- Monthly Income Report September 2014

September was a bad month for LinksSpy and I was tempted to discontinue my reports.
In the end I decided against it and here’s my income report for september:


Thanks for sharing the negative and the positive. Glad to see you had an uptick even after the cancelation issues. Content marketing is probably my biggest struggle but I know it needs to be done to get traffic, good to see its working for you. Where did you find your writer and how do you come up with topics?

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I found my writer through oDesk.
I was looking for a good writer with a small audience of his own, because it is easier to tap into his existing audience and use it to promote my product. I learned that trick from @earthlingworks (Thanks again!)

You shouldn’t expect to find someone like that on oDesk - I didn’t. It was mere luck and out of 80 applications only 3 were really good writers. I hired each of them for a test project, then “fired” the other two.
The better approach - in hindsight - would have been to search for blogs in your niche (e.g. through Google or related sub-reddits) and approach their authors directly.

In hindsight, what I most value about Ryan is the miniscule amount of my bandwidth he takes up. He finds a lot of the topics himself, writes them, puts them into WordPress and lets me know through Trello.

For Topics:
I write about one post a month myself. For that I think of my own topic, usually something with a lot of research.
For Ryan it’s a mixture of his own ideas (SEO centric) and inspirations from a number of blogs (business centric - e.g. @brennandunn’s Planscope blog, Buffer or the bidsketch blog).
I try to mix in a lot of topics that are relevant to my audience (SEO agencies) but are not about SEO.
The reason is, that I can hardly compete with the gazillion of SEO blogs out there (think Moz blog, Search Engine Watch, SEO Round table, ViperChill…). But there are other relevant parts of running an SEO agency other than SEO itself.

I hope this all makes (a little bit) sense. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help

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Very glad to see this report again. I’m sure the billing blunder feels terrible but is really one of the most valuable things you can share. Everybody screws up, all the time. Better now than when you have 10k paying customers, right?

I really appreciate the content marketing insight, too. I’m right on the verge of that myself. I’ve been toying with the idea of having my VA do it but looking for a blogger in the space is a MUCH better idea. Thanks for that.

I saw you include some design budget in there. Is that for imagery? I want to include simple stock photography with my larger posts, but I don’t want to spend a bunch of time finding & sizing images. Does Ryan do any of that for you?


Hi Corey.

Thanks for your kind remarks.
Sorry for answering so late.
I’m not a 100% sure whether I rather screw up now or with 10k customers…
At 10k customers I could hand off the task of apologizing to my charming executive assistant, pour myself another Mai Tai and drown my sorrows in it. :smiley:

The design budget was for charts and an infographic for this blog post:

Ryan currently doesn’t add images to the post and they all go live without images. However, I’m trying to improve the process and actually add images. I’m going to start with meaningless images I took while on vacation - just some eye-candy and to break up the wall of text. Later I want to add good “quotes” from the article to the same pictures.

At 10k customers I could hand off the task of apologizing to my charming executive assistant, pour myself another Mai Tai

Hah, fair point! I like the idea of adding vacation images. Anything interesting is better than a wall of text, I say.

I understand your billing issue feels terrible to you, but from a side it’s just a small hiccup.

Please keep’em coming, I feel the same way as I used to when reading Patrick’s reports. Hopefully you get the same revenue 2 years down the road.

P.S. The black strip on the top of the looks empty. It lacks an image or a block of text. The text IMHO IMHO IMHO should focus on the end result “Beat Them To #1 on Google” and then explain how, rather then other way around.

Images’ text is too small to read.


Thanks for the encouragement. I sure hope that I’ll make that sort of money in a few years. My current plan is to be self-sufficient by 2022, but I sure won’t complain if I get there early :wink:

Regarding Design: There are so many things wrong with the design… Totally not my thing.
It has improved quite a bit - thanks to the help of @benedikt, @mbuckbee, Nathan Powell and a few others - but it’s not quite there yet.