My 2nd Annual Passive Income Report – 2 Years Later

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that all of this is real.Rock PatternI wake up and play with my son for a few hours every single morning. I go to several places with my wife during the day and am proud to be one of the only husbands there. I work from home on my own schedule, on my own projects and answer to no one. I have automated businesses setup that can literally make money while I sleep, and somehow I’ve become a leader – an authoritative figure in this make money online and blogging niche.

And most importantly, I’m happy.

Some of you are probably disgusted (which is understandable) because it seems like all of this just sort of fell right into my lap. That I’m just a random guy who got lucky when the stars aligned in my favor and success was handed to me on a plate.

Over the past year, along with a lot of deep thinking about where I am in my life and how I got to this point, I realized that luck has very little to do with it. The only lucky part about my journey was getting laid off in 2008, which opened up a whole new world opportunities for me.

As I said last year in my first annual passive income report, “…my lay off was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. For some reason, my 9 to 5 job was masking the fork in the road that has been there the whole time. It just took an eye-opening experience like a layoff to really see what was available for me and my future.”

Success was not handed to me. Opportunity was.

A Challenge to Myself

I forgot where or who I heard this from, but after I posted my report last year someone called my success a “flash in the pan”. At the time I didn’t know exactly what that meant, so I looked it up:

The expression “flash in the pan” means: “A transient occurrence with no long-term effect; A career notable for early success not followed by significant accomplishment.”

It was at this moment that I questioned myself and the future, and never have I had so much doubt fill my brain.

Was my success really just a flash in the pan? Will my online career be short-lived? Will I be able to accomplish anything else significant? Did I have my “15 minutes” and it was now time to move on? What will happen next year?

This is when I decided to challenge myself.

I wanted to prove that my success in 2009 was not a fluke, that I could find continued success and go on to do even bigger and better things.

And that’s when I decided to brainstorm.

A Third Party Perspective

At this time (January 2010) I had my primary business at GreenExamAcademy.com, which had been running for nearly a year and a half and was the source of the bulk of my online income.

Also under my name was this blog that you’re reading today, which was just a little over a year old with less than 2000 RSS subscribers on the feed count. Additionally, I had a number of eHow articles and a few iPhone apps generating an income as well, although nothing significant there.

I was on the prowl for “my next big thing” and generated a detailed list of about 15 different businesses and potential authority sites that I could start. I had “the entrepreneurial bug” – you know, that entrepreneurial energy shot that flows through your mind and body constantly when you think of new business ideas. We all get it, and I was high on it.

Naturally, I wanted to talk to someone about my ideas to get some input, someone that I trusted. So, I went to my good friend and mentor, Sterling from Internet Business Mastery.

Sterling had helped me several times throughout my internet business career, both directly in mastermind groups and indirectly from the IBM podcast, so I was eager to hear what he thought about some of my ideas. I was a little surprised to find that in his email response was attached a little audio message.

At first I thought it was a little weird, but then again podcasting is his primary medium so I thought maybe it was just easier for him – but I listened to his message over and over again and it really changed everything for me.

I’ll paraphrase what he said for you:

Pat, your business ideas are great. You always seem to come up with creative and potentially profitable ideas, however there is one thing missing from all of the ideas that you described to me, which is the one thing that has made you successful right from the start – YOU. There’s just something about YOU that people connect with and I really think you should make YOU a significant part of your business, or your brand.”

Sterling was absolutely right. One of the major reasons why GreenExamAcademy.com was so successful was because people trusted me, someone who actually went through the process of passing the LEED exam and was willing to share what he knew about it. Every email I receive from a customer or reader starts with, “Hey Pat”, or “Dear Pat” – which is just something people don’t normally do when they send emails directly to a company.

And this is when it hit me like a train.

I already had the start of something great here on The Smart Passive Income Blog, something that had me as the brand and connecting with a relatively large audience already, so that’s when I decided that 2010 was going to be focused on expanding the brand and reach of this blog.

I discovered that through the various strategies that I’ve implemented and have talked about here on this blog before, such as utilizing YouTube and Podcasts, varying my post type, expanding onto Facebook, being wildly detailed and honest about internet strategies that work (with proof), continuing to be transparent with my income reports, building long term relationships with other bloggers in this niche and just simply providing unique and valuable content with the intention of helping people first, I’ve been able to take SPI to heights beyond my wildest expectations (both in terms of growth and community), really change the lives of several people who have since began their online career path, and earn tens of thousands of dollars each month at the same time – all without launching my own product.

I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved with SPI in 2010, and if you’ve read my 2011 goal post, you’d know that I have a lot more planned for this year too.

Here are quick stats for the previous year:

  • SPI Growth 2010Total Visits: 515,163
  • Total Pageviews: 1,266,266
  • Number of Subscribers: +13,564
  • Email Subscribers: +8,574
  • Average Time on Site: 4 minutes and 23 seconds

Top Traffic Sources:

  • Direct: 169,936
  • Google Organic: 130,213
  • Facebook: 19,364
  • Twitter: 13,785
  • YouTube: 5,730
  • StumbleUpon: 5,109
  • Entrepreneurs-Journey.com: 4,651

Top Referring Keywords:

  • smart passive income: 24,348
  • passive income: 18,983
  • pat flynn: 7,880
  • smartpassiveincome: 7,362
  • passive income ideas: 2,997
  • passive income blog: 2,936
  • passive income streams: 1,791
  • iphone app development cost: 1,293

The Scary Thing About It All

I’m at a point now which is very similar to the point I was at before I launched my first products on GreenExamAcademy.com, although on a totally different level. I have a large following and am seen as an expert with a lot of influence in this industry – I realize that, however I also realize how dangerous this “power” can be, and I do not take this responsibility lightly.

I know how easy it would be for me to simply write review posts for products I’ve never used, or include a recommendation to a high-end product that I know nothing about. I’ve seen many bloggers go down this path before and it has always put a bad taste in my mouth. I now understand why this seems to happen because as a blog grows so does the opportunity to earn more money like this (trust me, I get emails every day for potential products to promote), but it is my belief that there is much more opportunity and money for me in the long run if I continue to follow the 5 rules that I’ve created for myself to keep me in check and on the right path:

  1. Do not promote a product that I’ve never used, are unfamiliar with, or one that has not helped me succeed in one way or another.
  2. Always think about helping the reader first.
  3. Never use money as the primary motivation for any actions that I take.
  4. Always remember that I would not be successful if it wasn’t for my readers.
  5. I am not better than anybody else.

By following these guidelines I’ve been able to help so many people while at the same time getting a lot back in return.

Sadly, what I’ve learned is that this is what helps me stand out from the crowd, why I’ve been able to emerge as an authority in this niche. I say sadly because it just doesn’t seem right that being honest, transparent and helpful is an anomaly. Hopefully this will change in the future, and I’d be happy to lead the way.

And There’s More…

Although the SPI blog brand was my primary business focus of 2010, it wasn’t the only thing I focused on.

My Son

Pat and KeoniMy son was born at the end of 2009, so as a result much of 2010 was dedicated to him and learning about how to become a dad.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of being a father. It’s a lot of different emotions all bundled up into one experience: joy, love, wonder, frustration, tiredness, and awesome, just to name a few.

As much as he has changed my life, he has changed how I run my online businesses as well.

Primarily, he’s my motivation for everything that I do. When things get tough or I lose my energy, I see him and I’ll immediately get back into the right mindset.

Secondly, when you have a child, and especially if you’re at home helping to take care of him or her, you’ll learn that it’s the child who determines the parents’ schedule – not the other way around (at least between the ages of 0 and 12 months). Consequently, my work schedule has been erratic, to say the least. I may get only blocks of a half hour of time to work (if that) at random times during the day. I pray for long and frequent naps, but that hardly ever happens.

It was tough at first, but I’ve been really good, especially at the tail end of 2010, at being extremely productive during what little time I do have. I’ve taught myself to stop procrastinating, get rid of all distractions and become more efficient.

Lastly, my son has made the idea of passive income even more important to me. I am currently making a living off of passive income and am happy to spend a lot of my free time with my family, but at the same time I’m using a lot of that free time working hard on new projects so that I can have even more time with them in the future.

“It’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later.”

iPhone Apps

Many of you know I also co-own an iPhone app company. We churned out more than 20 iPhone applications that are now live in iTunes in 2010 alone (as opposed to the 4 we did in 2009). We also got smarter about how we ran our marketing campaigns and although we haven’t created apps as successful as iFart, Angry Birds, Doodle Jump or Fruit Ninja, we’re seeing more and more passive income come into our business as a result.

To give you an idea of our growth, in 2009 we grossed a total of $9,346.00. In the single month of December 2010, we grossed $6,902.28.

If you’re interested in iPhone apps, you can read more about the business in the articles I published in 2010 below:

Niche Sites

In August and September of 2010, much of the focus of the SPI blog was on another passive income project I was experimenting with – niche sites.

You can read all about the progress on the Niche Site Duel Hub, but in 72 days I was able to build a niche site from scratch, get to the #1 spot in Google and earn a few hundred dollars from it. I’ve since started a few more that are currently making money on the first page of Google as well, and Tyrone and I recently started a coaching program to teach people how to create a successful niche site and hold them accountable for it. We had over 100 people sign up and unfortunately there were only 20 spots available.

(Applicants will receive an email from me regarding their application status either today or tomorrow.)

My New Projects

I also began the development of several different projects that are related to the SPI brand that will launch sometime in early 2011. I was glad to start all of this in 2010, but it’s nearly time to see it all come to life. I’m really excited to see what happens next.

My Income for 2010

These income reports are not so much about the numbers, but more about the lessons I’ve learned along the way. However, I’m a numbers kind of guy and I know many of you are interested, so here is my income breakdown for the entire year of 2010:

Monthly Breakdown:

SPI Income Graph - 2010Sources:

  • GreenExamAcademy.com Sales:
    • Total: $30,638.74
  • Affiliate Marketing (various sources):
    • Total: $95,134.12
  • eHow.com Articles:
    • Total: $2,811.67
  • Adsense Income (various sources):
    • Total: $836.87
  • iPhone Applications:
    • Total: $54,288.16
  • Webinars and Coaching:
    • Total: $1,000.o0
  • Total Gross Income for 2010: $184,709.56
  • 2009 Gross Income: $203,219.04
  • Difference = -$18,509.48

*Please note that these figures are best estimates and do not reflect my actual income for the year because income from the months of November and December may change as some companies do not pay until 30 to 60 days later because of the potential for refunds.

Although I didn’t gross as much as last year, I’m very happy with the results. When comparing 2009 and 2010, you’ll see in a graph below that there was a major change in the source of most of my income, namely my sales from GreenExamAcademy:

2009 & 2010 Income Breakdown(and as a reminder, affiliate earnings come from several different sources)

In 2009, that source alone earned over $150,000, but in 2010 it went down to about $30,000. The drastic change is a result of a number of reasons I’ve touched on before:

  • Changes in the LEED industry and sustainable design in general.
  • Competing products published by several different companies, including the actual company that administers the exam.
  • The fact I had to comply with a cease and desist letter for my original website domain name at intheleed.com, which cannot even be used as a redirect. This drastically hurt my traffic, although I was able to keep the site up and running and continue to earn an income from it. I climbed back to my original Google rankings a few months after obtaining my new domain name, but changes in the industry led to less traffic over time.

I’m glad, however, that I was able to find success with other ventures such as with the SPI blog, iPhone applications and other forms of diversification.

Expenses

I’ve had a lot of requests to include expenses within my income reports. I respect this request because I could have grossed $180k, but if my expenses were $200k (for example), then I’d be $20,000 in the hole, in which case I would not be profitable at all.

Here is a summary of my expenses for 2010. I have these in Quickbooks, but they have not been double checked for complete accuracy, so some of the actual numbers may change slightly. But this will give you a rough idea:

  • Business Equipment: $3,159.67
  • Office Supplies and Storage: $920.68
  • Postage/Shipping: $147.95
  • Elance and Odesk Expenses (assistants): $812.00
  • Travel Expenses: $1,150.34
  • Web Design Services (programming and graphics): $3,478.39
  • Web Hosting Fees (includes recent Servint upgrade, 12 months): $1,114.62
  • Merchant Processing Fees: $1,386.33
  • Meals and Entertainment: $535.42
  • Affiliate Commission Payments: $4,393.60
  • Business Development & Training (classes and course material, etc): $735.43
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping Fees: $450.00
  • Various Software Purchases: $1,401.78
  • iPhone Application Development: $6,866.01
  • Estimated Total Expenses: $30,632.57

Subtracting this estimate from my gross income for 2010, that would mean I profited roughly $154,076.99.

I actually profited slightly more this year compared to 2009, which has a lot more expenses for web design work, voice over talents for some of my products and merchant fees.

Overall, a wonderful year of business and I hope to do even better in 2011.

Things I Learned in 2010

My success with SPI and its affiliate earnings confirm that my overall strategy for creating a long term online business works:

Go out of your way to help people, over-deliver and provide extreme value, and you will be rewarded one way or another.

It worked for GreenExamAcademy.com, it has worked for SPI and also all of the other blogs and businesses out there that you respect and go back to for more. Not everyone will become a customer or click on an affiliate link, but there are a great number of people who will reciprocate, and sometimes go out of their way to do so.

To all of you who have gone out of your way to click on one of my affiliate links, subscribe to my blog or download my free eBook and subscribe to my newsletter – I thank you for everything.

Here’s a quote from an SPI follower, Leon Aldrich, who sent this to me in a recent email. This sort of sums up the effect of my business model:

“What sets you apart from many online, aside from your obvious transparency/giving soul/insert positive here, is regardless if a person has bought a product from you or not, you still treat them with the utmost respect. And as a carry over affect, they (like myself) become raving fans of everything Pat Flynn and Smart Passive Income (and any other platforms you are involved with). As an example, lets say you were selling GOLDEN WIDGETS. I may not buy any golden widgets, but there is the possibility several of my family/friends/coworkers could use your golden widgets. So of course I’m going to pass this along to them. The point is, while not everyone may be a buyer, they can still spread the word.”

Thank you Leon, that is much appreciated, and I’m working on my golden widgets as we speak.

:)

SEO is Not Everything

We all talk about search engine optimization like its everything that matters. If you’re doing niche sites, then I agree it’s very important to be optimized so you can get on the first page of Google, because that’s where all of the clicks are. Sure.

But when it comes to a blog or an authority site of any kind, SEO is just one small piece of the puzzle.

Earlier in the year I paid a professional for an SEO analysis of this blog, and in his report he basically said that my site was hardly SEO optimized, and that everything was pretty much a mess. I learned a lot from his report (which I’ll share with you in detail later in the year in a webinar – I recently increased the viewer limit of my webinars from 100 to 1000, so I’ll be setting that up soon), including how to improve my site and help it rank higher and become more Google friendly.

But, in addition to that, I also learned that SEO is not everything. Even though my SEO was bad, I had still built a huge following and have made a substantial profit from my blog. Looking at my analytics, I can see that search engine traffic only accounts for about 25% of my overall traffic:

SEO-Traffic-Breakdown-2010
I’m not saying you should disregard SEO altogether – no way. I’m only suggesting that you don’t worry about it so much that it gets in the way of more important traffic sources, such as referring sites and direct traffic, which all stem from the content that you write and the relationships that you build with your readers and your fellow bloggers and niche members.

And At Last…

At the end of 2010 I realized that I was not a flash in the pan. My online career is here to stay, at least for a while, and while I’m here I will continue to do things exactly the way I’ve been doing them, because it’s working for me and I can go to sleep at night knowing that I’m helping people at the same time.

We are all on level playing fields and it is those who seize opportunities and take action that will find success.

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2011 to each and every one of you. Happy New Year, and thank you for everything.

Cheers!

  • http://www.eshopwiz.com Vinay

    Awesome pat! Congrats! Love these reports. Fantastic motivation, I would love to be where you are in a years time from now. Congrats on all your success, its been very inspirational to watch.

    • Pat

      Thanks Vinay, and as always I appreciate your comments and support. All the best to you!

    • http://transcriptionhq.blogspot.com Carey Suante

      Yes, if I could only be half where Pat is I’d consider myself very successful!!

      Anyway, congrats Pat! I think your podcast has been a major attraction that really complements what you are already doing here with awesome posts and transparent reports.

      Happy New Year!

  • http://www.FitMarriage.com Dustin | Fit Marriage

    This is incredibly enlightening, Pat, and I can’t thank you enough for your transparency. I’ve learned a lot from you since I started following you before you were “big time” and I look forward to crushing it with my online projects with the knowledge you share…and your example of taking consistent action.

    Well done man, and congratulations! I’ll buy you a beer when I’m out in San Diego this spring. :-)

    Dustin

    • Pat

      Yeah dude, I’ll be here waiting for you. It’ll be nice to finally meet in person :)

      Keep crushing it with EngagedMarriage and FitMarriage!

  • Krzysztof Byczkowski

    It’s incredible what you’ve done… Just amazing…

    Congratulations! May all your wishes and future plans come true.
    Pozdrawiam!

    Krzysztof

    • Pat

      Most have already. Thanks Krzystof, cheers!

  • Ian tomlinson

    Great post Pat. I have to say you are a leading influence in my online life and I respect and admire what you do and how you do it. I have been through a real steep learning curve with marketing my website this year and seen many blogs, bought ebooks etc and you stand out as no.1 by miles. This is because you are honest, genuine and know what you are talking about. I look forward to learning more from you in 2011 and hope you continue to be super successful.

    • Pat

      I really appreciate that Ian. All the best to you and here’s to a wonderful 2011 for us both!

  • http://www.dinovedo.com Dino

    Wow very impressive stats! Good luck in 2011! :)

  • http://pivotalaction.com chad martin

    Thanks for your transparency as one of your many vehicles for inspiration, Pat. Seeing someone succeed does wonders to get other people excited about the possibilities. I know you get that all the time, but it’s a rare treat to see directly inside someone else’s operation like this.

  • http://www.thewisestudent.org David

    Great post Pat, I love the determination you had this last year to keep your long term goals within reach so you could provide for your family.

    I have a new goal for 2011 after reading this post: to go out of my way to help people and over deliver for my audience.

    Thanks for all the time you have spent in overdelivering for me and all the other readers. Sterling was right. You are the reason that people love to come back to your site. The word I think of when i think of you and the SPI brand is trust, and I think that is what is going to make this site become even more successful in the years to come.

  • http://cashgeneratingblogs.com Son Koral

    The money that can be made is sure impressive, Pat, but the help and hpe that you have given to others starting out is astounding, and needs to be noted.

    As Sterling was a mentor for you, you have returned the favor thousands of times over. Every time someone takes some peice of advice, learns something new, and trusts you as a resource, you have accomplished a great thing which few in this business cand do.

    Kudos, and congratulations!

  • http://darryltott.com Darryl Tott

    Pat,

    I wanted to take to opportunity to personally congratulate you on your success in 2010. This blog post reinforces the personal drivers which I believe have been key in driving your success.

    It has been no surprise that your circles of influence have continued to expand and you have become and expert in the field. This just reinforces the honest and likable nature of your writing style, way of delivering content and your down to earth attitude to earning an income online.

    I know that you have given the confidence for many thousands of people to following their dreams and start blogging their own unique intake on this niche, or others, turning a passion into a sustainable business.

    I would like to congratulate you on your personal success and professional success outside of smart passive income. It makes perfect business sense to stabilize the business through spread betting your income streams.

    The mention of non-reliance on SEO is extremely important, it is possible to carve your influence without the aid of search engines without compromising your content that is written for search engines.

    I also agree with Sterling, you should take a huge sense of pride away from this post as an individual and the characteristics that you portray in this blog. In this industry it is too easy to become self-assured and boast about your success.

    I look forward to the content you will provide in 2011. I look forward to reading your success and being part of the journey in your continuing success. Anyway I am able to help in 2011 promote your new products will only be a small payment towards the help you have provided through 2010.

    Pat I hope you have all the success you deserve in 2011 allowing you the freedom to continue on your amazing journey of being a father.

    Darryl

  • http://bloggersjournal.com Mark Bell

    Congratulations Pat! Seriously – these are a great motivation. I admire the transparency, as the more I learn the less I find many other bloggers to be honest. The power is easy to abuse.

    Keep up the great work! You’ve an awesome motivation at home – I’d love to realise this lifestyle too.

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Pat,
    What I love about all of this, is how open you are about everything. So cool!! And in that, your authenticity and “realness” shine through! And if you ask me, that’s the silver lining in an already gold-plated pot — it’s that “something extra” that you bring to the table, a extra level of human-ness….

    So awesome to see the success you are experiencing!!

  • Garry

    Pat,
    Your post is massively Inspirational and extradordinarily informative.
    Thank you for sharing again and again.

  • Nick P.

    Hi Pat;

    This is my first post on SPI – and it’s long overdue. I want to thank you for everything you have done for complete strangers like myself. You have become an inspiration and mentor in my life.

    When I first came across your site almost a year ago, I was captivated by your writing style and the values you demonstrated. I have to say that it was obvious from the start that you were more than a “flash in the pan” since you offer something very unique.

    As of this post, I will be subscribed to your newsletter (that little check box in this comment box is very convenient). Again, thank you for everything. I hope to use many of your teachings as I begin developing my own business to help people study an investment course.

    Sincerely, Nick.

  • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/2009/11/how-to-save-hundreds-of-dollars-on-your-tax-bill-by-challenging-your-property-taxes.html Peter

    Pat, you are a complete inspiration for those of us who would like to go full time with this at some point. Thanks for the transparency, and for sharing so much of what has made you successful.

  • http://www.mondaymorningva.com Dawn Martinello | Monday Morning VA

    I wanted to stop in quickly and say a big congratulations to you Pat. It’s wonderful that you can profit from your business, but when it comes down to it, you’re really living the dream. You’re at home with your family while providing them with what they need.

    Kudos to you, my friend.

  • http://www.WunderCreative.com Joe

    One stat that really stands out and explains your blog/brand success…”Average Time on Site: 4 minutes and 23 seconds”! Wow…your great content really make your brand!

    Also, I am rather perplexed to see your “Elance and Odesk Expenses (assistants)” expense be so low. Can you explain? I would imagine as you increase your niche sites this will also increase.

    Congrats on the great success with your passive income and more importantly your family! Such an inspiration!

    • Pat

      Hey Joe – I started adding VAs to the mix at the tail end of the year when I starting doing niche sites after my Niche Site Duel one that I revealed publicly here on the blog, which I did not use a VA on. Plus, the VAs from odesk are extremely inexpensive.

  • http://www.consoleblogger.com Jason Young

    I just know this was going to be a monster post once it wasn’t out at the usual time. Great job Pat, I think you are definitely a real thought leader in this niche and your transparency really makes it hard for anybody including myself not get motivated and crush it for 2011.

    Thanks for all the great information and I look forward to see what you have planned for this year.

    Jason

    • Pat

      Heh – I was stressing out because this is the first time I posted a post “late”, but I think it was worth the extra time. Plus, I needed to sleep at one point while I was writing it. Hehe! Cheers and thanks for your support!

  • http://www.36pounds.com Adrijus

    Well, glad I was able to see your growth. I remember seeing you have less than 10k subscribers..

    Thank you for this great blog!

    Keep it up!

  • Todd

    Pat,

    Great year end report. I started following you in June of 2009. It’s been fantastic to see you diversify your business and watch your growth. In addition, I really appreciate all the positive encouragement you offer people! Keep up the great work and positive approach to life!

  • http://www.delightfuldaisy.com TJ

    Hey Pat,
    First of all congrats. I’m torn between being inspired, impressed, and even jealous. But you do good work and deserve your success.

    So you know, your site was down for a few minutes, and even I got this error:

    Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 1572864) (tried to allocate 4864 bytes) in /home/smartpas/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3084

    I know you just changed to a dedicated server, so you may want to dig into that…

    TJ

  • Todd

    Pat,

    Congrats on a fantastic year! Have been a reader since 6/09! You positive energy is wonderful to see and hear. Glad you are holding true to your values and family! Keep up the positive encouragement to the masses! Appreciate your work.

  • http://www.vicdorfman.com Vic Dorfman

    Pat,

    You’re the man!

    I recommended your site to my brother, who has a beautiful baby girl with his wife and wants to make the transition to earning an online income full time to eventually replace his 9-5.

    I figured, who better than a guy in basically the same boat?

    Good Vibes, Brother.
    Vic

  • http://www.buyhomeblog.co Kent F

    Congrats Pat – wow! In all frankness, I was a little turned off when I first saw your income report. I’ve been involved in a few mlm’s, and that has always been a no-no. Then I realized the why behind it, and I now totally understand it.

    I had no idea who you were 9 months ago and would have likely never found you through Google. You were recommended by Mark Mason, and you have over-delivered to me from that moment forward. I think your nickname should be the Over-Deliverer.

  • Ron

    Hey Pat, just wanted to say congrats and a belated Happy New Year. I’ve seen your journey from the beginning and it has been quite inspiring and encouraging. You’re a pretty cool dude, and I hope to witness your rise into the passive income millions in the near future.

    Cheers buddy,

  • http://www.bigredtomatocompany.co.uk Matthew Needham

    Pat, congratulations, at the end of the day it’s the money you get to keep in your pocket, not the top line income number, so congratulations on a truly succesful year.

    I became a father for the first time in June last year and I was fortunate enough to be able to have 2 months off after he was born, thanks largely to passive income. Moving more of my income to passive sources in 2011 is a major goal for me so I can spend more time with the family. You represent a big source of inspiration to me to do that.

    Thanks for sharing Pat and to your continued success in 2011.

    Matthew

  • http://www.thebenefitsofgarlic.com Cory

    Great job, Pat! You really do work hard, and you give SO much to us, your blog followers. You’re a great guy, (seriously folks, the email I got back from this guy speaks volumes about him as a person) and you deserve all of the wonderful things in your life. Here’s to a great 2011! Hopefully I can join you in celebrating a great year of passive income next January!

  • http://www.imamoneygrubber.com Paul

    wow! best and most inspirational post of the year. Good job Pat!

    How the heck did you only spend $6,866.01 developing over 20 iphone apps though?? Most of the developer quotes I’ve received from elance amount to about $1,000 per app…

    Still. I am mighty impressed by your humbleness and work ethic. You really set an example for us all.

    • Pat

      Hi Paul –

      Well, a lot of our apps are very inexpensive to make. Traffic Light Changer, which is one our most success applications, only cost $400-$500 to make if I remember correctly. Other applications were “free” because we built them ourselves by swapping out images and/or sounds from an original “templated” iPhone application that we paid for.

      :)

  • http://www.wrightcomputing.com Paul Wright

    Congratulations on a very successful year Pat, I earned my first commission though clickbank last month so I am very happy. Happy New year and all the best for the future!

    • Pat

      Awesome Paul! Congratulations :)

      You gotta start somewhere!

  • http://www.crimsondc.com Neil

    I don’t believe in luck. Luck has had nothing to do with your amazing success over the last couple of years. You have worked your ASS off! What you have accomplished is phenomenal and I wish you continued success.

  • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

    Pat, this is your best “income report” yet! It has been an honor watching you “grow up” online. You’re an inspiration to thousands and show that with hard work anything can happen in two years. Here’s to an even better 2011.

  • Maxjohan

    I just feel that you are a people magnet too. People like you easily. And, that’s a huge advantage in business. It’s the way you write your content, it just screams of your personality. I visit quite a lot of blogs but this is probably the best. This report was an AWESOME read.

  • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

    PatMan!

    Wanted to say PacMan but yeah no haha

    Congratulations on all of your success! I honestly enjoy watching your growth week in and week out. I tell my friends all the time “hey do you know who Pat Flynn is? No? well check him out!”

    You’re definitely a needle in a haystack when it comes to the internet marketing game, thanks for being transparent and real man. All the best in 2011!

    -Chris Alta

  • http://internetstateuniversity.com Brendon

    I read Smart Passive Income every morning before I eat breakfast, read the paper, watch the news, check the weather, etc. etc. You are going to crush 2011 Pat. Having a wife and a 6 month old daughter myself, your intro really resonates with me. That is what life, as I see it, is all about.

  • http://dcj21.net Derek Jones

    Congrats!

    And Sterling was right. Your personal brand is very strong. I recommend YOU to others because I trust YOU, not your blog or your products. And I can relate to the father issues. I have 5 kids myself.

    Enjoy!
    Derek

  • http://www.guidegoods.blogspot.com Edwin

    Congrats dude. Your my inspiration to keep on going with my website. And even though I am only 13 I will keep on going no matter what the naysayers say :)

  • http://www.my4hrworkweek.com Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

    Congratulations on another excellent year, Pat. I’m sure I’m not the first to say it, but your success extends beyond the income you’ve earned – I can say with certainty that you are probably directly responsible (in one way or another) for hundreds of success stories across the internet, with more popping up each day.

    In a way, you’ve probably “made” thousands more than what your income report shows – it’s just that the money has gone into someone else’s pocket. :)

    The fact of the matter is, they’ve made money and had success because of you and your continuous help both in your posts and in the comments. At the very least, you’re inspiring – and inspiration is a key ingredient to success (along with “action” of course).

    I’m sure I can speak for everyone else when I say “thanks” for all you’ve done.

    - Eric

    • KimP

      Wonderfully written, Eric, and my sentiments exactly!

      With all of the wonderful work you’re doing Pat, you’re going to have to rework the first sentence in your “Hello my name is” section very soon!

      Here’s to continued success in 2011!

    • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

      I love your point of view Eric – exactly right! I know I’ve been striving to achieve success because of the influence and motivation of Pat’s progress here. I also know that I’m not alone. :)

      Christina

      • http://www.my4hrworkweek.com Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

        Thanks guys. :) I figured others felt the same way.

  • http://www.creativeblogger.net CreativeBlogger

    I first learned about you when you were featured on problogger … now I’m wondering when darren will be featured on smart passive income :)

    Awesome to see your growth – so inspiring and motivating, Pat.

    • Leon Aldrich

      You didn’t hear? ProBlogger is merging with SPI. Darren and Pat are going to see who can OUTGIVE the other for world GIVINATION! (just kidding about the merge).

  • http://www.americantaoist.com Matt Timlin

    Happy New Year to you too Pat,

    It genuinely makes me glad to see you doing so well in your endeavors online and in the real world. I have made it a point to read every single one of your blog posts and have loved pretty much everything I’ve read.

    In face its reading your blog and your complete transparency in your processes that inspired me to take my blog from a wordpress hosted site to buying my own domain and working on it for myself.

    Now I’m the proud owner of my own brand that I’m building and have two other sites in store and I owe much of my inspiration for taking this step to you.

    So again, Thank you for doing what you do and being great at it, and happy new year!

    -Matt

  • http://lifeexcursion.com David Damron

    As I have followed your growth from around November 2009, it is refreshing to see someone so honest and outgoing succeed.

    Some key points you made that I hope others focus on:
    -You actually netted more this year over last despite what the gross says.
    -Creating multiple streams of income kept you from relying solely on greenexam
    -Planning is extremely important.

    My goal for this year is to simply plan better and dominate one action before moving on to the next. I have it more detailed and measurable, but generally speaking, that is it.

    I hope to continue to see your growth and development Pat.

    David Damron
    LifeExcursion

  • http://www.StickyPLR.com Will Blears

    Congratulations Pat, an awe-inspiring post and I wish you as much success in 2011. I have only recently started following your post but I would like to tell you, that you’re the only person I do follow. Please appreciate this and take it as a compliment because you are doing a great job.

    Regards,
    Will.

  • http://www.investparttime.com Brett

    Pat,
    I’m not so impressed with the numbers themselves but more with your overall attitude towards life and why you do it each day. I really respect that. I look to you as a business inspiration, especially since I hope to one day be in a similar position (stay at home dad? yes please!). I really appreciate the honesty, but I do have one question–how soon until you have to take down the “I’m not a millionaire” quote? Only kidding.

    Looking forward to following you through 2011.

    Peace,
    Brett

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Woah – was it really 2 years since the last one? Seemed to have gone by super fast!

    I just have to say – well done! It’s amazing that you were able to start last year off with 2k daily visits and then end the year with almost 4k daily visits – that’s growth right there!

    Also, your baby boy is adorable! I’m not sure how many times I’ve said that before – but I can’t get over how cute he is. You should be proud (which I’m sure you are)! I can imagine that caring for a child, especially one barely a year old, can be a lot of work – but I can really tell that you cherish every moment with your son. I

    By the way, good thing you were able to diversify and make up the income with affiliate earnings and iphone apps, instead of depending on your leed exam site for sales – or you might have been in a deep hole! While creating a single lucrative source is important, it’s also important to branch out and expand your income streams to other sources as well – your change in income is a prime example of this.

    I’m glad things were able to work out for you, Pat. You had a very profitable (and educational!) year, and I can only imagine what next year will bring! I agree – search engines aren’t everything. Your readers are who matter, not search engine robots.

    Personally, I stopped optimizing my blog content for search engines long ago. I’d rather pump out unique well-written content than unique keyword-rich content. But, like you, I still use SEO for niche sites.

    Keep up the awesome work, and I’ll be watching your progress and rooting for you during the many months to come!

    Oh – and give yourself a pat on the back, Pat. You deserve it. :)

    Christina

  • Arthur

    Hey Pat!

    I think one of the things that hit home with me most was your #5 Rule, about not being better than anyone else. As entrepreneurs, we’re often plagued by doubt in one form when getting our feet wet … “does this actually work?” … “will people actually pay for that?”.

    For me, getting through some of the self-doubt includes reminding myself of how you’ve been able to push through and get things done and achieve the things you have. It gives a lot of people hope that anyone can learn and achieve success through hard work, dedication and not being afraid to fail in order to learn from experience.

    Also, I admire that your drive for success revolves around your family and not money itself. All the money in the world doesn’t make up for an absent father and husband in your son and your wife’s life … I like your comment about being the only husband with your wife during the day, I’ve done that as well and usually most wives comment and wish they had a supportive husband like that too … you encountered that? =)

  • http://narasjay.blogspot.com/ Naras

    Hi Pat,

    Great article. You are simply great.
    Thanks
    Naras.

  • http://chefgeneman.com Philip geneman

    thanks pat, I like these reports because, it teaches so much. Also a great motivator.

  • http://www.JackiePurnell.com Jackie

    Congrats Pat, you are doing a fantastic job. It’s incredible what can be accomplished in such a short space of time when you do things the right way, with honesty & integrity.
    I wish you continued success and look forward to what 2011 has in store.
    Who said flash in the pan…pffft

  • http://semanticvictory.com Yuri

    Pat, I’ve been reading this blog for over a year now, and all this time you were a real inspiration.

    I’ve read somewhere:

    A blogger who merely shares blog tips is easily forgotten. A writer who gives advice on how to be a better writer isn’t memorable. But the struggling author who is trying his best to make his work known and gives advice on how to deal with failure along the way—that is someone we want to get to know!

    Well, you are most definitely the last one :) You have new ideas all the time, and you share everything about them, both successes and failures. That is not often seen.

    Good luck to you and your family for the new year!

  • http://www.geekface.co.uk Geek Face

    I found your blog after the interview over at Income Diary. It really is inspirational to see how far you have come and I will continue to follow your progress in 2011.

  • http://findmyblogway.com Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi Pat,

    This is pure inspirational and motivational. People will look at you filling with envy and disgusted but i believe what they have seen is your success. What about your hard work and determination behind the scene? The laid off is probably the best thing that happens to you but i think majority of us will not be feeling too good about it if that really happens to us.

    What i admire you most is you never let your head down. Instead of feeling down, you have found a new direction, work damn hard towards it and finally earn success with it.

    I have a young kid so i really resonate the fact our young ones will be occupying our minds most of the time. It’s never been most satisfying than to watch them grow up and accompany them at their young age.

    I wish you all the best and will be looking forward to more inspiring post by you.

  • http://tipsneeded.com Bimal Roy

    Truly inspirational! It is a great motivation to us. Thanks for sharing Pat. :)

  • Jayne

    Wow. I just “discovered” you tonight on youtube, Pat…so glad I did!
    looks like it has been an amazing journey for you. I am sure you have showed incredible persistence.
    I’m wondering…did you have a mentor, or did you muddle through on your own to set up all of your websites/fbpages/youtube vids/affiliate stuff? Who inspired you?

    I find your work very inspirational. You give me strength to believe I can make a go of it too.
    Thankyou so much for sharing!

  • Kate Smith

    Pat, I’ve been reading and lurking for a while, and I just want to say, congratulations to you on your hard work. Your intelligence and integrity come through in your writing, and that’s a big reason I read your blog. I wish you much more success in 2011!

  • http://www.beatingtheindex.com BeatingTheIndex

    What an amazing journey Pat. I am usually a lurker but today I wanted to thank you for this post which I felt was very transparent. I will not tell you that you’re lucky, you just worked hard to get to where you are and you deserve the success.

    Here’s to another profitable year in 2011!

  • http://www.findingnichekeywords.com TimB

    Pat,

    I’ve got to say it man, on top of everything else that I get from your site, the biggest thing is INSPIRATION.

    Seeing figures like these make me want to really buckle down and start to make some cash from web-based business. It’s so much better thanall those BS eBooks promising earnings of $1,000′s but never delivering.

    Like Eric Gati said above, the overall effect you’re having is so much more than the figures you’re posting.

    Fair play to you, Pat.

    Tim

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    Nice post, congrats and happy new year.

    I totally relate with the father experience. But mind you, time flies !! My daughter is now 6 and my son is 4, so my night rest is so much better. But the challenges of a father don’t dissapear, they just change…

    regards!

  • http://www.megabizflakes.com samuel

    Awesome post Pat! I will surely read it again! Man you are killing it. haha. Big ups to you. I’m sure your kid would be proud of you :) You are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. Have fun.

  • http://reeferideas.blogspot.com/ Rory Mullen

    keep up the good work.

  • http://www.stevescottsite.com Steve@Internet Lifestyle

    Congrats Pat.

    What awesome numbers and very encouraging. It is great to see you are doing so well and really killing it! Thanks for both the insight and the glimpse behind the scenes. I did particularly like the expense category, because this is something people often do not include, but it is important to note that there are always expenses involved as well as profits

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com Dean Saliba

    You made a loss but it is still really impressive to pull in $180k+ a year. :)

  • Ben

    In the SEO isn’t everything. I’m curious how many people come to the site using RSS. There has been a lot of discussion about RSS being dead. I personally use it to access your site and was curious if it represents a decent portion of your traffic.

  • Bob

    Pat,

    This is perhaps your best post to date. Pretty well written, informative and inspiring. This is what I like to see from you.

    May you have continued good luck.

  • http://myincomelab.blogspot.com Lonnie – My Income Lab

    Hey Pat

    Thanks for including your expenses in this report. It was eye-opening, as a business, to see that you operate with 16% overhead. It shows that all your hard work pretty much goes right back into your pocket. Regarding the opening comment, that someone called your success a “flash in the pan”, do you forecast goals beyond 1 year at a time? Do you have a 5 or 10 year plan for this blog or other online ventures?

  • http://www.affiliatetreasurechest.com Susanne Myers

    Congratulations on an amazing year. I really loved how you boiled down what you are all about and how you run your business in an honest and transparent way. Yes, it’s sad that does of us who approach online marketing this way (especially in the Internet marketing arena) are still in the minority, but I think that’s about to change. Readers are now have options and choose to do business with marketers like you.

    You’re definitely now a flash in the pan and I for one am looking forward to following SPI this year.

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com Steve-Personal Success Factors

    Pat, I echo everything all your readers have said. It’s so refreshing to have a trusted authority in the passive income blogging field who I can model myself after. In the past, I have worried about being laid off from ‘regular’ employment, but now I am seeing that it was the best thing that happened to you. Also, I love that you bootstrapped your way to success while providing excellence all along the way. Your on my daily read list, and I’m keeping it that way!

  • M.

    Respect, Pat, for your honesty and transparency.

    For my part, I found your blog a few months ago, and it has been motivational as I continue spending time to increase my income from similar sources.

  • http://bizdharma.com Himanshu Chanda

    Hi Pat the income reports are now more than just reports. They inspire, they guide and they talk a heck lot of things. Good thing about them is you really go into the nitty gritties. Hope to see them fly high!

  • http://renegadewriter.net AJWalton

    I’m really enjoying the website Pat. Your attitude, even more than your earnings, is very inspiring. I really like your point about SEO not being everything. While I understand SEO pretty well (I have to for InfoBarrel articles) I find it tedious and boring to do on my blog – I’d much rather be out there connecting with real people, and I’m glad to see that this clearly is a strategy that works.

    I’ve adopted your rule to make the internet a better place – thanks for everything you share here, and all the best in 2011.

  • http://www.marcandangel.com/ Marc and Angel Hack Life

    Man Pat, our blog and websites are somewhat popular but you’re killing it from a monetization standpoint.

    Angel and I certainly need to figure out this part of the game a little better.

    Regards,

    Marc

  • Hynek

    Congratulations, Pat!

  • http://bethstowers.com Beth

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your report. I found your blog via Entrepreneur’s-Journey and I am impressed with what you have done. Way to go and I look forward to seeing what you do in 2011. :)

  • Kerry-Ann

    Great breakdown and content. Really inspiring Pat! :)

  • http://www.ingresosalcuadrado.com Franck

    Great Year, Congrats Pat!

    And now, what product are you going to launch?

  • http://www.bloggingbookshelf.com Tristan

    Dude, this is freaking awesome, Pat. I won’t take up your time and you don’t need to respond to this comment, but congratulations on having an awesome year! Keep up the great work.

  • http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/ Sustainable PF

    Thanks for this update Pat. As a new site we are trying to learn as much as we can and we appreciate that you share so much.

  • Swapna

    Dearest Pat:

    Happy New Year!!

    You are one in a million! Amazing what you are doing. Even more amazing that you are such a genuine good doer. God bless you abundantly!! There are very few people like you in this world! I am honored to know you!

    Warmest regards
    Swapna

  • http://www.foursides.ca James M

    My daughter was born December 31st, 2009, so I can sympathasize with the transition you went through this year. I often hope that my daughter will nap for over one hour and a half so I could do some writing, or at the very least, shower and eat. After reading this post, I’m beginning to think that if you can keep up this work at home with a child, I could do the same. The only thing holding me back is myself, and not my daughter.

    Thanks for sharing all this information with us!

  • http://www.benperry.mobi Ben

    Thanks as always for the transparency, Pat, it’s always enlightening.

    I do have a question about your niche sites project. When I look at your income reports, the niche site revenue is a tiny % of your overall and seemed like a lot of work yet you plan to continue making more niche sites. Why do you see a lot more upside here? Is it the trending?

    I’ve long suspected that there’s more money in teaching people how to make niche sites than there is in making niche sites. The fact that you’re starting a course to teach others how seems to support that notion.

  • http://www.webguy2.com/ Chris

    I really love your business model Pat! The people that really make a difference online seem to be the ones following this to the core! So I will be following you for a long time to come!

    Thanks,

    Chris

  • http://themindsetmillionaire.com Brandon Winters

    Congratulations for accomplishing what you set out to do this year, Pat.

    Your authority and expertise has grown so fast as of late, it is unbelievable! I’m stoked for you and the SPI brand, can’t wait to see what you have coming this year.

    “When you see the world as it is, but work to make it more like you see it can be – you matter” – I always look to this quote for inspiration and motivation to keep truckin towards my long-term vision and goals.

    Keep it up, you’re doing things that matter!

    Happy New Year,

    Brandon

  • http://passivepanda.com James Clear

    Congratulations Pat! I’m really looking forward to what comes from SPI in 2011.

    James

  • Patrick Lam

    Congrats on the amazing year bruh! So glad to see you’re doing so well! We need to get together soon and grab lunch or dinner to catch up on things.

  • http://sitetour.com Seth Parker

    Congratulations on the continued success Pat!

    Thanks for including a comprehensive list of expenses in this report! Very helpful and informative.

    Best.

    Seth

  • http://www.blogbriefing.com Clive at BlogBriefing.com

    Hi Pat, I can’t think of any other blogger or IM person who has ever been as transparent about revenue etc. as you have been. More power to you.

    My first contact with you was my asking you ( over a year ago) a question about setting up my Facebook ‘Fan’ Page ( way before it became the ‘new big thing’ it is today). You came through even though there was no real/monetary reason for you to do so.

    Genuine people will always win in the Long Game and I try and follow your example in all I do online.

  • http://www.leapontotheweb.com Lindsay

    Thanks for putting the time into this report, Pat. It is so much more useful than all the empty “pep talks” out there. I think you definitely did the right thing by putting the YOU into your business, you’re one in a million. I found your blog through your Podcasts on iTunes, which have also been stellar!

  • http://www.alexisrodrigo.com/amember/mspb-download/ Lexi Rodrigo

    Thanks for this detailed post, Pat! I appreciate your transparency. Your success is an inspiration, especially because you set the bar high with your principles. I really admire that!

    Your success is definitely not a flash in the pan. People who say so are just jealous… because they haven’t made money online yet.

    Thanks again and a blessed new year to you and your lovely family.

  • http://warriormindcoach.com/blog Gregg Swanson

    Hi Pat, Congratulations! You’re are get inspiration to me and keep providing the motivation to stay the course…thanks!

  • http://www.achillestendonitisx.com Achilles heel pain

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks a lot for all of the figures. Great job. It was really useful to also have a look at your spendings. Allt the best for 2011.
    Best!
    Lars

  • http://www.foreclosure-help-center.com Grace

    Congratulations on a job well done Pat! I love reading your inspiring posts. I know the best is yet to come for you. Thanks for your honesty and integrity, and for sharing your best strategies. I wish you and your family all the best for 2011.

  • http://moviescrunch.com Manikandan

    Wow!!! An Inspirational, motivational, emotional, lovable post. Congrats PAT for your great Success in 2010. The difference between you and other bloggers is ‘Your Transparency’. Yep, We love your transparent Business model. In that way, you can help peoples like me to start our own Online Dreamy Life to be Real. You make us all to be an Online Entrepreneur. Hope we all have a Great Success in 2011. Kudos to you PAT for making this Platform. Have a Wonderful Year. Take care n Cheers :)

  • Tim Racette

    Thanks for all you do Pat. What a great article and shared insight, you are an inspiration to everyone.

  • http://www.appraiserincome.com Bryan Knowlton

    Pat! I love your blog and podcast! Please post more shows soon! Hope to run in to you sometime in San Diego. Do you attend or host any meetups? Thanks again!

  • http://www.babysleepsite.com Nicole Johnson

    Awesome, Pat!! May your 2011 be even better! I laughed a little at this statement: “I am currently making a living off of passive income and am happy to spend a lot of my free time with my family, but at the same time I’m using a lot of that free time working hard on new projects so that I can have even more time with them in the future.” only because as a like-minded person, it seems like it’s never enough. I think it’s just Type-A personality or goal-oriented or maybe entrepreneurial endeavors are just addicting. What net income do you think will be enough? Or, is it not the $$? I mean in terms of how industries change, something can cut your income in half overnight. I am just curious because I currently work a day job *and* my website *and* I’m a wife *and* a mother and let me tell you, I’m getting t-i-r-e-d! Free time? What is that? I have none. :)

    It’s ironic that your layoff triggered this, because sometimes I daydream about being let go! I love what I do at both “jobs” so it’s really hard to know when it’s “time” to go for it. I mean I’m sure I can make it right now but being the primary breadwinner and having a family to think of, it’s hard. Doubts flood your brain like “What if Google took your site away right now?” Yikes!

    Anyway, I have often wondered “Will it ever be enough?” I can *always* find more ideas to do with my website and I haven’t even ventured outside my niche, yet! I just thought that statement you said was exactly my thought process, sometimes, but then I think I’m working so much now that what if that time is right now? I guess when you love to do it, this is really being paid to do a “hobby” like my husband plays golf. I don’t golf or have any other hobbies, so I guess this is mine, I just get paid doing it because I love it so much! Interesting stuff.

    Good luck in 2011!

  • http://www.gvo-webcast.com Sean Breslin

    Hello Pat, I enjoyed reading that for the sense it gave me of yes I’ve made the right choice of how to move forward Online this year… Thank You and may your success continue.

  • http://www.homestagingbymarianne.com Marianne Cherico

    Patrick,
    I have loved reading your blog for awhile. You have inspired me to start writing an ebook on home staging and look into other ideas for passive income. THANKS FOR ALL YOU GIVE!!!
    Marianne

  • http://zingervotes.blogspot.com Alrady aka: DARLA

    Hey PAT this is awesome. I have followed along, off and on, since our ehow days! My how things have gone. I read your first paragraph with DISMAY and then quickly was relieved to see you really “GOT IT”. Everyone wants the magic bullet, the quick fix, the one thing that will work. It is no different on my foreclosure blog, or on my writing blog. People want the easy thing that will work.
    It is simple, but still HARD – it is investing in learning, taking advantage of opportunity and working to achieve your goals. Much more rewarding than working 9-5 but at the same time there is work to it. Different work but work none the less. You invest now to get back later. If you never took time to blog, analyze or learn you would not go very far.
    KUDOS to you for your sharing and willingness be successful and share your journey. It is good to see how all the things combined contribute to each other and the overall success. Part of why I keep on going. .

  • http://www.dubai-information-site.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    Pat man, you made me tear up with your inspirational story. Can I give you a Hug?

  • James

    I must have been following you from pretty much the time you started this site and you’re one of the very few people from back then who I still follow. I love what you do and what you have taught me, and the look on that little boy’s face! He’s proud of you, too! Thank you, Sir.

  • http://adamripperdan.com Adam | Accountant

    Hey Pat,

    First off, great post! Hats off to you for being so open and fully disclosed about your business. I have been following you and your site/style for a year now and bring you and your strategies up to several of my clients weekly.
    There is one expense in this post that really concerns me however. Your accounting and bookkeeping expense is only $450! That is crazy man. You should really seek out a sharp accountant to guide you in taking advantage of your “passive income” business structure. See the link below for my post on my blog for a much more thorough explanation regarding S Corps.

    http://adamripperdan.com/b-news/some-breaking-news-for-s-corporations-what-a-potential-15-tax-increase.html

    If you are netting $150 K, brother you have GOT to take full advantage of the benefits that are available to you. Call me man or something, I am happy to discuss with you (for FREE) how to go about this.

    Lets say you start saving $20-$30k a year in taxes…over 10 years that is your retirement man!

    Adam

  • http://17000-days..com Cara

    Congratulations and way to go! What you’ve accomplished in the past two years is really impressive, but what strikes me even more than the overall success is your resilience. You mention the hit to your income from GreenExamAcademy and the whole mess with the domain as an aside, almost as if it wasn’t that important, but if you hadn’t been doing a bunch of other things, or if you had gotten discouraged and given up, you would have become exactly what that commenter said: a flash in the pan. Instead, you’re better than ever. That, my friend, is inspirational.

  • http://pinartarhan.com/blog/ Pinar Tarhan

    Wow! First of all, congratulations on the overall success.
    And second of all, i can totally see why this post took you so long to write.
    Thanks for sharing all the details. It has been motivational and inspirational.

  • Terri

    Great job Pat! You continue to be an inpiration for all of us.

  • http://www.torontowebsitedeveloper.com Peter

    This is awesome Pat, congrats! Keeping up the momentum is definitely a testament to your abilities and talents. I think the income transition from greenexamacedemy.com to the diversified income streams clearly shows you’ve destroyed the “flash in the pan” criticism. Additionally, I completely agree that your honest/transparency is a huge part of your brand and a reason why I enjoy reading the blog and making purchases through your affiliate links.

    Keep up the great work,
    pete

  • Loyal Fan

    You deserve it Pat! I do believe that the YOU in your brand is what separates you from all these other knucklehead “gurus”.

    I’ll try not to beat a dead horse here, but there is definitely a genuine and unassuming kindness to you as a person. I believe it’s similar to the recent YouTube phenomenon Ted Williams, the guy with the “golden voice”.

    It’s the kind of stuff that makes us all sit here and secretly cheer for you to win! Meanwhile, it helps us stay on track for bringing ourselves up to the level of success that you continue to experience.

    So, Thanks Pat – keep up the goodness and although I’m not in the market for a Golden Widget right now, I will pass on the word about you and SPI.

  • Venita Burleson

    Pat,
    Thanks a million, you have greatly earned my respect and admiration for all of the many reasons already stated, but much more so for your appreciation of the true treasure you have: your family. I am going to utilize many of your techniques and examples so that I can have time for those that are priceless and irreplaceable in my life. Cheers, Happy New Year and God Bless You & Yours!

  • http://www.publishingtodayconference.com Bruce Jones

    excellent post, it is great seeing a real person making a real living doing this. It puts it in the realm of other people actually doing it. I keep trying to add affiliate relationships to my mix and it is just so hard, but watching you do it says just keep trying. I have had good luck with real products but the passive income thing is still a big struggle. Will keep watching, here is to a great 2011

  • http://www.angelamccullagh-noticethedifference.com/ Angela McCullagh

    You are happy and have work-life balance. Fantastic!

  • Ken

    Truly inspirational, congratulations. Can you tell me the best place to start? I have been trying to make money online with no success. Any programs, posts, advice, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • http://www.nerdrightnow.com Adam Harris

    I’m very happy for you Pat, and this is a great post. In addition to the reflection on the business lessons of the year I particularly loved the reminder that awesome can be an emotion. Congratulations on all you have accomplished over this past year!

  • http://canadianfinanceblog.com Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog

    Great job Pat! The lack of SEO is interesting. While my blog is not getting the same traffic as you, more than half of what I do get comes from Google. Imagine how much more traffic you could have if you increased your search engine traffic until it represented 55-60% of your total!

  • http://www.got-big.de/Blog Thomas

    Wow, thanks very much for sharing this post Pat and I wish you (and of course your family) all the best in 2011.

    I like your open mind, your ideas and your high quality blog posts. Please stay as you are!

    Regards from Germany

    Thomas

  • http://www.findinganichemarket.com bovic

    A really great post Pat.
    You have what we all are striving to gain. Thanks for sharing with us the path you have taken.
    Here’s to a great 2011.

  • http://www.RobinRenteria.com Robin Renteria

    Thanks for this article, Pat. It’s really inspiring and helps me raise the bar on my own expectations. Since I read your ‘ebooks-the-smart-way’ I’ve been working on creating my own ebook for all kinds of folks for creating a wonderful wedding ceremony that fits who they are. You guidance is just what I needed. I have 16 years experience as a minister but none writing ebooks. Now I’m finishing the writing and am moving on to the sales page design – still following all your great guidance. My work too is a labor of love. I think that makes all the difference. Thanks for the integrity and encouragement you model. Blessings to you and your family for a great 2011!

  • http://www.freemakemoneyadvice.com/ Erik Emanuelli @ Free Make Money Advice

    Thanks for sharing Pat!

    Congratulations!

    Fantastic stats and reports.

    You are an ideal to follow and to learn from.

    My best wishes for 2011 !

  • http://www.basketballismypassion.com Elias

    First of all: Congratulations on your achievements which, like Eric states, go far beyond the numbers you post here. This blog has become a rich source of knowledge not only for the great content we find here, but for all the nice audience in the comments of each post. It is really a great community! I wish you continue this year with growing success. A big Thanks for being a real example of discipline and consistency!

  • http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com Karo

    Hello Pat,

    Since I found you through the search engines I have been addicted!

    I subscribed to your newsletter, downloaded your e-book and joined your page. I just like associating with credibible people!

    Like Leon said, some of us might not make you money directly but the free marketing we do for you, is worth much more.

    Givers never lack my dear and while it might seem that others who don’t follow your business principles are making more money now by using their authority to refer several products that they can’t even defend to their followers, in the end, you will make more because you’ve built a great foundation for yourself.

    I never like associating with so called A-list bloggers because when you subscribe to their list much of what you get are product offers and when you send them mails, you never get replies and they are the ones who write more on Building Relationships with your readers. It such hypocrisy.

    But since I joined your list (though recently) it’s been good content. When I heard of your coaching program I felt almost bad that I couldn’t afford it because I know it would be a great experience even though I have no immediate plans of starting niche sites. But I made sure my site readers who are beginners hears about it by posting it on the Blogging news section of my site.

    I look forward to your newsletter and always spare the time necessary to read and click through to any recommendation (article or webinar) you may make. Just like I have spent over 30 minutes reading your report, comments and adding mine even when I am yet to do anything of what I have lined up today. So there’s always greater reward in been honest. People will always stand and listen to you when you talk.
    This is what you’ve achieved for yourself Pat, something some called Pros don’t even have.

    I fear for you though because at the stage you are now temptation will abound. You have a great following and people with great following are like Kings to advertisers.

    Moreover I know your kind of transparency will come with it’s own challenges, I know a guy who tried this type of transparency and went almost down for it. Same people he was helping was trying to hurt him. I had to re-trace is steps. So I commend you greatly.

    While your present annual income is impressive I am sure that it’s nothing compared to what awaits you in a few years.

    Keep up the good work.

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Pat, if i was your online accountant, I would be very pleased with your numbers and professionalism in presenting them. You had a very good and diversified year and have to answer to no one. Awesome way to live.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  • http://www.twentysomethingmoney.com twentysomethingmoney

    Wow! Congratulations on the success. I’m always interested to see what type of results web entrepreneurs come up with.

  • Dustin

    Admitted lurker, never posted before. Question that a lot of people may find useful: Learning what you did in 2010, if you had to do it over, what would you do differently?

  • alex

    Congrats to Pat! One of the best to ever do it. I wish you 100 more years of success.

  • http://www.businessbackpacker.com Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker

    Happy New Year, Pat. I’m really excited to read this, because I feel like I’m at a similar place as you were last year– getting amped up to get everything out. Great to see you are doing so well and continuing to keep your same core values. I really admire that. I’ll be in touch soon, some really exciting stuff on the horizon!
    Cheers,
    Brooke

  • http://www.thevantagejourney.com Tariq – The Vantage Journey

    Hey Pat,

    Congrats! Your success stories really really inspire me! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences that have shown me clearly the steps and ways of planning my passive income effort.

    I envy you! :)

  • http://experimentsinpassiveincome.com Moon Hussain

    Pat,

    It’s been great seeing you and the SPI brand grow. To much more success in 2011!

  • http://www.photoartisttextures.com Leslie Nicole

    Great post. I particularly liked what you said about SEO. It’s something I’ve wondered about. The “numbers” for my niche in Google weren’t great, but I thought being a part of the community of my niche would be worth something and I’m becoming an authority in my niche. Don’t have your numbers yet, but I’m working on it.

    Thanks for being so honest and breaking it down.

  • http://artofhustle.com Anthem

    Seriously, Pat, amazing. I’m inspired by your hustle and am grateful for your generosity in sharing all your knowledge and experience. Looking even more forward to 2011 in a big way.

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Winning Ideas

    Awesome. Congratulations Pat for achieving this feet. I like the way you present your statistics and your firm grip on internet and blog technologies shows right here in the report :-)

    Keep the great work.

  • http://ultimategiftquest.com J. Dorene

    Congrats Pat! I’ve been learning the “ins & outs” and hope to hone in on something specific soon. I’d be happy with a fraction of what you’re earning but even with writing, graphic design skills and an extensive art background I still can’t find just one way to get my foot in the door. You are inspiring and this encourages me to narrow down my subject matter so that I can launch something truly fantastic! Keep up the great work and the tips!

  • http://inmyhomeoffice.com/ Ian McConnell @ InMyHomeOffice.com

    Great motivating post Pat… You are definitely not a flash in the pan!

    I believe your success is your transparency… The big gurus don’t open up nearly as much as you do and it’s very important for any newbies to read this stuff. It’s incredibly motivating.

    Your income and expenses clearly show what an internet marketer is capable of in just a few years… Brick and mortar businesses would take 3 times longer to generate the profits you are generating. And they would be spending 10 hours a day at the business.

    Without a doubt, your transparency is what has created a unique bond with your readers and I congratulate you for that. It was a bold move but one that has worked very well.

    All you need now is a $1,997 product, some speaking on stage and you will easily be able to do a million dollar launch, just like the big boys. And, it would be thoroughly deserved…

    Well done Pat and have a happy 2011.

    Cheers
    Ian McConnell
    Western Australia

  • http://basicallysharing.com Caleb Galaraga

    Hi, Pat!

    You’re doing an awesome job and your success is a genuine inspiration for many of us aiming to make it in this industry.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Caleb

  • http://theapptimes.com Eddie Gear

    Hey Pat, Congratulations! I envy you so much. I hope that one day I would make atleast 10% of what you have made. It makes a big difference for people like me, even small money make big difference. Thanks for sharing your expertise and your success.

  • http://www.internetbusinessmastery.com Sterling

    Great post! Thanks so much for the mention! I’m very happy I could be any small part of your awesome success!

  • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

    Well done Pat. Well done.

  • Bana

    Pat,

    Your website is inspiring! It’s incredible to see how far you’ve come and thanks for sharing it all with us! You mentioned expanding your webinars to accommodate 1000 viewers. May I ask was software you’re using? I have been researching and could use a good opinion!

  • http://www.luminatraining.com E L

    Its true that SEO isnt everything, however when you have a product or niche that is not conducive to creating a community then it is helpful to be able to be easily found in the search engines.

  • http://www.davidaltmann.com David

    Hi Pat

    Surely this has been asked before, but just in case that not, here the two questions I am pondering about:

    a) Next to being laid off, what do you think are the (three?) most inportant characteristics you have that you think are absolutely necessary for an internet entrepreneur such as you are, in order to be really successful and not be a flash in the pan?

    b) When are you finally writing that eBook in which you’ll collect all your wisdom from your many blog posts of the last two years, sell it on your blog and make loads of that passive money you have been working so hard for the last two years? In case this could come across ironic: it’s not! I think the most ‘logical’ thing would be this eBook. Or am I wrong on that?

    Waiting eagerly for your answers or links to older comments in case you already answered that in the past!

    Best regards from Greece!

    David

  • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

    Pat, after seeing what you’ve accomplished over the years, I can safely assure you that you are NOT a flash in the pan.

    You should be very proud of what you’ve done for yourself, and everyone else. I hope that 2011 is as fruitful as the years gone by :-)

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  • http://www.thegreenfinance.org Matthew

    Pat,

    I have been a follower of your blog for about three months. I make a modest amount of money each month off of several affiliate programs (shareasale, Amazon.com) and the bulk of my money coming from Adsense/Chitika/etc for ads. I operate two blogs on niche themes in the religious education industry, I own a company that sells products that are online based lessons in that same industry, and I recently launched a new blog to talk about my primary passion finance (http://www.thegreenfinance.org).

    I have seen my income rise in the past months and your helpful posts have been there as a constant guide and inspiration. My #1 question and the #1 drawback for me centers around compliance issues.

    Namely, what are the rules of blogging from a legal and a tax perspective. How do I claim these ad revenues and affiliate earnings? Do I have to pay quarterly tax payments to the IRS. If so how? And if so, can I sum up all of my earnings from all of my websites, my LLC, and my S Corp into one check or do I need to send separate checks?

    Similarly, am I able to promote products without disclosing an affiliate connection according to the FTC or other regulatory bodies? How should a blogger write an effective privacy policy etc?

    I find these issues always getting in the way of my plans for marketing and adding more value to my readers. I would love for you to write up an article sometime to discuss these issues of compliance and tax issues as I know that a lot of us have similar questions that pose serious roadblocks to our quest to generate more smart passive income.

    Thanks, Pat! Keep up the good work!

    • http://adamripperdan.com Adam | Accountant

      Matthew,

      First off, nice job getting to the point where you have to seriously ask these questions! That really is a huge accomplishment.

      See my comment before to this post regarding S Corps <– and yes it is a link to my blog.

      The answer(s) to your question can be very complicated, depending on several factors. My suggestion is to seek out a competent accountant that understands online marketing and the internet business model (this might be kind of hard to do as most are not up to speed). I am happy to discuss the main basics with you but don't feel it right to dole out my info on Pat's post/comment area. HE is the man here and I don't want to detract from that.

      Take a look at my post that I mentioned earlier and check out the blog. I am happy to discuss for FREE your basic situation. Just remember, at this point I am A accountant not YOUR accountant! Cool man, keep on rollin!

      Adam in Kentucky

  • http://www.whoisbolaji.com Bolaji O | WhoIsBolaji.com

    Howdy Pat.

    Happy New Year, and congratulations on a successful 2010.
    Not so much for the financial success, but for facing down the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (Lizard Brain) that rears its head at forks in the road.

    I’m very happy for your success, and the growth of your lovely family.
    I’ll be following the blog closely, and rooting for the success of your next adventure, big or small.

    (As you know, even failed attempts are still good, in that we tried, and learned even as we missed the mark.)

    I’m at about 9 months from my liberation from corporate America, and it feels good.
    There’s nothing like pursuing your true calling – regardless of financial compensation.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.ledcome.com Eugene

    Congratulations on an outstanding year Pat! Let me add my vote of appreciation to those already uttered by others. For me it was certainly your informative and inspiring podcasts that convinced me to step out with my blog, and that move has opened the door to several other opportunities that I might have otherwised missed!
    Thanks and have a great 2011!

  • http://twitter.com/plcrlsn Paul Carlson

    Brilliant, Pat. Thanks for sharing and for providing tons of great content. I love the podcast! God bless.

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    Awesome report Pat,

    You really made a great impact in 2010 and what I love most is how great you and your blog served as a source of inspiration for me in 2010. I also love your baby and I pray you will always see him and be happy.

    Keep up the great work,
    -Onibalusi

  • http://aydenmich.com Ayden Mich

    Thank you for your help in the past Pat. I read through some of the comments and they all resonant the same message. Keep doing what you’re doing – we’re all loving it!

  • http://www.asittingduck.com David Edwards

    Nice Report Pat!,

    2011 is set to be another top year for website owners!…

    :]

  • Jaques Cilliers

    Yeah, Well done on all your hard work. I am also a father of two beautiful children. It is like you say. They mean everything and your children is the reason why we breathe and work the way we do. I am still a newbie as far as online business are concerned, but I am going to give it everything I got to make it a success. All the best for you and your family for the year 2011

  • http://simplevesting.com James Fowlkes

    Thanks for this honest post, Pat. You are an inspiration. I can only hope that I am able to duplicate your success in my own little way this year!

  • http://ideasforhomebusinesses.com.au Michelle

    Hi Pat, great articles, so inspiring and thanks for all the detail. Hoping your story will also happen for me (except the laid off part) :)

    I wish that I knew what I know now when I was as young as you. Are you planning on doing any teaching or providing a service to help people like me fill in the blanks and get some action moving with my blogs and sites. You certainly hit the nail on the head for me when you were talking about support, that has been my biggest problem, lack of support but they are slowly coming around :) however, it did take a big shot from the US to contact me and notice my potential before my family started to believe that MAYBE I can do it!

  • http://www.HectorJCuevas.com Hector Cuevas

    I completely agree with Sterling. People gravitate to you Pat, because you’re real and authentic. Thanks for sharing this very impressive income report

    keep it up bro
    talk soon

  • http://lapdeh.com/ cascd

    im speechless.. i wish i can do the same.
    thank you for encouraging me pat.. :-)

  • http://profitduck.com Simon Duck

    Fantastic results, thanks for sharing them, it inspires us all to strive harder.

  • http://www.greginmotion.com Gregory Elfrink

    Hey Pat,

    Great report man, you’re definitely not a flash in the pan and hopefully will lead the charge of transparency more in this niche. You have done a great job, I align with a lot of the values you show here.

    And part of my goals on my blog reflect that you’ve inspired me to try and become more transparent myself, especially with my failures not just my successes or how much money I earned.

    By the way, I really like the add-on of expenses, I think that puts things into even more perspective. Whenever I talk to people about a friend making this or that, they always chortle to themselves asking “Well how much did they spend” expecting that they spent way more than they earned, in anyway to try and “steal the dream”.

    Give them nothing to laugh about Pat, make their jaws drop ; )

  • http://www.mikeziarko.com Mike Ziarko

    I’m wait late reading this post Pat, but I just wanted to say congrats on your great year. It was a pleasure discovering you and your work! Can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store from Pat Flynn.

  • http://hirstmusic.com Mike Hirst

    This is awesome and inspiring as always Pat! Keep up the great work and I hope your income doubles in 2011. You’re helping so many people, it’s bound to come back around 10-fold.

  • http://pix2brix.com Alison Moore Smith

    Just found you from the Problogger post. Great introduction. Look forward to reading more. :)

  • http://www.internetmarketerscompanion.com Shane Lowry

    Passive income can’t be beat. Congrats on the milestone and I look forward to reading many more.

    Cheers,
    Shane

  • peter

    Hi Pat,

    You mentioned that you churned out more than 20 iphone apps in 2010 and the cost of developing these apps is $6,866.01. This translates to ~$300 of development cost per app. That seems to be a very low cost for app development. How did you achieve that?

    • Pat

      Hey Peter – some of the apps were actually “Free” because we had a developer create a template that we could use for several different applications, so after the “base” application is made we could then create several individual apps from it.

  • Paul Evans

    Well done Pat!
    After 13 years of working at the cutting edge of the European E-commerce market – and working to fill other people’s pockets – ive finally decided to take the jump myself to work for myself and my family, just like you did a couple of years ago.
    Your website is a source of inspiration to me as Im in a similar position to you : about the same age but with 2 young boys to your one!
    You’ve given me a plethora of great ideas here
    Ill keep you posted ;-)

    Paul

  • http://www.whysoblu.com Gerard Iribe

    Cool, you pretty much answered my question about your expenses. Thanks for posting that. It gives insight to those that are curious about how you keep it all going.

  • http://www.semmyonlinemarketing.com semmy @ Make Money Online

    Hi Pat congratulation! you’re always transparent to your reader! that’s what I like it.

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  • http://www.audio-sounds.com Thomas | Background Music for Web Sites

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you very much for giving us all this information.

    Best wishes,

    Thomas

  • RevuGuy

    To me, these 175 comments say a lot more than the above stats. I’m seeing a LOT of people saying awesome things which makes me want to take a close look at what Pat is actually DOING to earn that kind of income.

  • http://moneyhomeblog.com [email protected]

    This report is great! I wish i can earn a quarter of what you are earning. I just don’t know what to do to increase my earning. My steam is losing out.

  • http://www.successasaffiliate.com Deepak Kumar Singh

    Hi Pat, Thanks for everything which you have shown on this website. But still my main motivation has been u since the day I saw your website and first income report
    and technique which you have used to get success in this online world.

  • http://http//www.richsaver.co.uk Richard Turner

    Hi Pat just come across your site & I have been searching for some time now to find an honest soul in this business. I hope that that is exacatly what I have stumbled on.

  • http://www.supplement-guide.de/ Patrick

    Hi Pat from Patrick :P ,
    i love your blog. You do inspire me a lot !

    You got a lot of loyal readers, cause you do a great job.
    Keep on doing that and let your son take care of this business in the further future :)
    , Patrick