Income Breakdown for December 2007

For the past few months I’ve been concentrating my time to make the most out of the silly season, AKA Christmas. At this time of year my gadget blog out performs the rest of my portfolio by some margin, so was the extra effort worth it (and did you win $100), this is how my main site did last month:

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Graphs are all well and good but the exciting bit are the figures Continue Reading

Oct 2006 – No More Translated Pages

Visitors to CG - Oct 2006

This is the next instalment of the history of the Coolest Gadgets site. It’s for October 2006, month 14 of the sites life.

Finding new gadgets to write about was fairly easy with the crazy USB Hamster Wheel bringing in a nice number or organic links. I also coded a simple plugin to create image based summaries of recent posts which helped get more visitors to the site from feed subscribers and automagically create internal link love.
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Septemeber 2006 – A small downturn

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Over the last few months the growth of CG’s traffic and revenue had been exciting to watch so September was something of an anti-climax with both staying pretty level or dropping slightly. Which in retrospect works quite well as I’m currently on holiday and it means there is not too much to write about, so every cloud and all :).
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August 2006 – Coolest Gadgets First Birthday

What did CG get for it’s first birthday, a $200 Adsense day which was very cool back then :) . The first year of many sites can be a real slog and drag, I find it takes at least 6 months for a site to pick up momentum and search engine traffic and in the early days it can be a lot of hard work for very little return but if you stick at it and learn from your mistakes the rewards will come. I documented how traffic and revenue grew over the first year in the first post of this series but I’ll include the Adsense graph again as I quite like it :) .

Adsense year 1

Traffic and revenue continued to grow in August (I’ll document those in a bit) but the other major addition to CG was a gadget forum. To give the forum a flying start I kicked it off with a posting competition, prizes for which were all kindly donated from sites we’d previously promoted (a friendly email asking for prizes in return for a bit of promotion can work wonders).

I couldn’t of hoped for a better forum launch, we got over a 1,000 new members in the space of a week but the launch of the forum was it’s one and only high point. Nowadays it’s pretty dead, I hope to revitalise it soon but for now it’s a bit of a posters graveyard, so lookout for a later post on “How to successfully launch a forum and then really cock it up”.

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July 2006 – Working Holiday

aeroplane.gifFor the past year I’d been running CG alongside a full-time job. This was great from a financial point of view as I could re-invest all earnings back into my sites and be saving for retirement quitting the 9-5 but from a free time point of view it was not so good. This meant my partner was able to twist my arm to take a 2 week holiday.

Before the holiday I was able to post date a post for each day I was away and also organised extra cover from my writers, this meant I should be able to spend 2 weeks relaxing in the sun and do an intensive 1 week PADI SCUBA diving course. Haha, yeah right.
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June 2006 – Adsense Income up 154%

Gryphon
From reading various forums I’d come to learn that Summer can be a quiet time for many niches due to holidays and what not. As this was the first Summer for CG I wasn’t really sure what to expect but prepared myself for the worst, then more by luck than judgement I find myself thinking “Geez if this is the slump in Summer I can’t wait for Christmas!”.

During June 2006, CG found itself on the front page of Digg twice, the first time was for a post about the ChargeBox which I found out about in some newspaper and contacted the company for further details. The second Digg was for a DIY projector which was a great find by my writer Paz and if you want a projector on the cheap is well worth checking out.

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May 2006 – Crazy gadgets and automated content makes extra $$$

Hot Sauce Spray

I’ve had a few emails (well 2) asking me when the next $100K site history instalment was going to be, so here it is and in future I’ll be posting about it every other Friday.

The month of May was again pretty good for CG, traffic was growing and income along with it. We were still getting a few sales from the GPS tracker post from last month and I had another $5,000 hour (though I didn’t know it at the time).

The most profitable post in May was the one we did about adjustable heat sauce, a very cool gadget that lets one bottle of chilli sauce have variable strengths. The hot sauce post took a bit more work than normal as I had to contact the manufacturer to get a photo, which they happily supplied. The extra effort (not that sending an email is that much efofrt) was well worth it as the post got picked up by Gizmodo (extra 1,029 visitors, thank you very much Giz) and from there it was picked up by Dave Barry (an extra 1,490 visitors on the day, thank you very very much Dave). These extra visitors are the first peak on the following Analytics graph Continue Reading

April 2006 – first Digg front page

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After a pretty slow start to 2006, April was the month were Coolest Gadgets really started to take off. With the slowness of the previous months we were down to one paid writer, though my friend Keith also freely wrote about a fair few gadgets. Between us we were averaging about 5 posts per day (many of which I think I did in my “lunch hour” at work :) ).

Whilst doing my daily gadget hunt I came across this really cool GPS tracker on Think Geek. It’s the sort of gadget that’s easy to write about and the fact it was also an affiliate product was an added bonus though I would of reported on it anyway. I never realised it at the time but that post was the turning point of the site.
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$100K Site History – Quarter One 2006

After a rather tame December 2005 I was hoping income and traffic would start picking up in 2006, which it did but certainly not in the first quarter so I’ve combined the next 3 months of CG’s history into this one post.

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$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.
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