Traffic Generation Cafe Monthly Income Report: February 2012

Traffic Generation Cafe Monthly Income Report: February 2012

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Why did I start publishing my monthly income reports?

Blogging is never about talking the talk.

That’s what politics are for.

It is my goal for these reports to show that walking the walk and actually bringing in income from our online ventures is possible and within reach for all of us, whatever the niche.

As you’ll see, traffic and perceived popularity doesn’t always automatically translate into cash.

I’ll show you my traffic stats, let you know what I’ve done in the previous month to improve them, what worked and didn’t work, and how much went into my bank account in terms of earnings as well as left it in terms of expenses.

On a Personal Note

It’s official: I am a super woman.

I grow sunflowers and make cats out of socks, golf balls, plastic gloves, and paper towels (thinking of writing an ebook with step-by-step instructions on how to make your own cat Ana-style) by day, make gourmet meals and bake crystallized ginger scones by night, and run Traffic Generation Cafe in my spare time.

income report cat ana hoffman

I am often asked how I manage to be all over the internet while still working part-time.

The best way to sum it up is through this quote by John Wesley:

“I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”

Here’s another one from Abraham Lincoln:

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.”

Powerful words.

On another note, San Fransisco – here we come!

My husband has already made it over there, started his new job (he is very excited about his floor to ceiling office window with the view of the Golden Gate bridge), got settled into our temporary home (extended stay hotel), and experienced his first earthquake.

All in his first 3 days there…

Within the next week, I will finalize the sale of our house in Arizona, pack up the household goods, put everything into storage, stick the essentials in the car – including my 4 year-old and our cat, and drive out to San Francisco.

Yes, I am a super woman…

Reminds me of how blessed we are to be in a business that can go wherever we go and still make money even when we find ourselves in a tornado of life.

Speaking of making money: the fact that my business was on the back burner for the past 3 months definitely reflects in my bottom line (are you going to rush down to the end of the post to see the number now? lol).

As a fellow blogger Dave Lucas put it in one of his recent posts:

“Ana is making some good money with her blog (she periodically releases blogging income reports), but to read her article entitled “Why Traffic Generation Cafe Is NOT Doing As Well As It Should” – you’d think she was living and blogging out of the back of a pickup truck.

Of course, she’s obviously built her blog as a moneymaker, but gee whiz, four figures a month in amounts that equal the take-home pay of minimum wage workers is nothing to be ashamed of!

(Hey, if Ana can do it – YOU can too!)”

Thanks for putting it into perspective, Dave!

January Traffic at a Glance

Last month’s traffic graph from Google Analytics was bizarre to say the least.

It showed that my direct traffic brought in close to 50% of all my traffic for the month (almost 100% increase from what it would normally be).

I am still convinced that GA was just being naughty and screwed up my stats.

February stats look a bit off as well.

I think it’s because now the system is trying to compensate for the previous month’s mysterious jump in direct traffic.

income report ga traffic

My direct traffic number is close to normal; however, my search engine traffic almost doubled.

If I accept the fact that these stats are as accurate as stats get, that’s great news.

As I mentioned in my January income report, increasing my SEO traffic was one of my goals for the month.

Even though I never want to put all my eggs in one basket (especially with Google’s name on it), it’s nice to have a steady flow of traffic without having to work for it too much, like we do with networking for instance.

My January Bottom Line

Let’s get on with the best part.

By the way, as I write this post I have no idea how much I made, so I am in anticipation as much as you are.

Note: these are all paid earnings, meaning I might’ve actually made those sales in the previous month, but got paid for them in February.

February Income

Here are my income sources for January:

1.   Affiliate marketing

  • TweetAdder – $120
  • Thesis theme – $112
  • SEMRush$96
  • Market Samurai – $93
  • Income Blogging Guide – $45
  • Thirsty Affiliates – $20


Subtotal: $486

2.   Paid Advertisement

  • $950


TOTAL: $1436

Difference from January: -$1256


February Expenses

After I published last month’s report, many of you asked “What about your expenses?”

Fair question.

Here’s a list of my expenses:

  • (my favorite SEO tool) – $50
  • Aweber –$49
  • (outsource tedious tasks I don’t have time for) – $35
  • Hostgator (hosting) – $10

TOTAL: $144


Moment of Silence


So this wasn’t a great month for me.

On the bright side, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to outdo this number in March. lol

My Goals for March

I started March off with getting a second opinion.

You know how I always say that developing an emotional attachment to our sites could cloud our objectivity?

And we can’t help but get attached – this are our businesses, our babies we are talking about here, right?

Well, I called on my friend Danny Iny to help me sift through any potential blind spots that I might be unaware of.

That was HUGELY helpful – thank you, Danny!

My main takeaways:

1. Narrow Down my Focus

Want to make money with your blog?


HOW are you going to do it?

Affiliate marketing? Your own products? Niche sites?

I think the reason many bloggers don’t make the kind of income they’d like to is their lack of focus (me including).

The very first time I knew I needed to work on this specific issue was after I listened to this interview where the interviewee (Penelope Trunk) ended up grilling the interviewer (Steve Roy) on why Steve was not successful online and, according to Penelope, would never be successful until he figured out what it was he wanted to do.

“What do you want to do to accomplish your income goals?

Do you want to be talking to people?

Do you want to write?

You can’t do both, you see.

Either you are a writer and want to be left alone or you are too social to do that and just want to help people one-on-one basis.”

I’ve tried a few different income streams in the past and figured out that I:

  1. Strongly dislike doing consulting of any kind.
  2. Don’t want to/don’t have the time to come up with my own training of any kind.
  3. Don’t want to create a high maintenance site like a forum.
  4. DO like affiliate marketing.


Now that I know what it’d like to do to make money online (the destination), it’s much easier to map out HOW I am planning on getting there (the route).

My next steps are to focus on finding the BEST affiliate marketing programs out there that offer the BEST products (nothing less will do) and find ways to introduce them to my readers.

What about YOU?

Do YOU know what your heart is set on doing online?

If you don’t, you are just setting yourself up to fail – no one wants to willingly do something they hate doing.

2. Define my Audience

In theory, we all know that properly targeting our audience can make or break our business.

In practice, we rarely take our time to do that.

Sometimes, it’s because we simply don’t know how.

Sometimes, it’s because we don’t make it a priority.

Either way, it hurts us.

One interesting thing Danny and I discovered was the fact that I was approaching segmenting my audience from the wrong direction.

My readers come from all walks of online life: bloggers, affiliate marketers, e-commerce site owners, small business bloggers, etc.

So should I focus on only one of those segments and sentence the rest to an eternal traffic-less existence (since no one can teach them about web traffic the way I can…)?

Or do I continue to catch all the traffic I can and let them decide whether they can apply my advice to their specific niche and circumstances?

And that’s where Danny’s brilliance came in.

He saw something that I kind of knew all along, but never really took the time to understand what it meant to my blog.

My pool of readers can be subdivided into:

A. Beginners

B. Intermediate/Advanced

Makes complete sense.

Now I can write my content based on those two groups and set up my affiliate marketing offers accordingly as well.

Of course, there was a whole slew of others things I took away from my conversation with Danny, but I’ll leave it for another post.

My Blog Audit Fridays

If you’d like to have an extra pair of eyes (mine) to take a look at your blog and give you an honest opinion on what’s working and what isn’t, feel free to join my email list.

Besides providing timely no-fluff marketing advice exclusively to my subscribers, I also do a monthly drawing for my Blog Audit Fridays as an added benefit.

So to have the privilege of being the next blog I tear apart and publish the results at Traffic Generation Cafe for all to see and make fun of you… no, of course not – to help out with any additional advice and to give you a boost of traffic:

Click here to join our Traffic Generation Cafe community now

Marketing Takeaway

There’s no such thing as free bacon.

Making money blogging is entirely possible, as I was surprised to learn from my own experience.

Just takes time, determination, and a lot of work.


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99 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Cathy Presland

    This is a great post Ana. Thank you for your honesty and reflections.

    I agree that focus is really important – and once you have it then everythign else seems much easier. And knowing what you like and don’t like to do is the starting point for this. Look forward to seeing where this goes!


    • Ana Hoffman

      We don’t have to love what we do for living, but at least liking it makes a tremendous difference, Cathy.

      Thanks for coming by!

  2. Wow, one doesn’t see this much transparency from a blogger, at least I’ve never seen a blogger be so open about their stats and blog earnings. It may seen disappointing to see that you’ve made less money in February than you have in January, but you’ve generated clear profit nevertheless, and that’s the main thing that counts! Plus, it’s February, that one month when few people are spending and most are busy paying off their cc bills from Christmas :)

  3. Although you lost about half your income from January to February, it’s great to see that you still made a significant profit. I have only been blogging for a month and right now I am in the negative. I hope to one day be able to profit from it. I wish you a fantastic March!

  4. Thank you Ana, I’m still in the beginner portion of your audience and soaking up a little from each post. I’ve identified one product that I use every day and love that I would feel good about affiliate marketing on my blog– looking forward to setting that up over the next month or two.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Sounds like a perfect match, Mary – assuming it’s relevant to your audience, that is. lol

  5. Ana Hoffman

    I hope so, David, and thanks for your encouragement.

    Right now we settled into a hotel in San Francisco; time to find ourselves a more permanent place to live. Might take a while.

  6. Alex Papa

    You are brave, Ana, for daring to live the life you are living. I have not been in your blog for almost a year now, but was led to it today through somebody’ else Google+ profile. I stopped visiting blogs in general and I stopped guest posting over a year ago simply because I had to prioritize. I’m in the internet business for different reasons so I felt it was wiser at the time to stop or outsource certain activities. Because of that, I missed the blessing of the social aspect of blogging. Who knows, maybe I come back to it sometime.
    I admire you for your contribution, your hard work and commitment to your chosen lifestyle and I am certain it will pay you off in multiples. It is not easy at all to maintain a business on a 3-4 hour per day. Demanding kid(s) and instability at home that has become the norm, rather than the exception are all detrimental factors. I know how it feels because I was there too sometime ago. Things are different now: I’ve the luxury of putting no less than 10 hours a day, full-time, Mon-Fri, concentrating 100% while working in an office building, benefiting from an army of contractors and a huge budget to “play” with.
    But people like you are the true heroes. So here is my word to you:
    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. Mat,7,7
    Now look and see that Life has already blessed you with a lot of what you wanted. There is more good stuff on its way.
    And off course from what I have understood, you have the best business partner with you, who gives you health, inspiration, wisdom and success, the one type of partner who only wants a 10% share! How good is that. This is the type of partnership I want to honour the most!
    And one more thing:
    Happiness is more important than business. Family is more important than blogging. In the last few years I learned the importance of putting things in the right order. Success and money through a blog alone, or any business, passive or active, do not bring true happiness. We are not just bloggers or entrepreneurs, we are also spirit and emotions. We have to nurture this part of ourselves.

    I wish you and your family all the very best in your adventures. Alex Papa

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Alex!

      And yes, I am truly blessed right where I am right now. Things can always be better, but if we focus on the future and wait for them to get better, we’ll miss out on life.

      Definitely appreciated your email advice as well.

  7. Every time I drop by your blog, I remember that I need to just make it a regular stop. You always have good info and a new perspective. A lot of stuff in this post. Al useful.

  8. I sooo appreciate that you don’t publish inflated numbers. That only makes people think it’s impossible to do. Thank you for your honesty.

  9. Ana, your transparency is very effective. You are showing other people how to chose a niche, go out and work on building a blog around that niche, and then make an income from that blog. In the meantime you have found what you are best at doing and that way your focus is very clear. It will be interesting to watch your progress this year.

    Hope you get settled soon. I have moved a couple of times in past few years and know it is not easy to do.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you, Danielle.

      We’ve moved quite a bit in the past (former military), but it’s much more difficult when the move is unplanned.

      God is paving the way though!

  10. Bellaisa

    Wishing you the best on your move. My husband was put up long term in a hotel and we loved it. The view sounds like a good enough reason to go into work everyday!

    I think it’s great to have lots of different things going on – it keeps life exciting and it keeps you in the present moment!

    Looking forward to March’s income report.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I probably would love it if we didn’t have a 4 year-old who needs to go to bed at 7:30 pm, Bellaisa. lol

  11. Ana, when you aren’t busy, you should write a book and charge us for it. I get so much orientation from your articles, and gain by re-reading them. (It takes awhile to sink in. :)) I printed out your great e-book and read it. Twice. Will read it again. You have a capacity for couching the technical in the readable. Play to your strengths. I just bought a bunch of books on SEO on Amazon. I would buy an Ana Hoffman book in a heartbeat.

    • Ana Hoffman

      LOL, Astro – if only someone invented an app to stretch the day to 36 hours or so.

      I did start working on an ebook; will get back to it when life gets back to normal.

  12. Travis

    I often times wonder how much traffic income could increase just by having a new website design. I assume most of my clients receive their traffic boost from the added seo tactics and just specifically the design, But I wonder if referal traffic would increase alot with a better design.

    Great read though, thanks for the insite on your traffic income it helps us newbie bloggers stay motivated! lol

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s precisely why I recently re-designed TGC, Travis.

      Improving your conversions is the best way to make the best of both existing and future traffic.

  13. Hi Anna
    You are really a marketing genius.You have earned approximately 9 times then you’ve spent in February. I would also like if you can tell that how much time you spend every month in maintaining this blog

  14. Awesomes stuff Ana. Yes, you are super woman… LOL.

    Congrats on the move to SF, it’s on my places to visit list… quite high up (it’s a long list).

    You keep making progress every month, I look forward to the days where I see $20,000 and $30,000 month income reports.

    Switch a few things around and you’ll definitely get there. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve got a perfect solution to my business problems, Jamie – I need to stop sleeping! lol

      And I am not even kidding…

      $20K per month? Wouldn’t that be something. Looking forward to it!

  15. Hi Ana
    Love your whole outlook here!
    I came to the conclusion (much as you did) .. that my readers are beginners or newish bloggers. So now I find where these people are hanging out and go and get them! :)

    (Thanks for the mention too!!! )

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think newbies take the most time to read other blogs to educate themselves, Mitz; makes sense, right?

      And THANK YOU!

  16. Ana Hoffman

    Oh, wow, Mark – huge changes!

    I always felt though that you were missing your calling with your blog; you are so incredible creative with the tech side of things!

    Either way, let me know how it goes; I wish all the best to your new direction and keep me updated!

  17. Hi Ana,

    Most importantly, congratulations on your husband’s new job! And I know that new house is just around the corner of the path you are on.

    Sorry to hear about your income drop, but that’s farmin’ :)

    I wonder if the increase in direct traffic is because so many of your regular readers have bookmarked your site. Doesn’t that show up as direct traffic?

    Have a blessed week.


    BTW Our blog traffic has almost tripled since the makeover, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I don’t think my latest GA reports were a true reflection of my traffic stats, Lou – hopefully next month they’ll fix whatever bug caused my direct traffic stats to jump like that.

      I saw your traffic stats; so happy for you!

      Look forward to tracking your future success and have a blessed weekend.

  18. hey what happened to showing your commentluv premium earnings? I know Jan was a slow month for sales but the good news is you got 3x Jans earnings in feb (which gets paid in march)

    that should help boost your bottom line!

    I love that you’re open and publishing these earnings reports but don’t sell yourself short! almost everyone had a slow month and kudos to you for finding your market, once you know where you’re going then you’ll find it easier to know when you get there. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Andrew!

      I didn’t technically have any CL earnings in Feb because you paid me at the end of Jan and then in the beginning of March. lol

      Next report for sure.

  19. Hi Ana, San Francisco is one of the places which I plan to visit in the future. :) I’m pretty sure you and your family will have a blast there. Anyway, affiliate marketing is indeed a great way to earn for your blog. :)

  20. Hey you forgot to add your costs of marketing with blog engage last month, I know it’s cheap. $29.99 but it’s still a cost in which you forgot to add…

  21. Hey Ana,

    No doubt that you’re a super woman – Super Ana! Lot of stuff done :)

    Best of the luck in the move to SF!

    Since GA changed while you’re being logged in the way of showing stats, isn’t easy to follow because several data is hidden.

    Perhaps this month wasn’t the best for you, but anyway is good money!

    About to define your readers I’m struggling to define mine because too.
    I’m shifting my blog in a technical direction constantly and I’m losing some foodies who aren’t “open-mind”, but I’m winning more advanced tech-marketers users – my new target, with more affiliate marketing. However, all traffic is welcomed :)

    Have a great weekend,


    • Ana Hoffman

      I can definitely see your dilemma, Gera: techies don’t always have a sweet tooth and far not all people who have a sweet tooth care to learn anything about techie stuff.

      I have a feeling sooner or later your readers will make you choose. lol

      Thanks for the best wishes!

  22. I’m glad your husband has a new job, but thankful he lost the last one because it bumped you off of ‘comfortable’ enough to really start pushing your online income. Your ideas and return comments are still ‘jelling’ with me as I am moving toward a vision of the bundle of all the things that make me more than a one-trick pony (to paraphrase Scott Ginsberg this morning). I’ve been in a standoff with a clunker client because, after all, the checks did cash. But, they blinked first this week and we’re severing the relationship. I’ve worked harder (and more productively) in the past week than in ages! My next client and affiliate are out there looking for me…I have much to do to be ready.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Love your take on life, JudyAnn.

      I strongly believe that God allowed my husband to loose his job because He had something a lot better for us. And yes, giving a push to my business was one of the benefits.

      One-trick pony… Love that.

  23. That’s great report Ana! It is amazing to know that from almost 30K visitors per month you earn that amount of money! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you, John.

      Of course, it feels like I should be doing a lot better with that kind of traffic. lol

  24. Congrats, Ana. You’ve done very well – especially with all you’re doing at the moment. I’ve been blogging for years and have never made that in a year, what you’ve made in a month from blogging, so well done!
    I wish you all the best and here’s to a successful move and blog!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very kind of you, Anne.

      So have you done much analysis of what’s going on with your blog? What do you think stands between you and better income?

      • I’ve had people from fiverr do an analysis. I’ve repaired all I can do from what they told me. There wasn’t anything major, though. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should save all my efforts to do the thing I’m good at – writing and leave the SEO stuff alone. I know they go hand in hand, but if I’m fighting in a game in which so many people are fantastic at playing, and I’m only mediocre, then I will always be frustrated.

        I’ve got the upper hand in writing and editing and that’s the game I should be getting into. That’s the game in which I stand a chance at getting somewhere. I’ve tried fitting into too many trends which other people have set. I don’t know their rules. I’m on the look-out for someone starting up in SEO to partner with. I want to spend my time doing the writing, and they can do the technical SEO. We can earn together. I know how to use onpage SEO in articles, so this is not a problem – it’s just the ‘tech’ stuff.

        I have to build up my writing and editing clientèle so that the profits are enough to pay someone to take over the things I can’t do. This is my plan – God willing. :-)

        • Ana Hoffman

          Sounds like you know your strengths and weaknesses, Anne, and that’s half of the battle.

          Now you need to figure out how to compensate for the lack of any search engine traffic.

          With your friendly personality, networking is your best bet.

          Keep me updated.

  25. Hi Ana,

    Happy Friday.

    Moving to San Fransisco sounds awesome. I’ve been there once, about fifteen years ago, and I had a wonderful time in a fantastic city.

    I really enjoy your post about your montly income report. I have so much to learn. And, I really enjoy that you’re not just publishing the numbers, but that you’re telling a story about why the numbers are high/low and what you’re going to do about it (your goals for the next months).

    I’m also trying to narrowing my focus and defining my audience, and since I’m starting a Norwegian blog for my new business, I’m thinking about ways to integrate the two blogs – get help from my “popular blog” like backlinking and extra traffic. It’s hard since one blog is in English and one is in a completely different language.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, I can see the challenge, Jens.

      Does your current blog get any Norwegian traffic?

      Of course, you can always link the two blogs and at least get the benefit of solid link building; exchanging traffic between them is a different story…

  26. Best to look at the big picture, Ana.

    Previously, you and you family had the stress of Hubby out of work, Moving house, etc.

    Now all of that is close to being out of the way, you will be able to stress out less and focus on your Blog(business).

    The fact that the numbers dropped during that period with all that going on, is understandable.

    Life is often a case of two steps forward, then one step back(Though, we are still at least pressing onwards). And as you have already achieved much better Monthly results previously, you sort of know (You have the ground work put in place) to get everything back on track.
    Congrats on your Husbands acquiring that cushy job, and your move to the new home.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very right, Daniel – I am blessed to have even that income in the midst of what’s going on with us.

  27. Sunil - Wealth Building

    Congratulations Ana,

    No small feat by any means.

    To echo the comments of many, it takes quite a bit to get to where you are today and only those who’ve been there can truly appreciate that.

    Congratulations on your move to San Francisco.

    Did you ever mention what your hubby does? I know he has military background but I am not sure I’ve read anywhere what he does in his civilian life now.All the continuing best to you.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Much appreciated, Sunil.

      I know you have a few niche sites. I am sure my readers (and I for that matter) would love to read a guest post on how you earn money from that.

      I have many readers that have niche sites, but have no idea how to monetize them.

      My husband does Ethics and Compliance; he is an attorney.

      • Sunil - Wealth Building

        It’d be my pleasure to write about niche site and monetization. It is how I primarily generate my online income today.

        Perhaps we should take a poll of your audience so we know exactly what kind of information they are looking for???

        very cool about your hubby Ana. was he a JAG for the force I take it?

        • Ana Hoffman

          Yes, he was a JAG, Sunil. How do you know so much about the military?

          I have many readers who have niche-specific blogs. For instance, the most recent question I got was about how to monetize a cooking blog.

          • Sunil - Wealth Building

            Sure, we can address that. Military history is a passion and fascination for me.

  28. Thanks so much for this post! It’s great to look at a more successful blogger’s stats and income and see what I can do to improve. Keep up with these updates, I love them!

  29. Ana,

    These posts are quickly becoming my favorite part of the month. I love looking at your numbers, and seeing how I compare. Especially on bounce rate, and ave time on page. It’s exciting to watch your progress, and helps keep my motivated. My site just hit 1200 views last month, and has gotten me pretty stoked to keep pushing forward. Thanks for all your helpful posts, and good luck in SF. I’m glad that things have worked out for you and your family.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Even though it’s not easy to display these details about my business, Derek (especially when the numbers are not that great, lol), in the end, I am glad I am doing because of the comments like yours.

      Thank you.

      • I can understand it being difficult. Which is why it’s so awesome that you do it. It makes you a rarity for bloggers online. Which is why I always have to visit your blog. I’m glad my comment helps validate what your doing it, it’s always nice to know that people appreciate what you do.

  30. Congrats on the move to San Francisco, Ana! It’s a beautiful area, but homes are really expensive. Good luck with that! :)

    I was hoping you were going to lean towards product creation and I would have been happy to be a sounding board. The offer is still there if/when you decide to do your ebooks.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself about Feb. Earnings aren’t necessarily steady, especially with affiliate marketing. It depends on the products you’re promoting and the circumstances surrounding them, which can be different from month to month.

    Best of luck,

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s the thing about affiliate marketing and the way I do it, Peggy: I am not willing to peddle just any product out there.

      Truth is I believe that we need only a few key internet marketing tools to help us to succeed. That basically leaves me with marketing the same products…

      I need to figure out a better strategy!

      Anyway, I haven’t left behind the idea of writing some ebooks; I just need to take care of my family before I can get back to that.

  31. Great stats Ana!

    You surely ARE a super woman of substance and do continue to inspire and motivate many like me :)

    Congrats on your hubby getting his new job and all of you soon to be moving over to make new beginnings there. Am sure you would love the change!

    Danny does seem to be all over the Internet and is someone whom I’m following and learning from as well, soon after seeing your earlier video with him- thanks for sharing that :)

    And- wishing you a very Happy Woman’s Day :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you, Harleena!

      Yes, Danny has definitely earned his “Freddy Krueger of blogging” nickname. lol

  32. Robert

    I’m becoming a huge fan of Danny, and no matter where I go these days on the Internet, I’m always seeing his name.

    I’m definitely more on the beginner spectrum of your readers. My site is just under a month old, so basically every article you write offers something I can use to make my own blog better.

    I’ve actually adapted your Income Report into my blog, but I’ve made a twist. Instead of stating to my readers what I make, I have instead decided to make “Milestone” posts.

    So when my blog first hit 100 unique visitors, I made a post about it. Sure traffic generation isn’t a topic in my niche, but I thought making a milestone post would help to give my readers a sense of ownership.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s a great idea, Robert – documenting progress is always inspiring to our readers, as well as ourselves.

      Danny is great indeed!

  33. Phil

    Hi Ana, dont be so down with your income, most of us readers would only dream of a single blog making so much money, one thing i have see from traffic im my experiance is that google released a new panda revision that could have splapped your higher paying keywords and risen your lower ones, this would result in simular traffic but with a drop in income

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very true, Phil – can’t rely on Google or any other third party site to continue to bring you traffic.

      That’s why building a solid readership and a list is so important; that’s where stability comes in.

  34. This is really helpful, Ana. I like the distinction that Danny helped you come up with–beginners and intermediate/advanced.

    You’re right in your assessment. I’m a personal development blogger, but you’re still on my reader (and have been for the last year or so). I think you’ll do well writing to your audience with quality insights.

    I don’t really fit your demographic…but over the past year, I have moved from a beginner to more intermediate. The stuff you give that’s over my head, I file away for when it makes more sense. I know enough now (for example, about Google Analytics) to implement the basics and do rudimentary analysis.

    All that to say that I encourage you in the direction you’re going. You always provide a useful product (content).

    Specifically, this post, what you said about focusing on what you want to do (in order to make money online) and doing it well was super helpful. Giving the example about how you determined you should focus on affiliate programs really made sense to me even though I’m not in your niche at all.

    Your reasoning about your readers (at least from my perspective as a reader from a different niche) is really spot-on.

    BTW…wishing you and the hubby and fam all the best in SF. It’s a beautiful city, of course and so much life and warm energy there. Hope you can get settled in quickly and easily.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Great to hear that I am on the right track from a reader’s perspective, Steve.

      I really appreciate you sticking with me for such a long time now (a lot longer than many marriages these days, lol) and glad to see you progress in your knowledge and business.

      And I see you have a podcast now!

      Something I keep telling myself I need to learn to do…

      • Yeah, after several months kinda learning this whole blogging thing, I decided to focus on my strengths–audio and video. That’s not to say that the technical parts are my forte…rather, the medium itself is my forte. I communicate best through video and audio. Now I just have to work on developing some of those technical skills. Little by little.

        I would love to help out with getting you started with a podcast when you decide to do it. It’s really not too difficult, but helps to have someone walk you through the basics. I think my total outlay for technology was about $200. Now, you can get really powerful mics for a lot more, but for my purposes, it got me started.

        Seriously, though, just shoot me an e-mail if it’s something that you genuinely want to invest a little effort in. I’ll be happy to help out! :)

        • Ana Hoffman

          I truly appreciate your offer to help, Steve.

          Even though I am the opposite of you – I wouldn’t choose podcasting or video as my preferred way of communication with my readers – I do know many readers do prefer to have the content delivered that way.

          Now I just need to get my life back to normal so that I can get back to my business…

          • Absolutely. Everything’s up in the air. You have all these plates spinning. :) Don’t worry. Keep doing what you’re doing. When the time is right, you’ll know it. But do keep my e-mail in your file if you ever need tips or some help, I’m glad to do it or point you to people who’ve helped me along the way.

            Best of luck with the finalization of your house sale and move. I know how stressful that can be. Remember to take plenty of deep breaths and enjoy the wonderful experience of the new city. It is a lot of fun.

  35. I think it’s still a great amount to be making in a short period of time. I think people don’t understand how hard it is to even make $50 per month online. It’s a lot of work and I think Ana is doing an awesome job.

    The information you provide here is so good, it could be paid content. This leads me to my next question – Do you have any of your own products? Or are you planning to release any of your own products in the future?

    I think your fans will purchase stuff from you in a heart beat!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s true, Leon – my first year online was pretty much a wash; I spent a lot, but barely made any money.

      Products take time, which I currently don’t have. Ideally, I do want to write a couple of ebooks I can offer for sale.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Actually, they do take a long time to prep the right way.

          A better way of doing it is to host webinars for people with products to promote – as an affiliate.

  36. What you made this past month may not seem like much to some folks, but to me it’s a golden amount, because you did it without being beholden to an employer. Congratulations!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I truly appreciate what you said, Doug – you are right, just because I didn’t make as much this month, I still did it standing firm on my own two feet.

  37. Hi Ana. It is so good to know that you have narrowed down your “business focus” to affiliate marketing. I think you will do an excellent job as you are pretty strong in “evaluating” products or services that are good and bad. This gives the credibility that users are looking for and it will be very valuable.

    Congrats on your move to San Francisco. With the exception of the “quakes” I am sure you will like it there. I actually have a bunch of family living over Sunnyvale, CA and knows, we just might bump into each other when I decide to go there :)

    BTW, thanks for the mention. That’s why I like you a lot, LOL

    • Ana Hoffman

      Here I was thinking you like me just because I am a swell gal, Fransisco, and now the cat is out of the bag: you are working on those mentions! lol

      Thanks for sending traffic my way.

  38. What a month superwoman :) I’d buy that make a cat ebook, so you have one sale already.

    Income, I know it’s tough with the move and everything but don’t take too much on trying to kick the ass out of that figure, you’ll burn yourself out. Prepare for a stronger April when you’ve unpacked?

    Is it worth having a JV partnership with some people? Where you market and they create?

    This year when I have cleared the decks I am going to interview some JV partners for my products. I am sick of marketing them (I refer the creation aspect rather than the promoting) and I think this will work well for me and the potential partner. If you fancy a skype chat just shout.

    • Ana Hoffman

      We still don’t have a house, Sarah – might be much longer than April before we settle down.

      That’s essentially what affiliate marketing is: a JV partnership. And yes, I do work closely with some folks, like Danny Iny, to promote their training specifically.

      Grateful to have folks like you who don’t mind slaving over creating a product so that someone like me can come in and, with minimal effort, take 50% of your hard earned money…

      That’s sounds heartless when I spell it out like that, doesn’t it? lol

  39. Hi Ana, congratulations on your move and on hubby getting his dream job!

    All the best to you and your family and I wish you continued success with earning an income online as well as making lovely sock cats :)
    You’re awesome!!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am in the process of making a sock dog now…

      If all falls through, at least I know I have a trade to fall back on. lol

  40. Ana, I’m so glad that the call was helpful – I enjoyed sorting through these issues with you, and I’m really excited to see the amazing growth that’s going to be coming next!

    I absolutely agree with Dave Lucas, by the way. Just because you aren’t 100% of the way to where you want to be just yet doesn’t mean you should sell your (very considerable and impressive) achievements short! :)