of this really matters if the global economic system collapses. Just kidding. Kind of.
Welcome to the starting line. We can only go up from here.