My Passive Income Report [October 2012]

October was a fun month, mainly because I was on vacation for over a week (more on that below) and tax season (the 10/15 deadline) ended.

As far as income goes, things were pretty stagnant – as I expected, my income level returned to where it was at prior to last month (when I made a decent amount from an e-mail I sent out).

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time to make that last big push to make sure 2012 ends on a high note.

Anyway, let’s get into the specifics of October…

A Brief Overview of October

There were a lot of ups and downs in October.  I’ll start with the positives: I had a wonderful vacation in the Philippines with my girlfriend and her family.  Her parents are originally from the Philippines, and they own a house out there right now, so we had some great hospitality while we were visiting.

Here are a few pictures from the trip…

A View of Her Parents’ Backyard

Posing in front of a volcano in Tagaytay.

A view from behind the house.

Drifting down the river…

A lot of times when you hear about third-world countries, people tend to focus on the negatives like poverty, disease,etc. (which obviously shouldn’t be taken lightly).  Lost in all of that is how beautiful some of these places are and how kind and hospitable the people are.

And…back to reality.  As I mentioned before, this month’s earnings weren’t great (although they are consistent with most of the months this year).

One exciting thing that happened to me, however, was that I found out I’m ranking on page 1 for the super-competitive phrase “make money online” without even trying.  As of right now, the ranking is still holding strong (I see the page ranked #6 from my location).

It’s been ranking well for a couple weeks now, and there’s no way to know how long it’ll last.  The traffic to my blog is nearly double what it normally is, and I’m seeing a strong uptick in mailing list subscribers.  Now, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to monetize it all.

Finally, onto the actual income report…

October Income Report

Article Writing

Because InfoBarrel can no longer be a focus of mine (due to probably never having an AdSense account again), I’ve changed this section of my report to include all types of article writing sites.  The good news is, I had some success with a different site in October – Squidoo.

Squidoo has it’s own complicated revenue-sharing system that isn’t based on what your specific article generates, however this isn’t the only way you can earn.  You can also use affiliate links within your articles (or “lenses” as they call them), for which you would keep 100% of any commissions.

One of my lenses that has some Amazon affiliate links performed fairly well.  Here’s a summary of all my article-related income for October:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $41.00

InfoBarrel

  • Chitika: $0.42

Total Article Writing Income: $41.42

Lending Club

Lending Club is one of my favorite online passive income sources, mainly because (as I’ve said before) I believe it’s my only truly passive income source.  If you are unfamiliar with Lending Club, however, you should read my original write-up.  I wrote it a long time ago, but it still applies today.

October was a great month, as I’m starting to see the payoff for investing in some more risky loans (although not ones that seem too risky).

I’m now invested in 148 loans (+4 from September) and my net annualized return is 5.94% (+.16% from September).

I was informed just a couple days ago that Lending Club hit a big milestone – they have now facilitated the borrowing and investing of $1 billion worth of loans.  They created a pretty cool infographic that I thought would be worth sharing:

[Click to enlarge]

Although it probably doesn’t mean much to you, I think it’s a significant milestone that really shows how this model for passive income investing actually works.  When they were only 2-3 years in, some people were skeptical. But now that they’re going on year #6, and both investors and borrowers are still getting great value, it’s a good sign that this model really works.

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. As always, 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).

Niche Sites

There’s not much to report here.  For my niche site domains that haven’t yet expired, I still earn a little bit of money from various sources.  Otherwise, I haven’t put any work into these sites lately and don’t plan to at this time.

Here’s a summary of October’s niche site earnings:
  • Amazon: $7.74
  • Media.net: $1.34
  • Chitika: $0.04
  • InfoLinks: $0.31
  • Commission Junction: $6.00
  • Total: $15.43 (-$22.05 from September)

Authority Sites

Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)

This site is currently inactive.   As I mentioned last month, after struggling with my .ME domain, I purchased a similar .COM domain to see if my ranking issues (after a year of building content) were domain related.

I haven’t moved the content over yet, but it’s down and is no longer indexed by the search engines.  This isn’t too high on my priority list, but I plan on making the move at some point in the next couple months.

Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)

I’ve continued to add content on a regular basis (usually 2 posts per week), and I’m still receiving decent traffic from Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Unfortunately, the organic traffic is nonexistent.  Ever since Google’s “exact match domain” algorithm update (which also seemed to impact partial-match domains), I haven’t been receiving any organic traffic from Google.

Because my link building is 100% “white hat” and I haven’t obtained links from spammy sites, there’s no reason to think my site is facing some kind of off-page SEO penalty.  It’s possible that some on-page issues could be negatively affecting me, but I haven’t been able to solve the issue if there is one.

Stay tuned…this site is still my top priority.

Earnings – October:

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Total: $0.00

Total Authority Site Earnings: $0.00

Affiliate/Other Income

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

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • CashCrate: $8.85
  • ClickBank: $35.11
  • Commission Junction: $179.00
  • PayDotCom: $0.00
  • Private Advertising: $0.00
  • Market Samurai: $0.00
  • Other Misc.: $23.32

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for October: $246.28

I didn’t do nearly as well with Market Samurai in October compared to September, but I wasn’t expecting to.  Everything else was pretty stable.

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of October’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:

  • Article Writing: $41.42
  • Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $15.43
  • Authority Websites: $0.00
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $246.28

Grand Total for October: $303.13 (-$479.98 from September)

Popular Blog Posts

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

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) My Passive Income Report [September 2012]

3) AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?!

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

5) How to Get REAL Backlinks for Free (Without Much Effort)

I’d love to hear about how your October went.  Share in the comments! And until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!

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 so much!

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44 Responses to “My Passive Income Report [October 2012]”

  1. You to monetize traffic, you need to improve your autoresponder by sending out relevant affiliate offers. That would give you consistent monthly income.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Chris, and I know you’re right. I guess I just have an issue with promoting products or services to my list without having used them myself (and feeling strongly that they are helpful).

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Eric, those are some beautiful pictures of your vacation. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years not, though I don’t find a whole lot of time to drop a comments.

    It’s good to see that you are still working towards building up an income online, whereas many have given up after the Google updates/changes.

    I have reevaluated my initial plan to make money online and have started a blog focused around the web design/development niche – something I actually can write about and not burn out.

    I believe blogs are the best way to make an income online.

    Anyways, keep it up!

    Casey

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for finally commenting, Casey! I do think you’re right about blogging, especially if you can find a niche/topic that you can write about without burning out. Best of luck to you on your new site.

    [Reply]

  3. Philippines looks great! Haven’t been there in 30+ years!

    The good thing about your income is that you are doing this as a hobby and don’t rely on it. Do you have an income goal in mind?

    Sam
    Financial Samurai recently posted… Investment And Economic Outlook Post President Obama Victory

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    It was a wonderful time. :) Ultimately my income goal is to at least replace my full-time income, but that’s a long-term goal right now. I’d be happy with $3,000/month as a side income, and I know I have a long ways to go, to get there.

    [Reply]

    Financial Samurai Reply:

    $3,000/month is a great goal to have. Adsense is OK, but I really think the big bucks is in affiliate income.

    Sam
    Financial Samurai recently posted… How Does An Umbrella Policy Work And How Much Does It Cost?

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Eric. Squidoo is an interesting one. I use Squidoo for tier 1 link building but have never applied myself to wanting to earn money from it. Here’s one of my Lenses: http://www.squidoo.com/home-business-but-not-like-every-other-try-my-opportunity-site… I haven’t bothered to try to make any money from it but it’s playing it’s role in my link building.

    I’m keen to see how you go with Squidoo in terms of making affiliate income. Plenty of Squidoo lenses ranking on page 1 of Google in the the niches I have sites competing in with my niche sites. Squidoo lenses seem to rank well.
    Greg @ The Home Business Hub recently posted… Case Study: The impact of making page 1 of Google on web traffic

    [Reply]

    Greg @ The Home Business Hub Reply:

    Man, that last paragraph has some errors in it – sorry – not hard to tell it’s nearly 7pm on a Friday night here in Australia! Time to relax!
    Greg @ The Home Business Hub recently posted… Case Study: The impact of making page 1 of Google on web traffic

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree, Squidoo is interesting, and I’m not sure yet how reliable it’ll be as an income source. I know there are some people who routinely make thousands per month off their lenses, but then again, there are these type of “exceptional” stories in every area of internet marketing.

    I think the lenses could serve a double purpose, by being used for backlinks in addition to generating income.

    [Reply]

    Greg @ The Home Business Hub Reply:

    I tend to think that if you were going to put the effort into a Squidoo Lens to make the thousands per month some people make then why wouldn’t you build a stand-alone niche or authority site right? More reliable, more control when you own the site…
    Greg @ The Home Business Hub recently posted… This is hot! New website to uncover what other websites bloggers own!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree, Greg, having a stand-alone niche site would be ideal. It’s a risk vs. reward scenario…Squidoo lenses are low risk because they don’t cost anything to set up if you’re writing the content yourself, and often they can rank faster than a stand-alone site. Also, if you just want to write one article on a narrow topic, it may not work for a niche site. (Niche sites with 1-2 pages of content are a thing of the past.)

    I think if you have an idea that could work for a wide array of content, it may be worth investing the time in creating an “authority” site.

  5. I have spent a lot of time in Asia and have a few people in the Philippines and Indonesia working for me.

    Whilst they may be very poor financially, they are very wealthy in so many other ways. They look after each other and live a happy and stress free life in most cases. They grow their own food and share what they have with each other.

    They are lovely people and quite often an inspiration to me.
    Lloyd recently posted… Thermodynamic Energy system The Next Generation

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Well said, Lloyd. :)

    [Reply]

  6. Stick with it, Eric.

    I appreciate your ongoing commitment to transparency with your income reports.

    I’m just getting started with them myself, and I have a feeling they’re really going to push me to succeed so that others can see my numbers increase over time.
    Tim F. recently posted… I’m Trying to Build Ronco Rotisserie Ovens

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks, Tim. I do think income reports are a great way to hold yourself accountable, in addition to keeping track of your progress. And people seem to like reading them too, which is a bonus.

    [Reply]

  7. Looks like you had a great holiday!

    I need to get there some day considering how close we are.

    How much content have you got to transfer over to authority site one?
    Joe recently posted… Monthly Round-up: October 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’d definitely recommend traveling there when you get the chance.

    For authority site #1, I have about 30 articles to transfer over.

    As a side note, I left a comment on your “good examples of authority sites” post (thanks for linking to me by the way), but it looks like it may have gotten caught up in your spam filter.

    [Reply]

  8. Great pics of the Philippines – the landscape looks beautiful! It looks like you’re making some good progress with the slow carb authority site. Can’t wait to see it starting to get some organic traffic and naturally get the ball rolling!

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… Monthly Income and Downloads Report – October 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I can’t wait either – thanks for the comment Thomas!

    [Reply]

  9. Well, at least you are making some changes. I always expect a drop as I change from one thing to another. But at least you are willing to admit you are doing this as a little bit of extra spending money towards something. I guess I am a bit different since I am aiming to grow my hustles to something bigger.

    On a positive note, the trip looks like it was a nice reprieve. The photos look absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to see where you go next!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mike! While I am somewhat content with just earning a little extra spending money, I do have my sights set on something greater.

    [Reply]

  10. Can you recommend me a good hotel in the Philipines?
    Cristian Stan recently posted… Coffee Grinder Reviews

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I wish I could – When I was there, I stayed at my girlfriend’s parents’ house, so we never looked into any hotels.

    [Reply]

    Cristian Stan Reply:

    No problem Eric. You are one lucky guy. I heard only good things about the Philipines: Nice weather, nice sights, very nice women .. Is it true?
    Cristian Stan recently posted… Best Home Espresso Machine

    [Reply]

  11. Eric;
    Do you have a spread sheet set up that you track all of your information with? If so, it would be great if you could share.
    Ria recently posted… Behind The Scenes-Won’t You Come Join Me?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Ria, I actually don’t use anything fancy. It’s a very simple spreadsheet that has all my income sources in one column (Amazon, Media.net, etc.) and in column #2, I list each source’s income total for the month.

    [Reply]

  12. Congrats on another great month! Looks like you had a blast on your trip!

    Things are looking promising with your slow carb site!

    All the best,
    -Alex

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Alex!

    [Reply]

  13. Hi Eric
    You have to transform your email marketing through giving appropriate affiliate marketer provides. That could provide you with constant month-to-month earnings.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Shan – I know it would help to have more affiliate promotions to my e-mail list, but I’m trying my best to not cause people to become annoyed by the e-mails. In other words, I’m only going to promote products that I’ve used and found valuable.

    [Reply]

  14. What do you use to send the emails out for your authority site when there has been a new post?

    Thanks.
    Joe recently posted… Best Bit of Google Info In a Long Time

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    If you’re receiving e-mails when I publish something to my authority site, you must have signed up to the e-mail RSS.

    I use this free plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-mashsocial-wigdet/) in conjunction with Feedburner (http://feedburner.google.com). When people sign up, they receive my posts by e-mail.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Thanks, I will check them out.
    Joe recently posted… Best Bit of Google Info In a Long Time

    [Reply]

  15. Eric, this is my first time visiting this blog and was really impressed with the transparency and your honesty in how you do things.

    My gut reaction is that the “make money online”, “work at home”, “blogging instead of work” etc. type blogs have really over-saturated the market. A lot of people have tried, failed and given up. I think many bloggers are offering nothing new, rehashing the same old. I hardly ever search now for tactics and strategies for making money on my websites anymore as a result.

    How many niche or authority websites do you currently own/operate? Maybe it was in your about page and I just missed it.

    I had implemented a strategy that is truly diversified and I believe the only strategy going forward worth hanging on to. For example, I do not rely on Google Adsense for any income. I also make sure that advertising is not my only form of income.

    I talked to some business owners about the use of the word “monetization” that we all seem to throw around with blogs and websites. They all laughed. Truth be told, monetizing implies that the website in question is not going to make money in any natural way and must be manipulated to do so. Not that that is a bad thing but it does take far more work. My job has been trying to break that mold.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Scott. You’re absolutely right that the make money online/internet marketing niches are highly saturated. Lots of content being rehashed. If you look closely though, there are a few outstanding blogs that seem to stand in a class of their own.

    Right now, I actively manage only two authority sites. I have several niche sites that I created 1+ years ago, but I have stopped working on them (and as their domains expire, I am letting most of them go).

    The word “monetization” does get thrown around quite a bit, but it’s a necessary part of how a lot of informational-based websites operate. It’s a lot like how TV and radio networks operate – provide content/entertainment for free, and in return, you earn advertising revenue.

    Anyway, more power to you if you can diversify away from advertising revenue. There’s a lot more potential.

    [Reply]

  16. Eric,
    I have just started tracking and reporting my affiliate income. I find it inspiring to find other people that have the same goals as I do. I will have to look into the Lending Club. It looks like a pretty cool concept. Thanks again for the report.
    David
    David Landen recently posted… 10 Benefits of SMS Text Marketing

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment David. If you do decide to try Lending Club, you won’t be disappointed.

    [Reply]

  17. Good for you, looked you had great time in Asia!

    Very nice, Eric. It’s always encouraging to see your income report. My business slows down after all Google update.

    $100 a month wasn’t too bad as I worked just a few hours.

    I’m trying to catch up for Nov/Dec. Will see how it goes.

    Happy Thanksgiving, buddy!
    Kent @ Amazon Affiliate Tips recently posted… Happy Thanksgiving 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Kent, you too. Best of luck in December.

    [Reply]

  18. Hey Eric,

    Thanks for the write up, I’m learning a ton just by reading your reports.

    You didn’t post your Lending Club income – are you not including that in your final earnings?

    Just for fun, I calculated what I thought your earnings might be and arrived at a number between 250 and 300.

    I’d love to see a post that goes into your investing strategy in depth (would also be willing to put money down on a product that could teach LC investing to an accounting novice).

    Best,

    Danny

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Danny,

    Good question. I don’t include my actual Lending Club income because I feel it would skew my monthly results. It would be similar to me including dividends and interest I earn with other investments (in the stock market, bank account, etc.). Instead, I like to track my interest rate so that others can see what type of earnings is possible given whatever money they choose to invest.

    Good idea for a post about investing strategy on Lending Club – I’ll add it to my list of upcoming post ideas.

    [Reply]

  19. Great picture of you and your wife in Tagaytay, Eric. I love the weather there. One of the very few cool weather places in the Philippines. But of course, nothing can beat the weather in Baguio! Hope you come visit us here in the mountains of the PI, too.
    Donna recently posted… Earn Money Online for Free – Your Best Choices

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Donna! It was an amazing trip. I definitely plan on returning at some point in the next few years.

    [Reply]

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