My Online Income Report – May 2014
Hey there – welcome to my income report for May (2014)!
In addition to the usual monthly income figures I report, I wanted to talk a bit about the future in this post. Most importantly: getting back to basics, and what that means for My 4-Hour Workweek. It’s all good stuff, don’t worry.
And although there’s not much to report in the way of earnings, I also talk about the future The Daily Interview, and how it’s grown over the past month.
Let’s get to this month’s report…
Getting Back to Blogging Basics
I hinted at this a bit in last month’s income report, but May was really a month where I found myself with the urge to get back to blogging basics. What does that really mean?
For me, getting back to basics means that I’m trying to do thing things I did when I first started blogging. It’s amazing, when you look back a couple years ago at what my blog (My 4-Hour Workweek) looked like. Traffic was pretty similar to today’s traffic, but I had a lot more engagement.
What I mean by more engagement is that I was getting a lot more blog comments and e-mails from readers. It’s weird that my traffic hasn’t changed much, but the engagement has taken a noticeable dip. I think there are a few reasons for this:
- I don’t blog as much as I used to. I used to write 4-6 blog posts per month, and lately it’s been more like 1-3.
- There’s a lot more competition. Even though the “internet marketing” or “make money online” niche was saturated when I began back in 2010, it’s way more saturated today, nearly 4 years later.
- My 4-Hour Workweek is somewhat “stale.”
Let me elaborate on point #3.
Over the past couple of years, I’ll admit that this blog has become somewhat of a drag. Yes, I still think/hope I write a lot of quality content, but the majority of my posts over the past year have been my monthly income reports that have little news to report. Earnings have remained stagnant in the $200-600/month range. Nothing exciting going on.
Sure, I’ve taken on some big, exciting projects – such as a blog that posts daily interviews with successful internet entrepreneurs. While I’ve seen growth there, it’s still a long way from becoming a success. And until I have some success I can point to there (generally, that means making money), most readers here won’t pay it much attention. That’s the sad reality in this niche.
Of course, I greatly appreciate those of you who have stuck with me over the years. I hope that by getting back to basics, I can start blogging more and getting that passion back. That means writing more about topics that interest me – which includes not only making money, but being smart with the money you’ve already made. I’m a CPA, but you’d never know it based on the content I write here. It’s time for that to change.
Getting back to basics also means doing some basic networking that I’ve neglected recently. Blog commenting, tweeting with other bloggers, etc. – these are some easy and basic tasks that can go a long way.
Now, let’s get to the income report.
I’m starting to work on building a portfolio for freelance writing/blogging, where I plan to focus on the following topics (in this order):
- Personal Finance
- Internet Marketing
If you or someone you know is looking to hire someone to write a blog post (or several), please get in touch with me.
Freelance Writing Income
Other Article-Related Income:
- Amazon: $0.00
- Revenue Sharing: $0.00
- Revenue Sharing: $3.50
- Amazon: $0.00
Total Writing Income: $3.50
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: 6.23% (+.07% 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: 12.89% (-1.24% from the previous month)
- Number of loans: 5 (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 5 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: $13.32
- Media.net: $0.00
- Chitika: $0.00
- InfoLinks: $0.00
- Commission Junction: $0.00
- Total: $13.32
The Daily Interview
I’m pleased with the progress and growth of The Daily Interview so far. We’re approaching our 100th interview! When I started this whole thing earlier this year, I never knew how far this was going to get, but I think 100 interviews is a great milestone.
The bigger question, of course, is: When will the site actually start making some real money?
I’m a patient guy. Maybe too patient.
Honestly, I’m still just focused on growing the site’s traffic and interview archive. To me, it’s not worth the effort to monetize yet. I may be leaving a few bucks on the table, but I’m sacrificing that for the greater good of the site’s future. I don’t know where that future is yet, and I’m still toying with the idea of rolling The Daily Interview into My 4-Hour Workweek as I’ve mentioned before.
I’ve had a lot of people asking me about how I conduct these interviews, how I find the guests, and how I manage to put these interviews together on such a regular basis without spending a ton of time on it. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work – but this is all done in the little bit of free time I have outside my regular job).
I may put together a premium resource (an “interview blueprint” of sorts) that goes step-by-step into how you can use text-based interviews to really add depth to whatever you blog may be.
It’s something I think everyone could benefit from, no matter the niche.
Now, let’s look at some of the stats for The Daily Interview over the past month.
Search engine presence continues to grow. In April, the site was visible on Google for 469 queries, and had 12,825 impressions in search results. May showed a nice improvement over those numbers.
Here’s a look at the search queries for May from Google’s Webmaster Tools:
I’m getting search traffic for a lot of random long-tail keywords of course, but it’s also cool to see how I’m getting a lot of hits for the individual people I’ve interviewed. It’s nice to know that some of the people who I’ve interviewed are having their interviews shown prominently on the first page of Google for their name or brand, which I think is going to help add some credibility to The Daily Interview.
Here’s what the site earned last month:
- Amazon: $0.00
- After Offers: $6.00
- Total: $6.00
Undisclosed Authority Site
This site is inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.
- Media.net: $2.12
- Indeed.com: $7.06
- Total: $9.18
- Amazon: $5.54
- Media.net: $0.52
- Total: $6.06
Total Authority Site Earnings: $21.24
Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during the month. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]
- CashCrate: $73.28 (read my review here)
- ClickBank: $23.04 (primarily from Long Tail Pro)
- Commission Junction: $48.00
- After Offers: $74.00 (read my review here)
- Ebates: $5.00
- Aweber: $14.40
- Other/Misc.: $10.50
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $248.22
Here’s a summary of May’s earnings, organized by category:
- Freelance Writing: $3.50
- Niche Sites: $13.32
- Authority Sites: $21.24
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $248.22
Grand Total for May: $286.28 (+$64.75 from April)
Not much to say here – it’s what I expected. Still nice knowing that it’s 100% passive, but nothing to get excited about obviously.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in May based on number of views:
1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online (really crazy to see how much love this post continues to receive)
How did your online projects do in May? Hopefully better than mine. I’d love to hear from you 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.
Also, follow me on Twitter and say hi!