My Blog and Passive Income Experiments Update [October ’10]

It’s sad to see October come to an end, as November brings the day (the 13th) where I officially become a year older.  It’s once again time to recap how well I did in my quest for online passive income this past month.  October was more of a “passive” month than I would’ve preferred (though isn’t it always?), however there’s a lot on the horizon about which I’m pretty excited.

While I’m certainly not making enough money to quit my day job, I think people generally enjoy reading about others’ success and failure, so I’ve decided to share this information.

Let’s see how October turned out!

Lending Club

[Read my recent write-up here]

October was a good month for my Lending Club account, as I saw my second consecutive month with a rise in overall performance.  As of the end of October, I was invested in 68 loans (+3 from September) and my net annualized return was 6.67% (+0.25% from September).  As I do each month, let’s see how this stacks up against CDs (certificates of deposit).  Due to the 3-year term of most Lending Club notes, I think it makes most sense to compare Lending Club loans to CDs.

Source: (11/1/10)

As usual, my current interest rate at Lending Club is higher than that of any CD investment.  It’s important to keep in mind that Lending Club loans are riskier than these CDs, which have virtually no risk.  However, I strongly believe that the additional risk is more than compensated for by the higher rate of return.  Here are some other images from my Lending Club account summary that show my performance compared to other Lending Club investors:

I’m currently performing worse than investors who have a similar portfolio to mine (6.67% vs 8.09% shown in the first image above).  Compared to ALL investors, however, I’m doing a lot worse (6.67% vs. 9.67% in the third image), and my rate is worse than 79% of all investors.  I’ve been investing with Lending Club for nearly 2 years now, and aside from a couple bad loans, the experience has been great.

If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can still sign up with this link and get a free $25 just for opening the account (no deposit needed, but you must use that link in order to get the $25). [UPDATE, 11/2/2010: I just received an e-mail from Lending Club today that they are no longer offering a free $25 simply for opening an account.  I still highly recommend them though, as an easy source of passive income.  You can still deposit a small amount to try it out.] With that money, you can test out investing in a loan (since you can invest in increments as small as $25). I’ve gotten questions about whether Lending Club allows non-US investors – unfortunately at this time, they do not.

Below are alternatives to Lending Club for those outside of the US – please note, I have not done business with these sites, but they were mentioned to me as alternatives to Lending Club.  Check them out at your own risk.

Info Barrel Earnings Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

I’m embarrassed to say that I did not give this enough attention in October.  When you have multiple projects in progress, it’s important to know your priorities: simply put, InfoBarrel was not one of my priorities in October.  Even so, I fully intend to keep writing here, as I’m seeing massive potential.  I still actively read the InfoBarrel forums, and it’s awesome seeing people who are now making several hundred dollars a month here.  Even my own income there is climbing, despite my lack of article writing.

As of the end of October, 105 days into the challenge, I have written 111 articles (+5 from last month), but my average number of articles has dipped to 1.06 per day (-0.37 from last month).

For October, here are my Google Adsense statistics for Info Barrel:

In October, I earned a total of $22.77 for my Info Barrel articles (+$2.89 from September).  I didn’t earn anything from Amazon in October (-$2.86 from September) nor did I receive any amount of affiliate sales driven by the author bio box on my articles (-$20 from September).  However, my Chitika account is now active and I earned $1.87 (+$1.87 from September).

October InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $22.77
  • Amazon Associates:          $0.00
  • Chitika:                                    $1.87
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $24.64 (-$18.10 from September)

Niche Site Duel

As a part of Pat Flynn’s niche site duel,  I created a niche site in September based on P90X, an extreme home fitness routine.  During October, I changed my primary keyword and domain by adding an “s” to my keyword “P90X review.”  This caused a temporary delay in my Google ranking progress, but it should allow me to get more traffic in the future.  Here are the links to my niche site duel updates thus far:

October Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense: $17.86
  • Amazon Associates:  $0.00
  • Total: $17.86 (+16.70 from September)

Affiliate Income

My miscellaneous affiliate earnings improved a bit in October, despite me adding any new passive income streams or actively improving traffic to my current niche sites.

Because these earnings are relatively minor, I don’t think it’s necessary yet for me to go into detail about where each dollar comes from.  Some of this comes from niche sites, while others come from affiliate links within this blog.  I’m a big fan of affiliate income because you’re really just getting paid for helping people find products and services that they want or need.  I’m not an affiliate for any product that I don’t believe in (i.e. I refuse to sell anything shady), so I can feel pretty good about this income.

Affiliate Earnings for October: $335.22 (+43.90 from September)

Note: This excludes income earned from my P90X niche site.

Popular Posts

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

1) How to Make $2,000 Per Month Writing for InfoBarrel – InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge, Part 1

2) Niche Site Duel – Update #6: A Rank, Earnings, and Traffic Roller Coaster

3) My Blog and Passive Income Experiments Update [September ’10]

4) The Secret to Dominating Search Engine Rankings of Your Articles & Websites – InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge, Part 3

5) The Best Free WordPress Plugins for Niche Websites & Blogs

Monthly Goals

I’m not even sure I want to post the results from last month because I’m a little ashamed of them.  Anyway, here goes nothing – let’s see how I did with last month’s goals:

October Goals

1) Write 45 articles for InfoBarrel – FAILED

2) Write 10 pages of eBook – FAILED

3) Write one guest postCOMPLETED (this one isn’t posted yet, but you can see the one I wrote last month)

I’m doing what I can.  The only thing to do now is to forget about October and focus on achieving my goals in November.  Here are my goals for this month:

November Goals

1) Write 10 articles for InfoBarrel

2) Post a new challenge on the blog (I’m very excited about this one – it’s a new project I’ve started that I’m excited to share with you)

3) Write one guest post

Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income experiments!

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31 Responses to “My Blog and Passive Income Experiments Update [October ’10]”

  1. I really like your format! Lining out public goals and holding yourself accountable to them is a great tool – one that I’m going to consider for my blog in the near future.

    I’m personally in the process of trying to transition from a product-based online business to a promotion-based business like yours and Pat’s. It seems like it’s going to be a hard row to hoe, but the results will be worth it, I’m sure.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Lyndsy – I thought by making my goals public, it would ensure that I meet them, however this really wasn’t the case in October. :) Despite that, I still recommend doing it.

    Passive income through affiliate products/niche websites is hard work to achieve, and the results come slowly at first (for most people), but if you stick with it, you will find success. Best of luck!


    PPC Ian Reply:

    Awesome post as always! I couldn’t agree more about your niche sites. The revenue will start snowballing over time. Great work. :-)
    All the best,
    PPC Ian recently posted… Happy Birthday To PPC Ian!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks a lot for the comment, Ian! Sorry for the comment moderation delay – for some reason, your comments seem to like my spam filter, so it sometimes takes me a bit of time to dig through and catch it.

    I look forward to the “snowball effect.” It’d be great to get close to the point where you are. 😉

  2. Hello Eric!

    Well we are both Scorpios:). My birthday is November 16th (happy early birthday to you!).

    I made $4.52 from Infobarrel in September, and then only $0.43 in October…has this happened to you? I have 35 articles (okay, now you can see how far behind I am:)).

    Anyway, good luck to you in November! Any birthday plans?


    Eric G. Reply:

    Happy early birthday to you too, Amanda! Ever since I’ve started with Infobarrel, I’ve only seen an increasing trend in my earnings each month, but that has come along with an increasing number of articles. It’s hard to get a grasp on consistent earnings until you have at least 80-100 articles, in my opinion. That was the point where I realized I’ll probably be earning at least $20/month, even if I never write another article.

    Another key of course is picking good titles based on solid keyword research – I wouldn’t underestimate the power of a great title (from an SEO perspective). Also, backlinks will help a lot too, but to be honest, I haven’t done a great job of backlinking each article. Based on what I’ve seen from other people in the IB forum, however, backlinking has helped some people a TON. The people who do a lot of backlinking are receiving a lot more traffic, and of course, a much higher level of earnings. That’s what I would expect – it’s just good to see that backlinking really does pay off (as painful as it might be).

    No birthday plans as of right now, but maybe my girlfriend will surprise me! :) Any plans for your birthday?


    Amanda L Grossman Reply:

    We’ll be heading to Austria for our belated honeymoon (the volcano erupted two days before we got married:)), and that will be the two weeks after my birthday, so I count that:).

    I read a great article yesterday on submitting each of your infobarrel articles to 20 different search engines at a time. I didn’t realize you could submit each individual article as a separate website! That should help some as well.


    Eric G. Reply:

    That sounds like an awesome birthday plan!

    Yep, you can definitely treat each article as a separate website, though in my opinion, it’s not necessary to submit your articles to the search engines. It’s possible this could help them get indexed faster, but because InfoBarrel is a large article site, search engines will periodically crawl it and properly index each article. I wouldn’t spend too much time on that, but you can try it and see if it helps!

  3. Happy early birthday Eric,

    Even though October may not be what you wanted you are still building your business slow and steady. I believe that will lead to the solid foundation you need to make “Eric, Inc.” a business that will last. Congratulations on your successes this month.

    Looking forward to hearing about the challenge.

    Take care.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, Alan! I’m hoping you’re right, and I know that if I continue working hard at it, results will come. I really believe that to be true of anyone who works hard at something like this. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.


  4. Hey Eric, great work overall – I really like that you’re diversifying your income streams by dipping into lending (don’t see many other bloggers use that as part of their PI plans).

    Although IB didn’t perform all that well it’s great to see that the affiliate earnings are up.

    Looking forward to the new challenge :)
    Murlu recently posted… 5 Ridiculous Myths You Actually Believe About Blogging


    PPC Ian Reply:

    You make a really great point. I’m also very intrigued by Eric’s diversification. It’s truly a solid plan and one that inspires me!
    PPC Ian recently posted… Happy Birthday To PPC Ian!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Murray, I appreciate it. IB did take a big hit this month mainly due to the lack of affiliate sales, but I’m never counting on those anyway. I’m really focused on getting the AdSense earnings increased each month, because I think that’ll definitely be the most significant income stream (with respect to IB) in the future.


  5. I know from experience some months you’re on and some you’re not. Just focus on the good, put any disappointment in yourself behind you and keep hammering away. This was really hard for me at first, but the easier it is to stay in a positive mind set about what you’ve accomplished (as opposed to what you haven’t) the quicker you get to your goals. Good post, and thanks for sharing.
    Master Dayton recently posted… Dragon Naturally Speaking Review- The 15 Minute Review


    Eric G. Reply:

    Great advice, thanks Master Dayton. I think a positive attitude is crucial in this type of business, and it goes a long way to keep you productive during times when you seem to be going nowhere. Let’s hope November is an “on” month!


  6. Eric, looks like we both have November birthdays for our blogs 😉

    Looks like you’re doing a lot better than me, but I’m gearing up for some gnarly stuff.

    Moon Hussain recently posted… Fun Friday Round-Up- San Diego Rocks- Literally!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Sweet, another November birthday – happy birthday! I’ve been following your blog closely lately, and I definitely think you’re going to be taking off soon. Looking forward to your upcoming niche site duel with Alex. Should be fun, and I’m sure there will be a lot to learn from it (for all of us). Thanks for the comment Moon!


  7. That’s an ok earning from adsense, especially earning from adsense is known to be a little one :)

    But if we are consistent, then we will see the better result some day.

    Thanks for sharing your income, i am too having 0 earning from amazon. I stopped using it =(
    Kimi recently posted… When Will Adsense Pay -Sign Notification


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Kimi! Keep up the hard work and, like you said, we’ll see better results in the future. :)


  8. Hey Eric – Just wanted to say a quick cheers to the brutal honesty of the big red “failed”. You’ve actually done a great job on this blog about just being honest when you don’t get something done or you screw something up and I think that takes a lot of guts. Good work man.

    Also – if you have time to add onto your goals for this month publishing another Xtranormal video, that’d be sweet. I was def digging those,

    dinesh recently posted… Green Business Blog Carnival 16


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Dinesh – It really hurts me to write those big red letters, but it’s necessary it order for me to be held accountable for giving a good effort (and more importantly, driving positive results). I appreciate your support.

    I love making the Xtranormal videos (and honestly wasn’t sure if people here were liking them), so knowing that you want to see another one will definitely motivate me to create another one soon.


  9. I want the challenge! Where is it…I’m waiting…
    Jason recently posted… Article Spinning- The Bane of the Literate Web


    Eric G. Reply:

    Coming soon. :)


  10. Keep working away mate, you’ll be hitting that $100 mark in no time at all. :)
    Dean Saliba recently posted… October 2010 Blog Income Report


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Dean! :)


  11. Glad to see you are still making progress on your InfoBarrel challenge. I think as your articles age a bit more you will definitely see your earnings start to grow a bit.

    Happy belated birthday and hope your online presence (and income) continue to grow.
    InfoBarrel Ryan recently posted… Cosmetic Surgery Procedures and Terms


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Ryan, thanks for stopping by the blog here to comment. You guys are doing so many great things with IB that I have no doubt my earnings (along with everyone else’s) will improve greatly over time. Even if it’s little by little each month, we’ll get there eventually.


  12. I really enjoy reading your income reports, Eric.

    While it might not seem like you’re making much now, don’t feel discouraged. You’re getting there, just like all of us. Watching your progress is very motivating.

    But I can relate to how you feel about your October goals. For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with completing my goals as well. I can’t deny that I’m much more productive than I was months ago though. I think the problem lies with my obsessive need to overachieve and my conflicting procrastination problem.

    However, in the end, it all works out. I hope November was better for you!

    Christina Crowe recently posted… 10 Ways the iPad Can Boost Office Productivity


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Christina – your support means a lot to me, and it’s great to hear from another blogger following a similar path. And you’re right, the desire to overachieve really does conflict with procrastination. 😛


  13. Keep the reports coming. I like seeing the progress!!
    Mark @ Ghillie Suit Warehouse recently posted… StealthSuit Ghillie Suit Set


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mark! The next one will be out soon.


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