I’m reviewing which of my earnings come from where, in my slow march towards diversification.
Last year, by the end of the year, Squidoo still accounted for 95% of my earnings, and most of the rest was Amazon Associates (despite Amazon Associates in California getting punted for several months). Alas, nearly all those Amazon Associates were Amazon links embedded on Squidoo lenses, not on my blogs or other sites. That’s bad, because if Squidoo ever has problems, Associate links embedded on those articles will get clobbered too.
Here’s my Jan-Jun earnings breakdown for this year:
Squidoo is mostly tier payouts. But how much? For the most part, I have Amazon Associates links embedded on Squidoo lenses, but I also have the odd Amazon module here or there. A question on SquidU induces me to check out my Squidoo earnings breakdown to see which parts of my Squidoo payouts are from tier payouts.
Digging out my three niche accounts and checking their Squidoo earnings breakdowns for the past 3 payouts, there’s a wide variety in sales income:
Keep in mind those are all for Squidoo’s built-in modules, not 3rd party associates links, which are on the pie chart above.
In short, my Squidoo earnings are still mostly tier payouts (as opposed to sales commissions), and my overall earnings are mostly Squidoo, either through Squidoo payouts or through third party affiliate links on Squidoo lenses.
Clearly, I need to attend more to my blogs to have them draw a more significant amount of traffic/income (they get some Adsense, but I don’t count it yet as they have yet to reach payout threshold, and my Amazon links on my mythology blog almost never convert). Or else I need to establish a presence on Zujava or Wizzley as an alternative to Squidoo for embedding Amazon Associates links. (However, Squidoo has made me greedy: I like being able to embed my own Amazon Associates links and not share sales commissions.)
Have you ever think about a blog (or a weekly or 2 “special” on your mythology blog ) about Greek mythology for the kids? Activities, coloring, good book features etc. It might help converting Amazon. I know I don’t mind buying something for my son when it is educative: books, role play/imagination toys etc. I think school kids can be a huge market to tap into (if a mom or dad ends up on your blog it is mostly because their kids have an interest for mythology… and might turn buyer).
Ellen, at the encouragement of my Scienctific Hubby who is always analysing figures, I too have recently set up an Excel Spreadsheet, because I share your concerns about being too reliant on Squidoo Tier payments and links via Squidoo lenses.
I know I need to diversify more, but eventhough I publish on other sites it seems to me that none of these sites can remotely compete with Squidoo for traffic and sales.
This means that when I have to choose on which site to publish, like a moth to a flame I tend to go back to Squidoo. But yes, that makes me feel vulnerable and I know I really should put more effort in to develop content on other sites.
I’ve been hearing lensmasters liking NetLeeks as they can not only promote their lenses, but they can feature Amazon affiliate links there and make sales directly through NetLeeks.
That would be a way to keep products off your nice looking lenses and still earn. I’m planning to use NetLeeks more as it’s fairly fast to set one up.