My April 2013 Online Earnings Report

I can’t believe it’s May already! Here’s my monthly income report of my online earnings that I received in April. Most of these were actually “earned” in February, as most merchants pay out their earnings 2 months later. It is so exciting to see how my hard work in the prior months is starting to pay off. For those of you who are struggling to even make your first $100 online, just remember that it takes a lot of hard work and patience, but just keep plugging away. Keep creating, keep building, keep working. You control your own destiny!

2013 Paid Earnings
(month earned)
April
(February ’12)
Zazzle $1732 (plus $98 I used to buy gifts)
Squidoo $1136
Local Small Biz Marketing $1441 (seasonal – Best time of year right now)
Mr Rebates $303
Amazon $366
Google Affiliate
Network & Adsense
$108
Viglink $214
Jaaxy affiliate $128
Commission Junction $0
Ebates (pays quarterly) $0
Misc $0
TOTAL $5428

A note about my earnings: My local small business marketing income is high this month for two reasons.  This first is because I do marketing for a local company that is very seasonal in it’s business, so spring is the busiest time of year for sales.  Second, we restructured how I am paid so that I get my commissions the month after I earn them.  Prior to this, my commissions were spread out over a 5 month time frame to allow for customer cancellations.  So in effect, my earnings from this source will now be a lot higher in the spring and summer and probably fall off and be very minimal in the fall and winter months.

My Zazzle Earnings:

My Zazzle earnings continue to increase, which is very exciting. I continue to add more and more products to my stores. I’ve learned that better and longer descriptions and lower royalties help with sales. I really started Zazzle with the intent to diversify my online income, but in essence I’ve done the exact opposite. Now Zazzle has become my main source of income on an ongoing basis. I am really looking forward to the holiday shopping season later this year to see how much I can sell with all the product designs I have in my stores.  I’d love to stock an entire Christmas themed store with 100,000 products before the holiday shopping season starts, but who knows if I’ll get that done. Right now I only have about 1500 Christmas items. And because I work in batches of 100 items, that means about 15 different designs, each on 100 items. To get to 100,000 products, I would need 1,000 designs, each on 100 products. Doable, but I get distracted easily! :)

My Squidoo Earnings:

Although my Squidoo earnings are pretty normal this month, I don’t anticipate that to last too much longer.  With all the changes at Squidoo in regards to how many affiliate products you have on a page, etc, I am no longer putting any effort in Squidoo.  I am really enjoying Zazzle, and have been working on that basically full-time, leaving me no time nor inclination to jump through hoops over at Squidoo.  We will have to see how my income drops, but as of right now I’m not adding any new pages over on Squidoo.  I have certainly seen a drop in income in my Google Affiliate Network account, whose affiliate links were on Squidoo, and also my Amazon affiliate account.  I’ll just have to see how that all plays out.

I hope that my income report gives you encouragement that you CAN make money online from home.  That is my whole reason for posting these reports.  It also keeps me accountable to continue building my business.  I love to see the progress I’m making.  I can’t believe that this month I made almost as much as what I made in Feb, which was payment for December’s holiday sales!  I can’t wait to see what happens later this year with my Zazzle income as we get closer to the holidays!

How did your April go in regards to your earnings?  Where are you headed with building your online business?  Leave me a comment below!


I LOVE ZAZZLE!

20 comments on “My April 2013 Online Earnings Report

  1. I love your reports. They are very inspiring. I haven’t started my Zazzle shop yet. I think I’m intimidated. And I’m worried about how long it’ll take to reach your level of earnings (which is the lower end of what I need to make every month for my income). So I’ve been focusing on my Etsy shop, where I make necklaces. That shop is growing but not as fast as I would like (and I have a competitor who is blowing me out of the water – close to 300 sales to my 72, even though we started our shops both in February).

    So I have a goal for how many items I want to get in my shop (600 – I’m at 350 now) and then I’m going to stop adding to it and only make the necklaces when they sell. With my “extra” time (I’m a homeschooling mom to a 7yo and we have a 1yo who has some physical limitations so I’m also doing therapy 3x/day with him), I’ll be starting my Zazzle shop.

    Can you suggest any guides to customizing your Zazzle shop? Some I see look more professional than others and I would rather mine look nice.

    Have you heard of Bubblews?

    I’ve given up on Squidoo. I spent 3 months learning how to do it. I don’t have time to relearn everything. :-/

    • One thing I’ve learned is to overcome my “fear” of “What if people don’t like my items” “Read my blog” “like my stuff”…. I’m constantly amazed at what what people will buy! I wish I would have started sooner! Just start somewhere. Even if you only do a little each day, all those little efforts add up. If you added one design a day and put it on 100 products using your own Quick Create templates ( I learned here: http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-and-use-your-own-zazzle-quick-create-template), then in a week you would have 700 products up for sale. That’s 700 more opportunities to make money than you had last week! I learn by trial and error, and most of what I’ve learned has been by just jumping in and doing it, seeing the results, tweaking it, learning something new while doing it, and repeating the process. Learn as you go and just start with baby steps! :)

    • Eliza, post a link to your Etsy store so we can check it out! And you could also use your necklaces you make for Etsy in your designs for Zazzle. You could do business cards for jewelry businesses, even Etsy sellers. You could do fashion designs using your necklaces as one of the elements in the design. I always think that the handmade crafts on Etsy would be great items to photograph and use as cute designs on Zazzle products. I always wish I was more crafty!

    • Thanks Cathy! But I’m afraid soon my Zazzle income will overshadow all my other income sources, essentially putting all my eggs in one basket. I’ve been increasing my Zazzle income by leaps and bounds so I’m just going to keep running with it. Right now I’m sticking with what works! :)

  2. After reading your last bit, I’ve spent the last day and will spend tomorrow working on templates. I want different templates for different things, or even by the number of pictures required (like sticking all the bags and skins off in their own space) — but I have to start getting things really going. I went through last night and played with ‘what if’ and numbers, and you’ve consistently said that volume is HUGE, along with other things.

    I am glad you mentioned Squidoo. I was wondering how things had gone after the filters started running. Definitely tricky times over there, which is why I’m happily focusing on Zazzle. No one can buy it if I don’t attempt to put it out there *fingers crossed* that it works out.

    • If you want to see what products I put my templates on, just check out a category, like this recent Super Star design. http://www.zazzle.com/prettypatternsgifts/gifts?cg=196658974085388697&rf=238133515809110851&tc=FiveGreenLizards

      It will have 100 products in it. For some of the mugs, the teapot, the pitcher, and the candy jar, I use one image, resized to fit vertically, and then under the little “gear” symbol you can make the image “tile” so it’s a repeating pattern, so it will go around the item horizontally. You just set that up when you make the template. The messenger bags are always a problem. I typically have to customize it when I’m doing the Quick Create batch depending on the design.

      Squidoo – I just got another email about some more of my lenses being locked…even one that has a year’s worth of entries of original content. So I think what I’m going to do is just move that content over to one of my own websites. I’m not going to put any more effort into fixing my lenses over there. Although squidoo provided a significant amount of my income last year, I think my lenses are too affiliate natured to try to save. Even lenses with original photos and videos of my kids are getting flagged! Which is sad because some of these lenses have been on there for years. :(

      • =/ I knew which one you were referring to as soon as I read the comment. I know it doesn’t help, but that was the very first lens I bookmarked back in August of ’12. Keyword density is the cause for most locks, but I understand you not wanting to fool with it anymore.

        Thank you!!! for the tiling tip. I’ll have to go through and edit a few products, but I completely overlooked that.

      • With the help you’ve given, I’ve opened up another store. I wanted a ‘fresh start’. Since I am able to use templates built from another store, it’s gone really well. I don’t have it all sorted the way I’d like yet, but wanted to show you how it’s gone. I went very specific for the templates, so if anyone makes it to the store they can see the options right away without having to click another level in.

        http://www.zazzle.com/designsmania/gifts

  3. Hiya! I have a question.

    I don’t understand how to set up my hidden folder. I tried looking through the forums and everyone just says, “set up your hidden folder”! Or they say things can’t be hidden. Is this under photos or someplace else?

    Sorry if I’m being dense. :-\

    But I did get my shop customized a bit! And I have a couple of products there I made months ago, when I really, really didn’t know what I was doing. (now I just really don’t know what I’m doing :)

    • You aren’t being dense. It IS confusing at the start. In case you have more than one store: Be sure you’re viewing the store you want to add the “hidden folder” to. I then click on “Products”. Once you are on your products page, look to the left for your categories. Click on All Categories. Now, near the top of the page will be Store Categories. Just below that, Add New Category. Click. Window pops up. This will be your “hidden” folder. Give it an appropriate name. You will see that the default picture is of a gray folder. Just below that is a box you can [check] to make it hidden (do that). It really isn’t a hidden folder, it is a hidden category. The icon leads to the ‘folder’ talk and may just be easier for people to remember.

      Then when you’re making up your template, just be sure to select the bubble for ‘hidden’ on the second page. It will be just below where you select the rating for the audience. And select your hidden category for placement. Rinse and repeat for up to 100 times per template.

      • Thank you! I did it!

        If I could ask one last question, do you have to make a new template for each photo or can I just use the “square” template with every square photo I plan to use?

        After I make it through the tutorials for making the template, I’ll come back and share. :)

        Thanks again, Serra!

        • Ok, I think I get it. I’m using any photo/graphic in a vertical rectangle shape to make templates for every product that I want to have that takes that shape.

          So for a vertical rectangle, I will make templates for ipad cases, phone cases, playing cards, necklaces, 3-ring binders, etc., etc.

          Once I’ve gone through my list of what templates I want to make, then I can take all the photos/graphics I have in that shape and quickly put each one into the templates, making sure that they look nice, and then putting them into the shop as quickly as possible.

          Is this correct?

          • …I think so. That’s where things start getting trickier/technical (or could be) and I’m not confident in the ‘best practices’.

            I’m glad I could help :)

  4. Wow I got my first zazzle sale I am just going to plug along now and double my stores I think I’ll do 500 products a day. Thanks for all the help Klaird, seriously, after the whole squidoo thing I didn’t think I would find something that has such a consistent return on as much effort I think Zazzle has filled that hole now.

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