[Dumb] Passive Income Report for May 2014

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Passive Income Report - May 2014
Planting seeds for a future harvest…

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 May

Niche Sites – Adsense

After my stellar month of Adsense earnings in April ($1300) – traffic, clicks and earnings have all dropped off a bit. I partially expected the drop due to search trends in the niche that my main Adsense site is in. Search trends go way down in the summer time, and trend back up throughout the fall for this niche before they peak again around January. Last year the peak months were January, May and June (as seen in the graph below from the Google Keyword Planner)

Search Trends for Adsense Niche Site

This doesn’t really explain why my May earnings dropped to about $950. Traffic was down slightly, but the other main contributing factor I noticed is that my click through rates also decreased. As far as I can tell, I attribute this to the fact that one of the main advertisers in this niche changed one of the ads they were displaying. The one they were displaying the previous few months was getting some unbelievable click through rates (sorry, can’t say what they were due to Adsense TOS). My CTR for this site dropped nearly in half after they changed. Unfortunately, this is something that I cannot control.

I expect my Adsense income to be even lower over the next couple of months – since 95% of it comes from this one main site. But I’m not worried. I’m currently adding tons of content to the site and having one of my VA’s work on a massive resource which will improve the site and make it very share-worthy. To put it in perspective, my VA is working 20 hours per week on this resource and it will take him at least 12 weeks to complete it. Plus – I’m building an email list on the site too. The list currently has 200 subscribers and is getting 5 to 10 new signups each day! Now I just have to figure out how to monetize that list. 🙂

After completion of the new resource and all of the new content, I expect earnings to pick up significantly – especially as we move into the months when the search trends are much higher for this niche. My hope and expectation is that my one main Adsense site will be earning well above the $1300 that it did in April.

Niche Sites – Amazon

My Amazon sites is where I continue to focus most of my efforts – and it is starting to pay off! I’ve been building links to my first Amazon site. It continues to climb in the rankings and traffic is on the rise. I brought in about $72 from Amazon during the month of May, which was by far my best month ever as far as Amazon income. Traffic and sales continue to trend upward, and I’m foreseeing probably at least $200 in Amazon income for June.

Keyword Research Packages

My keyword research packages continue to sell out very quickly. I’m only able to get about 10 of these (or so) up for sale each month. You’ll almost never see any available when you look at my sales page. This is because there are about 150 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.

One of my recent buyers is actually starting up a case study on his blog about a niche site he is building based on a keyword research package he purchased from me. Dave Nicosia wrote up an awesome review of my service within this post, his first in the new case study series. If you want an inside peak at what I deliver, from a buyers perspective – be sure to check it out.

Reinvesting Profits by Buying Links

As mentioned in previous months, I’ve been using the proceeds from my keyword research sales to test different link building services. I’m getting some really good results and I continue to spend money on this – so I thought it was worth mentioning yet again. Listed below are the 3 services that I’ve tried, continue to use and will use again.

The HOTH is an easy and completely done-for-you service that builds links similar to what you could build yourself on Web 2.0 properties – except that they use a layered system that adds a bunch of extra juice to those links. I plan to use this service again as a base layer of links on future brand new sites.

Link Viking gives you access to some VERY powerful domains, if you are willing to pay the price. I’ve only used them the one time, and the link I bought for nearly $200 shot my post (for my targeted keyword) up in the rankings significantly.

Lightning Rank is my favorite of the services I’ve tried so far. I’m seeing really good results and I believe I am getting the most value for what I pay. I was able to sneak in while beta testing prices were still in effect, and I upgraded my subscription to the 5 posts per month package. I love the subscription aspect of it, because this forces me to build links every single month that I might not otherwise spend the time or money to do.

Virtual Assistants and Writers

The month of May went very smooth with my virtual assistants. They both understand the tasks that I want them to do very well and we are finally getting into a groove where I can keep them busy for their allotted hours each week. It took me awhile to get them trained and to train myself how to properly instruct them – but it is definitely paying off. I am absolutely loving the fact that work is getting done on my websites while I am not even thinking about it.

Through a stroke of luck or fate or whatever you want to call it – my main writer lost one of her other clients that she was doing work for right around the same time that I was thinking about finding another writer so that I could get more articles written each week. Previously I was having her write 4 articles per week for me. My need has increased and my ability to pay for it as well – so now she is doing about 10 articles per week for me. I’m so happy that I didn’t have to try and find another writer – because the one I’ve been using for over a year now is working out so well for me.

Planting Seeds

What on earth do I need so much writing done for?! I’m planting seeds. I’m more confident than ever in my ability to create niche sites and get them to rank in Google and make money. So I’m spending money to create as many sites as possible and get links built to them and get them earning. I’ve pretty much got it to the point where I only need to do keyword research, site setup and assign specific articles. My writer does the writing and my VA’s edit, format and publish the content. By paying for help, I’m getting a lot more done in a lot less time.

Just like the picture of the tractor at the very top of this post – I am planting seeds. I’m starting to build more and more sites that won’t be profitable right away – but I absolutely plan on reaping the benefits of the harvest later. I’m bringing in a pretty decent sum of money now – but I’m actually reinvesting most of it on building up future passive income streams.

I hope this has been a somewhat clear explanation of what I’ve got going on. If not, maybe you can decipher from the numbers.

And here are my income and expense figures for May…

Income and Expenses – May 2014

Passive Income

Affiliate Income from Dumb Passive Income

Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…

  • $958.02 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
  • $4.24 – Yahoo! Voices for articles I wrote a long time ago
  • $72.23 – Amazon Associates for sales on Amazon.com (explained in detail here)

Non-Passive Income

Services by Matthew Allen


Hosting and Domains

Tools, Plugins and Themes


  • $380 – to my private writer for article writing for niche sites
  • $252.35 – to oDesk for virtual assistant(s)
  • $402 – to a virtual contractor who is helping me find keywords for my keyword research service
  • $0 – to The HOTH for a link building package (planning to use again)
  • $0 – to Link Viking for a link building package (not an affiliate link – mention Dumb Passive Income as your referral source at checkout)
  • $250 – to LightningRank for a monthly link building package (upgraded to 5 posts package while I could still get beta test pricing)


  • $39.20 – Paypal fees

Totals and Thoughts

Total income $2847.16 minus total expenses $1569.17 equals a net profit of $1277.99 for May 2014!

Income Expense May 2014

My total income continues to rise – sweet! But my expenses also have continued to go up dramatically since January. Whatever I’m doing seems to be working, so I’m just going to keep at it. I think my expenses will somewhat level off for awhile around $1500. The goal now is to make sure that my total income continues to go up while keeping my expenses around the same mark. We’ll see. Regardless – I am still liking how my graph looks. What do you think?

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! If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of my affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to Amazon.com. You won’t pay any extra and I will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

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.


Photo Credits:

Image from Flickr by Shane Casey

30 thoughts on “[Dumb] Passive Income Report for May 2014”

  1. Hey Matthew, Your income is absolutely amazing. I’m planing seeds for myself too. I hope that my income would be growing more and more, just like you. Keep working! 🙂

  2. Nice job Matt. Have you looked for opportunities link to amazon on your Adsense site? Since its already getting good traffic, that could give the site another boost in overall earnings.

  3. Great job Matt! It’s exciting to see you utilizing VAs, content writers, and maximizing your time and cash flow. I’m looking forward to making it over that $1000 month mark myself, and get using some VAs.

    I’ll be setting up my site soon based off the keyword package I bought, the content is being written by my writers. Then my second case study update will follow.

    Thanks again for the great keyword package, I’m looking forward to what that site will do!

    Dave Nicosia

  4. 380 for the writer and she is doing 10/week which = 40 a month, meaning you are paying just $10 per article, am i right? what’s the length of the articles she produces…500 or 1000 words?

  5. Hi Matt, great job with the above. Are you still seeing results with the likes of HOFF? I assumed the latest wave of updates would have resulted in penalties?

  6. I’ve just invested in my first HOTH package so I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of results it produces. Based on your post above it looks like the next few months could be getting pretty exciting around here 🙂

  7. Yeah scott – I actually only used the HOTH the one time. I’ve been meaning to use them again, but keep spending so much money on other stuff that I haven’t made it a priority. Definitely plan to buy a HOTH package for one of my new sites just to see how it does on a brand new site with no other links.

  8. Tom – good suggestion. It wouldn’t really work for this niche though. It’s more of an informational niche, rather than a product based niche. I’m sure I could find some books or something to link to, but the Adsense clicks are actually more valuable than measly commissions on book sales would be.

    The email list is going to be key to growing the income for the site. Just need to find some good and completely relevant affiliate products to promote. Ones that make sense for the user and actually offer them some value.

  9. Nathan – actually the resource I’m creating is quite a bit different than what Jon posted in that link. It has to do with creating a unique resource page and other info for each and every one of the 50 states in the US, and ultimately it will all be put together with a clickable map.

  10. Most articles are 700 to 1000 words and you are correct – I pay $10 for those. Sometimes I have her write longer articles (main homepage articles) and I pay her accordingly. Usually just slightly more than $1 per 100 words.

  11. I have not seen penalties on any of my sites. I’m guessing sites that were penalized had something to do with anchor text.

    You are able to tell the HOTH exactly what you want for anchor text. I NEVER use exact match anchor text except with just a few of my high authority links that I buy through Lightning Rank or Link Viking. I’m even getting away from using exact match anchor text with those links as well. Too risky.

  12. You know it Richard! I’m really excited for what the next few months will bring. I know it might be 3 or 4 months before my newer sites start earning – but when they all start earning well at around the same time – look out. I could be looking forward to some pretty sweet income reports!

  13. Sweet. That makes sense 50 states worth of info would take awhile to compile and put together. Sounds like its going to be a great resource for the readers!

  14. so where did you find her and which criteria did you use to sort her out of the lot? I used odesk and iwriter to my huge disappointment. Right now I’m using textbroker and couldn’t be happier. The only issue it comes at a cost. So i’ll be glad to find some lower cost for the blogposts while staying with textbroker for homepage and other key articles.

  15. Keep up the good work Matt! You seem to have hit your stride. I tried HOTH about two years ago with one of my niche sites and it seemed to do very little except vacuum out some money from my wallet. That said, it was a pretty competitive niche so who knows…

  16. I found her on Odesk over a year ago. I was seeking cheap article writers. She applied at a higher rate than I was hoping to pay at the time – but I liked her profile and gave her a shot and it’s been working out great ever since.

  17. Matt, you’re a huge inspiration to newbies like myself. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the helpful advice.


  18. Yeah Mike – I’ve hit my stride alright. And it’s only making me want to push harder and harder! I don’t know what the Hoth was like 2 years ago, but I’m pretty impressed with what they have to offer now. I want to use them again real soon – just strategizing exactly where and how. Good to hear from you Mike. Haven’t been seeing much from LTNE lately.

  19. Everybody was a newbie at some point Martin. It wasn’t very long ago at all that I constantly referred to myself as a newbie. So glad that I inspire. I know others did the same for me when I was starting out. Happy to be on the other end of the spectrum now, even though I haven’t quite hit it big yet.

  20. Yeah, LTNE has been on the back burner for a bit as I’m on the back stretch with finishing the PhD. I have managed to push out a post weekly for the last few weeks though and I’ve got a few more scheduled each week through July. I’m hoping to keep that pace for awhile.

  21. Matt, congratulations. After reading your this month passive income report, I feel so motivated to work more on my blogs and write more. Thank you for putting that across.

  22. Hi There,

    Would you like to be in touch and share more details on what sort of articles you are looking at. You can contact me at [email protected]

    deepa [dot] bhatia14 at gmail [dot] com

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