Online Passive Income & Blog Update [March ’11]
Wow, March went by really quickly, didn’t it? Overall, it felt like a pretty stable month – nothing great happened, yet I don’t think I fell short in any areas. I guess when you want to be growing, “stable” isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s certainly better than a decline!
Let’s dig into the details…
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 steady growth continued through March. As of the end of March, I was invested in 81 loans (+3 from February) and my net annualized return was 7.68% (+0.10% from February).
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
Unfortunately, March was another month of declining InfoBarrel earnings. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason other than the fact that I didn’t add any new articles. There’s going to be random fluctuation, however, so it won’t surprise me to see an increase next month even if I still don’t add articles.
As of the end of March, I have written 128 articles (same as last month). Here are my March Google AdSense statistics for Info Barrel:
In March, I earned a total of $42.57 from my Info Barrel articles (-$10.94 from February). It’s clear that if I want to take these earnings to the next level (something entirely possible and not all that difficult), I need to write more articles. The challenge is how I’m going to prioritize that against other projects.
March InfoBarrel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $42.57
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Chitika: $2.28
- Other Affiliate Earnings: $0.00
- Total: $44.85 (-$11.60 from February)
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’ve gotten back to working on backlinks for this site (at least a couple each day), but I’m not out of the “sandbox” quite yet. As you would expect, my earnings in March were rather pathetic.
March Niche Site Duel Earnings Summary
- Google Adsense: $0.00
- Chitika: $0.59
- Amazon Associates: $0.00
- Total: $0.59 (-$2.58 from January)
Amazon Niche Site Challenge
In November, I launched a challenge where I’m creating several niche sites specifically tailored for Amazon’s affiliate program (i.e. selling physical products as an affiliate of Amazon.com), and I’m following the lessons taught in Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course. You can read my original post for more detail and you can also read the update I wrote in December.
I’m happy to say that I’ve seen my earnings grow for the second straight month now, despite the fact that I didn’t create any new sites in March. Now that I have a solid plan in place to automate my niche site content, I should have more free time to create new sites.
Here are the stats for March:
# of Amazon niche sites: 8
|$ 27.01||$ 11.54||$ –||$ 38.55||$ 58.72||$ 20.15||$ –||$ 78.87|
Total March Amazon Niche Site Earnings: $78.87 (+$40.32 from February)
Misc. Affiliate Income
I’m happy to report that my miscellaneous affiliate income saw a nice increase in March, essentially getting me back to where I was in January. Here’s the breakdown:
- Adsense: $7.26
- Amazon: $0.00
- ClickBank: $113.27
- Commission Junction: $5.00
- PayDotCom: $0.00
- Private Advertising: $35.00
- Other Misc.: $352.25
Total Affiliate Earnings for March: $512.78 (+141.24 from February)
Here’s a summary of March’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: $44.85
- Niche Site Duel (P90X site): $0.59
- Amazon Niche Site Challenge: $78.87
- Misc. Affiliate Income: $512.78
Grand Total for March: $637.09 (+$167.38 from February)
I’m happy to see earnings take a bit of a jump in March, but I’m still not even close to satisfied. There are no excuses for falling short of my goals – my results are a direct reflection of the effort I’m putting in, and I hate to admit it, but I’ve barely been putting in any time.
You could try to look at it positively. In March, I probably put in, at most, 5 hours per week between blogging and my other online projects. $637 for 20 hours isn’t bad, especially when you consider 40-50% of that time was spent blogging, something that doesn’t often directly lead to earnings for me.
I prefer a more negative spin though, because it’s more motivating. If that’s what I can do with 5 hours per week, what could I do with 10? 20? 40? I think additional effort would lead to exponential growth – in other words, I think 10 hours of work would yield more than double what 5 hours of work would get me (in the long run). I know I’m not reaching my full potential here, and that’s what ultimately bothers me. I’ll continue to try and make it work though, and I appreciate those of you who stick around to watch.
These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in March based on number of views:
Start my new authority site (the one I mentioned in the beginning of this post, that will be relevant to my “9 to 5” job) by completing the following steps:
- Buy a domain and install WordPress (okay, I know this only takes 5 minutes)
- Create a plan of action, including ideas for content, design, and how I plan to delegate it all
COMPLETED (for the most part)
Get two new niche sites up and running, and to the point where they’re in my “automated content” system.
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!