My Blog and Passive Income Experiments Update [September ’10]

Goodbye September, hello October.  It’s once again time to recap how well I did in my quest for online passive income this past month.  September was yet again another busy month for me at my “real job,” but I still managed to cross some important things off of my to-do list.

In case you haven’t been following this blog for long,  I originally focused my monthly reports on my passive income income status only, but I’ve broadened the scope to include anything related to this blog.  While I’m certainly not making enough money to quit my day job, I think people generally enjoy reading about others’ success and failure, so I’ve decided to share this information.

Let’s see what September looked like.

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Win A Free Book! Just Follow Me and Retweet This Post…

It’s been awhile since I last gave away a book, so I thought now would be a great time to give away a book that I actually have more than one copy of!  It’s a book you may be very familiar with (and it’s the inspiration of this blog):  The 4-Hour Workweek: Expanded and Updated.

Many of you have probably already read it, but for those who haven’t (or if you don’t own the book and you want it), I’m giving away a brand new copy!  All you need to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet this post using the button above.  Be sure your retweet includes “@My4HWW” so that I can see that you retweeted the post.

I’ll select a random winner on Monday and ship it out to that person (sorry, I can only ship to those who live in the U.S.).  I’ll tweet @ the winner, and then I’ll need you to direct message me your shipping address.  I’ll also update this post with the winner’s Twitter name.

Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner is @bobmantooth!  Congrats! Please send me your mailing address via the direct message feature on Twitter (so that I know it’s coming from you).

Niche Site Duel – Update #3: Earnings, Rank, and Traffic Update

It’s hard to believe I’m only two weeks into this duel.  For some reason, it has felt a lot longer than that.  Anyway, I thought it was about time for me to share some statistics about my progress so far, in terms of my earnings, search engine rank, and site traffic (I’m copying what Pat did yesterday).

I was originally going to dedicate update #3 to content strategy, but I’ll push that discussion off a couple of days so that I can really focus this post on my progress (which is probably what you’re more interested in right now anyway!).

Overall, I’m feeling great about it.  My search engine ranking has jumped up much faster than I originally anticipated, and I’m starting to see a rise in traffic over the past few days.  Hopefully, this positive trend will continue far into the future.

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October 2010 Reading List

Another month is almost in the books (pun intended)!  With the weather getting colder (at least here in Chicago), I’m finding myself indoors a lot more, so hopefully that means I’ll have time to get through more books soon.  With that said, work is still busy, and unfortunately reading always takes a back seat to my work (both my “9 to 5” work and my work that I discuss here on this blog).

Like September’s reading list, October’s is also fairly light.

Here are a couple books I hope to read this month:

1) Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan

2) The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky

If you’ve read or are currently reading any of the books listed here, please share your comments.  I’d love to see what everyone else thinks about these books, especially before I read them.  If you have suggestions for next month’s reading list, please share those too!  As always, you can check out my past reading lists by clicking the Reading link on the top menu.

Niche Site Duel – Update #2: Monetization Strategy (And My Big Mistake)

This is absolutely one of the most important considerations when launching a niche site.  If you can’t answer the question, “How will this site make me money?” you’re in trouble.  Having great content is one thing, but if it doesn’t translate into advertising revenue, commissions, or sales of your own product, you’re wasting your time.

There are a lot of ways to monetize a site, and not all of them are practical or even necessary.  There are sites that make money 20 different ways and earn less than sites that only have one way of monetizing traffic.  Based on your niche, it’s up to you to figure out which method is most effective.  Sometimes it’s obvious – other times, it requires a bit of trial and error, with constant tweaks until you find that perfect recipe for success.

I wasn’t originally planning on writing about my monetization strategy as my 2nd update for the niche site duel, however I realized (via the comments on my niche site duel introduction post) that I made a huge mistake regarding my plans to monetize my niche site.  I’ll discuss it more below.

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Bill The Affiliate Marketer — Episode 2: Facing A Burglar

In case you didn’t see the first video, I decided I was going to periodically mix in a little bit of humor on this blog with a series of funny videos related to blogging, passive income, and affiliate marketing.  We spend most of our time working hard and taking all of this seriously (and we should), but sometimes it’s amusing to poke fun at it.

This video is pretty short (only about a minute long), so take a short break and check it out.  I doubt everyone will find this funny, but if it fits with your sense of humor, enjoy!

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The owner of this website, Eric, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or