Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
The highlight of July was a couple of vacations… which my wife went to. After being imprisoned for a few months we all needed some separation for our mental health. So, she traveled to my sister in Germany, spent a few days at home, and went with my daughter to get some rest at the Baltic Sea.
And I had two weeks, which I could dedicate to work. Well, it didn’t go exactly as I planned, I was prone to waste my time on social media and TV, but some work had been done.
I maintained our weekly team call schedule. It was good for everyone involved, but especially for me. I could feel like a proper CEO 😉
We got a few new customers in July, just a standard trickle of new prospects. Having an onboarding specialist, I finally reached out to a few people in my network, letting them know that I accept more customers. Not much came out of that, although I secured a webinar in September.
I had a couple of calls with Alex, who runs a very similar service. We exchanged our experiences. Encouraged by Alex, I tested the phrase keyword-matching feature and discovered, to my surprise that this worked even for my own books in the US. I quickly tested it in Canada (the results were half of it).
At the end of the month, Alex got an idea to help me out with optimizing the ads for the best books of my customers. I jumped at this opportunity.
When I summarized July revenue after the end of the month, I was pleasantly surprised: it was another record month. The revenue was 48% bigger than the average from the last 12 months and 4% better than the previous record.
I subscribed to the RadioListGuests service and applied for a few podcasts interviews. Almost every time, my application was accepted, mostly because I was very mindful to hit only the right shows.
As a result of one of my mastermind calls, I decided to proactively facilitate more calls between mastermind members. I started posting every week a call to network more. I had several calls with guys from other groups. It was nice to catch up with them. I think I got zero business out of those calls, but it wasn’t the point. It got me out of isolation a bit and was good for my mental health.
I got invited to speak at the Podfest Online Summit about Amazon ads. Of course, I agreed. I spent an hour or two on the organizing call and exchanging messages about the agenda with the self-publishing micro-con organizer.
My book sales shrunk in July. I just wasn’t able to get them to the pre-Covid levels. I mostly ignored this. Well, I created the phrase-matching ads and was happy to see a spike in my campaigns. But it remained neutral for the overall sales. I was able to limit my ad spendings, but not to increase the sales.
I posted my July goals in the accountability group on the 14th of July, two weeks after I should’ve done that! That was an indicator of how badly I neglected accountability. Every few days, I had been catching up with my habits tracking. I should’ve done this multiple times a day.
The weather was great most of the time, so I biked and walked a lot. I made over 300k steps in July and well over 500 kilometers on a bike.
During one of my biking ventures, I fell hard turning on a crumbly road. I scratched my arm quite vividly and hit the road with my head. It was nothing, really. I had a mild headache for a few hours and I slept like a rock that night.
Only a day or so after the accident, a reflection came to me: “Well, that was close. If I would’ve hit the road harder…”
Life is a fragile thing. That’s why we should live it to the fullest.
In the last week of July I reached out to Marc Reklau. I wanted to update him on my recent discoveries regarding the ads. During the conversation he confessed he has no accountability partner.
Well, accountability is one of my few superpowers. That is, keeping someone accountable, not myself 😉 I offered him to become his accountability partner and he accepted without a moment of hesitation. We decided to have bi-weekly calls, and set the date for the next call.
Amazon Ads Takeaways
BTW, here are the things I shared with Marc.
-phrase keyword targeting in the USA works pretty well next to the broad targeting; I got 20% more impressions using the same keywords and the overall ROI was better
-the above wasn’t true for my Canadian ads; the volume increased only about 5% and I saw no difference in the ROI
-up and down bidding works great in the USA and quite well in the UK; using this kind of bidding, I was able to obtain the lower average cost per click
-in Canada, it actually works the other way; down-only bidding gives lower average cost per click than up and down bidding
The July 2020 Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €2,430.65 ($2,483.86)
Coach.me fees: $121.92
Audiobooks royalties: $45.82
D2D royalties: $24.33
PWIW personal coaching: $335.45
AMS service remuneration: $3,429.69
$23.37, BirdSend fee
$1,123.45 Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$754, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$112.42, royalties split with co-author
$120.52, editor’s share
$17.58, MichalZone domain
$96, Calendly yearly fee
$25, book promo
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$92, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $3,929.43