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November 2016 Income Report

TL;DR: continues to do well, Cheatography potters along inoffensively, ApolloPad gains momentum.

Winter Is Coming!

October was interesting. Partly because Brexit was ruining the pound and sending the UK into further confusion and disarray, and partly because things stayed at a good level with I managed to find someone brilliant to help me with ApolloPad, and even got to spend some time writing.

November, I thought, would be nice and calm by comparison. I was, of course, joining in with NaNoWriMo as always, and for those of us from Lewes, UK, November also means Bonfire Night, which is a great day out (if you don't mind lots of noise and fire).

I mentioned MRR last month, and I've been watching that with interest - it's a great measure of the performance of a SAAS business like, being much less susceptible to spikiness than cash flow. Cash flow for the site can vary wildly from day to day even with the same number of new subscribers, because some people pay annually in advance and some pay monthly. MRR makes that less of a problem. And this month, the MRR for topped $5000, which is a great milestone to hit.

Even better, once I passed $5k MMR, I realised I wasn't calculating it correctly for one type of account, so I fixed the calculation and added on another $400. Nice.

I've started coworking this month (at The Skiff in Brighton), just to get a taste for how it works, and I enjoyed it. So I'm going to do a little more of that in the new year. It probably means upgrading from my current low-end Chromebook, and working on a remote server without my many screens isn't ideal, but getting some time out of the office gave my productivity a boost and I think a change of scenery once in a while is important.

This report is a little shorter than usual, and for that I apologise. It's late, and I've been swamped with client work and support for the websites, so income reporting takes a back seat. I'm hoping to have a little more time for December's report!Revenue - had a large overhaul in April 2016 and quickly became my highest earning website. Income comes from a premium subscription model giving access to tools and alerts, but the core functionality - measuring the readability of text - is free.

Revenue - Cheatography

Cheatography is my busiest site, and is a cheat sheet builder and repository which earns a modest income from advertising. It needs more attention than it gets, and I believe has tremendous potential. It currently has over 2400 cheat sheets, the largest collection anywhere, most of which are unique to the site.

Revenue - ApolloPad

ApolloPad is a novel-writing web app, with a monthly subscription model (when it comes out of beta). It's not earning anything yet, as it's still in relatively early development.

Revenue - CrosswordCheats

CrosswordCheats is a crossword solver and cryptic crossword clue trainer. The clue trainer bit is the bit I'm most proud of, and the piece least used. At the moment, it generates a small income through AdSense advertising, but the long-term goal is to offer a subscription for access to the best features.

Revenue Totals

Item Last Month This Month $7,023.23 $7,446.90+6%
Cheatography $879.17 $854.72-3%
Crossword Cheats $53.83 $43.18-20%
ApolloPad $0.00 $0.000%
Total $7,956.23 $8,344.80+5% Customers

Month Total Customers New Customers
January 2016 1004 +43
February 2016 1056 +52
March 2016 1120 +64
April 2016 1340 +220
May 2016 1560 +220
June 2016 1787 +227
July 2016 1925 +138
August 2016 2058 +133
September 2016 2411 +353
October 2016 2753 +342
November 2016 3076 +323


Item Last Month This Month
Hosting - Linode -$85.00 -$85.000%
Hosting - CloudFlare -$20.00 -$20.000%
Hosting - AWS -$4.02 -$4.04-0%
Domain Names - 123-Reg $0.00 $0.000%
Domain Names - Zonomi -$1.27 -$1.270%
Transaction Fees - Gumroad -$22.10 -$21.60+2%
Transaction Fees - Stripe -$262.83 -$283.56-8%
Marketing - Cheatography - Social Media -$260.00 -$260.000%
Marketing - - Copywriter -$813.70 -$997.09-23%
Marketing - ApolloPad - Copywriter -$234.72 -$234.720%
Marketing - ApolloPad - Social Media -$260.00 -$260.000%
Share of Company Expenses -$263.24 -$263.240%
Coworking Space $0.00 -$34.75-100%
Total -$2,226.88 -$2,465.27-11%


Item Last Month This Month
Revenue $7,956.23 $8,344.80+5%
Expenses -$2,226.88 -$2,465.27-11%
Profit $5,729.35 $5,879.53+3%

Next Targets

Target Timescale Progress
$6,000/mo profit Short (2016) 98%
$8,000/mo profit Medium (2017) 73%
$10,000/mo profit Long (2018) 59%

What Happened With November's Plan I've been working on a few new bits this month, including an entirely new text highlighting system, which has made a huge difference to the performance of the site for users. I've got more to do on this part of the system, but it's a relief to have the highlighting behaving better.

ApolloPad. A nice quiet month, concentrating on writing! It's not all that often I get to use my own sites as much as I'd like, but NaNoWriMo is a great excuse to do just that. I didn't hit my target, but I made great progress with my book.

Cheatography. I was aiming to add to the automated social posting for the site in November, and I did just that, with an increase in traffic from Facebook and Pinterest to show for it.

What's Happening in December? In December I'm going to focus on customers - support primarily, as well as signup processes and making sure existing users are getting the most out of the site. This is going to be a multi-month bit of work, but it's something I've been neglecting.

ApolloPad. ApolloPad gets some love this month, with an upgrade to the output system (which produces the ebooks, PDFs etc) and some overdue bug fixes.

Cheatography. Cheatography gets another quiet month. At the moment, it's pottering along with an excellent social media manager building its audience and some regular posters and content turning up. I'd love to spend more time on it, but there are only so many hours in the day!

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