[Dumb] Passive Income Report for April 2015

Welcome to my [Dumb] Passive Income Report! This blog is all about what I am doing to create several different passive income streams. This monthly income report details my results. I work very hard and dedicate many hours each week to working on my different online endeavors in an attempt to create passive income. So why do I consider it passive income then? Because I am not trading specified amounts of time for a predetermined amount of money like I do at my day job. Most of the income you will see in this report results from work I have done in the past.

Why am I sharing my income publicly? Hopefully to gain credibility with you (the readers) and to maintain a certain degree of accountability for myself. I could blog all day long about what I am doing to create passive income online, including some of my unique strategies. But why would anybody trust me and believe that what I am doing works if I don’t prove it by sharing my results? This is what I mean by gaining credibility and this is one of the main purposes for sharing my income. I also share my failures on the blog, which holds me accountable. Knowing that I will be publishing a monthly income report will keep me motivated to keep pushing forward and plugging away on the things I need to do to create future passive income.

Happenings in April

Some Personal Stuff

bulldog gigi april 2015My family accidentally brought home a dog in April. It wasn’t really accidental. We brought her home on purpose – but it was a completely unplanned, spur of the moment, decision. If you knew my wife and I personally – you would have known that we had no desire whatsoever to own a dog. We didn’t dislike dogs. We just didn’t want one. We already have 3 kids to take care of and clean up after.

So, we were hanging out at the family farm one day – and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought their 2 bulldog puppies over to run around and play outside. These were the last 2 that hadn’t sold yet from their litter of 7. They own the momma and daddy purebred bulldogs. The puppies were just so dang cute and next thing you know – we’re bringing one home! They had already named her Gigi (pronounced jee jee) and we liked it so we kept that name.

Niche Sites

A few of my niche sites continue to earn steadily, despite almost zero work from me. Passive income man! I'm loving it.Click To TweetThis is the result of what I’ve been working to try and produce for the past couple of years. A steady flow of income with little or no work from me to maintain it.

Again, my niche site income has remained pretty stagnant. My older sites brought in about $400, which is about what they’ve been doing steadily for the last several months. I’m still investing in link building packages from The Hoth to improve rankings on a few of these older sites – the ones that have been built out for awhile but have not yet reached page one of Google for most of their keywords.

I also bought a domain in April for a brand new niche site that I am starting. I’m pretty excited about this new site. It will be another Amazon niche site and is based around a topic that my writer actually suggested for me. I did the research and found out that it is a really awesome niche! Lots and lots of products available in Amazon for my niche and literally hundreds of really low competition keywords that we should be able to rank for pretty easily with very little or even no link building.

The best part about starting a new site now is that I have processes in place and people trained to do most of the work for me. I still did all of the research myself – and it took me a couple of hours to complete and get everything into a spreadsheet. But now my writer will be able to work off of that spreadsheet for several months with very little involvement from me. And my VA also works out of that spreadsheet to get all of the articles edited and published on the site after my writer completes them. All I have to do is get WordPress loaded onto the site and get it setup the way I want, and they do the rest!

I think it’s pretty cool that building a niche site has become an almost passive process for me! I have to do several hours worth of work up front and my well-trained writer and VA take care of everything else! And I’m more than happy to pay them fairly well to do all of this work for me.

Weird Things Purchased from Amazon that I Didn’t Promote

One of the greatest features of the Amazon Associates affiliate program is the fact that they credit you for ANY purchase made by somebody who clicks over to Amazon from one of your affiliate links. For example – I might have a niche site that promotes dog cages (I don’t) and somebody might click on one of my dog cage links to learn more about it and possibly purchase it from Amazon. But while they are on Amazon, they get caught up in Amazon’s marketing genius and end up purchasing other items as well. Maybe they don’t even purchase the dog cage. But since they clicked over to Amazon via my affiliate link – I will get credit for anything they purchase in the next 24 hours!

It’s fun and easy to go into my Amazon stats and browse through all of the items that people purchased after clicking through via my links. Here are a few items that people purchased last month that I absolutely did not promote and that have nothing to do with any of my niche sites…

  • Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 70A4000HUX i3-4130 3.4GHz Server Desktop Computer
  • Wowlife Dual Pleasure Penis Ring Vibrating Cockring Clit Stimulator
  • Pillow Pets Dream Lites – Snuggly Puppy 11″

This Blog

April was another great month for affiliate income generated from this blog! Much of it is attributed directly to a few of my most recent posts that continue to be popular and still get lots of traffic. Here are the 2 posts that generated over $1,000 in affiliate income from The Hoth and over $300 in affiliate income from AmaSuite

I do have a follow-up post planned for that Hoth review that generated so much income. I continue to spend money on link building packages from The Hoth and plan to share some more results after a few of my experiments are complete.

I also have a kind of unique strategy that I came up with that combines keyword research with Long Tail Pro and product research with one of the AmaSuite tools that I want to share. I’m going to try to get that post written and published in May (no promises). By the way… Did you know that you can still get AmaSuite version 4 at a discounted rate through my special link? But I have no idea how long it will last.

CLICK HERE to check out AmaSuite 4 and access this private deal.

I know I’m not always great at getting content written and published on this blog – but I’m going to do my best and try to get more posts written going forward. I only published one post in April other than my March income report. That one post was all about how I upgraded my account over at WPEngine and moved a few of my niche sites over there.

So far, that post resulted in zero affiliate sales. It’s not easy to promote something that costs so much money! But I still love WPEngine and believe in their service whole-heartily. I put a lot of time and effort into that post – and I’m not surprised that it hasn’t generated any affiliate income yet. It might though. One of these days.

Selling Stuff on Amazon

April marked the 3rd month in a row that we pretty much did absolutely nothing with our Amazon FBA business. We still have over $4,000 worth of inventory in Amazon warehouses and sales of these items trickle in occasionally. But we haven’t made any shopping trips in nearly 3 months and haven’t added to that inventory at all. Again, this is mostly because my wife lost motivation to keep it going and my focus remains on my internet related income (niche sites and blogging).

Perhaps we’ll let it ride until this fall and then jump back in the game for the holiday buying season.

I still see selling on Amazon as an easy way to get started and create a profitable online business. I wouldn’t discourage anybody from trying it. Feel free to click the button below and get my free guide to help you get started.

Click Here to get my FREE Guide – How to Find Items to Sell on Amazon

There is also the possibility of one day trying the private label strategy. Everybody and their brother seems to be talking about this and many of the big name internet marketing bloggers are even trying it. I’ve successfully ignored the hype recently. But in the back of my mind, I’ve got a product idea that might coincide nicely with the latest niche site I am building. If the site starts to do well – I may consider producing a product to sell to that audience and market via Amazon.

But for now – I just can’t dedicate any more of my limited time to figuring out another side hustle venture strategy. I know it seems pretty simple and I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to figure out. But I’m positive it would take up a lot of my time and my niche site and blogging efforts would suffer even more as a result.

Motivation and Learning from Others

I do my best each month to stay up-to-date and informed with all that is going on in the world of internet marketing. I follow several blogs and podcasts and take part in a few public and private groups and communities on Facebook and Google+. I haven’t always been great about linking to others on this blog – so this section of my income report will be dedicated to that each month. Here is some of the best stuff that I came across last month that either motivated me, taught me something or caused me to take action…

Income and Expenses – April 2015

Passive Income

Selling on Amazon

  • $1,022.16 – Amazon Seller monthly sales (this is NOT net profit – see Amazon Seller Inventory Expenses and Seller Fees in expense section below)

Affiliate Income from Dumb Passive Income

Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…

Non-Passive Income

Website Services by Matthew Allen

  • $0 – Website services – build simple websites for private businesses (like this one grmobilewelding.com)


Note: Bluehost banner above is an affiliate link

Expenses

Selling on Amazon

  • $0 – Inventory Purchases (buying stuff for cheap to send to Amazon and sell for more – (how we got started detailed here)
  • $372.92 – Amazon Seller Fees/Expenses (these include FBA selling fees, transaction fees, inventory & storage fees and service fees)

Hosting and Domains

Tools, Plugins and Themes

  • $12.00 – Long Tail Platinum monthly fee (if you have Long Tail Pro – upgrade to Platinum here)
  • $49.00  – Aweber monthly fee for e-mail list management (first month trial only $1)
  • $11.54 – ManageWP monthly fee for WordPress multiple site management program
  • $0 – LeadPages paid last month for my yearly renewal – probably the most powerful tool I pay for and use to grow my online businesses
  • $50.00 – Kraken yearly fee for image optimizer plugin (because formerly free smush.it plugin no longer available)
  • $67.00 – VideoMotionPro purchase (simple and lightweight video editing software)

Outsourcing

Miscellaneous

  • $0- Paypal fees
  • $5.00 – Google Apps for domain email

Totals and Thoughts

Total income$2,965.62 minus total expenses $1,330.90 equals a net profit of $1,634.72 for April 2015!

Income Expense April 2015

Looking at my bar graph/chart above, it’s kind of funny to look back at the months that we were heavily involved with selling stuff on Amazon via FBA. Yeah, those are the months that our expenses sky-rocketed. And it’s probably not a coincidence that the last 3 months, where we’ve done nothing with FBA, my net income has stayed above my total expenses.

Although I’m still not getting super rich from this internet side hustle stuff – I think it’s pretty awesome that I’m able to consistently bring in a net income of over $1,500/month doing this on a very part-time basis. It doesn’t seem part-time – because my mind is always thinking about my internet side hustle. But realistically, I barely spend 2 hours per day on this stuff.

The goal is still to get my income levels up there to where they can be called ridiculous. But I’m in no hurry and I’m enjoying the extra income while I slowly work my way up to ridiculous. Quitting my day job is still not even a goal. But having that option if I wanted it would be nice.

My real long term goal is more along the lines of moving my wife, myself and my family into a dream home. I think it would be awesome and funny to live in a neighborhood where a typical truck drivers salary could never support that lifestyle. We could be neighbors with doctors and lawyers and such and it would be funny to tell them that I am just a dumb truck driver and let them wonder how I can afford such an expensive house.

Okay – I’ll stop daydreaming now. I hope you enjoyed this months income report and I’ll continue to publish these each and every month in order to keep myself accountable and stay on track to reach those dreams.

Thank You!

Thank You for taking the time to read through my latest income report and Thank You for contributing  if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links! Many of the links within this income report are indeed affiliate links (including the Bluehost banner below). I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase after clicking through via any of these links. Thank You if you do!

Photo Credits:

“on the watch” by amira_a via Flickr

40 thoughts on “[Dumb] Passive Income Report for April 2015”

  1. That’s one cute dog, Matt. Congrats to your family.

    Nice work on scoring another month of +$1K profits. I’m scheduled to receive my HOTH package tomorrow and hoping it helps to give one of my sites a much needed boost in ranking and traffic.

  2. Always enjoy your income reports, Matthew. Thanks for the mention!

    I read that t-shirt post and like you, I am intrigued. Similarly, I’ve also been toying with the idea of tipping my toe into the private label waters. I have a product idea in mind, and have been doing a bit of research, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Still a lot to learn and absorb.

    One thing that I love about niche sites is that once they’re up & running, they’re mostly passive, giving you time to look into other businesses.

    Here’s to another good month!

    • So many ways to make money online Mike. It’s very hard to resist the temptation to try new things. You never know what’s going to click for you unless you try though.

      I’m still resisting the private label thing. The Tshirt thing didn’t take very much time so I gave it a shot. It was fun and I might experiment with more designs in the future.

      And yes… to another good month!

  3. looks like everythings going well matt. Excited to see how the newest site you’ve got will go. Really curious to see how your on page work will rank the terms that you’re going after.

    Nice looking puppy too 🙂

    • I’m excited for the new site too Jeff. Some of the keywords I found are among the lowest competition I’ve ever found and still have decent search volume. For example – one keyword has local (U.S.) search volume of 720 and a KC Score of only 8! And there are a bunch more like it with KC 15 or under. And all of the other metrics I look at are great too! I’m wondering if keywords like these will get stuck in the supposed sandbox or not. I’ll find out real soon…

  4. Nice work on DPI affiliate earnings, that’s become the lion’s share of income.

    But if I may, let me play devil’s advocate for a minute…
    March Niche Site Income ~$399
    March HOTH Expenses ~$250
    April Niche Site Income ~$389
    April HOTH Expenses ~$337
    There doesn’t seem to be a good ROI with those link packages. Or do you have other niches sites that aren’t in this report?

    • Good observation. And easy explanation from my side…

      Almost all of the niche site income I’ve reported for the last several months comes from a few of my older sites that have been getting regular organic traffic. All of the Hoth links that I’ve purchased over the last few months are being pointed at my newer sites. These sites aren’t quite ranking in the search engines well enough yet to bring in decent traffic. That is the purpose of buying the Hoth links. To get the newer sites to rank.

      I justify the Hoth expenses for 2 reasons. 1. Future income potential when these sites start ranking well. 2. All the affiliate income I am earning by promoting The Hoth.

  5. Nice report. As always enjoy your articles because you always make it “real”. One humorous thought on your “big house” daydream. Years ago I visited a very expensive/exclusive subdivision on Connecticut, visitng one of my ex-wife’s uncles. He was a Wall Street executive and did rather well in the income department. As he was showing us around I saw one extra large, luxurious house on a hill overlooking all the other nice homes. Quite impressive.

    I asked the uncle who lived there, expecting to hear it was the CEO of some giant firm, or a movie star’s East Coast home etc.

    The uncle replied, “Oh _that_ place”? “Yeah that’s a local guy, paid cash for that house. He’s the plumber who did all the plumbing on all the other homes in the subdivision. _He_ doesn’t really “belong”.”

    Money isn’t always where people think it is LoL…

    • Awesome story Dave! Thanks for sharing. This is exactly why I include personal stuff. To think, I almost deleted that section because it seemed like I was rambling too much. But I said, screw it, and left it in. And then I get this comment from you. Love it!! Believe it or not – your story serves as extra motivation for me. I want to be that guy who “doesn’t really belong!”

  6. Great report. Thanks so much. I like how “real” you discuss your income, good or bad. I am very glad to see that your net income continues to be above the total expenses. That’s great, and I hope it stays like that. I look forward to seeing your graph with the green line highly above the red line (LOL). I am very interested in Amazon and I am glad you have that you are working in that area too. Thanks again. Always looking forward to these income reports.

    • Glad you enjoy it Rene! I look forward to keeping my green line above my red line too. If you’re interested in Amazon – I say go for it. For me, I’m into this niche site thing a little too deep and I need to stay focused and not divert my attention too much to other things (like Amazon). But it is intriguing and tempting.

  7. LOL. See they way I write when I get excited. Lets try that again. I am very much interested in Amazon and I am glad that you are working in that area too. Thanks.

  8. Hey Matt, another good month. I’m thinking about the Hoth Bitz for a while, might be go for it this month. Since, I’m quite busy launch my new kindle ebook & print-on-demand book. It took lot of work than I thought. Anyway, do you ever think about quiz your job? I’ve been thinking about this few years now. Well, talk soon! 🙂

    • Hey Raweewan – I’ve been impressed so far with the results I’ve gotten from my Hoth Blitz links. I bought a bunch more at the very end of April and set them to trickle in over several days. I’m waiting til all the results are in and then I’ll probably do a follow-up post to my first Hoth review.

      I don’t foresee myself quitting my day job anytime soon and it’s still not even a goal. But yes – I sometimes think about it. The problem is – I really like my day job and I would miss driving a truck if I quit to screw around on the internet all day every day. 🙂

  9. Hey Matt, thanks for shout out, greatly appreciated. I plan on creating some other great guides (mostly how-to stuff).

    Congrats on all the success. I think niche sites are an “okay” route to go. You can earn a great passive income IF you really build out your sites with great content and manage to get lots of long tail traffic.

    If you are already doing FBA, I would highly suggest looking into creating your own brand of products. I know a few people that are doing really well with it. Retail arbitrage is garbage – you need to control your own product listing so you can have coupons and a real profit margin.

    Don’t mean to be a jerk by calling it garbage…but it’s not sustainable.

    • Yo Eric! No offense taken by calling retail arbitrage garbage. The un-sustainability of it is mostly why we haven’t touched it in 3 months now. It was fun while we were learning during the holiday buying season – but it kind of fizzled out for us. Private labeling stuff is on my radar – but I just don’t have any more extra time to devote – and I’m in too deep with niche sites to just give them up.

      I believe I do have some great passive income streams building up with my niche sites. All of my sites are built around tons and tons of great content. Only a few of them are ranking and earning decent now – but a few more are on the verge (ones that feature much higher priced Amazon products) and I’m really excited about the brand new one that I am starting.

      I’ve added your blog to my Feedly and can’t wait to read more from you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting man…

  10. Hi Matt,
    may i know why is your amazon aff earnings is is under $1,000 monthly ? is it not one of your priority in terms of monetization ?

    • Everything is my priority John – in terms of monetization. And I admit – that is my #1 problem. I have have too many things going at once and I never stay too focused on one thing for long enough. My best month ever for Amazon affiliate earnings was just under $400. Rankings on some of my older sites have dropped off a bit – and my newer sites aren’t quite to where I want them yet. I do hope and plan to get my Amazon aff earnings up to at least $1k per month. That is the goal – to earn that much each and every month.

  11. I did TeeSpring last year. I was actually able to make around $15k, then the main markets I was going after started to dry up. I’d actually still be doing it if I wasn’t busy with other things. The problem is that it’s a hard gig to outsource.

    • Yeah Josh – I know what you mean. Selling Tshirts was just something that always interested me and that ‘how to’ article by Shuck made it look really easy and pretty much impossible to resist. Even though I lost money – I’m glad I did it because I learned a lot. I’ll probably try a few more designs at some point. Still have some good ideas… but have other priorities right now.

      • It’s all about audience and passion. You really have to strike a nerve in order for a campaign to be successful. I would say 1 in 5 campaigns earned me money and 1 in 15 made a “good” amount of money and was scale-able.

  12. Nice income reports Matthew.

    I’ve been collecting income report data from a number of sites in the last few days as I am going to be putting together a list on my blog over at BlogInsights.com

    I’d love to include your figures too, any idea when your May report will be published?

    Thanks

    Raj

    • My May report should be completed later this week. It’s half done now – but I got caught up doing some other stuff. All the figures are inserted – I just need to complete all of the writing before I publish it.

      Looking forward to your income report roundups. I took a quick peek at your site and it looks impressive!

      • Thanks for the feedback on my site Matthew, really appreciate it.

        Design is going to be a big feature of my site and my content is going to be presented in a way that isn’t being done right now (not that I’ve seen anyway).

        Looking forward to seeing your May numbers.

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