September is over and so is summer, unfortunately. It was fun while it lasted. Hopefully, the cold months ahead will mean more productive times indoors…we’ll see.
From an earnings standpoint, September was actually awesome for me, as I saw a big jump over August.
Before I (or you) get excited though, it’s important to understand why earnings were unusual, and evaluate the likelihood of repeating these results in the following month.
Let’s get right to it.
A Brief Overview of September
As a CPA, September (and the first half of October) is never fun, due to the big tax deadlines on 9/15 and 10/15. Being busier than usual with work, I was even more shocked to see the results from September.
That’s the beauty of passive income – sometimes it pays off when you have little time to pay attention to it.
The rest of the month was nothing out of the ordinary – October will be much more interesting, as I’ll be out of the country (and without internet access) for a week.
September Income Report
Another nearly no-earning month at InfoBarrel due to not having an AdSense account. As I mentioned last month, the reason I’m still talking about InfoBarrel here is that, sometime this month, I plan on setting up InfoBarrel with an AdSense account via my new business, which should allow it to start earning again.
Here’s the minor income that I was able to earn from InfoBarrel in September:
- Chitika: $0.34
- Amazon: $0.00
- Total: $0.34
Even though these earnings are downright terrible, I still think you should take a look at my original plan to earn passive income with article writing if you’re just starting out trying to make money online. While fads within the internet marketing community come and go, article writing seems to be the one mainstay that consistently works (when you put in the right effort).
As usual, 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.
September was a nice bounce-back month after August’s decline, and as I mentioned last month, I’ve been trying out some higher risk loans (that still appear to be “good quality” based on a number of factors).
I’m now invested in 144 loans (+3 from August) and my net annualized return is 5.78% (+.10% from August).
Ever since I started promoting Lending Club 2+ years ago, I’ve received a lot of e-mails from people telling me about the success they’ve had with it. Just this past weekend, I received an e-mail from someone telling me that, with over 100 loans invested, they currently have a 12.1% net annualized return.
I think that’s awesome, and it certainly makes me a little jealous given the performance of my investments. Regardless, we’re both doing better than we would do with most other interest-bearing investments.
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 (and a Word on Google’s Recent Algorithm Change)
Once again, another month has gone by where I’ve done nothing with my micro-niche sites. The hot topic with SEO right now, particularly affecting niche sites, is the recent Google algorithm update that reduces the ranking benefit given to exact-match domains (“EMDs”).
There’s a lot written about it that you can find, but in short, this update primarily affects EMDs for supposedly “low quality” sites. As of right now, it seems to have impacted more than just EMDs (such as partial-match keyword domains), and sites that are higher quality.
As usual, it’s hard to assess the impact of any Google change until “the dust settles,” but this seems to be another big blow to SEOs and others in the internet marketing industry. Because my niche sites were already in a bad position (with the loss of AdSense), they weren’t impacted too badly by this update.
- Amazon: $30.28
- Media.net: $2.33
- Chitika: $0.00
- InfoLinks: $0.47
- Commission Junction: $4.40
- Total: $37.49 (+$10.56 from August)
As you may have seen, I finally revealed all the details of my authority site this past month as part of the “authority site duel.” This is site #2 below.
Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)
This site’s traffic really tanked over the past couple months, as it struggled to rank anywhere in Google. Despite having 25+ pages of content, the site wasn’t even pulling in much long-tail keyword traffic.
Before Google’s recent change, I decided I wanted to move all the content over to a new domain. For some reason, I felt like the .ME domain was working against me (compared to a .com). So instead of having the site on exactmatchkeyword.me, it’s now going to be exactmatchkeywordhq.com.
Given the recent changes, I’m not sure how effective this will be, but I don’t really have anything to lose. It’s going to take me a bit of time to slowly republish everything and build some backlinks, but it’s an experiment I’m willing to try.
Earnings – September:
- Media.net: $1.51
- Indeed Job Board: $2.28
- Commission Junction: $0.00
- Total: $3.79
Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)
As I wrote about in my last post, I was ranking well for many of my target keywords – nothing too amazing, but at least within the first few pages of the search results. After Google’s recent update, the site is nowhere to be found for these keywords (although still ranked #1 for the name of the site).
I’m going to assume this is a temporary setback, as I was likely receiving some ranking benefit by having the keyword “slow carb diet” in my domain. If you’ve visited the site, you’ve seen it’s all original, high quality content. I haven’t done any shady link building or anything else that would penalize the site, which is why I’m confident this is temporary.
Because the benefit of having a keyword in your domain is no longer a huge ranking factor, I think it’s going to be a lot more difficult for new sites to rank quickly for their target keywords. Here’s the new recipe for ranking well: passage of time (age), good content, natural and strong backlink profile, and good (but not overly optimized) on-site SEO.
Back to earnings – this site still isn’t monetized (although I’m starting to build an e-mail list and doing some other experiments), so the earnings are virtually non-existent right now.
Earnings – September:
- Amazon: $0.29
- Total: $0.29
Total Authority Site Earnings: $4.08
Other Affiliate Income
Here’s the breakdown for other affiliate income earned during September. [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: $01.00
- PayDotCom: $3.00
- Private Advertising: $0.00
- Market Samurai: $504.00
- Other Misc.: $33.20
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for September: $741.20
This was where the big jump occurred in September. During the month, Market Samurai had a first-time-ever 50% off deal (it’s over now). I basically never send out promotions to my e-mail list, but because Market Samurai is so popular and I know there are many people out there who have wanted to buy it (but haven’t because of the price), I decided to send out one e-mail about the 50% off promotion. As you can see, this caused my commissions to spike.
Unfortunately, this is not going to be a regular monthly occurrence, so I would expect my income next month to go back to normal (barring any big successes with my authority site).
Here’s a summary of September’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:
- InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $0.34
- Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $37.49
- Authority Websites: $4.08
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $741.20
Grand Total for September: $783.10 (+$433.25 from August)
Popular Blog Posts
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in September based on number of views:
How did your September go? Share in the comments! And until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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