Halloween is one of the most popular celebrations in the US. A poll of 8,526 consumers, conducted between 1 – 9 September 2009 revealed an estimation of $4.57 billion total spending on Halloween 2009, most part of it being represented by Halloween costumes (source: CNBC.com). This is quite a big pie, isn’t it? I don’t know how much of this came from online sales, but I know that it was easy to grab a little slice of the pie without too much trouble, as you’ll see:
Last year, we made $840 + $170 (merchant bonus), so a bit more than $1000, in which we invested about 40 hours of work.
Halloween 2009 Network Setup:
- Sites from last year: 4, on which we spent about 4 hours to adjust the old posts and add new costumes
- New blogger blogs: 6, which took about 3 hours to set up and fill with posts made with the ShareASale’s “make-a-page” feature (which allows filtering the costumes by keywords, so you can easily make sub-niche blogs such as “costumes for kids”, “witch costumes”, “baby costumes”, “couples costumes” etc)
- New Halloween costumes affiliate store: 1, made on a professional Halloween Joomla template offered by JoomlaBear – for those of you who want to use it, you can download it for free by following the previous link. This site took one hour to make, $8 to buy the domain name plus $55 spent on a feed importing plugin for Joomla
So, there were 11 sites, 8 hours initial time investment, plus about two hours spent on setting sidebar links from all other 10 sites to the new affiliate store and on submitting it to a few social networking places.
How Much Traffic the Sites Got
Out of the six Blogger blogs, only one really took off – the graph above shows its traffic evolution. This blog brought in 9 sales, accounting for $107, while serving as support site for the real money maker in this project.
The Joomla-based store, set up in late September, benefited from the fresh content bonus from Google, so it had first page ranking for a few costumes, translating into 11 sales and almost $90 in affiliate commissions.
Last year’s best site was the star of the show. The traffic started to rise since July, after the death of Michael Jackson, when I thought to add a couple of Michael Jackson costumes to the site. Unfortunately, all merchants ran out of stock so quickly, that I actually didn’t see one single sale before mid-August when they replenished their stocks. Once the costumes were available again, sales started to take off, and by November we’ve got a total of 199 sales from this site, accounting for $1800 in affiliate commissions. According to my estimations, we’ve lost maybe 100 sales because of many popular costumes running out of stock during the second half of October. At an average commission of $9 per sale, you see that it could have been much better. Actually that’s why I prefer AdSense – they never get out of their ads stock
Earnings Split By Website
- Last year’s main site: $1800
- Joomla-based store: $90
- Best Blogger blog: $107
- A site that was scraping our best Blogger blog content: $25 (thank you scraper, whoever you are)
- All other 8 sites: $47
Money earned: $2069
Additional merchant bonus: $250
Grand Total Costumes 2009: $2319
This is a good method to make some additional money on holidays, without needing to work too much. We could call it the relaxed marketer’s approach. It shows once more that the bigger the pie, the easier it is to get some of it without too much effort. Of course, the more you want, the more you have to work, but this is the beauty of internet marketing: you can balance work and earnings until you find your happiness.
For 2010, I have a new question and a new challenge: how much money can one make with Halloween by developing an authority site and by working on it as much as needed to make it really big? We’ll live and see.