Mid-month Stats Update

Its been two weeks since my last numbers update so I thought I’d briefly summarize things.

First a brief recap: My first two weeks in business (July 1st through 15th) I saw one sale.  My next two weeks I saw 2 sales (through July 31st).  These past two weeks, lets see, 6 sales?  I’m going to shoot waaaaaaay past my personal goal for August, which was originally 4 sales.

Expenses: I recently upgraded my GoDaddy account to their next higher level of Linux hosting ($7 a month, egads!) and Traffic Facts (their analytic software… which is garbage, incidentally.  The only feature I find useful is the fact that they let me actually have my raw log files, which I can extract the important information out of with gawk and grep.)  Plus $30 a month on Yahoo and ~$70 a month on Google (budgeted for $90 but search volume isn’t always high enough to make that), and $5 a month for e-junkie.  I’m going to cut my spending on Yahoo from next month, as it seems to have stopped generating results.

Anyhow, going forward, thats ~$110 a month in expenses, or 4.5 sales.  I now feel rather confident that I can make at least 10 sales a month, consistently, for about as long as I want with rather little additional work.  By my quick back-of-the-envelope math, thats about $1,500 a year, which won’t exactly have me sipping iced cocoa on the beach.  Actually, check that, that is enough for me to afford a quick jaunt out to Okinawa every year.  And I couldn’t go to the beach every day — I burn in minutes, its terrible.

Alright, daydreaming aside:

Sales sources are approximately 50% Google (no purchasers from organic search as of yet, oddly enough), 25% download sites (don’t know which — whoops!),  25% one single teacher message board which apparently loves me.  (Seth Godin, a marketing genius whose key insight is “make it easy for people to tell their friends about you”, would be proud.)

My ballpark estimate for download-to-purchase conversion is 3%.  So one of my Ad Groups (average CPA: $0.30) costs $10 per purchaser and another ($0.45) costs $15, leaving me comfortably profitable with either.

Some other statistics:

Total number of support requests: 0 (1 if you count the 1 refund I processed, which is not counted in the above sales)

Total customer contacts: hmm, call that 3.  3 teachers read about me on the aforementioned message board and asked where they could get a copy of my program.

Total downloads per week: I’ve written before about how this is difficult to estimate, especially with my software being available on 100 sites now.  Some of them cache the installer so the download doesn’t end up on my logs.  I estimate that there are approximately 200 downloads per week.  Of these, I get confirmation that at least 30 installed successfully through use of my check-for-updates feature.

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4 Comments on “Mid-month Stats Update”

  1. Ali Says:

    Well done Markus. $1.5K an year might not be a lot of money, but if you can make just 9 more products like this, you’re getting $15K an year. Not bad!

    You mentioned that you download the log files. Do you want to share how you get the required data out of them, and what data do you get out of them?

  2. Patrick Says:

    I’m afraid I don’t know this Markus chap.

    As to making 9 more products — while I suppose theoretically I *could* do that, I’ve got no real desire to do so at this time. I’m going to spend a bit of time improving Bingo Card Creator first. I figure sometime next year I’ll get started on something slightly more ambitious, using what I learned from this project.

    I use cygwin (www.cygwin.com) to get a basic Unix environment running on my Windows development machine, because Unix is my environment of choice for string processing, and log analysis is just string parsing on crack. I use a variety of text manipulation utilities to extract the information I want. This generally involves typing in stupidly long command lines.

    For example, counting how many times my installer was downloaded:

    grep exe *.log | wc

    (Grep searches for regular expressions in a file and outputs every line of the file which matches. wc counts the number of lines, words, and characters in a file. Chaining these two together tells me how many times .exe shows in my log.)

    GAWK, a pattern matching language, is my personal tool of choice for anything I cannot accomplish with grep, sed, and wc in 15 seconds or less. For example, I have a ~10 line gawk script which parses the log file and tells me which download sites are generating the most .exe downloads. This obviously can’t catch the downloads at download.com and other sites which cache my installer on their own HTTP server, but it does allow me to compare the 90% of sites that don’t — sharewareplaza, by the way, apparently accounts for about as many downloads as download.com for some reason.

  3. Patrick – Excellent news… found your link via JoS and headed over.

    Have you tried using AWStats to parse the log files? Might give you the same stuff you already have, but it might have other things too. I use it for my log files. I don’t have the grep / regex experience (or the desire) to parse my own files. 🙂

  4. Ali Says:

    Woops! Sorry, got a bit confused between Patrick and Marcus from plentyofffish.wordpress.com

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