January 2015 Earnings Report

My earnings reports are back! But this time I’ve changed them up a bit to reflect the diversification of my income and my serious lack of interest in reporting separately on the boring stuff (Adsense, affiliate sales, link sales, and article marketing). I’m really excited about my Kigali map and having an actual, tangible product to sell and I’m also excited with the recent flurry of new advertisers to my Kigali site… although I’ve been crap about collecting payments this month.

My total January’s earnings came to $2,394 and here’s the break down…

Adsense, Link and Affiliate Sales, and Article Marketing

Earnings: $513

Not much to report here except doom and gloom. But, as I’m moving in a different earnings direction, it’s not the end of the world! It would just be nice to have a bit more padding in these areas to bulk up my savings again, but the less I count on link sales and article marketing, the better. So maybe not earning much is the push I need to start working harder on other things. Adsense was $216 and the rest were  few smallish article deals and one link renewal.

Volunteering eBook

International Volunteering Guide

Amazon Sales: $93 (15 sales)
Direct PDF Sales: $42 (3 sales)
Affiliate Payouts: $21 (3 payments)

My ebook, The Underground Guide to International Volunteering, pulled its weight a little more this month than usual which is nice to see. Taking the affiliate payments into consideration, it earned a total of $114 without much effort from me. Not a huge amount, but it covers my hosting costs so every little bit helps.

I’m not sure I’m getting the full amount per sale that I should be with Amazon which, I think, is some US tax thing that I have to figure out but haven’t gotten around to. My sales were mostly from people in the US with a couple from the UK, Europe, and Australia’s Amazon sites. January saw quite a jump in sales, and I’m not really sure why! I went from around 4 or 5 sales per month up to 15 and the only change I made was adding an ad banner in the header of my Kigali website. The site is very popular, the ad is visible, and the types of people who visit that site are likely to be interested in volunteering, so that might explain it.

My PDF sales almost always come from affiliate partners which tells me that I need to get my crap together and start bringing more affiliates on board. This is something I put a small amount of effort into back when the ebook was relaunched but, as it’s work that I really dislike, I’ve kind of let things slide. As usual, I’m too busy with other projects at the moment to be able to concentrate too much on this. It’s a pity because once those affiliate connections are made, they generally continue to produce for awhile with little continued effort from me.

Living in Kigali

Living in Kigali

Earnings: $455

January’s earnings for advertising on Living in Kigali were pretty low. I’m owed around $700 for January but, because I’m too laid back about collecting payments and because some people are out of town, I still have to collect. February should look pretty good if all of my payments come through. I’ve lost one advertiser and gained a new one plus I had a meeting yesterday which should lead to another ad sale. I kind of like this process… it’s nice to connect with business owners around town and I really think my site is a huge help for them reaching out to potential customers.

Living in Kampala

living in kampala

Earnings: Possibly $0 but not sure.

My partner who’s in charge of the ad sales and finances for out Kampala site has been super busy with his other business and has dropped the ball a bit with his commitments. I’ve been busy as well so it’s not the end of the world but it means that possible ad deals haven’t been followed up on and that no overdo payments have been collected. I’m hoping we’ll be able to put some systems in place in February so that we can start seeing some return on investment for this site.

The Map – Kigali

2014 Wrap - Map

Earnings: $1,321

It looks like my efforts of printing Kigali’s first tourist-oriented map (site under construction) is paying off! I’ve only had the maps for about a week with me back in Kigali (they were trapped in customs for a few days, too) but already people are buying them. I have to give out about 100 maps as part of my Indiegogo campaign and while I’ve been doing that, others have been coming up to me looking to buy some. I wasn’t anticipating that and it’s resulted in about $400 in sales. Plus I’ve collected from four businesses who’ve bought maps wholesale.

Remember, though, that my maps have cost me a lot of money to produce so this income comes with a lot of expenses that I have yet to recoup. I haven’t wrapped my head around the expenses yet but I’m going to start working on an article about that, so hold tight. My Indiegogo campaign went a long way towards reducing my overall costs, but I still had to lay down a lot of cash to get this project off the ground.

My sales strategy is to go the wholesale route, but it seems like individual sales might lead to some surprise revenue, as well. In total I earned $1,419 in map sales and things are looking pretty good for February, as well. I’m really going to have to put in a big sales effort next week but, now that I have the sexy map in my hand, I think it will be a pretty easy sell. We’ll see but I’m excited to see where this goes!

Total Earnings for January 2015

The $2,394 I earned is at the lower end of where I’d like to be for monthly income but I’m still excited to see a good level of diversification. I don’t want to be earning much less than this over the course of the year so I’ve got some work to do to keep things moving in a positive direction. I’m hopeful that the Kampala website will start kicking in some earnings and I’ve got a lot of payments to collect in February for my Kigali site, so that should help me raise things a bit for February. The challenge will be to see if I can keep things steady throughout the year. We’ll see! I’m excited about my maps and if I work hard these coming weeks, I should be able to see a bunch. Too bad I hate sales…

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