My Monthly Report – January 2009

This is the fourth of a series of reports that I will post each and every month summarizing my progress. I’ll first mention the major events that may have happened within the month that could have made a difference in my earnings. I will also break down the sources of my income so that I can keep track of how each one is doing. Lastly, I’ll conclude with the most important things that I learned and what I have planned for the near future. I’d love to respond to any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks!

Important Going-Ons in January

  • Finished and launched an audio version of my eBook.
  • Ran a fairly aggressive marketing campaign for my audio guide – at no cost. (I’ll talk more about this below)
  • I started my own company, Flynndustries, LLC – to protect my personal assets and create a more professional business identity.
  • I met with a CPA for the first time to get the financial matters of making money online straightened out.
  • I definitely met my goal of 150 subscribers for The Smart Passive Income Blog by February 1st. I was featured on a blog that brought in over 3000 unique visitors in one day, and as you can very well see, I now have over 500 subscribers. It’s amazing what “being nice” can do for you.
  • I started to develop iPhone applications with a good friend of mine and we have 3 underway as we speak. They should be on the market within a month or so. I’m really really excited for this project!

Income Sources

  • Ebook & Audio Guide Sales: 563 Copies – $17,788.63
    • last month: $10,900.70
    • difference: + $6,887.93
  • Google Adsense: $892.17
    • last month: $854.41
    • difference: + $37.76
  • Private Advertising (pro-rated): $433.33
  • eHow Earnings: $101.08
    • last month: $96.87
    • difference: + $4.21
  • Affiliate Marketing (various methods): $185.16
  • Gross Total: $19,400.37 in January
    • last month: $12,193.59
    • difference: + $7,206.78

Another record month in pretty much all of the categories. The launch of my audio guide is what definitely boosted the numbers, and I did strike a few more private advertising deals on my website as well. eHow was being weird this month and the earnings aren’t really updating as often as they should, but I did just about the same as last month, which is expected because I did not write one single article. I was actually glad to see the numbers at least earn as much as they did the month prior for eHow.

Important Things I Learned in January

  • To Increase Sales, Add a New Product. This sounds almost obvious, right? It wasn’t to me. After I wrote my eBook and it started selling in October, I was super stoked. I knew I had a winner and I was ready to sit back, relax, and just watch the money roll in. I was a fool. Because I had a product out there that was a winner that people trusted, anything new that I put out was sure to sell. Think about Apple and all of the new iPods that come out every 6 months. It’s kind of like that. So – when I finally launched my audio guide in January, they sold like hotcakes, especially to those who had already purchased my eBook. I wish I had done it sooner.
  • Have Someone Else Make The New Product For You. For the audio guide, I spent two or three days writing scripts and just gave them to a voice talent to read and record it professionally for me. Overall, this cost $1200, and I made up the difference within 2 or 3 days of sales. I was a little scared to spend that much money on something like this. But, if you remember way back when, I held a survey to my eBook customers asking if they would purchase an audio version of the guide if it were available, and 80% of them said they would. This is how I knew it was going to sell, so I had to trust my research. Ahh, the power of polls.
  • If You Sell Something To Someone, Make Sure You Can Contact Them Later On. Having something like an email list to contact your old customers is extremely important for many reasons. One, you can ask them for feedback for your item so you can improve it. Two, you can ask for testimonials which you can place on your website to help increase the believability and “reality” of your product to future consumers. Third (and this is what I’m really trying to get at here), is that you can let them know if you launched a new product. You know they are into whatever your new item is, because they already purchased your first one. This is a quick, no cost way to get immediate sales on any new products that you launch. When my audio guide came out, I immediately contacted all of my eBook customers. That being said, I didn’t just say: “Hey, buy the audio guide I just made!”. That’s a little impersonal. It’s better to ask how they are doing, be friendly, etc. and then just mention that you have a little something that might help. I also included a little discount code since they purchased the eBook already, which expired in a certain amount of hours. It worked like a charm.
  • Starting a Company and my CPA. I recently wrote posts about how I started my LLC in about 30 minutes, and also what I learned from my first meeting with a CPA. I won’t elaborate on these here – you can just click the links if you haven’t read those posts already. All I can say is that owning my own company is really fulfilling and I’m really glad I did it, even though I’m still learning all of the odds and ends.

What’s Next

Well, there is one thing happening very soon that will be the biggest moment in my life so far. I’m getting married on February 21st, 2009 to my wonderful fiancee, April! That’s only 19 days away!!! I’m really excited, and I’d be happy to share photos with you as they come along – if you’re interested. I guess my main goal is just to survive the last few weeks of wedding planning. I apologize in advance if the blog posts become scarce this month, but I promise I will do my best to keep up the pace I’ve set so far.

For February, I have a few income related goals that I’d like to pursue:

  1. Although the iPhone applications are in their developmental stages right now, all my partner and I can do is basically plan out how we’re going to market our apps. We plan to at least film one commercial that will air on youtube and will hopefully generate some steam and momentum for the applications before they launch sometime in March. I may be asking you for your help.
  2. I want to begin to monetize The Smart Passive Income Blog. I don’t want to shower the blog with tons of Adsense ads, but I may sprinkle a few affiliate ads here and there. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do yet, but I’ll definitely walk you through what I do in case you may be interested in doing the same thing.
  3. As recommended by my CPA, I plan to purchase Quickbooks Pro and begin to manage my new company in the way that it should. Putting my transactions in Quickbooks will make it much easier for me when I file for taxes each quarter. Also, I will get a business checking account and hopefully some line of credit for my business as well. Again, I’ll make sure I report on everything I do.

For subscribers…I think having 600 by the end of February would be pretty awesome. Per a number of requests, I hope to implement an email subscribing feature too.

Thanks again for reading my Monthly Reports. I enjoy writing them with the purpose of teaching you what I learned, so I hope you can take away at least one tidbit of advice from me. All the best to each and every one of you.

  • http://earlyriser-independentincome.blogspot.com/ Earlyriser

    Holy smokes, Pat. Nice work. Hard work is paying off.
    It’s strange, but having read your blog for 3 or 4 months, I feel a vestment and pride in your success. I say it too much, but you have no idea how much of an inspiration you are. I vote for getting a chance to check out some wedding pics. Best of luck to both of you.
    Andy

    Earlyriser´s last blog post..One of the reasons I want to have independent income

    • Pat

      @Earlyriser, Thanks a lot! Reading your comment made me smile, and I’ll definitely be sure to show a picture or two (or three) from our upcoming wedding once it’s all said and done. Maybe some from our Honeymoon too! Thanks Andy!

  • http://chasingthebull.info Dusty

    Wow Pat! Your earnings are incredible. As I have read your blog from the beginning, I too feel somewhat invested in your success and I couldn’t be happier for you. Being motivated is an understatement! Thanks for sharing this with us each month.

    Dusty´s last blog post..The Value of Money – What is $1 Worth to You?

  • http://www.thegreenninja.org jen brister

    Awesome! Best of luck on the wedding plans. I have a fairly laid back beach wedding coming up in April, so I feel ya! Just remember to have fun with it!

    jen brister´s last blog post..I Heart Pepperjam!

    • Pat

      @jen brister, Hey Jen! Good luck with the wedding planning. I think this is the most stressful/fun time of my life right now…haha!

  • http://www.singlemomfreelancewriting.com Jennifer

    Congratulations on those great earnings! It is amazing what reading someone else’s accomplishments can do for you.

    I have decided to hold off publishing my January update until Ehow finally posts January earnings totals. Hopefully within the next couple of days. *fingers crossed*

    Best of luck on your wedding and enjoy every minute of it!

    Jennifer´s last blog post..The Un January Update

  • http://www.personalfinancestartup.com/ Start-Up

    Wow, nearly $20,000 in one month! This is really motivating to get started on writing a few ebooks. I’d be happy with only half of the success that you’ve had. Thanks for all of the informative posts, it’s a great blueprint for those of us that would like to follow in your footsteps. Good luck with your wedding, one day after my birthday, it will be a great weekend!

    Start-Up´s last blog post..Comment on Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door by Steve

    • Pat

      @Start-Up, Awesome, Happy Birthday to you! Anyways, that’s the main purpose of this blog and posting my earnings – to provide some inspiration and a blueprint for success. I’m not more special than anyone else, so if I can do it, so can you! Take care!

  • http://attractathinneryou.today.com Suze

    Wow Pat. Like a couple of other people, having read your blog for a few months now, this is like a brother making it! Feels good! Love love LOVE reading your blog posts. Have fun with the wedding.

    Suze´s last blog post..From Loathing to Loving

    • Pat

      @Suze, I’m an only child, but I’ll consider you my sister :) Thanks a ton Suze!

      • http://attractathinneryou.today.com Suze

        @Pat, I could use a brother like you ;) thanks.

        Suze´s last blog post..Educate Yourself Thin

  • http://studenomics.com Studenomics

    Great job Pat the numbers are very impressive! Looks like you’re going to make over $200g in 2009 from home. This site is really motivating me to write an ebook, if only I could think of a great topic.

    Studenomics´s last blog post..How the Weekends Could Make You Rich

    • http://vikdulat.com/ Vik Dulat

      @Studenomics, I second that. I am planning on writing an ebook as well. Your blog rocks as well man. Just pick a topic for most college students or something that can be applied by everyone and you’re set :)

      Vik Dulat´s last blog post..Save money by bartering your services

    • Pat

      @Studenomics, Dude! I’m also very impressed with your blog. I remember just a month or so ago and after visiting it just now, I see you’ve made a lot of progress, that’s wonderful! Keep up the good work and success will be yours for sure. By the way, when I was in college, I would of loved to get advice about money. Too bad your blog wasn’t around back then for me. Good luck!

  • http://thehowtoworld.blogspot.com Jeff

    Simply astounding Pat! If I could half 1/10 of your earning success, that would be a dream :) Good to know someone is finding success in such difficult times!

    Jeff´s last blog post..Wrap-up of January 2009

    • http://vikdulat.com/ Vik Dulat

      @Jeff, The best thing to do Jeff is to start plugging away. Dreaming never accomplishes anything :) You have to put in the hard work.

      Vik Dulat´s last blog post..Save money by bartering your services

    • Pat

      @Jeff, Based on your goals on your blog, I’d say you’re well on your way. I hope you surpass me and make 20/10 my earnings. Keep up the good work, you’re on the right path. All the best!

      • http://thehowtoworld.blogspot.com Jeff

        @Pat, Appreciate your support… I guess the challange is on my friend! :p Hope February even better than January!

        Jeff´s last blog post..Wrap-up of January 2009

  • http://narutards.com Quoc

    awesome Pat! I can’t wait till the april and may monthly reports ^_~

    • Pat

      @Quoc, Yeah buddy! That’s when the iPhone applications should kick in some income, hopefully. If I get to even on those – I’ll be happy. I’m hoping for ecstatic though.

  • http://narutards.com Quoc

    Oh! an email subscribing feature would be great now that I’ve cut google reader from my life! haha

  • http://vikdulat.com/ Vik Dulat

    Congrats on the revenue :). I am sure you are going to keep going up and up.

    Vik Dulat´s last blog post..Save money by bartering your services

  • http://lifestylesoftheorganized.com/ Sarah H.

    Wow, it’s just incredible to see how much of a difference it made to sell an audio version of your ebook…fantastic numbers!

    With 19 days left until the BIG day, I’m surprised you have time at all to post to your blogs. :) Scheduling posts ahead of time is a beautiful thing. And so is passive income…because the whole time you are last-minute wedding planning this month, you’ll be earning money!

    Sarah H.´s last blog post..Meal Plan Mondays: 2-2-09

    • Pat

      @Sarah H., Thanks Sarah! Yes, the big day is approaching, and I think I’m going to spend a lot of time now to write some posts so I won’t have to worry about them later on. I just hate when blogs write and then all of a sudden stop. I don’t want to be one of those blogs.

  • http://www.aspiretograce.wordpress.com Terri

    Great work! I have only just begun to read your blog… and in good time too as I have just begun my own blog. So far, your discussions and suggestions are very insightful and I think I will definitely learn alot from you. Thank you for taking the time to share your life with us. I look forward to going on this journey with you over the next year. Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.aspiretograce.wordpress.com Terri

    One question to all on here… I noticed some commenters were able to include a reference to the most recent blog they posted in their comment. How is this done? Forgive me.. as I am new here =0)

    • http://www.personalfinancestartup.com/ Start-Up

      @Terri, when leaving a comment or a reply, make sure you fill in your website in the appropriate box. If the CommentLuv box is checked right below the “submit comment” button it should show your most recent blog post. Hope that helps.

      Start-Up´s last blog post..Comment on End of January 2009 Financial Status by pfincome

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  • Robyn

    Wow that is amazing! Great work – You’re a great inspiration! good luck with the wedding plans

    Robyn´s last blog post..January is Over!!!

    • Pat

      @Robyn, Thanks!! All the best to you too!

  • Average Joe

    Very impressive Pat! Congratulations! Life seems to be going very well for you right now…keep it up!

    Average Joe´s last blog post..What Should I Do With My 401(k)?

    • Pat

      @Average Joe, I hope I can Joe, I hope I can. All the best!

  • http://tbaldwin.tumblr.com Taylor Baldwin

    That’s awesome, Pat. Could you elaborate a little more on the iPhone development process? This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but I’m not sure how much time it takes, or if the development is very simple at all.

    Taylor Baldwin´s last blog post..Last night’s Jason Mraz performance on SNL was great….

    • Pat

      @Taylor Baldwin, I’m sorry I’m a little secretive of the iPhone application process right now. It’s kind of an Ace up my sleeve I’m trying to hold off detailing at the moment. Anyways, as far as developing, we found a guy on elance (there are a ton that develop iphone applications) who had a nice portfolio. We give him the idea (and some cash), and he gives us the app. Pretty simple. For length of time, he gave us about a month for a preliminary review (beta sample) and then another 15 days after to get rid of bugs, etc. So about 1.5 months in total I’d say. We’ll see, and I’ll definitely talk more about it in the future. Thanks Taylor!

      • http://www.passivefamilyincome.com pfincome

        @Pat, I am curious what you thought of using Elance? I used them a while back for some articles on a niche blog of mine and it was really helpful. I think it the right situation, Elance can be a great resource to help you save time. I would be curious to hear how your experience was once your app goes live.

        pfincome´s last blog post..Passive Income – How to recycle your cash flow

  • http://www.aspiretograce.wordpress.com Terri

    @Start-Up, thanks!

  • Eric

    Hey Pat,

    Congrats on your success so far.

    I’m curious what you mean by a more aggressive marketing campaign. What is it that you do for your marketing? PPC, Ads….

    Your getting married a day after my B-Day! Congrats again on that.

    -Eric

  • http://www.increaseadsenseincome.com Cindy @ IncreaseAdsenseIncome

    Awesome #s, Pat!

    And am I the only dork who noticed that in FEBRUARY, the wedding MARCH will be played for APRIL? :)

    • http://attractathinneryou.today.com Suze

      @Cindy @ IncreaseAdsenseIncome, yep. Very clever, though.

      Suze´s last blog post..Educate Yourself Thin

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  • http://readingchinesemenus.blogspot.com/ Camille

    This really is inspiring. Even though I suspect my own subject wouldn’t be as lucrative… I still gotta say WOW.

    Camille´s last blog post..Chun – A Quail of a Tale

  • http://www.passivefamilyincome.com pfincome

    Pat – Great job first of all. That is incredible work. How do you keep track of your customers – database? spreadsheet? How automated is your process to track your customers? I know you are a firm beliver in automating whenever possible.

    pfincome´s last blog post..PFI Weekly Updates – February 3 (2009)

  • http://www.radcaptures.com/blog Ryan

    Congratulations on such an incredible month! Keep on striving to break your monthly record!!! I’m beginning to write my eBook, and hope to have as much success as you. Hopefully, I can receive a little guidance and assistance on publishing my product. Thanks!

    Ryan´s last blog post..Photo Adventure #3, Balboa Park @ Night

  • http://nomadichome.com/blog/ Nomad

    Not sure about the need to add an email subscribe option. I only receive your posts via email and have done since I subscribed.

    Nomad´s last blog post..The Professional Nomad

  • http://myWAHM.blogspot.com Maria — WriterGig

    Very inspiring, of course, Pat! Way to go.

    Maria — WriterGig´s last blog post..Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide from Google

  • http://www.gregellison.net Greg Ellison

    It looks like another great month you had. Keep up the great work. Greg Ellison

    Greg Ellison´s last blog post..Getting paid to take a survey

  • http://clearlyenvizion.blogspot.com/ Clearly Envision

    Today is February 21rst. Congradulations!

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  • http://online-naweb.blogspot.com Online na web

    Congratulations on billing.
    Abraços

  • http://www.jotterbox.com Catherina

    Wow. You seem super organized! It really does pay to have plans detailed out rather than just going from day to day hoping it will work out. Well done to you!

    Catherina´s last blog post..RSS Directories with High Page Rank

  • Jeff

    OK…you have inspired me to share my own story…$120 in profit in my FIRST DAY. ALl my profits are donated to charity for my current project. But I have definitely cracked the code on how to make some cash…fast. Thanks for your insights, Pat…really appreciate it!

  • Jeff

    I just re read my last comment…It sounds like a get rich quick thing…Not at all. I spent 6 months developing my product…and in 3.5 weeks I have made $1500 in profit. All of which is being donated to Susan G. Komen.

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  • http://bella1104.blogspot.com Bella Casa

    Would love to see some more updates, Pat!

  • http://dietonautopilot.com Claudia / Diet on Autopilot

    I am impressed! It seems such a long way to go fo rme to reach that goal, but it motivates me to finally start developing my own product and get it out there!

  • http://www.queasystomach.com/ Tommy Hardin

    Important lesson that I am also learning “To Increase Sales, Add a New Product”. I am seeing this more and more and especially with what Google has done the last few days, I will also diversify and create more websites.

    Spot on Patrick.

  • http://www.amirrimer.com Amir Rimer

    Great post Pat!

    I specifically liked what you wrote about product creation:

    “To Increase Sales, Add a New Product”

    I tell many people who ask me how to to make money online that you should really concentrate on 3 important things:

    1. Create a blog – and write posts on a regular basis.
    2. Create a product – and put an optin box on it.
    3. Drive traffic – to your blog and websites.

    Then just repeat steps 1 – 3.

    Not every product will be a winner, but every product will create for you a stream of income that you didn’t have before.