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 March
Some Personal Stuff
I picked up a new hobby in March. Some might even call it an addiction. It sure seems that way for my two sons (ages 7 and 4) who would spend every waking moment immersed in the fantasy world of Minecraft if we would let them. That’s right – Minecraft! My sons have been playing this game on their Samsung Galaxy tablets for a couple of years and they even spend countless hours watching YouTube videos of other people playing this game.
So, in an effort to better understand my kids and take part in something they really enjoy – I bought Minecraft Pocket Edition and installed it on my phone. I’m actually having a lot of fun with it and learning a lot about the game from my kids. I am dumbfounded by the complexity of the game and completely amazed at how well my kids understand it. My 4-year old is playing a big role in teaching me how to play Minecraft!
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. I don’t have a whole lot to say about my niche sites for the month of March. They remained stagnant bringing in about $200 in Adsense and another $200 in Amazon affiliate earnings.
I know I need to grow my niche site income. I’m in the research phase right now to start one or two new niche sites. I’ve got some new/different strategies I want to try out. And it’s proving to be difficult to improve my existing sites without doing manual link building. I have no desire to manually build links anymore. Which is why I purchased another Platinum package from The Hoth to improve rankings on one of my existing sites. I made this purchase on March 31st and took ‘before’ screenshots in order to share my results after I see rankings increase.
This BlogWhat excited me most about the month of March is the affiliate income I was able to generate from this blog!Click To TweetI’ve gotten back to writing and publishing useful content more often and my audience, readership and email list have all grown. By simply sharing some of the tools that I myself use to generate income and results online – and offering affiliate links for others to try these tools themselves – I was able to create some pretty decent affiliate income.
Again, here are some of the posts that I published in late February and March that helped create that affiliate income…
- Link Building Packages from The Hoth – An Honest Review – my experience buying links from The Hoth – including my exact results
- The Content Upgrade Strategy for Growing an Email List – I finally tried this strategy and got some amazing 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 was happy with my commissions that resulted from the AmaSuite launch which offered discounted prices for a limited time. I earned just over $675 as an affiliate for AmaSuite. But even before this launch for version 4, I previously made lots of sales for AmaSuite version 3 just as a result of some of my tutorials. I explained to Chris Guthrie via email that these tutorials/posts will continue to get traffic for several months after the launch. Without me even asking, Chris kindly offered to set up a special landing page and a private deal just for readers of this blog!
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.
Lastly, I finally got around to creating a Start Here page for this blog. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. The idea is that random readers who find my blog might also want to learn how to get started with creating passive income online. I want to make it as easy as possible for them to find my Start Here page – so I added it to my floating header menu bar and also made a floating button that sticks to the top of my sidebar.
The page itself explains how to quickly and easily get started with creating your own website. And of course there are affiliate links scattered throughout promoting hosting from Bluehost. There is a chance that over time, my Start Here page could prove to be one of the most profitable pages on this blog.
Selling Stuff on Amazon
For those of you who were eagerly following my journey to sell items on Amazon via FBA – don’t get your hopes up too high. March was the second straight month that we did almost nothing towards that business. We made only one shopping trip and didn’t find very much good stuff on that trip. We also sent in all of the inventory that had piled up in our basement. We did make nearly $400 in sales from inventory that was sent in previously and we still have over $5,000 worth of inventory sitting in Amazon warehouses waiting to be purchased.
Our lack of growth and involvement with our Amazon stuff is mostly due to my wife’s lack of motivation to keep it going. As I mentioned before, she was running 90% of that business. I simply don’t have the spare time. And she just hasn’t been into it lately. I guess she just doesn’t like making money. 😉
Haha. Not really. But honestly – there are some frustrations that go along with selling retail arbitrage via Amazon FBA. The biggest frustration is competing with other sellers to have the lowest price on Amazon so that your stuff is the stuff that is actually getting purchased. When we originally buy stuff at the store – we know what our profit is going to be based on the current lowest prices on Amazon. But the lowest prices constantly change. We often have to lower our prices which cuts into our profits. It’s a balancing act for sure.
The other frustration is that it seems like more and more people have found out about this business (thanks to bloggers like me – haha) and they are hitting the same stores as us looking for things to buy and sell. Even since we started last fall, it seems harder and harder to find good items. My wife has even come across other FBA shoppers in the store who were quite rude and cleared an entire shelf full of items while she was scanning to see if they were profitable.
Despite these frustrations – 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.
Income and Expenses – March 2015
Selling on Amazon
- $399.87 – 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
- $158.96 – 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)
- $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)
- $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)
- $17.97 – Niche Website Theme sales via JVZoo – I do not recommend this theme anymore because it is not mobile responsive
- $675.08 – 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!)
- $758.56 – 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)
- $270.00 – Bluehost (why I buy separate hosting accounts for new niche sites explained within this post)
- $12.00 – Lending Club signup (I haven’t done anything with or written about my investments here in over a year)
- $68.52 – Surveys for Cash sales via Clickbank (this is an affiliate product I’m promoting on one of my niche sites)
- $0 – Social Warfare sales (customizeable sharing buttons – as seen on this blog right now)
Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…
- $204.89 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
- $199.53 – 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
- $148.87 – Inventory Purchases (buying stuff for cheap to send to Amazon and sell for more – (how we got started detailed here)
- $248.69 – Amazon Seller Fees/Expenses (these include FBA selling fees, transaction fees, inventory & storage fees and service fees)
Hosting and Domains
- $29.00 – WPEngine (why I upgraded to the best and fastest hosting for WordPress)
- $83.28 – 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
- $11.34 – 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)
- $4.90 – ManageWP monthly fee for WordPress multiple site management program
- $197.00 – LeadPages yearly renewal – probably the most powerful tool I pay for and use to grow my online businesses
- $169.00 – to my private writer for article writing for niche sites
- $53.84 – to oDesk for virtual assistant(s)
- $250.00 – to The HOTH for a link building package (completely done-for-you link building service – my full review)
- $0- Paypal fees
- $5.00 – Google Apps for domain email
Totals and Thoughts
I’m really happy with the direction my internet side hustle income is going. March was one of my most profitable months ever that didn’t result mostly from Amazon FBA income. Creating passive income online has always been my ultimate goal and March saw great strides in that direction. Sure, income in the past was great from selling keyword packages and selling stuff on Amazon. But the more passive income generated online is so much more exciting for me.I literally wake up some mornings to emails informing me of the hundreds of dollars I made while I was sleeping!Click To Tweet Granted, I don’t get these emails often enough. But I’m working on it. 🙂
I could control my expenses even more to increase my net income – but I’m happy to keep spending money in order to grow my future passive income streams. Most notable expenses in March were…
- the $250 I paid to The Hoth for another link building package – I better put my money where my mouth is. I made enough affiliate income from The Hoth last month by promoting it. By golly, I better be using it myself!
- and $197 I paid to Leadpages for my annual renewal fee – again, probably the most powerful tool I use to grow my online businesses. And $197 is far less than it costs to buy Leadpages yearly now. I got in when Leadpages was brand new and they kindly leave their prices exactly the same for early users/customers.
Both of these purchases are considered investments and will help to increase my future income streams.
I’m excited to see what April brings. I’ve got a few good posts brewing in my head for Dumb Passive Income and I can’t wait to write them and get them published for you. I’m even thinking about finishing up my Niche Site at Night case study or maybe starting it over. I’m a little hesitant because I’ve started several case studies and have never completed one. But I’m more motivated than ever because I know a public case study where I show everything will cause my affiliate income to explode by leaps and bounds.
March was great for affiliate income – and I think it could be much, much greater in the future. All I have to do is keep publishing useful stuff like I have been and maybe – just maybe – get another public case study going. What do you think? Would you like me to continue the Niche Site at Night case study series?
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!
Minecraft “Sunset over the hill” by 8one6 via Flickr
Matt, Ethan & Eli selfie by Matthew Allen via his phone
“Addicted to Minecraft” by Thomas Wagner via Flickr
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.