December 1, 2016

November Progress and Income Report

It’s another month and another record for me. In November I earned $90.50, which works out to be slightly more than $3.01 a day. It’s not quite the $100 I was hoping for, but still a very good month all things considered.

I knew last month’s insane user growth rate couldn’t continue indefinitely and it didn’t. My stats leveled off the first week in November, then declined the following week. I suffered about a 25% loss in clicks from organic searches in the days following the election which also corresponded to about a 25% drop in income for the entire week. (Perhaps a result of election burn out? Nearly 70% of my traffic originates from the US.) Chalk it up to one more thing I hadn’t anticipated about the election. I was nervous that the number of daily visitors would take another nose dive during the week of Thanksgiving, what with so many people spending time off line and with family. The first three weeks or so of November I was just hoping I would reach the same $70 I made last month.

To my surprise, Thanksgiving didn’t have nearly as big an impact on the number of users as I thought it would. Thanksgiving Eve I had a noticeable drop off in the number of users from 2 pm PST onward. Thanksgiving I had a noticeable drop off in users from 9am until 7pm, prime family hours. The rest of the week looked pretty much normal. In fact, after the election, my daily average users was starting slowly increase again and that trend continued through Thanksgiving. I saw a 13% increase in users starting from Black Friday onward compared to pre Thanksgiving Eve November. Revenue also increased from $2.52/day to $4.45/day which is what catapulted me to the $90/month mark.

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Overall my numbers look good. The number of monthly users in November is up 23% compared to October. The daily average revenues are more uniform. This month’s best preforming revenue day is just a hair under last month’s, but this month’s low is much better than last month’s. I like stability. It makes it easier to project out, and more confident that trends will continue. There’s a part of me that’s nervous revenue will decrease after the holidays, but if I can keep the number of users up I can minimize future revenue decreases.

That app I launched last month was a Spell Checker. The dictionary I have been using for detecting rare words is great… for that purpose only. It’s not quite large enough for the task of differentiating rare words from misspellings. Too many of the predicted mispellings are false positives to make the app truely useful. I’ve been meaning to update the dictionary, but I just haven’t had time.

I did finally complete the d3 interface layer and address the last of the d3 v4 display issues, which has been on my todo list since August. It was a daunting task, but now it’s done.

The new app this month was Index / No Index. I didn’t want googlebot to index my data files, but if I blocked googlebot’s access to them, googlebot couldn’t fully render parameterized app pages that relied on those data files. It would miss content, which would affect how well those pages were indexed. I realized influencing what crawling agents do is a bit more nuanced than just writing a robots.txt file, and I needed to create a new testing environment to ensure I set up the index/follow directives correctly. My new philosophy is to create an app for anything that’s non trivial for me to do, hence Index / No Index.

So far in 2016 I’ve only written 23 new apps, a far far cry from the 100 I set out to do. If you’re considering new content and include the how to articles, then I’ve got 27 items. There’s still a month left, and I’m going to spend this month working on new content. I likely won’t reach that 100 count, but I can’t say I’m disappointed with the progress I’ve been making.

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