February 2015 Earnings Report

Hello all! It’s time for another round of Kirsty’s 2015 monthly earnings updates. February was a great month, coming in at $4,192 and with a nice amount of diversification, to boot! Here’s the breakdown…

Adsense, Link and Affiliate Sales, and Article Marketing

Earnings: $1,263

I had three pretty well-paid article marketing deals and then the usual dribs and drabs coming in on top of those. These days I’m surprised when I can clear more than a couple of hundred in these sorts of deals, so this month, coming in at $1,126 in article marketing deals was a big surprise. It somewhat makes up for this month’s super pitiful Adsense showing of only $137. I wonder if the days of Adsense are over for me! I don’t even check my affiliate programs anymore… I should probably get on that. If I weren’t in a rush to write this post and actually remembered my passwords, I’d look into them. But, chances are, they all earned zero due to being neglected for years.

Volunteering eBook

Total Earnings: $208
Amazon Sales:
$75 (12 sales)
Direct PDF Sales: $112 (8 sales)
Affiliate Payouts: -$21 (3 payments)

My ebook, The Underground Guide to International Volunteering did pretty well with 20 overall sales. Only three of those came from affiliates, though. I’ve known for a long time that this is an obvious area for improvement but, as usual, I’m busy with other things that I enjoy a lot more so harassing other website owners to see whether they want to sell my ebook is low on my list. I know this is a mistake. Because, while affiliate setup is annoying as hell (no matter what’s its for), once it’s done, it’s done and takes very little maintenance. I really need to set aside a half a day each week for the next little while to work on this in order to get things going. I know it’ll pay off. We’ll see if March is the month I do that… I’m guessing not.

Living in Kigali

Earnings: $1,230

Event with the payment for three deals being delayed until March, Living in Kigali had a great month. Most of this was due to finally receiving $800 owed to me from a hotel here in Kigali (many of you will know it as ‘Hotel Rwanda’) who were dragging their feet a bit with the payment. All of my other deals were renewals which is great to see. I’m always curious each month how much value my advertisers get from our partnership. I don’t seem to get too much feedback but thy renew month on month and seem happy so I’ll just keep on doing what I do!

Living in Kampala

Earnings: Possibly $0 but not sure.

My Kampala site has been put on the back burner for another month but there are rumblings that we’ll get things going again in March, so lets see how that works out with our earnings. My hunch is that it’ll take at least another month to start seeing some payouts.

The Map – Kigali

Earnings: $1,491

Yes! I’m finally starting to see the payoff for all of my hard work on The Map – Kigali. The amount of time I put into this thing was kind of insane, but I’m reaping the rewards, finally. The maps have been selling out and, as I’ve been away in Malawi, I haven’t been around to stay on top of things. I would have sold a lot more in February had I been around to deliver them. One thing I didn’t consider was how easy it would be to sell these maps to individuals (rather than through wholesalers). I’ve been taking a few maps out with me each time I head out to dinner or to events or parties and people ask about them, and I sell them! It’s easy and they’re happy and I get some instant cash without losing 50% to wholesale fees which isn’t something I expected at all.

This map thing is turning out to be kind of lucrative (so far… assuming I can sell a few thousand more with is a big if) and I’m already starting work on some other cities. There’s a chance I’ll be doing some travelling in March as well (either Senegal or Addis Ababa or maybe both) but, if I do, I’ll make sure to set things up a bit better before I go. I left for Malawi kind of suddenly and didn’t do a good job of preparing. I’ll need to come up with some systems for when I’m not n Kigali (which could end up happening a lot this year) so March will be a nice test.

I’m hopeful that I’ll sell out of my 4,000+ more maps within 12 months (so by January 2016) which will need a lot of work from me. But, if I can do this and keep a consistent pace of sales, I’d expect to be earning around $3,000 per month in map sales. I still haven’t worked out my costs for this crazy adventure but that’ll come in a post soon. I’m super interested to see how profitable this might be. Or not. We’ll see!

Total Earnings for February 2015

Earning $4,192 this month has been a real confidence boost! I’m always a bit nervous about whether everything will crash and burn one day, so being able to rake in a decent amount for the first time in a long time is a big thing for me. I’m confident that my Kigali site will continue to grow and provide value to my advertisers and I’m hopeful that my map will continue to sell. Having both of these things working for the next year will give me a bit of extra funds to invest in doing the same thing in another city.

My plan is to focus a bit on Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and make that market my next ‘Living in’ site target. I’ve already started work on the Living in Addis Ababa website and I’m working on the map as we speak. This is a much more ambitious project due to the size of the city but I’m excited to check it out. Ethiopia is an amazing place and being able to explore it with my ‘website and map maker’ hat on is kind of cool. In a nerdy way.

I’m expecting March to be a good one for map sales… stay tuned!

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