August Numbers

First, a disclaimer: Due to my own lax recordkeeping, the issues with running a business with the International Date Line between me and most of my customers/suppliers, currency exchange issues, and other reasons, these numbers may be off by a little bit.  I’m sorry to give you analog accuracy in a digital world, but its the best I can do without spending too much time playing accountant.  And, after all, I have a release to finalize 🙂

There’s a recurring issue here: do I count expenses based on when they are charged or when they are incurred?  i.e. if I prepay for 3 months of GoDaddy, like I did, do I count that whole expense in August or spread it out?  Where possible, I’m going to divide out recurring costs over the length of the term.  While this means you can’t see my exact bank statement/cash flow, suffice it to say that it stays positive and thats all you really needed to know, right?

Sales:

Through Paypal: 13 (+1 return)

Through eSellerate: 1 (didn’t trust Paypal)

Gross sales:  $349.30

Net sales:  $333.54 (subtracted out payment processor charges: $1.02 for each Paypal, $2.50 for eSellerate)

Expenses:

Recurring expenses:

Web site hosting: $10 (Linux hosting + Traffic Facts through GoDaddy)

e-junkie (payment processing): $5

Yahoo Search Marketing: $30 (since canceled)

Google AdWords: $90

Subtotal recurring expenses: $135

One-time Expenses:

Stock icons from icons-icons.com: $29.95

RoboSoft Registration: $99

2 postcards to RoboSoft authors: $1.50 (the first got returned today due to my atrocious handwriting, so I have to resend one)

Allume’s Stuffit: $29.99 (thought I would need it for shipping Mac orders.  My mistake.  Whoops.  Ah well, I feel better about using their Stuffit Expander for the last 10 years now.)

Rentacoder port to Mac version: $40 ($25 bid + $15 tip)

Subtotal for one-time expenses: $200.44

Total expenses: $335.44

Profit: -$1.90 (Wahoo!)

Well, honestly, I thought I was going to post a minor paper profit.  Hmm, I guess thats why we write things down.  In terms of cash flow, as mentioned above, I am minorly positive, because this shows me booking about $50 of AdWords expenses many weeks ahead of being billed them (weeks in which I will, obviously, have additional sales).

If I knew earlier what I do now, I would have gotten the Mac thing done for free by an microISV contact, and not paid for the Stuffit registration.  Ahh well.  Small beer, in the opinion of somebody who can’t drink for fear of killing himself.

OK, back to the fun statistics:

I’m going to discontinue giving the Yahoo stats.  I just don’t find them credible after doing the auditing for the last month, which is the proximate cause of me discontinuing my subscription with them.  That plus the fact that I’ve finally succeeded in pushing my AdWords spending down to my target.

As with last month I have two AdGroups.  The first is pitching vocabulary bingo, the second Bingo Card Creator itself.  I’m going to show you the full monthly stat summary and also the last week’s stat summary so you can see an indication of how things are improving through periodically shifting bids, ad texts, and landing pages.  Unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly how effective they were at driving sales because I just realized the last time I touched my thanks-for-your-purchase page I borked the Javascript on it, costing me the last week work of data.  D’oh.

Incidentally, results for the vocabulary group are heavily depressed by the long experiment with that “give teachers free lists” thingee. It worked great for getting me inbound links but not so great from a conversion perspective (that one add has like a 10% CR and 20% CTR, costing me a lot of money for not a lot of gain.  Basically it ended up being $30 given to charity for PR value.)

This Month / This Week:

Vocabulary Bingo:

Impressions: 27,000

CTR: 2.54%

Avg. Position: 2.7
CR: 16.86%

CPA: $.34

Bingo Card Creator:

Impressions: 7,700

CTR: 5.80%

Avg. Position: 2.0

CR: 22.76%

CPA: $.45

 

Although you can’t tell it from the whole month’s stats at a glance, recently I have made my $.30 a download target.  Yay me.  The secret: continuous improvement of ad texts and landing pages, plus a recent ruthless culling of every keyword which wasn’t performing well enough to justify keeping.

Alright, how about some website stats:

Visits: 4,175

Trial downloads (from site):670

Trial downloads (download sites which hotlink, so they show up in server logs — this is a guesttimate at best due to the cruddiness of my logging): 500

Confirmed trial downloads (someone selected a link within the application): 100

Download.com trial downloads: 150

Major sources of hits (trial demo CR in % following):

Google CPC:1,000 (21.6%)

This blog:  894 (5.7%) — N.B. I was Slashdotted once, which accounts for most of them.

Google Organic: 587 (16.18%)

Microsoft Organic: 526 (17.3%)

Single Post On Teacher Bulletin Board: 150 (27%) — I love my adoring fans.

Major Download Sites:

Download.com: 130

AllApp: 40

SurfPack: 40

FreeDownloadCenter: 25* (also sent a good deal of traffic directly to site — in the hundreds)

FreeDownloadManager: 25

Incidentally, the next 40 download sites on the list sum to about 60% of the total of these.  Yep, Long Tail in action.

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5 Comments on “August Numbers”

  1. Martin Says:

    Regarding stuffit, I trialled it a year or so ago hoping to automate some stuff with one of the side applications, well it didn’t do what I wanted, so I got a refund. In fact I think they had a pretty noticeable refund 100% no quibble policy. If that is still available, request a refund and enjoy a proftable month.

  2. Martin Says:

    Quick check refund policy is still in effect go here…

    http://www.digitalriver.com/dr/sat5/ec_main.entry11?sp=10107&xid=1839&pn=80


  3. All things considered, -$1.90 isn’t bad for how long you have been in business. And your sales are still growing, so that number will rapidly go positive.

    Also, you had several upfront purchases there (icons, mac work, stuffit, etc). Those won’t be purchased again, so next month should show better profits.

    You’ve got me excited again about one of my products… time to go work on v2 and get that released. 🙂

  4. Ali Says:

    Hey pat, may be consider investing the next month’s profits into an ad in a teacher’s magazine (or website)?

  5. kahfei Says:

    Patrick, great post. There are blogs sharing the development and marketing of their Web application, like Bare naked App, but so far I see none really unveiling the real figures.

    This is really informative to all microISV wannabe. Thanks.


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