My Passive Income Report [April 2012]
Being an internet marketer is truly a wild ride, and April was no exception. As if losing my AdSense account wasn’t enough, Google threw another curve ball in the form of a significant ranking algorithm update.
In some kind of sick and twisted way, I’m having fun with this. While the ultimate goal is to make money (and I’ll warn you: April was a terrible month from an earnings standpoint), the whole thing sometimes feels like a game to me.
By getting knocked out of the comfort zone I was in for awhile (building micro niche sites), I was forced to try some new things, and I’m enjoying it. Anyway, let’s get to the income report…
A Brief Overview of April
With tax season ending on April 17th, I was finally able to gain back my free time. The best feeling in the world is after you work your ass off for an extended period of time, and are finally able to relax, breathe, and do nothing.
After a mini-break, I jumped back into my passive income projects. The past couple weeks have been spent building up content on my authority site, and trying out some other interesting things (which I’ll touch on below).
Although April was extremely disappointing, I’ve learned that I can’t just sit around and blame everything on Google, and neither should you. It’s time to take ownership of the process, and get back to where I was using a different strategy.
April Income Report
Last month, I decided to give away this income due to the fact that I couldn’t earn from the AdSense ads within my InfoBarrel articles. The individual who won my little contest is still earning from the ads (even though it’s been more than a month) because I haven’t figured out yet what to do next.
Do you have any ideas? I’d like to continue giving this income away so that someone benefits from it (because I can’t), and I’m open to suggestions (leave them in the comments).
Here is the small amount of income I was able to earn in April:
- Chitika: $1.26
Even though I can’t earn much from InfoBarrel right now, I still highly recommend checking out my original plan to make lots of money with article writing if you’re new to the “making money online” game. Article writing is still one of my top recommendations for earning online passive income for those who are just starting out and don’t have much money to spend.
As you know, I write about Lending Club every month, so I don’t need to go into a ton of detail here, but if you are unfamiliar with Lending Club, you can read my original write-up here. In short: it’s my only truly passive income source.
Over the past month, I’ve decided to ramp up my investments. Typically, I’ve just been taking my interest payments, and each time they accumulate to $25, I invest in a new loan. A few days ago (so this will be reflected in May’s income report), I deposited $300, and will continue to keep adding to the account.
It’s been a long time, and my return is still extremely high compared to other similar investments. Therefore, I’ve decided this is an area I should focus more on, to see if I can get a nice stream of interest income on a regular basis.
As of the end of April, I was invested in 117 loans (+4 from March) and my net annualized return was 5.96% (+0.11% from March).
If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can sign up with this link and get a free account. If you’re unsure whether this type of investing is right for you, you can deposit a small amount (investments can be as small as $25) and become familiar with it. 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).
This is the area where Google’s recent algorithm change hurt the most, as you would expect. As I mentioned here though, it wasn’t my newer micro-niche sites that were hit badly – it was my older niche sites, particularly those monetized with Clickbank and Amazon.
Also, I’m still working to try out different AdSense alternatives. You can read about what I think of Media.net, if it’s an alternative you’re considering.
Here’s a summary of April’s niche site earnings:
- Amazon: $17.12
- Media.net: $12.58
- Chitika: $0.16
- InfoLinks: $4.61
- Total: $34.47
Ugly, I know. Stay tuned for a case study (starting in the near future) where I try to “resurrect” a few niche sites and get them ranking again – I’ll document everything on this blog, as usual.
This was probably the only bright spot in April, as I finally completed a major project – a free eBook/digital report to give away, in order to grow my site’s e-mail list. It’s 20 pages of content that I feel really good about. It took me several months to write (I wrote it little by little each week), but the final product is great.
The list already has 8 subscribers, which doesn’t seem like many, but the site doesn’t get a ton of traffic yet (and the digital report has only been available for less than a week). I plan on doing a full write-up here soon on my entire process of creating the eBook and setting up the list. I’m hoping this list will become a major asset to my business in the future.
Here’s a look at what the site earned in April:
- Media.net: $9.15
- Other: $8.80
- Total: $17.95
Other Affiliate Income
Here’s the breakdown for April. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]
- Amazon: $0.00
- ClickBank: $0.00
- Commission Junction: $130.20
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Private Advertising: $0.00
- Market Samurai: $48.50
- Other Misc.: $5.82
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for April: $184.52
The most shocking thing to me was Clickbank – this is the first month in over a year where I earned nothing. It’s really disappointing, as I was used to always making at least 1 or 2 Clickbank sales each month. Also, I lost my private advertiser on one niche site (which used to pay $35/month) because the site lost its rankings with the recent Panda and Penguin updates.
It pains me to write all of these negative happenings, but I remain positive in my outlook – things absolutely will get better.
Here’s a summary of April’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:
- InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $1.26
- Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $34.47
- Authority Website: $17.95
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $184.52
Grand Total for April: $238.20 (-$320.30 from March)
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in April based on number of views:
How was your April? Did anyone else see a significant drop in earnings? Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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