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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 August
Niche Site at Night – Public Case Study
In July I announced and introduced my plans to conduct a public niche site case study. I finally got around to starting the project in August. I published 4 tutorial-type posts along with detailed videos. You can access a chronological list of all posts in the series here – be sure to bookmark that page as I will keep updating it every time I add a new post. I’m pretty excited about the project overall – especially now that things are starting to progress.
I’m not going to lie – I do have more than one motive with the Niche Site at Night case study. Educating and informing readers of this blog is #1 – that has always been the goal with this blog. I also hope to increase my credibility as an authoritative example setter and leader in the niche site space. And last but not least – affiliate income is another big reason I decided to do this public case study. In most of the tutorials, I share the tools or programs that I use to create niche sites. Many of the links are affiliate links. The best way for readers to thank me for taking the time to produce these tutorials is for them to use my affiliate links if they decide to purchase the tools themselves. This strategy is already working – a whole bunch of people already purchased the AmaSuite bundle of software programs that I highlighted in a couple of my first videos.
Niche Sites – Adsense
Similar to the last couple of months – I am just thrilled that my main Adsense site is still bringing in over $400/month during its off-peak season. I am even more thrilled that we are heading into fall and then winter and that search trends for the niche will start to pick up. I’m still holding steady as far as keyword rankings – so I’m hoping the Adsense income will increase to over $1,000/month again like it did last spring.
Niche Sites – Amazon
I continue to focus most of my time on my new and existing Amazon sites. Most of my Amazon income is still from the one site and it is still steadily increasing. I brought in $373 in August, up from $232 in July and $149 in June. I believe that I am on pace to continue this upward trend in September and will hopefully get that site to around $500.
One thing I did to improve my existing site was to finally add product comparison charts. Yeah – I was making decent money with the site before I added comparison charts. But I gotta tell you – I saw a dramatic change in sales after adding the charts. Not only did my sales numbers go up immediately – so did my conversion percentage. Before the charts I was getting 5 to 10 sales per day and less than 5% conversions. After adding comparison charts I’ve been getting more than 10 sales per day consistently and conversion rates around 8 or 9%. I added the charts starting in the middle of August – and you can see in my screenshot that my overall conversion percentage for August was 6.96%. My goal is to get that to 10% consistently, which would be pretty amazing.
My particular site that is currently ranking and making sales actually has pretty low figures as far as average cost of items sold. It’s only around $20. So, considering the high number of sales I am making per month, I’m not really bringing in very much money. Not to worry though – it’s all part of the plan. This site will consistently make over 300 sales per month, which will automatically boost the payout rates for my other sites to 7 or 7.5% each month. And yes – my newer sites are based around products that sell for much more money.
Keyword Research Packages
My keyword research packages continue to sell out very quickly – when I have them available. I’m usually able to get about 10 of these (or so) up for sale each month. August was different and I only sold one package, as the guy who helps me create the keyword spreadsheets had some personal stuff going on in his life. He does a fantastic job preparing the keyword spreadsheets and it takes a lot of time. I certainly don’t have the time to do it myself with everything else I’ve got going on – so when my keyword guy has time to produce the spreadsheets I will get more of them up for sale.
You’ll almost never see any available when you look at my sales page. This is because there are over 200 people on my notify list (and growing every day). As soon as I list packages for sale, I email that list and somebody usually purchases the package within a few hours. If you want to get on that notify list, and also see the exact report that I send to buyers, simply click here and enter your email address-.
This is the section where I try to justify my expenses by calling them investments. 🙂 One big expense I had in August was my purchase of Camtasia – screen recording software. I was previously using a free screen recorder called CamStudio – but it was really buggy and didn’t always work properly. I needed something reliable to record all the videos for my Niche Site at Night case study – so I shelled out the $300 for what my research told me was the best option for screen recording on PC’s and also for editing videos.
Another sizable expense that I had was the new hosting account I purchased at Bluehost – just for my Niche Site at Night public case study. As explained in this post and video, I believe it is wise to purchase separate hosting accounts for new niche sites in order to protect yourself and your sites. I even go a step further and purchase the upgrade at Bluehost for my site to be placed on its own dedicated IP.
One other larger expense that I had in August was The Hoth link building package that I purchased. I went with the HOTH Platinum package for $250 and got a bunch of links pointing to one of my newer sites. In fact, I have some interesting results to share about that site. Take a look at my rankings screenshot for 9 of the keywords that I am tracking.
Concerning the Google sandbox – please note that the first article for this site was published on June 4th and this screenshot was taken exactly 3 months later, on September 4th. Notice that all of my keywords that have search volumes over 1,000 are not yet ranking – but all of the keywords with search volumes of less than 1,000 are ranking quite well for a 3 month old site. This is proof enough for me that my strategy to go after lots of lower search volume keywords, rather than one main keyword with high search volume, is a completely valid strategy and it works.
The link building that I have done for this site so far includes:
- automated social bookmarks from SocialADR
- very minimal blog commenting (maybe 5 comments)
- a handful of PBN links (my own network – not purchased)
- one purchased high authority link
- the HOTH Platinum package
I wanted to be transparent and clear about everything I have done so far to build links to the site featured in the screenshot above. I don’t want anybody to be misled and think that a Hoth package alone will achieve these results – or any other method alone. But I do like to diversify my backlink portfolio’s with a whole bunch of different types of links to make it look as natural as possible. A Hoth package is equivalent to building out a whole bunch of Web 2.0 properties (awesome tutorial on how to do that here) and I believe is well worth the money for the quality and diversity of the sites and the massive amount of time saved.
Income and Expenses – August 2014
Affiliate Income from Dumb Passive Income
- $188.32 – 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)
- $2.80 – 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 – Niche Website Theme sales via JVZoo (reviewed in detail here)
- $204.50 – 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 – EasyAzon3 sales via Clickbank (I haven’t even reviewed this yet – but I would not build an Amazon site without it!)
- $0 – Long Tail Classroom via JVZoo (I don’t even promote this! Must be an upsell for something else in JVZoo)
- $175.00 – The HOTH sales (awesome link building service – they do everything for you!)
- $0 – WPEngine sales (my results after upgrading to the fastest hosting for WordPress on this blog)
- $180.00 – Bluehost (why I buy separate hosting accounts for new niche sites explained within this post)
- $40.00 – Lending Club signup (I haven’t done anything with or written about my investments here in over a year)
Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…
- $457.90 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
- $17.66 – Yahoo! Voices for articles I wrote a long time ago
- $373.82 – Amazon Associates for sales on Amazon.com (explained in detail here)
Website Services by Matthew Allen
- $127 – Keyword Research Packages for Sale (why I started offering this service – explained here)
- $0 – Website services – build simple websites for private businesses (like this one http://appliancerepairgr.com)
Hosting and Domains
- $29.00 – WPEngine (why I upgraded to the best and fastest hosting for WordPress)
- $147.36 – Bluehost – my new favorite hosting provider for niche sites – great price, ease of use, excellent service and overall experience
- $9.95 – Hostgator – my original hosting provider – still keep for some sites
- $0 – GoDaddy for domain renewals and purchases
- $30.80 – IXWebHosting – domain renewal with privacy
- $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)
- $29.00 – Aweber monthly fee for e-mail list management (first month trial only $1)
- $4.90 – ManageWP monthly fee for WordPress multiple site management program
- $38.00 – SocialADR monthly fee for social bookmarking for my niche sites (proven results within this post!)
- $110 – to my private writer for article writing for niche sites
- $37.13 – to oDesk for virtual assistant(s)
- $60 – to a virtual contractor who is helping me create packages for my keyword research service
- $250 – to The HOTH for a link building package (comprehensive and completely done-for-you link building)
- $5.55 – Paypal fees
- $5.00 – Google Apps for domain email
- $316.94 – TechSmith for Camtasia screen recording and editing software
Totals and Thoughts
One thing I don’t like about this months graph is pretty obvious – the black bar went way down. But here is the silver lining. My income this month was almost all passive which almost makes this a truly “passive income” report! I only sold one keyword package during August, which was the only non-passive income that I had. If I had sold around 10 like usual, my total income would be right up there around record levels again. Or if I had built another website for a local business for another $1,000 payday like I did last month. Imagine if I had done both! But – my ultimate goal is to create passive income online, so this months report more accurately represents where I am in relation to where I would like to be (more passive income and less non-passive income).
Overall – I am nowhere near where I would like to be as far as income derived from the internet. I think I should be bringing in much more at this point. But at the same time, I am happy with where I’m at. It’s all side hustle money and I think it’s just damn cool that I’m able to create this kind of side income on a very part-time basis by doing something that I enjoy very much. It’s going to be even way damn cooler when my side hustle income exceeds my day job income. And mark my words, that will happen in 2015 (maybe sooner?)!
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. I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase after clicking through via any of these links. Thank You if you do!
To your success and mine – may we all be profitable online. -Good Day!
Remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.
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.