[Dumb] Passive Income Report for May 2015

Passive Income Report May 2015Welcome 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

Some Personal Stuff

The month of May was an extremely busy one for me and my family in the offline world. The month of May is always busy for us. My wife and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this year. We left the kids with their grandparents for a weekend and spent a couple of nights at the DoubleJJ Ranch where we enjoyed horseback riding, a water park, fine dining and drinks and some much needed time away – just the two of us. 🙂

Both of my sons also celebrate birthdays in May. I have this tradition where I wake each of my kids up early on their birthday and take them out for a nice breakfast before school. Just me and them. Ethan chose IHOP to celebrate his 8th birthday and Eli chose a local restaurant called Anna’s House to celebrate his 5th birthday.

We also kick off our camping season during the month of May. We camped all of Memorial weekend and the weekend before. Had a really great time both weekends and can’t wait to camp some more this summer.

I've included a slideshow of pictures from my personal life in this months income report for your viewing pleasure.Click To Tweet

Niche Sites

A 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.

Amazon Earnings May 2015After several straight months of seemingly stagnant income from my niche sites (around $400 per month), I’m happy to report some actual growth and an increase in income! Both my Adsense and my Amazon earnings increased in May as I earned about $300 from each for a total of about $600 in niche site income for May.

This growth resulted from very little effort by me. I can attribute a little bit of it to some rankings increases that resulted from my most recent link building packages that I purchased from The Hoth. Some of it is due to the seasonality of one of my niches. And some is because I just got lucky and people who clicked over to Amazon from my sites were buying things!

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!

Smiffys US Sailor Doughboy HatIt’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…

This Blog

My biggest failure in May and in many recent months has been my inability to keep up with regular posting on this blog. Some of my best affiliate income months ever have been the ones where I posted regularly, on this blog, about the strategies I use and the tools I use to achieve results. But when I fail to produce and publish posts like that – my affiliate earnings suffer.

By the way… Did you know that 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.

CLICK HERE to check out AmaSuite 4 and access this private deal.

Check out this statement that I wrote in last months income report…

I also have a kind of unique strategy that I came up with that combines keyword research with Long Tail Pro and product research with one of the AmaSuite tools that I want to share. I’m going to try to get that post written and published in May (no promises).

Yeah – I definitely started that post. Did some awesome research and took some really cool screenshots. Even wrote the first couple of paragraphs but then never got a chance to finish it. It’s still saved as a draft and I’ll try to finish it up as soon as I can. My problem is, I have a very hard time publishing content these days that isn’t epic. And the other part of that problem is that it takes me several hours to produce epic content. It’s very difficult to stay focused when I have barely 2 hours each day to work on this stuff and I have several other sites to run as well.

Perhaps I’ve bitten off a little more than I can chew. Managing so many sites and maintaining high quality on each is not an easy task considering that all of this side hustle internet stuff is very much just that – a part-time side hustle. Something I only do on the side. But I’m committed to giving it my all and doing my very best.

I’m also committed to publishing these income reports each and every month. As stated in my opening paragraphs up at the top (in case you didn’t notice, those are copy & pasted and exactly the same each month), these reports hold me accountable. But the other main reason I publish these is for credibility purposes. People want to see if I’m making any money online so that they know whether or not they should trust me and follow my advice. I know that people want to see my income reports because I know they are visiting my Income Reports page. Take a look at the following screenshot from the CrazyEgg heatmapping tool that I use (taken before I changed around my header menu).

Crazy Egg Dumb Passive Income

By far, most clicks on my homepage are in the header menu and people want to see my Resources page, my Income Reports page and my About page.

To be completely honest with you – I haven’t been feeling very credible lately. Sure, there are months where I earn several thousand dollars. But I also spend a lot and my net isn’t anywhere near where I think it should be. But my lack of feeling credible is mostly due to my lackluster niche site earnings. $400 to $600 per month just isn’t enough.

I know I have the knowledge, skills and ability to be absolutely crushing it with niche sites. I’ve just failed to execute. I should be making thousands per month. But my lack of focus has several sites earning just a little bit per month for totals only in the hundreds.

This is part of the reason that my posts on Dumb Passive Income have been few and far between. I really want to focus on my niche site income and get it up into the thousands per month, steadily. Only then will I feel credible and worthy of being able to teach others via my blog.

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 several thousand dollars worth of inventory in Amazon warehouses waiting to be purchased. $3,930.66 left in inventory as of the end of May. And the month of May actually treated us pretty well despite doing nothing. We had a little over $700 worth of sales!

Again, we might revisit this business model this fall – just in time for the holiday buying season. We’ll see. Feel free to grab my free guide by clicking the button below to see exactly how we find items to sell on Amazon.

Click Here to get my FREE Guide – How to 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…

  • Chris Lee reached out to me last month via email which led me to check out his blog. Chris is absolutely crushing it with Adsense! Check out Chris Lee’s May Income Report – over $16k in Adsense income. And trust me, you’ll want to read more of his blog as well. I know I did and he has some really useful information. Plus – Chris also has his own RankXL Niche Site Course where he teaches you, step-by-step, how to generate killer income with Amazon niche sites just like he is.
  • Mike from Maine was one of my sources of motivation way back when I got started building niche sites. He got hit big time when Google came out with the EMD update and lost almost all of his niche site income. He completely pivoted his online business model and he started interviewing people who have products that help other internet marketers. He simply conducts interviews and promotes the products as an affiliate (he also created his own product to sell later on). I was following his interviews for awhile, but then stopped for several months. I recently visited his blog and was shocked to see how well he is doing. Right after the pivot, Mike had several months of really slow growth. But now he is consistently earning around $30k per month – mostly from affiliate sales! Check out some of Mike’s recent Income Updates.

Income and Expenses – May 2015

Passive Income

Selling on Amazon

  • $736.32 – 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

Other Passive Income from Niche Sites, etc…

  • $297.30 – Google Adsense (ad click revenue from niche sites)
  • $302.95 – Amazon Associates for sales on Amazon.com (explained in detail here)
  • $4.53 – TeeChip profits for Tshirts I designed and sold

Non-Passive Income

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

Expenses

Selling on Amazon

  • $0 – Inventory Purchases (buying stuff for cheap to send to Amazon and sell for more – (how we got started detailed here)
  • $342.92 – Amazon Seller Fees/Expenses (these include FBA selling fees, transaction fees, inventory & storage fees and service fees)

Hosting and 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)
  • $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

Outsourcing

Miscellaneous

  • $96.61 – Facebook Advertising
  • $0- Paypal fees
  • $5.50 – Google Apps for domain email

Totals and Thoughts

Total income $1,879.88 minus total expenses $1,291.91 equals a net profit of $587.97 for May 2015!

Income Expense Chart May 2015

This portion of my income report is usually where my optimism shines through. I talk about the totals and the way the graph/chart looks and offer a few thoughts on why it is the way it is and what I am going to do to improve it next month. My optimistic self would normally tell you that I’m happy with almost $1,900 in income – especially during a month that I did very little. But my optimistic self just isn’t feeling it today. My expenses were also high last month and my net was pathetic as a result.

Not producing blog posts equals less affiliate income which results in lower net income. As mentioned above, this trend will likely continue as I try to focus on building my niche site income before I feel credible and worthy enough to blog about it. But never fear – these income reports will still show up each and every month and they are packed with way more content than just the numbers. I hope you enjoyed this one and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments sections below…

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!

learn how to get started with your own website or blog

 

Photo Credits:

All photos are mine and were taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

34 thoughts on “[Dumb] Passive Income Report for May 2015”

  1. Loving the detailed reports, Matt!

    Don’t get frustrated with the niche site growth, they are taking longer and longer to shoot up the ranks.

    My NS2, for example, hit the top 3 in the SERPs finally after being up for over one *year*. Worth the wait 🙂

    • Thanks Mike. I’m not necessarily frustrated with my niche site growth. I’m more or less frustrated with myself for not staying focused all the time. I’ve got so many different things going and so little relative time each day to spend on this stuff.

      But you’re right. I don’t mind letting my sites sit and age for a year or even more. When I get back around to working on them – I have a nice aged site that tends to respond better with the search engines.

  2. Hello Matt. Always a pleasure reading your income reports. I appreciate your honesty. It’s nice to see that you and your family are still enjoying life even if your online income is not at its best yet. You do set high standards, like we all should do, and I like that you feel awkward about your low income, but don’t let it frustrate you. I know that you will work to change that in time. I look forward to that day, as I know you will document it here in your site. I am learning a great deal from your blog and I do look up to you, both personally and physically (LOL). You encourage me to create my own blog and I know I will be using a chart like yours to keep an eye on my progress. I like your charts a great deal. Thanks for all that you do, and all that you are teaching us. I really do like your posts, including your income posts. I wish you more income, and more freedom. Talk to you soon.
    All the best.
    Rene

    • Physically?! That is an LOL… Not sure what you mean by that Rene. I spend exactly zero time exercising or working out. I only sleep 5 to 6 hours per day as it is and still don’t feel like I put enough time into my internet endeavors. I would have to sleep even less if I wanted to find time to exercise.

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad I can play a small part to keep you motivated – even if it’s during lower income months like I reported here.

      • Very interesting Matt. Yes, I do look up to you, especially
        physically. You look like you are much taller than me, who is only 4′
        10”. It seems to me that you could be at least 6 feet tall. So yes, I
        do look up to you. LOL. By the way, you are welcome for all the kind
        words. They come straight from the heart. I look forward to all your
        posts. That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back here. I just
        started reading your post a few months ago, so I got a lot to catch up
        on. I’m trying to read all of them. All the best Matt. Talk to you
        later. Rene.

        • Now I get it… look ‘up’ to me – lol. Yes, I am 6’2″. Somebody else recently read every single post on my blog. For this reason, I put a monthly site archives widget on the top of my sidebar that shows up when you are on the Home page or my About pate. Should make it easier for readers to access my older posts.

  3. Informative and
    enjoyable Matt. Keep on trucking and keep on spending time with those boys too, there’s a lot more to life than Niche
    sites, Amazon and Google and such. My two boys are 42 and 40 this year and
    while I am blessed to have a good relationship with both of them, I really
    regret I never spent the time with them when they were back in their “single
    digit” years. Those times will never come again.

    Thanks for the shout
    out to both Chris and Mike. Like Chris I believe there’s still a lot of
    potential in AdSense and I do remember Mike from the ld days. So interesting to
    see the pivot he has made … why didn’t I think of that LoL.

    • Thanks for the kind words Dave. Although my mind seems to always be on my internet stuff – I have been fortunate enough to keep my head screwed on straight and keep my priorities in line. Family always comes first. Day job is kind of non-negotiable. And internet side hustle is just in my spare time. Time that I create by sleeping less and getting up at 5am almost every day.

      And yes – I do pay attention to and draw motivation from others who are killing it online. Especially the ones who also produce income reports. I know I can’t compete with those who are able to do this full time. But I do my best to produce as much as I possibly can.

  4. Dude seriously get rid of this disqus thing it’s killing your site!!! Do you even realize how long it takes to load your page?

    • Dude – of course I know how long it takes to load my page. Usually under 1 second! I just tested it again… My website is faster than 90% of all tested websites.

      Disqus only makes my blog better, in my opinion. I’ve been using it for years and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  5. Stew – I consciously made the decision to move a bunch of my higher performing sites over to WPEngine recently. http://dumbpassiveincome.com/fastest-web-hosting-for-wordpress-revisited/ And yes, it is a little pricey – but well worth it in my opinion. I pay $104/month for the 2nd tier plan at WPEngine (with dedicated IP add on).

    The rest of the hosting and domain expenses you see in this months report are annual expenses that just happened to renew this month. I have a bunch more sites on a few different Bluehost accounts and one of them renewed in May.

    Cheaper alternatives? Sure. But you typically get what you pay for. I want my best sites on the best performing hosting available – and I believe I’ve found that with WPEngine. And Bluehost has performed quite well for me too. I start all of my new sites on Bluehost.

  6. Not a bad month! I’m going to at least partially blame you for FINALLY getting me started in the retail arbitrage game. It may not be the most passive thing or even the greatest hourly wage in the world, but it’s kind of addicting. Just made my first sales last week and should have a few more boxes of stuff hitting the warehouses this week.

    • Awesome Nick. Yeah, I’ve heard you mention this a little bit on the podcast (or was it in one of your emails…?). Not totally passive – true. But you can do a ton of work up front and then just sit back and watch the earnings come in over time – like we’re doing right now.

      One thing I will say – stick with it at least through the holiday buying season. You will be amazed at the numbers you’ll be able to generate. Easier to find deals that time of year and super easy to sell on Amazon!

      The other good thing about what you’re doing – you’re familiarizing yourself with the back end of Amazon Seller Central and all that takes place there. This will be very helpful and useful if and when you venture into private labeling a product or products.

  7. Summer months are low months for the fitness niche, maybe it is the same for you. I think you are being to hard on yourself. I remembered when you started and you weren’t making that much money.

    • You might be right about me being too hard on myself. But I see that as a good thing. Gotta keep myself motivated. And yeah, I remember when I wasn’t making very much money too. It wasn’t that long ago. But when you start to get a taste of some regular internet income, it’s hard not to envision more and more and more of it.

  8. Definitely agree that WPEngine is a beast of a WordPress host. My sites are running at sub 1-second and max out at about 0.3 seconds. Which is crazy!

    One question, why Bluehost? Quite a few affiliates promote Bluehost. What’s the secret? 🙂

    • Hey Dougy – the secret behind why everybody promotes Bluehost is that they are cheap, easy to use and have decent affiliate payouts. I’ve written 2 massive positive review posts about my experience with WPEngine over the last year and a half – and I’ve made only ONE affiliate sale for WPEngine. It’s very difficult to promote such an expensive hosting service – despite my claims and testimonial to how good they are.

      Most website owners already have hosting and won’t likely spend the time or money to hassle with switching. It would be nearly impossible to convince a brand new website builder to use such expensive hosting. Bluehost is a fantastic option for beginners – which is why myself and so many others promote them.

      And because I only promote things I actually use – I actually do still use Bluehost for all of my new niche sites. When and if a site becomes a winner, then I move it over to WPEngine. Why not all sites on WPEngine to begin with? Because, as you know, my number of domains is limited to 10 on my plan – and if I go over 100,000 page views in a month I’ll have to pay extra.

      • That makes complete sense. Thanks for your thoughts on it.

        I have the same pro plan as you and it is actually something else! Speeds are blistering even without the CDN activated. The downsides are as you say the caps on installs, bandwidth and visitors, but you pay for what you get when it comes to real quality.

        I’ll have a look at your Bluehost and WPEngine reviews then 🙂

        • Oh, one last thing. I can’t for the life of me think what the fixed/sticky sidebar widgets are called. Trying to add them to my site but can’t think of the name (some serious brain fade!) Any idea?

  9. Yeah Tim – I’ve read that review. (your comment went to Spam because you included the link – I deleted it and approved your comment) And WPEngine is NOT a terrible company from my experience. In fact, they have been superb! I’ve even utilized their customer support on several occasions when I was moving sites over and the service I received was fantastic!

    Can’t judge en entire company on one complaint from one customer – even if that one customer happens to be a very popular blogger who spelled out his case in great detail in a blog post. And keep in mind – that was well over a year ago. WPEngine has improved quite a bit even since then.

    • Astra – this is very much only a part-time thing for me. My day job and my family come first on my priority list and this internet stuff is done only in my spare time. Yes, May was a particularly slow and bad month for me. Take a look at my July 2015 report.

      To answer your question… I don’t “live” on my internet income. It’s just extra to supplement my day job income.

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