My Online Income Report [September 2013]

You might have noticed a subtle difference in the title of this post, compared to my past monthly income reports.  Although this blog has typically focused on “passive” sources of income online, I’ve decided that this is the wrong focus, and sends the wrong message.

After all, most of the “passive income” projects I undertake are anything but passive – they require a lot of upfront work, and even when everything is in motion, there’s a lot of effort required to maintain and grow the project. Sadly, I haven’t been putting in enough effort.

That aside, I’m slowly getting into a new form of online income (new for me, that is), which I’ll explain in greater detail below.  It’s 100% non-passive (so I guess that makes it “active?”), but I think there’s solid potential to build a strong income stream with it.

Let’s jump right in…

New Plans in Motion

Although September’s income remained nearly unchanged from August, there were a lot of new developments in my online business plan going forward.

As I wrote about here, I’m slowly trying to position myself as a premium-grade freelance writer.  In my mind, there are two types of freelance writers:

1) The “Commodity” Freelance Writer

2) The Premium Freelance Writer

The “commodity” freelance writer is a “dime a dozen,” and is paid accordingly.  This is the type of writer who cranks out content that is usually 400-600 words long, and typically only writes articles for SEO purposes (e.g. secondary content on a niche site).  You’re lucky if you can make $10 from a 500 word article here – the average rate is probably more like $5 for 500 words.

The premium freelance writer understands the value of marketing his or her services, and actively seeks out clients, not assignments.  The quality and depth of the content written is usually much greater.  Although this usually requires a bit more of a time investment, the payoff is generally much better ($50+ for 500 words).

I’m not expecting to step right into that premium class and have tons of clients, but that’s the goal I’m working toward.  To get to that point, I want to build a solid writing portfolio.

I’m going to take the opportunity to build out one or two sites filled with high quality content – although I already have a few different sites out there, much of the content wasn’t written by me, so I don’t feel comfortable using those sites in my portfolio.  So, while I build my freelance writing portfolio, I’ll also be building some valuable passive income assets.

September Income Report

Freelance Writing

This section of the income report used to detail the (little) income I received from writing articles on revenue-sharing websites, and while I still plan on including that income here, it no longer deserves its own section.  The focus will be on freelance writing.

In September, I decided to test the freelance writing “waters” a bit and write for Textbroker. This is definitely not part of my long term strategy, as the pay is simply too low, but I wanted to get a little taste of freelance writing before I actually start finding clients and landing actual writing jobs.

My strategy for writing articles on Textbroker is really simple: Find article topics that I can write about really quickly.  The only way to make this type of freelance writing somewhat worthwhile is to be able to write fast without sacrificing quality.

Freelance Writing Income – September

  • Textbroker: $23.18 (approx. 1.5 hours writing)

Other Article-Related Income – September:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Revenue Sharing: $2.07

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $5.50
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Writing Income: $30.75

“Daily” Fantasy Sports

This is a new section of my income report that I’m excited to introduce.  If you’ve never played fantasy sports online before (my favorite is fantasy football), and you have no interest in it, feel free to skip over this section.

The difference between the sites below and your traditional fantasy sports league, is that instead of drafting one team for an entire season, you can play in daily contests where you pick your team for a day (or week, depending on the sport) and compete head-to-head or against multiple people to see whose team can score the highest for that day.

Each person wagers a set amount (they have contests that are free and go all the way up to $200+ to enter).  Most of the ones I play are $1 or $2, but I’ll usually play in several contests on a Sunday (fantasy football is what I’ve been playing lately).

For example, last week I picked a team for a $2 contest, head-to-head against one other random opponent. The winner of the contest gets $3.60.  After picking a team I really liked, I was able to duplicate it across 10 similar contests against different opponents (so I had a total of $20 in play).

Each of the sites below has their own unique characteristics, which I why I play at all three sites each week.  I initially deposited $25 on each site, and have slowly been working up my balances through my winnings.

Disclaimer: Although similar to gambling, it’s actually legal.  I don’t advocate playing to earn an income, although it’s fun entertainment where you can make money if you know your sports well.  Here’s a note from one of the sites about why it’s legal:

Here are my net winnings (i.e. profit) for September:

Total: $52.00

If I had to pick my favorite site to play on, I would probably select Draft Kings or Fan Duel, however they are all good. The top earners on all of these sites make $50,000+ per month, but these are obviously people who wager significantly more money.

If there’s any interest in me writing more about daily fantasy sports, please let me know in the comments.  I’m really not sure how interested any of you are in this type of activity.

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 only takes a few minutes), you can sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + a relatively high rate of interest.

If you’re new to Lending Club, you should read my post that explains exactly how I make money with Lending Club (including my investment strategy).  It’ll at least help you get started in figuring out what loans are better to invest in.

I’m currently invested in 183 loans (+1 from August) and my net annualized return is 5.31% (-.28% from August).  Another slight decline, but I’m still happy with the overall return I’m getting on my investment – certainly more than I would be earning with other relatively safe investments.

Although this isn’t a place I’d put my life savings, I’m a firm believer that this is becoming a more and more viable way to safely invest a portion of your savings.  I can’t recommend a specific % to invest (it all depends on your tolerance for risk), but I’d be comfortable investing at least 10% of my own savings.

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.  Again, I want to emphasize that to really benefit from this form of passive income, you need to make several $25 investments not only to earn more interest, but to diversify as well.  One or two $25 investments won’t get you anywhere.

Prosper

Prosper.com is another site where I invest, which is a social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.

The 4 loans that I originally invested in when I opened my Prosper account are still doing quite well.  As of right now, my rate of return is 12.04% (+0.29% from August).

As I mentioned last month, the reason I haven’t put more money into my account yet is because I’m currently trying to keep my funds as liquid as possible – in addition to paying for our own wedding, my fiance and I are planning on purchasing a condo within the next year.

While it’s still too early to say whether Prosper is any better than Lending Club, I’ve been very happy with the results.  If you’re interested, you can create a Prosper account here.

Niche Sites

Nothing new to report here.  Although my sites still continue to earn a little bit of money, I haven’t done anything with them over the past month.  While I’d like to see if I can improve this situation, I’m not sure that this is where my time is best spent.

Here’s a summary of September’s niche site earnings:

  • Amazon: $8.66
  • Media.net: $0.00
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $8.66

Authority Sites

Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)

This site is still inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.

September Earnings:

  • Media.net: $2.11
  • Indeed.com: $2.65
  • Total: $4.76

Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)

Finally, a month where this site earns more than just pennies (though not much more).  I get a fair amount of Amazon clicks each day with this site, yet they never seem to convert.  Some of the clicks finally converted in September.

September Earnings:

  • Amazon: $9.75
  • Media.net: $0.05
  • Total: $9.80

Total Authority Site Earnings: $14.56

Affiliate/Other Income

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

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for September: $353.53

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of September’s earnings, organized by category:

  • Freelance Writing: $30.75
  • Daily Fantasy Football Contents: $52.00
  • Niche Sites: $8.66
  • Authority Sites: $14.56
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $353.53

Grand Total for September: $459.50 (+$57.53 from August)

Although there was a slight increase for September, I know I have a long way to go to really boost the income back to the higher levels I was once at.

Popular Blog Posts

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

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

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

3) 5 Awesome Online Businesses and WHY They’re So Successful

4) My Passive Income Report [August 2013]

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

How was your September?  Are you planning on adding any new sources of online income like I did?  Share 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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35 Responses to “My Online Income Report [September 2013]”

  1. Hi Eric,

    Congratulations on your earnings last month.

    I like the design of your blog too, but I’m curious as to what plugin it is you’re using in the header of your site with the email opt in form?

    I’m redesigning my blog soon and would quite like to add that to it :)

    Cheers,

    Jamie.
    Jamie Anderson recently posted… Power Leads Pro X Review – Discover How I Make Money With Power Leads Pro X

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Jamie. The plugin I use at the top of my blog’s homepage is called ViperBar (http://www.viperchill.com/viperbar/) – I like it a lot, and it’s free!

    [Reply]

  2. Congrats for your September income report Eric. Well, I hope that you’ll generate more earnings this month. I know you can make it given that you have experienced a lot and knows how to make money through internet.
    How I wish that your readers will be motivated as they read this post of yours. Anyway, Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Metz.

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Eric, That’s a detailed and sincere report man. Quite different from what we read generally on other blogs.

    Congrats for your earnings ;)
    Enstine Muki recently posted… How To Get Referral Traffic From Social Media On Auto-Pilot

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I try to be as detailed and sincere as I can be. :) Thanks Enstine.

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Eric,
    Its good to see how well you have fared in September. The difference between this month and August is not too different. However, I am really excited about your plans of building a new writing portfolio. Well, it would be worth the effort to how all this pans out.

    This comment was shared in kingged.com, the Internet marketing content syndication site.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://www.kingged.com/my-online-income-report-september-2013/
    Sunday recently posted… Social Media Is Changing The Way Consumers Shop Online [INFOGRAPHIC]

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sunday. I’m hoping that once I build out my new writing portfolio (which I suspect could take a fair amount of time), I’ll be in a position to pick up some quality freelance writing clients.

    [Reply]

  5. Eric, at least you are taking notes about where things are working and where things aren’t working yet. You might not have the results you want, but it stems from knowing where to improve!
    MIke recently posted… How to Adapt to Living in a New Country

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mike – I’m trying my best! The biggest obstacle that I have yet to overcome is laziness. :)

    [Reply]

  6. Laziness is my number one enemy too. It can be a pretty merciless foe! Congrats for doing better this month. I am sure the next one you will improve even further.
    Arthur Burlo recently posted… Saturday Update 13: Taking a Deep Breath and Thinking

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Arthur – laziness is a beast indeed! I’m in the middle of putting together a challenge for myself (it will be the topic of my next blog post, next week sometime) that should get my next project started in a very productive manner.

    [Reply]

  7. Love to see these reports each month. This is very transparent of you.

    Also, glad to see you taking action on the freelance writing!
    Timothy Sartin recently posted… The Best Niche EVER

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Tim!

    [Reply]

  8. This is encouraging and I’m happy to see this income report of yours. Although, the income is still some how small at this time, I believe it will significantly any time from now. Getting this point is not easy and that means you have done a great work. Thanks for sharing.
    oladayo ojekunle recently posted… Quail Eggs: How to make lots of Money from Quail Farming.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Oladayo!

    [Reply]

  9. Cool Stuff and Honest too

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Bob.

    [Reply]

  10. As much as I admire people who earn passively, it just doesn’t work for me or for people who prefer the “active” kind of earning. I just read Michael’s article about earning while sleeping, and although it’s interesting to know(they do work) that others are successful in such a manner, I like this approach better.

    Thanks for sharing, Eric!

    I found this shared on Kingged.com, the IM social bookmarking and content aggregator site, and left this comment.
    http://www.kingged.com/my-online-income-report-september-2013/
    Riza recently posted… If Java Is Dying, It Sure Looks Awfully Healthy

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Riza. Passive income, like any other type of income, is great when it “works.” :) The allure of passive income comes from the fact that, at some point, you can earn money while not taking any sort of action. The misleading part of this, of course, is that most of the best passive income generators require a lot of upfront work (and sometimes lots of periodic “maintenance” work).

    [Reply]

  11. Eric, nice to read your monthly report. It’s admirable to see you are working on your Online income consistently.

    Sure that you will do excellent well in Freelance writing. Hope you land a big client soon.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks buddy – as always, I appreciate the support.

    [Reply]

  12. Hey Eric, since you’re going ahead with the freelance writing, why don’t you send me an email and I’ll send you a copy of my ebook, Freelance Writing Tips for New Writers. If you’d like it that is. :)
    Danielle McGaw recently posted… Launch of New Book: The Lost (& Unofficial) FAQ for Bubblews Writers

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Wow, thank you for the offer Danielle – I’ll be e-mailing you shortly! :)

    [Reply]

  13. I came across your blog looking for income opportunities online. I am a regular reader of smartpassiveincome.com and notice your site has many similar features.

    Interesting to see your daily fantasy sports interest listed because my site is focused on fantasy sports and also has several great reviews of the daily fantasy sports sites including the 3 that you listed.

    I started the site as an avid fantasy sports player and also part of Pat Flynn’s NiceSiteDuel challenge and so far have been making about $400 a month off the site so I guess it has been a win win deal.

    Anyway thanks for your posts. I have enjoyed reading them and I’m sure I’ll keep returning.

    Richard
    fantasysportfans.com
    Richard recently posted… Fantasy Football Top Picks – NFL Week 7

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Richard, and it’s very cool to hear that your site is having some success. I love daily fantasy sports and I’m surprised whenever I meet someone who loves “regular” fantasy sports and hasn’t heard about these sites.

    [Reply]

  14. I appreciate what you are doing and earning this much, but according to me you should also give focus on Google Adsense. It is one of the best method to make money online.
    Anyways Congratulations.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Ankita – I wish I could focus on Google Adsense, but unfortunately, my account was disabled over a year ago.

    [Reply]

    Ankita Mehta Reply:

    Yah you are right, Google creates lots of difficulties with their publishers. Its not easy to work with Google for a long Time. It is only good in terms of Higher Revenue!!
    Ankita Mehta recently posted… Happy Diwali 2013 in London 27 October 2013 Festival Light

    [Reply]

  15. Interesting report. As long as you are not affected by Penguin update, you are still getting a decent amount.

    Pls continue to explore new ways of making money online. I like the Fantasy Football part.
    Jawbone Up recently posted… How Does Jawbone Up Track Sleep

    [Reply]

  16. Congratulations!

    This is a good writing for me. I have been looking for ways to make money online at home but have not found a good one yet. After reading your writing, I have found a good way to do that. I will try doing as you did to see if it works for me. I am so eager to start making money online now. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Tony Nguyen recently posted… Are you ready to discover top 22 life planning and meditation tips for beginners now?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Tony.

    [Reply]

  17. Hmm, income reports are like a magnet for readers. Once they see that you make money online they will start to follow your blog to get to know how to do that.

    Very nice idea in these days

    Laura
    Laura recently posted… Google,I am afraid of you.Part II

    [Reply]

  18. Congrats for your September income. hope you will get more next month!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! :)

    [Reply]

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