2014 Income and Statistics Report
In the spirit of transparentness created by Ghost and lots of other open source projects, we decided to create a breakdown of our income, expenses, and overall statistics for all of our websites. I think starting next year, I will start writing about what we learned, and what mistakes we made in the past year, but I just did that a couple months ago and there wouldn't be much more valuable content now. Next year though!
To start, here are the statistics for all of our sites combined, and then broken down into each one individually:
This is just so insane! Over half a million page views last year! While, for 4 sites, this may be peanuts to a ton of sites, we could not have dreamed up a better year.
Here is a break down for each site:
All About Ghost
All About Ghost has been our most consistent site. It has hovered right around 500 pageviews since basically forever. I think this is because it is more developer focused, so it is a lot of one and done pages from Google searches. Despite the many hours that go into some of the in depth articles, our most popular ones are the top theme posts :P.
All Ghost Themes
All Ghost Themes has been an absolute freaking shock. When we started the site, we were hoping for good traffic like this, but it was very hard to get off the ground because of the minimal amount of keywords and actual written content it contains. In the beginning, a lot of the traffic was coming from when people would search for a specific theme by name, or from random posts of ours.
You can see a pretty good rise in traffic right around the August mark. This is because right around that time we started a lot of linking between sites. Adding links at the end of How To Install posts to point them to finding a theme and other links in areas where the next logical step was to look for a theme. This turned out to work extremely well and still drives about 30% of the traffic.
Ghost for Beginners
The statistics for Ghost for Beginners starts once we made the switch over to Ghost. We actually bought this site a few months prior, and it was getting traffic, but we completely recreated all the content and design, so I decided to just include the stats for what we created.
We paid $575 for this site (full article on purchase) and even after the purchase I was so nervous we made the wrong move. That was well over half of what we had in the bank at that point, but it could not have turned out better. Ghost for beginners is now our best performing site by almost 33%. While it hasn't come close to being paid back because we don't have ads or anything, it has been instrumental to our brand. It has opened up doors for us that we had never even thought about and I have no doubt it will be the driving force pushing us forward.
We still have tons of plans to grow this site out into new areas and create whole new sections. We are starting on that now and can't wait to see where it goes and what it becomes.
How to Install Ghost
How to Install Ghost was the site that started everything. It was the first site we worked on and is the only site that makes any serious money. You can see at the beginning that our traffic was much higher than it is now. That is directly related to saturation in the install market. We were the first ones there, but since then so many other sites have written very similar articles that it becomes hard to rank and capture all that traffic. For example, it is hard to be the top result for installing Ghost on DigitalOcean when they have their own install article on their site.
Funny story, right after we wrote the article for DigitalOcean, they actually offered us $50 to take the article from our site and put it on their site to be a part of their documentation. This was something we discussed because it would have been our first $50 made! We decided not to because we wanted to own the content and have it on our site, and as you will see down below with the income reports, this was a very good call :D.
Here is a breakdown of all the income we made and what sources it came from:
- DigitalOcean - $2,530.00
- A Small Orange - $265.25
- Media Temple - $120.00
- DreamHost - 175.75
- GoDaddy - $44.16
- Webfaction - 44.65
- Themeforest - $180.00
- Book Advance - $300.00
- Amazon AMI (for non-free instances) - $11.88
As you can see, DigitalOcean is the bulk of all of our money. This is largely because we like them so much and we promote them heavily as they are one of the best options for Ghost.
They are really the only reason we are surviving at this point. They have started to not allow new accounts to be paid out for referrals. We are grandfathered into this, but they could take it away at any point, so we are definitely looking to continue diversifying so we don't all of a sudden end up scrambling.
Overall an amazing year though. Could not really ask for more for the first full year of running our sites.
The purchase of Ghost for Beginners and the large amount of domains that we purchased and ended up transferring to a new host were some of our larger expenses. The rest, like hosting and supplies seem pretty normal, and I expect those to remain similar over the next year.
- Hosting - $436.54
- Domains - $306.49
- Amazon S3 - $52.97
- Github - $21.00
- PO Box - $100
- Microphone/Stand/Filter - $142.00
- Ghost for Beginners Purchase - $575.00
- Software - $86.00
- Bank Fees - $70.00
- Adwords - $83.17
- Design - $161.46
- Images - $21.00
Overall, this past year was just filed with so many "HOLY CRAP!" moments. We could not have dreamt of a better year. We are going to continue expanding our content and providing as much value as we can for you guys.
We appreciate all of you and cannot wait to see what happens over this next year!
David Balderston and Andy Boutte