30,663 Page Views, 4136 Email Subscribers and $763.16

After 18 months, in January I was finally able to figure out the best strategy to monetize Failory. I took a two-week holiday so I only worked on the project for 10 days. However, they were enough to make $763.16 and get 30,663 page views.

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January was undoubtedly the best month for Failory since I started it in August 2017. This can be seen not only in terms of traffic and revenue but also in my understanding of the market and how do I have to continue with the business. All the doubts I had in December have disappeared and I now have a clear vision about the future of Failory.

The funniest fact is that in January I only worked on the project for 10 days! I took a two-week holiday from January 16 to 31, and I wasn’t able to work on Failory during the first days of the month. Nevertheless, 10 days were enough to finish consolidating all the ideas and thoughts I came with in December 2018.

Having said this, let’s move into the most important things of the month and an explanation of why I say it was the best month.

Monetization of Failory

It took me 1 year and a half to finally understand how to monetize a content site like Failory. I had little/no idea when I started the project on how to do it properly and during all these 18 months, I have been trying and experimenting on different strategies. However, due to a few talks I had with different consultants in December (thanks to GrowthMentor) and a few night ideas I came with, I was able to finally identify a way to make money with the project.

As I wrote in Failory’s December report, last month I introduced on the site “The Everything Package”, an advertisement package I started selling which consisted on sponsoring the entire website and newsletters (as well as a few promotions on social networks). I didn’t sell any Everything Package for January as I wasn’t going to be working on the project (because of the trip).

However, during the last days of December and the first two weeks of January, I was able to sell 4 Everything Packages (for February, March, April, and May). In the beginning, I priced them $650, which I then realized it was too low for all the things I was offering. Two of these packages were sold at this price, the other two were sold to the same business at $600 each month.

I would have loved to price them a bit higher at the beginning (around $900, as they are right now). However, I am really happy with “The Everything Package” as it ensured me sponsorships for the next 4 months and secure monthly revenue.

Another thing that happened in December was that I joined Genm’s affiliate program. I explained a bit about this tool in Failory’s previous monthly report, but basically, Genm is a tool in which you can hire an apprentice for $49/month and you will receive 40 hours of digital marketing. When I discovered this tool, I immediately signed up and started using it.

Soon after this, I found out their affiliate program which is CRAZY! For every customer that sign-ups to Genm with my link and buy an apprenticeship credit, I receive $50. I added Genm referral links to the site in mid-December and it meant +400 clicks and two purchases ($100). But in January, lots of people who have signed up with my link in December decided to finish the registration and hire an apprenticeship. There was a day in which I even made $150 because of Genm’s affiliate program.

I was able to make $600 from their program as 12 people who arrived at the site from my link ended up buying an apprenticeship.

January 2019 Genm Affiliates

Making this amount of money from affiliates was amazing for me as in the previous months I was making no more than $300/month and with sponsorships, which included a lot of work behind such as looking for businesses, reaching them, sending many emails and placing their ADs.

Apart from making money with Genm’s affiliate program, I was able to sell three sponsorships in Failory’s newsletter for $150 to Tecla, a really cool marketplace for remote talent.

January 2019 Tecla AD

Finally, I was able to make $13.16 more with Amazon affiliate links. Different users clicked 406 times throughout all the month on the links I have on blog articles and interviews, meaning a few more dollars to pay my food 😎

In total, I was able to make $763.16.

But I also had to pay some expenses. Failory’s expenses tended to be really low, as I only paid for Webflow’s hosting plan which costs $20. This month, I decided to move my newsletter to Sendy, so I had to pay $59 for the tool. I also wanted to invest some money in my education, so I bought this great course bundle called GetSponsorships, which includes a course about getting sponsorships for your podcast, and another course about getting sponsorships for anything (+ a BONUS course). I only paid $50 as there was a huge discount. All in all, my monthly expenses were $129.

January’s profit was $634.16!

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Traffic Keep Coming

Another cool thing that happened was that, although I didn’t put any efforts in interview promotion or social networks, a lot of traffic kept coming to the site.

9,253 users arrived at the site from Google searches! Failory pages received 176,000 impressions on Google so it was an average CTR of 5,2%. The pages that bring the most traffic are still the same as in previous months. I need to work the SEO of all the articles, but I will talk about this later in the article.

January 2019 SEO Traffic

January has been the month with the highest SEO traffic. Considering that I have set a goal for 2019 to get 100,000 users from Google searches, this is really cool news! In comparison to December, there has been a growth of 15.32% and in comparison to November, there was a growth of 5.14%.

My Two-Week Holidays

As I told you before, on January 16 I took a holiday which kept me away from anything related to Failory for two weeks. I literally didn’t check my email, social networks, and Google Analytics until the last day of the trip, which was quite rainy and I didn’t have anything else to do.

This holidays made me realize that the business can keep going with fewer efforts than the ones I am putting right now. Of course, the site would grow less and it would probably receive less traffic. But, with only two weeks of work, January became the month in which I made the biggest amount of money, duplicating and even triplicating previous months.

In December I had a lot of time to work on the project so I dedicated it a lot of hours. Despite my efforts, I was only able to make $210,47 and I spent $167, so the final profit was $43,47.

With much less work, in January there was an increase in revenue of 262.60% and an increase in profits of 1358.85%!

Investing on Email Marketing

Another important action I took in January was investing both time and money on my email newsletter.

In first place, I decided to change my email service provider. I was using ElasticEmail, which was a great tool as it was free and had the necessary features. However, I decided to invest $59 and move to Sendy, a super cheap email tool that uses Amazon SES.

The installation of this tool (it is self-hosted) was quite difficult at first. I have really little knowledge about hosting, servers, MySQL, etc, so the first time I tried following a video tutorial I found on Youtube, I failed. I lost a lot of hours and couldn't make it run. However, I later found this amazing free tutorial that teaches everything, from 0 to installation. It took me around 4-5 hours to finish the installation, but I promise it works!

In second place, I decided to eliminate +2,500 subscribers who weren't really active or weren't receiving my emails. It was a great decision as it will reduce my costs and improve the quality of the list.

Finally, I decided to try new templates. I am experimenting with different email templates to find which one works the best for both clicks on the content and clicks on the advertisement.

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Taking Time to Think about the Future

I finished 2018 completely messed about how the future of Failory should look like. I had some many ideas (I still have!) but didn’t know which, how and when to execute each one.

On January 3 I carried out a survey on Failory’s newsletter. I sent a massive email asking email subscribers if they could take one minute to answer this quick survey with 10 questions. The day before I also emailed the 100 most active email subscribers so as to personally ask them if they could complete the survey. The newsletter campaign plus this cold email technique resulted in 121 responses which gave me a lot of insights on Failory’s audience and what they wanted.

People were really willing to take some time to help me and the majority of people answered the questions that were optional. This helped me understand who is the person reading the site and what are they looking from me, which at the same time helped me decide which idea should I execute and how.

These are some of the things that I am thinking right now:

Startup Cemetery

I decided I had to finally launch this project in February. So a few days before taking the holidays, I decided to finish a few things that were missing and re-design a part of this project that didn’t look that well.

A few things are missing, but I think that with one or two days of work I will be able to finish it. I am planning to launch it on Product Hunt, Hacker News, Twitter, etc, but also getting some press coverage.

Creating a Content Team

Genm has meant for me lots of possibilities and new ideas. One of these new ideas was creating a content team based on apprentices. I have lately been thinking about hiring 4-5 apprentices to help me with content creation and promotion. I have already set up all the tools (Slack channels, project management tools, and email addresses). The only thing I need to know is to hire these apprentices and give some tasks and orders.

I was thinking about hiring 2 or 3 content creators, someone focused on social network and content promotion and another one focused on SEO. Because of the cheap price of Genm, I think this will pay off really quickly.

Creating a Podcast

One of the questions of the survey I sent to Failory’s newsletter was about what they wanted me to build next. The option that won with 28.9% of votes was a podcast with failed startup founders.

That’s why I decided to create a new survey, which is featured in the interviews with failed startups through a popup, in which I ask a few more questions about this podcast.

I seriously believe creating a podcast would be a huge opportunity for Failory both in terms of growth and in terms of revenue.

I have been thinking about its monetization and I think that sponsorships are the best way, although I have also considered a monthly payment.

The only problem I have is my English. As you have probably realized, I am not an English native speaker and I find quite difficult to keep a conversation. I am scared that the podcasts would turn to be really boring and the failed founders wouldn’t enjoy the interview.

That’s why I now have a great disjunction: should I set up a shared revenue partnership with someone to host it or should I hire someone to create it? I was told that some businesses have hired an apprentice in Genm to create them a podcast, but I am not sure about the quality.

Getting into Long-Form Content

Failory’s blog posts (especially the 12 first ones I published so as to avoid the site from looking too empty) suck. They are the typical 600 words article that tries to rank on Google but gets no more than 10 clicks per month. So, I have thought about re-writing them all and getting into long-form content by telling the Genm apprentices to write long guides about specific startup topics.

This was requested by a lot of people and was the second option voted the most in the survey I carried out at the beginning of January. I am sure that with this type of content, some SEO work and the power that Failory’s domain already has, I will be able to rank on many keywords and increase SEO traffic.

Re-Developing Entrepreneurial Lists

I really don’t like the idea behind Entrepreneurial Lists and believe it’s not really useful for the user. That’s why I want to develop a /resources page divided into three categories: courses, books, and tools. This idea was also inspired by my late success with affiliate programs 😌

I am also considering writing or hiring someone to write reviews about these tools, courses, and books that I will feature on the /resources page. If I manage to rank the reviews on Google for some of the resources that contain an affiliate link, I think I will be able to make some recurrent revenue without many efforts.

That’s all for January’s monthly report. I hope you enjoy my transparency and can learn more about how to manage and grow a content site like Failory. Make sure to follow Failory’s Twitter account as well as mines to keep updated.

See you next month!

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👇 Other Reports

July 30, 2017
Launch of Failory