My Online Income Report – March 2014
Historically, March has always been one of my busiest months thanks to tax season.
When I’m busy “offline”…you guessed it…I’m highly unproductive online. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case this March. Despite the heat of tax season and being overall busier-than-normal at work, I still found time to continue working on my online projects (except for this income report, which is being published much later than usual!).
In fact, it was one of my best months in awhile (although still not great compared to what it once was – last March, I earned over $2,000 online). Part of that was due to a non-recurring payment that I received, and although it won’t be something I’ll have in April, it was still a sign of good things to come.
Let’s see what else happened in March…
One Dilemma I’m Slowly Realizing
Before we get to the numbers, I want to point out a dilemma that I started to realize in March.
As you know, I’ve been running a daily blog over at The Daily Interview. It’s been a time consuming endeavor, but one that I’ve enjoyed. It’s truly been amazing meeting so many different people and learning about their stories and successes.
The problem is, simply maintaining the site’s basic operations (i.e. publishing content 5 days a week) consumes nearly all of my time dedicated to online work. This is a problem – not only because it doesn’t leave me much time to work on other projects (which I’m OK with for the time being), but it doesn’t actually leave me time to work on the growth and monetization of The Daily Interview.
You see, publishing daily content isn’t enough. Sure, there will be gradual organic growth and traffic, but there needs to be more. A good product doesn’t always sell itself.
I have a partial solution for this, which I’ll explain in more detail below.
Now, on to the income report…
Freelance Writing Income
Other Article-Related Income:
- Amazon: $0.00
- Revenue Sharing: $1.63
- Revenue Sharing: $2.57
- Amazon: $0.00
Total Writing Income: $4.20
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: 6.09% (+.11% 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.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: 14.34% (no change from the previous month),
- Number of loans: 4 (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 4 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: $10.42
- Media.net: $0.00
- Chitika: $0.00
- InfoLinks: $0.00
- Commission Junction: $0.00
- Total: $10.42
The Daily Interview
As I mentioned near the start of this income report, time has become a real limiting factor in growing this website. I have the time to keep up with the content, but not enough time to work on growing traffic and actually monetize the traffic.
Recently, I made a small change to the schedule of the site’s interviews. While I am keeping up the “daily” interview model, I’m shortening the schedule to Monday through Thursday (instead of Friday). This is a 20% reduction in the time I spent with the site’s content, which should allow me to have time for other things (in theory).
I think this change benefits the audience as well. Posting five times a week can be overwhelming for a reader too, and may not allow each individual interview to get the attention it deserves. Overall, I feel pretty good about this decision, and hopefully it will allow me to do more and improve the site’s chance for success.
Now, for the numbers…
I thought it might be interesting this month to look at the search engine presence for this site, which is something I haven’t talked about or focused on myself. After all, this site is really more about social media engagement – I haven’t put any time into SEO.
Here’s a look at the search queries for March from Google’s Webmaster Tools:
This graph shows the site’s impressions on Google – in other words, the number of times The Daily Interview shows up in someone’s search results. As you can see, the site’s search engine presence continues to grow.
Traffic on the other hand was pretty similar to February. Again, I know the site can grow slowly on its own (just by publishing more content), but to get significant growth, I need to put more time into promotion (for example, writing guest posts).
If you’re interested in reading the interviews, but may not remember to check the site daily, I send a short summary of each interview once a week, and you can check out whatever interview may interest you.
If you’d like to get the digest once a week (don’t worry – I’m not sending you anything else), you can sign up here:
Here’s what the site earned last month:
- Amazon: $1.81
- Other: $250.00
- Total: $251.81
You’re probably wondering about the “Other” income of $250….
This was a one-time payment from one of the site’s guests as an incentive to try out his service (a unique advertising platform that is free to use as a publisher). I’m keeping it a mystery for now because I plan to do a full-fledged write up on it later once I’ve used it for a month or two.
I’m happy to finally make some real money with The Daily Interview, but because this was a one time payment, I expect April to drop back down to virtually nothing.
Undisclosed Authority Site
This site is inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.
- Media.net: $0.66
- Indeed.com: $0.92
- Total: $1.58
- Amazon: $17.97
- Media.net: $1.40
- Total: $19.37
Total Authority Site Earnings: $272.76
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.]
- CashCrate: $100.38 (read my review here)
- ClickBank: $37.30 (primarily from Long Tail Pro)
- Commission Junction: $74.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Market Samurai: $97.00
- Ebates: $5.00
- Aweber: $14.40
- Other/Misc.: $0.50
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $328.58
Here’s a summary of March’s earnings, organized by category:
- Freelance Writing: $4.20
- Niche Sites: $10.42
- Authority Sites: $272.76
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $328.58
Grand Total for March: $615.96 (+$289.91 from February)
Easily my best month so far this year, but still far away from where I want and need to be. I won’t complain about a step forward though.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in March based on number of views:
How did March turn out for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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