Blog Income Report: March 2017

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. Here’s the latest income report for High Yield Savings Accounts.

There’s some good news and bad news. First, the good news. Revenue increased from February to March, and I didn’t do too much, if anything, to influence that.

The bad news is that I didn’t do too much, if anything, to the site lately. I could write about how busy I’ve been with travel and other responsibilities, but I know there is some potential I still need to tap in this site. And I can only do that if I set aside some time to work through it.

I did at one point a couple weeks ago spend a half hour improving just a couple of articles that have had the highest amount of traffic over the past several months in an attempt to make those articles a little more attractive to readers. I also added some graphics to bring one or two articles in line with what is expected for shareable content today.

At some point this past month, I also added Social Warfare to the site to make social sharing much more straightforward for any visitors who do happen to come across the site when searching for information about high yield savings accounts. There is, however, still a lot of work to do to improve old content and create new, relevant articles to be published going forward.

More bad news: Bankrate, a company that provides advertising for the site by providing data tables for financial products, has completely dropped the ball. After I reached out to the account representative, he did confirm with the previous owner that I am the new owner of the website, but our contact has not responded to messages from me or from my assistant before or since that time.

I still imagine there is a trickle of income coming in from rate tables, but the goal for now is to build traffic and eventually replace the tables with whatever type of advertising will do the best.

QuinStreet has also not responded to my messages about their advertising on the site either in my attempt to transfer the ownership of those accounts over to me.

Here’s the March report.

Revenue by Source Mar. Feb. 2017*
  AdSense 0.05 0.02
  BankRate Savings Table 0.00 0.00
  QuinStreet Checking Table 0.00 0.00
  Total $0.05 $0.02
Traffic Mar. Feb. 2017*
  GA Page Views 540 305

* Data reflect a partial month.

A 150% increase in revenue isn’t bad, you know, if the increase wasn’t based on 2 cents. But again, the site’s moving upwards, and the results will depend completely on my efforts to make the website into something that people want to visit.

And the BankRate and QuinStreet tables could be adding a few cents — or maybe even more — to the revenue. I just won’t know, and at this rate I won’t find out. You only matter to these companies when you’re driving traffic, so that’s going to be my focus.

Going up, but it’s a work in major progress.

Blog Income Report: February 2017

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*
  AdSense 0.02
  BankRate Savings Table 0.00
  QuinStreet Checking Table 0.00
  Total $0.02
Traffic Feb. 2017*
  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.