I am excited to publish my 2nd annual income report for year 2018.
Indian financial year ends on 31st March but I publish my income report in May because affiliate networks take upto 60 days to validate the leads. This week I received all the final data from all the networks.
Last year I published my first annual income report in which I explained how we went from 0 revenue to Rs. 2 lakh monthly income.
This year we made the progress from Rs. 2 lakh monthly income to Rs. 5 lakh monthly income, that is about $8000 per month.
I am not publishing my income report to showcase my achievements. The primary purpose is to demonstrate the power of internet and the kind of freedom it provides us.
I started my blog CashOverflow in 2015 with absolutely zero experience in blogging or internet marketing. I made my first revenue from blog in 2016 (details can be read from last year’s annual income report).
Today, you will learn about my top 3 sources of regular income and some of our additional sources of income.
I will also explain what did not work and what we have changed from last year.
In the end, I will share what are our future goals.
You can pick whatever you want to make work for you.
In financial year 2017-2018 we had a major portion of income fom affiliate marketing, consulting and selling online courses.
Here is the breakdown.
- Affiliate Marketing – Rs. 30,70,000
- Consulting – 12,00,000
- Courses – 1,40,000
A total of Rs. 44,10,000 (Rs. 44 Lakh = $70,000)
Last year as well, affiliate marketing was my biggest source of income.
I earn affiliate income by promoting below products
- Products on Amazon
- Banking Products (Insurance, Demat Account, Credit Cards, Bank Accounts, Loans)
- Website Hosting (Read best hosting review – SiteGround )
- Internet Marketing Tools
I will explain my experience with financial products affiliate marketing and amazon affiliates in the later part of the report.
Some of the leading affiliate networks ( including specifically catering to India ) that you could join are
- Amazon Affiliates
- CJ (Commission Junction)
Let me complete all sources of income before jumping into the affiliate business details.
We had income from the following additional sources
- Domain Selling – Rs. 9,88,000
- Google Adsense – Rs. 39,738
- Brand Partnership – Rs. 17,405
- Workshops – Rs. 60,000
- Content Writing & Editing Services – Rs. 9,000
Income from Additional Sources = Rs. 11,14,000 ($17,000)
Total Annual Income = Rs. 55,24,000 ($87,000)
On an average, monthly revenue was Rs. 4,60,000. But right now the regular monthly revenues are more than Rs. 5,00,000.
Last year was great in terms of earning from selling domains.
It was pure luck because I don’t consider myself an expert in domain selling yet.
We sold one domain at the valuation of $15,000. The buyer contacted us directly and we closed the deal through Escrow.
Last year I invested more than $2000 in buying premium domains.
While people made profits from bitcoins, I sold a domain name related to bitcoins. The deal was closed from Sedo.
We do not prefer to use Google Adsense on our blog, but sometimes we do experiments and use a couple of Ads on certain selected posts and pages.
This is the snapshot of Google Adsense income from CashOverflow blog.
We had some additional Adsense income from our other websites as well that I am not including here.
We tried new partnership model last year with companies like JagoInvestor, CharteredClub and EquityMaster.
Last year’s income from the brand partnership was Rs. 17,405.
We are not yet looking forward to scale up brand partnerships however it’s a great win-win business model.
We started conducting workshops in metro cities (Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore).
Last year we made about Rs. 60,000 from the workshops.
We stopped writing content as freelancers rather we source content from other freelancers now.
But for an experiment, we provided content review services and made about Rs. 9000.
Note: We do not accept any sponsored content for CashOverflow.
Here are the stats of last year and current years traffic.
Apr 2016 to Mar 2017 – About 1.5 lakh page views per month in March
Apr 2017 to Mar 2018 Traffic – About 2 lakh page views per month
As you can see that the traffic is stagnant after September still our income was increasing.
Actually we dropped traffic goals from our business plan. (And started focusing on the impact that we can create)
The earlier plan was to increase the traffic to one million per month but then we thought that we should keep only relevant and valuable traffic on our website even if we have to compromise with the numbers.
84% traffic comes from Organic Google Search
Traffic is not the only source of revenue for us.
The secret of increasing revenue despite stagnant traffic is the additional income from email marketing.
You can make more income from Email Marketing than what you can make directly from your blog
I have explained a little bit about our email marketing funnels in this video
You should know what is more important to you and act accordingly.
Since affiliate marketing is working for us, we started a subdomain for amazon affiliate marketing.
Traffic is increasing on the subdomain moneyhacks.cashoverflow.in
And so is the revenue.
I will share more details about my Amazon affiliate business in my next FREE course on Affiliate Marketing. (You can enroll for my free blogging course by that time)
If you want to jump into the affiliate marketing of financial products in India then I would like to bring your attention towards 3 things.
- There is no transparency in financial product deals
- The reject rate of leads is very high (due to CIBIL score and other validations)
- Financial product affiliates are seasonal
I incurred a lot of losses in the financial product affiliate market in the past. That is why I am scaling to non-financial products.
Look at this snapshot.
You can see that I have generated leads worth 2.5L for Citibank Cards but received only 96,000 rupees last year.
ICICI approval rate was the worst.
I work with multiple affiliate products and I am showing you the worst case scenario. It hurts to see 74,000 rupees going into the drain when you were expecting 95,000 income.
Expert Tip: You should work in the market where the validations are predictable and affiliate offers are available throughout the year.
We file our taxes under section 44AD and 44ADA (Presumptive Income Tax Scheme). As per law, we do not require to track the business expenses.
We file tax on 50% of the revenue from our services and tax on 8% of the revenue from advertising & contract income.
That means we don’t track our expenses.
But we have expenses in the following categories
- Office Expense
- Travel (Domestic & International travel for workshops, business opportunities and conferences)
- Blogging Tools (Here is the list of tools that we use)
- Full-time team members
- Education Resources (Books and Paid Courses)
We are profitable and reinvesting a big chunk of our profits back into the business.
After running a lot of experiments last year (VIP Newsletters, Content Marketing Consulting, E-books and Courses), I have decided to stick with three major things.
- Running my blogs as a business
- Teaching content marketing
- Running a content marketing agency
We will maximize our business in the directions where we have skills and where we enjoy serving our audience.
I have restructured legal entities of my business recently so that we can focus on all of three segments.
#1. Proprietorship Business (Advertising and Consulting)
All the revenue from advertising on my personal websites and income one to one consulting will come under my personal name (Proprietorship Business). Send me an email at [email protected] if you face any issue establishing your proprietorship business.
From the next time, I will share the income reports that comes under my proprietorship business.
#2. US Incorporated Business (Courses and SaaS)
Recently I have incorporated a company in US (through Stripe), under which we will run our blogging education business.
We will sell all our online courses and paid newsletters from our US business.
We are also planning to launch a tool related to email marketing (BeastMailer). All the income will come under our US business.
#3. A Partnership Company (Content Marketing Agency)
It took us more than a year to decide on whether we want to run an agency business or not. We were working with some clients but we were not providing end to end services.
Finally, we are ready to take end to end execution of content marketing of businesses. We will take clients who have at least $5000 monthly budget to spend on their content marketing efforts and commitment to work with us for at least 6 months.
Currently, we are a team of 3 people. We will curate a team of creative writers, storytellers, filmmakers, animators, and designers.
We will have a mix of full-time team members and freelancers. All our team members will work remotely to enjoy the lifestyle of freedom that I love to enjoy myself. We don’t work on the weekends and we don’t track the number of hours.
Let me know if you wish to know anything else that I might have missed in the income report.
Leave your thoughts in the comments.