Online Passive Income & Blog Update [April ’11]

April may have been a pretty “status quo” month in terms of earnings, but I think there were a couple accomplishments (namely, the start of my authority website) that aren’t earning me anything right now, but could be very big sources of income in the future.

Although I’d love to sit here and tell you that I’m striving to quit my job in 6 months or make a million dollars in the next 2 years, I believe those things would create false hype.  Make no mistake, I will get there – it’s just not going to happen that quickly.  Realistically, I want to be the one to show you how it’s possible to earn decent money online while still keeping most of your focus on your “9 to 5” career and your personal life.

We’d all love to earn a six-figure income from home, and it’s going to happen for some of us (and it’s a personal goal for me to do it eventually), but the majority of us are probably going to take a slow and steady approach to building up our online passive income.  It’s going to take time, and it’s going to require a lot of hard work, but we have the ability to be patient and not rush ourselves through the process.

Let’s take a look at April…

[Read my write-up here]

As always, I like to begin with Lending Club (a peer-to-peer lending site), because I feel it is my only true source of passive income (i.e. once I’m invested, I make money by doing virtually nothing).  My decent growth continued through April, at a pace similar to the past several month.  As of the end of April, I was invested in 86 loans (+5 from March) and my net annualized return was 7.77% (+0.11% from March).

As usual, 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:

In the images above, you can see that I’m currently performing worse than investors who have a similar portfolio to mine.  I generally consider this to be due to random variance (i.e. luck).  Over time, I expect my rate to increase and move closer to the average (which it has been doing for several months in a row now).

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.

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

[Read about the challenge here]

Despite spending literally no time on InfoBarrel in April, my earnings saw a very nice increase.  This has truly become passive income for me, and it’s why I still believe writing for these types of sites is one of the best ways to make money online if you’re just starting out.

As of the end of April, I have written 128 articles (same as last month).  Here are my April Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:

In April, I earned a total of $79.96 from my Info Barrel articles (+$37.39 from March).   This is nearly an 88% increase over my March earnings, which I am very happy with.

April InfoBarrel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense:                 $79.96
  • Amazon Associates:          $0.00
  • Chitika:                                    $4.11
  • Other Affiliate Earnings:   $0.00
  • Total: $84.07 (+$ 39.22 from March)

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.  In an effort to get more visitors to the site, I added a little bit of content to the site and began building a Twitter following for the site usually a pretty interesting tool.  As of right now, this site’s Twitter account has over 700 followers.  I won’t write about the tool until I have the chance to fully evaluate it and see that’s it’s worth the cost.  Nevertheless, my earnings in April were still pathetic.

April Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary

  • Google Adsense: $0.00
  • Chitika: $0.21
  • Amazon Associates:  $0.00 (many clicks, no conversions)
  • Total: $0.21 (-$0.38 from March)

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 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 in April, and the one thing I can point to is my terrible conversion rate.  While my traffic hasn’t been the highest, I find myself getting a fair amount of clicks, but very few sales.   My conversion rate for April was an underwhelming 1.28%. I’m not sure why it’s this low, or perhaps this is normal (feel free to share your thoughts in the comments).

Here are the stats for April:

# of Amazon niche sites: 8

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
7
8
$ 58.72 $ 20.15 $ – $ 78.87 $ 24.14 $ 11.62 $ 1.25 $ 37.01

Total April Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $37.01 (-$41.86 from March)

Misc. Affiliate Income

My miscellaneous affiliate income saw a little bit of an increase in April.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Adsense: $6.31
  • Amazon: $0.74
  • ClickBank: $119.53
  • Commission Junction: $100.00
  • PayDotCom: $0.00
  • Private Advertising: $35.00
  • Other Misc.: $328.69

Total Affiliate Earnings for April: $589.69 (+$76.91 from March)

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of April’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: $84.07
  • Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $0.21
  • Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $37.01
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $589.69

Grand Total for April: $710.98 (+$73.89 from March)

This was another month of what I’d consider to be almost purely passive income, as I put in very little work toward these projects.  Most of my efforts this month, outside of blogging for My4HWW, were for my new authority site that I will probably write about as part of my monthly income reports starting next month.  I’m definitely not at the point yet where I’m earning money or even receiving traffic, but I expect this to be a continuous, ever-growing and evolving project that will eventually become my primary source of online income.

Because this will be my primary focus outside of My4HWW, I’ve removed the “goals” section of this report, as now all goals will pertain to the authority site, and the upcoming goals/milestone targets are detailed in this post.

Popular Posts

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

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) The Ultimate Backlink Tracker (Free Tool)

3) How My Persistence Turned Into a $12k/Month Online Business

4) Online Passive Income & Blog Update [March ’11]

5) Crafting a Life Changing Authority Website

Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income experiments!

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
7
8
$ 58.72 $ 20.15 $ – $ 78.87 $ 24.14 $ 11.62 $ 1.25 $ 37.01
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22 Responses to “Online Passive Income & Blog Update [April ’11]”

  1. Nice month, Eric! I’ve just started an Amazon site and waiting to see results. Looking forward to see what you got stirring for your authority site.
    Learn With Tim recently posted… April 2011 Income Report

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Tim – I’m looking forward to being able to share more about the new site.

    [Reply]

  2. Nice Eric,

    Every dollar counts by the end of the month. I’ve made my first dollar via Adsense! :)

    Keep it up mate!

    Ralph

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Congrats Ralph! Hopefully the first of many dollars.

    [Reply]

  3. Well $700 still a decent income to keep you motivated. I think concentrating on big niche sites is good. But it should be in profitable niche. because some times some niche don’t make profits.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree, Rahul – I’m hoping this niche I selected will be very profitable. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Thanks for the report Eric! Your Amazon earnings look like mine. Overall you’re making good progress. I still have a ways to go to catch up to your stats!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    You’ll get there, Harlan!

    [Reply]

  5. Eric,

    Great info on your progress so far. It’s great to see other IMers building their empires from the ground up.

    My amazon affiliate income reflects similar stats to your own. I have a great amount of traffic coming from several keywords, however my conversion rate is around 1.5% and it is reflecting in my income.

    On another note, I’m curious to hear about your “Misc. Affiliate” income. It seems to be your highest stream of income yet you don’t really talk about it. Definitely find value in your blog, keep it up!

    Thanks,
    Ryan

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Ryan. Converting Amazon traffic seems to be difficult, although given what we know about the conversions (i.e. they tend to be somewhat low), the only solution is to get more traffic to your site(s). Once we get into the holiday months, however, we should start seeing much higher conversions.

    The misc. affiliate income is really comprised of random affiliate programs that individually don’t amount to much. For example, within the misc. income this month, there’s one sale of Market Samurai included (which I think is about $47). Because I don’t talk much about those things (compared to Info Barrel or my niche sites), I don’t bother breaking them out. I may in the future though.

    [Reply]

  6. Looks like you are still doing quite well on a 4 hour work week. I also like lending club and definitely recommend using them as an alternative investing tool. It’s good for just investing in very small amounts.
    Richard recently posted… The Panda Blogger Ventures Out

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yep, Lending Club is great! I agree that you can invest small amounts and still see some nice, steady results.

    [Reply]

  7. Great work, Eric! Nice to see your earnings up month over month and that your income was really “passive”. I can’t wait to learn more about your authority website – I know it’s going to be huge!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! I appreciate the comment. The one type of income that I can’t seem to break into is eBay’s affiliate program, which I know you’ve had success with. They keep denying my applications, and yet don’t give me any reasons why. Very frustrating.

    [Reply]

  8. Nice pile up Eric! Love seeing the numbers at the end of the month! Wish you more success in this coming month of May!

    Martinsays: I’m off

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Martin! :)

    [Reply]

  9. Nice stats yo got there.

    btw, how could I have my own infobarrel channel in Google Adsense.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Paul.

    To set up a channel for InfoBarrel, follow these instructions:

    https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=13993

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  10. With Amazon, you need to target buying keywords. So it’s no good ranking for “laptops”, flattering though it may be to rank for such a term – the people searching for that keyword are still in the research phase – they are looking for info.

    However if you rank for “buy BrandX laptop” – well the only people who type that into the search engine have their credit cards next to their keyboard.
    teatree recently posted… SEO Idol Contest

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I definitely agree, teatree. When possible, I try to target keywords that include the word “review” or “reviews” because consumers searching for reviews are typically close to making a purchase. Your target keyword will heavily depend on the estimated traffic as well – if a keyword isn’t receiving any search volume, it could be the best “buying keyword” ever, and you still won’t make a sale.

    Thanks for the comment though, great tip!

    [Reply]

  11. Hmm… Quite a read, but I must applaud -Really worth it. I guess having a look at detailed payouts for individuals would propel many individuals in the right direction.
    Adam Gardner recently posted… Victorian Furniture History

    [Reply]

  12. Another good month for you. :) I am hoping to start using InfoBarrel at the start of June. I’m keen to start receiving passive income.
    Dean Saliba recently posted… Where In The World Is Dean Saliba Here He Is!

    [Reply]

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