A High Level Analysis of My Passive Income History

The other day, I was thinking about the success (or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it) of my online passive income projects over the past year or so.  I started this blog early in 2010 (although didn’t really start working on passive income projects until mid-2010) and decided it would be interesting to look at some overall trends and see if I could learn anything from them.

Rather than do this and keep it to myself, I figured I might as well make it public and see if you have any thoughts as well.

I thought I’d begin by looking at my overall online income from the point where I began keeping track of it.  To make it easy for you to follow along, I’ve linked to each income report below.

Here a few graphs to illustrate some trends with my overall income, and the income of two of my larger projects (Amazon niche sites and InfoBarrel):

Overall Income

Amazon Niche Sites Income

InfoBarrel Income

Some Thoughts On This Data

1) InfoBarrel was clearly impacted by some Google updates that decreased the search engine power of many article sites/content farms.  My income had a very nice upward trend as I wrote articles and as they aged.

After a series of Google “panda” updates, I believe many of my articles lost their high rankings, which subsequently led to a decrease in earnings.  If I want to get back onto an upward trend, I will likely need to add more articles.

2) It’s difficult to draw any conclusions from my Amazon income trend, because a large % of my income there comes from one of my sites that ranks well and receives decent traffic.  If I were to graph my total Amazon income along with the traffic of my primary Amazon niche site, you would notice a very strong correlation.

If I want to continue an upward trend with Amazon, I will likely need to continue adding backlinks to my current sites and possibly create new sites.

Overall Conclusion

Aside from the spike in income during November 2010, my overall income has seen a fairly consistent upward trend.  However, you’ll notice that during 2010, the increases were much more drastic.  In 2011, income has seen a general upward trend, but it’s somewhat flat compared to 2010.

What does this mean? This data supports what I’ve been thinking for the past several months.  The projects I built in 2010 provided significant boosts to my online income.  In 2011, I haven’t worked as hard.  I’ve built less projects.  I’ve blogged less frequently.  All in all, I’ve done just enough to maintain a level of income between $700-1,000 per month, but haven’t done enough to get past it.

Yes, it’s nice to maintain this level of income without doing much work – that’s the beauty of passive income. However, you can’t forget how you got here – persistence and hard work.

If you want to earn more, you have to approach day 366 the same way you approached day 1.  In fact, you should be even better, because by now you’ve learned a lot and have many more tools at your disposal.

What do you think?

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12 Responses to “A High Level Analysis of My Passive Income History”

  1. great looking graph there Eric – just like a hot small cap stock on its way up. you are absolutely correct in that work put in today pays off tomorrow w/o much maintenance. my very first niche website built years ago is still trending upward in traffic and profits w/o any work at all.

    the risk with this process is always complacency because in my case, 16 active niche websites now all raking in passive income is very easy to just let it be.

    the point is, no matter what the level, when we get to a comfortable level pushing harder becomes that much difficult, not because of execution, but more so complacency. with that said, do you plan on taking your ventures to the next level? how so?


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for commenting, Sunil. You’re absolutely right in that complacency is dangerous. Once you see some success, it’s easy to just sit back and relax, when really, you need to carry that momentum forward into other projects and successes.

    To answer your question, I do plan on taking my ventures to the next level. To me, the simplest way to get to the next level is to actually get back to the basics. If I’ve been able to get close to $1,000/month, there’s no reason why I can’t do many of the same things to get to $2,000/month and more.


  2. When I started out I worked like mad even though I wasn’t making any money. Now I am doing ok I hardly work at all. If I’d kept the work rate up I’d be rich now!
    JOr recently posted… Get 1000 Free Backlinks


    Eric G. Reply:

    It’s unfortunate, but true. I mostly feel the same way. It’s time to get back to work and get back to what we were doing to get to this point!


  3. Nice job so far, Eric. You’re right on the mark in regards to the work that has to be put in to push your results farther than what you get comfortable with. I’ve seen the same thing with my main website. I was able to push it to averaging about $750 a month with a peak of over $1200 by being consistent in my efforts. The results spoke for themselves. When I started slacking off though, revenue dropped back to the levels I maintain whether I do anything or not (about $250). Its nice to have that amount coming in, but I know what I have to do to push the site further. You just have to put in the effort to get the results you know you can get.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Great points, Brent. People often forget that “passive income” still requires a level of maintenance and effort even after earnings grow substantially. Thanks for the comment!


  4. Great trends, Eric! Nice to see that despite less time invested in 2011 you continue to enjoy passive income from past work.
    PPC Ian recently posted… Exclusive Ryan Eagle Interview


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! Hopefully those numbers will grow soon!


  5. Hey, Eric, I totally buy in the Passive Income prospective in your journey.

    I agree that persistence is the key to keep you going and growing.

    I am also doing this MMO part-time. After full-day work and spending time with the family, not much time left.

    I just try to be productive for 20 hours a week. It’s hard tough. :)

    May you hit $1000 a month soon and go doubt next year.
    Kent @ Make Extra Money Online recently posted… My focus in 2011


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Kent. I’m right there with you when it comes to not having a lot of time outside of your day job and family obligations. The best we can do is make the most of the little free time we do have.

    I hope to hit $1,000 eventually, but as you’ll soon see, October wasn’t a very good month for me. :(


  6. wow…am impressed that despite investing less time in 2011 you`ve continued tp enjoy what you call a passive income from your past work, you`ve really inspired me


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! :)


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