Online Passive Income and Blog Update [August ’11]

Wow, August was a busy month! We’re almost a third of the way through September and I’m just now finally getting around to writing about August’s results.

August was another one of those ironic months where I did very little, yet somehow had one of my best months ever (don’t get too excited though – it’s not much better than the past few months).

Before I get into the usual monthly update, I’m going to begin with a personal update…

What’s New With Me (Personal Update)

I don’t always spend much time on “personal” matters, but anything that consumes a large portion of my time is probably worth mentioning.  Earlier this month (9/1), my girlfriend and I moved into a new apartment together, and we’re loving it so far.  For those familiar with Chicago neighborhoods, we moved from Lakeview to Wicker Park.

Instead of being crammed into one bedroom with my desk and everything else (I used to live with a roommate in my previous apartment, so my girlfriend and I shared my bedroom for all of our possessions), we have a two bedroom apartment to ourselves, and have converted one of the bedrooms into an office for me (pictured to the right)! No, I’m not quitting my “day job,” but it’s still nice to have a separate working space from my bedroom.

As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time apartment hunting and ultimately packing during August, so that’s where most of my time outside of work was spent.  It’s nice to finally be settled again, which will hopefully mean I can be more productive again.

[Read my write-up here]

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know about my love for Lending Club. It’s a peer-to-peer lending site that I feel is my only true source of passive income (i.e. once I’m invested, I make money by doing virtually nothing).   As of the end of August, I was invested in 98 loans (+2 from July) and my net annualized return was 7.20% (+0.13% from July).

As I always point out, my current interest rate at Lending Club far exceeds that of any type of “safe” investment like money market bank accounts and CDs (certificates of deposit). Remember, however, that Lending Club loans are riskier than these other types of investments.  I do strongly believe that the additional risk is more than compensated for by the higher rate of return.  I’ve been with Lending Club for over 2 and half years now, and have consistently seen returns greater than 7%.

Here’s an image from my Lending Club account summary that show my performance compared to other Lending Club investors:

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 (loans can go as small as $25) and become familiar with it.

To me, trying something like this and investing a small portion of your money is a no brainer. You’re going to get higher returns than a bank account, and although it locks up your money for a period of time (you are generally paid back over 3 years), it’s well worth the ability to have your money earn you money, with virtually no effort on your part.

Info Barrel Earnings Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

August was a great month for Info Barrel, as my AdSense income saw a nice increase despite me not writing any new articles.  I’m sure some of you are wondering why I haven’t written any new articles given the success I’ve had with a collection of articles that I wrote several months ago.   It really comes down to this: time.

For the past few months, I’ve only been able to dedicate, on average, probably 3-4 hours per week to my internet work.  Once you take into account that 1-2 of those hours are spent writing for this blog, there isn’t much time left for everything else.  Part of this is my fault, but it all comes down to priorities, and there are other things in my life that have taken priority. :)  Hopefully, I’m able to demonstrate for you that you don’t need to have all the time in the world to make a reasonable amount of money online.

As of the end of August, I have written 130 articles (+0 from last month).  Here are my August Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:

In August, I earned a total of $79.02 via AdSense, from my Info Barrel articles (+$19.00 from July).

August InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $79.02
  • Amazon Associates:          $0.00
  • Chitika:                                    $4.43
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $83.45 (+$6.66 from July)

If you want to add InfoBarrel to your passive income portfolio, you can sign up for it here.

Niche Site Duel

As a part of Pat Flynn’s niche site duel,  I created a niche site about a year ago based on P90X, an extreme home fitness routine.   After three straight months of very modest increases, I saw a decline in August.  Although I’m not officially giving up on this site, I’ve stopped focusing much time on it.  I think it’s important to understand your failures and move on to areas where your time is more valuable.

I am experimenting with something new this month for my P90X site, however, and if anything interesting comes out of it, I’ll write a case study next month.

August Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense: $0.00
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • Amazon Associates:  $1.75
  • Total: $1.75 (-$6.30 from July)

Amazon Niche Site Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

Last November, I launched a challenge where I planned to create several niche sites specifically tailored for Amazon’s affiliate program (i.e. selling physical products as an affiliate of, and I’m following the lessons taught in Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course.

For the third straight month, I saw record earnings once again.  I’ve been very thrilled with the way my Amazon sites have progressed, and if this trend can continue, I’m expecting a very rewarding holiday season (the most lucrative time for Amazon affiliates).  If you’re thinking about starting an Amazon niche site, do it now so that it’s complete and ranking by the time the holiday shopping season gets into full swing.

Here are the stats for August:

# of Amazon niche sites: 16 (same as July)

Total August Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $214.94 (+$45.94 from July)

My Authority Website

As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for.  The site finally started earning money! It’s not a lot, but I’ll take it as a small step in the right direction.  Once I get around to doing some substantial work on this site (most notably, writing an eBook that will be used a list-building giveaway), I’ll dedicate an entire post to it.

Here’s what the site earned in August:

  • Google Adsense:                 $3.45
  • Other (to be disclosed later): $3.84
  • Total: $7.29 (+$7.29 from July)

Misc. Affiliate Income

This area saw a nice jump over the past month!  As usual, there’s no real explanation, as all of this comes from work that I did a long time ago (I didn’t build or write anything new that would add to these income sources). Here’s the breakdown for August:

  • Adsense: $6.66
  • Amazon: $0.00
  • ClickBank: $235.59
  • Commission Junction: $201.40
  • PayDotCom: $0.00
  • Private Advertising: $35.00
  • Market Samurai: $63.50
  • Other Misc.: $64.50

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for August: $606.65 (+$121.59 from July)

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of August’s earnings.  Instead of summarizing it by source (i.e. AdSense, Amazon, etc.), I’m going to summarize by project/challenge, which I think makes a bit more sense.

  • InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $83.45
  • Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $1.75
  • Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $214.94
  • My Authority Website: $7.29
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $606.65

Grand Total for August: $914.08 (+$175.18 from July)

I’m thrilled to find that this is my highest month so far this year.  It would be nice to crack the arbitrary $1,000 mark, but I’m not there yet.  These earnings are always bittersweet for me – on the one hand, it’s great that I’m able to generate this now on a fairly regular basis with very little work (that’s the beauty of passive income), however it bothers me to know that if I could just find the time to put some more work into my income-producing properties, I could be making so much more.

Popular Posts

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

1) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

2) The Best Sources of Passive Income Online (My Rankings)

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

4) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

5) Online Passive Income and Blog Update [July ’11]

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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25 Responses to “Online Passive Income and Blog Update [August ’11]”

  1. Looks great! Congratulations on a good month and offcourse the new appartment. I’m sure you will soon hit the 1000 dollar mark, especially now that you’ve got your own little office 😉 Wish you the best of luck


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Rian! Best of luck to you too!


  2. Hey Eric,

    Grats on the incredible income this month (and year!) but more importantly: SUPER GRATS on getting the new place!

    I haven’t been to Chicago but my friend is from there and he’s told me quite a bit on how great it is.

    It’s awesome to see that you have your own work place – I’m stuck at the kitchen table at the moment and so I’m pretty envious right now.

    Anyway, keep at it buddy – you (and your GF) deserve it.
    Murray Lunn recently posted… Dumb People, Business Geniuses


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Murray! Chicago is nice, but only a few months out of the year…

    The new work place is pretty sweet – now the key will be actually getting some work done there. :)


  3. Eric,

    You’re just about to break the $1000/mo mark! I would imagine you will by the holiday season with your Amazon sites. Which reminds me to do some more keyword research and launch a few more Amazon sites of my own.

    I know you’ve been busy but have you been having any trouble with Market Samurai lately? The keyword research module continually crashes or locks up the program making it useless for me. When I analyze keywords is when it crashes. I think they’re aware of the problem but I’m starting to search for another keyword research tool as MS has been slow and unreliable lately.
    Harlan Yee recently posted… Repair Cost Of Canon 7D Bent Pin In Compact Flash Slot


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Harlan, I’m hoping to break the $1,000 mark during the holiday season. I know my Amazon earnings will improve, so I have to make sure my other income sources at least remain stable.

    To be honest, I haven’t used Market Samurai lately, so I haven’t noticed any issues. I know they have a forum that might be worth checking – if you’re having issues, there’s a good chance there are thousands of other people experiencing the same thing (and publicly complaining about it). :)


  4. Earning that much from ClickBank? I thought Adsense was the best. Anyways, amazing earnings, keep them up I hope you reach all your goals.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Cristian! Yep, I had a good month with Clickbank, but I think it’s pretty random. It won’t surprise me if this month my earnings are very low, because I don’t put any effort (currently) on any sites/articles that promote Clickbank products.


  5. I always like reading your income updates.

    You’re blog was one of the first few that I started reading when I started building my own websites.

    I’ve come a long way since I first started reading your blog, and now I’m trying to make a big push in the coming weeks/months to get my income to a point where I can replace the income from my “real job”.
    John recently posted… Awkward First Post


    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s exciting stuff, John, and I also appreciate you sticking around as a reader. Hopefully you’ll be more disciplined than I am when it comes to working consistently and building new websites, so you’ll be able to replace your “real job” income sooner than later.

    Thanks for the comment!


  6. Nicely done!
    1k and onwards to many others :)

    Interesting to see that your misc. income is higher than the ones you actually mention.
    Any chance we get to learn about that one?

    I’ve started to work on adsense sites myself and clickbank but like you say, clickbank is a hit and miss. One post make be 200 bucks and then a lot of nothing after that :). The key is traffic and exposure I guess. That post that made me 200 bucks was posted on so got some good traffic.

    Might look into infobarrel too… that seems to be working quite well :)




    Eric G. Reply:

    I tried breaking the miscellaneous income down by source – all of that income either comes from niche sites that I haven’t made public or they’re from this blog (My4HWW).

    ClickBank is very hit or miss – I won’t be surprised if one random month, I earn nothing from it.

    As for InfoBarrel – it’s a great place to write, particularly if you’re writing articles for backlinks (since you’re “killing two birds with one stone”).

    Thanks for the comment Ralph!


  7. Two monitors, you’ve just made me jealous. I only have a 22′ one, but i’m thinking of getting another to increase productivity. I just have to get a bigger desk first…
    Richard recently posted… Wagner 0525002 Power Painter Max Review


    Eric G. Reply:

    I say go for it! They’re so much cheaper than they used to be, I’m tempted to get a 3rd…


  8. Great post, Eric! Great month. Congrats on your new place. I really like your point at the end about seeing the money come in and wishing you could devote more time. I feel the exact same way most of the time.
    PPC Ian recently posted… Major Fun Times In Maui Hawaii


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks as always for the comment Ian!


  9. Well done Eric! congrats on your highest grossing month!
    Zero Passive Income recently posted… Running Your Household Like The Federal Government


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! :)


  10. Eric
    I’d be interested in a post on what you think went wrong with the P90X site as a lesson learned thing.

    Also keep in mind P90X 2 is coming out soon so perhaps all hope is not lost maybe start trying to rank for that now with same site.

    MK recently posted… Ode to Napoleon Hill


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Mark,

    I actually did try to evaluate that in this post:

    I grabbed a few P90X2 domains awhile ago, but it was back when they were going to possibly call it something else, so I think the domains are worthless (since they aren’t based on the right keywords).


    Anton Reply:

    Hi Eric!

    What I find is that product oriented sites actually are short lived in many occasions. Product life cycles are declining and 10% CR turns into .5% CRs… I’ve seen this many times.

    I remember P90X boom, right now it’s HCG thing as most rebills now in CPA networks are some HCG diet brands.

    From my experience – rebills are dying, especially in the USA where people got massively scammed with acai and related offers. All my rebill related sites that rocked in 2010 are now brining dimes. Let that happen though, currently I’m concentrated on authority sites around niches, several of these may turn into a consistent money makers.
    Anton recently posted… Income Stats – August 2011


  11. Congrats on your progress! Your progress sounds familiar and I enjoy seeing you post common phrases “I did little this month” and still had a record month, this is the beauty of our business :-)

    I’m also interested to see you moving to larger digs this is also common with a real work space this too will add to your productivity next up you will be wanting a view as well :-)

    Arriving at the $1000 barrier is also one of those major mile markers it took me probably a lot longer than you, at this level your pretty much home and dry it’s a significant chunk of change even in America it’s also the exact amount you need to live in say Chiang Rai Thailand so been able to quit the 9-5 if you wish.

    Lastly you talk about “time” been a major variable this it is and I saw growth of 10% + in years I did nothing. On the other hand your other reference to working harder does not allways pan out, I have found it better to just plod along doing a few hours a week expecting very small growth, and using the free time for other stuff, again congrats your pretty much home and dry with no need to work again if you should so choose!


  12. Congrats on your success. I finally started breaking about $4 a day on one of my websites thru adsense. Maybe not a lot, but it is something!


  13. Looks like amazon niche sites is giving you the best result! I do hope to achieve same earning too! I really need to focus on my link building process.
    Greg recently posted… Greenworks 26032 20-Inch Electric Snow Thrower Review



  1. Affiliate Marketing That Works | PPC Ian - September 28, 2011

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