October 2007 Stats — $2,000 in sales

Capsule summary: Powered largely by several hundred dollars in sales driven by conversion optimizer and the effect of a Halloween advertising campaign which I didn’t plan but the machine ended up executing anyhow (a story which is getting its own post tomorrow — its truly amazing), I had my best month ever, beating my previous best month ever (September 2007) by about a factor of two.

Sales: 77 (includes 1 refund, 33 CDs)

Gross Sales: $2,036

Expenses:

GoDaddy: $7

e-junkie: $5

CrazyEgg: $9

AdCenter: $15

AdWords: $407 (oof, that number would give me heartburn most months!)

SwiftCD: $175

Freelancers (Daily Bingo Cards writers — I pay sort of generously): $315

Slicehost (what Daily Bingo Cards runs on): $20

Daily Bingo Cards domain (2 years) : $20

Total Expenses: $974 (heartburn!)

Total Profit: $1,062 (first month over $1,000, woohoo)

Selected Assorted Stats:

Visits: 20.5k

Trial Downloads: ~3.5k

Happiest Moment: I got mentioned as saving the day on a fourth-grade teacher’s Xanga

As you can see by the above, my major ongoing expense is AdWords, as usual.  The majority of the charges associated with Daily Bingo Cards are not going to be recurring, although I do have agreements with two of my freelancers to provide me 30 bingo cards a month at $2.50 each, so that is an ongoing commitment of $150.  That is slightly more than I had been paying when I started but I was pleasantly suprised at the quality I was getting and am willing to pay for it.  Plus, look at it this way – I only have to pay to get the cellular biology activity written once, but it will be up for years happily collecting downloads.  At my typical 2.5% conversion rate, I break even on a bingo card which delivers about four trial downloads.  Several have already done so.  Other than the cards, my only ongoing cost for DBC is the Slicehost hosting, a steal at $20, so the first sale a month goes to hosting/domain renewal fees and it is all gravy after that.

I will have a more detailed update on the stats of Daily Bingo Cards later, but it is showing the nice sort of snowflake trapping power that I wanted:

Getting Snowflake Queries

It is often said by quite knowledgeable SEOs that you can’t rank for anything of importance in less than about a year and a half.  That is probably quite true if your definition of something of importance is [California mortgage] or [buy wii] or something else with obvious commercial relevance.  For my business, queries like the ones you see above (and the 80 I’m not showing you because stitching together JPEGs is not an effective use of my day) are the important ones.  Let other folks fight it out over [bingo cards] and its 8% conversion rates — my snowflakes do about triple that, you can rank for them in a week, there is no competition, and the volume will be quite nice after I start ranking for even more of them.

No Responses to “October 2007 Stats — $2,000 in sales”

  1. Rizal November 6, 2007 at 3:50 am #

    Congratulations!

  2. Jordan Sherer November 6, 2007 at 4:16 am #

    Hey Patrick,

    This is a bit off topic, but I was wondering… How long did it take you to get your SliceHost account? How is their service compared to others?

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  3. Patrick November 6, 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    It took me about 4 days to get my Slicehost account, something I did several months ago (to work on Kalzumeus, on the recommendation of a blog reader who raved about them). I put up a $120 deposit to get the account (6 months), which helped me get to near the front of the queue. It is my understanding that they are a little overwhelmed at the moment so I don’t think $120 will get you an account that quickly anymore.

    I am extraordinarily happy with everything about their service.

  4. Patrick November 6, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    That is from the Google Webmaster Console. (Google for it — that is how I login.) It is under Statistics -> Top Search Queries. You’ll need to verify your site first to actually use the console. It takes about 5 seconds to do so — upload a file to your root directory, click a button, delete the file.

  5. Al November 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi Patrick,

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I am just curious how you decided to go with SwiftCD rather than make and ship the CD orders yourself?

    Al

  6. Patrick November 10, 2007 at 2:32 am #

    I live in Japan, have a full-time job, and gett about one CD order a day. Making the CDs myself would be a gratuitous waste of my time. Shipping them so that they arrived in America in a timely fashion would be more expensive than SwiftCD. It would also force me to get up every morning half an hour earlier to check for orders, pack them up, and drop them in the mail bin before heading to work. I hate getting up in the morning, and I would grow to hate the customers who forced me to do it. As a matter of fact, when I started offering CDs it was with a service which required me to punch in the details manually, a 2 minute task per order, and I hated even having to do that (my schedule is VERY tight in the morning — if I don’t get on the train at 7:36 on the dot, I am screwed).

    SwiftCD is *worlds* easier than this — the orders come into e-junkie, the e-junkie computer communicates them to Swift-CD, I only ever have to get involved if there is a problem (i.e. once every 3-6 months, not daily).

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