[Dumb] Passive Income Report for August 2014

passive income report August 2014Welcome 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

Amazon earnings August 2014I 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-.

Reinvesting Profits

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.
niche site rankings after 3 months

 

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

Passive Income

Affiliate Income from Dumb Passive Income

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)

Non-Passive Income

Website Services by Matthew Allen

Expenses

Hosting and Domains

Tools, Plugins and Themes

Outsourcing

  • $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)

Miscellaneous

  • $5.55 – Paypal fees
  • $5.00 – Google Apps for domain email
  • $316.94 – TechSmith for Camtasia screen recording and editing software

Totals and Thoughts

Total income $1792.80 minus total expenses $1085.63 equals a net profit of $707.17 for August 2014!

 

Income Expense August 2014

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.

-Matt

Photo Credits:

Arielle Nadel via Flickr

18 thoughts on “[Dumb] Passive Income Report for August 2014”

  1. Great plan with the amazon sites matt – nice to see that for the most part your income is truly passive! don’t get too discouraged at your income level – most people make $0 outside of their full time job, so anything that I see here is gravy. I have a tendency to do the same thing – I know a lot of people making money online, and I know a fair amount that are pulling in 1 mil +/year (or more) in revenues. So even though our income is small now, we are still working and it will get there eventually.

    • I’m not really discouraged Jeff – just stating my opinion that I should be earning more by now. I have the knowledge and the ability to do the same things that the big earners do – I just don’t have the time like the full-time internet marketers do. We just have to remember that everybody started somewhere just like us. And you are right, we are well on our way and will get there soon.

      • If you dont have time, then maybe you’ll have to consider upping your VA’s hours or getting another one? Im getting to that point as well – Ive got a lot of projects going on, and I’m the bottle neck in terms of getting things done. I’m not quite comfortable bringing on a VA yet, but I am getting to the point where I’m going to have to write down a list of business tasks that I do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and determining what I could give to a VA to do.

  2. Matthew, do you have a tutorial video or post educating- how to remove duplicate content WordPress creates with things like tags, Categories, Blogroll…etc ?

    • Can’t say that I have a tutorial or that it is anything I worry about at all. I recommend not creating Tags that are exactly the same as Categories. But that’s about it. I’m not sure what you’re talking about as far as WordPress “creating duplicate content.” If you mean that your posts show up in multiple places because of Categories and Tags – that is normal for most WordPress sites and it is not duplicate content. I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

  3. Can I ask where you bought the high PR link for your niche site? I don’t mean the exact URL – but is there a good source that you recommend for finding/buying these links?

    • The one I referred to in this post was from LightningRank. I previously subscribed to the 5 posts per month package and I used 1 of my 5 for a link to that site sometime in July. I got awesome results from LightningRank – but stopped my subscription to focus on building out my own PBN and also to cut down on my expenses. I’ve also used http://www.linkviking.com/ in the past and got great results. I’ve heard Rank Hero is good too, but I have not tried them mostly because you have to provide your own content.

  4. Hey Matthew,

    Inspiring report as always. I’ve actually been following you for almost a year now and I’ve seen how your blog has grown since then. I’ve always wondered, however, how do you report taxes? Do you do it on your own and if so, how do you go about it? Did you hire a CPA and if so, do you have any recommendations/advice? Thanks and as always…

    Keep inspiring,
    Warren

    • Good question Warren. I do my own taxes using Turbo Tax. I have some experience filing small business taxes reported as a sole proprietorship. My wife previously ran a home daycare – and it’s actually not that difficult – although it can become a little complicated. Turbo Tax makes it pretty easy as it walks you through everything step by step. Doing taxes for my wife’s daycare has taught me to keep very careful records of all income and expenses throughout the year and to categorize all of it for future reference.

      Now that my income is becoming a little more substantial, I’m filing quarterly estimates and sending money to Uncle Sam every 3 months. Planning to file my own taxes for 2014 – but also planning on my internet income growing substantially more over the next couple of years. At some point I may consider hiring a CPA. Admittedly, I do spend quite a bit of time making sure my records are always accurate and up-to-date. It would be nice to spend less time doing accounting and more time doing internet marketing.

      • Thanks for the tip Mathew! I use TurboTax as well; but this is the first time I’ll be filing without receiving a W2 — my income is now solely online — but it’s just a few dollars (I haven’t been aggressive with monetization yet).

        Right now, I only make a few dollars with Kindle, freelance writing, and AdSense. Nothing yet on my affiliate products. Definitely not enough to live by; Nonetheless, I know I still have to report whatever I make.

        But on what dollar amount will you know it’s time to file quarterly? Does that vary where you live — I live in California? I too have prospects of my business growing and making more in the future, so I may be hiring a CPA someday myself.

        Keep inspiring,
        Warren

        • Don’t quote me on this – but I don’t believe you have to report your income until you are making more than $600 per quarter.

          I upgrade to the slightly more expensive version of Turbo Tax – the Home & Business edition. Turbo Tax actually has an estimator built in that will tell you whether or not you have to file quarterly estimates.

          • Thanks Matthew. Yea I’ve heard about that $600 amount before; but I do plan on investing with the Home & Business edition of Turbo Tax anyway, so thanks for that recommendation.

            Here’s a thought: You should consider posting an article about your experience using Turbo Tax for online businesses (In case you’re interested, Turbo Tax does have an affiliate program too).

            But I feel a lot of beginner bloggers/make money online enthusiast (like myself) will benefit from your article — should you choose to write one. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering about taxes.

            I’ve looked around and I’ve not seen one article dedicated to how a typical online entrepreneur would do their taxes. Obviously, it would be just for advice and there should be a disclaimer — but it would at least give us an idea of taking that first step.

            Just my two cents. Thanks again for the advice.

            Warren

  5. I am thinking about getting the Hoth for some of my niche sites, how many links(approx) did you get from the Hoth and do you think it was worth spending $250 on? I am on the edge about it and would love to hear your opinion. Also awesome job this month!

    • Hard to say exactly how many links I got from the Hoth. 48 direct links from the higher level sites they created as part of the Platinum package – and then they added layers by creating web 2.0’s, social bookmarks and profile type links that all pointed to each other and to the top level sites.

      I don’t regret spending $250 on a Hoth package. I think it was worth it and will probably buy at least one package like this for each new site I create just to add the diversity to my backlink profile.

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