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It’s been 18 months since I launched this blog and what a great 18 months it has been. ViperChill has almost 16,000 RSS subscribers (thank you!), over 3,000 people are signed up to cloud:niche and there are over 8,500 comments now posted on this blog. Keep in mind that there are only 83 blog posts here, so that’s well over 100 comments per post on average.
In the last few weeks, ViperChill was ranked 9th in a list of the biggest marketing blogs in the world, just ahead of blogging powerhouse’s like Seth Godin and Aaron Wall of SEOBook. The rankings were based on how many times people come back to a site each month, and how many pages they visit. The data was put together by a respected analytics company, and you can find the full list here.
To say I’m happy current situation the site is in is a huge understatement, but the success is all thanks to you – the readers – who keep coming to the site, reading what I have to say and leaving comments. I can’t thank you enough for that, and I hope to see you here for years to come. I’ll do my best to keep providing content worth reading.
Last year I wrote my 12th monthly traffic report and said it would be the last one ever. Then, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about my dream future: Project Warehouse. In that post I mentioned an epiphany I had about what really used to inspire me when it came to making money online in the early days.
For those of you who missed the post I recalled that seeing how much money other people were making online motivated me to work harder at making money online myself.
Since my goal with ViperChill – and especially CloudBlueprint – is to help you make more money online than ever before, I guess I should be the one sharing some of that income proof. I’ve been hesitant to do so for a long time, mostly because I just can’t be as transparent as other people.
I’ve seen too many examples of big marketers releasing the sites they’re working on and having their rankings tank or a ton of negative feedback sent their way. Heck, early last year I showed you all a tiny site of mine making $400 per month and a few weeks later I already had 5 new competitors on the first page of Google (I find popular, uncompetitive niches fairly well).
As much as I would love to share everything with you all, it simply doesn’t make business sense. Instead, I will only be reporting on the money that I’m making with ViperChill.
Since I’m going to be sharing these reports on a monthly basis, I should really comment on how I feel about making money with this website. The genuine reason for me starting ViperChill in the first place was simply because I love to help people and enjoy having an audience. As soon as I sold my personal development blog, I knew there was going to be a void in my online activities, and I re-launched ViperChill to fill that void.
I love working on ViperChill more than any other site and for over a year, I made literally nothing here. In the first 12 months of writing for the site I probably made $50 in total. Further proof that I don’t care about the money and instead on genuinely helping people.
That changed (the income, not the helping people) when I launched Cloud Living in December 2009, and subsequently Cloud Blogging last month. Both products have made thousands of dollars since then, so I can’t deny that the site is now making a decent income.
I really don’t have any income goals for ViperChill, since I make a livable income from my other ventures online. All of the money I make here is just a nice bonus. I don’t feel bad in any way about making money online, in part, by teaching people how to make a living online. I’ve done nothing but focus on giving value to people here, and as the world works, you usually get something in return for doing that.
I’ve stayed true to my roots in that there is no advertising on this site (and never will be), and I’ve even closed down products like affiliateSkin because I simply couldn’t offer the live support I wanted to for customers.
Sharing my income here is for no other reason than I hope to inspire you to see what is possible online…
The income figures for CloudLiving are CloudBlogging projects are estimations since we may get refunds (there’s a 60-day money back guarantee).
My overall expenses are pretty low. Hosting costs me $8 per month (plus around $1.50 for Amazon S3) and I pay $50 per month for Aweber which handles all of my email subscribers. I do all of the design work here myself and don’t spend a penny on advertising, so the majority of the revenue this site makes is pure profit.
Most of you probably weren’t around the blogosphere a few years ago when a well named blogger named Kathy Sierra decided to quit blogging due to death threats she was receiving. She owned a blog called Creating Passionate Users and provided amazing advice. Yet because she was becoming successful and well-known, there were people out there who wanted to bring her down.
Some people even Photoshopped pictures of her with a noose around her neck.
I never imagined anything as extreme would happen to me, but I was warned that the trolls appear once you do start seeing any form of success. Sadly, that’s happening to me on a frequent basis at the moment. In the last few weeks I’ve been “outed” on multiple blogs and forums, all trying to get traffic based on bashing my brand name.
Funnily (or not), they usually come to me and apologise for their actions after their viral bait didn’t quite work out.
The only reason the person in the email above apologised is because I used their full name on a public forum where they were trying to slander me, and they wanted me to take it down. Their whole argument was that I stole some content, and I happily proved I didn’t. The situation could have been resolved in seconds with a quick email to me.
Instead, not only did they blog about me with the headline “ViperChill is busted” but they tweeted dozens of bloggers I connect with to share the link. Then this person – Rison – spammed the comments on CloudBlueprint, spammed the ViperChill Facebook wall and created threads about me on multiple forums.
Another example above is where I caught someone pirating software a friend of mine created. They added me as a friend on Facebook and then started talking about it publicly. I asked them to buy a legit copy, and that’s when about 20 of their friends (and the guy above, also Nigerian) started calling me a racist.
And the final entry to the trolling stakes is a lovely man from India who’s name I sadly don’t know. At least once a day he changes his I.P. and leaves a comment on ViperChill calling me a p*ssy. Why? Because one of my free WordPress plugins doesn’t have a feature he wants. I can’t even make this up.
You guys should all totally start a blog today ;).
In all honesty, I’ve done very little over the past year to grow the audience this blog has. I’ve only averaged 2-3 blog posts per month and I’ve written no more than three guest posts in 2011. However, ViperChill is highly optimized for converting the visitors it does get into subscribers.
You can see the number of subscribers the site has had on certain dates, below:
The difference between the two is 5,707. If you divide that by the number of full months in between – eight – you learn that the site has grown by 713 subscribers per month, on average.
With that in mind, the site should reach 20,000 subscribers before the end of the year. I’m confident the site will actually have a lot more than that as we enter 2012.
There’s a lot I could talk about in this personal update, but I would probably just annoy you if I told you how many projects I’m working on – and with which people – without being able to reveal any specifics. So, just keep in mind that I’m working on a number of very cool things, and you’ll hear more about them when they’re ready for the world to see them.
Overall, I’m really happy with how everything is going with ViperChill. I know based on the traffic the site is getting and the very minimal promotions I do, the site could be making a lot more money. While true, it’s not something I’m too worried about or focused on right now.
Instead I want to continue to focus on growing the audience here. The money can wait. 9th is good (see intro), but why not go for number one?
As always, thanks for being a part of the journey…