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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  • Taxes
  • Blogging
  • 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

  • None!

Other Article-Related Income:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Revenue Sharing: $0.00

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $3.50
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Writing Income: $3.50

Lending Club

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

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:

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

Slow Carb Diet Experiments

  • 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.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $248.22

Income Summary

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)

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

3) My Online Income Report – April 2014

4) Top Google AdSense Alternatives: Media.net Review

5) Buying Your First Home: Are You CRAZY? (Part I – Beginning the Process)

How did your online projects do in May?  Hopefully better than mine. :)  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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31 Responses to “My Online Income Report – May 2014”

  1. I’ve been building a new niche site over the last month or two. I’ve also been working hard on building new links to some existing (but recently unloved) niche sites that I built some time ago.

    Right now, I’m seeing them appear in Webmaster Tools for all sorts of new keyword phrases – including some pretty high traffic ones – but they’r sitting outside the top 10 for most of these.

    It’s just so tantalizing – so long as my rankings keep on improving I could be onto a few winners here – so here’s me keeping my fingers crossed for this month :-)
    Rich | TechToucan.com recently posted… 4 Places To Advertise Your Twitter Account (And Get Real Followers)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sounds good Rich – looks like you may be onto something there! It’s always interesting to see the “impressions” on Webmaster Tools. Even if they haven’t led to many clicks *yet*, it’s still very encouraging.

    Best of luck to you.

    [Reply]

  2. Nice! TheDailyInterview came up on last night’s mastermind call as an example of a site that seems to be gaining some traction. Keep up the good work — I know it’s a pain to compile and edit all that content.
    Nick Loper recently posted… Is Quora a Good Source of Traffic?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s awesome, Nick. I hope it continues to gain traction, and thank you for the support.

    (Of course, I have to also mention that YOUR interviews are great as well, and I imagine it’s even harder to edit and publish a podcast.)

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Eric,
    Hopefully after going back to the basics, we should be seeing improvement in the income report.

    This report for May 2014 is far from encouraging, although it is expected when attention is not paid to a blog.

    I am looking forward to the TheDailyInterview becoming a huge success!

    This comment was shared in kingged.com – the content aggregator website where this post was shared for Internet marketers.

    Sunday – Contributor to kingged.com

    http://kingged.com/online-income-report-2014/

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sunday. Yes, hopefully going “back to basics” will yield some better results. :)

    [Reply]

  4. The Daily Interview is a cool site and have potential! I just wondering, why it’s generate a little income?
    Sandy recently posted… My Private Proxy Promotional Code – 10% Recurring Discount!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sandy – the short answer is, because I haven’t really attempted to monetize it. Even so, I don’t believe traffic is strong enough yet where I would be able to generate any meaningful income, which is why I haven’t yet tried to make money from it.

    [Reply]

  5. I THINKS THAT EVERY ONE CAN MAKE MONEY FROM ONLINE BUSINESS LIKE BLOGGING BUT WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON 2 THING ALWAYS DO POST ON BLOG AT LEAST 1 ARTICLE PER DAY OR MINIMUM 5 IN IN WEEK AND SEO FOR 2 HRS PER DAY
    SUDHEER YADAV recently posted… Fugly

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s one way to do it. :D

    [Reply]

  6. Eric, thanks once again for the share buddy ;) Keep plugging away!
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted… 1 Fear Crippling Most Bloggers

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ryan!

    [Reply]

  7. To make money, it seems like you have to find a niche with a dedicated following and just be the very best in that niche. Some things might be broad enough to support multiple sites– personal finance, for instance– but the only people that I started with a couple of years ago who are doing well are those who just quit doing “also rans” and found a narrow thing and have done it well (enough).

    All of that said, I’m not leading by example right now!
    Mike recently posted… Rebalancing our Vanguard Portfolio

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree, Mike. People who can find a way to dominate a sub-niche are the ones who probably have the greater chance for success. Otherwise, you’re just fighting for a very small slice of a very big pie.

    [Reply]

  8. Hi,
    I hope going back to the basic will surely help, Because it all starts from basic and then goes on. Publishing more than the no of article you are, will surely help.

    I too am planning to start this Interviews article, hope it will help.

    Also I am very sure than a micro niche will surely help to get the desired level of output, needs R&D for than. Good Luck
    Shekhar recently posted… Best Blog Reader for Bloggers

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Shekhar! Yes, I do believe getting back to basics is sometimes the key to getting back on track. :)

    [Reply]

  9. I love your daily interview site, but it seems like a HUGE amount of work for something that isnt generating any money. I know it is your choice not to attempt to monetize it, but I am not quite sure I understand why you dont think it is worth the effort.

    I think it is important to test monetization early so you can see if it is worth it to continue the huge effort the site requires. I know you have a good process for conducting the interviews, but by needing to post every single day, it adds up really quickly.

    Do you have a plan for when it will be time to monetize and how you expect to do so? What about for growing traffic?

    Regardless of your plan, it is still an incredible resource that I am thankful you are creating. So I hope you keep it up, I just want to see if there are ways to make your efforts a bit more efficient :)
    Andy Baldacci recently posted… My First Blog Post!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the concern, Andy. You’re right, The Daily Interview has been a ton of work. Fortunately, I’ve enjoyed it so far. And while it hasn’t yet paid off (monetarily), I’ve made a lot of great connections, which could be valuable in the future.

    My plan to monetize really involves creating a product – I won’t share too many details yet, but it has to do with helping people do interviews for their own blog, in any niche. I think it’s a valuable type of content that many people don’t know how to utilize correctly (or don’t utilize at all).

    Aside from that, I will continue to include affiliate links within interviews (which I have already been doing wherever appropriate). Display advertising likely won’t ever be a viable type of monetization for a site like this, but maybe once traffic is higher, it will be.

    Eventually, once traffic is really significant, I’ll be able to attract sponsors for various interviews.

    Right now, traffic is probably averaging 100-125 unique visits per day, which isn’t terrible, but isn’t enough to generate any significant income. I’ve also slowly been building an e-mail list, which is another asset that will be valuable in the future.

    In the long run, if I decide that this really won’t ever be a profitable venture, I’ll probably fold the project into My 4-Hour Workweek and perhaps change it to a weekly interview series on this blog (since most of the interviews I conduct fit well with the audience of this blog).

    [Reply]

  10. I think that getting back to basics is what we all should do. Especially after Google’s Penguins and Pandas, it’s pretty obvious that doing it “right” is what we should do. With great content comes great revenue. Hopefully this statement will finally become reality after all these years.
    Calin recently posted… Niche “Empire” Case Study: 5 at a time!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I hope so too, Calin. Thanks for the comment!

    [Reply]

  11. Hi Eric, Thanks for sharing helpful post as a new comer to blogging helps me lot.I hope more helpful posts from you.
    Santhosh Kumar recently posted… AGILE SDLC Methodology

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Santhosh.

    [Reply]

  12. What you could do with this particular blog is to maybe convert it over to one of those static blogs that you can update whenever, without the need to spend money on something that has the potential to become more of a sore spot for you.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s a possibly good idea, thanks Mike. If I can eventually get away from the need to publish “daily,” the site would become a lot easier to run and I could focus on other things that would increase revenue.

    I guess I screwed myself a bit by naming the site, “The Daily Interview” ?

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    I hear the need “to post daily.” It’s a learning process about what works and what doesn’t.

    [Reply]

  13. Eric, it’s nice to see you consistently working on this blog since following you in 2011.

    Would you mind sharing why “Commission Junction” income declined these months?

    Was it a niche site, or product you promoting here.. not popular anymore?

    I really enjoyed your Daily Interview and love to Google+ or Tweet when I could.

    Keep up your good work.. You gain your Audience and Authority via it..

    Not just your monthly passive income number.

    Also appreciate your open-ness although the number is not impressive as used to be. :)

    I am confident that your next big success will come out of DI soon. It’s already there.. as the traffic, value, and the influence you are making in your readers like me.
    Kent Chow recently posted… 3 Lessons I learned from my $11,000 Amazon Associates Income in the First Year

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Kent – and I appreciate you being a follower for so long. :)

    A lot of times my Commission Junction income used to increase from hosting commissions (BlueHost or Hostgator). I don’t promote those too heavily now days, so that’s really what’s been keeping this number down.

    Thanks again! :)

    [Reply]

  14. This site’s archive goes back years… and currently you’re only making a few hundred dollars per month??

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sad, isn’t it Jay? :P There was a time where my online income was over $2,000/mo., and for a variety of reasons, it’s dropped significantly. I’m not sure how closely you’ve followed my blog over the years, but if you’ve been following, you know that I work a pretty busy full-time job as a CPA. This blog was created as more of a hobby – a way to experiment with earning income passively online. It’s far from a success, and of course I’m still hoping it will improve (a lot). But at the end of the day, it’s something I enjoy doing, and the income I earn (however small) is currently just a bonus.

    [Reply]

  15. Nice stuff! Glad you got off of freelance writing into more passive vehicles. I’ve been looking into lending club. Still happy with it?
    Johnny recently posted… Johnny’s Income Report + Action Items for September 2014

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yep, been very happy with it! :)

    [Reply]

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