Online Passive Income and Blog Update [November ’11]

November was a very productive month for me, which is a nice change of pace from the many past months where all I have to say is “I didn’t do much this month…”  As with most passive income ventures, the efforts of this month probably won’t hit my bottom line for at least another month or two, but it’s a great feeling to put in the work and feel confident that you’ll reap the benefits at some point in the future.

Anyway, keep reading for November’s income report…

For those who are new to this blog, 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 Tips Learned from November

I’m not quite sure “productivity tips” is something I’ll write about every month, but I do find myself always finding new ways to get things done.  For me, a good “getting things done” tip always has an expiration date.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t found the right strategy or because I simply get bored with a regular routine, but I’m always trying to find new ways to focus and stay on task.

The key for me this month was this: simple to-do lists, hand written on paper.  This seems so elementary and simple, however it has done wonders for me this month in terms of sticking to what I want to get done.  Having this hand written list on my desk at all times keeps me on task. If I find myself thinking “what can I do now?” I simply refer to the list and get to work.  The worst thing you can do from a productivity standpoint is not have a plan – this just leads to lots of time wasted as you scramble to decide on what to do next.

I’ll add another tip to this one: keep the to-do list very realistic.  With to-do lists, I used to find myself getting carried away, listing 10 things to do in one day when realistically I could only do one or two.  The end result would be that I’d be discouraged by not being able to make a dent in my to-do list, ultimately decreasing productivity.  I try to be realistic now and keep the lists very short and simple.

November’s Income Report

Now, onto everything that makes me 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 November, I was invested in 109 loans (+4 from October) and my net annualized return was 5.64% (+0.15% from October).

Here’s an image from my Lending Club account summary that shows 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 this day, I still only invest $25 in each loan – this allows me to diversify my risk as much as possible.  I honestly think every portfolio has space for these types of investments, so in my opinion, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

Info Barrel Earnings Challenge

[Read about the challenge here]

It feels weird still calling this a “challenge” considering I have shifted my focus elsewhere for the time being, but I still firmly believe that article writing is one of the best sources of passive income, especially for someone who is just starting out.

As of the end of November, I have written 132 articles (+1 from last month).  Here are my earnings from Info Barrel for this past month:

November InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $50.09
  • Amazon Associates:          $2.49
  • Chitika:                                    $5.52
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $58.01 (-$1.05 from October)

If you want to add InfoBarrel to your passive income portfolio, you can sign up for it here.

AdSense & Amazon Niche Site Earnings

In October, I started a case study where I’m going to document, 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.

Despite my fear that some of my sites were going to have significantly reduced rankings going forward due to some algorithm changes Google made, November’s earnings were pretty consistent with October.  I will point out that these micro-niche sites are a current focus of mine, as you’ll notice I’ve been creating them at a fairly quick rate.

Here are the stats for November:

# of Amazon & AdSense niche sites: 41 (+20 from October)

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 November AdSense & Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $124.76 (-$4.23 from October)

Authority Website

As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for.  Earnings and traffic in November were fairly consistent with October.  As I’ve mentioned before, this project is something I’m working on very slowly, and it’s not my primary focus.  With that said, I’m still adding to it little by little – things are headed in the right direction.

I did not complete my goal for last month which was to finish the eBook that I was going to use as a giveaway for the site’s e-mail list opt-in.  I wrote most of it, but it still needs a little bit of work.

Although I’ve said in the past that I eventually plan on revealing this site’s URL, I’m having second thoughts about it.  I’ve read stories lately about how other bloggers have seen their sites negatively impacted once they’ve made them public – everything from copycats to just plain thieves who rip off the content word for word.  If I find that I can offer real value by disclosing the site, I’ll do it at some point, but until then, I plan on keeping it private.

Here’s what the site earned in November:

  • Google Adsense:  $4.00
  • Other:   $3.66
  • Total: $7.66 (-$1.16 from October)

Misc. Affiliate Income

Here’s the breakdown for November:

  • Adsense: $5.35
  • Amazon: $0.00
  • ClickBank: $172.85
  • Commission Junction: $100.00
  • PayDotCom: $40.00
  • Private Advertising: $35.00
  • Market Samurai: $48.50
  • P90X Blog: $3.02
  • Other Misc.: $48.50

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for November: $453.22 (+$47.40 from October)

Income Summary

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

  • InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $58.01
  • Amazon & AdSense Niche Sites: $124.76
  • Authority Website: $7.66
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $453.22

Grand Total for November: $643.74 (+$41.05 from October)

While it’s always nice to see an increasing month, I’m still well below the level I was at a few months ago, so I won’t feel satisfied until I exceed that level (i.e. $1,000+).

Popular Posts

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

1) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

2) Online Passive Income and Blog Update [October ’11]

3) AdSense Micro-Niche Site Public Case Study – Setup, Configuration, & Design (Part 3)

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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31 Responses to “Online Passive Income and Blog Update [November ’11]”

  1. It was a good find for me to see your website. I am looking into joining lendingclub right now. I don’t think I have the guts to publish my monthly online earnings. It’s going to put too much pressure on myself.

    Thank you for sharing.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Jim! Sharing earnings isn’t for everyone…I like to do it not only because people like to read it (I know I like reading others’), but also because it helps hold me accountable. Knowing that other people will see my success and/or failure keeps me focused on my goals (at least, better focus that I would otherwise have).


  2. Hey Eric, it’s always nice to see your income report. I really what you said “I’m always learning new things, which to me is where the real value is.”

    I had a break-through in Nov due to the peak Shopping Season. I’m also working on Adsense + Amazon Niche sites. It has been fun and rewarding.

    I hope I could scale up my sites as Authority ones. On-going I am learning and practicing SEO – the way to get hundreds and even thousands daily traffic.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Kent, and glad to hear you had a breakthrough November – shopping season is great!

    Scaling up authority sites is definitely a more difficult and time consuming task, but the benefits can be outstanding.


  3. I haven’t focus on my Affiliate effort yet. I see you have a nice income stream which is rewarding. I hope I could write more and ramp up on my blog.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Affiliate income is nice, but honestly, I’d love it if I could get to the point where my AdSense/Amazon niche sites were earning at least 50% of my overall passive income.


    PPC Ian Reply:

    Another great post, Eric! While most of my passive income comes from AdSense/EPN, I hope to have more and more passive income come from dividend-paying stocks. It’s at that point that I can truly feel financial freedom. :-)


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! Dividend-paying stocks is something I definitely have yet to get into…I suppose I need to first build up the value of my portfolio first and once the cash inflow is large enough, I’ll be more inclined to invest in the stock market.

  4. Nice income but looks reduced from past. Is this because of panda effects?


    Eric G. Reply:

    Yes, that’s a big reason. It should be temporary…I plan (and hope) to return to my previous income levels within the next month or two.


  5. Eric, since signing up for LendingClub based on your recommendation, I have earned 13% net annualized return. I’ve only been on LendingClub a few months and expect it to dip, but super excited nonetheless!


    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s awesome Ian, glad to hear it’s working out for you so far. And as you said, 13% probably isn’t sustainable, but even if it dips 5-8%, you’re still in good shape.


  6. congratulations Eric. keep up the patience, especially with the niche sites. i am finding too that my most recent niche sites are taking longer to gain traction. the older ones are going strong, with the exception of a handful that were impacted by Panda (still profitable however) and i am sure the new ones will as well . . . just waiting for most of the marketing efforts to kick in now…


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunil, glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling to gain a little traction. I’m very hopeful though that things will turn around in the next month or two.


  7. Excellent post, Eric! But there some things about which you said that are not very easy to do) at least, for me definitely) And I’m talking about patience at work….


    Eric G. Reply:



  8. Good information! I still to this day make a list of things I want to accomplish. Some people keep this list near the bed and others carry around a planner. Whatever works is what I say…LOL


    Eric G. Reply:

    Exactly, you have to do whatever works. :) Making a list of things to do though is so much more powerful than it appears.

    Thanks for the comment, Jeff!


  9. Hey Eric, how are you? Looks like you are doing pretty well here. I have ran into your blog many times and i really enjoy reading your posts!

    I’m not a big fan of the whole investment thing you have going, but hey your doing your thing and that it all that matters right?

    You are doing great with your earnings and i hope to be where you are concerning earnings sometime soon. Productivity is definitely one of the hardest aspects in this Internet Marketing business, if not the hardest, in my opinion.

    It is extremely hard for newcomers to grasp the fact that they will have to work ridiculously hard likely for many months before they even begin to see some success.

    At times, i still struggle with this very concept. As i have gotten older i am able to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Anyway, keep it up man your doing great! I hope new years has something fun in store for you, and keep killing this IM thing!

    Take care Eric.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks a lot for the comment Julian – you hit the nail right on the head. Some people don’t truly understand how much hard work is required to find success in this space. Yes, some people will find it easier than others, but everyone who succeeds works hard, and is extremely patient.


  10. Hey Eric,

    As for the main site, don’t disclose the URL just the stats. Like Pat said in his post, people will try to replicate the success.. but this doesn’t help either of you.


    Ps.. I think your commentluv is not working properly..


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ralph, that’s what I’m leaning towards doing. I may share the niche and some other specific things, but probably will leave out the URL.

    As for CommentLuv, I just looked into it and upgraded the plugin…hopefully it’s fixed now – thanks for pointing that out!


  11. G’day Eric

    The stats for ‘Misc Affiliate Income’ (ClickBank: $172.85, Commission Junction: $100.00) look particularly juicy!

    Are you going to treat us with some info on these :) ??



    Eric G. Reply:

    Good question Jay – I typically don’t focus on those because they aren’t part of my current online income strategy (even though they make up a decent chunk of my income). Some of it comes from niche sites that I haven’t shared on my blog (they are actually some of the very first niche sites I ever created), and some of it comes from my blog itself (via affiliate links in random places). I no longer create niche sites based on Clickbank products, but some sites I did create over a year ago still generate income.


  12. Impressive income report but i think it can be improved from few more efforts.
    Arjun Rai recently posted… XRF analyzer


    Eric G. Reply:

    Believe me, I know. :)


  13. As always I have gotten a kick out of reading your monthly income report. And at $633.94 in November I’m slowly catching up with you. 😛
    Dean Saliba recently posted… Sponsored Reviews Reject Me, But Why?


  14. I think the key is to not give up and appreciate even the least amount of increase in profits. Thanks for the income report :)


  15. Why is adsense income so low? Will it increase?


    Eric G. Reply:

    My AdSense income is low because most of these sites were just recently created and are not ranking yet. Once they begin to rank, I definitely expect the income to increase.


  16. Great report and i know you will improve it soon. Best of luck.
    Arjun Rai recently posted… Cheap Trucks for Sale


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