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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
My 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 SitesA 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″
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…
- Link Building Packages from The Hoth – An Honest Review – my experience buying links from The Hoth – including my exact results
- Getting Started with Amazon Niche Sites – How to Find Profitable Niches and Limitless Keywords – I wrote this post to coincide with the launch of AmaSuite version 4, to show exactly how I use the tool to find niches and keywords for Amazon sites
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.
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.
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…
- How I Made $32,000 in 12 Months with Amazon Niche Sites (And Why They Still Work) – Mike Bradford has been at it building niche sites for awhile it seems – and now he is blogging about it and sharing his experiences.
- How To Make Money With Teespring (The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need) – Eric (aka “Shuck”) created this awesome step-by-step guide on how to create and sell Tshirts. I took action (in early May) by following this guide and got my first few Tshirts up for sale and finally dove into the world of advertising on Facebook. I didn’t get rich in my first 2 attempts. But I sold a few shirts and learned a LOT! And it only took a few hours, from start to finish, to get these campaigns up and running.
Income and Expenses – April 2015
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
- $107.32 – Long Tail Pro sales via Clickbank (why it is better than the competition) (how to make LTP pay for itself)
- $20.10 – LeadPages sales for this awesome lead generation software (I EASILY created this squeeze page with LeadPages)
- $6.98 – SocialADR sales (go here to learn more and access my custom 20% off coupon code)
- $5.70 – Aweber signups ($1 for your first month)
- $0 – Ultimate Azon Theme sales via Clickbank (I have not yet reviewed this theme – but I beta tested it extensively – MUST HAVE for Amazon Affilliate sites)
- $329.50 – AmaSuite sales via JVZoo (software demonstrated in video embedded here)
- $0 – oDesk signups via Commission Junction (how to outsource content for cheap explained here)
- $0 – Genesis framework and themes by Studiopress via ShareaSale (eleven40 Pro theme as seen on this site now)
- $0 – EasyAzon4 sales via Clickbank (I haven’t even reviewed this yet – but I would not build an Amazon site without it!)
- $1,083.95 – The HOTH sales (awesome link building service – read my full review with case study results)
- $0 – WPEngine sales (my results after upgrading to the fastest hosting for WordPress on this blog)
- $0 – Bluehost (why I recommend Bluehost if you are just getting started)
- $0 – Lending Club signup (I haven’t done anything with or written about my investments here in over a year)
- $0 – Social Warfare sales (customizeable sharing buttons – as seen on this blog right now)
Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…
- $211.61 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
- $178.30 – Amazon Associates for sales on Amazon.com (explained in detail here)
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
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
- $194.26 – WPEngine (why I upgraded to the best and fastest hosting for WordPress)
- $0 – Bluehost – my new favorite hosting provider for niche sites – great price, ease of use, excellent service and overall experience
- $66.85 – GoDaddy for domain renewals and purchases
- $0 – NameCheap – domain purchases (expired 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)
- $106.00 – to my private writer for article writing for niche sites
- $58.83 – to oDesk for virtual assistant(s)
- $337.50 – to The HOTH for 2 link building packages (completely done-for-you link building service – my full review)
- $0- Paypal fees
- $5.00 – Google Apps for domain email
Totals and Thoughts
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 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!
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online. He is also the co-founder and co-creator of the most popular WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates – AmaLinks Pro.