Well, it is that time of the year again: home for Christmas, jetlagged like crazy, and up at 2:00 AM after passing out for 11 hours.  Sounds like a great time to compile end of the year stats!  These will change a bit in the next 10 days or so, but not all that much, so they’re roughly representative.

In A Nutshell: 2008 was a very, very good year.

My goal had been to sell $20,000 worth of BCC, after having sold $10,600 last year.  


Total Sales: 815

Refunds: 24  (~2.9%)

Sales Net of Refunds: $20,707.40

Customers requesting CDs: 205 (24.9%)

Customers using Paypal: 373 (46%, remainder Google Checkout)

Expenses (Approximate):

AdWords: $5,850

Freelancer (Bingo Cards): $1,000

SwiftCD: $1,050 

Paypal: $400

Domain Names: $500  (Kind of went hog wild, eh.)

Hosting: $500

CrazyEgg: $240

Software: $200

Clicky: $90

e-junkie: $60

Total: ~$10,000

Profit: ~$10,700


Various Other Fun Metrics:

Unique Visitors (to main site): 285,000 

Page Views (main site & ChristmasBingoCards.com) : 1,000,000

Trial Downloads: ~57,000

(Implied minimum conversion rate: ~1.4%)

Confirmed Installations: 12,700

(Implied maximum conversion rate: ~6.4%)

Number of people who sat down at their computer one day and said “You know, I really need to play some Cheese bingo”: 52

Number of people who played Christmas bingo (plus an unknown number who evaded tracking when I borked it): 5,652


What went spectacularly right: In my writeups of last year’s results (blog and BoS forum) I had mentioned that I had high hopes for incorporating the bingo cards into my site design, to catch people looking for specific niche activities and funnel them into downloading BCC and then eventually making me money.  This has been a smashing success, and has greatly improved my SEO efforts.  The $1,100 paid to a freelancer might stick out in the expenses — I assure you, it is like paying for straw so you can spin it into gold.  And the loom is 95% automatic, whee.  I’d make such a poor wicked fairy, I make so much on the alchemy I can afford to do it without needing anyone’s firstborns.

The other thing that has helped me out was continued improvement in Google AdWords, largely due to Conversion Optimizer — I don’t get to keep nearly as much of the sales I get from it ($5,850 — Google, I want a nice Christmas gift from you guys)

What went wrong: I had much higher hopes for ChristmasBingoCards.com than eventually ended up getting realized (see here).  

I also regret that I have not proceeded much on the project I started at the 30 Day Sprint this summer — despite paying Slicehost quite a bit to keep a 512 MB slice sitting largely idle (yay, SVN repository) and my designer $500 for the design, I have done almost nothing with it since the summer.  I blame a combination of personal issues during the summer and work issues for the rest of the year — nothing sucks it out of you like getting out of work at 10 PM and then facing a 2 hour commute.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit of work on it over the break, when not enjoying family and friend festivities.  After all, as nice as BCC is I have dreams of eventually going full-time and while BCC provides a quite nice foundation for that I think the next project will be the one that pushes me over the top.

Other Random Trivia:

  • My chapter in Blog Blazers was published.  I really like how it came out, and “My son, the published author” cooings have made my free copies great Christmas gifts.
  • I now hang out on Aaron Wall’s SEOBook forums quite a bit, as a moderator.  SEO is one of my favorite parts of this job — great intellectual challenge, combining a bit of engineering, a lot of marketing, and heaping helpings of pure magic.
  • As of next year, BCC will be providing part-time incomes for about five people (three freelance writers and my designer, plus me).

Goals for next year:

  • $30,000 in sales for BCC
  • $20,000 in profits for BCC
  • Release a second product
  • Go full-time (we’ll see where life takes me)