Online Passive Income and Blog Update [December ’11]

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…

[Read my write-up here]

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

[Read about the challenge here]

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:

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)

Authority Website

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)

Income Summary

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.

Popular Posts

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

1) AdSense Micro-Niche Site Public Case Study – SEO / Backlinking (Part 5)

2) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

3) Online Passive Income and Blog Update [November ’11]

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

5) AdSense Micro-Niche Site Public Case Study – Research & Initial Setup (Part 2)

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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22 Responses to “Online Passive Income and Blog Update [December ’11]”

  1. Eric,
    I love your tip about doing one thing each day. The hardest part definitely is starting. Another great read, thanks for sharing all your insights.
    All the best,
    PPC Ian recently posted… Download The 7 Habits of Highly Effective SEM eBook


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Ian, I appreciate it!


  2. What do you think about taking the income from Infobarrel and using it to pay a freelancer to write additional articles for you? This would increase your IB presence with almost no work for you.

    Just curious about your thoughts on it since I’ve been thinking of doing this myself.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Great idea Joel, and in some ways, that’s exactly what I do. The only difference is, I use that income to fund my niche site projects, which I currently prioritize over my InfoBarrel article writing.

    I’m a huge proponent of taking your online income and reinvesting it – whether that’s building new sites or having new articles written. You’re taking your money and using it to grow your income for the future. I’d definitely recommend it if you aren’t already doing it.



  3. My Adsense income dropped a little bit in Dec. I hope I could grow my Adsense income a little bit more this month.

    Doing this as a part-time is not easy. I do and totally understand. Hope we could keep up with each other and encouarge, motivate along the way.
    Kent @ Make Extra Money Online recently posted… My 2012 Make Extra Money Online Goals


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Kent – doing this part-time is definitely not easy, but the most important thing is that we keep at it. Even if that means only a few minutes here or there, it’s better than nothing. The work WILL pay off, even if it’s slower than we would like.


  4. Most of my things dipped a bit in December but Amazon ended up pulling in over $1k which is the highest I’ve earned through AA so far.

    Everything else was meh but I don’t mind all that much since it’s the new year, got college going on and working on new things.

    This DOES let you see what works and what doesn’t Eric. I’d say drop whatever you don’t care about and focus on the things that are going vertical.

    Also, remember that it’s online income – it’s the extra icing. You’re still adding in a secondary source of income that most people would kill for.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Murray, $1k+ from Amazon is awesome – good to see that the holiday season really paid off for you.

    Also, I do like taking the perspective of it being “extra icing.” None of this income is being used to support personal expenses, which in some ways, helps me be a bit more patient.

    At the same time though, I don’t have that extra “fire” beneath me that I think others have. Anyway, $1 earned today means $1+ earned in the future – just need to keep taking the earnings and using it to help grow future earnings.

    Thanks for the comment man, I appreciate it!


  5. Really an impressive report which inspires me too to get some money on my pocket and have fun :-)
    Arjun Rai recently posted… Repos


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Arjun!


  6. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for posting your monthly figures. It helps to see how others are doing.

    I’m just started with whole 4HWW and am pretty excited about it. If I could make just an extra couple hundred bucks a month I would be happy.

    Any tips for a beginner?


    Eric G. Reply:

    My biggest tip is to be extremely patient in the beginning – earning that first dollar is tough. Just keep working hard and your work will pay off, provided you are patient enough to stick around for the results.

    Best of luck, Alex!


  7. Very impressive! I guess it now time for me to focus on my affiliate business.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Becca!


  8. I also like your tip on ‘do something each day’. So every morning, I write down a list of 3-4 things I want to accomplish that day. I usually don’t get them all done but if I get at least 1 or 2 done, I’ve made some progress.

    There have been too many times in the past where a day goes by where I make no progress towards my IM goals. By following this simple tip, 2012 should be a more productive year for me.
    Harlan Yee recently posted… Niche Site Duel 9 – One Year Anniversary Stats and Earnings


    Eric G. Reply:

    Great approach, Harlan. That’s typically how I operate (completing only 1-2 items from a 3+ item to-do list), but like you said, even if you only get half of it done, you’re still making progress.


  9. Wow, seems my goal is almost similar to yours though a bit lower. I should keep coming back to your site to get inspired. Planning to hit $1,000/month until December 2012 for my 10 niche site.
    Roque A recently posted… Cheap Basketball Shoes 2012


    Eric G. Reply:

    $1,000/month for 10 niche sites would be awesome – best of luck, let me know how it goes!


  10. I’m currently investing some extra cash in a special savings deposit. Lending Club looks promising and people say it’s certainly not a scam so I might give it a shot.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Lending Club is great and I can tell you with first hand experience that it is definitely NOT a scam.


  11. I am into AdSense only. My earnings for January for AdSense is 785$ without any Micro Niche Site. My Goal is to rise to 2000$ per month but I am stuck here on 600$ to 750$. Wish me luck…
    Tarun Goel recently posted… Palampur Himachal



  1. Proof of Income: Which Bloggers Make Cash? - January 21, 2012

    […] Eric – My 4-Hour Workweek 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. [*] […]

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