Online Passive Income and Blog Update [October ’11]
Let’s just say, I’m glad October is over. I had the opportunity to have my best month ever, and it was thwarted sharply by Google’s recent algorithm change, which unfortunately hit a few of my more lucrative niche sites pretty hard. As a result, I actually saw one of my worst months of the year.
As usual, I’m not worried, thanks to some new projects in the pipeline. That’s part of the fun of this passive income “game” – things are always changing, so you constantly have to stay ahead of the curve, and adapt as necessary. Anyway, let’s get into the details for October.
As you may know, 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 September, I was invested in 105 loans (+4 from September) and my net annualized return was 5.49% (-1.76% from September).
October was my first month I’ve ever seen a serious decline in my net annualized return % from Lending Club. Digging into the details, I can see that this was caused by one loan defaulting. When you’re invested in 100+ loans, some of them riskier (I always invest in a few “risky” ones for the higher return potential), you’re bound to run into a bad loan every once in a while. This has happened to me before, and the rate will typically jump back up fairly quickly with all of the other loan payments coming in.
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
October was fairly consistent with September, although I felt like the recent Google algorithm change had a negative impact on my article views for the second half of the month. I actually added an article this month, which has become an unusual occurrence for me (it was for backlinking purposes).
I still have mixed feelings about article writing purely for income generation. I feel more comfortable owning my own properties (i.e. niche sites) although at the end of the day, most of the revenue is going to come from AdSense anyway. When I originally came up with the challenge, the plan was to write a bit over 1,000 articles with the intention of those articles earning over $2,000/month in total.
To my surprise, there’s actually a guy who cracked $2,000 for the month of October with only 457 articles. Just like niche sites, not all articles are equal (one of his articles earned $200+). If you’re willing to put time into article writing, you can make some serious money.
As of the end of October, I have written 131 articles (+1 from last month). Here are my October Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:
In October, I earned a total of $57.34 via AdSense, from my Info Barrel articles (-$2.76 from September).
October InfoBarrel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $57.34
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Chitika: $1.72
- Other Affiliate Earnings: $0.00
- Total: $59.06 (-$2.48 from September)
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. You should read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t 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.
Although my earnings appear higher than September, it’s somewhat misleading. As I mentioned earlier, my sites were doing excellent in the first half of the month, however Google’s algorithm change severely impacted the rankings of a few of my higher earning sites, leading to a very poor second half of the month. I’m hoping for a bounce-back in rankings soon, with the holiday season right around the corner.
Here are the stats for October:
# of Amazon & AdSense niche sites: 21 (+5 from September)
* Site #21 is the site created for my public AdSense micro-nice site case study.
Total October Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $128.99 (+$21.35 from September)
My Authority Website
As I detailed here, I’ve started an authority website that I have big plans for. Traffic for October on this site was consistent with September, however AdSense clicks were down a little. My goal for November is to finish my giveaway eBook for this site, in order to start my e-mail list and begin building up a subscriber base. Ultimately, this list will funnel into the sales process for an information product I have planned. I’m taking this process slowly, and still writing all of the content myself. I don’t feel comfortable making the site public quite yet – I’m waiting for it to be mostly “complete.”
Unlike my micro-niche sites, I am treating this site almost like my blog, and I’m slowing building up a social media presence (which is where most of the traffic comes from so far). This is going to be a true authority site (not just a niche site with hundreds of articles written by outsourced writers) with a real community.
Here’s what the site earned in October:
- Google Adsense: $2.29
- Other (to be disclosed later): $6.53
- Total: $8.82 (-$7.46 from September)
Misc. Affiliate Income
This area was one of the real victims of Google’s ranking changes, where I saw my earnings decline substantially from last month. Here’s the breakdown for October:
- Adsense: $8.55
- Amazon: $0.00
- ClickBank: $163.26
- Commission Junction: $52.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Private Advertising: $35.00
- Market Samurai: $97.00
- P90X Blog: $0.01
- Other Misc.: $50.00
Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for October: $405.82 (-$243.49 from September)
Here’s a summary of October’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:
- InfoBarrel Earnings Challenge: $59.06
- Amazon & AdSense Niche Sites: $128.99
- My Authority Website: $8.82
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $405.82
Grand Total for October: $602.69 (-$232.08 from September)
Although $600+ is still good money for passive income, I think we can all agree that these are very disappointing results. The great thing about publishing these monthly income reports is that I feel like I’m being held accountable. If this information wasn’t public, I could probably just move on, but because all of you are reading about it, I can feel some real shame.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in October based on number of views:
Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects!
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