My December 2010 Monthly Income Report

passive incomeWelcome to 2011! To start it off I’ll be going over my monthly income report for December of 2010.

Each month I write a detailed report about my online income, sharing not only how much I’ve made but also where it comes from and the kinds of things I’ve been doing that may have had an effect on it. My income reports, however, are not about the money – they are about motivation, inspiration and staying focused.

Writing these reports force me to outdo myself and it’s a great way to hold myself accountable for what I want to accomplish in the future too. More importantly (going back to my entire purpose here on this blog), I’m here to show you that it is possible to make a decent living online, to work less and make more, and to do it in a way where everybody comes out a winner.

A lot of exciting things happened in December, so lets get right to it.


Important Going-Ons in December

Upgraded Servers for The Smart Passive Income Blog

If you noticed a significant increase in the speed of this blog sometime mid-December, it’s because I finally upgraded to a VPS (virtual private server).

Instead of BlueHost, SPI is now running on Servint.

Don’t get me wrong – I love BlueHost and still recommend them for anyone just starting out. I still use them for all of my niche sites and I’ve never had any problems with them, but SPI definitely needs to prepare for more traffic and more activity on the site for all of my future projects. I would hate to launch a new product or get a sudden influx of traffic from somewhere (which has been happening lately) only to find my site is down because the servers couldn’t handle it.

The transition from old to new was surprisingly painless. Servint has a great customer service team and they walked me through the entire process.

I am paying a bit more than I was. Prices for VPS servers start at around $49/month, compared to the $6.95/month for shared hosting, but this is a much needed business expense for me and where my blog is at and where I think it’s headed.

So far, so good.

More High Ranking Niche Sites

In November, using momentum from the success of the Niche Site Duel, I decided to build two more sites for a couple of niches that I was holding onto for when I had some extra time. Using the exact same strategies as before, I was able to bring both of these new sites onto the first page of Google by the end of December (currently both at #4).

They are both earning an income, although at the moment it’s significantly less than my original security guard training site for the Niche Site Duel.

That being said, using a strategy I learned from Chris Guthrie (you might remember Chris from the 10th session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast), I was able to reach the first page of Google much faster than before. The primary reason is because this time I’m using exact match domain names, which means the web address of my website matches the keyword that I’ve targeted 100% – with no extra letters or anything.

My security guard training website is at

Exact match domains are harder to come by these days, obviously, but if you can get them for your niche site it weighs in heavily with your search engine rankings.

iPhone App Businesses Love Christmas

As many of you know, I co-own an iPhone application business and for the past couple of years our trends show that our highest paying days come in December, particularly the days immediately after Christmas.


Because that’s when a horde of new, proud iPhone (and iPod Touch) owners flood the app store looking for anything and everything to fill their devices. I mean, just check out the graph below:

iPhone Apps Christmas RevenueAnd this doesn’t even include revenue from our free apps.

It usually takes 1.5 to 2 months for the daily income to go back to normal – that is unless you’re putting out new applications, which we are doing very soon. Of course, it would have been ideal to publish our new apps right before Christmas, but it’s hard to time it perfectly when other people are developing the products for you.

If you’re into iPhone apps and you missed the Christmas rush, don’t worry – Christmas isn’t the only time of the year you can see a spike in sales. You might want to pay attention to other holidays (i.e. Father’s Day – dads love their gizmos and gadgets), special Apple announcements, and other times like when the iPhone picks up a new carrier (rumor has it that Verizon will carry the iPhone sometime in 2011, which is huge for app developers).

The Smart Passive Income Brand

Per the request of many of my readers, I’ve also recently added a small traffic report to accompany my income report.

December was once again a record month of traffic for the blog, which just blows my mind:

SPI Traffic December 2010Here are some quick stats:

I was also lucky enough to be featured on the following sites in interviews:

As always, thank you all for your undying support!

I think it’s time for the monthly income breakdown.

Income Breakdown

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.

  • Product Sales:
    • Total: $2,287.75
      • Last Month: $1,668.20
      • Difference:+$619.55
    • Adsense: $145.13
    • Amazon Affiliate: $31.62
    • Job Board: $2.43
    • CPA Affiliate Program: $0.00
    • Private Advertisements: $0.00
    • Total: $179.18
      • Last Month: $166.99
      • Difference: +$12.19
  • Other Google Adsense
    • InfoBarrel: $1.63
    • Other Adsense: $103.82
    • Total: $105.45
      • Last Month: $80.35
      • Difference: +$25.01
  • eHow Earnings:Total: $319.00
    • Last Month: $317.02
    • Difference: +$1.98
  • Affiliate Earnings:
    • Green Exam Academy: $1,745.00
    • Market Samurai: $3,588.00
    • Instant Article Factory: $55.00
    • The Best Spinner: $1,446.00
    • Blog Blueprint: $1,013.95
    • Unique Article Wizard: $1,152.40
    • $2,405.00
    • iPhone Apps w/o Experience eBook: $686.40
    • Pop-Up Domination: $30.49
    • Chris Guthrie’s Amazon Niche Profit Course: $674.64
    • Subscriber’s Magnet Plugin: $69.15
    • Internet Business Mastery Academy: $388.00
    • Other Niche Sites: $192.45
    • Aweber: $148.20
    • Amazon Associates: $74.19
    • Affiliate Skin: $87.30
    • WooThemes: $28.00
    • $50.00
    • EasyPLR: $19.00
    • Total: $13,853.17
      • Last Month:$15,510.04
      • Difference: -$1,656.87
  • iPhone Applications:
    • Paid Apps: $3,449.00
    • Free Apps: $3,453.28
    • Total: $6,902.28
      • Last Month: $3,899.15
      • Difference: +$3,003.13
  • Gross Total in December: $23,646.83
    • Last Month: $21,641.75
    • Difference: +$2,005.08

It’s always great to see an increase in income, especially when certain segments of my passive income portfolio are down. Somehow, whenever one piece of the puzzle takes a dip another one comes and fills in the gap. It’s just like the stock market and how it’s always recommend to diversify, but to me this kind of business is much more reliable than buying stocks (because I have a lot more control over what happens), although I do dabble in stocks a little as well.

One thing to note about December’s breakdown:

As you can see, I’ve extracted the income from my security guard training niche site into it’s own segment of the report. I did this because I want to keep a track record of how the site performs on it’s own as I work to make this site a significant income stream in the near future. Some of the parts of the breakdown are currently at $0.00, but they are potential income streams within that site that will hopefully see some dollars in the near future. I’ll explain more about each of these in an upcoming Niche Site Duel update this month. Now that the holidays are over, hopefully the advertising deal I have with a third-party company will be finalized. :)

What I Learned in December:

One thing I learned in December was how important the “small things” are in our businesses. Just like in a relationship, it’s the “small things” that we often truly appreciate and it’s the small little gestures that can make a long lasting impression on a person.

Right before Christmas, I received a package – totally unexpected. A medium sized box addressed to me, and when I opened it I saw this:

This awesome package full of goodies (which is now gone) came from a person who has a product that I’m an affiliate for, and included with it was a note that said, “Thank you”.

This little gesture, which probably took 5 minutes to order and maybe $30, really made me appreciate working with this person and you can be sure I’ll continue to work hard as one of their affiliates. (This is not related to any SPI affiliate commissions, in case you were wondering).

This made me think about my own businesses and what “small things” I could do that would make a long lasting impression. I created a list of about 50 things I could do now and in the future that I would love to share with you, but part of the awesomeness of the gesture above was the surprise, the unexpectedness – overdelivering. So, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what I do. 😉

Lastly, before I go – if you haven’t developed your goals for 2011 and beyond yet I definitely recommend you have a listen to my latest podcast episode: Mind Hacks, Physical Hacks and Work Hacks for Better Productivity and Getting Things Done. People are telling me it’s a great episode to listen to as we begin the new year and strive to make it the best ever.

As always, thank you for your support! In my next post I’ll be sharing my 2010 annual income report, so stay tuned for that.

I have a lot of great things planned in 2011, so I hope you’ll stick with me and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Here’s to your success. Cheers!

  • Christos Chiotis

    2010 was a good year for you!
    Hope 2011 will be better!

    Keep up the good work!


    • Pat

      Thanks Christos – let’s hope so! All the best to you, and nice Gravatar
      :) Cheers!

  • Eunus Hosen

    Awesome Pat! Keep it up. Have a fantastic year!

    • Pat

      You too Eunus. Cheers!

  • Smiling Jack

    Pat, your openness and willingness to share without bragging is refreshing–and helpful.

  • Therm

    Pat, you’re doing a great job month after month, it can be very incouraging (and somerimes intimidating), but do you ever take time off to go do something like travel? Or do you ever treat yourself to something really pricey once in a while? Happy new year, btw.

  • Henri Junttila

    Hey Pat,

    Fantastic results, as always!

    Your traffic report is particularly interesting, because it just goes to show you that your traffic was fairly low for the first year, then the second year started taking off, and just lately it has been going crazy.

    Consistency pays off, especially when you’re producing great content on a regular basis!

  • Therm


  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Fantastic report Pat,

    This is so cool and your best month ever.

    I also love your affiliate incomes and you’re killing it in this aspect.

    Keep up the great work bud!

  • Jason Young

    It’s great to finally see the Niche site in the Monthly report, I am looking forward to see the impact this will make to your monthly income. Also the other Niche sites that you are working on will they be added too?

    Great job, what a stellar month!


  • Jordan Godbey

    Hey Pat,

    Awesome report once again. These are truly an inspiration to me and I’m sure to others as well.

    It’s great to have that veil of secrecy removed from internet marketing for a moment and see what a real person is making and where.

    I’m really looking forward to your annual report.

    2011 is going to be a great year for me, launching my IM business, and I’m sure it will be for you too.

    Best of luck and thanks for your hard work,


  • Son Koral

    Excellent job in 2010!

    VPS servers are the way to go. I stopped using shared hosting last summer and really never looked back.

    Another killer month – congratulations!

  • Ilpo Ryynänen

    Hey, it’s my first comment here and I’d really like to thank you for inspiring me to start online businesses! Looking forward to your annual income report!

    I hope you can get huge successes this year.

    Greetings from Finland,

  • Dr. Jason Ulsrud

    It’s good to see you Rocking Pat. I look forward to seeing your annual report. I’m also excited to see what you do with the niche sites. I’m definitely gonna start another site at some point in 2011. Not sure what though…

    Keep Rock’n dude..

  • TrafficColeman

    Pat it’s once said when an guy grows his audience, then he grows his income…by this report your on that path to greatness…Happy New Year..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • samuel

    Awesome report Pat! Great job you are doing :) Yeah, little things count in business. Thanks so much for sharing. Have fun :)

  • Wes McAdams – Radically Christian

    Way to go Pat! Hope 2011 is a great year for you and your family!

  • Sarah Russell

    Congrats on a great 2010 – can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2011!

  • Dave

    Many thanks for your monthly reports. They always help pump me up at the beginning of each month. As a fellow iPhone developer, you gotta love the sales increases during Christmas!


  • Steve

    Pat – you are the perfect example of the 3 foundational pillars for biz success:

    – find a potential customer
    – massively over deliver
    – gain a customer for life

    Great job, as always. Thanks for staying open to all of us.


  • Allen

    Damn, you are paid!

  • Matt

    To Pat and all the readers. May 2011 be the best year yet!

  • Mike Moyer

    Pat you are killing it! Congratulations. You are a HUGE inspiration.

    Thanks for everything.


  • Jeff Pohl

    Very inspirational. I know you have a lot of work behind those numbers but great job! Make me want to increase my $100 a month!

  • Neil

    Hi Pat,

    How many articles do you have on InfoBarrel at this point? I’m thinking of posting some articles on IB and would like to get a rough idea of how much work $1.63 requires.

    Thanks for the income update – it’s definitely inspiring!


  • Troy Knight

    Hi Pat,

    Looking forward to the annual report. It looks like I need to start selling some iphone apps! Thanks again for sharing…I’ve been noticing some bloggers are cutting back on transparency, so it is good to know that isn’t the case here!

  • Philip geneman

    yet another great report thanks pat!

  • Coop

    Having “dabbled” over the last year, it’s time to set specific goals, and hold myself accountable. Thanks for your inspiration Pat.

  • Brendon

    Pat congratulations on a remarkable 2010. You are passing on a footprint for those of us us following you that will prove indispensable as we grow. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you man! Thanks for everything.

  • Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    great stuff as usual Pat

    when you first started after you lost your job, did you have the slightest inclination you will rake in 23k/month just a mere 24 months later?

    • Pat

      Never had any idea Sunil, but looking back I’m really glad I was let go. :)

  • Kim

    Pat, your blog and income reports are so encouraging. Great job and keep up the good work! Your blog has SO MUCH great info on it. But as someone who is just starting to try to follow your lead and implement some of your strategies, I’m not sure where to start! Is there somewhere on here that gives a list of what to do “first”. Now that you are so successful, if you were to start all over, knowing what you know now, what would you start with? I believe almost all the products you recommend are great to use, but if you only had $200 to spend, which tools would you buy first? Thanks in advance for your honest opinion!

  • TJ McDowell

    Funny how I ended up coming across your blog. Our photo lab sent out an article that linked to your website. After looking at the people commenting on your blog, I know some of those same people from the CommentLuv community of bloggers. Small blogging world =)
    Anyway, congrats on your success! I think it’s great to read about how people who are really making money online are succeeding. Best of luck to you in 2011!

  • Nick

    Great work, if only I could make half that. Well, I’ll keep at it. I think I may start something similar to these monthly income posts. I find them fascinating with my entrepreneur mind. I’m not making a lot so they’ll be short at the moment though.

  • Larry Clark

    you forgot to mention you were interviewed on my site as well…

    • Pat

      I was published on your blog in October, not December :) Thanks again for the interview!

      • Larry Clark

        been one of those days Pat, sorry, not reading things right lately…
        Happy New Year Mister!!!

  • Alicia

    Great work Pat. Your reports are always inspiring.

  • James Hales

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for the continued blog posts. This is really motivating for me to read each month. It’s prompted me to create my own set of blog posts that detail my affiliate earnings each month.

    Keep posting and keep sharing with us. You are really motivating and keeping all us other affiliates on point. Good luck and continue to increase your revenue in the 2011 year.

  • MaxR |

    Your income reports are so motivating ! When I read your posts I feel I too could work towards these kind of goals.

    Hope 2010 was nothing compare to what 2011 will be for you !

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

    Keep up the good work. :-)


  • Megan

    It is inspiring. All the best for year 2011!

  • Stuart

    Hey Pat, congratulations on another successful month! You’re doing supremely well and it’s great to see someone of your work ethic and dedication achieving what they are.

    Excited to see what January will bring :-)

  • Alberto

    How can you tell that the better ranking for your niche site is mainly due to the domain name?
    I’m curious because I’d like to be able to tell when I will create my own niche sites.
    One more thing: in your opinion, which values for average time on site and average pageviews are good (except that higher is better for both)?

  • Dean Saliba

    I am still kicking myself that I signed up to eHow too late to make money with them. I know I can still get traffic but it’s not as good as money. :(

  • David Edwards

    Awesome Work!… I’ll bookmark your site…


  • Dave Grimes II


    Congratulations on a great year! Keep up the rad blogging and podcasting!

  • James M

    I’m always amazed at the amounts you’re earning each month. December was half of my annual salary at my last position. Just blows my mind away. I don’t think I could ever reach your level, but I hope to give up a 9-5 job eventually to earn my income online, too.

  • nathan

    Ill second what James M said. Its staggering. To be honest Im baffled how one person can do so much.

    I need some of this.


  • Bryan @ Free At Home Jobs

    Hats off to another awesome month Pat! Looking forward to your annual income report. You’re definitely an inspiration to us little guys trying to carve out an income online.

  • Lisa H.

    Very inpsiring! Great job. Congratulations on all your success! Your blog has given me the kindof direction that I need.

  • Jordan

    Rockstar! Would LOVE a deeper breakdown of iPhone Apps, including cost to create, and which ones are profitable/which aren’t….especially since you continue to grow there.

  • paoling

    thanks for being so transparent & supportive! your success is quite the motivation :)

  • sarankumar

    salute sir :)

  • Edgar

    I have my own Boxing News app on the iPhone and Android Market and currently have about 1,540 downloads. I tried admob for a source of income but it was only paying 2-5 cents per click. I switch over to Google Adsence which is currently paying me about .50 – 1.00 per click.

    Any tips of how to get more downloads?

    Also you talked about how your new niche sites are ranking high already, how do you get back links so fast?


    Edgar Gonzalez

  • Christina Crowe

    Great work, Pat!

    Honestly, I have no idea how you do so much AND take care of a baby boy all by yourself, with maybe some help along the way. I think that it’s great you’re constantly expanding your business – though, it’s still mind boggling how you can even stand on your two feet!

    Keep up the awesome job, and I look forward to your January report. :)


  • Matthew Neer

    Hey Pat, great post man. Love how you’ve got the income reports coming in every month. What a great approach! But ey, I was wondering what your iPhone app was called so I could download that sucker.

    Always In The Kitchen,
    Matthew Neer

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  • Eric

    Wow, another awesome month! I don`t wanna be like Mike…I wanna be like Pat!

  • Tony Marciante

    Hey Pat,

    Always amazing, motivating and just…wow.

    Question I planned to email, but let’s post here to help your amazing community, can you elaborate (as much as you choose to obviously) on how “Free” iphone apps are making you money? and such GOOD money??

    KEEP BEING YOU…Best of luck to ALL of us in 2o11!!

  • Terence Pera

    H Pat,
    It was great to see that you are doing very well in your business, which you encourages
    us, your subscribers, which keeps us going and not giving up, good on your mate, what you doing, here Pat encourages us here in the Queensland flood especially those of us who lost houses and friends. Thank you again.

  • Darren Starr

    Pat, you are the first person I’ve ever come across in over 6 years of trying to learn online marketing that is so transparent with their earnings traffic figures. This really rocks. I’m very glad to have stumbled upon this site. 😀

  • steve

    wow! Looks like a lot of people downloaded a lot of Apps during December! Just curious, how many Apps do you have in the App store? By the way, great blog!

  • Kate

    January is bad for me with adsense earning. I’m using your backlink strategy for two of my niche sites. I hope these two niche sites work out for some passive income for me. Congrats on your success pat :)

  • Csaba Nagy


    Nice to see your growing income – you are one the right way with your site!

    In Europa the visitors are others and don’t buy to much items on the Internet…

    I hope the german visitors are change in future and the income in europa grow this year…
    Best wishes,

    Csaba Nagy

  • Adam Jason Moore

    I really appreciate you honesty and willingness to share, so much.

    You deserve every cent and I sure things only get better for you in 2011.

    I am one of these people who suffer from analysis paralysis, I have read and bought lots, but done little. I have actually done more in the past month after stumbling upon you, than in the last year. You information, is simple to follow and I always feel you give the full picture.

    I want you to feel really proud and happy that you have made a positive difference in a persons life. I hope that in the future with the information I have learnt from you, might also be able to do the same for someone else.


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  • Patrik

    That is perfect result! I sincerely express my respect. I am your follower from this day…

  • Micah B

    Hi Pat,

    You mentioned that you are using exact match domains now. I was just wondering… do these have to be .com TLD extension? Would you ever use a .info TLD extension if it was exact match or would you rather go for a close to exact match like


  • Matthew Neer

    @Micah B,

    Hey bro, to answer your questions, its ALWAYS best to get the .com on an exact match. In my personal experience, if that is not available I go for the .org and then the .net, but VERY rarely will I use a .info however I have seen some .info’s ranking in the top 10 before, for some competitive stuff.

    But at the end of the day, if you get the .com, you’re done. Your’re set.

    My advice, just focus on getting .com, .org, and then .net

    Talk soon,
    Matthew Neer

    PS. Stay in the kitchen…

  • Quek Kai Hock .

    Hi Pat, today marks the day that I finished reading your income report from Oct 2008 till Dec 2010. Thanks for the inspiration. What I learned is that we just have to persist to see results.

    Kai-Hock QUEK