Online Income Report #033 – January 2015

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 2015.

icon-twitch

What I’m Doing In 2015

Instead of looking back at what I did in January, which was mostly just organization and planning, this month I want to talk about the year ahead. Every new year, I refocus and decide how I’m going to achieve my goals.

Changing Direction

In 2015 I will be focusing less on HTML5 games and more on my major project Aeon Chapters. I love working with HTML5, and I will continue to do so, but it has always been a means to an end. By selling HTML5 games I have put myself in a stable financial position which grants me the freedom to work on games that require a budget and extended development time.

I will still be working with HTML5 in 2015 since it’s the best way I know to make money online. I’m just continuing to diversify now.

Aeon Chapters is going to take thousands of hours to produce, and I projected that it will cost me $40,000+ in living expenses and development costs. I’m aiming to make a 500% return on that, which is perhaps a little ambitious, but this is still a calculated risk. I’m starting full-time work on Aeon Chapters in a couple of months…whether I fail or succeed, the experience will be extremely valuable to me.

Live Streaming

If you’re into gaming, you’ve probably heard of the live streaming service called Twitch. Every month, more than 45,000,000 gamers visit the platform to watch people play games. Twitch recently added a category for Game Development allowing developers to share what goes on behind the scenes.

Now, watching people make games is not entertaining, but it is interesting. Viewers get to connect with their favorite developers in a social environment, and they might even learn something. Developers get to generate interest in their games prior to release, and the real-time feedback from viewers is extremely useful. Lately, I’ve been watching game development streams on my second monitor while working on my own projects; it has been a welcome distraction.

So, I figured why not stream the development of Aeon Chapters when I start full-time work on the game? Maybe it will be worth watching, and even if it isn’t I’m sure I can use it as a motivational tool for myself. I’ll share more details about all of this soon. In the mean time, you can follow me on Twitch!

New Schedule

I find myself working 10+ hours per day far too often. This year, I’m trying to follow a new schedule that will cut my workday down to just 5-7 hours (with some flexibility if I need it). The goal here is to force myself to work more efficiently within a short time frame, so that I can spend more time away from the computer pursuing my other interests.

As you may have guessed, this approach is partially inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. This book is a must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner. I’m a long way from working just 4 hours per week, but my plan is to eventually live off passive income and invest a minimal amount of time into upkeep.

office_

Bonus : this photo of my home office was viewed 165,000+ times on Reddit this month.

Platform Overview

Here’s a quick look at how my online platform performed during January 2015.

Games

The games I publish were played 1,330,757 times (22,124,062 total) and 86,229 mobile ads were displayed in sessions I hosted.

Traffic to my HTML5 games dropped slightly from last month’s record high. At this rate, I should reach 30 million total plays before the end of the year.

Websites

My websites were viewed 62,770 times (5,170,624 total) by 26,513 unique visitors.

Visits to my websites increased in January thanks to a traffic spike from Reddit, however those referrals are low quality because they don’t “stick” particularly well.

As I mentioned last month, I have stopped updating my other website GameMaker Blog so I expect total website traffic to stagnate or decline in the coming months. This should only have a minimal impact.

Subscribers

icon-upgrade

I have a total of 27,929 subscribers across various platforms, up 986 from last month. My current Klout score of 60.44 places me in the top 7% of influential social media users.

Twitter – 17,397 (+806) ¹ ² ³
Facebook – 7,797 (+156) ¹ ² ³
Newsletters – 2,735 (+24)

This month’s social media numbers are slightly inaccurate. Newsletter growth was actually very strong, but I removed dozens of inactive subscribers from my mailing lists so the final count is less than it should be. I have also stopped promoting my GameMaker Blog brand on social media so Twitter and Facebook growth will be slower now.

Online Income Report

Unfortunately, the client work I scheduled for January fell through, so I didn’t really know what to do with myself this month. I decided to reorganize my workspace and perform further maintenance on my existing HTML5 games. Obviously, those tasks were not directly profitable so I endured yet another slow start to the new year.

Crunching The Numbers

online-income-report-janaury-2015

During January 2015 I earned a total of $3,138 solely online, up $500 from last month.

Summary

While sales of my book Making Money With HTML5 took the top spot once again, it was my HTML5 consulting service that really carried its weight this month. I gained two new clients who I’m very happy to have on board. I’m still new to consulting but I feel like I’m providing excellent value to my clients, all of whom have been interesting individuals with ambitious goals.

I hardly licensed any of my HTML5 games this month but as I mentioned earlier this has historically been the case early in the year. I currently have $10,000+ worth of licensing deals in negotiation.

icon-coffee2What’s Next?

I’ll be releasing a major update to my Mobility Engine in February. At the end of the month, or perhaps in early March, I’ll be updating my book. I also have to finish performing maintenance on my HTML5 games (I’m adding audio and making general improvements). After that, I’ll probably take a break before starting full-time work on Aeon Chapters. This year will be really interesting – I’ll hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Thanks for reading!

Matthew

Previous income report »

  • Je Fawk says:

    Really nice :) looking forward to the live streaming! Also what is that light you have? Looks like the UV one you see in clubs hmmm o.O

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks! I use Phillips HUE light bulbs which I control from my iPhone.

  • kengy says:

    great Matthew! thanks for sharing i will follow you on Twitch. i think it is a good tool for spread the games.

    • Matthew says:

      I doubt Twitch will ever compare to my other platforms but I just love everything about the concept. It will be a good challenge for me, too.

  • SirJoshalot says:

    Awesome Matthew, recently discovered you a few weeks ago and you’ve really become an inspiration for me when I grow up. I look forward to your future work ;D

  • Coco says:

    Hey, Matt, awesome read. I wish you success and will watch your streams!
    I don’t have much success with HTML5 licensing, so I too want to do a bigger game. I was wondering, that $40K in living expenses translates into how many months of gamedev?

    • Matthew says:

      I have pretty high living expenses at the moment. I’m not ready to divulge the exact numbers here but the $40K figure also takes into account the estimated cost of assets such as artwork and music, and the cost of marketing.

    • Matthew says:

      There’s also the element of profit loss, wherein I’ll be working on Aeon Chapters instead of HTML5 games so I will have less licensing opportunities, but this isn’t reflected in the $40K figure.

      • Coco says:

        Putting all the info you’ve given (thousands of hours dev time, working 5-7h/day, your usual html5 income) I’d estimate a good 6 months :)

  • Anatoly Maximov says:

    Very good result, Matt. It motivates me =) Thanks=)

  • opposingforces says:

    Dang, TV. doing good man. i do miss ROO sometimes though i don’t miss vlad pwning everybody with his legendary gear… lol.

    • Matthew says:

      Maybe if I add multiplayer to Aeon Chapters you’ll get something close to ROO :) Thanks for following my work for all these years, it’s been a long journey…

      • opposingforces says:

        sounds good to me. and i’m glad you’re getting to where you need to be to focus on what you do best, make interesting and compelling games.

      • Shoozes says:

        This should be easier now with all the networking functions in GMS. – I say go for it. :)

  • Martin says:

    I understand that you are reaching up to a higher goal, which is great that you have put yourself in a position to do that, but.. Are you seeing a drop in the success of selling HTML5 games? Perhaps you are finding it more difficult to find sponsors or the general price on them is falling from additional developers in the market?

    • Matthew says:

      Not really, I’m finding the market is pretty consistent and predictable lately. I wouldn’t be taking a chance with Aeon Chapters if I expected my main source of income to fall out from under my feet. As I mentioned, I will definitely still be working on HTML5 games this year. It’s just unfortunate that business is slow over the holiday season.

  • Adam Lea says:

    Hey Matthew, appreciate your transparency.
    I have only been following your blog/twitter closely for the last few months when it seems you make the most $ from book sales – has that always been the case?
    In the 3 years you’ve been doing this what would you estimate the % of income breakdowns are from your 3 biggest sources?
    Thanks so much for all you do – Adam

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Adam – it’s definitely not the case. Usually HTML5 sponsorships are my main source of income (such is the case in February), followed by book sales, and then HTML5 ad revenue. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Kristijan says:

    Hey man.

    LOVE the setup that you have. Would you be able to post more pictures of your apartment? Looks amazing

    Congrats on earnings, keep dong a great job!

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks! You’re looking at about half of the apartment already ;) The rest is pretty generic.