My Monthly Report – December 2011

passive incomeWelcome to my December 2011 Monthly Income Report!

Each month I write a detailed report about the money I’ve earned online. It’s not all about the numbers though – it’s more about what I’ve done to earn that money and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I’ve been keeping this up for over 3 years now, and every month brings along something different as I’m constantly building my passive income portfolio with new projects and new forms of (virtually) automated businesses each and every month.

So why share this with you?

There are a couple of reasons:

First and foremost, it keeps me headed in the right direction. Seeing the numbers and writing down both my wins and my failures help me stay the course and always try to outdo myself, and publicly displaying these things holds me accountable.

Secondly, and more importantly, I do this to be transparent.

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 attempt it and a lot of people 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 (and fall down towards it too), you’ll give yourself a chance.

Thanks again for your support, and let’s get right to it.

Important Going-Ons in December

December is always an interesting month in terms of my income. With the holidays and much of the population in vacation-mode and away from the office, it does reflect in my earnings report, both in good and bad ways.

Another thing that seems to happen at the end of the year for a lot of people is – getting sick.

During the later half of the month my son got sick, and as most parents know that means that inevitably the rest of the family will get sick too, and this time it was no exception for us.

My wife and I soon picked up whatever bug my son picked up from who knows where, and it didn’t help that we were also hosting a party for my son’s birthday on Christmas Eve, and then celebrating Christmas by house-hopping on Christmas day, and then attending the Holiday Bowl a couple days later, and then an annual Christmas party with some of our closest friends, and then hosting a small New Year’s Eve get-together for our immediate family, and then…I pass out.

Ok – I didn’t really pass out, but I felt like it sometimes – and I still have yet to fully recover.

As a result of all this activity, both in my schedule and my immune system, my ability to get some good work done at the end of the year was not there. But, thanks to the power of passive income my income levels were still maintained.

GreenExamAcademy.com

Typically, the end of the year is a terrible time for sales on GreenExamAcademy.com. November’s monthly income report reflected that, and I was expecting similar, if not smaller numbers in December.

So, it was definitely a surprise when I noticed that the December earnings from this site for December more than doubled. :)

Less than an hour of work was done on the site the entire month (just a few replies to some emails that came in), so it was definitely time to do some investigation.

There are a couple of factors that probably helped me out here:

Continued Education

Part of the duty of those who pass the LEED exam is maintaining your accreditation by meeting continuing education requirements. I recently put up an affiliate link to some education classes that would satisfy some of the requirements, and they seem to have converted very well in December.

My thoughts are that since people are off from work, they are taking advantage of this extra time to get their requirements in while they can.

A New Version of the Exam

Late next year, they’ll be rolling out a new version of the exam, which means there’s always a huge scramble to pass the current version so people don’t have to learn all of the new stuff – they can more easily pass the older exam and just maintain their accreditation.

Although there’s still a lot of time, there’s been more recent talk in the industry about the new version of the exam, which probably got a few extra people to become interested in passing the exam now.

Good times.

SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com

On the flip side, and as expected, the earnings from this career-based niche site was down compared to previous months.

Nothing to worry about though…

  • The site is still ranking #1 in Google for its primary keyword.
  • It’s still getting hits from over 4000+ long-tail keywords.
  • And it still earned over $1,500.00 (as opposed to over $2k last month).

If you’re interested in learning how I created this site from scratch – all the way from coming up with the idea, to ranking #1 in Google and earning money, you can read more about it here on the niche site duel hub. All free content and you don’t even need to opt-in to get it.

Traffic was down a bit during the month, and CPCs (cost-per-clicks) were down as well – and again, this is expected.

This is just speculation, but the holidays probably had a little bit to do with it. People aren’t searching for as much information about security guard training, and security guard training companies are paying less for advertising at the end of the year, which has a direct effect on my income (since through Adsense, I earn a percentage of the total cost per click that advertisers pay).

I suspect things will pick up in January, and already on the 3rd and 4th of the month I’ve had two consecutive $100+ days.

In 2012 you’re going to see a lot more information about this site – primarily what I do to diversify the income coming from it, as per my 2012 Goal Post.

iPhone Apps

December is always a good month for iPhone apps – especially if you have some exposure in the app store (top lists, features, etc.).

Why?

Because a lot of people open up their presents and see a brand new iPhone, iPod Touch or iPads.

We also timed an updated version of our top performing application, Baby Maker, with the holidays and it seemed to pay off, as you can see below:

Baby Maker Earnings

It also cracked the top 100 Photo & Video category, and we’re still working on updating it again, since we found a couple of bugs since the latest release.

After that’s done, we’re going to start working on some new apps, and actually begin some marketing to promote the apps we already have in place. Should be fun, and I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on as it happens.

Still, we’re no Benny Hsu ;)

Other Niche Sites

With the other (smaller) niche sites that I own, some were up, and some were down.

One in particular that did really well in December is a fairly new site that targets a specific type of electronic product type (not a brand).

After a 2 month backlinking campaign, the site rose to the top 4 in Google and began ranking for long tail keywords as well.

In December, which is always a good month for electronics and other type of retail niche sites (i.e. gifts), it earned $190.05 from Amazon.com, pushing over $3,873.74 in sales, which is pretty cool.

I’m sure the numbers will be down at the beginning of the new year simply because less people are shopping on Amazon.com. Chris Guthrie always notes that most of his sales for his Amazon affiliate sites come at the end of the year too.

Again, I’m sorry I’m reluctant to reveal any new additional niches to you – at least at this moment in time. I’m still seeing new copycat sites popup as a result of my revealing my security guard training niche site – and unfortunately people are still copying my content, taking what I’ve researched and written and slightly changing the words without any credit back to me or my site. It’s sort of obviously when all of the bullet points and charts within their posts are the exact same as my own.

I usually reserve a spot here in my income reports to talk about what’s been happening with SPI, but there’s too much good stuff to talk about (like reaching a million YouTube video views, 1 million podcast downloads, etc.), and I’d like to talk more about each of those in a blog post later on in the month. For now, let’s just get to the numbers…

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 because of potential refunds.

  • GreenExamAcademy.com Product Sales:
    • Total: $4,134.97
      • Last Month: $2,045.14
      • Difference: +$2,089.83
  • SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com:
    • Adsense: $1,570.22
    • Job Board: $10.01
    • Amazon.com: $0.48
    • Total: $1,580.71
      • Last Month: $2,170.15
      • Difference: -$589.44
  • Other Google Adsense (includes other niche sites):
    • Total: $225.56
      • Last Month: $288.66
      • Difference: -$63.10
  • iPhone Applications:
    • Paid Apps: $3,668.62
    • Free Apps: $585.86
    • Total: $4,254.48
      • Last Month: $2,853.12
      • Difference: +$1,401.36
  • Gross Total in December: $38,485.59
    • Last Month: $44,473.31
    • Difference: -$5,987.72
  • Expenses: $3,461.02
    • Major expenses this month include virtual assistants, hosting account for SPI (dedicated server), recurring payments for various tools, CPA fees.
  • Net Total in December: $35,028.57

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

The numbers are a bit skewed because last month I included a substantial non-recurring payment from a client, which isn’t typical – but even so I’m very happy to finish off the year above $35k.

What’s encouraging here is that the portion of my income NOT related to the SPI blog is much bigger than last month, which aligns with my goal for 2012 to expand and diversify more of my outside-of-SPI-income.

That said, as I always make sure to mention in my income reports, I’ll be the first to admit that a significant portion of my income comes directly from this blog, mostly from the products that I recommend as an affiliate, which are products I’ve used and have helped me in one way, shape or form.

I’m very fortunate to have a community that is willing to support me by making purchases through my affiliate links – a responsibility that I will never take lightly and always take seriously – and as such I never promote just for the potential income that can come from an offer.

I am extremely grateful for everything, and I will continue to give back with valuable content and my experience in return.

Lessons Learned in December

In December I had a run-in with a very determined troll, a person who leaves off-color remarks and takes disrespectful actions to attract attention and stir up a discussion.

Now, I always welcome the critics and skeptics, as long as people are being respectful to me and to each other. I wish there were more of this because it’s healthy, and in an industry like internet marketing and making money online all sides of the story need to be addressed, and questions and criticisms are, at least for me, are a very welcome way to make sure everything is addresses as it should.

My issue is with some people’s approach.

In this instance, it’s unfortunate because this troll actually brings up some good questions and concerns (among some not-so-good ones) that I would have been happy to discuss, even publicly – but the off-putting nature of the approach just didn’t sit well with me and as a result, respect was obviously thrown out the window.

I won’t get into too much detail, but this person emailed me a very long email with a number of questions and concerns. As I was formatting a reply, a number of my blogger colleagues messaged me saying that this same person posted the same exact email (verbatim) in the comment sectionon their blogs on posts where I was mentioned or featured.

It was also posted in a number of popular forums and other places online – all within just a few hours before I even had a chance to respond to the initial email. Now – there are 20 to 30 different spots online addressing me and asking me questions (the same questions – one making fun of the shirts I wore in my videos, but that’s a separate story), and now what am I supposed to do – respond to each and every one of them? Monitor each and address them all?

I was happy to answer the questions and reply to him criticisms and concerns. It’s easy, because it’s all truth and backed up by real numbers and reports.

But, his intentions were obvious.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do things, and the thing is this – no matter what this person does, even if he apologizes and whatever (I don’t expect one), I will never ever be able to get rid of the bad taste of that initial impression.

You never have a second chance to make a first impression, so be wise about what you do and how you approach things.

When all this was going down, I couldn’t believe it. It took almost every ounce of my energy NOT to immediately respond and react to this right away. In the heat of the moment, you’ve got to let things cool down before reacting because you can get into big trouble sometimes, even when you’re not the first one to start something.

In sports, do ever notice how often the person who reacts is always the one to get penalized?

I was glad to wait it out because now I can address it here respectfully in a calm and cool manner, instead of creating some monster of a post that probably would have been very entertaining to read, but it most-likely would have made me look bad too.

Thanks for letting me share that here with you.

Fantasy Football FinalsOn a lighter, but more disappointing note  - I just wanted to congratulate to Adam Baker from ManvsDebt (who now has an amazing podcast, by the way!) for getting first place in our Blogger Fantasy Football league.

I’m a HUGE Fantasy Football junkie and took first place the last 3 years in a row in another league.

It was me and Adam in the finals, and he won by a total of 2.54 points.

2.54 points!

That’s one field goal. One touch down, a 26 yard run, a 22 yard reception and about a billion of other possibilities that could have happened differently to put me into first place.

Why is this important?

Because there will always be the “what if’s”.

There will always be this or that which could have happened instead – stuff you wish you had done differently – and yeah, you can learn from those experiences – but don’t dwell on them.

Don’t get upset because there’s nothing that you can do to change the past.

You can only change the future (as cliche as that sounds).

And I’ll end my report on that note. :)

Thanks for your time, as always, and if you’re interested in what I’m up to in 2012, check out my 2012 Goal Post.

Happy New Year, and Cheers!

  • http://www.tonychou.com Tony Chou

    Wow! You’re on a roll, Pat!

  • http://www.shigomedia.com Tshepo Mashigo

    And just like that… You knocked last month out the park. The Day you decide to hire more people to handle your operations is the day i will be glued here to read that report.. It All comes with time i guess, you have mastered this Pat. Wonder what kinds of results a fully fledged team can do for Flynndustries!

    Keep Rocking…

    Tshepo

  • Jeff

    Great month Pat. Glad to see your other new niche site is doing well. Sorry to hear about your FF loss by 2.54 points-that is crazy. As always, thanks for the great content and for being you!

  • http://www.joshroa.com Josh Roa

    Love the lesson shared at the end Pat. Thanks a lot for reiterating the importance of taking things slowly and being proactive, not reactive.

    You’re an awesome example of what happens when things are done right mate! :)

  • Aaron

    Pat,
    As I’m sure you already know, running around trying to address every negative thing trolls write only validates their existence. I’m happy to hear (or read) you didn’t engage.

    Don’t feed the trolls!

  • http://www.yomimarketing.com Samuel

    Ooch! To lose by 2.54 points hurts. I rather get blown out by 40 or 50 then to be that close and dwell on who I should have started sitting on the bench. But like you said don’t dwell on the past.

    Great post by the way. I think when you start creating your own products and getting more niche sites going you income will double.

    As for the troll. Let your haters be your motivators.

  • http://philfaqs.com Dave Starr

    Useful and inspiring as always, Pat. Something of interest regrading the Green Academy, LEED exams and CEU’s and internationalization in general.

    As you know I live in the Philippines. I was a bit startled the other day to see the advertising on a construction fence around a large office building project emblazoned with slogans like “Our company has the LEED in environmental design”, etc.

    Since larger more go-go Asian cites like Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul etc. are usually ahead of Manila in ‘trends’, I would imagine the LEED “niche” to be a big thing there too. I doubt it’s _only_ the rush to get in ahead of the new exam that’s driving sales. The construction industry in Asia is booming, no “world-wide recession” here, for sure.

    My point is, we all should look beyond US borders for our market. I see so many fellow American entrepreneurs, on-line and off-line, who limit themselves because they think the world ends at US borders, that the rest of the world is poor, or technologically unsophisticated, etc.

    My thought for 2012? Go Global …

    • Ben

      Dave – your goal of going global is a great idea…living in Singapore, I can see that there are a lot of opportunities in the Internet world for SG alone. I know someone here that started a deal site – within 1 year he has a full time team of 20 employees. Opportunities are abundant, it’s just a matter of following through.

      • http://philfaqs.com Dave Starr

        True that, Ben. I’m often puzzled, for example, when I see someone demonstrating how they research keywords detailing how they search only for “US Location” results.

        They seem to think “Global” searches are useless or won’t convert.

        This is often a very poor business decision. Again, Pat’s Green Academy and the underlying “reason” for the LEED popularity and exams is the USGBC (US Green Building Council). Since it a US-based organization, with US even in it’s name, one could easily think its market. sphere of influence is US only. One would be very wrong in that ass8mption.

        The Internet is indeed global. No matter what country’s passport you carry, you should be careful in focusing only within your own borders … or so Dave opines.

  • http://www.polybagpro.com Johnny Bravo

    Wow, way to go Pat!

    I have to say I purchased Market Samurai and The Best Spinner through your links in Dec. Which are amazing programs. Thanks so much for recommending them.

  • http://www.leavingworkbehind.com/ Tom Ewer

    Hey Pat,

    It’s a joy to read your income reports, as always. It is especially encouraging to see you progress with your niche sites, as that will be a big focus of mine in the coming months.

    I can’t wait to see how you get on with diversifying and/or expanding upon your income streams for SGT – I think that the site has a huge amount of potential.

    Well done for composing yourself before responding to the troll – acting in the heat of the moment can lead to unfortunate consequences. And after all, you have a brand to protect ;)

    Cheers,

    Tom

  • http://www.killthewantrepreneur.com Ryan

    This is why I read these every month.

    “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 attempt it and a lot of people 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 (and fall down towards it too), you’ll give yourself a chance.”

    The numbers are motivational but having someone else around who understands what it takes and why I’m “messing around” on the computer all the time is what helps fuel me. So thank you for that.

    What can you say about the troll? It is obvious jealousy. F him!

  • http://www.strayblogger.com Nate

    Pat- regarding the troll… I know you know this but Mother F haters like that. When I was just starting to blog a bad comment or email would almost derail me and make me question myself for days at a time.

    Your blog is great and is legitimately a solid resource that I refer to several times a month. Thanks buddy.

  • http://www.blogging24h.com Trung Nguyen

    Hey Pat, your monthly report post is the most post I wanted to read every month, I appreaciate your good working and of course, who don’t have a dream, do you?

    I really want to earn as much money as you did, thanks for sharing your experience every month to us on make money blogging.

  • http://www.sparkindark.com Phanindra

    As usual great income report. But what I’ve noticed is decrease in your adsense earnings (Other category). Then what happened to your Infobarrel earnings ?
    Do they still hold good enough under passive income ? Is writing for hubpages/Infobarrel is still a good decision for new people ?

  • http://simplylearnbusiness.com Nick

    Another great month Pat! Still amazed at what you manage to do! Doubling the earnings on GreenExamAcademy.com. Wow! Oh by the way. Your net expenses, you said in November. It’s December! Haha, no big deal. I’ll blame it on your sickness! Feel better Pat! I want a new podcast soon! Haha. Keep rocking the internet Pat!

  • Hailey

    Pat, I just want to let you know that I have been following your blog for almost two years now and you have inspired me so much. After months of thinking and planning I have finally taken my first steps into making passive income. I graduate from college in less than 6 months with a degree in Interior Architecture and I want to make a living for myself using the knowledge I obtained during college and everything I have learned from life.

    I’m starting small with a couple free blogs and a few other venues similar to eHow and as I build some income, confidence, and knowledge I will expand these ventures to bigger and better things. I would be thrilled to make in a year what you make in certain months.

    Keep up the great work so you can keep inspiring kids like myself!

  • http://www.thesecretgoddess.com/ Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess

    Pat – Loved your giving yourself time to cool off before responding to your troll – giving yourself that space to come back into your own power before reacting was wonderful – more and more of us need to remember to step back into our power before responding to attacks – we’d have far less drama and hurt!

    I’m also curious to hear your thoughts on the infobarrel earnings too :)

  • http://nizma.com nizma

    Wow… I only target 5% of your earning this month

  • http://stillsearchingfortheperfectdomain C. Trinidad

    Pat – i have been listening to you for about a couple months now and have visited your sites i enjoy your podcasts and the information that you provide along with the many interviews and stories keep up the great work!

  • http://www.vast9.com Garish Wasil

    As always, Great to read your income report, Pat. Hope you earn exponentially more this year.
    Can you please post someday about your experience with hiring a Virtual Assistant (as you hired one this time). Please share what all you can you can outsource to your VA. I am in search of a VA too and your post will help :)

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    Ouch that hurts to just lose by 2.54 points! I hope you didn’t leave any points on the bench. That would make it sting a bit more!

    I did win my fantasy football league this year. First time! I lost the first game then won the next 15 games, including playoffs. That’s once in a lifetime. Won some nice $$$ as well. Passive income right?

    Thanks for the mention! My sales didn’t increase much for Christmas, but noticed a huge jump starting on Jan 1. That’s what I expected cause my app is perfect to start the new year.

    Gotta build up a library of apps like you have. That’s a goal for 2012. :)

  • Joey

    OMG! $14K + from Bluehost?!? Thats Amazing, congratulations

  • http://www.thirdteam.org Fleire Castro – Third Team Media

    Hello Pat. I have started following your blog ever since I saw your name on the donors list for the One for Iligan campaign of the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. for the survivors of TS Sendoing in the Philippines. You are so blessed to earn this much and all the more blessed to be able to give to the less fortunate. May your tribe increase!

  • http://adsenseflippers.com Justin

    Hey Pat!

    It’s not too bad when an “off” month is over 38K eh? Congrats, man! You provide some amazingly valuable content here and SHOULD be rewarded for those efforts. I know that I went to purchase something and specifically came back to your site to purchase as I appreciate the info you’ve provided over the last year that I’ve been reading you.

    Regarding the troll…we have ‘em too, man. I like when someone challenges us or posts something a bit controversial, but personal attacks against us or other readers is just not acceptable. By the way, for anyone dealing with someone miserable, I would suggest taking a look at this video/story that’s originally from Derek Sivers…amazing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfwwHa-7Ux8

    Best of luck in 2012, Pat!

  • http://www.englischtestonline.de Englischtest Online

    “Continued Education
    My thoughts are that since people are off from work, they are taking advantage of this extra time to get their requirements in while they can.”

    I think this is not true for the education market (otherwise you would have spikes during the summer vacation periods). It has more to do with new years resolutions. At least in my field of education it is like that.

    • Pat

      Mr. Englischtest,

      (Awesome name by the way.)

      People working 9 to 5 don’t have the summer off – at least not the professionals in the industries that are taking this exam.

      Most people use their vacation time around the Holidays at the end of the year.

  • Peter

    Hi Pat!

    First time here writing comments on your blog. I would like to ask you: Where do you promote all those affiliate products (IM related) Here on your blog or on any other sites?

    Thanks!

    Peter.

    • Pat

      Hey Peter! I appreciate the first time comment, that’s awesome – thanks!

      Most are mentioned here on the blog, primarily as recommendations – not promotions. Off the blog would be places like YouTube and my Podcast, which all feed people back to the blog anyways.

      One of my top pages for affiliate income is my Resources Page

      In fact, this post here reveals exactly where my affiliate links are located for Bluehost so you can sort of see how it all works.

      Hope this helps – and hope to hear from you again. Cheers!

  • http://optima-lifestyle.com Cristina Ansbjerg

    Congrats once again, Pat.

    About that troll… just start ignoring him.

  • http://waystoincreaseincome.com Darren

    Mate as ways great job. Don’t worry about the troll.. there is plenty of them out there. Be better them them, it is the best justice. Great job keep it up..

  • http://www.makeandusemoney.com Musa

    I have been tempted to steal from my employer’s time just to read your December income report. Its inspiring & I know I could earn more than I do here at work if I follow your methods. One day I will quit this day job thing – a time waster I have realized.

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

    Great one here Pat. You’ve always encouraged me and lotta people too. Please continue to do this and very soon your $1M / month is very close.

    Thanks for the sincere reply to my private mail. You really mean a lot to me and I appreciate it.

    Sheyi

  • http://analyzeniche.com Jared Dees

    Thanks for the honesty and transparency (as always). It’s Friday morning and I slept in again (I do IM work from 5am-6:30am) because I’m the fourth person in the household to get sick (wife–>daughter–>daughter–>me). I was feeling pretty bad for falling short of my weekly goals that I just set last week. As you know it is pretty hard to record videos when you have no voice.

    Also, way to resist the urge to do some classic trash-talking about Fantasy Football! I would have “dished out some smack” against the other bloggers you beat in FF. Great job Baker…was it all about the Detroit love: Stafford and Johnson?

  • http://mickframez.com Vera Wang

    Congratulations on another successful month! You continue to inspire me.

    I have just Googled about the troll and I have to say this guy is really determined to tarnish you. He seems to have posted his rant on many forums.

    It seems you will be the beneficiary of his rants because he has posted with back links back to your sites. They say there is nothing like bad publicity!

    • Pat

      Hey Vera – well, I respectfully disagree – there is bad publicity – like when Toyota had all those safety issues, and of course, the BP oil spill. But yeah I see what you mean. The comments didn’t come with backlinks though, and even if they did they wouldn’t benefit me too much.

      Cheers, and thanks for the support!

  • http://www.hospitality-school.com Tanji

    Congratulation I thought your adsense earning will drop this month but it seems Ok. Thanks for your monthly reports which motivate me all the time..

    Tanji

  • http://misswallstreet.com Miss Wallstreet

    Wow! Great job for December! These reports are always motivating.

  • http://www.3StepColdSoreRemedy.com David DuBose

    Pat, congrats on another awesome month! I love reading your blog and have been inspired by you to track more numbers on my sites. I am no where close to you, but my numbers are UP!!!! :-)

  • http://www.synergysurfer.blogpsot.com Roland

    Hi Pat, do you get revenue from Youtube as well, and is this factored into your earnings at all?

    Greta results, and have been following you for over a year now. really inspiring stuff, and I am getting ready to make the leap now as well..

    Here’s to a good 2012!

    • Pat

      I do – it’s incorporated into my extra adsense earnings, but I’m not allowed to disclose the exact amount. I probably don’t make as much as I could with YouTube, but I also don’t want to put annoying ads in front of my videos or on top of them. Cheers, and all the best!

  • http:/www.champagnebaby.com/ Bob

    Hey Pat! I’m a new listener to your podcast and have to say I’ve already digested all 30 episodes in just a couple of weeks; some twice! Great work!

    I know you are very busy, but I’m hoping that I can ask you a quick question…

    I’ve been running an eCommerce site for a couple of years now with limited success. I’m looking to start a new project, but want to make sure I select a niche that I’m passionate about. However, I’m having trouble finding keywords that aren’t crazy competitive. I’m using Market Samurai, but I’m wondering if things have gotten so competitive that it’s just a pipe dream to start my own thing without an audience. Even market samurai is now suggesting that this is the case with Article Samurai. Which I’m not participating in because it feels kind of fishy.

    That may be a loaded question, but I’m hoping you can provide some insight and some of your usual optimism to get me (and my wife) off the fence. Because of all the effort we put into the eCommerce site, I’m hesitant to jump into something else without some serious research and some hope of valid returns.

    Thank you so much for your time and uplifting content!!!!!!

    May God Bless you and your efforts!

    • http://www.sybersquad.com Christopher Knopick

      Hi Bob…I bet you get tired of that (if you’re under 35 you won’t get that joke),
      The people that are saying that blogging is dead are completely wrong. This media has quite a bit of life left in it and if you’re using social media and backlinking tactics to help drive traffic to your site you can still do well. Now if you’re in an ultracompetitive niche like “make money online” you may have an uphill battle ahead, but people like Darren Halpern have proven that sites created recently can do well if you can produce great content.
      Good luck.

  • http://building-business-online.com Lisa O Building Business Online

    Hi Pat- I only wrote on my personal blog the other week about how, with the advent of social media, people feel it is appropriate to use an approach and language that they wouldn’t dream of using to someone face-to-face. The very worst of these are the comments that people leave on sites such as RIP Facebook pages and Twitter. Like you’ve done above- these people need to be called out- just because we are in a virtual world, does not mean that there is a right to a lack of respect.

  • mark pinto

    Very cool! As far as the troll you better get used to people hating you, because it comes with success! It even worst when its people close to you smh. anyway, you are the light that blinds and frustrates some but leads and inspires most keep doing your thing! Thanks for you help!

  • Rob at best plasma tv brands

    Pat, great to see you are creating amazon affiliate sites! I have been experimenting with these myself. Maybe you could give us amazon affiliate tips ?! Great results for December. Keep up all your good work. Rob

  • Tipjar

    Hey Pat,

    I noticed from your income report that more than half your income comes from just 2 sources:

    Bluehost.com: $14,550.00
    Market Samurai: $4,683.36

    That’s pretty impressive, and according to Bluehost’s referral/affiliate page, they pay $65 per referral, so you’d have to refer about 220 or so people to Bluehost. Is this a recurring income stream? If not, have you ever considered becoming a reseller and be able to collect a check every single month by selling your own hosting?

    Also, I’ve read your post about how you’re referring people…does this still stand relatively true today?

    • http://www.sybersquad.com Christopher Knopick

      Tipjar,
      If you sell (or resell) your own hosting you have to support your own hosting and if you are just reselling someone elses it can be a major PITA. Pat’s referral income is phenomenal, I wouldn’t mess with a good thing but I don’t make that kind of income either. Do you use Bluehost? I’ve been thinking about getting an account setup to try it out. I’m on Dreamhost now myself and find it pretty good.

  • http://www.findyourcashcow.com Taline

    Another fantastic month! :)

  • http://www.blast4trafficnow.net Michael Chibuzor

    This is a fantastic income report. I always like reading it and the motivation it brings is just too much. Thank you Pat and very soon, your income is going to increase the more because you are generous. Thank you and Happy New Year

  • http://www.lostcyclist.me Quinton Hamp

    Duuuude! Trolls Suck! Congrats on keeping your demeanor.

    Not entirely clean, but oh, so appropriate:
    http://youtu.be/FMEe7JqBgvg

  • http://stocksandgolfpodcast.com David

    Two things Pat. One, that troll pissed me off. I am the most mild mannered person in general, but if that dude was around in a face to face setting, he would have had his hat handed to him. (I would have punched him in the face.)
    Second, I love everything you do man. I just want to thank you.
    Sidenote: Have you checked out livefyre commenting system yet? It is pretty cool

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

    Question… you only have 4 of those affiliate links that are really visible, yet you’re making money from other affiliate programs. How is that possible? Where are you placing links to make people want to click them?

  • http://www.diabetescenterhq.com/ jonel

    Hey pat, I really liked the way you emphasize the importance of how to approach things especially on this type of situation (the troll). It’s true there’s no second chance for first impression. It made me realize the need to think before clicking anything online! Congrats for a great month of income:)

  • http://amzn.to/ABCbloglink Daniel Milstein

    That is so true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said “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”.I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from you!

  • http://www.londencity.nl LC from Londen City

    Hi Pat,

    Congrats on your December earnings!

    I would just ignore the troll. Having Such a popular blog like SPI, I think it’s inevitable that you attract a lot of nice people, but also people who unfortunately have bad intentions

  • http://www.QuitThe925.com Mr X.

    As always, nice job Pat!

    Having a plan, getting organized, and getting started seems to be the hardest part. You are a great example of someone making it happen, by consistently taking the right actions!

    Mr X.

  • http://onlineincomedollars.com/ Ilana

    inspirational as always…..

  • http://www.justlearnchinese.com Grace

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve followed your blog for almost three months to now. I’ve learned a lot from your tutoring posts and can’t wait to apply them into my own business. However, my blog – a learn Chinese online free blog – is quite young (only about two months old). I’ll just focus on building quality content first and then explore a way to gain some income using all the help and resouces from your blog.

    You’re doing not just great, but super awesome!

    Congrats on your accomplishment!

    Grace

  • http://vienchinh.net vienchinh

    i wish i can do

  • brian

    hey pat,

    just wanted to let you know that your market samurai affiliate link seems to be broken.. you may want to check out other aff. links to make sure they’re working!

    • brian

      nevermind! marketsamurai.com is down.. not your link!

  • http://www.sybersquad.com Christopher Knopick

    Hi Pat,
    Fantastic news as usual. I’m finding that I’m looking forward to these monthly info posts and rooting for you like a sports team. Hey maybe you could compete with others in a Fantasy Bloggers League, for income results…yeah probably not. Anyway I made $1.40 last month from Amazon and it really makes me want to increase it. You’re a great inspiration, keep it up.

  • http://teeballbaseballblog.com Tom

    Pat,
    Great update as usual. I have two kids and know about getting sick. It’s not pleasant and I always worry about catching something. Just be sure to eat right, keep your kids hands clean, and get plenty of sleep.

    Tom

  • http://plrjuice.com/ PLR Juice

    Pat, thanks for being so detailed in this! Money coming form all directions, love it. And you gave me some more ideas to try and knock out. Lot of content here, glad a friend at BTF recommended I check you out.

    - A. Marc

  • http://www.leanmassgains.com Neil

    Hey Pat, I just wanted to drop by to say THANKS! (I don’t normally use capitalisations, but I needed to shout this one out) I’ve had a website up for a few months now, and to say the sales page for my book was sickly is a massive understatement. I read through your “How To” book on writing e-books, and was really impressed with the content and the advice on how to build a sales page. So I completely ripped off your sales page from LEED academy (the structure, not the content as my book has nothing to do with that) and guess what? I made a sale the same day I made the changes! I’m anticipating a load of extra business with just a few minor changes (making one part of a package a bonus and adding testimonials) and it’s down to your brilliant advice. Many thanks indeed!

  • http://eclerstudios.net Paul

    Pat,
    your numbers are VERY impressive, especially iPhone’s for me. I’m an Android developer and you inspired me to started my own blog and I’m going to publish my monthly Android earnings reports too. Thank you!
    Paul

  • http://www.webbusinesstoolbox.com/blog/2012/01/08/7-reasons-to-create-your-own-iphone-app-and-how-to-do-it-with-a-wordpress-plugin/ Monja

    Congratulations to another great month, Pat! I don’t think there are many blogs out there which deliver such great content over a long time, so you well deserve it. Happy New Year to you and yours

  • http://www.expressiphonerepair.org Matt

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog so far! I just found it yesterday via Youtube when searching for HTML info for Facebook. Thanks for the great info!

  • http://SarasotaMediaFarm.com/sarasota-video-production/ Stratton

    Hey Pat, Wanted to ask you a question. In regard to your backlinking strategy – the “New Blogs” & “Web 2.0 properties” that you build. Every blog or Web 2.0 property has to have an Email address to set up, So the question is: are you using “different, new, also called phoney” email accounts to initially set these new blogs up?
    If you use your “Known” email address “G” knows it’s “you” sending traffic to “yourself.”
    Also how effective is this: I’ve noticed that “G” has gotton very particular about giving credit for backlinks from these type of “unranked” “lowlevel” blogs or are you counting on “Quanity” over “Quality” in this backlinking method?

    Thank You

  • http://www.hvacjobstraining.com Michael Glover

    Pat…I discovered you on iTunes early on and have been following you since.
    I’m also a LEED AP and CEM.
    You mentioned copycat blogs of your niche sites. I have discovered an exact copy of one of my sites. Is there anything you do or that I can do to shut this guy down?

  • http://www.netcodeman.com/ PHP Developer

    Copyright issues are a pain. When you are doing well on the internet some will copy your site. I’ve had several people copy my website. I call them and ask them to look at my site and then I ask why they copied my website. They are caught flat footed.

    I’m very impressed with what you have accomplished in just a few short years. Congratulations!! An inspiration to all of us!

  • http://blueivycarter.blogspot.com Blue Ivy Carter

    That’s a nice sum of income, Pat.

  • http://rose9.bravejournal.com/ Rose

    I had a good December because I mainly earn through Amazon. But January has been worryingly slow so far (though it’s only the first week and may pick up. I hope!)

  • http://youngadultfinances.com LaTisha

    Another great month! I’m glad to see that you handled things in a positive manner.

  • Mark Conger

    It occurred to me while I was reading about your troll woes that this guy might be trying to get several popular bloggers to give him some heated feedback that he can use to build an anti-Pat Flynn site (or some other high profile blogger.)

    Thanks for not giving in to that. You’re leading by example, Pat. And, I think I speak for the majority, we appreciate you for it!

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.porter-cable-compressor.com Stephen Mol

    This comment is for anyone to reply to, but I would like to know if anyone out here has purchased Corbett Barr’s affiliate marketing for beginner’s course? I’ve been told that it’s not worth purchasing, yet reviews I’ve read online say it teaches affiliate marketing really well.

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

    Wow! still above the $35,000 keep it this way, I want to be like you when I grow up hahahahaha, congratulations and let’s hope this year you can double your numbers :D

  • http://www.simpleimsolutions.com Bryan @ SimpleIMSolutions.com

    First off, congrats on another great month! That’s one heck of a way to close 2011 if you ask me!

    Second, there are lots of negative people out there. The sad thing is, there are even more negative people that sprout up the more successful you get. It’s never good when someone tries to defame your character, but you definitely handled it the way it should’ve been handled. Sometimes it can be hard to not let things get to you, especially when it is something you are passionate about, so I commend you for turning the other cheek and moving on.

    On that note, I’m looking forward to your annual income report. Your income reports are what inspired me to keep on trucking, as well as create my own blog and follow a similar income reporting model to keep track of my own goals and successes. It definitely helps you stay accountable and on the right track :)

    Here’s to a successful 2012!

    Bryan

  • http://hotnigerianews.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-send-free-sms-to-any-number.html Ceejay@ opera free browsing

    Hi, pat.
    Congratulation to you always.

  • http://moneyonlinetalk.com/money-online-blog-sell-advertising-space-site Cashjay@ Ways to make money online

    I have always been a complete reader of your blog, and am hoping that one day i will be as successful as you. Congratulation!

  • Joey

    Which post are these troll comments on?

    • Pat

      Joey – you can find his email and my reply in the comment section of my post at Entrepreneur’s Journey, among several other places online now, lol.

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Holy cow Pat, you never cease to amaze me with value and it’s really paying off for you.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

  • http://www.redskinnyjeansus.com Mike

    Awesome results Pat, congratulations! I’m sure the difference between December & November was because of holydays. Will see your income growth in January.

    I’ve noticed that all your affiliate links look like http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/some-link and then it redirects to affiliate site (for example http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/buildmyrank redirects to http://www.buildmyrank.com). Why do you do so and how did you implement this redirection in WordPress?
    Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • Pat

      Hey Mike, I do this because the affiliate links for products are usually long and ugly, and this way I can more easily memorize (and say – for podcasts and videos) them. Plus it enables the links to be tracked so I can keep track of click-throughs. This is done using a WordPress plugin called Pretty Link. Hope this helps!

      • http://www.redskinnyjeansus.com Mike

        Thanks Pat, that really helps me.

  • http://digital-worldz.blogspot.com karan

    Man I’m impressed. Its really hard to do so many things at the same time and you do them perfectly. And i hv no words about the income you get from it. Its mind blowing. 4 years of hard work indeed.

  • http://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com Chris Green

    Well done on another awesome month Pat. I would say “keep up the good work” but that seems so trite because we all know you’ll do that anyway.

    So what I will say is “Keep accountable and don’t get tempted to go down the road of the Gurus..”

    We love you Pat!!!

  • http://topbestphonereviews.info/ zamahsari

    every time I visit your blog and see your monthly reports, I just say to myself that it seems impossible for me to follow great work. However, I learned many from your reports and I hope that I can change my life someday even not too spectacular like you have done for years..

  • http://www.profoundtigger.com Yuri @ profoundtigger

    Wow Pat, everytime i look at your income report i say to myself “This person is the king entrepreneur,” I’ve never seen someone have so many income coming from variety of source. I’d like to see more in the future.

  • http://www.idontknowwhattoblogabout.com Patrick Irish

    Awesome post Pat. Looks like your hard work paid off in December :)

  • http://patientcashflow.com Sam

    Props to you man, I hope to achieve what you have accomplished so far. I just got started blogging and am hooked!

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?Scholarships-For-Male-Nurses&id=5662018 Kylie

    Pat,
    Thanks for sharing your personal info. Now can you tell me how much money you spent for articles and SEO to come to this level on for ecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com??

  • http://techhelperonline.com Triston

    Pat,
    Thanks for sharing another inspirational income report, these reports give me hope for my future as well. I have been following you for quit some time and finally launched my first blog at the beginning of the year. With your great resources and help i hope to build a great blog, following, and to help as many people as i can. Thank you again, and cheers to another great year.

  • Jon Tucker

    Hi Pat,

    Congrats on another great month.

    There’s a major difference in your adsense earnings from SecurityGuardTrainingHQ and your other niche sites, I was wondering why this is.

    Is it because the SGThq site is older and more established, the niche that they’re in or just the amount of work you’re putting into the other niche sites?

    I’m looking to do some niche sites and I’d be interested in your oppinion of the reasons for the differences.

    Keep up the good work and here’s to a great 2012 to everyone here.

    • Pat

      Great question Jon – there are probably a few reasons why this is the case:

      1) The niches I’ve more recently selected are less competitive and although they are easier to rank for, they make significantly less. There’s definitely something to be said about educational and career oriented types of niches – like SGT and the LEED Exam.

      2) With SGTHQ, I went all out with it and it was my primary focus for about 2 months. Since then, my focus has been divided into other things, including various new projects I’m working on, and a growing son who takes up more time than ever, lol.

      3) Other niches are not Adsense sites – but affiliate sites instead.

      Happy 2012!

      • Jon Tucker

        Thanks for the info Pat. Have a great one.

  • http://www.makemoneymax.com Amit

    This is really nice income pat ..Thanks for the report it helps a lot

  • http://smskiirlaenud.blogspot.com/ Lynda

    Very inspiring post, having multiple streams of income is my goal too. I do not know do you have created your own product, it would give additional income boost.

  • http://kindleearnings.blogspot.com/ E. DL

    Looks like you ended the year with a bang, Pat. Congratulations on that one. As much as i still love content farms, i was never too successful with them–aside from earning a decent income from eHow back in the day. Other than that, affiliate links and related “money strategies” have not been my cup of tea. People like yourself prove over and over how persistence pays off in the end. Not only that, but the passion to help others whenever they need help.

    Just wanted to say congrats.

  • http://www.castlewoodtc.com Jeff Jennings

    That’s a lot of money made on adsense for securityguardtraininghq.com, how much traffic do you need to make that much?

  • http://www.nokiamobileshop.co.uk Gareth

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for putting all the work into these post’s, it really helps to inspire us.

    Great Work.

    Thanks
    Gareth

  • http://emarketingnewbies.com/ Mike B.

    Thanks for sharing this personal info with us Pat; it certainly lends credibility to you and all you do. I listened to one of the podcasts yesterday while shoveling 9″ of snow and committed myself to launching my first site; it went live a couple of hours ago. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • http://www.okinko.de Garlian

    Hi,

    thanks for sharing these informations! It gives me the power to always try my best, great inspiration for me :-) It is interesting how effective affiliate marketing can be, you have a lot of websites?

    Greetings from Germany!

  • http://www.aroundpublic.com Umer Iftikhar

    Wow. Such a nice blog and a nice blogger you are. I am really impressed Pat.

  • http://CashFlowsToo.com Monty Campbell

    Patt, your consistent effort and message are a source of not only encouragement but challenge. It is a challenge to raise to the next level when people are stooping to new lows. Its a challenge to be successful in a time where people need hope. Its a challenge to take a chance when it much easier to be complacent. Its a challenge to live by faith and not by site. I comment you on your success and thank you for the encouraging challenge.

    God Bless

  • http://filmy-download.eu/ HaZe

    Wow you have very nice earnings from your websites. Its awesome!

  • http://www.build-a-blog-site.com Joe

    Hi Pat,

    Great post, I always have a look here it’s interesting to see how others are getting on and of course learning from them,

    Thanks
    Joe

  • http://www.myhealthchoicesonline.com/site-map Jonathon

    Excellent post. You may have noticed that Matt Wolfe voted you #1 on his Business And Blogs site which is what led me back here.

    Duplication and copycatting is so obviously easy to do online. Anyone can take an article from one site, retitle it, modify it and rewrite parts of it to pass it off as their own. It’s also easy to take bits out of 3-5 articles on any topic and rehash it into one supposedly new unique content.

    My question here is how do you counteract those who virtually steal your complete niche site as you mention with your security guard training niche site?
    Is it something you just have to live with or can you actually do something about it? I’m no legal expert but surely intellectual rights must come into the equation here.

  • http://www.eustisshortsaleagents.com Jimmy Williams

    Really appreciate your sharing of how-to knowledge and putting up examples of your work. It does make one wonder why another would steal content from someone else. Guess it is an attempt to be greedy and not put in the hours of work to be successful.

  • http://www.alan-turner.net Alan Turner

    Pat, this was a real inspirational post and a pleasure to read. I have only just found your blog and have spent quite a bit of time reading through some of your other posts.

    Thank you for sharing your financial information, a lot of guts! Not something that the majority of marketers would do and I am sorry to see that people are just stealing your stuff, really sad. This post has really re-motivated me to look at some ideas that I had sort of forgotten about but I think could be really profitable.

    I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

    Keep moving forward.

    Alan

  • http://www.imstuartmcleod.com Stuart McLeod

    Not a bad end to the year Pat! Do you think the Amazon affiliate commissions rise in December is simply down to people shopping for Christmas?

    Thanks for continuing to put up your earnings, give others something to aim for! :)

    Cheers
    Stuart

  • Mike

    Hey, I just started rocking the GoArticles.com and other Web 2.0 backlinking thanks to some of your other posts. BTW, I am impressed by your earnings, especially BlueHost. Holy crap! I use BlueHost too and find them to be high quality and VERY affordable. I hope to get in on some affiliate earnings soon as I get my “how I earn money on line” site going in the next few months.

    PS — Sorry about the troll.

  • http://www.6tht.com/ Sokun

    Very very inspiring. I’m definitely following your footprints since success leaves tracks. I will never give up. Thanks for sharing from your heart, Pat.

  • http://area-code-lookup.blogspot.com/ Karen

    These monthly earning reports surely make my day, Pat. Nice to see how well your security site is going, congrats!