While I would love for this post to be another “best month ever” update, unfortunately it’s not. In early August, I shared with you that the traffic to one of main income generating niche stores plummeted. Here’s a screenshot of site visits from Google Analytics from the end of July to early August, the sudden drop is obvious:
As you’ll see below, this significant drop in traffic, about an 80% decrease, had a huge negative impact on my niche store income. My eBay Partner Network and Adsense income went from around $1000/month to about $150/month. Huge hit. Fortunately in August, I had a good bit of development and design work from my Empty Cabin Media business.
Why the sudden drop? Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I think it’s a combination of a few things: 1) The Google Panda Updates 2) My niche site is summer sports related, and with fall coming, traffic declined. 3) A site with a fairly high page rank had a number of back links to me, this site suddenly disappeared and with it, all of my back links.
I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t miffed about this. Perhaps I don’t have the right perspective, but I think my site provided value and had a good mix of text and image content. Frankly, it looked much like any other normal online store. What I think (and I stress think as there is no way to be sure) is that Google dinged affiliate stores. Affiliate stores being stores that promote other people’s products. In my case, that was eBay. But, regardless of whether I think it’s fair or not, Google controls the internet and thus the traffic sent to our sites. As a result, I really can’t do much other than move forward.
eBay Partner Network (Niche Stores) – $127.56
Adsense – $56.75
Affiliates – $67.51
Consulting/Hosting (Empty Cabin Media) – $1547.50
Total June Income: $1799.32
Freshbooks (used for invoicing for my consulting work) – $24.48
Hosting – $82.00
iPad AT&T Data Service – $14.99
MyDomain Domain Registrations: $50.82
BackupBuddy Developer’s Suite (my blog backup package of choice): $112.50
Total Expenses: $284.79
Net Income: (Income – Expenses): $1514.53
Certainly not a bad income by any means, just frustrating that it could have been higher. I do expect my Empty Cabin Media business to slow down starting in September through the end of the year based on past years experience. People’s budgets are being reached, and spending gets reduced in preparation for Christmas. I think my September earnings will show the real negative impact of my niche store earnings.
As I said though, I’m moving forward. I’m building a new niche site and rather than being product focused, it will be content focused offering products as a supplement to the content, rather than the content being a supplement to the products. I’ll be writing about this more in the coming weeks. I’ll also be doing my best to focus on writing more here on Side Income Blogging and marketing myself a little more to keep my Empty Cabin Media income up. I’m not alarmed, just frustrated.
For those of you more experienced, any perspectives on this sudden drop? Have you seen similar things on your sites? Have a question about anything? Add a comment below and ask away!
Photo by: kevinamcgill