I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately. Yesterday I ended up reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck until 4AM, and it’s great timing. I’ve been thinking about my life and my decisions a lot lately. What’s important and what isn’t.

One of the ideas expressed in the book is that problems will arise no matter what, and our happiness isn’t a final destination devoid of problems. Happiness comes from solving those problems. And we can choose our problems based on what we choose to care about, to give weight and importance to.

Am I happy when I solve the problems I’m faced with?

For the most part, yes.

But I also have problems I hide from, problems I refuse to acknowledge or solve. And this blocks the road to happiness.

I have to remember that happiness isn’t a destination. It comes and goes, and that’s okay. The more issues I’m solving, the more solutions I find to problems, the more I fill up my happiness tank.

August Income Breakdown

August Expenses

  • TOTAL: $844.99

August Traffic

I haven’t been super pleased with my traffic lately.

Of course, I know that nearly 800,000 monthly pageviews is a lot of traffic. The growth is what I’m less happy with.

My goal was to bring my traffic to 1 million pageviews, and that was almost 6 months ago. I hired an assistant with this goal in mind at the time and I haven’t been able to considerably increase traffic.

I believe the site is stagnating because it’s reaching a point where it can’t grow anymore. I have two options here.

  • 1. DO LESS. I stop focusing on new content, meaning that new content will be sporadic. Instead, I focus on making the site better overall.
  • 2. DO MORE. We create content that’s slightly more general than the topic of the site. I’ve already started doing this but I don’t know if the site will be able to rank and bring traffic for those posts.

I’m leaning towards option 1 right now, although a mix might be ideal down the road.

Here’s the traffic to my main blog:

And compared to last month:

1. Increasing Amazon Revenue with OneLink

August was my first month trying out Amazon’s new program called OneLink. When I received an email from Amazon letting their affiliates know about the program, I immediately jumped on board. OneLink redirects international readers to their local Amazon instead of Amazon.com. So far, only Canada and the UK are integrated, but I’m hoping more will open up.

Until now, readers from Canada and the UK were directed to Amazon.com, where they typically can’t make a purchase. By redirecting that traffic to their local Amazon store, you can finally monetize it.

To sign up, I had to create affiliate accounts for both Amazon Canada and Amazon UK. Following the instructions was easy and you don’t have to change your links. They redirect on their own.

The main problem right now is that shortened links don’t redirect as far as I know. I’m hoping Amazon will fix this, as the bulk of my links are shortened. I have yet to manually change these links.

Still, this change brought me an additional £224.02 and $102.28 CAD, which means $377.38 USD.

Here’s my August report for Amazon UK:

And here’s Amazon Canada:

2. Autoresponder Awesomeness

Another great thing that happened in August is that I FINALLY set up my autoresponder for my main blog and holy crap, it was about time.

I saw the light.

Setting up a whole series can be knocked out in a few hours, and it yields endless results. I knew how important this was in theory, but it’s not until I set it up that I really understood how simple it is, and how lucrative it can be.

You know I hate being overly salesy.

Your autoresponder doesn’t have to be anything you don’t want it to be, and that’s the beauty of it. In my series, I made sure to be informative and provide value. I also included some affiliate links to my favorite brands or products, and it’s been working quite well.

I’m super excited about this autoresponder and I’m eager to add more emails to the series.

Also, any blog in any niche can benefit from an autoresponder. You don’t necessarily have to be selling and pimping your own products.

3. Having A Site That’s Hard To Monetize

Close to 50% of my earnings come from ads. And that’s something I never thought would happen. But as it turns out:

  • A beauty blog promotes products at a low price point, from a few dollars to up to a few dozens or dollars. This means that my commission is low.
  • My audience isn’t on my site necessarily to purchase products. They’re there to become informed.
  • Most of the people who visit my site aren’t huge consumers — which makes sense because neither am I. Even with a large number of clicks, my conversions rate for affiliate sales is on the low side.

This has been making it hard to monetize my site without using ads, and I hate ads.

At this point however, I don’t think my main blog will be devoid of ads anytime soon. Ads have the big advantage that they generate passive income, and I love the network I’m currently partnering with. But ads are still an overall crappy way to monetize a website: they’re not mine, they send my traffic away, they slow my site down, they clash with everything.

It almost feels wasteful to have to monetize a website with ads. There are much bigger opportunities out there, but it’s hard to make them fit into my own site.

One goal I’m working towards is having physical products. Back in April, I started researching and planning everything but it all fell through the cracks.

As always, thank you for reading!