My Passive Income Report [March 2013]

After a long and semi-painful tax season, I’m finally back!  And what better way to return than with an income report that’s a couple weeks too late.

For a month where I did absolutely no online work, March was amazing.  I’ll only tease you a little: it was another personal record-breaking month, but I do have a few reasons to be concerned about how April will follow.

Let’s take a look at the details…

A Brief Overview of March

Unfortunately, the life of a CPA  is such that you basically have no life during the months of February, March, and part of April, due to tax season.  This is something that, no matter how many years I do it for, I will probably never get used to.

It’s one thing to work hard, but to have to constantly push yourself for over two months without any breaks is definitely a grind.  I’m not complaining (even though I am) – I like what I do, even if I’d rather go about it my own way.

What can I say, other than March was a fantastic month, highlighting the power of passive income.  It was comforting to see the money roll in each day during a time when I really couldn’t give my online projects the attention they deserve.

I need to be careful, however - this type of passive income isn’t going to sit there and grow on its own forever.  In fact, there are a couple events that lead me to believe April will be much worse than March.  Even if you’ve built some reasonably nice passive income streams (like I have), you still need to put in the work required to maintain and grow those income streams.

March Income Report

Article Writing

It was a relatively good month for my article writing accounts, both at InfoBarrel and Squidoo.  I’m excited to finally get back to writing for these sites and seeing if I can get this income stream up to something respectable.

Squidoo has recently gotten a bit stricter with its quality guidelines, which has led to a few warnings on some of my lenses.  I think it’s mostly a result of the number of Amazon affiliate links I’ve used compared to the amount of content I’ve written.  This is something I’ll need to correct and monitor going forward.

Here’s a summary of all my article-related income for March:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $95.49
  • Revenue Sharing: $18.22

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $11.59

Total Article Writing Income: $125.30

Social Lending

I’ve changed the heading of this section of my income report from Lending Club to “social lending” because I’ve finally decided to test out other social lending platforms.

Starting in April, I will begin investing with Prosper.comand once I start to see results, I will be reporting them here along with Lending Club.

Lending Club, as usual, remains one of my favorite online passive income sources, mainly because (as I’ve said before) I believe it’s my only truly passive income source.  If you are unfamiliar with Lending Club, however, you should read my post that explains exactly how I make money with Lending Club (including my investment strategy) that I posted a couple months ago.

March was a fine month, as everything held steady.  I’m now invested in 165 loans (+6 from February) and my net annualized return is 5.40% (same as last month).

Although this is a very solid return on my investment (certainly better than I’d earn on a lot of other investments, with relatively minimal risk, in my eyes), I know it could be better.  Per the suggestion of someone I recently talked to, I’m going to start investing more in higher risk loans that pay interest in the 12-15% range.  Yes, these are riskier, but I will still be selective about which ones I choose, to hopefully minimize the risk.

If you didn’t get a chance to read my post about how I use Lending Club, you can watch this quick video that explains how it works:

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.  I know in the past I’ve focused on the $25 investment amount to get started, but I do want to emphasize that to really benefit from this form of passive income, you need to make several $25 investments (or larger if you’d prefer) not only to earn more interest, but to diversify as well.

If you simply make one or two $25 investments, you won’t really get anywhere.  You really do need to invest a bit more so that you can earn more and minimize your risk through diversification.

Niche Sites

I no longer do anything with these sites, so if they earn me anything, it’s a bonus.  As I’ve said before, for the sites that have stopped earning, I’ve been letting them die off once the domains expire.

Here’s a summary of March’s niche site earnings:
  • Amazon: $27.56
  • Media.net: $0.18
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $27.74

Authority Sites

Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)

I’m still not doing much with this site, and the traffic continues to hover around a paltry 0-10 visitors per day.

March Earnings:

  • Media.net: $0.29

Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)

Much like My 4-Hour Workweek, this blog was put on hold for most of tax season.  I’m excited to not only get back to the diet, but to start creating some new recipes that I can publish on the site.

March Earnings:

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Media.net: $1.18
  • Total: $1.18

Total Authority Site Earnings: $1.47

Affiliate/Other Income

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

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for March: $1,978.01

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of March’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:

  • Article Writing: $125.30
  • Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $27.74
  • Authority Websites: $1.47
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $1,978.01

Grand Total for March: $2,132.52 (+$297.07 from February)

Another record-breaking month for me as I finally surpass the $2,000 mark! It’s exciting, and I’m thoroughly pleased, however I’m not very optimistic for April.  My page that was ranking on page 1 of Google for “make money online”  (which drives a lot of this income), is no longer on page 1.  Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been hovering near the top of page 2, which offers significantly less traffic.

As a result, I suspect my April earnings could drop by as much as $1,000.  It’s okay though – this is just further motivation and incentive for me to work hard to build new sources of income so that I’m not relying on one source for such a large chunk of my overall income.

Popular Blog Posts

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

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) My Passive Income Report [February 2013]

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

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

5) AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?!

How did your March go? (I know, it’s a little bit late for me to be asking that.)  Feel free to share in the comments.  And until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!

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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54 Responses to “My Passive Income Report [March 2013]”

  1. Congrats Eric !
    I am very glad to see your income increasing.
    Would you mind to tell me what kind income source from Commission Junction ? Did you onlly ads for them only through this blog or others.
    Thank you !
    Hope to see much money in your pocket in April.
    Nicolai recently posted… Vào Facebook bằng Gmail

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Nicolai! Through Commission Junction, I promote a variety of products/services including:

    1) Hosting (Bluehost, HostGator)
    2) Lending Club
    3) Coupons.com
    4) Elance
    5) Groupon
    6) Others (not as frequent)

    As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this comes from my high traffic post, located here:

    http://www.my4hrworkweek.com/142-ways-to-make-money-online/

    If you look through the post, you can see where I’ve used various affiliate links. It’s also worth noting that I do earn income from CJ through other niche sites as well, but the majority does come from this blog right now.

    [Reply]

    Nicolai Reply:

    Thank you so much, Eric !
    Your answer is really helpful to me.
    Nicolai recently posted… 108 anh hùng lương sơn bạc

    [Reply]

  2. I have only just started collating my monthly figures again. They were so dismal before, I decided it was better off not knowing. lol

    I am enjoying the writing process and am lucky to have the Real World Job otherwise I would be in deep do do. :)

    Congrats on your numbers, especially when you were busy elsewhere.

    I hope your Authority Site traffic and income picks up too.
    Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa recently posted… Free ebook – How To Breathe New Life into a PLR Business

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks a lot Victoria! It’s helpful to keep track of your results, even if they aren’t great. It’ll help you see where you do well (and where you aren’t doing as well), and will hopefully motivate you to work harder.

    [Reply]

  3. Another awesome month Eric. March was a record breaking month for me too ( not near as much as yours, though I plan to be there soon).

    It sucks these months are so busy for but I guess that’s part of life. Do you plan to ever make a full time living online?
    timothy sartin recently posted… Income Report [March 2013]

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Tim, and glad to hear that March was a record-breaking month for you too.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever work 100% online, but I do hope that one day my online income reaches the “full time income” level.

    [Reply]

    Tim Sartin Reply:

    Cool deal. I bet you could make a lot more just with this blog itself. It looks like you have a pretty good following.

    [Reply]

  4. Eric, great to see that your back. Very impressive month man,great job. This site and your reviews ou did seem to be doing well for you. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Scott!

    [Reply]

  5. Congrats Eric,

    Keep up the good work bro.

    I’m extremely impressed and inspired by your work keep it going man.

    Phokajob.
    Darnell Jackson recently posted… Crowdfunding How to succeed in 2013 & #OneSpark2013

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Darnell!

    [Reply]

  6. Congrats on breaking the $2k mark!

    It feels so far away for me, so it’s reassuring to see someone else do it.

    I’m going to be really interested in hearing what criteria works well for Lending Club. Keep us posted on that one.

    I’m trying to remember what the CJ income is originating from. Is that a niche site or is it related to this blog?
    Quinton Hamp recently posted… Untapped Keywords From Your Competition

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Quinton, it does feel great to break the $2K mark, even though I can already see that I won’t be able to pull it off for April.

    Regarding my CJ income, here’s what I wrote in a comment reply above:

    Through Commission Junction, I promote a variety of products/services including:

    1) Hosting (Bluehost, HostGator)
    2) Lending Club
    3) Coupons.com
    4) Elance
    5) Groupon
    6) Others (not as frequent)

    As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this comes from my high traffic post, located here:

    http://www.my4hrworkweek.com/142-ways-to-make-money-online/

    If you look through the post, you can see where I’ve used various affiliate links. It’s also worth noting that I do earn income from CJ through other niche sites as well, but the majority does come from this blog right now.

    [Reply]

  7. Hello Eric, thank you very much for this financial update on your progress to make an online income. Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you write for content mills such as InfoBarrel? Is it simply to advertise your affiliate links? I’m just wondering because, if you wanted to make some serious cash from writing, there are many blogs out there that pay $50-$100 or more for guest posts. Please let me know if you’re interested. Thanks again.
    Halina recently posted… Catch me at UW’s Taking Charge of Your Career April 6th

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    The reason I prefer to write for content mills is because I like the ability to earn recurring income, without being confined to someone else’s guidelines and content requirements.

    With that said, I’d happily write an article for $50-100, but I’m not sure I’m a good enough writer to be able to command those rates. I’m certainly open to suggestions. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Hey Man!

    Congrats on the 2K mark!
    Just like someone else, interested in your CJ deal :)

    I also got my Adsense Account Disabled for some reason.. totally out of the blue…
    Ralph | Niche Websites recently posted… The DNA of a Converting Website

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks a lot Ralph! Sorry to hear about your AdSense account. I’m not surprised though – they’ve been banning people left and right for the past couple years now, without good reasons (from the way it appears).

    As for my CJ income, here’s what I wrote in a couple comments above:

    Through Commission Junction, I promote a variety of products/services including:

    1) Hosting (Bluehost, HostGator)
    2) Lending Club
    3) Coupons.com
    4) Elance
    5) Groupon
    6) Others (not as frequent)

    As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this comes from my high traffic post, located here:

    http://www.my4hrworkweek.com/142-ways-to-make-money-online/

    If you look through the post, you can see where I’ve used various affiliate links. It’s also worth noting that I do earn income from CJ through other niche sites as well, but the majority does come from this blog right now.

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the mail and it is better to see your march income report. Hope you get more success in the upcoming months.
    Arafath @ MoneyEarningConcepts.com recently posted… Why would I concentrate more on make money with Twitter nowadays?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Arafath!

    [Reply]

  10. Its my first time reading your report and CJ section is great. Look around CJ post from you. Good work.
    alam recently posted… Amazon vs Adsense : which one is the best

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yes, I will eventually need to write some more detail about my CJ income, but if you read my response to some comments above, I’ve given a brief explanation of it.

    [Reply]

  11. Great work!

    I like this CJ income – it looks really nice. Can you tell us, how you rate CJ? I mean possible CTR and how readers of your pages react to links to CJ?

    Best regards, Kris
    KrzysiekRRR recently posted… Zielona kawa – pomoc w diecie?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    CJ is great, but like any other affiliate platform, it depends on how you use it. Readers don’t specifically know that a link is for a CJ affiliate product/service – it looks like any other link.

    [Reply]

  12. congratulations Eric. March was a solid month here as well, particularly for one of my new authority sites.

    adsense income is up record levels, however ebook sales are down a bit. iphone app sales are steady.

    looking forward to April’s performance. hope the rank drop doesn’t impact the income totals much.

    what other new income streams you have in mind?
    Sunil – Extra Money Blog recently posted… How to Save Additional 15% on Buying a Groupon to Get a Double Discount

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunil, and glad to hear that one of your new authority sites is doing well. As usual, I’m not surprised. :)

    April’s performance will be disappointing (I’m calling it now), but that’s just the motivation I need to get back to work.

    My short term plan for income streams is to continue building up my Squidoo articles (the ones I wrote a few months ago are finally paying off), but I’d like to get my authority site back on track (the one for our duel) and perhaps start a new authority site where I can more easily outsource the content.

    Long term, I’m not sure yet. I do feel there are some serious gaps in my long term plans, as I don’t have a solid grasp on any area of my online business that has significant future potential (aside from this blog).

    [Reply]

  13. Interesting analysis Eric! Its an encouraging report for someone who works full time as a CPA and part time as Internet marketer. Compared to some other reports I have seen for March this one has the least value. However, I like the frankness and simplicity of presentation.

    It is easy to assume that earnings for April would be affected by poor rankings and traffic, but with the Internet you cannot tell. April may end up being the best month of earning in your entire online career. Yes, this is possible!

    Conclusively, how come you say that Lending Club is your only truly passive income source when you made more money through affiliates ( Commission Junction) than any other income stream?

    Sunday

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sunday. I hope you’re right about April.

    The reason I call Lending Club my only “truly passive” income source is because I generate income there without putting in any work (time). My affiliate income is better, but that’s a result of many hours of work put in over the past few years.

    While the affiliate income is “passive” now, it’s still a result of very “active” work, and will continue to require work to maintain. Lending Club income, on the other hand, will continue to come in without much time spent.

    [Reply]

  14. Hey Eric, you’ve done an excellent job building up a passive income stream that grows even when you’re too busy to work on your business! I too have let many of my niche site domains expire and I’m now focusing on self-publishing and soon, app development.

    Looks like many people here are interested in your CJ income because it makes up half of your total March income. Personally, I’m going to add CashCrate to my portfolio because I have a couple of email lists with subscribers that would fit perfectly with their services.

    With your concern over April’s income, are you already seeing a change in your income at this time?
    Harlan Yee recently posted… Sell Your Kindle Books At Barnes & Noble using Nook Press

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Harlan. Yes, I see many people are interested in the detail for the CJ income – I’ve given a brief explanation in the response to some of the comments above.

    I do recommend promoting CashCrate if you have the right audience.

    As for April, I am already seeing a big change in my income. As of right now, I’m probably only at about 25% of March’s earnings, so there has been a significant drop-off. Not to worry though – this is the kick the pants I needed to get back to work.

    [Reply]

  15. Every time I think I’ve seen most blogs where folks are tracking what they make online, I find a new one!
    Congrats on 2k!

    I also use CJ – I’ve only made a few hundred so far (main sale being oDesk which has since not renewed me as an affiliate ha!)

    But with your success, it’s definitely inspired me to keep up the account.

    I know that Pat Flynn from SPI used to use CJ links a lot…
    Brooks Conkle recently posted… Dear Mr. Internal Revenue Service,

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Brooks! Glad to see you found some inspiration here.

    [Reply]

  16. Hey Eric,

    It’s actually my first time to visit your site and I admire you for showing your readers your income report. Not many people has the guts to that. It’s also my first time to read about your Lending Club so I guess I have some catching to do. Nevertheless, your post is entertaining as well as informative. Expect me to be around in the coming days. Thanks for sharing this post.

    [Reply]

    Sibo Reply:

    Another great guy named Pat Flynn is also doing it. Check out his site at Smart Passive Income.
    Sibo recently posted… How I learned from my own failure

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Farrell, I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. True, not everyone shows their income report, but I think it’s helpful in multiple ways: it helps keep me held accountable for my results, and it will occasionally help motivate others.

    As Sibo mentioned above, Pat Flynn from SPI is probably the one who made “the income report” famous on internet marketing-related blogs.

    [Reply]

    Sibo Reply:

    Hey Eric, I was reading some of your previous income reports and wondered how your challenge of earning $2000 monthly income went. Your strategy looks great and I planned to follow that, but I am just curious if you had any success on that.
    Sibo recently posted… Why is making connections so important?

    [Reply]

  17. Good job! You’ve managed to keep up the good work when you were busy with taxes! Just keep going and trying new things!
    Mike recently posted… Android Tutorial Part 3: The WebView

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mike!

    [Reply]

  18. Hey Eric, Congrats on your continuous growing monthly income! I am quite new on your blog, but I found most of your posts are very inspiring. I wish you more successful in the future!
    Sibo recently posted… Improving effectiveness is a new challenge to me – “The 4-hour body” book review

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sibo! Glad to have you here as a reader.

    [Reply]

  19. Nice earnings Eric! I had an article go from #1 to #2 on Google page one and even that small move has affected my earnings!

    Keep it up!
    Mike recently posted… Go Big or Go Home: Let the Lending Club vs. Prosper Battle Begin!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    It’s amazing how big the drop-off is from #1 to #2 on Google. The move from page 1 to page 2 is even worse, and unfortunately my earnings are going to take a big hit in April. I guess that’s the motivation I need to work harder now!

    [Reply]

  20. Nice earnings for a month when you weren’t able to work much! I can definitely relate to the busy few months and the joy of coming home after a 16hr grind to check stats and see the money you made while not putting any direct effort in.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    It’s a great feeling for sure. I do still feel a little uneasy though knowing that if I don’t get back to work on it soon, the results will eventually suffer!

    [Reply]

  21. Good to see your Squidoo income. Most of bloggers use Squidoo for link building not for income. How do you use Squidoo? For income or for backlink?
    Dipra Sen recently posted… Building a Career in Jewelry Designing

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I actually use it for both – my primary use of it is to generate income. However, if I’m writing an article that it relevant to another site I own, I will definitely take the opportunity to build backlinks as well.

    [Reply]

  22. Only if my blog income grew at this rate…
    How do you get more traffic to your blog?

    I’m glad to see you are really seeing what passive income is like
    Dionne recently posted… April Income Report ’13

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    The best way to do it is write more (quality) content, and network with other bloggers in your niche. You can do this with comments and/or guest posts.

    [Reply]

  23. Hi Eric,

    Its so awesome to see your monthly income growing. Inspiring stuff.
    Did you hear that google just bought a large share of LendingClub. I really think it’s going to take off and infiltrate mass society in the next few years. Exciting times.
    Thanks for the great blog.
    Charlie recently posted… How to use more than one lomo light leak at once.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Charlie. I hadn’t heard Google purchased some of Lending Club; that’s pretty interesting.

    [Reply]

  24. how many hours would you say you spend on cashcrate.com?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Right now I don’t spend much time at all, as most of my earnings are from referrals.

    [Reply]

  25. Hi Eric !
    Can I ask you a question: Is Chitika a good ads for high traffic site. I have a site it gets about 5K a day, I wonder if Chitika good or not. Thank you !
    Hope to see your income grow up in this month
    Smith recently posted… What Azon Commission Crusher Does ?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Honestly, I’d strongly prefer Google Adsense (or if you can’t do that, then try Media.net). In my experience, the PPC for Chitika ads is extremely low.

    [Reply]

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