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 May 2014.
What I Did In May
I’ve been running my own online business for two years now. In that time, I don’t think I’ve had a month as stressful as this one. May was demanding but it was also very rewarding.
I spent most of the month cleaning up shrapnel left over from April’s server fiasco. When my server host experienced a major network failure it caused numerous problems across my websites; addressing them was incredibly tedious and tiring. On the bright side, I upgraded my server host to Linode, and set up a flawless backup system using Amazon S3 cloud storage, so my websites were better off in the end.
After fixing my websites, I decided to update my portfolio of HTML5 games. This was long overdue. I made a variety of improvements to all of the games, added new features, reskinned some of the older games, and discontinued several obsolete titles. I also added a couple of new games.
Luckily, my month got more interesting when I decided I was going to move to the city.
Moving To Brisbane
I currently live in a small rural town on the coastline of Queensland, an Australian state. The capital city of Queensland is Brisbane which, as the third most populous city in the country, has a population of about 2 million people.
Since my lease is expiring soon, I decided to fly down to Brisbane for a week to inspect apartments I found online. I really want to live in a high-rise apartment, and the only other Australian cities with high-rise residential towers are among the most expensive cities in the world. Granted, the 38th floor apartment I settled on is far from cheap, but Brisbane is much more realistically priced than Melbourne and Sydney.
I’m moving into my apartment at the end of June. I’ll share some pictures of my setup once I’m settled in.
Here’s a quick look at how my online platform performed during May 2014.
The games I publish were played 1,047,716 times (14,615,797 total) and 87,205 mobile ads were displayed in sessions I hosted.
Traffic to my HTML5 games was consistent for the third month in a row, and I’m still hanging above that million play mark. For some added perspective, the games I publish are played 34,923 times a day on average, and 24 people start playing every minute.
Currently I host about 10% of the sessions while my clients host the rest.
My websites were viewed 48,619 times (4,723,245 total) by 21,069 unique visitors.
Traffic to my websites was slightly better than last month. Both of my websites are back to normal after my recent server issues, and they’re running much better since I upgraded to a major hosting provider, Linode. I’m glad to see traffic is on the rise again.
It was a pretty uneventful month on my other website, GameMaker Blog, though I have some exciting new content lined up for June.
I have a total of 19,253 subscribers across various platforms, up 841 from last month. My Klout score places me in the top 10% of influential social media users.
Twitter growth has been historically strong and this month is no different. I spend the most time on Twitter and personally find it far more interesting and engaging than Facebook, so it’s only natural that I see the strongest consistent growth on Twitter.
Facebook growth has continued to slow. Updates from Facebook pages are only displayed to a limited number of fans if you’re not willing to pay to have them “boosted”. This makes it difficult to engage with people so I’ve been investing less time in developing my Facebook pages.
I also deleted my Google+ page this month. The interface is such a mess, and after considering how Google treats AdSense publishers and YouTubers, I decided I won’t be investing any more time into Google’s platforms.
Klout score – 58.17 (-2.83)
Klout is a tool that measures online social influence. Users with a Klout score of 63 or higher are currently considered to be in the top 5% of influential social media users. This month I linked Facebook to Klout, and due to the lower user engagement on Facebook, my Klout score dropped significantly.
Online Income Report
It’s been two years since I published my first online income report in May 2012. That report was embarrassingly short, but I made $1,025 solely online which was pretty good at the time.
I’m glad I can offer such an extreme comparison today, just two years later…
Crunching The Numbers
During May 2014 I earned a total of $21,058 solely online, up $17,860 from last month.
That’s an incredible amount of money. In a single month, I made more money than billions of people around the world will make in an entire year. Even though I worked hard for it, plenty work a lot harder for a lot less. I don’t have the words to describe how I feel about that.
I’m so grateful to be in a position where months like this are even possible.
I’ll discuss some of my income streams below.
HTML5 Ad Revenue
This month I finished integrating mobile ads into my HTML5 games, and as a result the number of ads served in sessions I hosted was 55% higher than last month. Naturally, this resulted in higher revenue too.
During the next few months I’ll be working to improve my eCPM by partnering with a new client and promoting their platform.
Mobility Engine Sales
I sold two full copies of my Mobility Engine at $110 each this month despite minimal marketing. I have an update planned for the engine but it’s a couple of months away. I’d also like to update the sales page at some point, but for now I’m just glad to see the engine is still useful to the occasional buyer.
Website Ad Revenue
Advertising revenue across my two websites was decent considering I don’t use any pay-per-click banner advertising services. This month’s advertising revenue is from two sources: a paid link insertion and a referral to Bluehost who I frequently recommend for basic website hosting. The referral should probably be put into a whole separate category of revenue but I rarely generate affiliate revenue.
Revenue from sales of my book, Making Money With HTML5, dropped back to average this month. I’m not sure if I can attribute the drop to anything besides April’s server crash. The crash caused downtime well into May, so it definitely affected sales.
I’m still working on the upcoming major revision of my book. It’s coming along well but the release date has been pushed back until June/July. I just haven’t been able to commit time or energy to the update this month. I did recently publish a minor revision of Making Money With HTML5 so it is completely up-to-date. Everyone who has purchased the book prior to the major revision being published will receive the update for free.
If you’re interested in making HTML5 games during 2014, why not pick up a copy of my book? I guarantee there is still a lot of money to be made. HTML5 is a gold mine. Invest in a shovel.
As per usual, licensing HTML5 games to publishers was my strongest revenue stream this month, and by quite a margin too. None of my other revenue streams even came close.
So what happened this month? Well, I sold my first exclusive HTML5 game. Due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) I’m limited in what I can say about the deal.
I’ve been working on the game since the start of the year as a side-project with the intention to try and break into the exclusive sponsorship market, and everything went to plan. I can’t say how much I sold it for but it was a very large percentage of this month’s income.
I’m not sure if I’d do it again. Making a game that can sell for five-digits is, as you can imagine, incredibly time-consuming. I probably could have added a dozen new mini-games to the portfolio in the time it took to finish this single game.
Two Years In Business
It’s been an interesting journey so far. Stressful when money was tight, and surreal when it wasn’t. I graphed my online income across the last two years to demonstrate what a roller coaster ride it has been.
The volatility of my online income becomes quite evident when it’s presented like this. I have to take the highs with the lows. I could make less than $1,000 next month and it wouldn’t surprise me, but as long as I’m making enough to live on I couldn’t be happier.
My online earnings during my first two years of business total $133,011, which is an average of $5,542 per month.
June is going to be a huge month for me. Moving to the city is going to be exhausting, and I have to balance it with my ongoing work too. It will be a challenge at the least and a nightmare at the most.
I’m definitely going to work on the upcoming major revision of my book Making Money With HTML5. I’m aiming to publish the revision in early July but it could be earlier. I won’t be working on any new games, so expect my online income to take a dive next month.
Once I’ve finished my move and published my book update, I’ll be dedicating a lot more time to making HTML5 games. I’ve got a lot of great projects planned for the second half of the year.
I suppose my next goal is to make $30,000 in a single month…but that’d be crazy, right?
Thank you for reading!