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.
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
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
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 Amazon.com), 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)
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.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in August based on number of views:
Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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