$100K Site History – December 2005 – CGs first Christmas

CG Analytics Dec 2005

This was the fourth full month of CG and being the Christmas season and following on from the $1000 in November I had high hopes for both revenue and traffic, which wouldn’t be the first time and I’m sure not the last that my expectations exceeded reality.

Traffic
As you can see on the graph there was a nice spike on December 7th, this was caused by the exceedingly cool game Deflexion and a big thanks to friends I hadn’t met yet over at Gizmodo. I love it when I find a really cool gadget to write about and if you get in early (before the majority of other gadget sites) you can get a fair few natural organic links. The link from Gizmodo sent ~2000 visitors over the space of the month which at that time was loads for CG and it also made me think how much traffic the larger gadget sites must be getting and what possibilities there were.

Other than the search engines the other notable traffic source was Cool Site Of The Day (see November for more on that) who continued to send visitors our way the month after we were featured, the figure for December being 1,302.

The number one source for traffic as you’d probably expect was Google, sending 6,458 visitors. One of the most popular keywords we ranked for was Deflexion, so it just shows the power of links with regards to the big G, I’ve just checked now and we are still on the first page for that term which is surprising but also goes to show how work down well over a year a go will still bring in traffic and revenue.

Overall, apart from the Giz peak I’d say traffic was lower than I was anticipating and seemed to be declining rather than growing which was a worrying sign.

Revenue

Adense income was pretty comparable to last month, $640.61 (up $10, wow!). Chitika income was, err I don’t know as the Chitika control panel has not let me log in for the last few days but if memory serves was also comparable to the previous month.

The revenue stream that I was hoping for the most improvement in was affiliates. I though as it was Christmas people would be looking for presents, so I skewed my gadget seeking towards gift like gadgets that ideally had an affiliate program. This did seem to work as affiliate income went up to over $150 a relatively vast improvement from Novembers $35.

I could of made a fair bit more out of affiliate sales if I’d found an appropriate stockist for Deflexion before I made the post, unfortunately at the time of posting nobody was selling it though Think Geek did begin stocking it late on in the month so I probably picked up a few sales there.

One of the problems I had with affiliate sales is that other then the merchant I had no idea what had been sold. I later learnt that you can include a pid parameter in most affiliate links which you can use for tracking purposes. I implemented this towards the end of the month so I’d at least be able to fathom out what future sales were and see what products I could concentrate on promoting.

Summary

The highlight of the month was definitely the link from Giz but other than that the site just seemed to be ticking over, it was still making a profit (just) but no where near enough to quit the 9-5.

Sorry if this is a some what boring post but that’s history for ya :)

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. Thanks again Al. This was another good post to read. I am interested in Jan 06′s stats now with you mentioning the slight decline.

  2. I’m interesting in the fact that although revenue was around $1000, the site only ‘just’ turned a profit.

    What was your breakdown of expenditure? Links, Hosting, Paid writers etc.

    Ash

  3. What surprised me even more is that 2000+ people probably looked at the Deflexion post and you only got 8 replies on it (not including the one referencing this post).

    I’m sure you have statistics on your most viewed post on CG, could you share that when you have time.

  4. Thanks Matthew, I do finding looking back at my stats interesting (nerdy or what) nut I do wonder if other people find it as interesting or useful as I do.

    Hi Ash, off the top of my head paid writing would of cost ~ $600. hosting $50, miscellaneous stuff $100, making a Net profit of $350.

    I’ve found getting to traffic and links to CG was fairly easy and natural but comments were generally in short supply. I guess people liked to read the stuff without commenting on it. The top post of 2006 traffic wise got 58,091 views and 37 comments, I actually sold more GPS trackers than the number of comments it received, I know which stat I prefer :)

  5. I am the same with stats. I spend a while looking over them to compare days, months and years. I have stats for another site going back a few years now and occasionally look at them.

  6. I assume you meant to link to this page. That is a lot of traffic for one post. Did the original affiliate link for think geek go directly to the GPS receiver? I got a generic page for think geek or does it matter i.e. anything they buy through the affiliate link gets profit.

    I am guilty of reading but not commenting on CG as well :D

    You probably get so many comments on this site because unlike gadget posts these tend to spawn more questions then answers.

  7. Same here Matthew, I’m an aid stat head. I try to only analysis older stats though rather than following them on a daily basis (though I did used to do that too)

    Thanks for the correction tecwzrd. The affiliate link with TG went directly to the product and if people buy anything from there after getting there from my link I get a commission. I still get a few sales of the GPS tracker every month now, it does look a really cool product and I’m tempted to buy one myself. The traffic stat I gave for that post is over all of 2006, it was started with a Digg front page (Digg users do buy things sometimes I’m pleased to report), got a fair few natural links and then a steady stream of visitors from the search engines.

    Good point about the comments, I’m still pretty amazed at how many comments this place gets (thanks everyone), I still reckon Scott is getting more (but he did cheat some what).

  8. Any updates about how the site is going? Did the recession blow it badly?

  9. Love success stories. Inspires me to work even harder. I love the charts that you put together. I love to see all my stats as well, kind of like video game to me.

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