Online Passive Income and Blog Update [May ’11]
I felt like May was a productive month, even if the results don’t reflect it yet. For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve been infused with new motivation, going so far as doing some backlinking for my InfoBarrel articles (which is something I haven’t done in a long time).
This month (June), I tried making a deal with myself to do at least 30 minutes of work per day during the week (obviously outside of my 9 to 5 job) which, sadly, is better than what I had been doing in the months prior. I can usually spend a lot more time doing my “internet work” on the weekends, but it was always during the week where I struggled.
As I said, the results haven’t materialized yet, but I feel they’re on the way. May was slightly better than April, and I really feel like I’m going to see some nice increases in the months to come. Let’s dig into May…
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 May, I was invested in 90 loans (+4 from April) and my net annualized return was 7.38% (-0.39% from April).
My performance in May took a slight dip after 6+ months of solid increasing returns. Despite that, 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 are some images 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.
Keep in mind, Lending Club is currently only open to U.S. residents. For those of you located in the UK, you can try out Zopa – please note, I have not done business with this site, but it was mentioned to me as an alternative to Lending Club. Check it out at your own risk.
Info Barrel Earnings Challenge
Another month of adding no content, and another month of increased earnings. I could get used to this. You’ll be surprised to know that I’ll probably be adding some content throughout June (hopefully more than 1 article), as I feel I’ve neglected this source of income for too long.
As of the end of May, I have written 128 articles (same as last month). Here are my May Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:
In May, I earned a total of $85.27 from my Info Barrel articles (+$5.31 from April).
May InfoBarrel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $85.27
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Chitika: $4.63
- Other Affiliate Earnings: $0.00
- Total: $89.90 (+$5.83 from April)
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’m still trying to figure out what the deal is with this site from an SEO perspective – it still appears to be sandboxed (thought not deindexed). I plan on writing a post soon to evaluate what might be wrong with this site.
May Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $0.52
- Chitika: $0.00
- Amazon Associates: $1.73
- Total: $2.25 (+$2.04 from April)
Amazon Niche Site Challenge
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 Amazon.com), 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.
Earnings were down a bit in May, but I’ve since began to aggressively backlink these sites to see if I can get them to a point where they’re receiving good traffic/earnings. I think there’s a point with some niche sites where you have to recognize that the earning potential may not be strong, and it’s time to move onto new niche sites.
As far as I’m concerned, as long as the site continues to earn more than $10/year without me having to touch it, it’s worth keeping (because I’ve essentially covered the domain costs). I believe that’ll be the case with all of the sites I’ve created so far, so I see no problem with keeping them and moving onto newer niche sites.
Also, I’m going to soon be reviewing a premium WordPress plugin that should greatly help anyone who is creating multiple Amazon-based niche website. Stay tuned for that.
Here are the stats for May:
# of Amazon niche sites: 8
|$ 24.14||$ 11.62||$ 1.25||$ 37.01||$ 20.26||$ 7.65||$ –||$ 27.91|
Total May Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $27.91 (-$9.10 from April)
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. This month, I don’t have much to say about the site, but I’ll be making this a regular section of my income reports from this point forward.
I have no income to report yet, but just started seeing my first few organic visitors to the site, which is always exciting. I also got my logo designed by The Logo Company, which I highly recommend. For $149 (which is a lot cheaper than some of the other big name logo companies out there), you get 5 design concepts (based on information you supply up front) and are allowed unlimited revisions for whatever design you go with. If none of the first 5 concepts look good to you, you can send them back to the drawing board (literally) for no additional cost. I felt they provided me with a lot of value, and I’m very happy with the logo I got.
I haven’t hired a writer for the site yet (as I still want to produce most of the initial content myself) but that’s one of the next items on my to-do list for this site. Hopefully I’ll have a more detailed update of the site’s progress in the near future.
Misc. Affiliate Income
My miscellaneous affiliate income saw a bit of an increase in May. Here’s the breakdown:
- Adsense: $5.58
- Amazon: $0.69
- ClickBank: $164.91
- Commission Junction: $0.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Private Advertising: $35.00
- Market Samurai: $200.64
- Other Misc.: $278.75
Total Affiliate Earnings for May: $685.57 (+$95.88 from April)
Here’s a summary of May’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: $89.90
- Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $2.25
- Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $27.91
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $685.57
Grand Total for May: $805.63 (+$94.65 from April)
I feel pretty good about the progress in May, although I still can’t seem to break that elusive $1,000 mark. I really believe I’ll get there soon, however, hopefully within the next month or two.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in May based on number of views:
Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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