Online Passive Income and Blog Update [June ’11]

June was a great month overall – it appears my “productive” feeling from May actually paid off, although I’m sure the best is yet to come.  Certain areas of my income saw record numbers, while others have declined slightly.  Overall, I think I’m headed in the right direction.

As always, I write these reports to show you that someone who has a full time job and spends a relatively small amount of time outside of work on his online income activities can still achieve a steadily growing stream of passive income.

[Read my write-up here]

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you pretty much know the drill with 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 June, I was invested in 92 loans (+2 from May) and my net annualized return was 6.97% (-0.41% from May).

I’ve determined that the primary reason my returns have declined over the past couple of months is because I’ve been investing in less risky loans over the past several months compared to when I originally started with Lending Club.  I used to invest in a lot of high return loans (10-12%), but since then have added a lot of loans in the 5-7% range.

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). It’s important to keep in mind that Lending Club loans are riskier than these other types of investments.  However, I strongly believe that the additional risk is more than compensated for by the higher rate of return.

Here’s a visual from Lending Club that I think will highlight for you exactly how great this source of passive income is:

To me, this is astonishing. For investors with 800+ loans (i.e. you can’t say it’s a “small sample size”), the vast majority have seen returns of 6%+.  No one of those investors has actually lost money (i.e. 100% of the returns have been positive).

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]

Ironically, after finally writing articles for the first time in 6 months, my earnings decreased.  It just goes to show you that earnings can and will be volatile regardless of what you do.  All you can do is continue to work hard, add content, diversify, and the earnings will come.

As of the end of June, I have written 130 articles (+2 from last month).  Here are my June Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:

In June, I earned a total of $63.44 from my Info Barrel articles (-$21.83 from May).

June InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $63.44
  • Amazon Associates:          $0.00
  • Chitika:                                    $1.56
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $65.00 (-$24.90 from May)

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 last September based on P90X, an extreme home fitness routine.  I feel like a broken record when I say this, but yes, I’m still struggling to rank this site.  As you may have seen, I wrote a post attempting to analyze what the issue with this site might be.   The good news is, my earnings have now increased for a second straight month – the bad news is, they’re still embarrassingly small.

June Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense: $0.93
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • Amazon Associates:  $3.91
  • Total: $4.84 (+$2.59 from May)

Amazon Niche Site Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

In November, I launched a challenge where I’m creating 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.  You can read my original post for more detail and you can also read the update I wrote in December.

This is one area that I’m excited about for June, because I saw record earnings since I began this “challenge” nearly 9 months ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long).  Yes, earnings growth has been slow, but I’m feeling more and more confident that I’m on the right track.

In addition, I’ve started creating more sites to add to this portfolio, and I’m outsourcing all of the content creation and SEO.  Some of my new sites will be more AdSense focused, but I will continue to monetize with both Amazon and AdSense, with some other occasional affiliate programs.

For my new sites, I will be using a new Amazon plugin that I reviewed here.

Here are the stats for June:

# of Amazon niche sites: 10 (+2 from May)

Total June Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $110.80 (+$82.89 from May)

My Authority Website

As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for.  I’m taking the process very slow and steady, but I’m making progress and foresee good things in the near future.

There isn’t much for me to report as of right now – I’m slowly adding content and I am seeing a little bit of organic trickle traffic (0-5 visitors/day), but no earnings to speak of yet.

Misc. Affiliate Income

My miscellaneous affiliate income saw an increase once again.  Here’s the breakdown for June:

  • Adsense: $2.89
  • Amazon: $0.00
  • ClickBank: $324.48
  • Commission Junction: $151.00
  • PayDotCom: $0.00
  • Private Advertising: $35.00
  • Market Samurai: $0.00
  • Other Misc.: $208.05

Total Affiliate Earnings for June: $721.42 (+$35.85 from May)

Although I did write a “product promotion” post this month (for the EasyAzon plugin), you might be interested to know that it only accounted for $75.33 of my Clickbank earnings.

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of June’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: $65.00
  • Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $4.84
  • Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $110.80
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $721.42

Grand Total for June: $902.06 (+$96.43 from May)

Although I still haven’t broken $1,000, I definitely can’t complain about another month of increasing earnings!

Popular Posts

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

1) Online Passive Income and Blog Update [May ’11]

2) How Efficiently Do You Build Amazon Niche Sites?

3) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

4) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

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

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!

March April
Amazon AdSense CPA Total Amazon AdSense CPA Total
1 25.00 5.60 30.60 0.02 0.02
2 2.89 2.97 5.86 6.05 2.20 8.25
3 13.83 0.68 14.51 0.75 1.25 2.00
4 15.56 9.06 24.62 18.09 3.64 21.73
5 1.23 0.47 1.70 1.94 1.94
6 0.21 1.37 1.58 3.07 3.07
$ 58.72 $ 20.15 $ – $ 78.87 $ 24.14 $ 11.62 $ 1.25 $ 37.01
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25 Responses to “Online Passive Income and Blog Update [June ’11]”

  1. Congrats! You’re so close to $1K mark!

    Can’t wait to see your authority site up and running and see the income potential.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Tim! I can’t wait either!


  2. Hmm… In regards to the Lending Club, you state “…you can’t say it’s a ‘small sample size’…”

    Really, the fact that the sampling data only includes investors with 800+ notes is a pretty clear indicator that the sampling size *is* small. Of all of the investors in the club, how many have at least 800 notes? At a $25 minimum loan amount, that is a minimum total investment of $20,000.

    I’m not saying that the club doesn’t make it’s members money. I don’t have any raw data from which to draw any kind of conclusions, and you are clearly doing much better with your own investments than any CD or money market would earn. The very specific nature of that ad, though, is not particularly compelling. It’s easy to manipulate data to look great when you only look at a portion of the data like that.

    Your affiliate revenues are looking good again this month. You really are getting close to that thousand dollar mark. Keep it up, and you’ll be there soon Eric!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Cory,

    Thanks for the comment. While I see what you’re saying and agree to a certain extent, there are a couple things I’ll point out:

    1) The mere fact that the graphic shows 1% of the sample earns between >0-3% implies that the sample includes at least ~100 investors. In the grand scheme of things, that may be small, but I don’t view it as insignificant. It’s not like we’re just talking about a sample of 5 or 10 investors. With 100+ investors having 800+ loans each, we’re looking at data that likely represents 80,000+ loans.

    2) In addition, when I say “you can’t say it’s a ‘small sample size’…” I’m also speaking at the individual investor level. If we were talking about someone who invested in 1 loan and had a 15% return or someone invested in 1 loan and had a -100% return (i.e. the loan defaulted before any payments were made), the data would obviously not be representative of all Lending Club loans. With that said, if someone invests in 800+ loans and maintains a strong positive return, it’s a strong sign in favor of it being a smart investment decision (depending on your tolerance for risk and other factors of course).

    At any rate, I’ve been on Lending Club for over 2 years and still consistently see positive returns that are far beyond any other interest-bearing accounts or investments that I have.


    Cory Buckles Reply:

    I see where you are coming from. What it shows is that the investors who are very well-diversified are all getting positive returns, and that the average returns overall are therefore very likely to be positive.

    I’ve just worked with numbers like this enough to immediately put the shields up whenever I’m shown only a portion of a data sample. It’s very easy to make numbers show what you want them to, so I try to take everything with a grain of salt.

    As I said and you repeated, though, you have had consistent returns that beat interest-bearing accounts quite handily. I really don’t doubt the profitability of the micro-loans–I just get wary of statistical shenanigans whenever I see pie charts. ;^)


  3. Just to get some perspective on your earnings on your Infobarrel – how many articles have you published on the site so far?
    Karsten Sommer recently posted… Happiness Quotes from Around the World


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Karsten – as I wrote in the blog post, I’ve published 130 articles so far, most of them from 6+ months ago.


  4. Another good month. :) I’m rather interested in how you generate traffic to your Infobarral articles. Expect an email from me later on today. :)
    Dean Saliba recently posted… Money Isn’t the Only Thing You Can Invest for Your Retirement With


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Dean – it’s actually very simple. My articles all receive traffic organically, with very little SEO effort on my part. For most of my articles, I have not built any backlinks, and for those where I have built backlinks, they only have a few lower quality ones. Most of the ranking power comes from good keyword selection.

    As Info Barrel gains in popularity and authority (from Google’s perspective), articles published there can rank highly in the search results with little to no backlinks. This obviously assumes that there is low competition.


  5. That’s great work working part time on the internet. I can’t wait until my earnings start reflecting the hard work that I’ve put into my site.
    Carla Easley recently posted… Different Ways To Make Money Online


    Eric G. Reply:

    Keep working at it, and it will definitely pay off! :)


  6. Some niche sites are more difficult to rank than we would have thought in the beginning, these are the exception for the rule. But there’s nothing that can break perseverance, and i know you have that.
    I’m expecting some positive results in that niche site duel.
    Martin recently posted… CDL Written Test


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Martin!


  7. Hey Eric,

    You might be breaking the $1000/mo mark next time! You’re so close!

    For your outsourcing, did you create a set of instructions for the people you hire? I’m planning on getting a VA next month because I’m getting burned out on backlinking and article writing!
    Harlan Yee recently posted… Conan O’Brien Final Cut Pro X Funny Video


    Eric G. Reply:

    I did create some instructions for the content on my Amazon sites for VA writers, however the results have still been mixed. I’ve been too busy lately to refine the process. Let me know if you find something that works well!


  8. Great update!!!Thanks for the inspiration…I know a lot of people will be inspired because of this…
    Brena Fint recently posted… Candida Infections – Treatment & Prevention


    Eric G. Reply:



  9. I always enjoy these updates, and find it really encouraging to see the numbers keep on climbing. Thanks for sharing!
    Master Dayton recently posted… Freelance Writing Opinion: Why HubPages Is Finished


    Eric G. Reply:

    And I always enjoy the comments. :)


  10. I am happy that I stumbled onto your blog. I am looking for ideas to bring in passive income that will keep rolling in for the future. Up until now, leveraging my projects is a key component to my growth. Morphing one idea into many other things. Converting e-books into a teleclass, audio book and a packaged information product. Creating a retreat based on its content, etc.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted… What is the Secret to Success?


    Eric G. Reply:

    Sounds like you have some good plans there – thanks for stopping by and commenting, I hope to see you around more!


  11. Great work, Eric! So close to $1,000. :-)
    PPC Ian recently posted… How To Make Thousands Buying and Selling Websites


    Eric G. Reply:

    One day, one day… :)


  12. I’ve been having trouble ranking some of my Amazon-backed affiliate sites. I’d like to see what was causing your issues when you figure it out. Maybe you can shed some light on this.
    Casey Strouse recently posted… Niche Site Ideas for 27 July 2011


    Eric G. Reply:

    I’m not sure what it is – one of my sites that was sandboxed FOREVER finally came out, and has been consistently ranked #2-5 on page 1 of Google the past couple of weeks.


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