SPI 034 : My 3rd ANNUAL Passive Income Report

The Smart Passive Income Podcast Logo

In this session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast I’m extremely excited to share my 3rd ANNUAL Passive Income Report!

I have a ton of information to share and because the SPI podcast had such a huge impact on my business in 2011, I thought it was quite appropriate to try something different and share my 2011 results on the show.

If you’re not into audio or maybe you don’t have access to a player right now, don’t worry – the transcript is already available for you at the bottom of this post. :)

Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy not only hearing (or reading) about how much each of my businesses have earned, but also the important lessons I’ve learned along the way.

As with any of my income reports, I publicly share this information for a number of different reasons:

  1. To help myself track my progress and hold myself accountable for the work that I do.
  2. To be transparent and authentic about what I do, which I feel is the only way to be if one is talking about making money online.
  3. To inspire.

It’s important to mention, however, that even though I know the numbers are pretty shocking (and even I was shocked after adding everything up from last year) – making money online is definitely not an overnight thing and it’s definitely not easy.

In order to succeed, you have to know that behind 99.99% of all successful online businesses, including my own, is a lot of time, hard work, dedication, failures, and most importantly a huge desire to help other people – and not just a few people, but as many people as possible.

The truth is, most people who attempt to make money online will fail.

But that’s the thing – you can’t be like most people in order to succeed. It’s ridiculously easy to get lost in the crowd, which usually happens by following it.

Don’t follow the crowd – lead it.

Income Breakdown

For convenience, I’ve included a quick breakdown of my income below so you don’t have to go and find it in the audio or transcript. I’ve used clicktale before to see how people view my income reports, so I know that most usually scroll down to the bottom and look at the numbers first before reading anything else. ;)

  • GreenExamAcademy.com: $37,762.41
  • SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com: $14,497.86
  • eHow.com: ~$1,300.00
  • iPhone Applications: $52,484.12
  • Coaching and Consultations: $31.401.30
  • Affiliate Marketing (for various products): $272,371.19
  • Other: $3,523.96
    • GROSS TOTAL: ~$413,340.84
    • EXPENSES: (~$70,000.00)
    • NET TOTAL: $343,340.84

An incredible, incredible year! And if you haven’t listened to the show or read the transcript yet I highly recommend you do so. To me, the lessons learned are much more important than the numbers, and I do talk a lot about my affiliate income and what’s happening there.

Items / Links mentioned in this session:

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Thank you again for making 2011 an incredible, life-changing year. Your support – whether you’re a hardcore fan and you share every single piece of content I put out, or you’re just quiet and behind the scenes kind of person – it doesn’t matter – you’re important to me and in 2012 I will continue to give back to the community by providing as much quality information as possible to help you and your online business or blog get to the next level.

If you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter – please do so by using the box below:

Thank you again, and here’s to you and an amazing 2012! We’re almost a quarter of the way through already!

Transcript:

Click Here to Download the PDF Transcript for Session 34 or click on the link below to expand the transcript here within the post:

[spoiler]

Hey what’s up and welcome to the 34th session of the smart passive income podcast. This is a special episode, something a little different because today I’m doing an audio version of an income report, and a big one too – my 3rd annual passive income report.

Each month I post a detailed, written entry on the blog sharing exactly where my income came from, how much I’ve earned down to the penny and also the important lessons I’ve learned – wins, losses – all stuff to not only inspire you but also to help you in case you’re trying some of these things on your own.

These are some of the most popular and most requested posts on the blog, but today I just felt like trying something new and sharing my 2011 report on the podcast instead, so this should be lots of fun.

Before I get into that, I just wanted to give a shout out to an awesome SPI podcast listener. His name is Eric Pujols and the reason I mention Eric is because he sent me a very special email.

In his email, he mentioned that a few months ago, at the peak of his career, he came down with a condition that there is still no diagnosis for. This condition, which he’s currently undergoing treatment for, left him unable to see very well, unable to stay balanced and unable to stay focused. I won’t get into too much detail about it but he said, and I quote:

“Long story short, I was stuck in bed and I would listen to each of your podcasts from start to finish over and over and this really saved me.  I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but in all honesty, I don’t know what I would have done without all those podcasts.  It was the one thing I could do.. just listen.  And they kept me going and motivated to get better because this stuff excited me like nothing else. “

That is totally awesome – thank you, Eric for listening and for saying such nice words. Really.

I told Eric in a response that I would pray for him to get healthy again and if you do that sort of thing feel free to shoot Eric a quick get well prayer as well, I’m sure he’d appreciate that.

Also, one more thing, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to all of you who left a review for me in iTunes – we’re up to 334 5-star reviews, which is just incredible – thank you so much and that right there just keeps me motivated to keep producing these shows for you.

All right…so 2011…

2011 was amazing…and life changing to say the least.

I’ll get to the numbers in a little bit, I’ll break down the exact figures and where it all came from soon but I want to highlight the most important things that happened in 2011 that had the greatest impact on my earnings and my business…

And quite appropriately, I’m going to start with this podcast…

The Smart Passive Income Podcast

Although I started the SPI podcast back in July of 2010, 2011 was the year that I really started to see the benefits and results of starting the podcast for my overall brand.

The biggest thing was the massive exposure to new eyes and new ears – people who probably would have never found out about me otherwise. This I know because I conducted a survey during the year that revealed the fact that the number one way people found out about me and my brand, more than Google, links from other blogs, any social media platform or YouTube – is the podcast.

This is backed up by the fact that each and every week I get a ton of emails from people who say they found me through iTunes, and if you’ve listened to session 31, you’ll remember that a Hollywood producer found me through iTunes and hired me to help with the web and social media campaign for a multi-million dollar movie that is coming out in just a couple months.

This is why my Blog World Presentation last year in LA was all about the idea of Being Everywhere, expanding your blog onto different multi-media platforms to get in front of new audiences who have a different preference for consuming content – so along with the podcast, there’s YouTube, and together – the podcast, YouTube and my blog – that sort of created this three-pronged, or tri-force of content behind my brand, which also helps me become more of an authority figure in my niche, and what’s cool is that after that presentation at Blog World Expo, several of my peers have since began their own podcasts and have started concentrating on YouTube, and they’re already seeing massive results as well.

And you wonder why these people are successful – it’s because they take action yo! They try new things and not only learn, but learn and implement and test and experiment – that’s what will help you grow and expand and get better results.

Public Speaking

Now, a by-product of producing the Smart Passive Income Podcast was the growth and confidence in my ability to use my voice, and like I did when I started the podcast, I decided to purposely get uncomfortable and try Public Speaking because I knew it would help my business and my brand.

I had mentioned Blog World Expo in LA last year, but that actually wasn’t my first presentation – that was my second.

My first ever public speaking experience was at the Financial Bloggers Conference in Chicago in October of 2011, and that was am amazing, probably life-changing moment for me and my brand.

Public speaking was something I was always wanting to do, but something I also feared, like a lot of people in this world do. Speaking in front of a crowd is actually the #1 fear in the world, more so than death, which is pretty interesting – but I can see why, it’s scary to be on stage and have everyones eyes on you. It’s live, and there’s no delete button or do-overs, you can’t edit what people hear…but that’s why it’s so awesome too – my life has changed because of presentations I’ve seen before, and so I knew that if I could master presenting live in public I could help change other people’s lives as well.

So, I decided to go all out and learn as much as I could about the craft. I picked up a book called Stand and Deliver which is a Dale Carnegie book, and I read it twice because it really taught me what makes an amazing presentation, and the coolest thing I learned is that presenting can be learned – some people have a natural ability but if you don’t, you can learn it – there’s like, almost a formula for what makes an excellent presentation that if you know and you can follow, you can, again, really make an impact with your voice and your presence.

Part of the advice in that book was also to watch a ton of other presentations and pick up on things that I like and work for me, so I could develop my own style, so I sat down and watched about 50 http://www.ted.com presentations – which I recommend you do anyways even if you’re not into public speaking, because the information there is just, well, it’s just really interesting.

So I learned all that I could, mind mapped my first presentation for the personal finance blogging community, which was all about standing out of the crowd, and apparently I knocked it out of the park. I sort of had one of those out of body experiences where you do something, and then you sort of phase out and all of a sudden it’s over and you don’t even realize what happened – it was pretty cool because that reminded me of when I used to perform in marching band and in orchestras and wind ensembles – I was just, in the zone, I guess and apparently everything went really well and the presentation was very well received, and after that – man, I was just really excited to get back into it as soon as possible. I then presented at Blog World Expo in LA and I’m scheduled to speak again at Blog World Expo in New York in June – it’s going to be a lot of fun.

So, to kind of bring this back around, the confidence that I gained in public speaking has made me more confident on the blog and on the podcast an din videos that I’ve recently produced, so it just comes around full circle again, all working to make SPI as best as it can be in the quality of content and delivery – which again is all for you.

The Niche Site Duel and Affiliate Marketing

Another huge win for me in 2011 was the success of my security guard training niche site – an experimental niche site that you might remember I started in late 2010, totally based off of keyword research and finding an untapped niche, but it was in 2011 when I began to make some real good money with it, mostly from spending time optimizing the site for Adsense clicks – which means testing various locations of the ads as well as the different colors – and that’s when I started to make over $100 a day with it, which is great. Another win for the site is that I was offered 5-figures for the site, 3 times actually – I talked about the first time when I was offered $10k for the site, but that was early in the year, but later on I was offered 15k and even 30k for the site. I declined each offer though because the residual income for not doing much work on them, since I put all that work upfront already, is worth more to me – plus there’s still room for growth.

The thing is, as this site took off, and because I shared it publicly on the blog, as soon as I got to #1 and as soon as income started coming in, and people could check and go to Google and type in security guard training and see the site right there at #1, my affiliate income started to go through the roof, and for anyone out there doing business online, the huge lesson here is the proof.

Talk isn’t worth very much online, but results, and results with concrete proof – that’s worth a lot of weight and that’s how you motivate people. It doesn’t matter what kind of onlin business you have, whether you’re gather a following on a blog or you’re trying to sell something, whether it’s an information product or even a tangible produt – it doesn’t matter. Results speak for themselves and results get people to take action. That’s why my blog is very results driven.

So when things started to go well my Bluehost earnings skyrocketed – and even today I’m still making around 15-20k just on domain and hosting commissions alone, which is amazing. Other tools that I’ve shared that I used during the process started to pick up steam as well, even without me having to do much work – I had setup the niche site duel posts (which you can check out at http://www.nichesiteduel.com and included affiliate links to products I used, but never said that they were required or forced anything – I just have all that there as an option – so it was really cool a few months later, to get a number of emails from people saying that their own niche sites climbed to the top of Google and people started to make money online on their own sites – that’s really why I made everything public and free because you don’t need to pay for information like that – you really can Google most things online, it’s just the motivation that people need to get things done.

Coaching

Still though, and this was very surprising to me, even though you can get that information for free about how I setup my site, how I configured it, from keyword research all the way to adsense placement and even setting up a job board on the site, people still wanted help – to be part of something that motivated them, held them accountable and got them to take action.

People were emailing me left and right for one-on-one coaching with their niche sites – a LOT of people, and at first I just referred them to the niche site duel posts but they all said they read those already, and they just wanted more – so that’s when I launched a Niche Site Coaching course – an 8 to 10 week sort of classroom style program where we meet once a week via webinar, the students would learn something, apply it and then come back the next week and we’d build on the previous lesson and at the end, they’d have a fully built, working niche site that would be ranking in Google and hopefully earning a little bit.

I did this together with Tyrone Shum who was sort of the co-coach, and the person who battled me in the niche site duel, we setup an application process and were totally blown away when over 150 people applied for a $799 8 to 10 week course, it was just incredible!

And we couldn’t possibly take in 150 students so we narrowed it down to 20, and working with those students for that period of time was probably one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

Definitely not scalable, since it took up a lot of time – not just the 3 hour webinar each week, but all the prep time and forum participation and checking on people, accountability and that sort of thing, but everyone who went through the course and finished and really did what we instructed saw results – one person ended up going full time and no longer worked his 9 to 5, others started new sites – it’s was awesome, but at the same time it taught me a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to coaching and taking people through a long-term, sort of classroom style tutorial, and not everyone finished some people dropped off or didn’t complete their coursework and it made me wonder why and what I could do to motivate them more.

Of course, some of that stuff wasn’t under my control – family stuff and one person was even in Japan when the earthquakes hit which was scary but he was okay – but I became really interested in the stuff that I could control and what made people work and work harder and get results, and I’ve always kept that in mind and it has guided me in the consultation that I do, in the blog posts I write, the videos I shoot, the podcasts I record and it will guide me in any future sort of course work that may come our of The Smart Passive Income Blog as well.

So yeah – coaching, totally awesome – learned a ton about how to work directly with people as opposed to the mass communication I do on the blog or other platforms I’m on.

Always Improving

Another thing that I learned that had a big impact on my blog really started when Derek Halpern, my buddy from SocialTriggers.com, invited me to get on a video with him and do a little critique of one of my own sites. He’s a master at converting readers into subscribers, so he gave me the choice of selecting which of my sites I wanted a critique for, and I said – The Smart Passive Income Blog, knowing that whatever he had to say would be shared to all the SPI followers.

Here’s a link to the conversion strategies video he did:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/conversion-strategies/

At this point, the blog had about 22 or 23 thousand subscribers, maybe 10k email subscribers, and you know I thought I was doing things pretty well. The systems I had in place to collect emails and get new subscribers was working for me, at a rate of about 35 to 50 email subscribers a day.

Then we did this critique together, I shared it on the blog, gave it some time so people could watch it, see what I had and then later see what I did to improve – based on Derek’s recommendations, and man…

After I implemented those changes, I was getting about 60-90 subscribers a day, sometimes cracking 100, and THAT really was proof that – not only that Derek’s strategies work, and I won’t get into those here just check out the video if you want to see exactly what he said…but this was proof that there is always someone else you can learn something from to improve.

And that was the big waking moment for me – I mean, I always knew it was good to keep learning, but I was doing it almost in a reactionary sort of way, when something new came along or something needed to be learned, then I’d go learn it and try to master it – but this was like – WOW, there is so much more I have to learn, I have to go out there and learn it. Find that information, let is soak in and then implement it.

This lead me to start looking into more courses. Copywriting courses, which I love and I need to do more of. Copywriting is huge – you know if no one is interested in your headline nothing you said in your post or article matters, because they’re not going to read it!

Learning how to be more organized, especially because my son is growing like, super fast and is taking up even more of my time, which I love – but that just means I have to be more productive when I do work and cut all the distractions out – like, really, or else nothing gets done, ever.

Learning more about design and how design influences action – functional design, as they say in architecture, which totally applies online.

Learning more about search engine optimization, so on and so on…

The big lesson here is never just think that you know all there is to know, about anything really. There’s always someone out there better than you, you’ve heard that before, I’m sure. Well, that’s awesome – go learn from them! Go. To. Them. And. Get. Better.

I’ve still got a lot to learn, and I hope I can have more people constructively criticize my businesses, there’s nothing worth more because that can lead to growth and improvement.

Last sort of Lesson before I get into the numbers (which I’m sure has more lessons and thoughts in them), is that everyone should matter.

One of the most important things when it comes to developing your online business are the relationships that you create. Back in 2009 and 2010, it was really the new relationships that I had with other bloggers in this niche that skyrocketed my brand, really sort of put me on the map, if you will – like I remember when I was intereviewed by Yaro Starak over at Entrepreneur’s Journey, and also Darren Rowse from Problogger.net – huge blogs with big audiences, them directly promoting me and my blog on the site – traffic through the roof – massive exposure, of course. And I can’t forget and thank enough the author behind LazyManandMoney.com, a personal finance blogger who said some really nice words about me way back in the day, again another influencer who helped to put the Smart Passive Income Blog on the map.

But, in 2011 – you know I didn’t really have that – new relationships with bigger bloggers who sent a lot of new eyes to my brand, and I don’t know if that’s because I wasn’t trying, or maybe because I’ve sort of become a big brand myself – I don’t know, but the relationships that were built in 2011 that really skyrocketed my blog and took it to the next level, and even the level beyond that – were the relationships I built and created with my readers – every single one of them, I like to think – not just from a blog author to a reader perspective, although I try to create relationships that way too, but I’m talking more about the personal, one-on-one response to an email, or Tweet or Facebook message type of relationships, and you have no idea how many people just simply thank me, for responding, for being a real person – which is weird because everyone is real in the sense that they’re a person, right?

But online, really, I think it’s easy for that idea of a person behind a brand to go away, or at least the approachable person, I should say – and it’s the tribe, the readers and followers of the SPI brand who, more so than any of the other big bloggers out there, who are doing all the work to share myself and the brand, and although the individual reach is less – collectively – it’s much, much, much bigger.

And now with the ability to share things – that’s what really helped in 2011 – the ability to with one-click retweet something, or like something and share it with those people who know and follow you – that’s huge…

So the idea here is, and I guess the important lesson is that individual people matter – everybody should matter, because if you can show even just a little bit of care and attention, that goes a long way online and that’s how you create life-long fans who will share you and your content with anyone they know – even by word of mouth, and the thing is, you never REALLY know how many people a person knows, or how many people a person may eventually come to know.

This is why even though it’s a major time suck, and I can’t always respond to emails right away – sometimes weeks later, I always try to respond to every single email, and it’s funny because so often I get an email back after I respond saying they didn’t expect me to respond. I love that, because what do you think happened in those people’s heads when they don’t think I’m going to respond, but I do…

And some of those people have since created their own blogs and remember that, and share the heck out of me, which is pretty awesome, and something I’m very thankful for.

Again, just another version, or side to the whole the more you give away, the more you get back in return…I love it.

INCOME BREAKDOWN

Ok, so this should be interesting, I think it’s much easier to share numbers and charts on a blog post as opposed to a voice driven podcast, but I’m going to try anyways (and for those of you who are reading the transcript, well – I guess this works out for you!)

Here’s the income breakdown from 2011. I’ll sort of categorize it – you might have seen my written reports where I break down each and every affiliate product or something like that – I won’t do that here since it’s the yearly report but you’ll get a good idea of what kind of money I’m making and where, and I will pull out some highlights..

GreenExamAcademy.com

So, first let’s start with GreenExamAcademy.com – this is a website I created back in 2007 actually, started monetizing in October of 2008 with an eBook, an audio guide, practice exams and also classes and continuing education credits – this is for a particular test in the architecture industry.

In 2011 it had about 100,000 unique visitors, which isn’t too much really when you consider that when I first started it, I was getting about 100,000 visitors a month – and the difference in income reflects that, which is primarily due to changes in the industry, more competitors, and it’s just not as hot of a market anymore (which is why I’m glad I diversified), but anyways in 2011 the site generated a total of:

$37,762.41

SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com

As I mentioned before, this is the experimental niche site I created from scratch, publicly on the blog, which happened to generate more and more income each and every month in 2011, primarily from Adsense, although there’s some income coming from a job board on the site and some affiliate products, like for some great and equipment and that sort of thing.

In 2011, very similar to GreenExamAcademy.com, it received 105,000 unique visitors, which is interesting, and it earned:

$14,497.86

And when I say the earnings kept growing, I really mean they did keep growing. In January of 2011, it had earned $450.80, and by the end of the year it earned $2,170.15 in a single month. That’s almost 400% growth – mostly coming from – not new traffic as a result of getting to #1 in Google, I was already in #1 in Google at the beginning of the year – but it was the fact that I wrote and published a ton of new content on the site – from 15 pieces of content to now 110 pieces of content, and long tail keyword after long tail keyword was being found – and just a quick look at my analytics tells me that in 2011, securityguardtraininghq.com was found in Google for 27,946 different keywords…

Seriously – the more you write, the more you will be found. It’s as plain and as simple as that.

Now, I did make a few hundred dollars a month from eHow.com when the writer’s compensation program was still running. It got cut off in April or May I think, but for about 2 and a half years, I was consistently making 150 to 300 a month, which was great, so in total there I had earned about $1,300.

iPhone Applications

iPhone apps – I have an iPhone app business that has done really well, but we got in early. It’s still possible to make money from it – our buddy Benny Hsu who had an app that was featured as App of the Week in iTunes which was earning well over $1000 a day for a good maount of time, and I haven’t checked in with him lately but I’m sure it’s still doing really well – but the market is just totally saturated and you have to have a really good idea, or implement an existing idea REALLY well and much better than anything that’s out there, which is what Benny did.

This is why we really haven’t created many new apps, and any ones that we were planning on creating were sort of put on the back burner for now – they just weren’t top priority for us anymore.

What we did do was, a couple of times, come out with updates for our most popular applications, like Baby Maker and Traffic Light Changer (and for those of you who don’t know, all of these apps are sort of entertainment apps that don’t necessarily improve people’s lives, per se, but more make them laugh or chuckle a little – which I guess is improving people’s lives a little bit) – but anyways the updates did help our income a bit.

In 2011, in total we grossed $52,484.12, which is awesome, and we are comtinuing to update our existing apps and hopefully we’ll see some bigger numbers in 2012 – so far so good, and maybe even another app or two, we’ll see. It’s hard because both my partner and I have other businesses that we’re working on at the moment, but yeah, this is motivating and I’m about to check in with him to see what’s up on our latest project.

Coaching and Consultation

As I mentioned before, I started to do some coaching, and I’ve been consulting with this Hollywood company for a bit. Not exactly passive, but they were opportunities that came about because of the blog so I feel they should be included in the report as well.

In 2011, the total for coaching and consultation was $31.401.30.

As far as the outlook for 2012 is concerned in this category, I’m honestly not too sure yet. Again, we’ll see.

Affiliate Marketing

So far, before I get into affiliate marketing income – commissions from recommending other products that are not my own – products that, at least for me, that I’ve used myself and have found to be helpful in one way or another, the total for 2011 is about $137,000…which is an amazing year in and of itself, but when we include the affiliate marketing income – things start to get really interesting.

And I have to be completely up front with you – MOST of this income comes as a result of the work I do on the smart passive income blog. I don’t sell anything, currently, and I never aggressively promote anything or say you NEED this or you NEED that or you should buy this or should by that. This is all non-aggressive, more like – this is what I used, here’s an affiliate link in case you want to use this tool type of thing. I’m upfront about the fact that they are affiliate links, and most of them are just mentions of a tool – for example my resource page – one of the most visited pages on my blog:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/resources/

It’s also, one of the most profitable. Right at the top I disclose that some of the links on that page are affiliate links, I will get paid if one makes a purchase using my affiliate links, and like I said – one of the most popular pages on my site. I keep track and people click on those links, because they are helpful, they add value to what people are trying to achieve, and that’s the magic trick – promoting products that actually work or are helpful for people, depending on what they want to do…

So, to not make you wait any longer, the sum of income from affiliate marketing (again, most of it as a result of the blog, but not all of it – I have a few niche sites here and there that promote affiliate products as well) – the sum in 2011 is:

$272,371.19

I can’t even believe that number when I hear it. Completely crazy stuff going on here – and I just can’t thank you enough if you’re one of those people who have ever clicked on any of my affiliate links – and even if you haven’t you still matter and have had an effect on me.

This is life changing stuff here, and I think it’s because of my approach – you know I’m just a dude who shares what is working and what isn’t work, and like I said over $100,000 came outside of this blog, but the more I give away the more I get back in return, and it returned to me bigtime in 2011, and I’m incredible grateful for that and I will not forget where I came from or what each and every one of you means to me – that’s something I will swear by.

I know I’m not a millionaire and I’m still far from it, I mean we haven’t even talked about taxes which is a HUGE chunk of this income, close to half really, and then expenses as well which I’ll get to in a second, but my point is I know this is a significant amount of money, but I will not let that change who I am or my lifestyle because I’m living exactly how I want to live right now, just a dad, husband living happy at home – for you, it might be different, and whatever your dream is whatever your goals are, I hope you can work backwards from there and know exactly what it’ll take, and through my blog and the podcast, I want to give you as much information as possible to help make that happen.

GROSS TOTAL

So in gross total, and this includes a few more small earnings here and there, like from YouTube, donations and other things like that, the gross total for 2011 is:

$413,340.84

Now, please realize that these aren’t exact numbers – they are ROUGH numbers (even though they are down to the penny) because over time people ask for refunds, or sometimes I get credit later or a person upgrades their purchase and random things like that, so they are not 100% accurate because of that, but they are close. What I did was basically added up all the figures in each category in my month income reports, all of which have that same note.

EXPENSES

Now let’s get to expenses. I like to talk about expenses in two forms – monetary expenses, and time expense.

As far as monetary expenses, and the big things are things like hosting. I pay $289.00 a month for a dedicated host – I had to upgrade from Bluehost because of all the traffic the Smart Passive Income Blog was having, which I guess is a good problem to have -

Oh and speaking of traffic, I forgot to mention that the SPI blog in 2011 had about 640,000 unique visitors and over 1.5 million pageviews, which is RIDICULOUS!

So yeah, new server much needed. So that’s a large expense.

Aweber for the email list – it’s up to about 28,000 people now, and they only show a payment plan for up to 25,000, so that should give you a rough idea of where I’m at there…

I also paid about $700/month for a virtual assistant, my programmer, Mike, who does a lot of the website stuff I need done – primarily on my niche sites and any client sites I work on, he’s been fantastic and I’m happy to pay him for his work…I also threw in a few bonuses as well for the good work that he’s done.

Then we have legal expenses with my lawyer to make sure everything is all good in the hood, travel expenses, necessary equipment to keep my business running, then of course the services like unique article wizard and other things with a monthly recurring fee that help with various parts of my business, then there’s money that was spent on learning new things – courses and other educational items – it’s a lot of stuff and it really does add up.

So in total, we’re talking roughly $70,000 in expenses – which alone sounds crazy – I mean I spent more money for my business this year than I ever earned in one single year (or even two years come to think of it) working in architecture – but of course when you’re growing and expanding it takes money to invest in that growth, so in net profit, for 2011, it comes down to about: $343,000.00 net, which is incredible, but again this is not including taxes, which I won’t get into now, and if you’ve noticed I’m not really comfortable getting into on the blog that much, and I’ve had a lot of requests for posts and podcasts about the tax side of things – and I have posts about how I setup my business structure and things like that, but to be honest I recommend finding a professional to help you if you’re looking for information about how to do it right and right from the start, for you.

And last thing about expenses, you know this sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but when I first started with GreenExamAcademy.com and it was making about $20,000 to $30,000 a month on it’s own, my only expenses were $6 bucks a month for domain and hosting, $5 a month for http://www.e-junkie.com to house and sell and deliver my eBook, and really, just time.

So time – let’s get into time.

Most of the work I do is for the Smart Passive Income Blog, which I have to say is the least passive of all my businesses.

GreenExamAcademy: 2 hours a month, at most, basically just answering customer emails and making sure all systems are still working correctly.

SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com: when I was setting it up, an hour a day for 73 days, on average. When it got to #1 in Google, about an hour a week, if that, mainly to add more content on the site and tweak and test conversions for advertisements.

iPhone Apps: In 2011, not much work at all. On average, an hour a month to swap emails, check stats and send updates to our developer, and then from our developer back in to the App Store.

This businesses, which make a significant amount of money – like I said, over $137,000 total in 2011, with literally just a few hours a month. Again, this is because the systems are setup on autopilot, and these are three completely different models – so choose your weapon – but don’t forget it takes a lot, and I mean a LOT of hard work up front to get these in place, and it’s not going to work all of the time. I just want to be upfront and straight with you – but that’s part of the fun, seeing what will work, and what doesn’t and taking what you learned and applying it to the next thing.

For some, it’ll come soon, for others, and for most people, it comes way later.

But I hope this shows you that with some hard work, with educating yourself and then applying those lessons, and always pushing forward, you can really make some awesome things happen – and to tie this into the biggest lesson I learned in 2011, and I have to credit MJ DeMarco, an author I interviewed in session #18 about a year ago:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/mjdemarco-millionaire-fastlane/

To really become successful, you must affect many.

Affect many – that is what should drive your decisions, how you write, what platforms you’re on (all of them), who you make your product for and what it does, what you write in your emails, how you put yourself out there, and why you do what you do.

The more people you can affect, the more of an effect it will have on your own business, and life.

Cheers everyone – thanks for listening to my 2011 annual income report, and here’s to an awesome, healthy, profitable and safe 2012.

Bye!

[/spoiler]

  • http://www.monthlyincomereport.com Adam

    Really awesome of you to break out expenses. I definitely wish more bloggers would do this…

    But what a year — can’t wait to see how 2012 turns out!

    • http://www.monthlyincomereport.com Adam

      Oh, also curious and forgot to ask — does that “expenses” item include taxes?

      • Pat

        No – I mention in the session that expenses do NOT include taxes, and I talk about why as well. Thanks Adam!

        • http://www.monthlyincomereport.com Adam

          Haha, cool thanks. Was listening and commenting at the same time. Guess next time I gotta listen to the whole thing first ;-)

  • Brian Lima

    Pat, nice to see the annual report! always inspiring. Keep up the amazing work and don’t change a thing. You almost part of the 7 figure a year blogsphere. wow. that is cool. brian

    • Pat

      Thanks Brian, I appreciate the support, and all of our little conversations on skype :) I do enjoy them! Cheers!

  • http://residualincomelife.com/ Austin Furey

    Hey Pat,

    Sometimes your income reports get me down a little bit. ;-)
    But it is amazing that the words “3rd” and “annual” are both in the title. You are a hard working guy who deserves all of the success that may come your way.

    Besides, if it weren’t for you and a handful of other influential media producers, I wouldn’t have a blog, podcast and passive income of my own (granted, not quite as impressive as your own ;-)).

    All the best,

    -Austin

    • Pat

      Thanks Austin, and sorry if they get you down – that’s definitely not what they are meant for!

      Glad to hear you’re making passive income as well and I’m happy to have helped you along the way.

      And thanks for the tweet about my double listing in iTunes today – that was pretty cool! :)

      All the best!

      • http://residualincomelife.com/ Austin Furey

        Haha, I was teasing of course your income reports are inspiring as ever.

        And no problem! iTunes just loves you I guess. :-)

        -Austin

    • http://www.4-trees.com Mike Stone

      Hi Austin,
      I have to agree with you… you break your back all year and have nothing to show for it.
      We keep on swing and hope one day to hit it out of the Park.
      Bye for now
      Mike

  • http://www.GoToPhysicianAssistantSchool.com David DuBose

    Pat,
    You sir, continue to impress and inspire me! I have started to earn some passive income of my own thanks to much of the info you share on SPI. Keep up the great work and blessings to you and your family.

    • Pat

      Great to hear David! I always love hearing about others earning a passive income too – well done! All the best to you and your family as well!

  • http://healthinsane.com/ Tim Anderson

    Awesome Pat. Most of your revenue comes from affiliate marketing.

    USD300,000 per year. This is an inspiration for us to keep ourselves motivated to help people and earn money by doing it.

    Thank you Pat! :D

    • Pat

      My pleasure Tim! Thanks!

  • http://www.sminso.com Chris

    Pat,
    So glad I just saw your tweet out of the corner of my eye! I just downloaded to my iPhone, gives me something to listen to on my way home! Thanks for making my day!

    Chris

    • Pat

      Great Chris! I hope you enjoy on your commute! Cheers!

  • http://www.kfm24.com Kenny Fabre

    Pat

    Nice income report conrats brother, it goes to show the power of hard work, self confidence, and taking action.

    I had listened to the audio podcast of your story in Yaro Starak’s blog and I want to tell you– your story very interesting, of how an opportunity came your way you seized, by serving others, and cool how you started in the “Education Exam Test” niche

    • Pat

      Thank you Kenny, I appreciate that. I think we should all be open to the opportunities that are presented to us and seize the moment, if it’s there. Cheers, and all the best to you!

  • http://www.bootstrapcafe.com Adam

    Pat, I rarely comment on blogs, this is the first from me on SPI

    Congratulations! Superb progress!

    Err, I must start actually selling something on my blog…

    Very best wishes for your ongoing success

    Adam

  • http://www.rightmixmarketing.com/ Tom Treanor

    Pat. I’m a big fan of your podcast but this is my first time commenting on your blog (I just included you in my most recent post). Thanks for the great education and for being so transparent!

    • Pat

      Thanks for listening to the podcast Tom, and thank you even more for coming by and leaving a comment, I really appreciate that, and the mention in your most recent post as well. Cheers!

  • http://www.evergreensearch.com Eric Siu

    Hey Pat,
    Great to see that you’re always doing this consistently – I think that’s the most important thing. Way to keep your readers inspired!

    P.S. Hash house was great – can’t believe I didn’t try it in college.

    -Eric

    • Pat

      Nice! What did you get? Didn’t I tell you the portions were HUGE? To be honest, I hadn’t tried it until 2 weeks ago either, so it’s all good!

      • http://www.evergreensearch.com Eric Siu

        They were ginormous man – I got the Andy’s Sages Fried Chicken. Wasn’t able to finish it so had to take it to go. I might be back down there in a few weeks and I might just have to go again!

  • http://www.extramoneyblog.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    absolutely amazing Pat.

    the CFO of the small company (hundreds of millions in annual revenue) I am doing some consulting for makes less. not that it’s all about who makes the most amount of money, but just to put things in some perspective. very cool.

    congratulations and keep on inspiring

    • Pat

      Thanks Sunil, I appreciate the kind words my friend! All the best and you keep inspiring as well!

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    Thank you for continuing to put out great content that we all can use. Whenever I heard a post like this or listen to the podcast, it gives me hope that I can do it too!

    • Pat

      Thanks Kimanzi, and congrats on your guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog!

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        I wouldn’t have gotten it if I didn’t follow your advice!

  • http://cloudtheming.com Beau

    Dude, you killed it in 2011. Congrats on everything and hard work does pay off!

    • Pat

      Thanks Beau! Definitely a lot of hard work involved, but trying to keep it fun at the same time :)

      Cheers!

  • http://www.thehomeforsurvival.com Survivor Mike

    Pat – congrats on a great year. I truly appreciate the hard work you do in creating great content for readers like me.

    I’ll aspire to reach your near $1000 / day – right now I’m at around $1.00. Only $999 more a day to go. ; )

    Seriously, congrats to you!

    • Pat

      It all adds up Mike – and just take it one day, and one dollar at a time :) Cheers, and all the best!

  • http://www.yourdigitalsalesman.com Clif Bridegum

    Great job Pat!

    You truly are an inspiration for myself and so many others. Thanks again for all the amazing content! The podcast is excellent.

    • Pat

      Thanks Clif, I really appreciate that! All the best to you!

  • Rob

    Hi Pat
    Congrats with this awesome result. You’re a great inspiration for me. I have started some niche website initiatives recently and you can call me a real newbie. I love reading your post, they’re very practical. $1000 per day would be nice…I first go for $1…
    Keep up the good work!
    Many greetings from The Netherlands

    Rob

    • Pat

      Thanks Rob! I appreciate the kind words! Cheers!

  • http://www.faithandfinance.org Tim @ Faith and Finance

    Good for you Pat! Here’s to another awesome year for SPI and all your ideas. You continue to inspire new ideas – thank you for your dedication to helping others. Congrats on the news for your family’s expected addition!

    • Pat

      Thank you Tim! We’re really really excited about it! It’ll be interesting how the family/work balance will shift once he or she arrives!

  • http://www.howtogetonrealitytv.net Dan Gheesling

    Nice work Pat! Congrats on the great year. It would be interesting to see how much of the 343k you got to keep vs. paying the IRS / CA State Tax!

    • Pat

      Thanks Dan – and yes, indeed it will be interesting. My CPA is on it right now :P

  • http://www.jonwiggens.com Jon

    Congrats on another strong year Pat – you’re an inspiration my friend. Keep on crushin it.

    • Pat

      Cheers Jon, thank you!

  • http://www.buyhomeblog.com.com Kent F

    Hi Pat – I’m usually one to ask off the beaten path questions….so, here goes – do you ever get concerned that your Income Reports will take a lifeform of their own. I saw at one point in 2011 over 20 retweets of your monthly income tweet. Everyone shares it with their audience to point to you and say “see, you can make a huge living passiively – look at this!”. It seems these posts build on themselves – maybe a good thing, maybe not – just not sure. Thanks!

    • Pat

      Hi Kent – anything I write or publish or film or record, I want as many eyes on it as possible. I’m comfortable with the fact that people view all this (if I wasn’t I wouldn’t publish it!), although at the same time I know how easy it is for people to see the numbers and not look at anything else, which is why I pound it in every single time that this stuff is not easy, that it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time, etc. I feel people appreciate the honesty behind it, I would think. I think it’s a good thing.

  • http://www.timdmoon.com Tim Moon

    That’s great, Pat! Nice work. The coaching/consultations included you work on the film, right?

  • Jason

    What is included in the expenses? Hosting? Development/designer work?

  • http://www.realtimetricks.com Irfan

    That’s really a HUGE income pat. Hats off to you! Congrats Pat!

  • drew

    Well done, Pat Congrats.

  • http://bramptonacupuncture.com David E

    Way to go Pat, looks like you a had a great year…really enjoy all the great content you share….I think you have the best audio quality/content podcast around look forward to the next cast.

  • Jim

    Congrats, Pat. Welcome to the 1%! ;)

  • Ben Armstrong

    It’s amazing what you’ve achieved, Pat. You should be proud.

    Surely it won’t be long until you need to change the “No, I’m not a millionaire” section in the sidebar.

  • http://www.gooddatingrelationshipadvice.com Jason

    Wow, that is a lot of money! Sure you don’t want to go back to the “old” job? Hindsight is 20-20, but one closing door lead to something better than you could have ever guessed.

  • http://ricardonunez.com Ricardo Nuñez

    Congrats pat, what a year. Always improving which is very inspiring. Do you have a money goals for 2012?

  • http://www.babystepbattle.com Eric Hanby

    I just came across your site through a blog directory. Your income report is very impressive. I only wish I could get to where you’re at. I watched your getting started video. I started to read The 4-Hour Work Week but haven’t finished it. I think I’m going to have to now. I have a blog about making money online (www.babystepbattle.com) but it’s in it’s infancy, I’m battling along though one step at a time. Hence the name :) I’m definitely going to be checking out your blog often and linking back often as well.

  • http://myonlinesuccessdiary.com/ Phil Jensen

    Wow….Pat, you’re a content ninja…..awesome post…..how long did this take to write??

  • Jeff beer

    Pat, I remember one day in 2007 I found a fellow ehow member talking on a forum… Talking about how he started a website on his passive income journey, you remember that guy? ;)

    I felt like it was just yesterday when you did the first annual income report… Man time flies! Enough with the joking, pat. You. Are. The. Man!

    Please, I hope you can realize that some people will never experience what you have accomplished. And if there one thing to learn from this, it is that any things possible!

    Congrats, pat.
    Your SPI fan est. since 2007,
    Jeff Beer

  • http://incomepress.com Joey

    Hey Pat I’m also reading Stand and Deliver. Awesome book. I’m also wanting to get into public speaking and I remember you wrote about it and mentioned that book and the TED videos so I quickly jumped on it. Thanks for that.

    Also congrats on your success brotha. Awesome ;-)

  • http://simplylearnbusiness.com Nick Purcell

    Pretty cool idea putting your income reports on the podcast. Cover that audience to get them onto the blog. I’m onto your strategy ;). But anyways, great figures as always. I may be able to go to the Blog World Expo in New York. I hope to see you there. It ends like a day or two before my graduation. Haha. Priorities though. I’d miss graduation for it. If I do, I can’t wait to meet you! You are awesome!

  • http://www.smallscalebusiness.com Carl

    Wow! How I wish I have the same income as yours. Congrats! You inspire me!

  • http://www.onlinebusinessmania.com/ Sajan Elanthoor

    Pat, you’re really inspiring (if not influencing) many of us. Especially I really like your transperancy in everything you do in the blog and ofcourse that’s one of the reasons why your blog growing day by day. Keep up inspiring us always and hearty congratulation to you for becoming a dad again.

  • http://www.themogultimes.com Howard | The Mogul Times

    Awesome stuff Pat – you continue to inspire those of us just starting out on this journey. Soon you’ll need to change your copy on “No, I’m not a millionaire but..”

    Keep it up!

  • http://womenswaytowealth.com Cassie | Womenswaytowealth

    Amazingly inspiring Pat, thanks for being so open and sharing so much with everyone. It’s obviously a formula that works, but is way out of most people’s comfort zone (good for you!).

  • http://alistbloggingbootcamps.com Mary | A-List Blogging Bootcamps

    Your annual report is inspiring, Pat! Your income from affiliate earnings was a real eye-opener.

    BTW you got a few rave nominations for the “Top 10 Blogs for Bloggers” award 2012. You can check it out here:
    http://www.alistbloggingbootcamps.com/top-10-blogs-for-bloggers-contest-2012/

  • http://www.naturalfacewashes.com Carly

    Hey! Have you ever thought about moving to some tropical paradise which will also have less or no tax, Anquilla for example?

  • http://philfaqs.com Dave Starr

    Inspiring as always, Pat. Thanks again for all you do. Every morning when I weed out the unwelcome, breathless, full of BS so-called “marketing” emails that have accumulated in my inbox, I feel like responding to them by referring them to your site and saying, “This is how it’s done, dufus”.

    Of course I don’t bother becuase a., most of them wouldn’t answer their emails, b., a huge number of them wouldn’t be able to comprehend the words and c., very few of them understand that you don’t have to be underhanded and “in a person’s face” to sell effectively. Godspeed.

  • http://invite.wproadie.com Stephen Jeske

    It’s a little ironic that it’s called a “passive income report” in the sense that some people get the idea that passive means no or little work… just watch the money roll in!

    I’m know you’re not like that Pat and that’s my point. You work hard and you work smart. That’s what people should remember. Hmm… guess you don’t call it “Smart Passive Income” for nothing!

  • http://www.kickerhosting.com vela

    Awesome number. The one that inspires me most is the bluehost. I signed up for their affiliate program and if I can make $1000 pm. I will be one happy bunny.

  • Johan

    Hi Pat,

    This is not relate to this topic but I thought you would like to like. Don’t know if you have seen ClickBank Insider Radio it’s a new thing Clickbank started and in one episode they mentioned you. Check it out – ClickBank Insider Radio Episode 5: Conversion Expert Derek Halpern – http://www.clickbank.com/blog/category/clickbank-insider-radio/

    play the voice clip at around 11min

    • Johan

      haha sorry, only saw now that the first episode is about you. now I feel stupid ;P

  • Matthew Proctor

    Pat,

    I love your site and I’ve been a long time follower (even though I don’t subscribe) and this is the first time I’m commenting on anything. Your success is astounding and for a long time it has been an inspirational story but it’s starting to get a little bit overwhelming. I’ll explain:

    I’ve been trying to make internet marketing work for me for about 3 years now. When I set out in this business I thought I was going to make it. I’ve tried a bunch of different things (mfa sites, big blogs, tons of sites, a few sites, etc) and I’ve only ever been able to achieve $500/month in earnings. In the meantime I went full time freelance copywriter and internet marketer for a year before I burned out and decided it wasn’t making enough for me and I had to go back to a salary job as an SEO consultant. About 8 months ago I sold all of my websites and started a brand new one. It gets around 200 visitors a day but it doesn’t make more than $15/month.

    Now, from my perspective I’m starting to wonder whether this whole thing will ever work out for me. I first started reading your blog around the start of the Niche Site Duel and back then your income seemed like a realistic goal. You’ve now hit “superstar” status with this post and I feel paralyzed by the idea that you can make that much money while I’ve been trying all of these things and can’t get even a fraction of it to work.

    You do such amazing work on your sites and your blogs. I’m basically starting from scratch at this point and posts like this, once inspiring, now make the lifestyle look like three mount Everests wrapped in barbed wire and stacked on top of each other. You’re doing facebook campaigns, multiple high quality sites, regular posts on SPI, high quality podcasts, link building, SEO, and a whole slew of other things in the background. How can anyone keep up unless they’re full time? How do I even get to that point where its sustainable to go full time in the first place without burning out again?

    I don’t mean to complain. I’m just a bit frustrated with my own business right now.

    I would love to do one of those 8 week courses you spoke about. Are you doing another round any time soon? If I’m going to climb this mountain I’m going to need a little help.

    • http://pathtoenlightenment.net Diego

      Matthew,
      You’re not alone. I tried to make IM work for me for one year now, and, so far, I’m down of about $50000 in missed income and I worked more than I was doing as an employee. Now I realize that my mindset is way too “production-oriented” for IM, and that probably, with it, I won’t be able to earn a fraction of what I was earning as an intern 15 years ago.

      Also, keep in mind that Pat started in 2008 and competition grew exponentially since then. He had good timing, besides producing good quality content; starting now is definitely harder, unless you can mange to market yourself as some sort of “guru” (which, often, is synonym of “clown”).

      The positive side is that there isn’t only IM to get an income (more or less passive), perhaps now you should focus on finding your way more than trying to force yourself working to another burnout.

      If you’d like to have a chat, you can contact me via my blog; I’d be happy to exchange ideas and experiences, and see if we can help each other succeed.

  • steve wyman

    HI Pat

    Congrats Pat, Awesome results. Epic effort im sure on your parts.

    For me the two authorities sites are an inspiration. $50K is not to shabby!

    regards

  • Jack Stron

    hey Pat, awesome stuff…

    just out of interest, how much of your net profit goes on TAX??

  • http://everydaytipsandthoughts.com Kris

    Congratulations Pat! What a fantastic year you had. You made a bucket o’money and you rocked it at FinCon with your first (I think) public speaking event!

    Keep up the great work!

  • http://about.me/apontius Andrew

    Pat,

    It’s been a joy following your rapid ascent! My advice to you – seriously consider moving to a more tax-friendly state. There are several that don’t have any income tax at all or come with the liabilities like CA does :) All the best! @apontius

  • http://thepolicetrainingacademy.com Ryan Sprout

    That’s amazing to see those numbers! I just only hope I can reach a portion of your success Pat!

  • http://www.threethriftyguys.com Aaron

    Hey Pat – your whole website and what you are doing with passive income is pretty inspiring. Really enjoy your articles and the help you provide to the community. Keep killing it!

  • http://jeremy-ruggles.com Jeremy Ruggles

    Wow Pat,

    You are just killing it out there! I hope to be even half as successful as you in the near future. Thanks for sharing and being so transparent.

    Take care,

    ~Jeremy

    PS. I am resubmitting comment because I received an error message. Sorry if it double posts. =)

  • http://www.howtobeafosterparent.com carlo krouzian

    Great stuff Pat. You’re an awesome example to follow for someone interested in the online business model. You’ve helped me immensely and I am looking forward to watching you post the great content that you do.

    Keep it up!

  • http://www.srinternetservices.com Steve

    Totally awesome Pat! I can’t say that enough. Congratulations on building such a diverse portfolio. I know it took a lot of work but to do that in 3 years is amazing. You deserve the best because of your integrity, creativity and all of your hard work.

  • http://mrsrx.com Ted

    Thanks Pat,,,,you keep me motivated,,Ted

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

    Another great reason whyy you must stay glued to SPI!

    This is lovely and it increases one’s adrenaline to earn more money online.

    Thanks Pat.

    Sheyi

  • David Hamilton

    Nice stuff Pat, excellent work. What does your schedule look like on a given week? 30, 40 or 80 hour weeks? Since you mention hard work, and I know exactly what you mean with that, so im curious what’s a 300k a year I Internet entrepreneurs schedule look like…or do you have a previous post on that?

  • http://www.naturalpetgrocer.com Harry

    Pat, it is always great to see how you are doing. It is encouraging and gives many the will to press on. Thanks for all your great materials, for the sincere approach you take to responding to everyone who is part of your community. Thanks for all the encouragement and to a great 2012!

    Harry

    • Pat

      I’d say maybe 25-30 hours per week, I try not to go any more. And most of that time is spent on the blog – not my other businesses that are generating a passive income, which only require a few hours a month.

      Here’s a post that breaks down my monthly TIME expense in a little more detail:

      http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/my-april-2011-expense-report/

      Cheers!

      • http://everlutional.com David Hamilton

        Sweet Pat thanks. I will def. check that out and glad to hear you aren’t working yourself to death to make some nice money!

  • http://www.household-budget-made-easy.com Household Budgeting Guy

    I am teaching a high school entrepreneur class and this question came up. I am sharing this page and audio with them.

    Great motivation!

  • http://www.arquigrafico.com/iluminacin-exterior-de-fachadas-con-leds Arquigrafico

    Waaaoooooooooooooooo, i have to call to my brother in new york just to tell him about this report. Congrats for your success. You are some to imitate.

  • http://www.tecnoguide.com Tecnoguide

    Good for you Pat!!! I want to know if you sometime plan to write about the process of paying taxes forbloggers. Some, like me, that live only from internet earnings, had difficult filling taxes because we dont know how do it correctly.

    • Pat

      As I mention in the podcast session, I have someone I hired to take care of all that for me. It is difficult, so I leave that to the experts.

  • http://socialtrafficlab.com Kevin Davis

    Hey Pat,

    We are always amazed at your Bluehost numbers. I see Bluehost in house affiliate program is $65 commission where as CJ is $90. Do you know if there is any benefit with going direct to Bluehost like earlier payouts?

    • Pat

      I was concerned about this as well when I found out Bluehost had an affiliate program through CJ, for more! Apparently, the CJ commission is higher because their tracking system is less reliable – this is what Bluehost tells me – so the higher payout covers the difference in missed tracking. Kind of scary, really.

      • http://socialtrafficlab.com Kevin Davis

        Thanks for that insight!

        With your concept of “Be Everywhere” do you have any plans of taking the Podcast to the Roku?

        I had mine on there through the Blubrry channel, but quickly realized that since my podcast was audio only it didn’t seem to make sense.

        We are planning to start a new video podcast which would make more sense on that medium.

        We also would rather have our own channel on Roku instead of being under the Blubrry channel for beeter branding and distribution.

        I caught you last week on Lewis Howes book launch broadcast. Looked like your son was having a lot of fun. ;-)

  • http://www.securityguardtraining-hq.com Travis

    Great job Pat, you really deserve it for how much you put into it.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    I’m relatively new to your show (and just today decided to back to listen to episode one, almost like somebody who got into Lost 3 years too late).

    The information is great, but more importantly (in my mind) is the likeability of the presentation. It’s an easy listen.

  • http://freightsavingstips.com George Muha

    Pat, you are freaking brilliant!!!

  • http://www.trinitywebcreation.com Ben

    Great Job Pat. VERY INSPIRING! This kind of thing motivates me to work even harder so that I can achieve my goals. Thank you for all your help with coaching and support! Looking foward to your first 7 figure year!

    Cheers! :)

  • http://www.mymultipleincomes.com Robert

    Pat, nice job with your income last year, and you’re on track to have another stellar year this year! Keep up the good work!

  • Stuart

    Well done Pat, you inspired me to take action only a few weeks ago and I thank you for that. I stumbled across this blog by accident when looking for something else! I am yet to make my first $ but know its the hard work that comes first…
    thanks mate.
    Stu

  • http://AsianLifestyleDesign.com Jenny Hones

    Wow! Impressive and such an inspiration – thank you!

  • Ross

    Hi Pat,

    Well done!

    Just wondering shouldn’t the “Iphone Applications Income” be halved as you have a partner in that business. Also the coaching with Tyron.

    So the bluehost commission comes from these month/yearly income breakdowns? Or is it because you have a page that is ranking no1 spot in google for a keyword like “Bluehost review” ?

    Ross

  • http://tacticalathleticperformance.com/ A.J.

    I don’t have any life altering analysis, I just wanted to say you provide a ton of inspiration to the little guys like me. Thanks again for all the awesome guidance.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz Caleb

    Basically, this could be summed up as “The Positive Domino Effect of Blogging!” … how one thing led to another which led to another, etc.

    And I do agree that you have to be thinking about how many people you can affect in a positive way which is why we need to start showing up in as many mediums as possible…this is something I have to do myself. Thanks for the positive reinforcement!

  • http://www.alsudaismp3.com AbdiKarim

    Your really a inspiration person, the way you try to improve constantly can be admired greatly. And you can apply this NOT only IM, but other areas of your life.

    I have to say your podcast frpm 001 to now shows that you have become more wise.

    Great Stuff

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Incredible year indeed Pat, great way of showing the way to building long term passive income via SPI.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog .com

  • http://excelspreadsheetshelp.blogspot.com/ Nick – Excel Help

    Congratulations on your earnings and thanks for having the courage to post it for others to see. It really does inspire me to work harder to get to where you’re at!

  • A t ladson

    Hey mr flynn i started listening to you back in 2010 and wow so much great content of information. Did this all start in 2010???? You are helping so many people including myself realize that i can crush it with a smart passive income because i can be an expert with my knowledge. Enjoy your success my friend and keep doing what you do because you do it so well. 

  • http://www.wealthalchemyblog.com J. Scott Moody

    Pat, your income for the year is amazing, but paying half of it in taxes is a serious downer. California is one of the worst states for taxes in the country. Given you can work anywhere in the country, you might want to consider relocating to keep some of your hard-earned money and, therefore, enable you to spend more time with your family.

    Might I suggest New Hampshire . . . it may be colder than California but it is home to the few tax havens left in America (no income, sales and low or no property taxes): http://wealthalchemyblog.com/2011/06/americas-tax-haven-no-income-sales-or-property-taxes/

    • Pat

      J. Scott –

      Simply put, spending more money to live in California is worth it for me. I love it out here, it’s where I grew up, and it’s where I’m happy. If I can choose to work anywhere in the world, why would I go anywhere else?

      The amount of money I have left over doesn’t matter to me – it’s where I am enjoying life that does.

  • http://freshclick.net vikram

    Very Impressive Income Pat i Never Seen Anywhere Awesome ..

  • http://jeremy-ruggles.com Jeremy Ruggles @ Internet Marketing Tips

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for sharing! Your stats are very inspirational to a someone who is still fairly new to internet marketing such as myself. I see that you have several very profitable products. Your iphone apps alone are really cleaning up.

    What advice might you have for someone who is interested in possibly creating apps, but is completely new in that field?

    Thanks Pat,

    ~Jeremy

  • Kristoffer

    Awesome results Pat, one thing I haven’t seen though is did you ever have doubts about publishing your income details publically with your own name as a brand? I was thinking about starting to do the same for my danish blog, but I’m worried that friends and family are going to see and suddenly start asking for favours – if you know what I mean.

    I’m not making anywhere near what you make, but It’ll suck being forced to pay for beers at every bar.

    I have read quite a few of your income reports, and have not yet seen you comment on this – whats your position on the whole transparency meets real life kind of deal?

    • Pat

      I know what you mean, but that doesn’t worry me. Why should one be forced to do anything, no matter how much money one makes? Just because I make a few more bucks doesn’t mean I owe anyone anything (except the government), unless that’s something I want to do.

  • http://www.annieandre.com Annie Andre

    Pat,
    Amazing results Pat. -Will you share the tax information with your audience?

    In regards to your podcast:
    -ITUNES: I find it absolutely fascinating that so many people have found you on itunes… Do you know if it’s strictly people who have an iphone or ipad that listen to you via the itunes route. Or do you think people use or listen to you on their computer. I ask because i don’t use itunes, i am on android platform but wonder how can i easily get your podcasts on my non iphone device..

  • http://www.alansinternetmarketing.com/blog Alan’s Internet Marketing

    PMSL… I always scroll straight down to the income section then back up to read. What a cracking example of knowing your market and know about the conversation that’s going on inside their head. That was worth the read alone!

  • http://www.nokia4life.com Justice

    This is very motivating for someone like me who just started a blog..Thank you for making me believe that it is possible to earn a living through blogging.

  • http://techgenra.com sai krishna

    really your earnings was inspiring me to do something more in this field . you always rocks ..

  • http://fitdeskjockey.com Lean Muscle Matt

    Hey there Pat!

    Once again, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. You’re definitely one of the hardest working internet dudes out there, and you deserve every ounce of the success you’ve had.

    Too bad you can’t somehow quantify how much money you’ve helped others make, huh?. I’m certain you’d be in the millions several times over!

    SO I HAVE to ask, when do you sleep? In a recent post Erica Douglass did from Erica.biz (which is how I first heard about you waaaaay back when) she says that you’re a “short sleeper”, meaning that you only sleep a few hours a night. The fact you mention in the episode that it’s 3 am and you’re working after spending the day with your family makes me inclined to believe it’s true.

    Is there any truth to that? And if so is there any chance you can offer a course to teach people how to become short sleepers? :)

    Best wishes Pat!

    -Matt

    • Pat

      Hey Matt – the classes are called architecture school, hehe. That’s where I sort of trained myself to somehow get the most important sleep in while asleep, to enable me to stay up longer, just because we couldn’t help but spent so much time in Studio working on our projects, and with architecture there’s really no clean-cut finishing point in any project, much like with online business. I don’t think I can teach people that though, and I know not everyone can do that.

      • http://about.me/apontius Andrew

        Pat tells no lie! Not like we would ever actually recommend anyone put themselves through that kind of torture either, right Pat? ;)

      • http://marketsecrets.biz Caleb

        There’s an ancient meditation technique where you can get the benefits of hours of sleep from actually sleeping only several minutes..almost like a divine power napping of sorts!

  • http://lisastoops.com Lisa Stoops

    Congrats! It’s amazing what you’ve done in the last 3 years! I’ve learned a lot from you too so thanks for that. Keep growing! :)

    • http://www.profitandnonprofit.com Kenneth

      I agree Lisa,
      I’ve learned a ton from Pat. I can’t wait to become a success and actually give him credit not only for learning a lot from him but for taking that and putting it to use! Congrats Pat for the success and much more so for being so transparent so that we can see and be motivated to learn!

  • http://www.financialcoachingwithglenn.com Glenn Ferguson

    Thanks Pat for sharing, it shows the importance of creating multiple streams of income, a major plank of what I encourage my clients to do.

  • http://www.thebravemanblog.com/ Rodrigo @ The Brave Man Blog

    Congratulations Pat! this is awesome :D I truly hope to be able to make those numbers some day xD by the way I relaunched my blog after taking Corbett Course, there is a section of “models of success” and you obviously are included there, if I was able to do many things it was because all the knowledge I got from this blog, thanks a lot Pat :D

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Nerd #2

    So cool to see you’ve discovered how potent podcasts are for your site Pat! This makes me even more excited about getting started on this aside from my desire to get good at creating kick ass audio content.

    Since I know you’re an advocate of testing and tracking your marketing strategies, I wanted to share something interesting you might want to run an experiment on with your offer right above this comment (Please send me your free eBook, eBooks The Smart Way) or on your above fold opt in box.

    While taking notes on Yanik Silver’s Underground 7 seminar I heard about one guy that was doing a clickbank launch and he called Brad Gosse (one of the speakers Yanik brought in) because he was dumbfounded by the fact that his order page had gotten 1,400 impressions and only 2 people had bought.

    Brad discussed all kinds of possibilities for what could be wrong and then thought to click his order button and he saw the word “EBOOK” in the description of what you were getting.

    Brad told him to take the word “EBOOK” off the page and he went from only having 2 sales out of 1,400 people . . . to having 1 in 4 people buy.

    The word “Ebook” was murdering his sales because in this industry people expect these to be free. He’s found that because so many ebooks have been given away, people don’t want to pay for it if it’s packaged that way.

    His wife sells a cookbook which also comes in an ebook format but they call it the “downloadable green version” and people are happy to buy it. But when it was labeled as an “ebook” no one wanted it.

    Now both of us know that you’re giving your ebook away free and not selling it.

    We also both know that it’s smart to sell “free” with as much finesse as you would something you’re charging for. I wonder if not as many people are opting in because they don’t perceive ebooks to be worth their time?

    What I’d be intrigued to see is if there was a difference in your opt in conversion rates by taking the word “eBook” out of the offer. Something I always need to remind myself of is that people care more about the outcome than they do the format and that some formats are perceived to be more valuable than others. What’d be interesting to see is if leaving “eBook” completely off your offer made a difference.

    Of course, this makes a little work for you because you have to put another title onto your eBook also (the core content would stay the same of course), and then if this proves to improve your response, you’d need to teach them in your eBook to leave eBook out of their marketing too but to me, this is definitely a premise worth testing. That’s just me though. You’re a ninja in your own right and you know what’s best for you to the tune of $300,000 plus smackeroos in the bank for the year! Congratulations Pat!!!

    I love seeing you continue to succeed and I’m thankful to you for sharing all that you have as you’ve had a tremendous impact on the way we’ve shaped our site and our beliefs on who to listen to when it comes to internet marketing.

    I’m wishing you much more measurable progress in reasonable time.

    • Pat

      Great suggestion Lewis – it would be an interesting test indeed, and my initial thoughts are that in most cases, taking the word “ebook” out would be a great idea. Something to test out, for sure.

      Cheers, and thanks for the insight!

  • http://www.adsensetips.dk Jesper

    I always look forward to your podcasts. I will enjoy the evening listening to ot. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • http://www.bluemartialarts.com Elias

    Pat: Amazing.

    I feel I’ve known you since the beginning, since you started 3 years ago, and I am very impressed with your hard work, motivation, and contributions to all of us. For me, unfortunately, I am in the same or worse spot since. I just know I just need to keep going and not give up. One of these days, I’ll figure out what works for me.

    A hug my friend!

    • http://pathtoenlightenment.net Diego

      Elias,
      I’d like to invite you as well, as I did with a previous commenter (see my reply to Matthew Proctor), to get in touch and share ideas, thoughts and, very important, failures. I believe that, by sharing our mistakes, we can help each other growing and being successful. :)

      • http://www.bluemartialarts.com Elias

        Thank you Diego. I look forward to share ideas with you pretty soon.

  • http://www.infographicpedia.com/ Jai

    you have never never and ever disappointed me. I always get inspired from u.. glad that I found some good mentor in the form of u…

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com Steve Borgman

    Pat, you are such a great example for all of us who are coming behind you. Thanks for modeling: a code of values for your business; working for your readers; and doing everything with excellence. My biggest takeaway from this podcast: Always work to produce value that will affect many: in my writing, in my products, in everything I do.

  • http://photoluminary.com/ Rachael

    Amazing! I discovered your blog about a year ago via your podcast on iTunes. You have taught me so much since then and have definitely given me so focus and direction with my business and website.

    I aspire to someday make a good living with my website but currently only earn about $600 monthly. However, my site is a year old and I have been in a steep learning curve. I anticipate a better return in year 2.

    • http://onlineartistpromo.com Tom Siegel

      Rachael, I just want to tell you that making $600/month on your website is nothing to shrug at. It’s not Pat, but you broke the seal! Keep it up.

      • http://www.thepointsguide.com Derek – ThePointsGuide

        $600/month is pretty sweet! I just sold one of my sites on Flippa that was making just over that amount for $18,500.

  • http://www.traveldave.co.uk Dave Brett

    great achievment pat, Incredible whats possible on the web with allot of hard work.

  • http://www.letloveshow.com Kim

    Congratulations !! My prayers go out to Eric… Pat, thank you so much for all you do… Your heart is so much bigger than your income ever will be! Continued success!

  • http://jarodonline.wordpress.com/ Jarod Online

    at 10:39… “Uhh my wife “and I” are pregnant again”

    I think I heard that wrong… did I??

  • http://www.sensophy.com Jacob Sokol

    Congratz homey!

  • http://funkypencil.com sam

    Hey, Pat
    I’m really really enjoying your podcast, which I,m listening to right now while working my 9-to-5! I have been online for nearly 2-years now and have achieved very limited success- but i’m not giving up! I am learning all the time, so much so that at times I feel like my head is about to explode. Came accross you through an email from Clickbank about a week ago. I listened to your interview and was blown away.
    Currently working on updating my website with video, so work in progress.
    Love your stuff man, very inspirational. – Oh btw, downloaded your ebook – love it!
    All the very best.
    Sam

  • http://dorm-bedding.org Jemie

    Hey Pat,

    I love this post really much. Your posts are always inspirational. Thank you so much.

  • http://www.moneysavingenthusiast.com Karen

    Hi Pat,
    I’ve listened to almost all of your podcasts. I think they get better and better.
    Are you doing another webinar any time soon? I’ll check out Niche Site Duel in the mean time. i need a hand holding session of some sort. Thanks for the inspiration, us newbies need it.:0)

  • http://www.jobsinayurveda.com Bill

    Pat,

    Your success is truly amazing! I’ve been a follower for quite a while even though I only recently subscribed. I’m pretty much following the advice you outlined in your Niche Site Duel and I’m actually getting some results. I’ll keep you posted.

  • http://www.towhidzaman.com Towhid Zaman

    well what more I can say..being one of the younger IM I think you’re inspiring me most to be in front of my laptop & to do what I’m doing..luv you.Go on.

  • http://www.HousewifeEmpire.com Nell @ Housewife Empire

    You are so inspiring. I check out your blog all the time for help as I work on building my IM career. The numbers in you income reports just make me want to work that much harder!

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Pat,

    I’m listening to all of your podcasts and I’ve learned a lot from you. The details you are adding are just amazing, and it’s really helpful. It’s one thing to see that you’re successful, but when you get all the details on how you’re able to do it, that’s just brilliant.

    I keep looking at your niche sites, and I’m wondering, how often do you update them with new content? I’ve been thinking that we need to update quite often, in order to stay on the top 10 of Google, but maybe not? :-)

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  • http://fat--loss--4-idiots.net Here Is How To Lose Weight Fast

    This is the beginning of my Internet Life. I have reitred from
    the grind. There is quite a rich diversity of information in
    blogs so I am getting involved and commenting. You have made your blog more interesting than most
    that I read. Thanks for that. Well you know I have
    my own blog and website now. It is fun, to be sure.
    I have incuded a website and email address. I hope you approve that I
    did this. It seems to be customary so I went ahead with it.
    TheVeryBest2You 13 8

  • sc

    amazing!!! well deserved!

    i am going to do it! i have to, no choice. its either that or lose my home.

  • Ton

    Does anyone know – i’m curious. On a pie chart, how much of the $272,371 is from this blog?

  • http://self-help-net.com/home-based-business/how-to-make-money-on-fivver-com salifu

    As people hoping to make a living on the internet, Pat has proven that everybody with the right mindset, dedication and the right level of help can make it. Today’s post is also going down to prove that it is really possible to make a good amount of income.
    The road is not easy but if you stick to it irrespective of the number of falls you make, your rising will make you forget all the falls. Thnx Pat.

  • http://www.extraincomeblogger.com Sune @ ExtraIncomeBlogger.com

    This is truly inspirational. You are an excellent mentor and will only improve as the time goes by!

  • http://www.bonsaisoft.com Seb Hareng

    Congrats Pat, it looks like 2011 was a great year for you. I think that this success is the outcome of you generosity with your audience. I personally learned a ton from you and constantly apply this learning in my new business. Looking forward to see more great stuff this year.

  • http://www.EasySmallBusinessHR.com Dianne

    Hi Pat:

    Enjoyed your insights on this, (and all of your podcasts). Congrats!

    You mentioned that article writing was pivotal in terms of traffic for your niche websites. How many articles a week would you recommend one write?

  • http://retireyounger.ws Joshua Lindsey

    Great blog and great job on your success keep up the good work and thanks for the information!

  • http://www.profitworks.ca Chris R. Keller

    Great Pod cast Pat. Thanks for sharing.

    Have you ever thought of implementing lead metrics into your business?

    It has really helped me in mine.

  • http://www.focusandgetstarted.com/ RonB

    Congrats Pat. I read through a couple dozen of the comments. Wow! So many people are positively effected by your work – myself included. Keep up the great work. You deserve all this success and more.
    Ron

  • http://www.startingtrends.com Darryl @ Starting Trends

    Congrats on yet another successful year Pat. Wow how time flies, it feels like just yesterday I was reading your previous year’s income report.

    I know I don’t often post here but I always enjoy reading this blog & learning new things! Here’s to hoping 2012 will be yet another great year to remember!

  • http://www.smartforexeducation.com Ken

    Congrats Pat on your continued achievements!

    Your consistency, dedication and passion will always seperate you from the crowd.

    Running a business always involves tests at some stage, but you have the belief to overcome obstacles and strive onwards and upwards.

    Well done.

    Ken

  • http://webdesignenergy.com Ryan

    Hi Pat, I recently came across your podcast about a week and a half ago. I have to say that your content is absolutely amazing. I could not stop listening I finished all of your episodes and i can not wait to hear more. I am a young web designer who is just getting started and have several ideas and i look forward to being able to use some of your suggestions to get the ball rolling. Great work and keep the podcast coming!!!!!

  • http://www.postsgenius.com/affilaite/ Jeavon @ Post Genius

    Very inspiring article. I learned a lot from this post. It pushed me much farther about making money online.

  • shafe

    great info and acievement

  • http://www.trafficpowerhouse.com/readallaboutit/ Spatch Merlin

    I never wondered why your income went that high, your blog is truly great, especially your podcast. Mate, your podcast is one of the A-class recording I’ve listened to. Happy for your success and is hoping for more to come in the coming months.

    Spatch Merlin
    More Web Site Traffic Guide

  • http://www.paul-matheson.com Paul Matheson

    Wow Pat!

    You are doing some incredible things and it’s such a breath of fresh air to find someone online who’s so open and honest with what their doing and how their doing it. Not to mention how open you are about your finances as well!

    Your truly an inspiration, keep it up!

    All the best

    Paul

  • http://www.dollarstopounds.biz James

    Thanks Pat, very inspirational stuff, it constantly amazes me how you are taking your earnings to the next level – where do you intend to stop :-)

  • http://www.simonhaestoe.com Simon

    “This is the beginning of my Internet Life. I have reitred from
    the grind. There is quite a rich diversity of information in!”<——good job retiring! however, MAke SURE to find some ethical marketers (which Pat seems to be), like alex jeffreys or rick schefren to learn from.

    about getting a blog: wise choice:)

  • http://www.freemarketingnow.com Jesper Christiansen

    Thank you so much for sharing Pat. You are a true master and your work a great source of inspiration and knowledge…

    Best regards Jesper, Denmark

  • http://finanalys.com Justas

    Nice income amount :) Hope to reach something my self in some future.

  • http://www.olliehales.com Ollie Hales

    Hey Pat,
    This is awesome man. You’ve inspired me and I’ve started tracking my income on my blog as well.

    http://www.olliehales.com/blogging/march-mobile-business-growth/

    Not as big as yours, but I’m growing!

  • http://awebsitedesigner.com.au Dan

    Damn that’s some coin! I’m rethinking my not putting affiliate links on my blog now!

    • Bry

      Dan, I’m currently having the same issue with my wife’s vanity site. She’s a great writer (does professional content for other sites and such), but doesn’t want to “muck up” her site. I’m using this post to try to convince her to let me just throw in a small bit of advertising, even if it’s just Amazon!

      • http://awebsitedesigner.com.au Dan

        I think you really have to have a decent size audience for it to be worth it. I’m getting about 6,000 visitors a month so it’s probably not enough to really make it worthwhile. If it were 20 or 30k then it may well be!

        I’m not sure if Pat reveals his monthly visits on SPI? It’s also how targeted that traffic is and the trust of those visitors and the relationships etc that is important and the types of products to promote vs what the audience wants etc.

        It’s good to know what’s possible though, this post kind of blew me away.

  • http://www.robaminute.com Pinoy Leonardo

    This is awesome and inspiring!

  • http://pazer.blog.com/ Andreas Pazer

    Congrats! It’s amazing what you’ve done in the last 3 years! I’ve learned a lot from you too so thanks for that. Keep growing!

  • http://www.pinoywealthy.com Erwin@PinoyWealthy

    Hi Pat, after reading several of your articles you inspire me to spare time for blogging :D

  • http://impredator.comeze.com Anes A Amrani

    wow the best blogger and marketer I have seen ever and I am expecting that you are going to collect more than 600000$ this year because you are growing everyday keep up the good work Pat.

  • http://www.techdip.info Tarun

    Thanks for sharing your income report, it is a source of inspiration for the newbies like me :)

  • http://www.arsmith.net Amanda

    Buddy, you need to publish a book. You talk about grabbing an audience through different channels: the podcasts, the blog, the Youtube videos. And I think the next thing you need to reach is the reading audience.

    Not just the eBook that you distribute yourself. But a published book, with an ISBN, that is sold on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

    I’m no expert, lol. But from eating up your content these last couple days (found you on Monday? Robert Kiyosaki got me thinking about passive income sources) it just feels natural that your next step would be to publish a book. It doesn’t have to be a big hurdle. Don’t worry about a publisher. Target it towards the self help market. Aim for the topics small business building, entrepreneur, and personal budgetting (that last one will hit the most people). It doesn’t have to be a big book. Set a small size goal, 72-150 pages.

    You would be reaching the audiences that are browsing on Amazon for new reading material. They aren’t hitting Google at all, they’re browsing books.