Online Passive Income & Blog Update [December ’10]
Happy New Year! Hopefully you had a pleasant holiday season. December was a relaxing month for me, as it usually is with the holidays. Aside from spending a lot of time with family, I spent a few days in Las Vegas, and it was nice to escape the frigid Chicago weather (even though my wallet was a bit emptier on the way home). One thing I didn’t do in December was discuss my 2011 goals, as just about every other blogger has done. It’ll probably come later this month once I’ve had the chance to really give it some thought.
This month wasn’t nearly as good as last month in terms of earnings, but I still feel good about it, knowing that the money was earned from very little work on my part. Let’s have a look, shall we?
As usual, I begin my reports with Lending Club because it’s my only online income source that I believe is truly passive. You’ll hear the phrase “passive income” thrown around a lot on this blog and many others, but generally there is still substantial up front work involved (which is totally fine and expected). The nice thing about this income source (that is, Lending Club) is that it really is passive.
December was a strong month for my Lending Club account, similar to the growth I saw in November. As of the end of December, I was invested in 74 loans (+3 from November) and my net annualized return was 7.19% (+0.26% from November). As I do each month (though I’m not sure why anymore – I think you get the idea by now), let’s see how this rate compares to CDs (certificates of deposit). Due to the 3-year term of most Lending Club notes, I think it makes most sense to compare Lending Club loans to CDs.
Source: Bankrate.com (1/4/11)
As usual, my current interest rate at Lending Club far exceeds that of any CD investment. It’s important to keep in mind that Lending Club loans are riskier than these CDs, which have virtually no risk. However, I strongly believe that the additional risk is more than compensated for by the higher rate of return. Here are some other images from my Lending Club account summary that show my performance compared to other Lending Club investors:
I’m currently performing worse than investors who have a similar portfolio to mine (7.19% vs 8.26% shown in the first image above) and I’m doing a lot worse (7.19% vs. 9.68% in the third image) compared to all investors. I can pretty much chalk this up to bad luck. Over time, I expect my rate to increase and move closer to the average.
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. Below are alternatives to Lending Club for those outside of the US – please note, I have not done business with these sites, but they were mentioned to me as alternatives to Lending Club. Check them out at your own risk.
Info Barrel Earnings Challenge
One of the reasons I really love InfoBarrel is that even when I don’t put any effort toward it (i.e. my priorities are elsewhere), my earnings remain consistent (or they grow). That’s one of the great things about these revenue-sharing Web 2.0 sites, but even more so with InfoBarrel, which I expect will continue to grow and make its way to the top, with the other “big players” like Hubpages and Squidoo.
As of the end of December, I have written 124 articles (+2 from last month). Writing only two articles over the past month obviously wasn’t my plan, but I think I will be contributing more in January.
Here are my December Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:
In December, I earned a total of $51.87 for my Info Barrel articles (-$2.84 from November). Considering I only added two articles, and that December is traditionally a poor Adsense month, I’m pretty happy with this. Luckily, my Chitika earnings were up from last month.
December InfoBarrel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $51.87
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Chitika: $3.89
- Other Affiliate Earnings: $0.00
- Total: $55.76 (+$0.09 from November)
If you want to add Info Barrel 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 in September based on P90X, an extreme home fitness routine. During December, I didn’t do much with it. I did, however, work on it a few days ago, and I’ll soon be writing my next niche site duel update to explain the changes and how the site’s search engine ranking has taken me for a wild ride recently. I’ve already earned more this month (4 days of January) than I did in the past two months combined.
December Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $2.95
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Total: $2.95 (-$14.14 from November)
Amazon Niche Site Challenge
In November, I launched a new challenge that has been my primary focus over the past couple of months. Essentially, I’m creating several niche sites specifically tailored for Amazon’s affiliate program (i.e. selling physical products as an affiliate of Amazon.com), and I’m following the lessons taught in Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course. The goal is to create, on average, one niche site per week, and 22 in total (over 25 weeks). You can read my original post for more detail and you can also read the update I wrote last month.
It’s been about 8 weeks since the challenge started, and here are my results thus far. I’m trying a new table format to display the results, because the organization of data gets a lot messier as I keep adding sites :
# of Amazon niche sites: 8
|$ 51.98||$ 9.49||$ 21.40||$ 82.87||$ 32.72||$ 14.36||$ 4.00||$ 51.08|
Total December Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $51.08 (-$31.79 from November)
The large dip can mostly be attributed to site #1, which did very well toward the end of November, but then was sandboxed for all of December (and is still currently in the sandbox). It’s really frustrating, but I know my backlink strategy is completely legitimate and I don’t think I’m doing anything to make Google hate me, so I assume I will eventually emerge from it and the site will start earning again.
My four new sites created in December aren’t complete yet – I’m not done with the content, and they aren’t ranking in Google yet (or at least, not where they’ll get any traffic).
Misc. Affiliate Income
After a huge November, my miscellaneous affiliate earnings took an expected dip in December.
Consistent with previous months, I’m not going to provide detail on where these earnings come from, mainly because I’m not planning on publicizing the niche sites that are included here. I will say that these niche sites are monetized primarily with Clickbank products. The below income amount also includes income from affiliate links within this blog.
Affiliate Earnings for December: $573.96 (-$258.33 from November)
Here’s a summary of December’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: $55.76
- Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $2.95
- Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $51.08
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $573.96
Grand Total for December: $682.73 (-$304.17 from November)
Well, it doesn’t look like I’m quite ready to crack the $1,000 mark yet. Let’s hope January gets me there.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in December based on number of views:
1) Write 10 articles for InfoBarrel – FAILED
2) Create 4 new Amazon niche sites – COMPLETED
3) Go to Las Vegas – COMPLETED
1) Write 10 articles for InfoBarrel
2) Create 4 new Amazon niche sites
3) Transition to a new “9 to 5” job (I may explain this more later…)
Until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income experiments!
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