My April 2012 Monthly Income Report

passive income

Welcome to my April 2012 income report!

Every month I write a detailed report about my online businesses.

I do this not only to help me keep track of my progress, but also to show you what’s working for me, and what’s not.

In my monthly reports I always include an extremely detailed breakdown of the income I’ve earned online and I conclude with some of the more important things I’ve learned during the month.

I do this to motivate and to be transparent. Plus, I personally feel that if a person is publishing information about making money online he or she should show all sides of the equation so that the readers can make honest decisions based on honest information and common sense, not on hype.

If you’re just starting out online, please understand that making money via the Internet is definitely not an overnight thing, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to pull it off.

A lot of people will attempt it and many people will fail – but I absolutely know that it’s possible.

I struggle through trial and error every single day – but as long as you have a goal and constantly work towards it you’re giving yourself a chance.

Thanks again for your support, and I hope you enjoy this month’s report. :)

Important Going-Ons in April

Most of April was dedicated to a passion project I’ve been working on, Crooked Arrows, a lacrosse movie that actually had it’s world premiere last night in Syracuse and had an amazing response from those in attendance (over 1400 people). It premiers in Baltimore today, and then in Boston on the 14th, which I’ll be attending myself!

I’m the Director of Web and Social Media for the independent Hollywood film and have been prepping a lot of the website and social media properties so that we can get some good numbers in the box office come May 18th.

I won’t get into too much more detail, but I’m proud to say that we just surpassed 100k likes on our Facebook Page and I used my experience in the iPhone app industry to help create a fun little application for the movie that has already been featured by Apple.

Although this definitely isn’t passive work, it’s work that I really enjoy – and it’s my other, more passive businesses that allow me to explore life a bit and try new things like this.

Going back to my primary businesses, I can say there was a lot of “movement” this past month – both good and bad.

Google’s Penguin Update 

Google has been pretty notorious lately.

In March, they de-indexed several private blog networks which killed the rankings of several niche websites that were relying heavily on these networks to boost backlink authority. All of my sites held up, which was nice.

Then last month, they seemed to be on an Adsense account banning spree.

I noticed a ton of chatter in different forums around the web from people who were recently banned from Adsense. Even a few people in the SPI community announced that their accounts were banned too, and many who are in the niche site arena have probably heard that Spencer from Niche Pursuits was also banned from Adsense – which is a shame.

I’m actually good friends with Spencer (who is also the creator of the popular keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro) and know that he wouldn’t put his business at risk by doing anything that would justifying a ban from the ad network, but it still happened anyways.

It’s hard to tell exactly why this going on (Google isn’t very communicative about these things) and that’s the scary part. It just seems like it could happen to anyone at anytime, so the best thing to do is make sure you’re not relying entirely on Adsense for an income because it can all be taken away in a flash – even if you seem to be doing everything right.

So far, my account is still alive and kickin’.

Then, in the later part of April, Google came out with Another Step to Reward High-Quality Sites, aka. the Penguin Update.

In short, the Penguin Update targets webspam – primarily sites that they feel are gaming the system in ways that are against their guidelines.

What’s interesting is that this update is not about improving search results, but rather penalizing manipulative sites.

For example, Google is willing to penalize and drop down a site that could be considered the best site about a specific topic simply because it’s involved with bad link practices. This is why many search engines results have what seems like poor quality sites ranking high up on the page, and why many people who have had sites just sitting there doing nothing for a long time may have suddenly seen a jump in the rankings.

Google is definitely sending a message here and is willing to have poor search results – maybe only temporarily – to make sure people follow the rules.

There are a lot of mixed feelings about this update and it has killed a lot of people’s rankings, even those who were not involved in any bad link building schemes – but at the same time many people’s sites are doing better than ever!

Traffic and rankings for my most profitable niche site,, have not shifted at all, which is reassuring.

In fact – I got back the #1 spot for my primary keyword, security guard training, which I had lost for a couple of weeks and talked about in last month’s report, but even that drop didn’t effect my traffic much.

Here’s a snapshot of traffic for from the past 2 months:

The graph is very steady and the site has been consistently earning about $45-50 per day for the past couple of months on Adsense.

This is opposed to one of my newer niche sites that was doing really well, until the Penguin update hit. You can see this happening at the tail end of the month in the graph below:

This particular site, which was ranking at #3 for it’s primary keyword, is now ranking at #60.

An obvious penalty.

Why did this happen?

Because of the very reason why Google said it would – a backlink profile that they didn’t approve of, and it’s funny that this happened when it did.

This was actually an experimental site that I had been working on along with one other experimental niche site that was targeting a keyword with similar search numbers and competition.

Here’s how the experiment started and how it all went down:

I was contacted by a link building company – one that apparently followed the same sort of methodology that I outlined in The Backlinking Strategy That Works – except they did it faster with more parts and more levels.

They wanted me to link to their site, but I said I would only consider doing so if their service worked for me and if I was confident that it would help my audience.

I know a lot of my audience dislikes the backlinking process when building a niche site, so I thought this might be a good solution if it worked out, although I had my doubts. I needed to see results first, and I wanted to test their results against my own.

Within 3 weeks I had two sites (Site A & Site B), each targeting a different keyword with similar search and competition numbers.

I filled each site with 10 pages of content, with a scheduled an additional 10 pages of content to go out every 3 days, and then started the backlinking process for each, the company on Site A and myself on Site B.

Site A definitely saw more movement, faster. In about 25 days I started to see the rankings climb in Google, at which point it seemed to plateau for a while. Then, about a month later, it shot up and eventually the primary keyword hit #4 in Google. It started to pull in a lot of long tail keyword traffic as well, and within about 2.5 months, the site was averaging about 250-300 visitors a day and eventually climbed a tick to #3 in Google.

Site B took a lot longer to see any sort of significant movement. I was actually expecting things to happen a lot faster since I saw more immediate results with the same strategy in the niche site duel, but I kept at it. After about 2 months I started to get some significant long tail traffic and was ranking #20 for my primary keyword. Then, at 3 months, I was in the top 10 and seeing about 100-150 visitors a day, which was pretty good.

Both sites were cruisin’, and then about 4 months into the experiment, the Penguin update hits.

I shared what happened to Site A above. Site B is below:

No huge drop or penalty.

As far as the experiment – I think it’s safe to say that Google didn’t really agree with what they were doing on Site A, or maybe just the frequency at which they were doing it.

I was happy to see that Site B did not take a hit, and since May it has actually has climbed a few spots in Google as well.

The major diference, I think, was that because I was doing the backlinking myself, it was more natural and I could make sure the direct links that were pointing to my site were made of truly authoritative links (like those from WordPress, Blogspot, Tumblr, and top article directories – which are more powerful now than ever, according to this forum post that I read), as opposed to sites in a network that may have been linking to several random sites in their system and were eventually considered spammy by Google, and possibly doing things too fast.

Now, if you’re wondering about monetization on these sites, I actually used this opportunity to also experiment with promoting CPA offers (cost-per-acquisition), which promote products and offers listed on sites like Commission Junction, instead of creating an Adsense site.

Everything is strictly on a pay-per-lead type of model and I just wanted to try something new and different, but apparently it’s obvious I still have a lot to learn, or maybe this just isn’t my cup of tea.

In total, over the past 4 months, both sites earned about $180.00 combined. A lot of people make a killing with CPA leads, which is why I was happy to experiment.

That said, the earnings were not my primary concern – it was the backlinking, traffic and rankings that mattered to me. Does this mean that all link building services are bad?

Definitely not, but I have no experience with any others so I can’t really come to any conclusions. The most important thing is to be cautious about how fast and what kind of links are pointing to your site.

And when I think about it, and the success of this blog, I never did any link building for it at all.

It took much longer to see any traction (over a year), but for the long-term, I think the  “dominate the niche and become the ultimate resource for people looking for a solution” approach will always be better because you’ll always pull natural links – you just have to be patient.

SEO is still relevant though, and the tricky part is understanding what kind of off-site SEO is acceptable. It’s hard to say “never conduct any backlinking at all” because not only does some of it still work, some of it is actually accepted by Google.

For example, we all know how powerful guest posts are – but really that’s a form of backlink profile manipulation when you think about it. So where is the line drawn?

It’s hard to say, but there will always be one constant for a good long term, success site – a good quality site, which is what we should all strive for.

iPhone Application Updates

To keep this post at a reasonable length, I’ll cover just one more important thing that happened in my business that had an obvious effect on my earnings in April.

My iPhone app business partner and I haven’t released a new app in quite a while, but we’ve been updating some of our most successful applications and have seen great results.

Our income increased 47% for the month as a result of updating just a couple of our best applications. We did do a relatively small ad spend to increase our rankings and exposure in the app store, which helps us drive more downloads for a longer period of time.

For those of you in the App industry, if you don’t have an existing audience to sell to, that exposure in the top 100 lists is extremely important. Keyword research is a bit of a mystery on the platform, so up and front exposure is always something to shoot for.

Of course, if you can land “app of the week” like our good friend Benny Hsu did, then you’ve struck gold. :)

Look out for an upcoming podcast (session #39) next week which is a very inspiring success story about someone consistently generating 5 figures a month from iPhone apps in a very targeted niche.

It should be a good one!

Now, let’s get to the numbers for April…

Income Breakdown

Disclosure: many of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it and if you have any questions about any of the products or services please contact me!

Also, please note that a lot of 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 and may change because of potential refunds or corrections.

  • Product Sales:
    • Total: $2,681.82
      • Last Month: $3,283.06
      • Difference: -$601.24
    • Adsense: $1,163.02
    • $144.05
    • Job Board: $20.69
    • Private Advertising: $273.25
    • Total: $1,571.01
      • Last Month: $1,810.90
      • Difference: -$239.89
  • Purchased Website #1 (not revealed yet):
    • Adsense: $131.77
      • Last Month: $109.79
      • Difference: +$21.98
  • Other Google Adsense (includes other mini niche sites & videos):
    • Total: $276.82
      • Last Month: $298.02
      • Difference: -$35.20
  • New Amazon Product Niche Site (not revealed yet):
    • Total: $272.13
      • Last Month: $323.23
      • Difference: -$51.10
  • iPhone Applications:
    • Paid Apps: $5,468.25
    • Free Apps: $520.58
    • Total: $5,988.83
      • Last Month: $4,061.86
      • Difference: +$1,926.97
  • Gross Total in April: $52,711.27
    • Last Month: $52,792.74
    • Difference: -$81.74
  • Expenses: ~$4,315.91
    • Major expenses this month include virtual assistants (one full-time, one part-time), hosting account for SPI (dedicated server), hosting for other websites, recurring payments for various tools, CPA (Certified Public Accountant) fees and advertising costs for iPhone applciations.
  • Net Total in April: $48,395.36

(Click here to read a typical monthly expense report which breaks down how my time and money is spent)

Another amazing month!

What’s crazy is that although a lot of the numbers shifted, the total gross amount was less than $100 off from last month.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened either. Different income sources have good months and bad months, but it’s the diversification of income streams that provide that overall stability.

I’m also happy to see that my non-SPI related earnings continue to hover at around $10,000 per month, which is great, but I wish there was more consistent growth. The recent changes with Google has definitely slowed a lot of my new developments, but it’s reassuring to see many of my web properties that I have owned for a while continue to hold up strong.

I’ll be the first to admit that a significant portion of my total online income comes as a result of The Smart Passive Income Blog – mostly from the products that I recommend as an affiliate, which are products I’ve used or am extremely familiar with and have helped me in one way, shape or form.

I’m extremely fortunate to have the support of an amazing community here who often makes purchases through my affiliate links. Some people even go out of their way to make sure they do that, which means the world to me.

With this comes a great responsibility to the community that I know I have and will never take for granted – and as such I never promote just for the potential income that can come from an offer, even though those opportunities are definitely there.

I’m incredibly grateful for everything and I will continue to give back with valuable content and my experience in return.

Things I Learned in April

First – relying 100% on Google for anything – income, traffic, or even search results – is not a good idea. 😉

Second – people love and respond to stories. I’ve said this several times before, but stories are the most powerful form of marketing – they are what people remember and what inspire them to take action.

In April, I published the history of my first online business, in full detail, and it has garnered an amazing response. Since posting it, I’ve been getting several emails a day saying that it was that specific post that has given them the drive to either start something new on their own, or revisit an abandoned project, which is awesome.

I’ve never gotten a response like that from any sort of list post or how-to post, and when I think about my most successful posts on SPI – they are all wrapped around some kind of story.

Even the niche site duel series – although instructional, it’s really the story of how I did things on my own.

Third and finally, it’s the fact that as much as we always hear about the bad things and bad people out there, every once and a while a story crosses our path that shows there are good people in this world.

If you want to feel better about life 10 minutes from now, I recommend you watch Caine’s Arcade. Check it out below:

Coming Up!

In the beginning of June, I’ll be in New York for Blog World Expo!

If you’re going to the event, make sure to come find me (I’ll be wearing this backpack), and in case you haven’t bought your ticket yet, feel free to use discount code SPIBWE10 for 10% off your registration fee.

May is dedicated to making my (3) presentations as best as they can be.

Hope to see you there, and if you can’t make it, I’ll try to get a recording for you afterwards.

Cheers, and all the best!

  • John

    Pat great article once again. Do you think google is heading towards favoring sites like wikipedia,amazon etc for the top search results, even if other smaller sites are better in content?

    • Pat

      Thanks John – and to answer your question, I think so – yes. Especially if the smaller sites are engaging in some linking schemes – but even if they are not, authoritative sites like the ones you mentioned, at least at this moment in time, hold a ton of weight.

      • Vijay

        Me too agree with you guys. I see lot of authority sites (so called) are popping up on the first page in Google and niche sites with few exceptions thrown out of first or second page.

        This means small businesses even they are not engaged in any fraudulent activity are hit by this.

        Wait and watch is the only option now.

    • Shuck

      John, I’m seeing exactly this when I look at the sites I had that were hit during the penguin update.

    • Matt Wolfe

      Personally, I think it’s in Google’s best interest to continue to change SEO rules every few months. Google makes their money off paid search results. The more difficult they make it to SEO your site, the more likely people are to just give up and purchase top ranking results…

      Just something to think about…

  • Marius

    Enjoyed reading as always! Great stuff, Pat!

    • Pat

      Thanks Marius! I appreciate that!

  • Christel

    Always inspiring to read about all your ways of income…. Thank you, kind regards from the Netherlands

    • Pat

      Thanks Christel! :)

  • Robert

    Pat, thanks for breaking it down and sharing so much. With Google going all crazy with the algorithms, it shows even more the importance of diversification of income streams online.

    Even your income report shows the value in multiple sources of income!

    • Pat

      Definitely, although when starting out you’ve gotta make sure you stick to one thing at a time so you can actually complete the projects you start and get max long term ROI from your time invested :) But yes – diversification has definitely played a key role in my portfolio!

  • Ramy Khuffash

    Interesting to see that your “B” niche site is holding up. Are you still using the same SEO strategy you used for the security guard niche?

  • Amit Shaw

    Wow Superb Earning :) Thanks Pat for sharing your Earning with us. Truly Inspiring.

  • Haru

    why i always waiting for your monthly report?

    Because u explained every detailed that maybe i can use and apply to my blog…thanks Pat!

  • Alex B

    Hey Pat!

    Congrats on another wonderful month! Great article, and good luck at the Blog Expo!


  • Carissa Coles

    Hello Pat, you are really an inspiration to me. I am planning to create two niche sites. The second one you mentioned is true, people love stories and when you touch their hearts, it is for sure that they will give back to what you given to them.

    Keep up the good work and Godbless!

  • Elisabeth

    Pat, great report! I read every month while I try to feel my way through this maze that is internet marketing.

    I’m in the process of revamping a few of my sites anyway, so wasn’t expecting huge income there, but I was sad to see a few of my Squidoo lenses drop some (and they are very high quality… but are occasionally outranked by out of country sites that don’t even provide the necessary information but have keyword stuffed…. sigh).

    Thank you for the info you provide so generously to us all!

  • Sean King

    All I have to say is…. O_O !!! Lol.

  • Jacob

    Thanks for being so transparent with your income, Pat. You have inspired me to get into the blogosphere and see if I can help people and monetize my efforts at the same time. Keep ’em comin’!

  • Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    I definitely think that you are right that to have the best chance of succeeding is to become to “go-to” resource for your topic and drive traffic in ways other than Google. Most of my niche sites tanked with the penguin update, but I think the reason for that was because I was being too lazy and doing most of my backlinking with blog networks for the sites that tanked. I’m moving on now and working on authority sites as it is obvious that the days of 3 page micro niche sites ranking are over. Time to work with Google rather than try to fight it :)

  • Eugene Farber

    Congrats on another great (and consistent) month Pat!

    To your point about content on Blogspot and Tumblr ranking well, I noticed that after the update as well. Especially for a few of the niche sites I owned. All the sudden my rankings dropped off the first page (god knows where they ended up) and were replaced by Blogspot posts.

    I think Google has felt the weight of what they did because my rankings have returned to their rightful place (I haven’t done any shady linkbuilding at all – just simple on-page SEO). First time I’ve experienced the “Google dance”…wasn’t fun :).

    Maybe it was just a warning from Google as you say, or maybe the algorithm is still being tweaked and figured out because they realized the side-effects that it had.

  • Seth Frank


    20k with Bluehost alone? That’s sick son! They must be giving you better then the $65 per referral right? If no thats like close to 300 people a month buying through your affiliate.

    As always congrats on the success. I’m launching my first offline business next week. Really nervous about it but anything is possible if you have heart and hustle.

  • T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    I think the biggest thing to take away from this is simply don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. It’s been pretty scary to see what Google has been doing in recent months. I actually have a friend here in Cancun who I go to breakfast with regularly and he told me that as far as himself and his handful of friends in the health/wellness industry selling products are concerned, they don’t rely on Google for anything. They each have very targeted niche markets, they’ve built them up over the past 4-5 years, have decent newsletter sizes and pretty much just do joint ventures together amongst their communities, doing adswaps and cross-promotion and the like.

    I think, as you say, doing what you did with SPI and what others are doing with building up their own reputation, the number one rule is always about the content. While SEO is important, having natural, organic links coming in from authorative places where you’ve built up a reputation is best. Yes, it can take a year or more to see results, but there also aren’t any risks with doing it the long-term way.

    I think the biggest inspiration you give to people is showing how once you establish that success, you can pretty much do anything you want to do. Your website is certainly one of my primary “mentor” sites when it comes to the right way to do things, and it’s the income reports + detailed breakdowns that work so well for inspiration. I think it’s wicked cool you are getting to be involved with helping to put together a film…mad props for that :)

    • Faye Rousso

      Totally agree with each word!!
      People should build their business while they see the value they bring to customers and not google. Joint ventures, partnerships, networking are all parts of building a real business which takes a few years!!
      People should stay away of blogs selling out a dream of becoming millionaires quickly.
      Pat is doing an awesome work. I love reading each post!

  • Larry Ludwig

    Welcome to NY. Now get out! :-) See ya in June!

  • Donatus

    You are the man….all this just a month, Man am getting serious online this month, hope to increase like you…

    Cant wait to start competing with you…

  • Nicola Cairncross

    Hi Pat, another great blog post. I’m totally hooked on your podcasts which I access via your app. Now, obviously not looking for loads of details but as an ex-Wealth Coach and author of “The Money Gym” book, I’m intrigued to know what you are doing with your excess income. Buying property? Salting it away in your pension (which I think from reading Rich Dad you call a 401k over there)? Investing it in more business resources / app building or even tech startups? A blog post idea there perhaps. Keep at it, whatever! Cheers, Nicola

  • Tansey Louis

    Thank you for sharing this so faithfully every month.

  • DR

    Pat, congrats on another great month. And thanks for sharing that video. What an inspiration!

  • Abishek @ The Blogger’s Way

    Wow Patt !

    Your income report makes me want to ‘shoot for the stars’ as T. Harv Eker says. And I really loved your exams and security niche sites.

    And I love the fact that you earn most from the affiliate commission. I am also wanting to do some product reviews and earn by earning value.

    The lesson for me is to be consistent and keep on marketing the blog for now.

  • shaun ling

    pat, you really know what you are doing. Great stuff here.

  • Tony Jabolla

    Just awesome, good work!

  • Tom

    I love your monthly reports. It really demystifies parts of this business. Thanks.

    I started a niche site just before the penguin update went into affect. The site started to climb right off the bat in a very open niche and then BAM… it was gone. I haven’t put that much time into it and it hasn’t gone anywhere. I have actually done very little backlinking at all but I think I may have been a little too heavy-handed on the target keyword with on-site links. At least that’s all that I could think of. I am planning on getting back into it soon. My music industry blog, that has been going for a couple of years now, on the other hand (for which, I have done virtually no link building) didn’t change at all. In fact, I think I have seen a slight uptick in search traffic.

  • Marcos

    Soon your bio will read “YES, I’m a Millionaire, but I am living off of passive income made online….” :0)

  • Quinton Hamp

    I always look forward to these.

    So far my entire business is based on the wonderful world of SEO and Google and Spammy backlinks (I used to think they were excellent backlinks — the Penguin took me to school)

    I am with you on “Being the Ultimate Resource” and I am working diligently to take two of my sites in that direction. (Is it possible to reform?)

    However, there are some keywords that are simply not profitable enough to become the “ultimate authority” on. I am really hoping I can still find a method to capitalize on these back-water niches. (Somebody else is — why not me?)

    To that end, I would like to ask 2 quick questions about your backlinking test:

    – Do you know what the difference in link velocity was (ie links/30 days) between the two?
    – Was their a difference in which pages were targets (ie Test A targeted 20 site pages evenly, Test B targeted only homepage, etc)

    I am really impressed that you didn’t “spill the beans” when you first saw results from the back-linking service. I would have. And now I would be eating my words. Good work, protecting your reputation.

  • Vin

    Great Job Pat. $45K+ a month is insane.

    I’m surprised you continue to do so well with Market Samurai. I can’t even use that tool anymore because it’s so slow. I do all my KW research with Ultimate Niche Finder at this point. I’d love to see MS make a comeback because I really did like their interface. Unfortunately, it’s just too slow to be effective for me.

    • Tom

      Interesting… I can’t stand how slow MS is. Does Ultimate Niche Finder do everything that MS does?

  • Dan

    Pat. Great job.

    Nice job as well profiling your test against the SEO company. That was very interesting. Have you spoken with them since? I would be interested what “tools” they were used to get back links to that site.

  • Servando Silva

    Hello Pat.
    Great post. I think by this, Google is really trying to make the search engines and the whole internet, more… natural. So that people can concentrate on creating content, and not on how to rank it through the engines. Based on my last 7 years of experience. You create a great site, and people will come. SEO is important, but no SEO will make your content great, so you should get you ass off and get to work.

  • Benny

    Who is this Benny Hsu guy you talk about? Oh it’s the guy I see in the mirror every morning!

    Thanks again Pat for the mention. Certainly none of the success wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t find you and your blog.

    Now it’s time to catch up to you on the monthly app earnings! :)

  • Brandon

    Woah, another great month pat! Congratulations!
    It’s encouraging to see that your backlinking methods and style haven’t been penalized or really affected by the updates. They definitely seem like a more honest approach to ranking and hope they continue to do well.

  • Brock @ BrockStarLife

    Man, Bluehost has been an amazing earner for you! I got hammered with this last Google update. Most of my good sites are down…crappy ones are okay or even up. Doesn’t make sense. I think it’s time we all focus on authority – quality over quantity for sure!

  • Adam

    Another great month, way to go Pat.

    I won’t be able to make BWE this year but I hope you have the 3 best presentations on the event.

    • Pat

      Thanks Adam, sorry you can’t make it, but I really appreciate that – and I hope so too! :)

  • eMoneyLog

    Is there a replay version if the niche course you had conducted? Should I be able to learn the same things y just following the niche site duel?

  • Craig Lodge

    Your “My Monthly Report” blog posts always give me the pick-me-up I need to get back on track.
    Those Adsense stories are frightening, but more proof that diversification is a necessity! Here’s to another successful month!

  • Trade Man

    Nice results this month. Since penguin hit late in the month I wonder how it would affect you in May. Also, I can’t get over that $20k number from Bluehost. Is that from this site or another site?

    • Pat

      It’s pretty amazing to me too, lol! I’m not complaining though 😛

      All come from the SPI brand, but not necessarily this website. My YouTube video ( has been really good to me, as well as the podcast for getting people to come to the website and click on my affiliate link.

      Definitely, my resources page is a top producer though.

  • Ann

    Interesting question (and answer) above regarding Wikipedia, etc…..very curious to see what happens going forward.

    Thanks again for a great, informative post!

  • Grigor

    Hi Pat, i am new at this blog, but for couple of weeks i learned so many things… I also be very glad to know what is your system of work, software tools using, how exactly you keep your accounting, time spending, programs and other tools?

  • Beau

    Another inspiring month Pat! Keep up the growth and I see you making 7 figures.

  • Brock

    Hey Pat,

    Do you ever get overwhelmed or burnt out on what you’re doing? You really are good at being everywhere, where do you go for inspiration and motivation to keep cranking everything out and finding new content to produce?

  • Jared

    Pat. I have had CPA type affiliates on my site for around 3 months now. I have made just over $200 but really want to see that increase I know you are experimenting in this area right now. How relevant are your CPA links from Commission Junction to the content on your Niche sites? Mine are not really relevant because my site is a lifestyle blog. Just curios if you have found succes with related CPA?

  • Lisa Angelettie

    Always inspiring as usual Pat, and you are so right about “telling a story”. Your article on how you started out motivated me in many ways this week, especially on revisiting a Blogger site that I created years ago and haven’t touched in two years. Lo and behold it is ranking #1 for it’s major keyword. I better pay some attention to it now!
    Thanks Again:)

  • http:// eka ardiansyah

    hi pat…. nice info that i get since google penguin update. know i understand why all of my niche blog down the traffic last month.

  • Mike

    I’ve been reading your site since last fall and, even though I am not monetizing my site, the lessons learned here are invaluable in trying to gain position over time in a very tight niche. Best wishes for your upcoming travels and presentations.

  • Steve K

    Pat, congrats on the success, and its definitely well deserved! I could read about SEO experiments all day, thanks for detailing that in this post.

  • Jackie @ freeismylife

    Thanks Pat for explaining the Penguin update. My blog is one of the sites that suddenly got a huge spike in google traffic for no apparent reason. For certain key word phrases, my blog is suddenly not just on page one, but also the first entry. I had no idea what was going on until I just read your explanation of the Penguin update. I figure it will one day stop, but I am enjoying it for now :)

  • Michael Chibuzor

    Hey Pat, your income report is huge and not just that. It’s well explained. Anyone can follow your tips, with perseverance and focus, he or she can come closer – I’m so confident of that.

    I’ve heard experience with affiliate marketing, but I discovered that one-off commissions don’t make any difference. It’s like getting a paycheck, only to lament before the month week runs out. Do you advise I focus on recurring affiliate offers like Hostgator, Bluehost and so on?

    Give me one simple advise – I’m waiting!

  • Richie

    I just want to ask, how are you earning from free iPhone apps?

  • Larry Clark

    Pat, great read as usual. I have something to say in defense of many people out there that are small business owners. Google is good, so good they have a monopoly on the search engines. People now count on Google to earn a living. Me being one of them. So when Google does these updates, regardless of whether a site is engaged in “questionable” linking, and it knocks a site down or a small business down, it effectively and literally alters a persons life. IN a bad way usually.
    Now I’ve been guilty of some questionable linking for a few of my sites but I’ve also started following policy and going better link building practices to avoid this. Several sites that were not involved in questionable link building have been hit and were my main money makers. I am not scrambling to do damages control and it’s been a couple weeks now and my head is still spinning.

    I do not blame the small guy who, when google does it’s updates” turns to questionable way for getting his site back up so he can:
    put food on the table for his family
    pay tuition for his children to go to school
    pay the bills
    pay health insurance etc….

    I don’t understand why Google does these things in the middle of a bad economy when people are already hurting. They seem to enjoy kicking people when they are already down and trying to come up.

    I feel that eventually Google is going to go too far and people will stop using Google for their search engine and stop relying on them for traffic.

    I’m very frustrated as I had several sites making a good chunk of change, and doing things legitimately and then got knocked out of the water. Now I have to learn to do SEO all over again? To some degree?
    I’m done with google. It just doesn’t seem like they really care about the people.

    what is their famous saying? do no evil or something stupid like that?
    I understand what they are trying to do, but they are doing collateral damage in the process.

    As you said in your post:
    “this update is not about improving search results” and “Google is willing to penalize and drop down a site that could be considered the best site about a specific topic simply because it’s involved with bad link practices. This is why many search engines results have what seems like poor quality sites ranking high up on the page”

    They are not concerned with bettering the result.
    Sorry but I am just done with google.

  • Larry Clark

    “I am NOW* scrambling to do damages control and it’s been a couple weeks now and my head is still spinning.”

  • Scott

    Pat, congrats on another huge month! 😉

    You mentioned being diversified but half the income stream still comes from Bluehost so I wouldn’t really call that a well-rounded portfolio.

    • Pat

      Scott – it’s not like I’m buying stock here, these are earnings, so “well-rounded” takes on a different definition. Take away Bluehost and I’d still have a large number of income streams to keep me afloat. :)

  • Kayla

    Caine’s Arcade just touched my heart. I love a truly priceless piece of motivation ! I wish I could be in LA to play at Caine’s Arcade but will carry this story of tenacity through my blogging journey.

    Pat, I recently launched my blog I told you about in March and rank really well in the search engines especially Bing ( #2 on pg 1 ) and have some traffic to the site. The potential is exciting,without any crazy backlinks I am focused on quality content.

    Thanks for creating this blog its very helpful and the best I’ve come across.

  • Cashfree

    Another amazing month, thanks for taking out the time to explain more on google penguin. My sites were hit harder and am starting the journey afresh again.

  • David Tong

    It still astonishes me, Pat, the percentage of income BlueHost provides you.

    20 grand for hosting referrals is amazing, and it’s been so consistent as well!


  • Anthony

    Hi Pat,
    Couple of questions Pat”

    1. What numbers do you get to smart passive through search and social media? Less than 15% of your traffic?
    I read that blogger Steve Pavlina gets millions of visitors/month and gets as little as 1.5% from search. He was writing about delivering timeless, quality content for readers back in 2006 as his main strategy. He owns the Personal Development niche. See:

    2. Your bluehost affiliate numbers are very high, do blue host pay reoccurring or just for sign-up – for hosting?

  • Scott Fox

    Congrats on another strong month, Pat.

    Looking forward to our panel together about Monetizing Niche Audiences at Blogworld in NYC next month!

  • vikram

    Cong pat..

    Very Inspirational Earning Report pat

  • Adrian

    As always, excellent information and thanks for sharing the breakdown, Pat. I hope the not revealed site keeps bringing in the dosh for you! :-)

  • Christopher A Green

    Hey Pat, your level of consistency in your experimentation and documentation continues to impress me. We all owe you a lot for your continued hard work and determination.

    Thanks Dude!!

  • Pearson

    Awesome results Pat. I signed up with bluehost and last month I made a single sale. How do you feel when you log in to your email account everyday and see that message “Congratulations! You have made a successful sale. We have credited $65 to your account”?

  • Eugene

    your income reports are always inspiring Pat, Its good to see you consistantly making around and over the 50k mark. I like the bits about your 2 new niche sites, Its good to see that your way of link building still works fine, it may take longer but it is worth it.

  • Olivier Roland

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your feedback about Google Penguin, I was waiting for your monthly report to know if it impacted your niche. It’s another piece, useful to complete the puzzle 😉 .

  • Yamato

    Hi Pat,
    I am ompressed again – especially of the results of your new (unrevealed) amazon site. Would it be possible to reveal just what you use to build it with?
    Thanks and have a nice weekend.

  • Dess

    Oh Google what shall we do for u? We all admit that Google’s traffic is big and converting but not consistent for me at least. Then I turned my face to youtube and started getting good traffic then my Youtube acct was cancelled. What do we do Now ?
    Interesting article. I liked your blog and have already subscribed. Thx man.

  • Richard Scott

    Every month I’m always amazed at your results. But then again, you are the most transparent and likable guy on the net. People believe and trust you, as so do I.

    I have always believed in creating authority sites, and only recently began my adventure into a couple of small niche sites. I have to say, I love my authority sites, can’t stand the small sites. I’ve never been a big fan of backlinking either. In fact, for over 4 1/2 years, I never did any other than a random comment on a post like this. I just let it happen naturally.

    About 5 months ago I hired a VA to manually back link to my sites, and never really saw any results. I have a feeling none of those pages were indexed. I have since dumped him and will once again go back to my old ways. Let it happen naturally. It’s worked for the big sites, and that’s where I intend to stay. :)

    As far as the Penguin and Panda update, I did notice a slight drop in traffic to my newest sites (8 months old), not much though, but my older sites are increasing in traffic pretty heavily. Which is good, because those are the ones that make me money. :)

    Congrats again on your earnings. You are an inspiration.

  • Dominic White

    Good to finally see some data on the Google updates…

    I have a question? What causes the weekly cycle of highs and lows of visitors to your websites (especially securityguardtraininghq)?

    Are the lows during the weekend and the highs during the week? People procrastinating at work…?

  • jerrywhyte

    Thanks so much Pat for sharing this invaluable records, I wish there is any cone Warrior Member here that will convert this to an WSO…… Lo! just kidding

    I have been in Internet Marketing for the past 5 years, but i have never seen IM from the way you do it.

    Thanks i have got useful insights

  • Kimanzi Constable

    I went to a Brendon Burchard conference and one of the things he really emphasized is telling your story, it’s a better way to connect with people.

    I wish I could go to Blog World, I’ll just miss you, I’m booked to speak at WordCamp in New York on June 9-10, my second speaking event!

  • Allie


    First, me and my 11 yo daughter love that sweet story of Caine. Thanks.

    Second, I want to make an 8 minute video and make $20,000. Hee hee!

    Third, I did the calculations (not in my head) and, well, WOW!

    That’s all, it’s Friday night and my brain is fried. :-)


  • Veselin Mitev

    Nice report!
    Building a site for the long term is my thing!
    Otherwise it’s … well… definitely non-motivating for me.

    And yes, depending on Google for everything is a bad idea. Not that in any means it would say that a website goes the “dark way” but simply, way too little prediction. Not to mention a lot of people would rely on various SEO tactics without realizing the possible harm (not everyone with a website reads the latest SEO posts and experiments).

    Also Caine’s clip at the end is pretty awesome. Brought a tear in my eye 😀

  • Sheyi @

    I love it when you said ‘relying 100% on Google for anything – income, traffic, or even search results – is not a good idea.’ You see, google is trying to take over the internet which is not supposed to be so. G just wants to make webmasters dance to their tune and its high time bing, ask, msn and other top search engines come together to form an alliance, start their own adword, get millions of clients and become a major competitor to google.


  • Tram Tran @young business oppotunities

    I love Caine’s arcade. thanks Pat for sharing

  • Tim Marlow

    Hi Pat,
    We are new to building websites and are hoping to create sites that go beyond what a niche site would do. We are about to start generating backlinks using your two tier strategy of linking articles from Ultimate Article Wizard to our blogs on tumblr, wordpress etc. I just wanted to know your thoughts on the longevity of using UAW for links, in light of the Penguin update – potentially some retrospective Google penalisation in the future?


  • Towhid Zaman

    Once again.. another great month for you.Fantastic stuff… Keep doing cool things. :) :)

  • Leon @

    Great report!

    I wanted to know what are your plans now in regards to your drop in rankings for site “A”? Will you be trying to get it back to where it was? And how? Maybe you can write a post how to gain google’s trust?

    My site was also affected, only for my main keyword, and the rankings dropped dramatically…So I would love to know what do I do now??

  • Tammy Soares

    Hey Pat. I’m just finding your website and I have to say it’s really fantastic. What I don’t get though is how you make money from the following:
    1. Market Samurai
    2. Instant Article

    and a few of the other sites you that sell products. Are these all affliate programs? If so, exactly how do I get in touch with them even with little or no traffic to my site?

  • [email protected]

    Both Amazing and Inspirational! Thanks for sharing your experiments along with the positive and negative results! Congrats on another GREAT month!

  • http://www.TheInfoPreneur.TV TheInfoPreneur

    That’s crazy your income came in within $100 of previous month. I guess I’d take it. 😉 Thanks also for sharing the Penguin updates. PS…went back through one of your old posts about how you make money with affiliate marketing…good stuff.

  • vijay

    Hi Pat,
    This is really inspiring!!
    I am an iPhone app developer and it is really great to see you are also in the iPhone business and making around ~4K, its a very good amount.

    You give me the reasons why i should be still in he iPhone business.


  • Charlie

    Great month pat, Wish you all the best for your movie

  • Git

    wow reading your reports everyt month keeps me going.
    i enjoy reading your insights every month- they are very helpful.
    Where can i find a forum that will help critique my sight? i feel like i can use some feedback for my site

  • Kent Chow @ Earn Extra Income

    Pat, again, your income report is very inspiring. I wish I had 10% of yours.

    In April, my Adsense income is just on par with your Purchased Website #1.

    I’m catching my Amazon Affiliate income these days and hope to see 4-digit again.

    Would I know what kind of content on your “New Amazon Product Niche Site” converts the best? Product Review or Information post? I am wondering how many pages of content you already have on it.

    Thank you for all your inspiring and tips on your Niche Site Duel. I have built some niche sites making small passive income these days. I know it works and I’m trying to focus and generate more this year.

    Way to go, SPI!

  • Shekhar

    True inspirational figures once again…Great going PAT!!

  • Daniel @

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for keeping us updated with your earnings, it is really motivating to see how much you are earning considering you haven’t been online for that many years.
    I hope to reach a similar level of success with my own passive income challenge!
    Are you going to do a post about ranking after the Penguin update? It hit my sites really hard, i think i have a good new strategy worked out, but i have no idea if it will work! haha


  • Passive Income Engine

    What I’ve always like most about your report is the diversity. It’s amazing how it keeps getting wider. Every month a new stream of income begins. This is definitely how you generate passive income over time. Create multiple things working for you at once. Great Report.

  • Craig Lodge

    Hey Pat,
    Just want to give you a heads up that this income report isn’t linked to under the “Income Reports” menu button, March is the last one listed

    • Pat

      Thanks Craig! Putting it up now :)

      • Gowtham

        Nice Earnings Pat :) So Inspiring !

  • Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Thanks for being transparent as always. Have fun at BlogWorld!

  • Casey Dennison

    Another good month. Your experiment goes to show that the backlinking strategy that works really does still work. Why must some doubt it?

  • Rory

    Sad to hear that more people are getting banned from Google. Mixing up your potential income revenues is the best way to ensure any slap from major affiliates will not collapse your income stream.

    Pat, I hope all goes well in May, and I hope you premiere is going good.

  • Nomadic Samuel

    It’s incredible how well you’ve done with your earnings over the months. As a travel blogger I make peanuts compared to what you pull in each month but it’s inspiring to see how you’ve diversified your income with so many different streams.

    • Chris R. Keller

      Have you looked at putting together a marketing plan into increase your revenues? If you are getting people to your site and they are reading it regularily you can probably find a way to get more money from it.

      • Kent F

        You’re joking….right?

  • Edgar

    Amazing pat!

  • Alexandre Leonel

    I’ve been following you for some time, but had not entered deeply into its content. The account of the beginning of the blog captivated me and I was thrilled with the contents of the utmost quality.
    I’m from Brazil and would like to know the extent you have here, feedback and actions directed here.

    Even more

    Note via Google translator.

  • Bill

    Another excellent month. I’m glad you dropped that Caine’s Arcade clip. That movie is really amazing. It reminds me of some of the things in the book The Butterfly Effect, which is also an amazing read (I’m not an affiliate. I’m just giving credit where its due). That book really effected how I’m approaching my niche site. Check it out from your local library.

    Keep up the good work because it motivates me. Seriously.

  • Thea | Write Change Grow

    Hi Pat
    I always love reading your monthly reports. They are fascinating, though I have to admit I do occasionally get lost on the jargon (I seriously need to go back and read more of your posts on backlinking, since that is the one that generally confuses me the most). It is wonderful to see that you are continuing to do well. I can’t wait to hear more about the movie stuff after the premiere in Boston. I think it’s great that you are diversifying into different fields.
    I am going to be at BlogWorld NY and can’t wait to meet you and hear you present. I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing Caine’s arcade, I watched it recently and was totally inspired. It is definitely a story that leaves you smiling.

  • Mauro

    Awesome, Pat!
    Warrent Buffet says that he is scared that you would take his place in the Forbes’ list about richest men in the world :)
    Pat, I would ask you about a service that I found on the web: Hoth 3.0.
    I don’t know if you have ever heard about it, but it’s a link building service that seems similar to your link building strategy.
    Do you think it can be helpful to make my blog grow?
    I have a Blog in italian, so I should also think about that.
    Thank you and again congratulations for your results!

  • Rich

    Wow Pat, I would love a slice of that!

    Well done Sir!

  • Lauryn Doll

    Thanks for continuing to remain open, honest and transparent!

  • Sylvanus NWafor

    Great job Pat! Keep the flag flying

  • Joe

    Excellent figures there! Have you changed the way you do your back linking strategy that works at all? I.e. are you still using Blog Blueprint?

  • Gary

    Hey Pat, many thanks for the monthly report, it really is great to get a very transparent view of what can be achieved with a lot of dedicated work.

    Hope to catch up with you at Blogworld, am travelling from Ireland to meet you and was going to meet up with Chris who unfortunately cant make it now.
    Regards, Gary

  • Rodney Bryant


    It concerns me that you had two highly ranking niche sites, and “In total, over the past 4 months, both sites earned about $180.00 combined”. That is rather demotivating – why do people bother trying to make a living online? All the work in outsourcing content, and setting up a site, and getting links (and the cost of that) to make $22.50 permonth per site??

  • Elsa

    Nice Pat!

    Btw, I’ve seen that kid before. I saw him on a tv news program long before this, really inspiring :-)

  • Rodney Bryant

    Thanks for the video on Caine’s Arcade. What a nice story. Cool kid.

  • Ern


    You’re definitely right to say it is not intelligent to rely fully on Google on everything. That’s one of the objective that newbies like me should aspire to do.

    Great income for April by the way!

  • Zaeem

    Hi Pat,
    I am, actually we are are glad that you get much much more than those who try to sell, take profit from everything even a single word they say.
    Keep up the good work and you will do better every month that’s my wish.
    Thanks for not hiding anything.

  • Jeremiah Say

    This is one of the best monthly income report on the internet. I learn so much from this 1 report than to a paid $27 ebook.

    Kudos!! Keep on GOING!

  • tim

    Hi Pat – will you be announcing who the link building company is that you referenced in this post?

  • An

    O M G .. This is the first time i have ever seen a guy make this amount of money on affiliate marketing.

    Im still very new in this business but from now on i will live and die for you podcast and articles, cause you could realy teach me alot i think.

    This is unreal :) If you ever come to Denmark then you have to learn me everything hehe.

    Best regards Rie from Denmark. – My first affiliate site about designer bags

  • Anne-Marie

    My name is Anne-Marie hehe :) Ups

  • Andrew

    Hi pat,
    Are you constantly looking for new passive income methods? What’s your take on investing and producing dividends? I have 2 years experience in fx and stocks. If you’d like more info I’d gladly talk more via e-mail.

  • Rob

    Hi Pat,

    Great post. Could you share what have you done to Site A after the Penguin update?

    Have you tested anything that works in terms of Penguin recovery?

    I’m sure a lot of your readers would appreciate an effective remedy.


  • Viktor

    Hi Pat!

    I found this website a few weeks ago and I just can’t stop listening to your podcast and read articles here on your blog. I love what you are doing and how you are doing it! You are inspiring me a lot, and I just want to say thanks and thanks in advance for everything coming! I will start to work on some global niche sites and hope to join the community here around shortly!

  • Pit Dessin

    What a report.
    Thanks for sharing Pat.

  • James

    Hey Pat –

    It’s just amazing how you can constantly make THAT much money in a month! I guess the rest of us are just lazy or aren’t providing the quality content that you are. You do go into great depth in all the topics you write about on this blog. It’s amazing how much information you can pack into one post. The best part its free too.

    I definitely can learn a thing or two from your work ethic. If I was this focused I am sure I would be making at least 10x the amount I am making right now. Well at least I am making an effort right now and hopefully will follow in your foot steps.

    Keep up the great work and earnings online!

  • Dhes

    Hey Pat,
    Thanks for this forum, its so inspirational!
    Just a quick question on the back linking strategy that you have been using. Would you say that it is still a good option in terms of back linking after the penguin update or would you change things around a bit now that they are targeting over optimization?

    Thanks in advanced Pat

  • temitope

    when i see testimonies and revelations like this i get inspired to keep on working hard and i am sure soonest i will start making a minimum of 2000 dollars per month on passive income. Great

  • Chris @ NPI

    Hi Pat, great post and summarizing – relying 100% on Google for anything is the WORST idea in the World – you must find various sources both for your traffic and for your income.
    Regards, Chris

  • Carolina

    Pat, soon you’ll have to change your intro. “Hello. I’m Pat. I AM a millionaire” 😉

  • Anil

    Actually its difficult to believe that you are making huge amount from web hosting affiliate how is this possible?

  • Shekhar

    Another hefty check…hehe.

  • Satish

    Very day i might reach those figures.

  • Chris R. Keller

    Great point Pat, you can’t rely on any one source for anything. Diversification is best. The other advantage is that there is often cross synergies to having different income streams or different marketing methods all working together.

  • Nikki

    Thanks for the inspiration! I hope to catch up to you someday! :-)

  • David Frey –

    Pat, your story about your online journey is awesome. I started in late 2000 and have been full time ever since. I love the part of your story in which you got together with some other people you met in the business and that experience really catapulted you into action. I’m a sucker for a great story (aren’t we all). :-)

  • Abhishek

    You are an inspiration to me. The way you have made this money is just too good. thanks for sharing this

  • Michel

    Amazing PAT!!!

  • Raheel Mushtaq

    Penguin has affected many people its good to follow Google guideliness otherwise Penguin will eat you like a fish :)

  • Tom Southern

    Pat, I see you’re still selling article spinning. I presumed that you would have stopped this because of the way Google responds to article spinning, i.e. sandboxing. I understand why people still offer Market Samurai for keyword research, but not article spinning. I don’t think you’d still be doing this without a reason so, if you’ve got a moment, can you share it please as there may be another aspect of article spinning that I’m not aware of. Cheers!

  • Ehsan

    You are earning great amount of money Pat. I will be very happy if I earn at least $100 a month:D

  • Evgeny

    learn me,me also intersting how you buy affiliates products\services

  • Autumn

    Wow, thank you for the information about the backlinks. My husband and I was researching backlinks yesterday to try to get his business to move up in the search rankings. I think I’ll lay off from submitting his site to dummy SEO boosters!

    I looked at my google anayltics account and noticed that right around the time that google made it’s change, it doubled my average daily visitors.

  • Sir Richard Lindo

    Hi Pat,
    I came across your blog today from one of your video on Youtube. I’ve seen your affiliate monthly statements. Good job on all of them. You’re one of a small group of people online that actually makes decent income. Keep it up.

    Sir Richard Lindo

  • Gillian G

    Great post Pat.

    I hope the presentations go well and look forward to watching them when you post the videos.


  • Samuel

    Thanks for sharing this Pat! I will work harder to get my site become like yours! This motivates me more!

  • Chris

    Great Month Brotha, I looked back at your posts from 2009, your new posts have so much more audience engagement– we can literally see that how your community has grown by our participation. Makes me totally optimistic! Congrats!

  • jimmy cataldo

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you for sharing such valuable information!

    I can learn a lot of this information, hope you also received my email!

    Will hoping on reponse from you.

    Bay the way, thank you for sharing this great video! Very nice!


  • Fahad

    Thanks Pat,
    I’ve really enjoyed going through the article. It the monthly report for april 2012. I guess I should look for the latest month specifically. 😉

  • fadli

    Very nice post . my blog have 1000 uv per day .. and i will get google adsense for ppc , and earn in the next

  • Rizly

    Thanks for sharing your income & experience about income.
    You have given good enthusiastic words for newbies ..

  • Abhishek

    Whoa even after getting hit by Panda you have made nice bucks. I am learning day by day a lot from you and implementing the same on my blogs too… Thanks for this post mate.

  • Abhishek

    As I said before even after getting hit by Panda you have made some nice bucks. Really inspiring and I am gonna get implement some tricks on my blog too.