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 November 2013.
What I Did In November
November was by far the most tiring month I’ve had in a long time. It’s also been my best month of 2013, and of my entire online career so far. I reached both of my financial goals for 2013 during November. I was worried I might not reach one, and I thought that the other was impossible. I’m glad to have been wrong on both counts.
Let’s start from the beginning, though.
A New Look
While writing last month’s online income report I came to the realization that this blog wasn’t exactly a beacon of aesthetic delight. The artwork and general design were getting stale, and the theme itself was difficult to work with. So, in the spur of the moment, I decided to redesign the website. It looks much better now, in my opinion, with a minimalistic visual style and a premium responsive theme working behind the scenes.
I received a few comments on both the love and hate end of the spectrum, but ultimately it comes down to how I want to present myself, and my work. The website’s design still needs a little polish, admittedly, and I’d like to incorporate some artwork eventually too.
This month I saw a record number of visitors across my sites. My other website, Game Maker Blog, hit the front page of Reddit. At the time of writing, Reddit is the 30th most visited website in the United States, and the 80th most visited website globally.
Venturing Into 3D
I started to learn Maya and Unity in anticipation of my Oculus Rift arriving. For those of you living under a technology rock, the Oculus Rift is a next-generation virtual reality headset designed for immersive gaming. Virtual reality is a concept that has been around for a long time but it’s only just starting to be properly packaged for consumers. Devices like the Oculus Rift are paving the way toward truly immersive 3D experiences.
Since I’ve worked solely on 2D games for the past 8 years my 3D modeling skills aren’t overly impressive. I understand the basics…but not much more. With effort and practice, I should eventually be able to create 3D sets for the Oculus Rift using Maya.
Once I can actually create decent 3D models, I’ll need to be able to utilize them effectively. I normally use GameMaker Studio to create games but it is primarily a 2D game development engine. I’ve always said that if I ever wanted to make 3D games I’d invest some time into learning Unity, and that day has finally come.
The Oculus Rift has a lot of potential and I’m excited to start developing for it.
Online Income Report
November has been simply incredible. I’ve reached my main goal for 2013, which was to make $50,000 solely online. However, reaching that goal is overshadowed by the achievement of my secondary goal for 2013: to make $10,000 online in a single month. Yes, really…
Crunching The Numbers
During November 2013 I earned a total of $12,567 solely online, up $10,022 from last month.
Those numbers are ridiculous. My previous record month doesn’t come close to this one, and I certainly didn’t expect to make $10,000 in a month this year. I don’t even know what my goals for 2014 should be…I thought I’d still be chasing my 2013 ones!
I’ve gone into a bit more depth regarding each earnings category below.
Mobility Engine Sales
I sold one license for my Mobility Engine this month. There’s not a lot to say about this income stream, as it’s very inconsistent. Some months I will sell multiple licenses, and some will be like November. Despite the limited sales, I will keep updating this product because I use it myself.
HTML5 Ad Revenue
This month I saw a significant drop in the revenue generated by adverts in my HTML5 games. One of my distribution deals came to an end, and I have no plans to try and extend it. This revenue stream should gradually erode away over time. Eventually, I will be looking to replace the ads in my HTML5 games with links to my own native iOS apps (currently I don’t have any).
Website Ad Revenue
Advertising revenue across my two websites was decent during November. If you’ve noticed that I don’t use third-party ads on my sites you may be wondering how I made $226 in advertising revenue.
Well, I occasionally monetize my other site, Game Maker Blog in a way that might seem odd.
Since the domain is quite old, links from the blog to other websites are valued highly by search engines like Google. Marketing companies are willing to pay to utilize this search engine boost that Game Maker Blog can provide. By receiving a link from my site, their client’s website may rank higher when certain keywords are searched for.
I usually charge between $150-$350 to place a link for a client. This simply involves linking keyword-heavy anchor text such as ‘online game design schools’ to the client’s website, and inserting the link naturally into a normal post. If that sounds like easy money, well, it is. The reason this is profitable for me is because I figured out what these links are worth and charge accordingly. I always try to get the highest value out of everything I can, and I never undervalue my time.
Revenue from sales of my book, Making Money With HTML5, has returned to a more realistic, conservative figure. Previous months have seen revenue shoot up to nearly $1000 and that clearly wasn’t sustainable (not that I was complaining).
I suspect this income report will fuel additional sales of my book, as it should, during the next few months. Paying $20 for a book that teaches you how to potentially make over $10,000 in a month from HTML5 games is an easy purchase to justify.
It’s no surprise that licensing HTML5 games to publishers was the biggest source of revenue for me during this record month of earnings. I mentioned last month that I had several big deals coming to fruition during November, and they did. I also picked up a few smaller deals that I hadn’t anticipated.
I spent the vast majority of my month packaging HTML5 games, creating promotional material and assets, signing contracts, and sending invoices. It’s not as simple as making a game and sending it to a publisher…there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
Overall, November was just one big milestone. I couldn’t have asked for a better month to reach my goals for 2013.
As the holiday season approaches I’ll be working less, and I’ll only be working on projects that aren’t too stressful, like Aeon Chapters. I’ll continue learning about 3D modeling, and I will try to do some more blogging here too (what am I down to, a single post per month now?)
In January I’ll publish a review of the past year and a preview of what to expect from me in 2014. Currently I don’t know what my goals for the year ahead will be…but I’m sure they’ll be ambitious. Happy holidays, everyone.
Thank you for reading!