RiderZone traffic and income report: September 2016

By | October 3, 2016

The last time I shared this report was in March. If you’re wondering why this half a year gap to the next one, the answer is rather simple.

I tried writing about the roughly 100,000 views and the roughly $40 income that they made, but that was just too fucking depressing. The only thing I could do was distract myself from the obvious reality that I am a monumental moron, and then continue doing moronic things, with full knowledge that the next 2-3 months are going to be spent in abject poverty.

Even if I make 40$ a month from Google AdSense, which by itself is nothing, I can’t use it. Google only transfers you the monies once your account balance crosses the 100$ minimum threshold. Hence the months of wait.

It was in response to this carnage that I made 3 changes to my setup.

1. Patreon page

AdSense is far too unpredictable a source to be your primary income, after experimenting about 2 years with it, I still don’t understand the way ad sizes and clicks and revenue work. In sheer frustration, I created just one 300×250 ad and then pasted that all over the damn site.

I had known about Patreon since a while, but didn’t ask for money for a number of reasons. Things were getting ridiculously frustrating, and I had to make a decision about continuing with the site or not. The Patreon experiment hasn’t worked out too badly, with 3 backers till now sending me 68$ a month, although one of them is my wife, but of course that still bloody counts.

The stability of Patreon income is a welcome relief, I don’t have to worry about pandering to US/UK audience anymore in the hopes of making more money on the same ads.

The growth has been rather sluggish though, and I understand that. The people who read my articles are mostly young, IT folk that barely make enough to support their own adventures. I’m sure things will get better with time.

2. Five posts a week

I don’t like writing on a weekly basis.

The minimum that I end up spending in creating an article is 5 hours, sometimes it can cross into days. I also don’t have any backup of posts already written and ready for publication, everything that I post is finished on the exact same day.

This means that to write on a daily basis, I have to stay in front of a computer from morning to evening, 5 days a week. The remaining 2 days are spent preparing for the bigger articles and videos, shooting stuff, collecting my thoughts.

This is obviously idiotic, writing about motorcycles should be more than just sitting in a dark corner, constantly looking at a stupid laptop. It’s also very stressful to know you have to publish this thing today, and not even have begun with it by late afternoon. However, there are 2 reasons why I have to stick to this schedule.

  1. If I don’t write on a daily basis, the website views go down like a stone, and so does the revenue.
  2. If I plan to write only 2 or 3 articles a week, I end up writing even lesser than that. It’s too easy to think “Oh fuck that son, watch Youtube videos for 10 hours, play MotoGP game for 5, don’t worry about the damn articles, you can finish them on the day you want them published”. Having something to do everyday gives me a reason to slide my hairy ass out of bed, and remove my ugly face away from the phone screen.

Things are getting better though, I am able to find the time and energy to work on more than just an article in a day. Hopefully by next month I’ll have a few ideas already written and saved, which should give me the time and mental space for a few rides.

Money can go fuck itself, there’s no point in trying to write about something without experiencing it first.

3. Youtube

I had started taking Youtube too seriously, and ended up wasting too much time on videos that I should’ve spent on articles.

I am not good with video editing, not only do I not enjoy it, I don’t even like any part of the entire process, shooting, scripts, narration, anything. A few months back I did find a great guy who was willing to help me out with the editing, but I couldn’t go through with it. I want to do everything myself, which in some ways is a destructive impulse, but it happens to be one that I’m not able to suppress at the moment.

After speaking with Preetam while on the Bangalore ride, I decided to use Youtube as a secondary medium for creating stuff. Now all I try to do is make simple, narration free videos, whose only aim is to complement the article, show things that can’t be written.

This means that my Youtube ad revenue is hilarious, but then again it wasn’t any better to begin with. I’d rather spend my efforts on something I’m good at, or at least enjoy, rather than something I don’t.

Traffic report

OK then, enough talk, here are the September numbers.

MediumViews
TOTAL167,475
Website140,927
Youtube26,548

Income report

And here’s the fun part.

MediumRevenue in $
TOTAL197.2
Google AdSense125.75
Youtube3.45
Patreon68

In case you’re wondering, the income in Rupees based on today’s exchange rate is just above 13,000 bucks.

Is this enough? Fuck no! My biking and website related expenses last month were far more than what I made, but that’s something I’ll start capturing in detail from next month, just to understand how much money you have to spend to make some more.

I get a lot of messages from people who want to quit their jobs and follow their hearts. My advice is always the same, do it, but be aware of the consequences.

There’s no glory in regret. 

  • Rex

    Now all I try to do is make simple, narration free videos, whose only
    aim is to complement the article, show things that can’t be written

    Thank you for saying this! I can’t believe how many people think listening to someone drone on and on in a video is better than reading an article about it. It’s gotten to where you find fucking videos for things like rooting your Android phone, or for videogame walkthroughs where you wait and wait to see what to do instead of reading it. Reading is way faster than listening to someone, and videos shouldn’t substitute for the written word.
    It works if you have to actually show something, otherwise it’s no good. Just my 2 cents.

    tl;dr – don’t ever stop writing in favor of recording video, your writing style is awesome!

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂 agreed.

  • Samir Singhania

    Hey Nikhil,

    First of all, you are doing the great job buddy.

    Look at this way, you grew your income by almost 4 folds just in 6 months. An IT guy can’t do it even if he hops around every other month. And it’s not always like you’ll have to keep on increasing the number of articles to get more views. Riderzone is catching up fast and same articles will produce more views as the time passes by. So keep writing buddy.

    With that said, I am sure you also considered other ads affiliate programs like – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com, BlogAds, AdBrite. If not, please check them out. Also, I don’t think there is any harm associating directly with companies who are publishing ads on your website through Google AdSense. I am sure you will find contacts through your facebook page or here.

    I will research more, filter and will forward to you if I come across anything else useful.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Thanks man! I tried the Amazon affiliate thing, it’s just too sad to need to push stupid items to your readers and expect them to buy that shit with the link that you shared. On top of that, the money that you make from it is just ridiculously funny 🙂

    • Rex

      Ad networks don’t vet what’s put on them and spread malware, so there’s that.

      • Akhil Kalsh

        True, there have been such cases.

  • Rakesh Narayanan

    Wonderful, I was in the same dilemma but my website was in local language and it was not fetchomg even 100 bugs. I closed the same sadly but waiting for the next jump. Not sure when it happens but it will for sure.

    Just said btw

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂

  • Hrishikesh

    you are too honest. Rather this is the first time I actually read someone talking about their web-income. Your work is great. Best luck. I would love to use ‘riderzone’ android application if you plan to. its far easy than clicking multiple links.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂