Each month I publish a fully transparent income report which documents my online earnings. These income reports exist to demonstrate my progress, share my experiences, and motivate others who want to make money online.
Check out my online income report for October 2013.
What I Did In October
Apologies for another late income report…this time nearly half way through November! I seem to be developing a bad habit. I got carried away with updating this website recently and didn’t want to publish a new income report until I’d addressed a few issues. As part of the update, I’ve re-enabled timestamps on articles, so maybe that will make me more accountable for my posting habits.
Anyway, October. Similarly to last month in September, and as predicted, I’ve been overwhelmed with work and extremely busy. Overall, it has been a productive month, and I even reached a few small milestones that I’ll share in a moment.
I kicked off October by announcing the winners of my latest $1000+ giveaway. I love hosting these types of giveaways, not only because they are my way of giving back to the indie community, but also because they’re a good opportunity to boost my promotional platforms. This particular giveaway lasted one month, resulted in 20,000+ page views, and added 1,000+ subscribers to multiple platforms, including one of my Facebook pages, my Twitter account, and a newly launched mailing list.
The giveaway was a success, but nothing ever goes off without a hitch, does it? When I went to distribute prizes to entrants who had won via Facebook, I encountered a problem. At first, Facebook charged me $4 just to send messages out to 4 winners. I assumed this was because my message saying something along the lines of “you won this prize in my giveaway!” had triggered an automated spam filter. So I paid the money and sent the messages. The next day, however, I found my entire Facebook account had been locked and I had to go through a tedious process to prove that my account wasn’t compromised, and that the messages I sent were legitimate. It took 2 weeks for Facebook to unlock my account.
It was such an unnecessary ordeal, but lesson learned. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to distribute one or two minor prizes to Facebook entrants, so if you did win a prize but haven’t received it, simply Contact Me and I’ll get it sorted.
After announcing the results of the competition I took the chance to hold a flash sale of my book, Making Money With HTML5. I discounted the book by 25% for 72 hours, and promoted it in the results announcement post, social media, and my mailing list. Thankfully, there is still interest in the potential of HTML5, and I managed to make $435 of sales during the 72 hour period. So far, my self-published book has sold over 400 copies and generated over $8,000 in net revenue, which has blown my expectations out of the water.
I’m still receiving a lot of great feedback regarding the book and I’m currently planning the first major revision (not that it needs it, but there are new topics to discuss.) Anyone who has bought Making Money With HTML5 before that revision is published will receive the update for free.
In September I mentioned that my goal was to develop four new HTML5 games during October, each within a 48 hour time period. Unfortunately, I only managed to complete two out of four games. I won’t be dwelling on that, though, since any effort is better than none, and I’m pleased with the two I did finish. I’m not publishing these new games immediately as I decided they would benefit from some extra development time when I have a spare day or two.
The games in my HTML5 games portfolio have now been played 8,000,000+ times in total, with 150+ licenses sold (an average of 5 per game). The games are collectively played 10,000+ times a day.
During October my new iPhone 5S arrived, too. I bought the 5S primarily because I needed a modern device that was capable of running the newly released iOS7. This update to iOS caused a ton of display problems for many HTML5 developers. Luckily, my use of GameMaker Studio and the Mobility Engine meant I was able to adequately deal with the display problems easily. I’ll be publishing a post about this in the near future.
During October I also started work on my taxes, found this hilarious video of a popular Italian YouTuber playing my old game Disillusion (which my current major project Aeon Chapters is the sequel to), and decided to postpone my trip to Hong Kong for a year.
I’m postponing my holiday not due to money issues, which I had expected to be the most likely reason to do so, but simply because I don’t feel like I’ve adequately prepared for it. Since I only want to travel there between December-February, it looks like I’ll have to wait until 2015. It’s not like Hong Kong is going anywhere so I’m not too upset about it. I do plan to do some more traveling before then, too.
Online Income Report
This month I’ve changed the format which I’m using to display data, so you will notice a few changes below.
October was another fairly average month, financially. Compared to last month in September, there has been an improvement, but nothing too impressive. Read on!
Crunching The Numbers
During October 2013 I earned a total of $2,545 solely online, up $510 from last month.
Website Ad Revenue
Advertising across my two websites generated a minimal amount of revenue during October.
These days, I don’t like to use pay-per-click (PPC) ad banners on my websites. Not only do they pay poorly, but the low quality of ads served was detracting from my content. I try to maintain a high quality across all of my work even if it costs me in the short term.
Mac Store Sales
I currently have two games on the Mac Store, but they’re pretty bad so I don’t promote them (here’s one, Globules). I published them a long time ago via a third party as an experiment to see if they would actually make any money. Sometimes, people do actually pay for them, much to my continued surprise.
Mobility Engine Sales
Sales of my Mobility Engine were poor during October, but that’s not a concern. This is a product that I know has a lot of value to a very specific audience, so I have never expected consistent or high sales. There are not a lot of GameMaker users making HTML5 games commercially. I should probably work on improving the sales page for the Mobility Engine at some point, though currently it is a low priority. The engine itself was recently updated.
HTML5 Ad Revenue
Only a few of the games in my HTML5 games portfolio are monetized with ads, and even then they are only displayed to mobile users. Earlier in the year I spent a substantial amount of time distributing HTML5 games with ads in them. Unfortunately, the effort didn’t justify the result, but at the least it created an additional income stream.
When I released my book, Making Money With HTML5, I never expected it to sell as well as it has. In these past few months especially, it has been selling incredibly well. I can hardly remember the average number of sales per month I was aiming for, because recent months have been anything but average.
The high number of sales this month can mostly be attributed to the 72 hour discount sale that I hosted. After that, there were only $260 worth of additional sales throughout the rest of the month. That is something I consider to be a warning sign, but I’ve noticed that the book typically doesn’t sell well following a month where my income report is not very impressive (like September, for example). If it wasn’t for the discount sale, I suspect I would have sold less than $300 worth of copies this month.
If November’s book sales are poor, I will have to boost my efforts or risk weakening this income stream. Please buy a copy if you’d like to help support me!
As per usual, licensing HTML5 games to publishers was the most valuable source of online revenue for me this month. I only managed to sell a few licenses, with more consistent revenue from rental agreements making up the remainder.
I have a few big deals coming up, but I’ll save the details about those until my next income report. Usually the largest deals take months to finalize. It’s a relief to see these ones finally coming to fruition.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m writing this post half way through November. I can safely say that November’s revenue exceeds September and October combined!
My plans for November are focused around those big HTML5 licensing deals I mentioned earlier. There’s going to be a ton of work involved with that. I also want to increase my blogging efforts, and not just on Game Maker Blog. It would be nice to find the time to post here more often. I’ll try to make sure November’s report is on time, too.
Aside from that, nothing is set in stone for November. If my HTML5 work overwhelms me I probably won’t get much else done. I’d love to dedicate another month to working on Aeon Chapters soon but November will not be the time for that. Over the Christmas holidays I’ll be trying to reduce my workload so I can take a break, and maybe that will give me a chance to work on my major project.
Thank you for reading!