Online Passive Income and Blog Update [February ’12]

Irony is a great thing when it’s going in your favor.  Normally, I’m pretty down about February – it’s cold outside, it’s in the middle of tax season, and let’s be honest – shorter months usually = less earnings, assuming your business is stable.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised with this February.  There were less days to earn, and I’ve been very busy with tax season, yet this was my highest earning month ever.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to post a monthly income report for two primary 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.  Not only do people like transparency, but I feel like I’m held more accountable for the success of my projects, which definitely helps me out a lot.

2) To show you that it’s possible to work a full-time job, 40+ hours per week (I probably work closer to 50-60 hours at my regular job each week), and still have time to make money online.

Productivity Tip for February

If you’re like me and you have a “9 to 5” job, it’s often difficult to find the time to work on your side business(es) on a daily basis.  What’s really been working well for me is waking up 45-60 minutes earlier than usual each morning and using that time to work on my business.

This might be tough if you’re not a “morning person” but I’ve been shocked at how much I can accomplish before the day even really starts. I really like the time spent in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee, working on my internet business.  I feel both relaxed and productive, and it puts me in a good mood before leaving for work (which doesn’t put me in a good mood ;)).

The greatest thing about this is that I don’t come home from work and feel like I immediately need to work on my business – I can relax with my girlfriend, watch TV, and casually do a little bit more work.  It really takes some pressure off me.  My time is much more productive in the morning.

February’s Income Report

Now, let’s get to the money…

[Read my write-up here]

As I discuss in my income reports 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  February, I was invested in 110 loans (+2 from January) and my net annualized return was 5.72% (-0.18% from January).  Although there was a slight decrease in January, I’m still going strong and very happy with my return.

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).  As of right now, these are the average interest rates for certificates of deposit (CDs):

[Source: http://www.bankrate.com]

Although Lending Club loans are more risky than CDs, I think they’re a good point of comparison, because both investments have a specified duration where your money is “locked up” so to speak.  I wouldn’t advocate putting a large % of your savings in Lending Club (really, you shouldn’t be putting a large % of your savings in any one place), but it’s definitely worth investing 3-10% of your savings, depending on your tolerance for risk and need for liquidity.  Note that I’m not a financial advisor – this recommendation is merely my own 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 (or feel free to contact me by e-mail).

Info Barrel Earnings Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

Because I haven’t put much work into InfoBarrel, I thought it would be interesting to figure out just how profitable InfoBarrel has been for me on an hourly basis.  If you assume that it took me, on average, 30 minutes to write each article, I’ve spent a total of 67.5 hours creating content for InfoBarrel.  My earnings to date (including what I’ve listed below) is $1,025.  That comes out to $15.19/hour.

I know you’re thinking: Wait…That isn’t so great. When it comes to passive income sources, you need to get your mind off of short term results.  If my InfoBarrel earnings continue at their current pace ($40-70/month), and assuming I don’t add new articles, my hourly rate a year from now will be $24.96/hour.  In two years, it’ll be $34.75/hour.  In five years, it could be $64.07/hour.

Obviously, there’s no guarantee my articles will be earning the same amount 5 years from now.  They could be earning less (but keep in mind – they could also earn even more!).  As you can see, if you take a longer term view on your current efforts, it’s clear that the payoff (in terms of $/hour) can be huge.

As of the end of February, I have written 135 articles (+1 from last month).  Here are my earnings from Info Barrel for this past month:

February InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $42.11
  • Amazon Associates:          $0.00
  • Chitika:                                    $1.46
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $43.57 (-$18.67 from January)

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 different parts of the case study:

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 original plan for Amazon niche sites.

February was definitely my best month so far for the micro-niche sites.  While the earnings won’t wow you, I’m happy with the increase.  Thanks to the advice given to me last month, I decided to pause my creation of new sites, and focus on growing the sites I’ve already built.  It was a great decision that I can see is already paying off.

You can see the full earnings chart below, but here are some interesting statistics about my micro-niche sites for February:

  • My AdSense earnings from the micro-niche sites in February were 212% higher than January.
  • My Amazon earnings were  293% higher (this number is a bit skewed because January was such a terrible month).
  • Keep in mind, February had 2 less days than January, which makes these increases even more exciting to me.

Here are the stats for February:

# of Amazon & AdSense niche sites: 81 (+0 from last month)

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 February AdSense & Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $169.04 (+$94.98 from January)

Authority Website

As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for.  There isn’t a lot to report for February, except for the fact that I’m very close to finishing my giveaway eBook that I will use to build a list for this site.

Because my site’s design doesn’t really lend itself to generating a lot of ad revenue (I prefer to keep it pretty clean), my list building efforts will probably be a much more significant attempt to monetize the site.

Here’s what the site earned in February:

  • Google Adsense:  $1.20
  • Other:   $4.16
  • Total: $5.36 (-$8.37 from January)

Misc. Affiliate Income

Here’s the breakdown for February.  [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]

  • Adsense: $7.55
  • Amazon: $0.00
  • ClickBank: $217.64
  • Commission Junction: $350.00
  • PayDotCom: $65.00
  • Private Advertising: $35.00
  • Market Samurai: $48.50
  • P90X Blog: $0.48
  • Other Misc.: $6.00

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for February: $730.17 (+$297.59 from January)

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of February’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:

  • InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $43.57
  • Amazon & AdSense Niche Sites: $169.04
  • Authority Website: $5.36
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $730.17

Grand Total for February: $948.14 (+$365.53 from January)

So close to $1,000!

While I love seeing such a nice increase in affiliate revenue, I don’t view it as a reliable source of income.  In other words, next month it could easily be +/-  $300, depending on conversions.

Much more important to me is the success of my niche sites and authority website, because these are areas that I plan/expect to be my most significant sourcees of revenue in the future.  The affiliate income is nice (and I appreciate anyone who purchases something through an affiliate link on this blog), but it’s not a part of my business plan.  In reality, this money is used to fund and reinvest into my other projects.

Popular Posts

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

1) Online Passive Income and Blog Update [January ’12]

2) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

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

4) You Think I’m Failing…Here’s My Response

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!

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Connect with Eric Gati on Google+.

48 Responses to “Online Passive Income and Blog Update [February ’12]”

  1. What an impressive month! Be careful with your adsense public niche site – I got my adsense acct banned wtout a reason and it sucks.

    Wish you success, expect more income that is $2,000 P/M

    sheyi

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sheyi – That sucks that your AdSense account was banned without reason. Hopefully you’ll be able to get it back or at least try out some other good ad display networks.

    [Reply]

    Sheyi Reply:

    Its so sad reading that your account has been banned. I’m hoping you get it back or use other means of income.

    Sheyi
    Sheyi recently posted… Uju Onyechere Interview: An Author And Management Consultant

    [Reply]

  2. Congrats on the nice month Eric! I hope those niche sites really take off for you!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Dan! Hopefully there’s still a lot of growth to come – I definitely plan to keep working hard on these sites, and slowly create new ones too.

    [Reply]

  3. Always good to see the green! An increase in earnings is a great motivating tool! You will definitely hit that $1,000 milestone in March! Really like your way of looking at infobarrel income. I have never used it, but I am thinking of giving it a try!
    Chris | Sminso recently posted… Do you have OSCD (obsessive stat checking disorder)?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Chris – While I plan to hit $1,000 in March, I know that my affiliate income will fluctuate a lot, so we’ll see what happens.

    InfoBarrel is worth a try if you want a fairly low cost way to build up some passive income sources.

    [Reply]

  4. congratulations Eric. one thing I’ve seen others start to do who report income is to disclose the expense side of the equation as well.

    are you going to be doing that as well? it’d also help the community to hear about the time invested to put things in perspective.

    i know this can be difficult because effort yesterday equates to income tomorrow, but a rough sense of how much work you put in on average in a given month (I understand it can fluctuate week to week).

    congratulations on nearing $1,000 in “passive” income
    Sunil l Expediting Wealth Through Extra Income recently posted… How to Create an eBook, The Most Comprehensive 4,000+ Word Guide You’ll Ever Need

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I do like the idea of disclosing expenses – I’ll need to look into that. I guess from my perspective, expenses have never been as important. Because I consider most of my income “passive,” I should theoretically be able to go an entire month without incurring any expenses, without really hurting my income.

    Realistically, that may not be the case. The issue I have with trying to properly reflect “expenses” is that it’s difficult to account for your biggest expense – your time.

    Here’s an example: I could outsource an article for $5 or write it myself. Which is more expensive? To me, it’s more expensive to write it myself, however if I were writing a report of my expenses, I’d probably only be able to reflect the money I pay other people.

    My point is, while I can always accurately report my income, I’m not sure I can do the same for my expenses. The one thing I can do (and have done before) is break down about how much I spend to build a niche site. That way, if you see I have 80 sites, you can reasonably expect that I spend 80x that amount. I would estimate each micro-nice site (content, domain, & backlinking) costs about $35-50 total in the first year, depending on how much I build up the site. Subsequent years probably cost $10-20 on average.

    My other affiliate income, especially that which comes from this blog, really has no associated expenses. I use a shared hosting account, I write my own content, and I don’t spend any money on SEO.

    Anyway, I will try to account for my expenses, or at the very least, report how many hours I spent on my internet business each month.

    [Reply]

  5. Eric, awesome to see your Adsense double growth. My Adsense dropped 50% due to the panda update and I am playing a catch-up game.

    For your Commission Junction income, is it coming from this blog? $350 is impressive for Affiliates.

    Could I know how you grew your #25 and #51 Adsense income, did you add in more new content or backlinks more?

    Definitely, it’s a number game. Nice that you have built so many new ones recently.
    Kent @ Niche Site Tips recently posted… MMO Monthly Report February 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    A lot of the CJ income does from this blog – it’s not reliable though…I could see myself easily only earning $50 from it next month.

    I’ll need to go back sometime soon and do an analysis of my higher earning sites, and report on why I think the income is higher compared to other sites. I think it would be helpful to see why some sites are earning more than others.

    Thanks for the comment Kent!

    [Reply]

  6. I love how you’re making this work in spite of still being chained to a job. Very cool.

    Another cool thing I admire is your dedication to getting up earlier to work on your business. This is very smart.

    For me, I like to do the activity I’m resisting most, first. When you do this in the morning, you can feel like a conquering hero for the rest of your day knowing you’ve accomplished something meaningful by addressing an urgent or not and important activity. It’s not lingering over your head all day long.

    The one guy I learned a ton from about productivity is Dan Kennedy. His Renegade Time Management program is a MUST HAVE for any entrepreneur who wants to make the most out of what they’ve got. It’s built just for the entrepreneur which is what I love most about it.

    Keep kicking butt in the morning!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Lewis! I do love getting up early to get work done, as difficult as it can be to get out of bed. If you can get yourself to stand up, jump in the shower, and pour yourself a cup of coffee, you’re ready to go (or at least, I am).

    [Reply]

  7. The productivity tip to wake up 45-60 minutes earlier to work on your sites is great. I find it difficult to come home work on my sites. I find that it is tough for me to get motivated sometimes to work on my sites because if I wait til last thing in the day after working a full day, getting in a training run for a marathon and then dinner with wife I am tired and unmotivated. Possibly getting up early and working a bit before I have to go to work will help me make more progress. Thanks for the idea!
    My Money Talk recently posted… Why I Love Dividend Growth Stocks

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Give it a try – I don’t think you’ll regret it!

    [Reply]

  8. Great job Eric,

    It won’t be too long before you reach $1,000 a month. Hopefully you hit that next month.
    Adam recently posted… It’s Not Easy Working From Home – The Truth Revealed

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Adam, I really hope I hit that “milestone” in March!

    [Reply]

  9. Easy ways to make money online that do not require financial investment. No need to know anything about webdesign, web development, or programming.So how easy Online Income ? Where to Start?
    James Martin recently posted… Watch the Olympics live online

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’ve written this several times before, but the best way to make passive income online for “free” without having much technical knowledge is to write articles for a revenue sharing website (like I have done with InfoBarrel). You can check out my original InfoBarrel post which walks you through how to do it:

    http://www.my4hrworkweek.com/infobarrel-earnings-how-to-make-2000-per-month/

    If you can stick to that plan and write consistently, you can make some good money.

    [Reply]

  10. These are some great numbers – so close to that $1000 mark! I’d also like to say this is the first I ever heard of the Lending Club – I find the whole idea of peer-to-peer lending fascinating and can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I personally think Lending Club is great – for something that has such a high return, it doesn’t feel risky to me. Granted, I still choose not to invest too much money into it, but that’s only because I’m relatively conservative when it comes to investing.

    Thanks for the comment Alex!

    [Reply]

  11. Great to see the increase in earnings from your micro niche adsense sites. It give me hope for mine as they slowly climb the SERPs.

    You are almost catching up with me in terms of monthly income and I don’t have a day job so you are doing well.

    I just did my February report on my blog if you are interested.
    Joe recently posted… Is Cloaking Affiliate Links to Amazon Illegal?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Joe – sometimes it can be a slow grind to climb the SERPs, but if you stick with it, it seems to eventually work out. I checked out your income report – congrats on earnings $1,000+!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Thanks for reading my blog. I was nearly hitting $3000 about 6 months ago before the Panda attacked me!
    Joe recently posted… Link Authority Case Study

    [Reply]

  12. It would be really good to see your page rank and main keyword rank for each of your websites listed… to see how the ranking is effecting your income. Plus traffic numbers for each.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree, I will try to add this in the future. Ever since Market Samurai had issues with being able to pull ranks quickly (now it takes a long time to process), I haven’t been good about checking the ranks for my primary keywords.

    Maybe after tax season when I get some extra time, I will try to add these items to my spreadsheet.

    [Reply]

  13. Looks good, Eric, congrats. Can you speak to the relative age of the niche sites?

    I’m trying to find comparisons for my sites. When should I reasonable start to see traffic and earnings?

    Thanks and keep it up.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    The bottom 20 were started in January, the 20 before that were started in December, and then 20 before that were started in November. The remaining 20 are a mix of start times, but all were after July/August of 2011.

    [Reply]

  14. Great work , Eric! You are so close to $1,000. Going to get there any month now. Really enjoyed reading about your productivity tip of getting up earlier and working on your niche sites before going to work. I may give this one a try!
    Best,
    Ian
    PPC Ian recently posted… Acquisio T-Shirt Slogan Contest

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Ian, I hope to break that threshold soon. Glad to see you enjoyed the productivity tip – I don’t think you’ll regret trying it!

    [Reply]

  15. Eric – Great job — I love your income posts and how neat they are and well laid out and detailed.

    Good on you, mate.
    Paula recently posted… Back on my grind: My new Kindle book, new website, new money

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Paula! :)

    [Reply]

  16. Interesting that I also had my biggest month ever in Feb as well. Partly due to a virtual product I launched. Looks like you’ll be hitting the $1000 mark soon. My goal is to hit $1000/mo by the end of the year. Slowly but steady! Congrats on a great month!
    Harlan Yee recently posted… How To Set 4:3 Center Cut Safe Title Markers In Premiere CS5

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Congrats on launching a virtual product – hopefully that will go a long way for getting you over $1,000/mo by the end of the year. Thanks for the comment, as always!

    [Reply]

  17. Great work Eric. Impressive monthly earnings. Keep up the awesome work. I unfortunately do the same work schedule as you because I am not a morning person. But it is a great idea.
    James recently posted… Nichepursuits.com | How To Make A Great Living With Niche Sites

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks James – yes, it’s difficult getting up earlier in the morning, I’ll admit. Once I get myself out of bed with a cup of coffee though, I’m ready to go. As painful as it is, try it one morning and see what you think.

    [Reply]

  18. It’s a great thing to know that you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work.. :)
    LuccyT05 recently posted… GSP Ab Workout for MMA

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! :)

    [Reply]

  19. Damn it Eric! I got your post via email (like I normally do and love), but your title got me! I read “Google AdSense Account Disabled” and almost pooped a brick! +1 for the eye grabbing title. -1 for giving me a heart attack! lol

    Keep up the good work 😉
    Nitreg recently posted… Third Level Thinking Answer and How it Can Help Us

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sorry for scaring you! :)

    [Reply]

  20. Thanks for that productivity tip! I agree that you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more when you wake up early. The thing here is that you have to condition yourself so that you really wake up early. In short, sleep early. It’s going to be hard at first, but once you’ve developed that habit, you’ll notice that it’s easy.

    = Gerald Martin =

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Exactly. Thanks for the comment, Gerald!

    [Reply]

  21. Hey Eric, was wondering if your adsense and amazon sites are all ranked well? If all were ranked in the first or second position for your keywords, how much do you think your earnings would be?
    Tony recently posted… How to Choose An Affiliate Program

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    A handful of sites are on page 1, but currently, I’m not sure I have any that occupy the top position. It’s difficult to predict how much my earnings would be if they were all ranked #1 or #2, but I’m sure the earnings would increase dramatically.

    [Reply]

  22. Excellent post Eric, I am wondering to see your Amazon & AdSense earnings, it’s really good.I think newbies will be very lucky if they find your site and could get awesome ideas from your posts.
    Pete Goumas recently posted… Spartoo Coupon & Review

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Pete!

    [Reply]

  23. Firstly, thanks for taking the time to update the site its really valuable. Secondly, i know you say you make money from comission junction but is tthere any info on what type of product this is and how u do it?

    Sorry if you have mentioned it before but this is my first time on your site.

    Many thanks

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Chai. Commission Junction has a really wide variety of things you can promote – for example, I have one site about a certain type of food. Through CJ, I have promotional banners from Coupons.com, where when people click through and sign up for free coupons (and it’s free to sign up), I get $0.50. Not a lot per person, but it adds up!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe to my awesome newsletter and receive The Ultimate Backlink Tracker for free! (Don't worry, I'll respect your privacy.)



The owner of this website, Eric, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking http://www.my4hrworkweek.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.