June was not a good month. I slacked a lot. You’d think a guy who was in a do-or-die type of situation such as myself would not slack. But I did.
On the upside I got in two good float trips and has a wonderful anniversary with my wife where we visited St. Louis and spent more money than we should have. Oh, and I had to go to the state capitol for Alderman training.
Yep, now I’m not only slacking, I’m making excuses.
(I promise, July has been an extremely focused month and by August we should have some nice income reports…)
But, back to June…
- LostCyclist Gets Some Recognition!
- Ecommerce Dives
- Should I Offer Free Shipping?
- The Rise Of The Affiliate Site
- Income Report
Thanks For The Shout-Out!
I stepped outside of my comfort zone twice this month. Once to let Andrew Youderian know about my exciting adventures in ecommerce, specifically, how I boosted my conversion rate. He responded by sharing my post on his page, and it attracted a fun bump in visits.
Then, I also commented on Matthew Woodward’s blog and mentioned that I do an income report. He included me in his monthly roundup, and that drove a huge spike of traffic (like 80 people instead of the usual 20).
Once again, this blog really isn’t designed to make me rich… it’s just a fun way to share my journey. But I do enjoy knowing that it is getting visited once in awhile
The Death — and Rise — Of Ecommerce
Ok, Ecommerce is FAR from dead. But my site took a nice blow last month. It seems like EVERY vendor is out of stock on their most popular models. Which means I have nothing to sell. Grrr.
Here’s the thing. Anton (Dropship Lifestyle/4 Hour Millionaire) suggests having over 1,000 products. And my biggest competitor has nearly 3,000 products. I have 50. And about 15 of those are out of stock.
So for July I am working like a madman to get new suppliers and to get them on the site. I am hoping that by the end of August, I will hit over 1,000 products on the site. Since I sell canopies, the season will be somewhat over, but I will be ready for next year.
Is Free Shipping A Good Idea?
I offer FREE SHIPPING on all of my products — which means that I have to jack the price up on the products to cover the shipping costs to go coast-to-coast across the US. Effectively, that means that if somebody next door in Kansas buys my 2-car garage canopy, they are going to be paying the same “shipping”on that item as someone, say on the west coast would.
The end result is that I am only selling to the 3 or 4 states that would have the highest shipping costs, anyhow.
To make matters worse, there is not an affordable shopping site that lets me customize the shipping costs for each product going to each state.
I finally figured out that if I use Woocommerce and integrate a $50 plugin, I can offer the customized shipping. I’ll do a blog post on it soon, but I am almost done moving all of my products to this new platform. Once that goes live, I am going to have the same — if not more competitive — pricing, and will actually raise my overall profit per order, believe it or not.
Some of the items will still have free shipping. But I should be able to start moving more of the $2,000-$5,000 products with new profit of 10-12%.
That’s the plan, anyhow.
The Rise Of The Affiliate Site
I wrote recently on how I created a small site that targeted one health-related product. That site continues to do well, and in June had 65 visits but the bounce rate was under 63%. I really think since I took some time with the design of the site, it looks quite trustworthy. Plus, I wrote a lot of articles on FAQs that I found about the product by using Google Instant so people are apt to click around and read those articles, too.
I also sent it a link from my old PR2 site that is slightly health-related. That seems to help move it to Page 1, and I may try to find some more high-PR links to move it higher in the rankings.
I also gave it a GSA nudge and got 37 verified links… just a “pillowing” to help muffle my other links.
The site made $20 in June.
There’s another site I am working on also that is an Amazon Affiliate site and has jumped to nearly 200 visits a day. I plan to do an in-depth write-up on that project soon.
I would like to do more of these sites. They are quite fun and I think could be outsourced pretty easily.
Get out your anti-depression meds. The lack of Ecommerce sales is felt really strongly in this income report.
However, even with this downtrend, the income was about 70% of our monthly needed household income.
Squidoo Payout: $272.77 (April Sales)
Ecommerce Site: $200.97 (profit)
Adsense: $24.15 (Mostly From Wizzley Articles)
3rd Party Affiliates: $0
Total Income: $2098.13
Note: Most figures are gross income. Ecommerce figure is gross profit of orders.
Image of man with headache thanks to freedigitalphotos.net