My Passive Income Report [August 2013]
Does anyone else feel like this summer is flying by (or flew by) at a ridiculous pace? I swear, the past few months have been a blur, and the end of the summer is upon us.
August wasn’t a great month in terms of income, but I’ve come to accept the fact that my online business is going to continue to trend downward unless I start doing something different (more on this below).
Changes are necessary, but for now, let’s take a look at August’s income report.
A Brief Overview of August
August was an exciting month in my personal life, as I got a new job at a great company. This job has all the characteristics of what I think could and should be a long term career fit….which brings me to my next issue: Where does everything stand with my online business?
As you’ve seen (if you’ve been following my income reports), my income has been trending downward for the past 6 months or so. It’s unfortunate, because it’s right on the heels of a major breakthrough where I started pushing the $2,000/month mark. However, I correctly predicted that this would very likely happen, given the reason that my income was rising so high (I had one page that was ranking on page 1 of Google for a very competitive and lucrative search term).
It’s become clear to me that my only online assets that have potential are this blog, as well as my social lending accounts (Lending Club and Prosper, which I discuss in each month’s income report). If I want my business to go anywhere, that needs to change. I need to start building out new website/business ideas, and stop being a wantrepreneur.
For me, that often means I need a change – something new to get excited about. It’s becoming pretty clear to me that small-medium niche sites aren’t going to cut it. There definitely are people who make a living with these types of sites, but I just can’t seem to get into it. My greatest successes (in general) have come from things that I have a strong interest in, and a willingness to work hard at. The trick is figuring out exactly what that is.
August Income Report
Once again, I’m sticking with my current plan to not put any time into article writing, so all the income below is generated by articles written well over a year ago.
Here’s a summary of all my article-related income for August:
- Amazon: $6.48
- Revenue Sharing: $1.63
- Revenue Sharing: $4.45
- Amazon: $0.00
Total Article Writing Income: $12.56
Lending Club, as I mention each month, is one of my favorite online passive income sources, because I believe it’s my only truly passive income source. What I mean by this is, once you select your investments (which only takes a few minutes), you can sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + a relatively high rate of interest.
If you’re new to Lending Club, you should read my post that explains exactly how I make money with Lending Club (including my investment strategy). It’ll at least help you get started in figuring out what loans are better to invest in.
After 5+ months of increasing returns, my portfolio had a minor setback in August. This is to be expected…not all investments are winners, but the important thing to notice is that even despite certain borrowers defaulting on their loans, my rate of return is better than I would earn from similar types of investments, given the level of risk involved (which I consider to be minimal once you’ve diversified across many loans).
I’m currently invested in 182 loans (+3 from July) and my net annualized return is 5.59% (-.29% from July).
Although this isn’t a place I’d put my life savings, I’m a firm believer that this is becoming a more and more viable way to safely invest a portion of your savings. I can’t recommend a specific % to invest (it all depends on your tolerance for risk), but I’d be comfortable investing at least 10% of my own savings.
If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can sign up with this link and get a free account. 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).
If you’re unsure whether this type of investing is right for you, you can start with $25 and build from there. Again, I want to emphasize that to really benefit from this form of passive income, you need to make several $25 investments not only to earn more interest, but to diversify as well. One or two $25 investments won’t get you anywhere.
As you know, I also invest with Prosper.com, which is a social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.
I’m still only invested in the 4 loans that I originally invested in when I opened my Prosper account, and they are doing very well so far. As of right now, my rate of return is 11.75% (+1.29% from July).
The reason I haven’t put more money into my account yet is because I’m currently trying to keep my funds as liquid as possible – in addition to paying for our own wedding, my fiance and I are planning on purchasing a house or condo within the next year. We’ll need all the cash we can get!
I definitely can’t say yet if Prosper is any better than Lending Club, because my Prosper investments are still relatively small, and it’s very early on in the loan repayment term. If you’re interested, you can create a Prosper account here.
There hasn’t been a lot of action here lately, but my newer niche site is showing excellent conversions with Amazon. The problem is, the traffic hasn’t been there, as my rankings can’t seem to break through the first three pages of Google. To give you an idea of how well the conversions have been, I only received 112 visitors over the past month, yet earned $17.04 through Amazon.
This wasn’t simply due to one or two large orders – there were 6 separate orders from 42 clicks. This means, about 38% of visitors to the site clicked through to Amazon, and 14% of those clicks actually converted to a sale. Yes, this is a small sample size, but it’s an indication of what the site could earn if I can improve the rankings and increase the traffic significantly.
Here’s a summary of August’s Niche site earnings:
- Amazon: $26.24
- Media.net: $0.00
- Chitika: $0.00
- InfoLinks: $0.00
- Commission Junction: $0.00
- Total: $26.24
Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)
This site is inactive (in terms of me working on it), but continues to earn a bit of money. It’s still out-earning my other “authority site” that I’ve put much more work into.
- Media.net: $1.44
- Indeed.com: $0.94
- Total: $2.38
Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)
Sadly, this site didn’t earn anything in August. Although I haven’t added any new content over the past few months, the site still consistently receives 20-50 visitors per day.
I probably need to change my approach on how I monetize the site, however the biggest issue is that a site like this needs a LOT of traffic in order to be profitable. The primary reason I keep the site and still plan on working on it is because I really enjoy it (creating new recipes and publishing them).
- Amazon: $0.00
- Media.net: $0.00
- Total: $0.00
Total Authority Site Earnings: $2.38
Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during August. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]
- CashCrate: $160.58 (read my review here)
- ClickBank: $20.81
- Commission Junction: $168.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Ebates: $10.00
- Market Samurai: $0.00
- TweetAdder: $0.00
- Aweber: $11.40
- Other misc.: $0.00
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for August: $360.79
Here’s a summary of August’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:
- Article Writing: $12.56
- Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $26.24
- Authority Websites: $2.38
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $360.79
Grand Total for August: $401.97 (-$39.79 from July)
A minor dip in income, but as I’ve mentioned, the bigger problem is that I see this as a downward trend until I take some significant action.
Popular Blog Posts
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in August based on number of views:
Did your August go okay? What kinds of challenges are you seeing? Leave a comment below!
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