My Online Income Report – April 2014

Hey, welcome to April 2014′s income report!

For those who aren’t regular readers here, I publish an income report each month to highlight the results of my online activities.  I originally started doing this to hold myself accountable to my results, but I quickly realized that other people enjoy reading these too (which is why you probably see a lot of bloggers publishing monthly income reports these days).

I am absolutely nowhere close to earning a “full-time” income online, but right now, I enjoy being able to supplement my full-time job as a CPA with some income earned from blogging and other online activities that I enjoy doing.

Let’s get to this month’s report…

April Was a CRAZY Month

Okay, that heading might be a little overly dramatic.

April was a pretty wild month, however, due to the fact that my fiance and I are in the process of buying our first home.  For those who haven’t experienced this yet, it is exciting, but also can be quite stressful.  Stress aside, I find the whole process pretty fascinating, and I’ve already begun writing a pretty in-depth blog post (might turn into a series of posts) documenting my experience as a first-time homebuyer.  Be on the lookout for that sometime next month.

When I started working on the home buying post, I felt some of the blogging excitement that I haven’t felt in a long time.  It made me realize that perhaps I should get back to using this blog in more personal way again, but still focused on personal finance/money making topics. Not that I ever got away from that format, but I think there’s a lot more I could be writing about.

I’m still stuck in this weird place with my online business (a place I’ve been for a couple years now) where I find myself thinking: “What’s the plan here?”

Am I trying to build this into a full-time venture where I can eventually leave my day job? I’m not quite sure about that.  I like my day job right now, and I also like being able to supplement that income. Unfortunately, the income supplement right now is “chump change” compared to where I’d like it to be.

I seem to be stuck in production mode where I’m doing lots of work (with The Daily Interview) yet I haven’t done anything to take it to that “next level” where I can monetize it and actually turn it into a business asset.  I’m not sure what the grand plan is here, but I’ll continue working on that.

You’re probably wondering why I bother leaving this section in the income report when I haven’t done any type of paid writing for well over a year.  It’s something I’d like to get back to, but I’m not sure where it fits with everything else I’m currently doing.  I don’t want to spread myself thin (and do lots of things, but do none of them well) as I’ve done in the past.

Freelance Writing Income

  • None!

Other Article-Related Income:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Revenue Sharing: $0.00

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $3.38
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Writing Income: $3.38

Lending Club

Lending Club, as I’ve written about many times, is one of my favorite online passive income sources, because I believe it’s my only source of truly passive income. What I mean by this is, once you select your investments (which only takes a few minutes), you sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + a relatively high rate of interest.

If you’re interested – here’s the strategy I have used to select my investments. It’s pretty simple, as you’ll find.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 6.16% (+.07% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 200 (same as previous month)

If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can sign up with this link and get a free account. Investments can be made for as little as $25. I am an affiliate for Lending Club, so if you have any questions about it, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments (or feel free to contact me by e-mail).

Prosper

Prosper.com is another site where I invest, which is a social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 14.13% (-0.21% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 5 (no change from the previous month).

It may seem that I’m doing much better here compared to Lending Club, but that’s somewhat misleading. Because I only invest in 5 loans (vs. 200 at Lending Club), and none of them have defaulted, my rate of return % is going to be very high.

I think I still prefer Lending Club to Prosper, only because you have more flexibility in choosing investments, and there is more transparency overall. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with investing on both platforms though; I will continue to do so.

If you’re interested, you can create a Prosper account here.

Here’s a summary of my niche site earnings:

  • Amazon: $1.48
  • Media.net: $0.00
  • Chitika: $25.02
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $26.50
The only reason Chitika earnings are so high is because I forgot to check on my Chitika account for several months…

The Daily Interview

This site is still moving along quite well, although I’ve done some thinking lately on where exactly I want this to go.  Those who read the site have given me nothing but positive feedback.  I think in a world that is quickly becoming saturated with podcasts, some people like to be able to sit down and spend 5-10 minutes reading an interview.

I’m having some trouble breaking the barrier of getting 80-120 visits per day.  I got to this level pretty quickly, but traffic has slowly plateaued.  I do get some big spikes every once in awhile (especially when an interview is shared with a guest’s large audience), but the typical daily traffic has hovered around the same level for the past month or two.

I know what needs to be done – more marketing and promotion on my part.  This means I need to get out there, do some guest posts, try to make appearances on other people’s podcasts, etc.  It’s my fault for not carving out the necessary time to do this, but I know it needs to be done if I want this site to grow at a quicker pace.

Organically (i.e. mostly traffic from search engines), the site has been growing steadily.  In March, the site was visible on Google for 286 queries, and had 6,012 impressions in search results.  April showed an improvement over those numbers.

Here’s a look at the search queries for April from Google’s Webmaster Tools:

Both queries and impressions nearly doubled from March, which is excellent.  The site is seeing a lot more traffic from its brand (people searching Google for “The Daily Interview”), which is always a good sign.

In addition to improving traffic, I need to work on building the site’s e-mail list and finding a way to monetize the site.  Right now, the e-mail list offers no real incentive to sign up (aside from receiving a weekly digest of the past week’s interviews), so the subscriber growth has been minimal.  I’m working on a free eBook that would be used to lure more subscribers, but I haven’t put much effort into monetization yet.

Here’s what the site earned last month:

Undisclosed Authority Site

This site is inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.

  • Media.net: $1.26
  • Indeed.com: $1.18
  • Total: $2.44

Slow Carb Diet Experiments

  • Amazon: $4.42
  • Media.net: $1.42
  • Total: $5.85

Total Authority Site Earnings: $10.99

Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during April. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $180.66

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of April’s earnings, organized by category:

  • Freelance Writing: $3.38
  • Niche Sites: $26.50
  • Authority Sites: $10.99
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $180.66

Grand Total for April: $221.53 (-$394.43 from March)

I was expecting a drop for April, given the fact that last month’s report included a one-time payment of $250 that I knew I wouldn’t have in April.  Unfortunately, income was down across the board, and I’m left with my worst month of 2014.

While I’m obviously not going to be happy about this, I still view most of this as passive income as a result of work I did nearly a couple years ago.  All of my effort is focused on The Daily Interview right now, and until I put that in a position to make money, income is going to fluctuate randomly and mostly remain in the $200-500 territory.

These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in April based on number of views:

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) Is CashCrate Legit? Here’s My CashCrate Review

3) My Online Income Report – March 2014

4) How to Make Money Online by Losing Weight (Not as Crazy as it Sounds)

5) AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?!

How did your April go? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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14 Responses to “My Online Income Report – April 2014”

  1. First off – congratulations on your home purchase. I’m yet to get to that stage myself so I’d be very interested to read your posts on this topic.

    That said – I really feel for you with that drop in online income. I’ve been online long enough that I’ve had both the highs and the lows, so I know how much that can suck.

    Like when one of my authority blogs was basically “killed” by one of the Google Panda updates a few years ago.

    Several years of hard work and effort gone up in smoke in a matter of weeks.

    But stick with it. As you say – I think the key is (a) experimenting until you find that works best for you/what you enjoy and then once you’ve worked that out (b) go large with a big plan to really turn those little trickles into full-time success.
    Rich | TechToucan.com recently posted… Headline Hacks: 7 Free Tools For Creating Epic Blog Post Titles

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Rich, I appreciate it. Persistent people usually win in the end, and even if it takes some of us a little bit longer to get there, we will get there eventually.

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Eric,
    Good to see your income report for April, 2014. The figures are not exciting but the concept and ideas of sharing accountability are.

    I am sure you are working part time online, and this explains the not too imposing figures in your report. However, have really considered going full time online?

    Anyway, congratulation for the new home you are buying! :D
    Sunday William recently posted… Calculate The ROI of Your SEO Campaign – (Infographic)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunday! Yeah, I know the earnings aren’t impressive, but I’m still working to improve things of course. I haven’t considered going full-time online mainly because I actually do like my “9 to 5″ job, and it would be difficult to leave my salary behind without some pretty strong online earnings. Maybe one day it’ll happen, but right now, I’d like to see what I can do with my online business as a “side hustle.”

    [Reply]

  3. Have you thought about doing a newsletter exclusive interview each week / month to entice readers to sign up?

    Some people from the WordPress community would be good for an interview too, such as the people behind the big WP blogs.

    Joe
    Joe recently posted… WordPress Writing Service

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Joe, that’s not a bad idea. My only issue with that is that it’s hard enough getting 4-5 interviews per week published that I’m not sure I want to add onto that. :)

    I’m working on a free info. product that I plan to use as my “lead magnet” for opt-ins on the newsletter. The only reason I like that a bit more is because once it’s up, it’s up. It doesn’t require much continuous work.

    I do like the idea of interviewing people in the WP community – in fact, I have some upcoming interviews with a couple WP-related site owners.

    As an aside (and I’m not sure why I’m writing this in a comment vs. the main post), I’ve thought about merging The Daily Interview in with My 4-Hour Workweek and publishing interviews on this blog instead (maybe 1-2 times per week).

    It’s not that I don’t think TDI can succeed on its own, but I’ve found myself having to rebuild an audience from 0, and I’m essentially targeting the same kind of audience as I already have with My 4-Hour Workweek. Also, there could be some synergies between TDI and the content I write (or will start writing more) for My4HWW.

    Alright, enough rambling here. Thanks for the comment Joe!

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Eric, I think your idea of merging your interview site with this one might be a step in the right direction. You’re right on topic on this website with your audience.

    As far as my April goes, I finally made it to 4-figures! It was a goal I had set for myself in 2013 so I’m a few months late. About 90% of the income now comes from non-niche site assets. I completely turned my strategy around after all the Google algorithm updates and it seems to be working.
    Harlan Yee recently posted… My April 2014 Income Report

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for comment Harlan, and congrats your April success – that’s awesome. Going to check out your April income report right now.

    [Reply]

  5. First of all congratulations and great ideas you have followed to reach here.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Tabish!

    [Reply]

  6. Its really nice you are making some decent money with amazon affiliate .
    I am not using it yet but I think I should start using it.
    Uday Ghulaxe recently posted… Top 5 websites to download background patterns for blogs & website

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’d definitely give it a try if I were you – there’s a lot to sell there!

    [Reply]

  7. Hey Eric,

    I see that you’re falling into the:

    Writing about making online income but really making your money from the people that come to read about it (affiliate income from your blog itself).

    You are still listing all your old stuff in these reports (as they are still generating, well… peanuts).

    But they are taking up mental space! Cut them out and focus 100% on one thing. Each month you have to write about none or little income on Squidoo and InfoBarrel – It’s holding you back buddy!

    It’s taking up important mental space. My advice is to remove them from your income report (and cancel your accounts). It’s simply not worth your time and energy!

    Cheers buddy,
    Rasmus
    Rasmus recently posted… 6 Easy Business Ideas You Can Start with Less Than $100

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Rasmus,

    I appreciate the candid feedback, especially from you, someone I really respect online.

    I agree, I am in that sort of place right now. Really, these income reports are a reflection of all the content and experiments I put together over the past few years. It’s just the residual effect.

    The thing is, these items really are 100% passive right now. I don’t do anything to maintain them, and really focus no energy on them.

    My primary focuses are:

    1) Growing The Daily Interview (we’re approaching 100 published interviews, and the site has only been live for less than 5 months).

    2) Rebranding/refocusing My 4-Hour Workweek, to something a little bit more personal finance focused (instead of SEO/internet marketing). It’s a bit of a mess because these are broad topics, but I’ve always been about just writing about what’s actually going on in my life, and the things I’ve experienced first hand.

    Everything else is noise, no doubt, but I’ve been able to turn down the volume on that noise to a point that doesn’t distract me too much right now. :)

    [Reply]

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