May 2022

By: 
Tom
 | 
Updated: 
June 9, 2022
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Welcome back to Flexibility Is Freedom and apologies for the later-than-usual income report.

I've been busy trying to complete my basement renovations before summer patio season. 🍹

I'm about 90% of the way there and I'm excited to share some photos with you guys soon!

For this month's income report, we're gonna keep things short & sweet.

I'll discuss recent business performance and briefly outline my plans for the rest of 2022 (I published a full blog post of my next steps for 2022-2023 as well).

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $1,553 (-5% MoM, +740% YoY)
  • Sessions: 17,274 (+3% MoM)
  • RPM: $89.96 (-8% MoM)
  • Amazon Risk: 43% (down from 54% last month)

Overall, revenue was down slightly by 5% MoM while traffic inched forward by 3% MoM.

Revenue from Amazon declined in May as average commission rates returned to previous levels, following a temporary increase from April 4 to May 5.

Here's the exact email that I received on April 4:

Amazon Associates April 2022 Commission Rate Increase

This is the first time that I've seen Amazon Associates raise commission rates (albeit, temporarily) and I think it's no coincidence that it occured in April 2022, exactly 2 years after their April 2020 commission rate apocalypse.

(I can forgive, but I will never forget)

Anyways, the higher commission rates in Health & Personal Care (1.5% to 2.0%) and Beauty (3% to 5%) helped boost average commission rates to 4.34% in April.

However, average commission rates dropped to 3.37% in May, a bit below the Q1 average of ~3.6%.

For reference, this compares to an average of 6.05% in March 2020 under Amazon's previous commission rate schedule, a decrease of 44%.

In any case, Amazon is still a profitable affiliate program with Earnings Per Click (100) between $13-$15 (I consider anything above $10 per 100 clicks to be good, above $20 to be excellent).

However, I remain focused on reducing Amazon risk to 25-30% of the revenue mix.

May 2022 Core Update

Towards the end of the month, Google released a broad algorithm update - May 2022 Core Update - which has been making the rounds in SEO circles for a few weeks now.

Fortunately, I did not see any change in organic traffic before or after this core update.

But to be honest, I've been less focused on core updates in the last 12 months because it can feel like you're chasing your own tail. Instead, I've focused more on creating high conversion rate affiliate articles.

That's not to say I won't be affected by a core update at some point in the future - that's where diversification comes in at the asset and portfolio level to ensure I have adequate cash flow and cash reserves at all times.

Plans for Rest of 2022

In May, I finally published my next steps 2022-2023 blog post!

It's been on my mind for months and it felt good to put all my thoughts onto paper.

There's a lot that I want to accomplish during this period, both in my business ventures and my personal life, but I often get sidetracked by the "busy-ness" of the daily grind.

That's why I've documented my goals, strategy, and timeline, to hold myself publicly accountable for my success without any excuses.

For the rest of 2022, my main priority is to finish my basement and start earning passive rental income, then focus exclusively on scaling my affiliate websites.

If all goes well, I'll be looking to resume my travel plans as well - perhaps starting again from Thailand or maybe somewhere else completely.

That's it for this month - stay tuned for more updates!

To Flexibility and Freedom,

Tom

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