My Passive Income Report [May 2013]

May, unfortunately, was my first “whole” month where my top income sources were down significantly.  The drop started in April (where only the early part of the month performed well), and probably hit its bottom in May (I hope!).

With that said, I’ve got a new project in the works that I’m excited about, to go along with a new outlook on productivity that I think will pay off over the next few months.

Let’s get to it.

A Brief Overview of May

May was nice and relaxing, as my girlfriend and I spent about a week visiting San Francisco. It was our first time traveling there, and we both found SF to be an awesome city.  Lots of good food, good sights, and overall a great city to walk around.

There was a mix of good and bad in May, and aside from the drop in income, I think the the good is going to ultimately beat out the bad.  Thanks to this 31-day challenge I set up for myself (and I’m still in the middle of it), I’ve got a new niche site in the works that I have high hopes for.

In other news, which I’ll explain below, I think writing for Squidoo in general is dead.  It’s unfortunate, but I’m glad it happened before  I started relying on it as a significant income stream.  I’m still somewhat struggling to figure out where my next big online income stream will come from, but I think it’s important to take things slow and really just focus on one project at time.

May Income Report

Article Writing

Although I think InfoBarrel is still a reliable (yet unspectacular) place to earn money writing articles, Squidoo is just about dead (in my opinion).

As I wrote about in last month’s income report, several of my Squidoo lenses were unpublished and locked, and for all intents and purposes, they’re gone.  No warnings and no realistic opportunities to correct whatever was wrong with them.

Fortunately for me, Squidoo was not yet a large source of my income (although I did recently have a $100+ month there before all this craziness began). Other people weren’t as fortunate, as many have unexpectedly found themselves with drastic drops in income due to having their Squidoo lenses unfairly locked.

As I mentioned in the past, there most certainly are lenses that are lower quality and deserve to be locked (and I’ll admit that a few of mine probably fell in that category).  However, evidence suggests that there were a substantial number of high quality (or at least, not low quality) lenses that were locked as well.  The public outrage on Squidoo’s forums seems to be endless.

Anyway, I will probably continue to earn a few dollars here and there assuming no more lenses are locked, but I’ve decided not to put any more effort into Squidoo.

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

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $6.27
  • Revenue Sharing: $1.67

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $10.40

Total Article Writing Income: $18.34

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 doesn’t take more than a few minutes), you can simply sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + interest.

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.

For the third straight month, my net annualized return (or interest %) grew, so I’m happy to be back on track here. I’m now invested in 170 loans (+4 from April) and my net annualized return is 5.58% (+.10% from April).

Now that I’ve began investing in some higher risk loans (while still doing the necessary analysis to make sure that the loan is still reasonable and worth the risk), I’m starting to see the payoff.

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 do want to re-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.  One or two $25 investments won’t really get you anywhere.

Prosper

A couple months ago, I also began investing with Prosper.com, which is another social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.

Because the 4 loans I invested in with my initial $100 deposit didn’t fully fund until mid-May, I’m not going to receive my first repayments until probably sometime in June.  Once I begin receiving payments, I’ll definitely report my net annualized return % here!

Here’s a little preview of the loans I’m invested in so far (and you can see the interest rate of each):

Niche Sites

Although most of my old niche sites that I built 1-2 years ago have “died off” (for various reasons), I have a new niche site in the works that I’m excited about.  It’s monetized with Amazon, and I really like the keyword I selected.

I was debating on whether I should make a public case study out of it, but for right now, I’m going to keep it private.  On multiple occasions, I know other bloggers (Spencer for example) who have made a niche site public and have seen copycats emerge once the site becomes successful.

I have no problem sharing everything I learn, through my successes and/or failures, but I’d like to get one successful niche site under my belt before opening it up to competition.

Note: The new niche site isn’t receiving traffic yet, so there haven’t been any earnings for it.

Here’s a summary of May’s niche site earnings:
  • Amazon: $5.52
  • Media.net: $0.08
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $5.60

Authority Sites

Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)

This site is still inactive (in terms of me working on it), but continues to earn a little bit of money.

May Earnings:

  • Media.net: $0.99

Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)

Not a lot of work done on this site in the last month (mainly due to the new niche site I’m focused on), but I will definitely get back to this site at some point soon.

May Earnings:

  • Amazon: $4.19
  • Media.net: $0.32
  • Total: $4.51

Total Authority Site Earnings: $5.50

Affiliate/Other Income

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

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for May: $487.64

Income Summary

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

  • Article Writing: $18.34
  • Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $5.60
  • Authority Websites: $5.50
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $487.64

Grand Total for May: $517.08 (-$449.94 from April)

Unfortunately, it’s my second consecutive down month, and hopefully, this is the bottom.  I’m going to continue my focus on one project at a time, so that over the next few months, I’ll have a few new sources of passive income.

Popular Blog Posts

These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in May 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 [April 2013]

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

5) Top Google AdSense Alternatives: Media.net Review

How did May go for you?  Let’s hear about it in the comments!

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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24 Responses to “My Passive Income Report [May 2013]”

  1. I think you are on the right path-focusing on one thing at a time. Sometimes results dilute when we have too much going on. I am currently shutting down all blogging efforts and gradually focusing on mobile app programming at the moment while I job hunt (it’s just time to do that I think).

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Probably a good idea to focus on the mobile app programming in favor of blogging…blogging can definitely be a distraction! Hopefully focusing on one thing at a time WILL pay off.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Yes! It has been-I enjoy it and will return to it down the road when I have a few more apps available. Programming can easily be made into a 4-hour-a-month when things get going. My job search is consuming a lot more of my time (hence why I am giving up blogging at the moment will I write a better business plan and schedule to balance the job, the programming and the blog).

    [Reply]

  2. Not too impressive report. I guess it is because of the shifted attention and concentration from these income sources to other projects with potential income generation ability.

    We wait to see how Eric Gati’s plan for all his project pan out in the nearest future!

    The above comment was left in the IM social site – kingged.com where this post was also shared and “kingged”

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Well, unfortunately most of the income drop was due to a page that stopped ranking for a very lucrative keyword…not so much due to shifted attention. With that said, I do need to concentrate on my new project if it’s going to earn anything respectable! Thanks for the comment, Sunday.

    [Reply]

  3. Thanks For Sharing. I appreciate the honesty in your reports and like how you keep it real regardless of a loss in income.

    Focusing on one project at a time may be a good thing for you.

    Good luck!

    Steve
    Stephen Raiken recently posted… 2,000 Subscriber Contest ~ Enter To Win a Free $25 Amazon Gift Card!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Stephen!

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Eric,

    I can’t wait to see your great result from your new Niche Site. I have been following the methods from Spencer for just about a month, but unfortunately my first Niche Site did not rank anywhere in Google after I spent over $600 on it.

    Let me know how your niche site is going. Maybe we have more chances to learn from each other.

    Cheers,

    Sibo
    sibo recently posted… A quick update on my status

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Sibo – it is definitely disappointing when you put a bunch of time and money into a site and don’t see the payoff. Stick with it though – perhaps it’s just moving slower than you expected.

    I’ve probably spent about $100 on my site so far between content and some outsourced backlinking. Before I spend any more on backlinking, I want to make sure I’m moving in the right direction (maybe getting to the 2nd or 3rd page of Google for my primary keyword). Once I see that, I’ll probably invest another $100-200 to get the site onto page 1, hopefully near the top.

    Not all keywords are winners (which is why it’s so important to spend enough time doing keyword research), so there’s always going to be a risk there. I hope your site starts to do better!

    [Reply]

  5. more reason for diversification. while I agree that focusing on just one initiative at a time will likely get you to realize bigger/better results sooner, you are also giving up on the diversification front.

    boils down to priorities i suppose. if you have a breakthrough idea, then it def makes more sense to focus on only that to benefit from first mover advantage.

    but if replicating an existing concept, then i feel we can afford to take our time

    big hit from a relative perspective, but i am sure you will make it up in another area. a new site is always a potential income stream waiting to happen

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sunil – you’re right that taking a narrow focus will sacrifice some diversification in the short term. The way I look at it, I’d rather have 1 or 2 things that perform really well than 10 things that don’t perform at all.

    Over time, by focusing on several different projects (one at a time), I should have a diversified portfolio. Unfortunately, I haven’t done this too well in the past. :)

    [Reply]

    Sunil - Extra Money Blog Reply:

    comes with time :)
    Sunil – Extra Money Blog recently posted… IMPORTANT Message for RSS Readers of This Blog. Your Subscription May End

    [Reply]

  6. Woah you are doing to much bro. I think if you will focus on one think you will earn this much income for adsense only.
    Jaspreet recently posted… How to Optimize Image for Better Search Engine Rankings?

    [Reply]

  7. Go slow with Prosper. I’m currently slowly moving things over the LendingClub since Prosper is not very transparent with their “collections” process. I’m at 10.1% with Prosper after a bit over 3 years, and 12.3% with Lending Club after 1 year.
    Cashcrate sounds interesting, similar surveys as erewards so I think I’m going to give it a try. I’ll sign up through your referral as well. I’m always looking for a creative alternative to how people do things. I agree with you that making a site public gets others to steal your idea, that happened to me at Amazon on their discussion boards. So I won’t do that again, I was making $150/month, then went to $20 so I did a search and found someone copied the whole thing basically. I learned something new though, so all is good.

    [Reply]

  8. Eric–may I humbly suggest killing the Prosper project? It is fraught with risks, the collections process is muddled and you will never find a return on your investment as high as investing in yourself.

    Perhaps, use your prosper budget to promote your niche sites?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I appreciate the suggestion, but I’ll probably go with the experiment for right now. I’ve only invested $100 so far, so the downside risk is minimal. Also, I’m trying to diversify as much as I can – if I put all my money into my niche sites, I’m moving away from diversification. If Prosper is anything like Lending Club, I’m expecting a decent ROI given the risk involved. We’ll see!

    [Reply]

  9. I appreciate what you are doing and earning this much, but according to me you should also give focus on Adsense. Definitely it is one of the best method to earn money online and is 100% legitimate.

    Congrats once again.

    Regards
    Kshitij jain
    Hiren Rajput recently posted… Find Mobile Number Details | Get Mobile Number Details

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I wish I could give focus on AdSense…unfortunately, my account was disabled a couple years ago.

    [Reply]

  10. no doubt Adsense is best for monetizing your blog but they ban very easily sometimes because of the mistake that other do. I think you should focus more on Affiliate Marketing. You earned good with market Samurai. Do you use market samurai?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yes, I use Market Samurai – it’s a great product.

    [Reply]

  11. Wow I wish I could earn that much money :(
    Brew Sandra recently posted… Jesus Christ Wallpapers, Fb Covers, Desktop, iPad, Mac 2013

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Just keep working hard and you’ll get there!

    [Reply]

  12. hi,i really think that the way you choose is right and i think for getting something big you have to think big..and yes your thinking is big …..

    really motivational

    regards
    aniket dhalwalkar
    Aniket recently posted… MERRY CHRISTMAS IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES –WISH 2013 CHRISTMAS GLOBLLY

    [Reply]

  13. ha bro you are hero for me because i am just starting a blogging but i can’t understand how can i make money from my blog
    Akshay Nimbalkar recently posted… Merry Christmas Greeting Card 2014

    [Reply]

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