Online Income Report #021 – January 2014

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 January 2014.

What I Did In January

The beginning of a new year is always exciting to me. It represents the opportunity to set new goals, to envision new ideas, and to start work on new projects. And this year, that’s exactly what I did.

Slow Start

I was on holiday in Brisbane, Australia for a week in early January which gave me plenty of time to reflect on 2013 and plan for 2014. As I mentioned last month, this holiday was split into two separate trips because I wanted to return home for Christmas with my family. So this was basically more of the same. Well, except this time I got stuck at the airport for 8 hours after missing my flight by 5 minutes…

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Starting the year on holiday helped me to relax and develop a clear vision of what I want to achieve in 2014. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make this a habit.

Building Blocks

During January I spent a lot of time arranging the foundations for new projects. I have big plans for 2014 (which, unfortunately, I didn’t find the time to post about this month).

I’ll still be making HTML5 games for a living, however I’m changing my business model slightly. I’m going to rely less on my partners and get back to making HTML5 games myself more often. This is due to increasing quality requirements which not all of my partners can realistically meet. I will still be working with partners, but only the few who consistently deliver great content. Raising my standards is necessary in order to future-proof my income.

The HTML5 games I work on myself are going to be high quality, rich in features, and will each have a sizable budget for audio and graphics. I’m currently designing a template project to use for these games, and I’ve been reaching out to relevant freelancers as well.

I’ve also started work on several new projects which I can’t talk about just yet, but I’ll share details about these in the near future. I plan to launch several new products and services in 2014.

More New Gadgets

Last month I picked up a bunch of new gadgets, and apparently my spending spree wasn’t over. At least the devices I’ve purchased this month all benefit my business. They include: a wireless printer, a Wacom Cintiq 13HD tablet (pictured below), a much better modem router, a Lumia 520 Windows 8 phone, and a Galaxy Tab 3.

I bought the Wacom tablet to help refine my digital drawing skills. I’m awful at drawing and painting, but with time and effort maybe I’ll reach mediocrity within a few years. I’m working through some digital drawing tutorials at the moment and trying to find time to practice.

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I bought the Lumia 520 and Galaxy Tab 3 to help round out my range of HTML5 testing devices. It feels a bit wasteful to buy these devices knowing I’m not going to actually use them on a daily basis (you probably can’t tell but I’m kinda into Apple!), but they do serve an important purpose. My entire range of devices is getting fairly extensive: iPod Touch 4, HTC Evo 3D, iPhone 5S, iPad 2, iPad Air, Tizen dev phone, Galaxy Tab 3, Lumia 520. Imagine trying to keep all of these charged…

Platform Overview

Since it’s the start of a new year I’m changing up the format of this report a bit. I thought that in addition to sharing my online income it would be interesting to share some statistics about my games, websites, and social media subscribers.

Here’s a quick look at how my online platform performed during January 2014.

Games

The games I publish were played 265,047 times (10,896,716 total) and 94,649 ads were displayed in sessions I hosted..

Fairly standard traffic this month. Now that I’ve reached 10 million total plays it’ll be a slow climb towards the next major milestone of 15 million.

Websites

My websites were viewed 53,081 times (4,388,591 total) by 27,484 visitors.

In January traffic to my other site, GameMaker Blog, improved, but due to a lack of posts on this website overall visitors were down. I haven’t posted much on this blog in the past month because I’ve been working on a huge article which I plan to share soon!

Subscribers

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I have a total of 14,313 subscribers across various platforms.

Twitter – 5922
Facebook – 6550
Google Plus – 34
Mailing lists – 1571
RSS – 236

I experimented with a range of social media strategies this month, with varying success. Twitter growth was notable but I won’t have exact numbers to compare to until February’s report.

Online Income Report

After making a mind-blowing amount of money online in December, it’s not surprising to see a significant drop this month. The start of the year is typically slow for business and that’s reflected in this month’s income report. I’m still satisfied with how January turned out though.

Crunching The Numbers

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During January 2014 I earned a total of $3,733 solely online, down $10,971 from last month.

My goal for 2014 is to make $100,000 solely online. I consider that target to be as unrealistic as my goal from last year (which I still managed to reach). I’d need to make on average $8,333 per month to reach $100,000 in 2014, so I’m off to a slow start.

What’s really interesting about this month is how balanced my income streams are. For the first time ever, HTML5 sponsorships were not my leading source of income, and thanks to strong product sales and website revenue no individual income stream dominated the others to a significant extent. This type of balanced diversity is what I’ve been working towards for over a year.

I’ll discuss some of my income streams below.

Mobility Engine Sales

This month I sold a record number of licenses for my Mobility Engine, much to my surprise. I suspect this was due to the updates I made to the sales page and the banners I placed on both of my websites to help promote the engine.

Book Sales

My book, Making Money With HTML5, earned around the same amount it did last month even though I increased the price to $29.95! This was a huge relief. I had no idea what effect the price increase would have on sales. Making Money With HTML5 actually reached $10,000 in total sales recently too; not bad for a self-published book.

Website Ad Revenue

My main source of income this month was advertising across my two websites. Paid link insertions on GameMaker Blog and a new partnership with a major client resulted in a nice chunk of revenue. The fact that I can bring in over $1,000 of advertising revenue without using Google AdSense or other targeted advertising services on my websites is impressive to me!

What’s Next?icon-office

Last month I mentioned wanting to publish “a couple of new posts summarizing 2013 and outlining my goals for 2014” but unfortunately I just didn’t find the time, and I don’t think I’m going to find the time in February either. Between the huge article I’m working on and my book update, I have enough writing pending as it is.

Aside from that, I plan to continue designing my HTML5 template project, work on my new products and services, and practice digital drawing. There’s so much I want to do and only so many hours in the day!

Thank you for reading!

Matthew

  • Jiri Jelinek says:

    Nice! How did you pick the Wacom Cintiq 13HD tablet? Someone’s recommendation? Or did you do lots of research? Does it look like it will be as practical [for your game development] as you thought? Are you happy with it? How many HTML5 games (total) did you publish so far? Can you name (or link) the one which took the most effort to implement? “looking to integrate more advanced analytics” With Clay.io?

    • Matthew says:

      With the Wacom tablet I knew what I was after, and after consulting with an artist friend of mine and doing some research, I decided on the Cintiq 13HD. I don’t know if it will be “practical” for game development, but I didn’t buy it with plans to draw game assets or anything like that…at least not anytime soon. I’m definitely happy with it :)

      So far I’ve published 30 HTML5 games, and within a month that number should be 35 or more.

      The most complex one is probably Dungeon Sweep. It’s been a bit of a headache to work with, especially since one of my partners developed that game. Trying to make changes or integrate an API into a game you didn’t make is challenging.

      And yes, Clay.IO is what I’m currently looking into for a variety of features including analytics. It’s a bit rough around the edges right now so I’m approaching it cautiously.

  • Cory says:

    Thanks for the transparency, as always!

  • LJF says:

    Hi Matthew great post look forward to seeing what your new HTML5 games are all about, shame that all browsers dont have the option for u to put gamepad support into your new games at this stage.

    Hope to see more in depth posts in GameMaker Blog on 1.3 in the near future too if u get time?

    As for your drawing u will get better the 13hd will help heaps also programs like manga studio or spine could too. I enjoy drawing heaps but sadly at this stage dont get much time for it but drawing up your own characters and bringing them to life is a real rewarding felling im sure it is for u as well. u also could do what friends from the old disney studio in nsw would do and goto parks and zoos drawing and working out animals anatomy and actions. oh and also build models and draw them from all kinds of angles so u can build model sheets for your characters.

    Anyway well done look forward to seeing your new years projects.

    • Matthew says:

      Universal gamepad support would definitely be interesting. Trying to play my HTML5 games on Xbox One isn’t easy.

      Yes, we’ll discuss GM 1.3 when it’s actually released. Hopefully I find the time.

      Thanks for the tips :)

  • Cappa Games says:

    All that diversification has paid off it seems. It’s awesome seeing these investments pay off months later, it goes to show these things take time.

    • Matthew says:

      They definitely do. Some of these revenue streams have been developing for over a year now…but I think it’s worth the effort.

  • Rustem says:

    What tool are you using for tracking analytics for game?

    • Matthew says:

      At the moment I’m using a simple, custom PHP script. I’m looking to integrate more advanced analytics into my new HTML5 template project.

      • Rustem says:

        Clear. A bit of off topic, but on mobile device your website doesn’t show “Back To the Top of page” Button, so it’s hard to move to menu on your huge articles.

  • Ruub says:

    What! Where did all those html5 moneys go to?

    Great colours on the graph though, looks good :)

    • Matthew says:

      Haha. HTML5 sponsorships are unpredictable! I never know if I’m going to make new sales in a given month. The fact that I haven’t published any new games recently doesn’t help either…

      Trying to maintain my HTML5 income and diversify at the same time is a tough balancing act.

  • Nice work Matthew! Still a nice start to the new year :D this year has some greatness for all of us so let’s all experience what it has installed for us! :D good luck!

    Looking forward to your next post as always :P really enjoyed this income report! Thank you!

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks Mitchell, I really appreciate your comments each month. It makes writing these reports worthwhile :)

      • Always a pleasure Matthew :D I’m always glad to be able to read your income reports feel inspired each time! So thank you! :D

  • Renatod says:

    Hey TV,

    When you will publish your new games? I’m curious to see it. I think people can use them as a standart to see what type of games the sponsors are buying.

    • Matthew says:

      Hi. I’ll probably publish the new games a month or two after they’re finished. I like to thoroughly distribute the games to publishers before making them public. I’ve had games ripped off multiple times in the past, sometimes extremely blatantly, so limiting exposure at launch is necessary.

  • TWINTAILS says:

    Interesting read, thanks for sharing! Good luck with the 2014 goal :)

  • Rustem says:

    Nice job, Matthew! I want have the same job and earn the same money as you