If I had to pick a word that sums up my past couple months of online work, it would be this: irony. Both December and November were highly productive months, yet somehow, they have led to two of my lowest consecutive earning months. December is somewhat understandable – while it’s generally a good month for Amazon affiliates (because of holiday shopping), it’s often a bad month for just about everything else.
Nevertheless, passive income projects are all about future income, so I’m less concerned with the past. I’ve added a lot of income-producing properties to my portfolio over the past couple of months, and it’s only a matter of time before I start to see the benefit of it all.
Let’s get into the details of December!
As I mentioned last month, I like to post a monthly income report for two main reasons:
1) To be transparent, and show you what I’m actually earning as a result of the various projects I discuss on this blog.
2) To show you that it’s possible to work a full-time job, 40+ hours per week, and still have time to make money online.
I’m not getting rich (yet), but I’m always learning new things, which to me is where the real value is. One of the biggest things I’ve learned as someone who works a regular “9 to 5” job is that patience is key, and you really have to be willing to work hard and stick around for the results that may (or may not) follow.
Productivity Tip Learned from December
I think I’ve touched on this in the past, but it’s worth mentioning again. I like to call this productivity tip, “do something each day.” It can be applied to a lot of different things in life – for example, a 2012 goal of mine related to fitness, follows this productivity tip.
When we procrastinate, we are often just delaying the start of a task, not necessarily the completion of the entire task (although consequently, if you don’t start something, it stands to reason that you can’t finish it either). If you have a broader project or goal in mind (something that spans over a long period and involves many different tasks and/or steps), do something for it each day. Even if it’s just 30 seconds of work. This tip gets you out of your procrastinating mindset and forces you to start on a task. More times than not, if you do 30 seconds of something, you could can just as easily let it flow into 30 minutes. Before you know it, you’ve completed a lot more than you would have normally completed.
I may write a more detailed post in the future on this productivity tip (and I highly doubt I’m the first person to think of it), but this is basically it.
December’s Income Report
Now, onto the money…
As I mention every month, Lending Club is 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 December, I was invested in 106 loans (-3 from November) and my net annualized return was 5.81% (+0.17% from November).
[The comparison image I usually show each month was not available.]
The thing I like most about Lending Club is that, while it’s obviously riskier than putting your money in an interest-bearing savings account, the additional return (i.e. higher interest rate) more than compensates for the risk (in my opinion).
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. If you have any questions about it, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments.
Info Barrel Earnings Challenge
As it’s been for several months, this has become a “back burner” project for me. The nice thing is, I haven’t put much work into it for nearly a year, and still continue to earn a reasonable amount of income from it each month (that’s the beauty of passive income, right?).
As of the end of December, I have written 132 articles (same as last month). Here are my earnings from Info Barrel for this past month:
December InfoBarrel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $39.06
- Amazon Associates: $6.95
- Chitika: $2.05
- Other Affiliate Earnings: $0.00
- Total: $48.06 (-$9.95 from November)
If you want to add InfoBarrel to your passive income portfolio, you can sign up for it here.
AdSense & Amazon Niche Site Earnings
This past October, I started a case study where I’m documenting, step by step, how to create an AdSense-monetized, micro-niche website. Here are the parts I’ve written already:
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Research & Initial Setup
- Part 3: Setup, Configuration, & Design
- Part 4: Content & Ad Placement
- Part 5: SEO / Backlinking
Because the process of creating micro-niche AdSense and Amazon sites are similar (and some sites are monetized with both), I’m going to track them together. For my sites that are solely focused on Amazon products, I will still be following the strategies taught in Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course. You can also read about my plan for Amazon niche sites.
As you’ll see below, although it appears my income didn’t move since November, you’ll notice that one of my better sites lost its top ranking for most of the month and its income dropped significantly from November. Most other sites, however, improved, and I’m starting to see a lot of my new AdSense sites get their first clicks.
Here are the stats for December:
# of Amazon & AdSense niche sites: 61 (+20 from November)
Note: Sites with no income in the current or previous months are hidden (just for ease of presentation).
* Site #21 is the site created for my public AdSense micro-nice site case study.
Total December AdSense & Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $123.32 (-$1.44 from November)
As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for. Earnings and traffic in December were slightly increased over October. Also, I’ve received random requests to write guest posts for this site, which I have taken advantage of. Even though I prefer to not publish guest posts on My 4-Hour Workweek, I love the opportunity to publish them for this authority site – after all, it’s free content for me (and I of course allow the author to include a link or two back to their site).
Here’s what the site earned in December:
- Google Adsense: $5.59
- Other: $6.35
- Total: $11.94 (+$4.28 from November)
Misc. Affiliate Income
Here’s the breakdown for December:
- Adsense: $4.63
- Amazon: $6.76
- ClickBank: $60.97
- Commission Junction: $175.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Private Advertising: $35.00
- Market Samurai: $0.00
- P90X Blog: $8.62
- Other Misc.: $0.00
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for December: $290.98 (-$162.24 from November)
Here’s a summary of December’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:
- InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $48.06
- Amazon & AdSense Niche Sites: $123.32
- Authority Website: $11.94
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $290.98
Grand Total for December: $474.30 (-$169.44 from November)
On its face, December appears to be extremely disappointing, however I don’t really view it that way. The decrease compared to November can almost entirely be attributed to the lack of affiliate earnings that this blog (My4HWW) generated throughout the month, which I am completely okay with.
The most important thing to me is that my passive income projects continue to grow and increase in earnings, which they have. While it’s nice to earn money from this blog, that has never been my primary objective. Ultimately, I’d like the income from my passive income projects to completely overshadow anything I earn from this blog.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in December based on number of views:
Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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