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

Article Writing

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:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $6.48
  • Revenue Sharing: $1.63

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $4.45
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Article Writing Income: $12.56

Social Lending

Lending Club

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.

Prosper

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.

Niche Sites

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 Sites

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.

August Earnings:

  • 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).

August Earnings:

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Media.net: $0.00
  • Total: $0.00

Total Authority Site Earnings: $2.38

Affiliate/Other Income

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.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for August: $360.79

Income Summary

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:

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

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

3) My Passive Income Report [July 2013]

4) How to Make $2,000 Per Month Writing for InfoBarrel

5) The Plight of the Wantrepreneur

Did your August go okay? What kinds of challenges are you seeing?  Leave a comment below!

If you enjoyed this income report, subscribe to the RSS feed (if you haven’t already) so that you don’t miss any future updates. Thanks!

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18 Responses to “My Passive Income Report [August 2013]”

  1. Don’t be disappointed. I’ve been through ups and downs too. I even had my ebay, adsense, adwords accounts banned for spamming.

    Now I threw away all I have and redo everything once again, starting small and steady.

    As long as you don’t give up, you can work your way up slowly.
    Jawbone Up Tips recently posted… Jawbone Up Fitness Band Soft Reset

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement, I appreciate it.

    [Reply]

  2. Well, sometimes we have to experience some down months to really motivate us to work harder towards the goals that we have set. You will get where you want soon enough!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mike!

    [Reply]

  3. Hey Eric

    I follow your blog regularly and enjoy reading your income reports. You are fully transparent and show how much income you make. I am sure you inspire many people. You may have had a dip in income this month, but I am sure you will bounce back!
    Imran Ali recently posted… From Newbie to Millionaire – Christine Clayfield – Book Review

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Imran, I’m glad you find some value in my income reports. Hopefully I’ll have better numbers to report in the coming months. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Eric,
    The information presented in this income report is definitely not one that can inspire newbies. However, the positive side remains that a blogger can explore different sources of income if he decide to make money online. More so, another lesson to learn is if you don’t invest, you don’t expect to earn.

    Having said that, I have been following your blog and I get to understand that for sometime now you have decided never to put more effort in growing your business to the next level. I wonder whats happening?

    This comment was left in kingged.com where this report was shared.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://www.kingged.com/my-passive-income-report-august-2013/
    Sunday recently posted… Nine Tips to Create Banners for Profitable Advertising

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Sunday, you raise some good criticisms as usual. The reason why I haven’t put more effort into growing my business is because I have been focused on too many other areas of my life.

    One of the big “problems” I have is that, despite my desire to build a business, I live very comfortably with my current career in my “9 to 5″ job. With that said, I’m looking for ways to focus on both, simultaneously…

    [Reply]

  5. Hi Eric, you are still making more than most of us trying to make money online.

    I think I was making less than $100 last month. I’m just head-down focusing on my traffic for this upcoming shopping seasons.

    Right on!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by to comment, Kent – hopefully we’ll both show some improvement in the coming months. :) Best of luck to you.

    [Reply]

  6. Hey Eric, this is just a temporary set back! I’m sure your income will bounce back once you start exploring future opportunities. Everyone in this industry has had to scramble to find new areas to make money lately. For me, I’m dedicating all my time in the last quarter of 2013 to develop my first iPhone app. My income levels are higher than ever now that I stopped pursuing niche sites. I’m already running into problems getting my developers license but it’s these new challenges that keep me motivated in building my online business.

    You mentioned you are aware that the areas you have the most interest in are where your successes are coming from so that’s probably where you should redirect your energy and efforts.
    Harlan Yee recently posted… My August 2013 Income Report

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Harlan. That’s awesome to hear that your income is higher than ever – best of luck with the iPhone app business too, I know you’ll continue to do well.

    [Reply]

  7. Eric,

    Love the blog and I’m a huge fan of Lending Club. I actually have a pretty decent way of structuring my investment plan with them and as of now, I have 3 accounts and in total they’re averaging around 11.5% and they’ve been established for a while. Let me know if I can help you out!

    George
    George Smolinski recently posted… Six Reasons Why Tim Ferriss Would Make a GREAT Virtual Assistant (Tim: If You’re Reading This and Need a Job Let Me Know!)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, George – 11.5% is great. If you have any specific recommendations for picking loans, I’m all ears. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Eric, I took a look at your Linkedin profile. With your experience as a cpa, have you thought of writing on that since you would a lot of inside knowledge? Trials, tribulations, rewards & how to be a cpa, shortcuts etc might make an interesting blog/ebook/m’ship site like what P Flyn did with green academy
    James recently posted… Malaysia 50th Anniversary

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s something I’ve considered, James. Despite my experience, there is a lot of competition in that niche. I’d have to first decide if that’s something I’d even enjoy writing about. :) Thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  9. Hey Eric, to be honest I haven’t visited your site in ages. Your latest email brought me back, and I’m glad it did (now I remember why I signed up in the first place).

    I’m happy you posted that your income is dwindling at the moment. Not happy about the fact itself, of course, just happy that you’re honest enough to report about it. It’s important for newbies, and people like me who’ve been in and out of IM for a couple of years, to realize that your income can dramatically change from one month to the next. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you have a 9 to 5, but if IM is your only income, not being prepared for something like that could cause major problems.

    I’ve only just regained my interest in IM, but those lending programs like Prosper have really piqued my interest. Been loaning on Kiva for quite a while now, just because I like how you can help people start or run their business. If I can add different types of loans as an actual way to make money, that would be really interesting. Will look into the possibilities for non-US residents.
    Nadia recently posted… 30 Day PLR Store Challenge – Day 14

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Nadia, and I’m glad you came back to my blog. IM really is a volatile business, but we all know that success is very possible if you work hard at it. Best of luck, and let me know if I can help at all.

    [Reply]

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