The Start of My Income Reports

The First Monthly Online Business Recap by Chris Milton

One of my favourite reading habits is checking out the income reports for a few of the top producers in the world of making money online.  This peek behind the scenes is a great way to learn from the trial and error of websites, and qualify what metrics work for a particular niche.

Two of my favourite income reports are:

Following the income of reports by Bjork on Pinch of Yum has been extremely knowledgable each month.  From their first post making a humble $21.97 to now constant $20,000+ per month, it is eye opening for food bloggers to see how profitable a hobby can become.

Seeing the success of Smart Passive Income, Pat Flynn has established himself as a savvy risk taker and a completely open book, sharing what works and what doesn’t.  Now close to 7-figures annually (2014 income summary), Pat’s network breaks traditional thinking about how to make an impressive income.  Using platforms like, YouTube, Podcasts, email, social media and multiple websites, its been good reading.

Is this just a reading list?

I’m not sharing this because its been good reading.  You can check out the library to keep up with what I’m reading.  The reason for starting with these great examples of income earners is because I think its very forward thinking to be completely transparent when trying to offer guidance.  Moving forward, I’ll be doing the same with my network and sharing my monthly reports.  I believe to add value to anyone who wants to create some sort of business for themselves, having tools is necessary to succeed.  More tools on the way!

Wait. What network, Chris?

Like I mentioned in a previous post, there are other places that I’ve been blogging.  Some websites using my name, and others just websites that I’ve created content for.  Its probably going to take some time to get them back in the form that they once were (both content and traffic wise) but I think this is a valuable opportunity. Much like Pat Flynn, having a website that is operating, but not monetized well is a great place to start. All of you causal bloggers can flip the switch when you’re ready.

I’m hoping to gain the knowledge:

  1. How on to revive a dead or dying website
  2. Reboot existing content
  3. How changing strategy will effect current users
  4. Gain more inbound marketing experience
  5. Increase the revenue on each of these sites to new levels.

The Websites:

Each of these are well beyond their glory days, except for one of the Tumblr micro-blogs that continues to grow by itself.

  • Step one is to optimize content.
  • Step two is to reformat and refresh the look.
  • Step three is to re-monetize.

All are a different type of lifestyle blogs that revolve around my interests.

Category: Automotive
Platform: WordPress
Initial Goal: Restore all top Content

Rallyhaus was the first WordPress site that I ever built.  You can even see the initial free WordPress version that I used as a beta test.  Cars are something that I love, so much so that my wife jokes, “Chris, you’ll never cheat on me with another person, but maybe you will with a car.” I guess that would be me losing track of time driving on an amazing road with a dream car.

The site focuses away from the usual car news (latest models, features, price, etc) and looks more at articles that are about the lifestyle car enthusiasts will appreciate.  How two cars compare, road trips, legacy of car models, background about car manufacturers, road rallies and other events.

“Enjoy the Drive” is the tag line and I truly mean it.  The content to date reflects that as well.  Its not trying to be a major car magazine, its goal is to have lasting evergreen automotive content.  While I was away from working on rallyhaus, the hosting lapsed and I didn’t have a full backup of the site.  Now the real work begins of putting the pieces back together and having the content up so all the links are not lost.
Category: Golf
Platform: WordPress
Initial Goal: Launch

Chasing Par was a way for me to document my rounds of golf as I got back into the sport.  Realizing quickly that this was going to be a tough, uphill journey of creating every piece of content from scratch, it fizzled out in the first season.  The idea here was to follow a golfer or golfers as they improve their game.  Having a realistic view of amateur golf is something that currently is lacking in golf media.  In our current generation of sharing and transparency, this can be an organized platform for average golfers getting tips from their peers.

The content will have a few distinct types of posts:

  • Playing a round of golf, sharing the score card and tips/tricks for the course.
  • Reviewing golf gear like different clubs, shoes, balls, bags, etc.
  • Giving tips on etiquette, fashion, packing, etc.

Since this never really got off the ground, the goal here is to launch by generating enough content.   I think this has potential to be a great website, and there’s a few other ideas that can compliment this format if things go well.

Sneaker Skip Network
Category: Sneakers / Fashion
Platform: Tumblr
Goal: Refresh look

My days working at Nike were fuelled by my passion for kicks.  Yes, I am a sneakerhead.  This was an easy way for me to capture my passion for kicks and it grew more than I expected.  By developing the network of sneakers, it was apparent that specific niche size is very important.

On the Tumblr Platform, there’s 6 microblogs all focused on sneakers that have been set up over the past few years:

Sneaker Skip
Just Jordans
Maximum Air Max
Sneakerhead Confessions
Dunk King

However, I will confess, this was a colossal screw up on my part letting the domain expire while I wasn’t doing anything with the sites.  Although it was just redirecting/masking the tumblr URL, I think it helped when setting up some of the services, and qualifying brand presecnce.  Moving forward, that won’t happen again.

The one that continued to grow:

The Just Jordans microblog was something that has still surprised me with the success it has had.  Focused only on Nike’s Air Jordan line, the content is over 60% user submitted.  Although the submissions are audited, it is very rare that an on-topic post is rejected.  The site has optimized content, but no monetization beyond some display ads. To date there are still 35,000 followers (and growing) on Tumblr and the engagement is the best out of all the sites I’ve worked on.  One opportunity here is to shift engagement beyond the Tumblr platform.  Seeing the analytics, reblogs, likes and comments is great but inclusive on the Tumblr dashboard.  I want to see how many followers would convert to a weekly email of top posts.  With much of the content being user submitted, I think users have a strong gameification mindset when looking at how well their posts perform.

Next Step:

The goals are set, lots of work it ahead to get these sites back to where they were.  In hindsight, I should have kept blogging away at building them and not abandoning due to income and/or slow growth.  There are so many websites out there that cannot get enough traffic and are given up on.  These websites were getting traffic, but I didn’t optimize the monetization and audience engagement.  Time to step up.  Get the audience and traffic back.  Then seriously revisit the monetization.

Let the challenge begin!  I’ll be reporting back on the status each month giving updates, income summaries and tips

The First Monthly Online Business Recap by Chris Milton


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