My Passive Income Report [December 2012]

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully you had a nice holiday season and were able to take a much needed break from work – I know I did.

December was another great month for me (not as good as November, but still my second best month ever), and I’m excited to see what 2013 will bring.

There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get right to it.

A Brief Overview of December

December was a month of rest and relaxation with family, which is why I’m so happy I was still able to pull off a good month.

Much of the success was still due to my page that continues to rank on page 1 for “make money online”.  Every few days or so, it seems to fall off page 1 (and onto page 2 or 3), and just when I think it’s all over, it somehow bounces back to page 1.  Just so you know, I have not done any further SEO work on the page (no backlinks or anything else), so the ranking movement is all natural.

Also in December, I released my 2013 goals, which (if you read them) you probably noticed are quite short and simple.  I’m trying to make 2013 a year where I really narrow my focus, so having only a few goals should help me do that.

December Income Report

Article Writing

As you may remember, I no longer earn money from InfoBarrel (due to probably never having an AdSense account again), but I did give my account away to my sister who is now earning the money from AdSense.  If/when she shares some of the earnings with me, I’ll include them here.

As I mentioned in my 2013 goals, Squidoo is where I’ll be posting any new articles I write, and I have big plans to ramp up the number of Squidoo “lenses” (i.e. articles) I write this year. There’s nothing new here, but I want to have something productive I can occupy my time with when I don’t feel like working on my authority sites.

I’m also doing this so that I can diversify my income streams as much as possible.

Here’s a summary of all my article-related income for December:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $9.27

InfoBarrel

  • Chitika: $0.00

Total Article Writing Income: $9.27

Lending Club

Lending Club remains one of my favorite online passive income sources, mainly because (as I’ve said before) I believe it’s my only truly passive income source.  If you are unfamiliar with Lending Club, however, you should read my original write-up.  I wrote it a long time ago, but it still applies today.

I still haven’t gotten around to writing an updated guide about my investing strategy with Lending Club, but it’ll happen either later this month or in early February.  Stay tuned on that one.

December was another good month, despite the fact that my annualized return took a little step back.  I had one loan that was almost fully paid off, but the borrower defaulted on their last payment (or they were 120+ days late, which Lending Club “writes off”).  If they eventually pay, it’ll still come to me, but for now Lending Club reflects my return as if they won’t ever pay.

I’m now invested in 153 loans (+3 from November) and my net annualized return is 5.80% (-.22% from November).

I posted this image last month, but it’s worth re-posting for anyone who is curious about how Lending Club returns have compared to other common investments (such as corporate bonds or the general stock market).  Lending Club has outperformed them both – these are averages though, so obviously some people do better while others do worse.

[Source: Lending Club]

As you can see, my current return (5.80%) is well below the average Lending Club investor, partially due to the fact that I have been conservative and invested in a lot of “safer” loans, which have a lower return.  I’m still doing better than if I would’ve invested in the stock market (most likely), with a lot less volatility/risk.

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 (investments can be as small as $25) and become familiar with it. I am an affiliate for Lending Club, so if you have any questions about it, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments (or feel free to contact me by e-mail).

Niche Sites

I’m still not building any new niche sites, and in fact, I’ve let almost all my niche site domains expire.  I’ve kept the ones that still earn enough money to make the domain renewal worthwhile though.

Here’s a summary of December’s niche site earnings:
  • Amazon: $32.26
  • Media.net: $1.26
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.60
  • Commission Junction: $2.40
  • Total: $36.52 (+$9.80 from November)

Authority Sites

Authority Site #1 (Not Revealed)

Over the past couple of months, I mentioned that I took down the content from this site (on a .ME domain) and was planning to move it to a newer .COM domain I recently registered, due to concerns that the site or domain had some kind of ranking penalty associated with it.

I changed my mind, and decided to republish the content back on the original domain.  I decided it wouldn’t be worth the effort of moving the content to a new domain, which would require me to create a new logo both for the site and for my free eBook that I giveaway to e-mail subscribers.

As is, the site probably has the potential to earn $5-10/month (without me putting additional work into it), which is okay to me.  It’s not much money, but it’s still profitable assuming I don’t put time into it.

Eventually, I’ll get back to working on this site to see if I can get the rankings and traffic improved to the point where the site becomes a viable part of my passive income portfolio.

December Earnings:

  • Media.net: $0.59

Authority Site #2 (Slow Carb Diet Experiments)

No real movement here as I took a break from the site (and diet) during the month of December.

Just recently (early January) I’ve been seeing an uptick in traffic, so hopefully I’ll have more to report in next month’s report. The success of this site is one of  my primary 2013 goals, so I’m expecting progress throughout the year.

December Earnings:

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Total: $0.00

Total Authority Site Earnings: $0.59

Affiliate/Other Income

Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during December.  [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings for December: $1,427.60

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of December’s earnings, organized by project/challenge:

  • Article Writing: $9.27
  • Amazon & “AdSense” Niche Sites: $36.52
  • Authority Websites: $0.59
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $1,427.60

Grand Total for December: $1,473.98 (-$132.28 from November)

This is my second time ever cracking the $1,000 mark and it’s happening for the second consecutive month, so I’m very pleased with this past month even though it was a slight decline from November.

While it’s great that my income has been higher lately, I’m still uncomfortable with the fact that a lot of this income is currently driven by my page that was/is ranking on page 1 of Google for “make money online.”  The days where the post randomly falls off page 1, I make substantially less than the days where I am on page 1.

It’s a volatile situation that I know won’t last.  If I want to consistently stay above the $1,000/month mark (and eventually $2,000+/month), I need to build up my other sources of online income.  Otherwise, I will easily fall back to where I was a few months ago.

Popular Blog Posts

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

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) My Passive Income Report [November 2012]

3) How to Make $2,000 Per Month Writing for InfoBarrel

4) AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?!

5) Interview with Spencer Haws (and A Free Copy of Long Tail Pro)

Once again, happy new year, and I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready to “crush it” in 2013.  How did your December go?  Please do share in the comments! And until next month, best of luck to you and your passive income projects. :)

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!

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28 Responses to “My Passive Income Report [December 2012]”

  1. Hi Eric,

    Eric here (now that’s weird huh?) from Western Maryland!

    Nice write up/expose on the varying programs. Considering your CPA background, it’s no wonder you “like” the Lending Club (go figure). I caught this article in my G+ stream and followed up on it…AND snagged your awesome RSS feed to boot.

    I am of course on your awesome list, and I appreciate the Backlink Tracker (admittedly, I have NOT had the time to implement that)…I am just swamped with other endeavors and not so big on article marketing right now…but it is a COOL tool and will help anyone stay organized in this day of information overload. :)

    Again, I appreciate the post Eric. Keep up the great work…and of course the blog here is progressing nicely (I really dig the social stuff/widgets)…maybe you can help me find some of these for my blog!

    All the best Eric, and thanks for being a purveyor of quality content.

    Regards,
    Eric

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Eric! (And cool name, by the way.) Information overload indeed a big problem that I encounter every so often – the key is figuring out what information to tune out, and when.

    If you have any specific questions about any of the widgets/plugins I use, please let me know and I’d be happy to share the details about what they are.

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Eric,

    Hope you had a great holiday season and can’t wait to see what’s in store for you for 2013! I’m especially looking forward to following along with your Squidoo experiment as I’m in the same boat as you with my Infobarrel account essentially being useless. Hopefully Squidoo will be a nice alternative that can make us some money in the long haul!

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… Announcing My New Mobile App – Gift List Organizer

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Thomas – it does seem like Squidoo is getting a second (or third) “wind” in terms of exploding with popularity. Because of some recent successes by various affiliate marketers with Squidoo, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon (like you and I).

    I do worry that, if Squidoo becomes saturated with too much thin, spammy affiliate content (that doesn’t really help anyone), they will tighten up their quality controls and/or Google will penalize the site. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

    Best of luck in 2013!

    [Reply]

  3. Great earnings! When I start earning again I will give the UK version of the Lending Club a try.

    Are you worried about the new Google ranking/rating criteria for health/fitness sites and how it might affect your diet site?

    I’m tempted to throw the towel in and walk away from my new authority style site I started in the fitness niche because of the new rules.

    Good luck for 2013
    Joe recently posted… I Need a Flash Tutor

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’m not too familiar with any new ranking/rating criteria by Google for health/fitness sites. What did they change?

    I’m assuming that because my site is very mild and “personal” (i.e. I’m not there really pushing any paid dieting/exercise programs or supplements), it won’t fall under the “negative side” of the niche that I assume you are referring to.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It was a forum post I read by a Google manual rater that said they had been instructed to give sties in the health niche, not written by a qualified medical professional the lowest possible quality rating.

    The example they were given was a site about garlic capsules (which someone wouldn’t have to be qualified to write about in the real world IMO).

    My site isn’t medical or anything like that, but just about going to the gym, exercise tips etc. But I think it would get the low rating for being in the health niche and my not having a medical degree.

    I did a post on my blog about the info.
    Joe recently posted… Google says No Medical Degree No Ranking for Health Sites

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hmmm, interesting. Well, I hope my site doesn’t fall into that trap…we’ll see! Thanks for the info.

  4. Hey Eric,

    Glad to see you’re staying about 1k/month. Keep grinding dude.
    Backlinko recently posted… The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Backlinko!

    [Reply]

  5. Great month! I’m not to $1,000 .. but I’m slowly crawling there. My niche is a little bit different though. It’s more based off of product sales. I would like to break into other areas though such as PPC and affiliates.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! Keep working and diversifying, and you’ll get there. :)

    [Reply]

  6. Eric another good month. I like seeing you move past your problems with your AdSense account getting nixed and making money from alternative routes.

    Best of luck with your goals in 2013!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Jon! Hopefully things will keep trending upward.

    [Reply]

  7. congrats buddy. keep the streak going. seems like ebates is kicking in as well along with cashcrate. both good sources – but agree with the concentration risk.

    did you ever talk about the CJ earnings? i may have missed the details…

    refocusing on the authority site duel later this month – can’t wait to see how everyone’s projects turn out this year.
    Sunil – Extra Money Blog recently posted… How I Built 20 Profitable Websites Quickly. Stages + Outsourcing + Resources

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunil. Yes, concentration risk is a big worry of mine. Although I’m not thrilled about that, I’m still happy to see earnings climb, and hopefully I will continue to diversify.

    I never made a formal post about my CJ earnings, but I think I’ve answered some comments about it. The earnings come from a variety of sources including: BlueHost, Lending Club, Coupons.com, Elance, and some others.

    I finally just placed some ads (Media.net) on my authority site today, so hopefully as traffic increases, I’ll finally start to see some earnings there. Looking forward to your authority site duel update.

    [Reply]

  8. Nice job on the cash crate affiliate stuff. Will check it out.

    Hope u crush it this year.
    Sam recently posted… How To Better Manage Your 401K For Retirement Success

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sam, I appreciate it – hopefully you’ll have a great year too!

    [Reply]

  9. Passive income seems to be the new thing in 2013 as most people still don’t have jobs. Well we have all come to the realization that, jobs are not coming back. Eric G. thanks for writing this piece, this will help me and others achieve our goal this year and beyond.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Everyone wants a piece of the passive income pie. :) The tricky (and ironic) part is, building a passive income stream is anything but a passive act – it takes a lot of hard work.

    Best of luck to you.

    [Reply]

  10. Great job! We know its not easy to reach that point. All your hard works and efforts now pays off.
    Keep it up!
    Becca recently posted… Conveyancing Williamstown

    [Reply]

  11. Congratulations on your December earnings! I want to find out a little more about the Lending Club and what it has to offer. I will follow the link from your post and let you know if I have any more questions.
    David Landen recently posted… LinkedIn for Small Business Owners – 6 Ways to Improve Your Business Performance Using LinkedIn

    [Reply]

  12. Thanks for the info! It’s encouraging to see your numbers, and I appreciated your disclosure on the variety of income streams you used. It gives me some ideas.

    Thanks,
    Chamira

    [Reply]

  13. Nice earnings Eric , i think i’m gona try thay cashcrate affiliate program :D

    [Reply]

  14. Just found your site through your list of ways to make money online. I’ve since subscribed via RSS. Can’t wait to get to the $1,000 mark with my website :-) Keep grinding and you’ll be at the $2k mark in no time.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Cindy!

    [Reply]

  15. Hey Eric! I know this is an old post but I was just wondering if your sister is going to give you back your InfoBarrel account now that InfoBarrel has a new Ad system? They are really making a lot of great changes over there. Anyways, I’m looking forward to reading your February earnings report.
    Ally recently posted… Best Bedside Lamps updated Mon Feb 18 2013 2:05 pm EST

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Ally,

    Good question. I actually just wrote about this in my new income report (http://www.my4hrworkweek.com/income-report-february-2013/). I’ll definitely be taking advantage of InfoBarrel’s new ad system!

    [Reply]

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