LinksSpy – Monthly Income Report April 2015

I am again pretty late with my income report for April 2015. LinksSpy has lost about 10% MRR in April.

But before I dive deep into this, first let me get some boilerplate out of the way.

Preface

You can find all my income reports here: http://www.it-engelhardt.de/income-reports/.

These are the ground rules for my income reports:

  1. I publish income reports for two reasons: a) Accountability helps me push forward. b) I know that most of us compare ourselves to internet-famous people like Patrick McKenzie, Brennan Dunn, Nathan Barry and others. I am no stranger to that and it is hard to feel good comparing yourself to them. Well, compare yourself to me and you’ll feel better instantly πŸ˜‰
  2. I will only cover what I make from LinksSpy – no consulting, no day job
  3. I am terrible at accounting – so most numbers (especially expenses) are not 100% accurate.
  4. I have an agreement with Nathan Powell of nusii.com that I will stop income reports by the time I hit $1,000,000 annual run rate. According to Nathan that should happen sometime in June 2015 – we’ll have to see about that (It’s pretty much out of the question at this point πŸ˜€ ).

The Numbers

Last Month’s Revenue

In March monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for LinksSpy was $1,296 from 38 customers.

This Month’s Revenue

In April MRR dropped to $1,158 MRR coming from 36 customers at the end of the month.

MRR growth graph for LinksSpy

MRR growth graph for LinksSpy

Expenses

Due to the way LinksSpy is set up my costs are relatively low. It was one of my design goals to keep most things running on Heroku‘s free tier. This is partly because I’m really cheap and – more importantly – because I didn’t know how well LinksSpy would do and I was afraid of catastrophic failure.

Total expenses:

  • $36 to Heroku for database, SSL and Papertrail
  • $67 in Stripe fees
  • $49 for Drip
  • $12 for HireFire.io
  • $10 for Google Apps/GMail
  • $40 for PerfectAudience retargeting
  • $70 to oDesk for research
  • $195 for blogging services
  • $7 for Github
  • $8 for Calendly
  • $8 for Dropbox
  • $20 for Churnbuster.io
  • $55 to oDesk for five articles of my next big content piece

The totals for this month are $591.54.

Profit

LinksSpy made a profit of about $566 this time. I’m going to spend it somehow. Probably on a ticket to MicroConf Europe.

Traffic

blog.linksspy.com: 543 sessions
www.linksspy.com: 1,106 sessions

Progress

OK. This month was bad. I lost a good chunk of MRR and didn’t make much progress on other fronts.

The new feature (a.k.a. new data provider) does not seem to provide a lot of value to the beta testers. I guess it needs more work to better show off the value. I invested a bit of time to improve it, but it needs more.

Secondly, I wanted to improve the onboarding, but didn’t do anything about it. Well, I’m keeping that on the list and will hopefully get to it in June (I’m writing this at the end of May).

Lastly, I evaluated the content marketing I was doing in the past. I tried to use a tactic that I learned from Ruben Gamez. I hired a writer with a larger audience to write content for the LinksSpy blog.

The idea is that the writer will bring their audience to your content. In my case that amounted to roughly 300 visitors total at the price of $1,000. I don’t think that the experiment worked – at least not in its current form.

I still think it is a good tactic, but it sure needs some fine-tuning to work properly.

What to Focus on Next Month

Well… I didn’t do much in May either. So I’m not going to talk a lot about it.

My Takeaways

I need to find a traction channel that brings in much more traffic than I currently get. In the past my biggest success was knowing people. I might just have an idea for a traction channel that produces content to publish and helps me connect with other people in the industry. We’ll see how it works – if it works.

Social Share Toolbar

LinksSpy – Monthly Income Report March 2015

LinksSpy MRR graph

LinksSpy has been rather stable in March with only a slight upwards trajectory of about 4% in terms of realized MRR while at the same time losing 5% of the users. But before I dive deep into this, first let me get some boilerplate out of the … [Continue reading]

LinksSpy – Monthly Income Report February 2015

05_february-mrr-growth

LinksSpy has seen a bit of growth during February, not much mind you, but it's going the right direction. But before I dive deep into this, first let me get some boilerplate out of the way. Preface You can find all my income reports here: … [Continue reading]

LinksSpy.com – Monthly Income Report January 2015

04_january-mrr-growth

It's already mid-february when I write this. Honestly, I can't say why I pushed it away for so long, I just didn't feel like doing it. But what good are income reports if you don't continue? Thanks a bunch to Cezar Floroiu for gently reminding me … [Continue reading]

LinksSpy.com – Monthly Income Report December 2014

03_december_mrr-growth

I don't want to write this. I am afraid of writing this, because I feel like writing it will make it more "real" somehow. I wrote those two sentences and immediately switched tabs and opened up 9gag - to get away from writing this income … [Continue reading]

Year in Review 2014

02_firstofficer-annual-report

I am Christoph Engelhardt, the maker of LinksSpy.com and probably best known for my monthly income reports. I run my business as a side project and work a day job in the defense industry. I usually get about 5-10 hours/week of work done for … [Continue reading]

LinksSpy.com – Monthly Income Report November 2014

LinksSpy November MRR growth chart

Welcome to another monthly income report. You can find all my income reports here: http://www.it-engelhardt.de/income-reports/. November was a great month and I will be hard pushed to keep my MRR level. I already see some people churn and have to … [Continue reading]

LinksSpy.com – Monthly Income Report October 2014

01_october_mrr_growth

Welcome to the third installment of my monthly income report. After an awful income report in September (for which I got a lot of great feedback & encouragement - Thanks a lot to everyone who reached out!), LinksSpy came back swinging. Before … [Continue reading]

Lars Lofgren – Unlocking the 4 Gateways of Growth – MicroConf Europe 2014

The MicroConf Europe 2014 Hub Page has notes on all the talks and additional information. Website: LarsLofgren.com Twitter: @larslofgren Slides: here When picking metrics, always ask: What is biggest constraint right now? Which metric … [Continue reading]

Thomas Smale – How to Build an App You Can Sell – MicroConf Europe 2014

The MicroConf Europe 2014 Hub Page has notes on all the talks and additional information. Website: FEInternational.com Twitter: @thomassmale Slides: here Having an exit plan is an insurance - in case you NEED to move on You should always … [Continue reading]