All About the Money: Income Stats & Diversifying Affiliate Earnings | #008

Hey, welcome back to another episode of The Numbers Game…but this week, there’s a twist. We’ve decided to change things up a bit. Rather than have one long episode (usually around 40-50 minutes), we’re splitting it in two. For Part A, we’ll bring you the story, data and lessons sections. Then, the following week, it’ll

All About the Money: Income Stats & Diversifying Affiliate Earnings | #008

Hey, welcome back to another episode of The Numbers Game…but this week, there’s a twist. We’ve decided to change things up a bit. Rather than have one long episode (usually around 40-50 minutes), we’re splitting it in two.

For Part A, we’ll bring you the story, data and lessons sections. Then, the following week, it’ll be Part B (Episode 9) – the experiments section and your homework! We’re also looking to try and include some listener question at this point too. But, let us know how you feel about it! Whether you like it or dislike it, get in touch on Twitter or through our contact page.

Because we’re recording (and editing!) the podcast, videos, blog posts and everything in between for The Numbers Game, we hope that by splitting this up across two weeks it’ll be a lot more sustainable!

Now, back to Episode 8. In the story section we’ll be discussing the affiliate income here at The Podcast Host. We’ve been looking at the different ways to diversify ourselves to help bring in some more funding through that.

Then, for our data segment, it’s the return of income for our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). There’s not a huge amount of change to report, but hopefully it gives you an insight into the way we run things.

Finally, it’s the lesson section. We’ll be expanding on the discussion we had during our story, talking about how important it is to expand our affiliate income. Enjoy!

Story | The Rise & Fall of Affiliate Income & The Need to Diversify

One area in which we’ve been working on a lot over the last couple of weeks is our affiliate income and, more specifically, how to bring in more.

Affiliate income is, to put it simply, the commission you make on the sale of someone else’s goods. For example, if someone reads one of our articles about microphones, clicks on a link to an external page and buys it – we get a percentage of the sale.

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Right now the bulk of our affiliate income is through Amazon. We know from our content that the majority of the money we get from that is through people buying microphones, digital mixers, and other basic bits of kit.

The problem with affiliate income is that it’s frequently changing, so there is a real need to try and diversify where we’re getting it from.

We do have different ways on the site, like the Peerless Podcasting Website course that is one of the most popular courses we run. We offer it free; partly because it markets the paid courses we do but also because it’s a big affiliate earner.

Another way we’ve been trying to bring in affiliate income is within the Audition Vs. Audacity article that Matthew has been working on.

We’ve wanted to have this on the site for a long time. They’re the two editing and recording programmes that we commonly use and the ones that a lot of people out there go for. The aim is to set out all the main differences between the two in an article (that’s almost the size of a small eBook!) and offer them the routes that they could go down to learn it with our affiliate links.

People ask us that sort of question (Audacity or Audition?) all the time, so by putting the answer into a blog post we’re giving our audience the answers, while at the same time earning some money.

Affiliate income doesn’t work if you’re just trying to sell stuff. But if you’re giving people value and answering the real questions, then hopefully you can guide them towards your links.

Another thing we’ve been doing is a directory on services. We get a lot of questions about podcast production, so we’ve done a bit of research and listed a lot of these sites that do offer it. We’ve done the work and found out a bit about these services, so then we get a wee bit of commission if you decide to go for it!

And, eventually, Colin plans to put together a list of courses that are useful to podcasters to help bring in a bit of affiliate income. Whatever niche you’re in, you can tend to find courses in some way.

All the affiliate income we’re really getting at the moment comes from podcast creators, but in reality at the moment we have a lot more listeners coming to the site. To cater to that we’ve done a couple of headphone roundups (for podcasts and audio drama) from a listener perspective.

Data | Making the Money: Clients, Membership & Affiliates

If you’ve been following along with the series then you’ll know we’ve been going through our different KPIs here at The Podcast Host.

This episode, it’s back to income.

We’re into May right now, which means we’ll be reporting back on our figures for April. This is going to be quite a short section because…not much has changed!

This might sound ok, but in reality growth is what we want. A lot of work has been put into growing our content and taking on staff, so stagnant isn’t a good thing! But, we know that content takes a while to kick in. Hopefully the work we’re doing on affiliate income should benefit us in the future!

The income from our clients is pretty much exactly the same as the previous month, sitting at £370/$500. But, we’ve taken on a couple of one-time projects, so this figure should jump up in May.

In terms of membership, we’ve gained a few new members but also lost a few. We’re looking into refining that funnel so they’re more likely to stay longer. We’re also working on the live support to give our members the best experience possible. That’s on around £360/$500ish (which is up 2% on the previous month).

Our other main income, as we’ve mentioned in the story section, is affiliate income. It’s down 2% on the last month, at around £2750/$4000.

So, not much to report back, but hopefully it gives you an idea on what we’re making based on the activities we’re talking about every week.

Lessons | Don’t Buy Into the ‘One Thing’ – Keep Your Income Diverse

In the story section we were talking a lot about affiliate income and that’s where today’s lesson is going to come from.

There’s this common idea that if something is working (or you want to make it work) then you need to go at it 100% with the ‘one thing’ approach. We disagree.

We’re holding our hands up. We made that mistake with affiliate income. Amazon's affiliate scheme was working for us and we started building on that. That’s fine and it’s been growing, but in the last few months we’ve started to see it fall and that’s making us a bit nervous. We rely on that too heavily.

It’s far too big a portion of our income, and if Amazon just decided tomorrow to shut off its affiliate programme, then we’d lose a big chunk of our income. It’s dangerous.

So, our lesson would be not to buy into that idea that you need to stick with one thing 100%, because it could cause you problems in the future.

It’s like investing. You’d never put all your money into one stock. You diversify and buy several different stocks.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing now. We’re looking into having lots of different types or sources of affiliate income – whether that’s Amazon, web hosting, products or courses.

Not only that, but we’re trying to diversify in our other areas of income too, not just in the affiliates. We’re working on growing our membership because that depends a lot less on external factors.

We also want to look at ways we generate income too and that comes through traffic. So, we’re looking at our email list, Facebook ads, Google AdWords and things like that.

You do need to focus on what's working, but it’s wise to diversify your income in order to remain sustainable.

What do you think?

We’d love to include some listener questions or feedback within the show so let us know what you think!

We want to know what you like and what you don’t like, or just some general comments. We’d particularly like to get some audio questions sent in, so if you’re able to record something (even just on your phone) then we’ll include them in future episodes.

Get in touch via the contact page or Tweet us.

Or, if you’re feeling keen, drop us a review on iTunes/Apple Podcasts by the link or by searching for The Numbers Game – it really helps to get us get the show out to more people.

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