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1KBlog Case Study – Month 1 Income Report

Update: Month 2 here

I’d like 2014 to be the year where I share more real life case studies of what’s working for me now than I ever have before. I’m off to a bit of a slow start for the year because of the birth of our twin girls five months ago (boo yah I know), but that doesn’t mean I can’t make up for it.

I already touched on my 1KBlog case study when I first published – How to make money with survey companies, but for those that missed it I’m building a blog that generates at least $1,000 per month or more and I’ll be documenting the process here on my blog. Later this month I’ll explain why I picked this niche but for now let’s get to my results.

SurveyChris.com Month 1 Report

First I want to cover what I did in the month, then how much I earned, then how many subscribers I added and traffic I received and then plans for next month. Let’s proceed…Survey-Chris-New-Logo

My Niche And Monetization Strategy:

The website I’m building is SurveyChris.com and the primary means of monetization is referring visitors to the best survey companies that I find. I earn a small commission for each referral. Another smaller portion of the income will come from actually taking surveys to determine which companies are worth recommending. I’ll also be testing other monetization methods but for now that’s it.

Month 1 Execution

The focus for the first month was focused on getting the logo done, the site design up and then shifting attention to content creation.

How I Saved Money In Month 1:

Reusing Old Assets:

This only cost me $5 because I already had the character done.

This only cost me $5 because I already had the character done.

Years ago I commissioned a graphic designer to do a character of me. I used the character for an old project but set it aside because I stopped using it. I wanted to go with a brand approach for this website as opposed to a keyword domain name so that’s why I went with “Survey Chris” and why you see this logo.

Reusing My Blog Design:

If you visit SurveyChris.com you’ll notice the design looks very similar to what you see here on this blog. That’s because I used the same exact theme. I only changed the colors a bit.

They key is to not get caught up in every little detail before you launch.

Just get something out there and improve as you go along.

The revenue generating real work hasn’t started until you’re creating content and trying to grow your blog.

Month 1 Income Results

Here is the income split by survey company. To keep it simple and be able to better line up my results with what I did for the month I’m tracking what I earned in the specific month and not what checks I’ve cashed or Paypal deposits I’ve received within that month:

Month 1 income results are $192.19. Not too bad for a brand new website.

I probably won’t go through the hassle of sorting out income results from taking surveys vs income from survey referrals. You should just assume that as the site grows referral income will be a larger slice of the pie every single month.

Note: This income also includes referrals for visitors outside the US to other survey companies. I’m using the Better Links Pro geographic redirection tool to redirect international traffic that would have otherwise been wasted to international offers so I can get credit for those sales. Better Links Pro is my own plugin so perhaps I’m bias but it’s nice to see extra earnings in only 15 days – boo yah! You should pick it up.

Month 1 Email List Growth

Month 1 email subscribers: 162
month 1 subscriber growth
The results are slightly off as I can only pull a report from the previous 30 days

Building an email list is the best way to own a traffic source you control. If you were a sucker person busy building likes to your Facebook page you know by know that Facebook tweaked their algorithm to show your posts to only 1% of your fans. Now you’ve gotta pay for exposure.

Doh!

Build something you can control. If you aren’t building an email list you’re dumb misinformed. Simple as that.

I use Aweber right now and have 50,000+ email subscribers in my largest account (most of my subscribers are ‘buyers’ which is a whole other conversation for another day). I also have an Infusionsoft account for another business and will be opening another account with GetResponse later this month.

You only need one account though to get started though so start with Aweber – just $1.

Month 1 Traffic Results

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The traffic results (along with the income) are actually only for ~15 days because the website didn’t go live until May 15th.

Organic search will grow in the future as that's the goal

Ideally organic search will grow in the future as that’s the long term goal

As you can see from the above screenshot the bulk of the traffic comes from referrals and in this case that is referral traffic from this blog.

The question that then may pop into your head is…

Chris, aren’t you cheating to reach your $1k goal if you can leverage traffic from your blog?

Yes and no. Clearly the traffic and income will be somewhat influenced by my sharing the website on this blog, but any website case study you read online from anyone has this very same problem.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Let me explain why…

When the income from Survey Chris grows beyond $1,000 per month the influence of sharing the case study here will become less and less pronounced.

Referral traffic from EntrepreneurBoost alone won’t be enough to hit $1,000 per month for SurveyChris let alone my long term goal which is to reach $50,000 per year in earnings from this single website (roughly the household median income in the US).

Besides, I’ve already proven I can build a blog from scratch up to $1,000 per month multiple times and beyond the only difference this time is that I’m bringing you along for the ride.

Plans For Month 2

SEO Strategy:

Long term I need to implement an SEO strategy for the site, but for now I’m focused on content creation as opposed to rushing into trying out various link building methods.

I’d like to rank for various “survey company name review” keywords but quite frankly those results are pretty high competition so it may take some time.

Instead I may need to start with some long tail survey related keyword rankings first and I’ll be using Long Tail Pro (30% off link) to help identify those opportunities.

Blog Content Strategy:

I’m going to get out several more survey company reviews along with some other general survey taking tips articles that I’ve learned from taking surveys.

Video Content Strategy:

I’m going to film very brief under 5 minute reviews of these survey companies and host these on the SurveyChris YouTube Channel:

Nothing too fancy here.

Nothing too fancy here.

That way it gives me an opportunity to show my income proof in the form of a check or a Paypal deposit. I’ll also be tracking the links I use on YouTube using BetterLinksPro so that I can determine what ROI my videos generate over time.

Overall Month 1 Assessment

I’m pleased with the progress so far. Sure the money is nice but as I explained before, I want to see organic search traffic and my email list grow. That’s what will take me to $1,000 per month and beyond.

Full Disclosure: I have hired someone to help me out with some SurveyChris.com blog articles and reviews. Sure I could do absolutely everything myself, but I have other businesses I need to be focused on as well.

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29 comments… add one

  1. Looking forward to see how your site progresses over the year Chris. I have not seen anyone in the IM industry really tackle this type of niche.

    Have you considered covering other platforms like pay to click platforms? (Neobux comes to mind for example) I feel like some of those affiliate systems might be of similar interest to people who do survey’s.

    Reply
    1. Going to try a lot of different options. There are other companies besides survey ones that are like reward points for shopping and stuff like that so we’ll try out a lot of them.

      Frankly the niche is fairly competitive but that’s what should make it fun hah hah.

      Reply
  2. Nice job so far, Chris. You must be doing well with CashCrate, as you’re hovering around my monthly earnings, and I’ve referred around 10,000 people I think (obviously most of them give up right when they start).

    Working in my favor is that I currently own the #1 spot on Google for “cashcrate review” and host of other CashCrate keywords, which happened completely organically (never built backlinks to the post or anything).

    I really should focus more on this niche, but haven’t put any emphasis on it since I wrote one post about it.

    Reply
    1. Are those tier 1 referrals or tier 2? I assume that lumps in tier 2 as well.

      There is a way to make more with CashCrate though… hit me up on email and will send you details. This is something I’ll talk about in more detail in a future blog post though.

      Also I am long term I’m gunning for any and all company name related keywords. Please give them up without a fight lol.

      Frankly I’d just like to see an up tick in organic traffic (any organic traffic really)

      Chris

      Reply
      1. Right now here’s what I have:

        1st Level Referrals (30%): 9,914
        2nd Level Referrals (20%): 1,954

        I’ll shoot you an e-mail too.

        - Eric

        Reply
        1. Yah replying now

          Reply
  3. Thank you for sharing your real life case study. I like the idea of recycling or using what you already have.
    What would be very useful is to see how someone would start from scratch without referral traffic from a well established site.
    I think the greatest challenge is to drive quality traffic to new sites. I know that you have done it as you write about it in your post. In terms of value, most people haven’t done it and I think they would need to get traffic to a brand new site without the referral traffic from a well established site.
    I am very interested in learning your content marketing strategy going forward.

    Reply
    1. Hey George,

      Yah I see your point but if I were to hold off on talking about this site that’d be months of content I could be sharing here on the blog while I build it hah.

      You have to remember to reach my $1,000+ per month goal and then my ultimate goal of $50,000 per year (roughly median household income) it won’t be because I ever shared the site here. It will be because I executed well on my strategy for building the site.

      I’ll be showing methods of building traffic just keep on watching :)

      Chris

      Reply
      1. This is awesome. Look forward to the future reports.

        Reply
  4. Way to go, Chris. This is a great start. I like how you addressed the kick start from sharing this on your blog. Yes it will get you started toward the goal faster but your points about that not getting you to the goal are valid.

    Are you including income from taking surveys or only from referrals in the report?

    You ever try mail chimp? I really like them plus you get up to 2000 subscribers and 12k sends per month for free, per account.

    Reply
    1. Hey Mika,

      Yah I’m including both income from taking surveys and from referrals. I mean ultimately to get to $1,000 per month the bulk will be from referrals. Also I’m not just continuing to take surveys from the same companies. I move on from one to the other etc.

      MailChimp doesn’t like people in the marketing niche and since Aweber has been good to me for about half a decade I stick with them. I have about 50,000 people on my email list with Aweber.

      Chris

      Reply
  5. I think this is such a great idea for a site. I do surveys for a company, and even with the dozen or so referrals I’ve gotten, I make about as much money from referrals as I do from actually taking the surveys. I think you’ll have great success with this, and I’m looking forward to following along.

    Reply
    1. Thanks Daniel, yah I’m interested to see how it works out. :)

      Reply
  6. Chris,
    Great content. I am learning a ton. I finished your 10 day course last week and have already seen some major improvement. Still learning and soaking up everything your giving me.

    All the best

    Justian

    Reply
    1. Hey Justian,

      That’s great glad I could help :)

      Chris

      Reply
  7. I’ll be following along…interested to see how your organic traffic picks up….Have you thought about maybe using paid traffic? Or are you strictly looking for organic?

    Reply
    1. Will use organic almost exclusively. Paid traffic won’t work well for a niche like this because I’d be competing against people that are paying for traffic that is sent to a landing page (much higher conversions that way than sending them to review content > sign up link)

      Reply
  8. Hey Chris, kudos to you for sharing. Not many people would go out of their way to show others how they can make that kind of money online from a single website and the steps required. You have my attention. Good luck. I look forward to seeing your future updates.

    - Cory

    Reply
    1. Thanks Cory, looking forward to building this site up. Should be a lot of fun.

      Reply
  9. Great post Chris, who would have thought you can earn from surveys!

    Reply
  10. Hey Chris! I read one of the emails you sent out when you were just getting started with the Survey Chris website and I have been following your progress ever since. I really appreciate you making all this info available as it is very helpful.

    Interestingly enough, before I had even read that email I had started out on my own personal search for survery sites and to find which ones are the most profitable.

    I have found that with most survey sites you are not going to make a killing off of them but you can make a nice little bit of change here and there for sure.

    I have signed up for many many websites over the past month and a half and while most have turned out to be pretty worthless, I have come across some really interesting survey/offer sites.

    I see you are going to be looking into a few more sites that you can write about and I was thinking I would be glad to email you and share with you some of the sites I am using.

    For example one site I really llike is SendEarnings
    which has a lot of great offers you can complete but also offers some surveys and other things as well. I reached the cashout limit very quickly although I still havent because I am trying to get $10 more so I can become a gold member on the site for free.

    There are also a handfull of other sites I am using that you may or may not know about but I would be happy to share them with you.

    Thanks again for sharing your progress with us and I wish you much success with this website you are building.

    Reply
    1. Hey I removed the affiliate link but still happy for the comment. Sorry just don’t want to start getting comments just for people posting aff links etc (not that it’s your intention)

      Reply
  11. I LOVE that domain name. SurveyChris. Simple, memorable, and personal. Congrats on the launch and already growing email list!

    Reply
    1. Thanks Shane. Should be a fun little project we’ll see how it goes. :D

      Reply
  12. Could you give a few more details on how you got a couple hundred subscribers so early?

    Reply
    1. Started with about 100 from earlier mentions. The others have come from referral traffic so probably this blog.

      True test will be how many I have much later. We’re building a really fantastic opt in plugin though so once I use that it will help with conversions a ton.

      Reply
  13. The domain name is keyword rich, is this no longer against search engine TOS?

    Reply
    1. How is it keyword rich? Just has Survey in it and then my name. Clearly a brand.

      Reply
  14. Wow, for a new website you are certainly doing exceptionally well with SurveyChris!! Very inspiring!

    Reply

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