By William Ballard
I have been considering writing an article about how this company makes money, but I have been hesitant to do so because I was not sure how it may be received.
Much has changed over the years since I started this company. And since I am a BIG advocate of being transparent, I want to share this report with you.
So here is the big change: It is NO LONGER about how I make money, it is how my company makes money, and how my employees and independent contract freelancers make money.
My team at William Ballard Enterprise, LLC, has grown, and we often work with an extended network of freelancers as well. I am still, technically, the only employee, along with a virtual assistant. But the rest of my team works under independent-contractor status (but that might change in the coming months). Together, we bring in a whole lot more revenue than two years ago, but we have higher expenses too.
For today though, we will skip the expenses side of our business and give our full attention and focus on incoming cash. Here is where the majority of our revenue comes from...
Income Stream #1 - Client Work
For a while I resisted growing the client side of the business, but now I am enjoying it more than ever. This is largely because of our no-stressful-client policy, which I enforce strictly. If a potential client even gives off the slightest sense that they might be impossible to please or overly demanding, we will not sign a contract.
However, I understand that this is more difficult than it sounds, because I am sure you can agree, it is hard to say no when someone wants to hire you. But passing up good projects means making room for even better ones. William Ballard Enterprise, LLC is fortunate to have both a full-roster of current clients and plenty of leads flowing-in into our pipeline, which allows us to be picky. Now that we are sticking to this policy, serving clients has become far more enjoyable. And now it is fun to help our clients succeed!
In 2016, client work makes up 50 percent of our revenue. While I will gladly go into more detail on product sales below, I am not going to reveal exactly how much that 50 percent is; fleshing out revenue figures is a bit more difficult to do when it comes to client work than digital products.
What I will say is that most of our client revenue is recurring. That means we collect the same fee from the same clients month after month. Occasionally we will work on a one-off project we feel passionate about, but monthly retainers work in our favor: we develop long-term relationships with most of our clients, which means better results, and we can count on the income. Win-win!
We specialize in copywriting and marketing for self-published writers and authors (a.k.a. Indie-Authors), startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs: everything from creating marketing materials to managing promotion campaigns. For many of our clients, we also help grow their websites and blogs so that they reach their potential through social media and email marketing.
If you are interested in becoming one of our clients you can do so by going HERE.
Income Stream #2 - Products (Digital and Physical)
I now offer eight e-books and reports at our Store, but about three of those account for nearly all of the product income from this site.
The Rule of 5 for Writers consistently brings in the most revenue each month, followed by The Freelance Writers Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market. We sell about the same number of both e-books, but since the Freelance Writers’ Guide is priced higher ($9.99) than the Rule of 5 for Writers ($9.95), The Rule of 5 for Writers brings in twice as much revenue.
My e-books also play off each other. In other words, readers who purchase one often end up purchasing another. For example, The Freelance Writers Guide is often purchased with The 4 Most Profitable Ways to Draw Attention to Your Writing Business.
Most of the buyers for these e-books come through paid advertising. I realize now that I am writing this post that I should figure out the conversion rate, but even without the data, I know they are high. In fact, my website and blog traffic has increased pretty significantly this year, actually, from about 10,000 to 30,000 unique monthly visitors.
Plus, since my company is growing so fast, I only publish one new article of my own here at the site every one or two weeks, which leaves the rest of the content being created by the incredible writers that make up my Content Creation Department. This way I can focus on traffic-building strategies like guest posting and article marketing (which, by the way, I am now a full-time contributor to Entrepreneur).
But it is important to understand that quantity is NOT the goal here: quality is. And this is a high-quality audience reading right now!
However, with all of that said, our email list is more important than our web traffic, as our relationship with readers is more intimate there. (If you want, you can simply click on the black Sign Up! button at the top right corner of this page and fill out the form). The list has slowly grown to 5,000+ subscribers, and we’ve maintained a 30 percent open rate. How? By providing consistently valuable information.
My Training, Coaching, and Mentoring services also do very well, but I only run them every few months, and spots are limited. We also run a membership site that is available on a recurring monthly payment service. Our Membership program is currently closed until we reopen again in 2017, but you can find out all the details about our program and join our waiting list HERE.
My e-books, training and coaching, as well as the membership site, bring in between $1,500 and $5,000 each month with little-to-no marketing, largely because we have optimized well for the search engines. And the margin on e-books is incredibly high, which is why I am trying to step away from client work long enough to write and release another one. Next up is an empowering resource entitled, 10 Blogging Secrets, which will teach you everything you need to know about turning your blog into a money-making-machine.
During the last couple of years, I have not devoted as much time as I’d like to creating products, as client work and nurturing relationships with top influential writers and authors has taken priority. For example, I just recently Bob Proctor's Coaching program and I may be co-authoring a book with Bob Proctor within the next year or two — but I am determined to get 10 Blogging Secrets out by the end of the year.
All in all, product sales account for 30 percent of revenue so far this year.
Income Stream #3 - Affiliate Sales
I never recommend affiliate sales as a way to make big bucks, because you need high traffic to make even a few dollars from other marketer's products. However, if you do want to get started with affiliate marketing and sales, focus on selling high-ticket items whose creators offer 50 percent commissions or more (that is the standard amongst digital entrepreneurs). Making a few cents here and there off Amazon sales does not begin to add up until you are seeing 100,000+ unique monthly visitors (but I do use Amazon and recommend you do as well).
Affiliate sales have accounted for 20 percent of our total revenue so far this year. A big chunk of that is earnings from LIVE Streaming Events and other Membership sites that some of my friends run. (Hint: When you can find a recurring monthly affiliate opportunity, you NEED to take advantage of if it as quickly as possible!)
In short, we make anywhere from $5 to even $1,500 in affiliate revenue at this site each month. That barely puts a dent in our operating cost to run our business each month, but it is something!
Now Over to You...
Are you a fan of other income reports? If so, please share the link to them in the comments so we can all benefit. And, of course, if you have any questions about how this company makes money, I am happy to answer those down below in the comments as well.