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My January 2010 Monthly Income Report

By Pat Flynn on

Editor’s Note: The content regarding eHow is no longer relevant. Please visit our Getting Started page, which we keep up to date with advice for getting started with earning money online. (Updated 10/2015)

Yay! The first monthly income report for the year 2010!

Each month, I like to write a detailed report about where my online income comes from, as well as report on the things that I’ve been up to that may have had an impact on my earnings. I do this not only to help myself keep track of how I’m doing, but more so to help you learn what to do (and what not to do) during your online business or blogging adventures. I hope you enjoy this month’s report.

Important Going-Ons in January

iPhone Apps

I’m going to start off a little differently this month and talk first about my iPhone apps.

For those of you who don’t know, I am the co-founder of LOLer Apps, a company that my buddy and I started last year. We started the company as an experiement to see if iPhone app development was a viable source of passive income. We knew that if we could get a few apps in the App Store, we could hopefully sit back after all of the work was done and keep earning money month after month.

Although we have yet to develop that “million dollar app”, we’ve been fairly happy with our results. Lately, with no additional work put into it, our apps have seen a nice increase in sales, as you’ll see in the earnings report below. This has amp’d us up to start talking about releasing a few new applications (iPad?) in the year 2010, to hopefully double or triple our earnings.

I’ll definitely keep you updated on our progress.

It looks like I finally have some competition. Last month, the company that actually adminsters the LEED exam has recently come out with their own study guides. I’m not sure if this was done as a direct response to companies like mine, but I wouldn’t be surprised. If it was, then I take it as the ultimate compliment.

So from the outside, it might look like I’m screwed. However, as I suspected, I was still able to maintain an average income from my own study guides last month. Here’s why I think that is:

  • My guides have been available on the market for a long time—they are proven and people aren’t afraid to share that with their colleagues.
  • I’m just one guy, so I can afford to keep my prices low. They are a huge company, so there are employee and overhead costs that have to be taken into account.
  • My guide is electronic, which means it can be delivered immediately after purchase.
  • I also have an audio guide available to go along with my eBook.
  • I’m the “mom & pop shop” equivalent, non-corporate player in the market, which many people are attracted to.

Of course, I’m sure to highlight these points on my website because they are all things that work in my favor.

Am I worried? No.

Am I pumped? Yes.

Last month, I put in a total of 1 hour of work on this site. Yes—1 hour during the entire month. That’s how powerful passive income is. However, it’s a double-edged sword. I’ve been so used to putting so little time into the automated business that it makes me wonder whether or not I could of taken it even further. I’ve been happy with the results and did not want to get “greedy”, but there’s a difference between being greedy and being a smart businessman.

It’s definitely something to ponder. I may write a blog post about this and expand on it later.

The Smart Passive Income Blog

This blog just seems to keep growing and growing (thanks to you!), and it’s getting even more fun to work on. Here’s a quick summary of what has happened in just this past month:

Seriously though, if you’re reading this report—thank you. All of you (even those of you who don’t comment!) have helped me achieve so much in a relatively short period of time. If you ever meet me on the street or at a conference or something, say hello and ask me to buy you a coffee (or any other beverage appropriate to the occasion), and  I totally will.

Lastly, I know many of you are waiting for the Smart Passive Income Podcast to help fill those gaps in your day when you just want to listen to some motivational, legit advice to help you get things done. Well—it’s on it’s way. After I finish moving and have my new office all setup, that will be my next big project.

Ok—let’s get to some numbers!

Please note that these are figures from reports from each individual company for the previous month. It does not necessarily reflect the actual payment which, for some of the companies listed below, come 30 to 60 days later because of potential refunds.

Income Breakdown

Difference from last month
Gross Income
Affiliate Earnings
Article Marketing
Niche Sites
Green Exam Academy eBook Sales
Green Exam Academy Audio Sales
Green Exam Academy Package Sales
Software and Apps
iPhone Apps

Expenses Breakdown

Difference from last month
Total Expenses

Net Profit Breakdown

Difference from last month
Total Net Profit

A wonderful month, finally breaking the $10k mark once again. As far as how much time I spent in total to earn this amount, the iPhone apps and the eHow earnings took zero hours of my time and my product sales from GreenExamAcademy took about 1 hour of work (answering emails and responding to comment on the blog). It’s hard to determine the exact time I spent on my affiliate earnings because the time I spent promoting the Smart Passive Income Blog does have an effect on that total, although it’s not a direct correlation. I’ll just ballpark it and say 5 hours total.

It’s kind of crazy to think about, but that comes out to $2,053.33 an hour. Well—it’s not really correct to think about my earnings this way because I did spend a lot of time setting up these income sources in the beginning. The proper way to calculate my per hour rate would be to determine the total amount I’ve earned up to this point, and divide that by the number of hours I’ve worked ever since I started doing stuff online. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of those numbers when I started.

Things I Learned in January

1. I Created a “Brand Base”

Thanks to Glen from, I came across a very handy tool that I’ve been using everyday since the beginning of the year—Netvibes. It’s the first website I open up every morning, and the hub for all of the work I do each day.

Glen explains it in far more detail, but it’s basically an organizer for all of the different projects and to-dos that are on my plate. You can setup different widgets on your homepage that can be very helpful for what you do online, such as to-do lists, a calendar, web notes, an RSS subscription reader, a Twitter and Facebook client, Google Alert, etc.—and you can even have separate tabs for each project or site that you have as well.

If you’re having trouble organizing everything you do online, I definitely recommend checking it out.

2. A Good Night’s Sleep Can Go A Long Way

As many of you know, my wife and I recently welcomed the birth of our new son, Keoni. As far as sleep is concerned, some nights are definitely better than others.

On the nights that I do get 6 to 8 hours of sleep, I can easily tell that I’m much more energetic and productive compared to the days when I don’t get very much sleep at all. I know that’s common sense, but sleep really does have an effect on the amount and quality of work that you can get done.

Although—an extra hot, grande white chocolate mocha seems to help a bit.

3. I Was Reminded That Hard Work Does Pay Off

My free eBook guide took a long time to finish (over 2 months), but it was all worth it in the end. The response so far has been nothing less than amazing.

Never give up, and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. If good intentions are behind what you do, your hard work will definitely pay off.

“The harder you work, the luckier you become.”

Plans for the Future

February is going to be a tough month for me.


We’re moving!

Yep—we’re moving into a larger home. The cool part is that I get my own office, which is awesome! It’s going to take a while to setup, but once it’s ready, awesome things will happen.

Besides the move, I’m currently working with a few people on separate projects that may eventually have a huge impact on my earnings by the end of the year. Most are still in the planning stages, but I’ll definitely keep you updated on my progress and I’ll reveal more about exactly I’m up to later on in the year.

Wish us luck, and thanks again for all of your support. Here’s to a productive, healthy and profitable February!



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