This month marks an exciting milestone. I have finally reached (and far surpassed) the 100,000 visits-per-month mark, and Ive passed the $1,000 per month mark! Either one would have been exciting but together they seem to open up a world of possibilities.
Visits in the month of January: 192,851 (+167% from December)
Total Profit: $1,003.33 (+109%)
Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $39.63 (+233%)
Profit from Google Adsense: $101.57 (+73%)
Profit from eJunkie sales: $246.72 (+48%)
Profit from Amazon Kindle sales: $501.60 (+128%)
Profit from Barnes & Noble Nook sales: $126.55 (+441%)
Monthly operation costs: $12.74
Here are some of the things I did this month that affected the traffic and earnings:
- Held an eBook giveaway
The objective of the giveaway was to secure more amazon reviews, which it did (and hopefully more reviews will be coming from the remainder of the winners), but a side effect of the giveaway was that it earned Escape Normal some more followers on Facebook and Pinterest.
- Got more Amazon reviews
Like I’ve said before, every Amazon review helps. I think this is true especially at the beginning when there are few reviews. I am stuck in the teens and I imagine I will need to get about 8 or so more reviews to see another spike in sales.
- Changed the look of the website
Have you noticed? I purchased a premium wordpress theme so I no longer have pink polka dots on the background of each page. Now everything is more sleek and profession. Kuzzah! And I didn’t even accidentally destroy any of the essential coding in the process.
- Redesigned the homepage
The homepage setup is part of the new wordpress theme I purchased. I think I will still tweak it a bit, but I’ve tried to put my most popular and interesting posts on the homepage in a more organized way so that newcomers will be able to understand what the site is about and have a variety of interesting things to read and look at right from the get-go.
- Added a Contact page
I used to just list my email address at the bottom of the about page, but since adding a contact page I’ve seen a pretty big increase in the number of people contacting me.
- Added a Guest Post Guidelines page
To encourage guest posters! The biggest deterrent to would-be guest posters is not explaining the rules.
- Changed the footer to show comments
Id been considering adding a Facebook comments app to encourage people to comment more, but I am afraid of accidentally deleting all of the old comments. I will look into it more, but for now the addition of the newest comments widget at the bottom of the site seems to be encouraging more comments and interaction.
- Added buy now buttons to the eBook page
Its hard to tell what effect this had, but I imagine it did impact sales quite a bit, if only because Ive been reading about bright red buttons doing just that. I found a button I liked on another popular blog and made my own version with Adobe Illustrator. I may go back later and add prices to the buttons.
Here is what the buttons look like:
- Changed the price of eBook on B&N Nook
I was frustrated with Barnes and Noble because they take away the largest percentage of total sale price of any of the sellers I use. Since I just added my eBook to B&N, I felt that the people purchasing it from them were people who would have previously purchased my eBook from Ejunkie, which earns me a few dollars more per sale. To remedy this, I increased the price of the eBook on B&N only. Now B&N sales earn me more per book than amazon, which I am much happier with.
- Applied to be an advertiser with Casale Media
And got turned down. Casale is one of many cost-per-impression advertising systems. It is different than Google adSense; Google pays the site displaying the ads (me) a few cents every time a visitor clicks on the ads. A CPI system like Casale pays per view, so nobody needs to click on the ads at all. A system like that would be a great addition to my site as the traffic increases, so I will continue to look for one that is a good fit.
Now that sales are starting to pick up and I have more numbers to work with, I think it is a good time to start keeping detailed notes about the little changes I make and the effects they have on the final income report. Id really like to put a ballpark number on how much one amazon (or barnes and noble) review is worth, for example. I also want to experiment with Google adsense to see if placing the ads in a different position changes the earnings. I didnt think there was much point in doing tests like these when the numbers were low, but now they are high enough that I might be able to see a small amount of change in earnings so that I can keep improving Escape Normal.
It is about the time of year when I have to start deciding where I want to spend the summer. I was looking into Costa Rica jobs and decided to look up the weather, and alas- the dry season began in December and ends before summer. I think I may like to go to Costa Rica for a few months next winter, but as for the summer- I really dont know yet. Im open to suggestions!
Also, I bought a harmonica. Soon I will be a harmonica pro!