Hey! By the way… This blog earns money via affiliate marketing – meaning that I earn commissions when you purchase a product or service after clicking a link on this site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank YOU in advance – I really appreciate it.
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
Some Personal Stuff
During the month of August, I had my planned week-long vacation from my day job. My family and I enjoyed an entire week of camping at Double JJ Resort, in northern Michigan. We spent one of the days at a nearby amusement park – Michigan’s Adventure. The entire week was mostly relaxing and we had a ton of fun. My boys spent a lot of time testing their newly acquired survival skills by attempting to start fires without lighters or matches.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, or if you know me – you know that I normally get up at 5am every morning to work on my internet side hustle stuff before my family awakes. Well, during that week of vacation, I allowed myself to sleep in every day – until 6am! My phone had awesome 4G internet service where we were at – so I tethered it to my laptop and was able to get a few hours of ‘work’ in each morning before everybody else woke up.
I was loving it! Nothing like sitting in my camper with a hot cup of coffee, enjoying a view of the forest out the window, and being able to ‘work’ on the internet for a few hours in the peaceful quiet while the rest of my family sleeps. That is what I call a vacation!
I was able to publish 2 really good posts in August on this blog (other than my July income report). Much of that time that I spent online during my week-long vacation, I was working on what I thought was a fairly epic post. It’s all about email lists and how to make money with them. I’m kind of proud of what I came up with for that post. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, definitely check it out.
The other post that I wrote in August was all about My Imaginary Experience as a Full Time Internet Marketer. That post was actually really fun to write. It was more of me just writing and less of me trying to teach or provide information or promote a product. Being able to just write like that and not worry about adding screenshots etc., is something that I want to do more of. It is more enjoyable and I can get posts like that published much quicker.
Nothing spectacular to report as far as my niche sites go. August was not great. It was kind of terrible really. My niche site income was down about $200 from July. Despite the shortcomings of my older niche sites, I continue to press on and keep building out my newest and latest niche site. My writer and my VA are doing most of the work – but man am I excited about the potential of the site we are working on right now.
I’m beginning to let the realization set in that I have several mediocre niche websites that aren’t earning to their full potential because I am unable to give each of them the attention that they need. Doing this internet side hustle thing only on a very part-time basis – I know I have spread myself too thin by having so many sites and projects going on at the same time. I’m seriously thinking about doing nothing with my old sites for a period of several months and getting ultra-focused on my newest site. It’s just so hard to ignore my old sites though because they are already ranking and they already have authority. This is my ongoing dilemma…
Niche site earnings screenshots for August. Amazon above and Adsense below. I also earned $115 from an affiliate offer that I am promoting on one of my sites.
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…
- Le Creuset Enamel on Steel Sweet Corn Set, Fennel – I’m glad somebody else is willing to pay $100 to cook and serve sweet corn! I cook mine over open fire, peel back the husk and eat it that way.
- Outdoor Wicker Patio Furniture Sofa 3 Seater – this was a nice surprise! Made a really nice commission from this sale. No idea which of my sites this buyer came from.
- Adhesive Oval Bath Treads – I remember my grandmothers having these things in their bathtubs.
- LifeStyles SKYN LARGE Condoms – this one takes the cake for this month. After seeing it, I couldn’t help but wonder – “what does somebody write for a review on a product like this?” I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read the following review…
This is my second purchase of the 25 pack and let me tell you, it’s been a busy 11 days since I first tried them. These Jimmy’s are amazing. If you are a guy who loves to raw dog but always feels bad or scared after you hit it with no jimmy, then these are for you. Last night I had to check 3 times to make sure my condom hadn’t slipped off, that’s how good it felt. And since these aren’t latex, they don’t smell like a cross between Chilean sea bass and a latex glove when you are done waxing. I usually tie the open end in a knot and flush them down the toilet right before I hit the gas pedal and head home. Trust me, these Jimmy’s are a must if you like hitting skins and having the sensation you are raw dogging. I hit the skins at least 4 times a week and I could practically be a spokesperson for these Jimmy’s because I’ve used them so much.
Selling Stuff on Amazon
Again, neither my wife nor I have done absolutely anything towards our selling on Amazon business for several months now. Despite doing absolutely nothing, we still have a little over a thousand dollars worth of inventory in Amazon warehouses waiting to be purchased. $1,465.26 left in inventory, to be exact, as of the end of August. The month of August was pretty slow for Amazon sales for us at a little over $300.
Feel free to grab my free guide by clicking the button below to see exactly how we find items to sell on Amazon.
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…
- Ninja Outreach – no particular blog post to mention here. Just a really great tool I’ve been using to expedite and partially automate my latest outreach efforts. I’ve known about this tool for awhile and have been meaning to try it out. I finally started my 14-day FREE trial in August and I’ve gotten a TON of value not only from the tool itself, but also from Dave Schneider – one of the co-founders.
- When you start your free trial, Dave reaches out and offers you a 30-minute live consultation with himself via Skype or Google Hangouts. I took advantage – and my conversation with Dave was extremely helpful.
- Also, when you start your free trial – you get put into an email sequence that is intended to train you on how to best use the tool and use it to your advantage. Each email offers specific training with videos. I’ve picked up quite a bit of knowledge and tips here and am already using some of what I learned to actually get results from my outreach efforts!
Income and Expenses – August 2015
Selling on Amazon
- $304.66 – 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
- $232.34 – Long Tail Pro sales via Clickbank (why it is better than the competition) (how to make LTP pay for itself)
- $42.30 – LeadPages sales for this awesome lead generation software (I EASILY created this squeeze page with LeadPages)
- $3.99 – SocialADR sales (go here to learn more and access my custom 20% off coupon code)
- $5.70 – Aweber signups ($1 for your first month)
- $63.72 – Ultimate Azon Theme sales via Clickbank (read my full review here and see one of my niche sites revealed that uses this theme)
- $17.97 – Niche Website Theme (I don’t promote or recommend this theme anymore because it is not mobile responsive)
- $42 – AmaSuite sales via JVZoo (software demonstrated in video embedded here)
- $0 – RankXL Niche Site Course (mentioned at the end of this post)
- $0 – Genesis framework and themes by Studiopress via ShareaSale (eleven40 Pro theme as seen on this site now)
- $47.50 – EasyAzon4 sales via Clickbank (I haven’t even reviewed this yet – but I would not build an Amazon site without it!)
- $7.20 – Social Warfare sales (customizeable sharing buttons – as seen on this blog right now)
- $15.00 – 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)
- $324.39 – Human Proof Designs – ready made or custom website sales (as described by Dom at the end of this guest post he wrote)
Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…
- $299.79 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
- $245.31 – Amazon Associates for sales on Amazon.com (explained in detail here)
- $0 – TeeChip profits for Tshirts I designed and sold
- $115.00 – affiliate commissions for undisclosed CPA advertiser on one of my niche sites
- $0 – Surveys for Cash – formerly promoted this on one of my niche sites – did not perform very well
Website Services by Matthew Allen
- $0 – Website services – build simple websites for private businesses (like this one grmobilewelding.com)
- this is not a service I actively promote or sell – just built a few sites for some friends of mine who own local businesses
Note: Bluehost banner above is an affiliate link
Selling on Amazon
- $9.71 – Inventory Purchases (buying stuff for cheap to send to Amazon and sell for more – (how we got started detailed here)
- $259.74 – Amazon Seller Fees/Expenses (these include FBA selling fees, transaction fees, inventory & storage fees and service fees)
Hosting and Domains
- $104.00 – 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
- $29.90 – IXWebhosting – one year renewal for one of my domains (I do not recommend IXWebhosting -I’ve had plenty of issues with their hosting – but I renewed anyway to avoid the hassle of moving all those sites)
- $0 – GoDaddy for domain renewals and purchases
- $0 – NameCheap – domain purchases/renewals (expired domains)
Tools, Plugins and Themes
- $12.00 – Long Tail Platinum monthly fee (if you have Long Tail Pro – upgrade to Platinum here)
- $69.00 – Aweber monthly fee for e-mail list management (first month trial – FREE!)
- $14.70 – ManageWP monthly fee for WordPress multiple site management program
- $0 – LeadPages paid annually in March – probably the most powerful tool I pay for and use to grow my online businesses
- $13.50 – Pro Rank Tracker – previously free rank checker tool – they started charging and I couldn’t live without
- $323.00 – to my private writer for article writing for niche sites
- $136.62 – to UpWork (formerly oDesk) for virtual assistant(s)
- $0 – to The HOTH for link building packages (completely done-for-you link building service – my full updated review)
- $5.82 – Facebook Advertising
- $0- Paypal fees
- $10.00 – Google Apps for domain email
- $82.00 – United States Post Office – for PO Box to use strictly for internet business stuff
Totals and Thoughts
I can’t deny it or lie about it – August sucked! Especially after that incredible July that I had. I pretty much knew that earnings would be down for August as compared to July – but I didn’t think they would be down that much. Despite my efforts, affiliate sales from this blog just didn’t go very well in August. Couple that with my drop in niche site earnings – and August was just a really crappy month.
I guess this is just the way it goes when you are trying to create passive income streams the way that I am. I actually spent MORE time working online in August than I do in a typical month, but my earnings didn’t reflect that at all. This is because I’m not trading time for money. The stuff that I work on is meant to produce future passive income streams. Apparently, August just wasn’t a buying month. I can already tell you that, at the time I am writing this income report (almost halfway into September), that next month is already looking quite a bit better.
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!
“neourban hipster office desktop” by markus spiske via Flickr
Photo of our campsite taken by me with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 .