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.
You can find all my income reports here: http://www.it-engelhardt.de/income-reports/.
These are the ground rules for my income reports:
- 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 😉
- I will only cover what I make from LinksSpy – no consulting, no day job
- I am terrible at accounting – so most numbers (especially expenses) are not 100% accurate.
- 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 😀 ).
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.
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.
- $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.
LinksSpy made a profit of about $566 this time. I’m going to spend it somehow. Probably on a ticket to MicroConf Europe.
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.
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.