September 2022

By: 
Tom
 | 
Updated: 
October 14, 2022
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(this income report was written later in October 2022)

Welcome back to Flexibility Is Freedom!

Astute observers will have noticed that the website was down for a few months - this was because I received an image copyright email demanding payment for a random image used on the blog.

Rather than go through the headache of dealing with these trolls (legitimate though they may be), I decided to pull the plug for a few months to see what happens.

This is also a good reminder for me to be careful of how much information I share online about myself and my business, because while most readers appreciate the insights of these income reports, there are always going to be "bad actors" and trolls of all sorts out there.

Anyways, we are back in action and I've uploaded the missing months of income reports as well, albeit with very short commentary sections.

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $1,194 (-8% MoM, -17% YoY)
  • Sessions: 18,983 (-22% MoM)
  • RPM: $63 (+18% MoM)
  • Amazon Risk: 53% (up from 51% last month)

September performance was disappointing, to say the least, and revenue continued to remain soft in-line with August's performance.

I can't say I figured out why this was the case, as traffic was stable (no major deviation from prior months) and my content remained exactly the same.

If I had to guess, I'd chalk it up to broader macroeconomic trends, perhaps lower eCommerce spending as everyone is finally taking that vacation and spending more on travel and hospitality instead of physical goods.

In any case, this month I left my agency job to focus 100% on my affiliate websites and take them to the next level. In the last few years, I've learned how to build and monetize websites and attract traffic through SEO - but my results have not yet met my targets.

For the next few years, I will be focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO) to complement my SEO knowledge. CRO is all about user experience and figuring out how to get users to convert on your site, whether it's an affiliate website or an eCommerce platform.

Here's an analogy that I think illustrates SEO and CRO well: SEO is like spinning little spiderwebs everywhere, hoping to catch some flies (traffic); CRO is like making the spiderwebs stronger, thicker, and with fewer holes, so that the chance of catching flies increases (conversion rate).

In terms of CRO initiatives, I've already started the process using Lasso, a Wordpress plugin that creates high-converting affiliate displays and tables (similar to AAWP but with full support for non-Amazon products), and I'm currently converting my top performing posts into Lasso format.

If you're interested, check out this example post which uses Lasso displays.

Since converting my top posts, I'm already seeing an uptick in Amazon commissions and a greater correlation between the products sold and the products that I recommend (i.e. people are buying the recommended products vs. other products that are in their shopping cart).

Finally, two other updates for September.

I finally completed my basement unit and rented it out, which a nice supplement to my other income sources and helps keep up with the cost of housing as interest rates keep rising.

I'm also continuing to write freelance articles for some additional cash flow and I see this as a good intermediate step while I build up the passive income sides of the equation.

To Flexibility and Freedom,

Tom

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