My November 2009 Monthly Income Report

dollar-signI’m excited to share with you my monthly income report for November 2009.

Each month, I write a detailed report about where my online income comes from, along with the lessons I learned during the month and where I’m headed in the future. Part of the reason I do this is not only to help me keep track of how my businesses are doing, but also to let you in on exactly what kinds of things I’ve done or have planned to improve my results. I hope you enjoy this month’s report.

Important Going-Ons in November

November was a huge month for The Smart Passive Income Blog – the most successful ever. Here’s a list of the amazing things that recently happened:

  • I was featured on Yaro Starak’s blog at Not only was I featured in a blog post, but in a podcast interview as well. Yaro has over 80,000 RSS subscribers and an email list that is probably just as large, so you can guess how much new exposure this provided me. I was really happy to share my story with so many people, and am thankful to those of you who found me through Yaro’s blog and subscribed. Yaro, if you happen to be reading this report, I can’t thank you enough.
  • I also shared my story in two written interviews at the self improvement blog at, and
  • I wrote the most successful blog post I’ve ever written on The Smart Passive Income Blog: The Blogger’s Guide to Facebook, which was also mentioned in an American Express Open Forum blog post. I thought that was pretty cool.
  • My Annual Income Report, written on November 4th, showed up on the first page of for a few days. (A special thanks to Glen from for submitting the article for me!)
  • I was able to keep up with writing 3 quality blog posts a week.
  • The blog’s RSS feed climbed from about 1,300, to almost 2,000 subscribers.
  • I’m more pumped than ever to continue growing the Smart Passive Income brand.

In addition to all of that, the long awaited redesign of the blog is complete, it’s just waiting on me to finish up a product before it goes live.

So what’s this “product” about?

I’m taking my popular 10 post series about “How to Write a Successful eBook“, and converting it into a product that is more detailed, with even more information about how you can start from scratch and publish (and market!) a successful eBook for yourself. Since I first published that series, I’ve written a few more eBooks and have learned a lot more tips and tricks that I would love to pass on to you.

I’m serious when I say that this product could easily sell for at least $50, but as you know, my primary goal behind writing this blog is not to make money from it. I’m perfectly happy with the amount I’m currently earning from my other businesses, and my goal here is to help others who may be struggling to see success from blogging and internet business. So, I’m happy to announce that this product will be absolutely free.

Keep an eye out for it in the near future.

My primary business at is actually doing fairly well considering the holiday season. Sales are down, but that’s expected because the holidays are usually a bad time of the year for any test prep business because most people aren’t worried about passing or studying for an exam, rather they’re focused on their families and being happy, as they should be.

I made one minor change to my website which has actually shown me a nice increase in sales. I redesigned my banner ad (which links to my primary product’s sales page) on the top of the website to the one you see below:

Screen shot 2009-12-08 at 9.07.10 PM

I sort of combined a lot of my internet business knowledge into this one banner ad. Here’s what I mean:

  • “Click here to get…” is a direct call to action. Before, the copy said “The Secret to Passing the LEED Exam”, which doesn’t really tell people to do anything.
  • I included a big red arrow, which always directs people’s eyes to exactly where you want them to go.
  • I also made a couple of the graphics hang off the edge of the ad, to draw even more attention to it.
  • I included a visual representation of the product itself.
  • The words “Instant Access” are a great way to promote an electronic product, because the customer can immediatly receive the product after purchasing it.
  • The “Year-End Special Discount” gives people the feeling that they “must act now before it’s too late”, and it goes along with the season too.

Because of this minor change, I’ve noticed a 25% increase in clicks on the banner ad, and an average of 2 more sales per day, which is huge. That’s an extra $50 to $150 a day depending on what products and upsells they purchase.

Again, I’m only putting in about 15 to 30 minutes of work per week towards this website, mostly answering emails and checking my Google Optimizer testing numbers. I use my spare time to write blog posts here for you. I love passive income.

Time for the income breakdown!

Income Breakdown

Please note that these are figures from reports from each individual company for the previous month. It does not necessarily reflect the actual payment which, for some of the companies listed below, come 30 to 60 days later because of potential refunds.

  • Product Sales:
    • Ebook Only: $1076.17
    • Audio Only: $209.65
    • Ebook + Audio Package: $1,150.73
    • Total: $2,436.55
      • Last Month: $3,834.05
      • Difference: -$1,397.50
  • Google Adsense:
    • Total: $38.56
      • Last Month: $57.16
      • Difference: -$18.60
  • eHow Earnings:
    • Total: $186.90
      • Last Month: $198.18
      • Difference: -$11.28
  • Affiliate Earnings:
    • Total: $5,033.23
      • Last Month: $3,450.98
      • Difference: $1,582.25
  • iPhone Applications:
    • Total: $852.30
      • Last Month: $1,121.41
      • Difference: -269.11
  • Gross Total in November: $8,547.54
    • Last Month: $8,661.78
    • Difference: -$114.24

Things I Learned in November

This past November, I’ve seen the biggest growth on this blog I’ve ever seen. Although it’s obvious that the growth on my blog is due to being featured on other blogs, I want to say it goes deeper than that. There are 2 reasons why I think I was chosen to be featured on other websites:

1. People Remember Stories

Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, dedicates an entire chapter in his book about the power of stories. People remember stories, especially ones they can relate to.

If you’re thinking about starting an internet business in a particular niche, do you have a story to tell, or are you simply just trying to make money from it? There are stories behind both of my most successful websites, which I know has helped me develop personal relationships with my readers as they now know a little bit more about me than they would by going to most other websites.

Most of you already know the story behind this blog, but on my exam prep website, I talk about how much I struggled with the LEED exam when I first started studying for it back in December of 2007. I created the blog to make it easier not only for myself, but for the hundreds of thousands of other people who don’t want to struggle with the exam like I did. Even after passing the exam in March of 2008, I continue to make sure the most updated information is on the website for everyone.

Of course, if you’re going to tell a story, it better be honest and truthful, which goes along with my second point…

2. Transparency and Honesty is Attractive

As you know, I don’t really hide anything about myself or what I do online. I talk about my failures as much as I talk about my success. I don’t just give you the pros, but I give you the cons too. I even share my online income with you down to the very last penny.

I know this is attractive to a lot of people, because many of you have told me so! A few times a week, I get emails from people telling me they love how transparent I am here on this blog. It’s weird to me, because I’m just being me, and I can’t really imagine not being totally honest or hiding anything from people.

My advice to anyone doing business, especially online, is to be totally honest with everything you do right from the start. If you’re honest and genuine, people will listen to what you have to say and help you out when you’re in need.

Plans for the Future

I’ll be continuing to work on that free product and hopefully get the redesign of this blog (which is already finished!) up and running as soon as possible. You’ll know immediately when that happens, because you’ll come to the blog and see a different layout. I hope that you all like it :)

Lastly, April and I finished all of our baby prep classes and are now just waiting for baby Keoni to arrive sometime in mid January, if all goes according to plan. I’ve really never been more excited for anything else in my entire life.

Thank you all for your support! Cheers!

If you have yet to subscribe to this blog, please feel free to subscribe by clicking here.


  • @crowdmanage

    Pat, Not only is your blog transparent, but your business is also selling something people need, and that adds genuine value. Too often people get into internet marketing with the mindset of trying to learn how to game the system to sell diet products that rebill. I prefer your approach.

    • Pat

      Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. I even tried that for a while, and it didn’t work (plus, there was no motivation). Thanks!

  • Vincent

    Hi Pat,

    It is true that everyone love stories. Hearing you said that, it reminds me that successful blogs out there have their own unique story to them. Once again, thanks for sharing your monthly figures with us and I will be keeping a lookout on your new blog theme and ebook. :)


    • Pat

      Thanks Vincent! Working on it as we speak! Because the redesign is just waiting on me now, it seems like it’s taking forever…I just have to get through it and try and not cut any corners. Thanks for your encouragement Vincent! And thanks again for the interview the other day!

  • Franck Silvestre

    Nice monthly income. I first saw the interview on Yaro’s blog (excellent blog by the way), and I must say that it was a really inspiring story. I like the banner, great job.

    the Body guard marketer

    • Pat

      Hey thanks Franck! By the way, I like your article about why the differences in affiliate earnings for people. Very good read. Thanks!

  • Howie

    Hey Pat,

    will the site redesign look REALLY different compared to what we see now?….

    hm…I can’t imagine that there would be a ton to change or make different…

    • Pat

      It doesn’t look TOTALLY different. It’s still the same colors and basic layout. I think it’s just wayyyy more organized. If you remember how my site looked at the beginning before my first redesign (i don’t know if you found me before then), it sort of looks like that, but it’s amp’d up a little. It’s less crowded is the biggest difference.

  • mh

    Congrats on everything Pat! I love how transparent you are with this blog, letting us know what to do, what works, and what hasn’t.

    I hadn’t realized you were involved in affiliate sales; maybe I missed those posts…?

    Anyway, enjoy the holidays!
    p.s. visit my site anytime and leave feed back, if you can.

    • Pat

      Hey mh, actually, a lot of people have been asking about my affiliate sales, because they are indeed climbing. I’ll most likely write an informative post about this to fill people in.

  • Jackie

    I think that people enjoy the transparency so much because you go into great detail. It’s extensive. Most people are probably honest in their blogs, but they aren’t AS detailed.

    For example, I suspect most people with jobs don’t post their exact monthly salary and their name because anyone where they work could easily find it. That could cause problems in the workplace.

    Also it’s a lot more interesting to see exactly what works passive income wise and what doesn’t, as opposed to seeing that yup, I got my usual $900 this pay period.

    Thanks for including your app income, that interests me the most since there isn’t a lot of regular data out there on that.

    • Pat

      Thanks Jackie! I always love to hear your comments. I don’t know why there is so much taboo about salary and wages in the 9 to 5 world. I remember asking one of my co-workers when I was still working in an office, and he kept beating around the bush, and so did everyone else. That would make for an interesting post actually, hehe!

      Cheers Jackie, and keep up the great work with!

  • Oscar – freestyle mind

    Hey Pat, I would like to know more about your affiliate sales. Are you referring to affiliate products on your green exam website, here on your blog or in other websites?


    • Pat

      Hey Oscar,

      Actually, my affiliate sales are from my greenexam website, here on this blog, and a couple of other places as well (mostly AdWords, not on other blogs). I’ll write a post about this soon to fill people in. Thanks!

      • Oscar – freestyle mind

        Thanks for your reply Pat!

  • Sarah H.

    Fantastic Pat! I very much look forward to the blog redesign and the new product. I’m due to have my baby any day now so I can imagine how excited you and April are getting!!! :)

    • Pat

      Hi Sarah!! Awesome! Congratulations! Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl yet?

      You’re definitely going to have a beautiful camera subject once he or she is born :)

  • Dustin | Engaged Marriage

    Congratulations on so many things, Pat, but most of all the impending arrival of your first baby!

    I’m really looking forward to your e-book on e-books. I am ramping up for my first e-book, and I know following your process will result in success.

    I’ve also been waiting with anticipation to see your new site. I just changed my site’s look significantly, and I’ve received a lot of great feedback about it being more personal and matching my “brand” better. I am sure you’ll be doing the same with your changes.

    • Pat

      Hey Dustin,

      It seems like I’ve been talking about the redesign forever now, hasn’t it? I apologize for the delay, but I’m sure it will be worth it – i hope! Hehe.

      I’m lovin’ the new design Dustin, and really enjoyed your post about Christmas Gifts for Married Couples. It’s so cool to see your blog taking off. Keep it up man!

  • RJ Weiss

    Thanks Pat for the report – Believe it or not, I was just thinking that you hadn’t posted your monthly report yet earlier this week. It’s a great motivation booster.

    Congrats on your success and good luck with the baby.

    • Pat

      Hey RJ – yea, the report was delayed a couple of days because I was in the middle of a series of posts I didn’t want to break up, but here it is!

      Thanks for the goof luck wishes with the baby. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get even a little bit of sleep those first few months. Cheers!

  • Hynek Palatin

    Pat, I am really looking forward to your ebook! And by the way, the iPhone App total doesn’t add up.

    • Pat

      Doh! Thanks Hynek! I’ve fixed it now. Cheers!

  • Ian

    I might have asked this before Pat, but your affiliate earnings have now surpassed your own product earnings. Do you have specific niche sites that you promote products on? I can’t see anything on the blog that would earn you much.

    Would be interesting to know how you make your affiliate income.

    Another great post, by the way. You and Glenn Allsopp are the two that I look to for inspiration and motivation!



    • Pat

      Hey Ian,

      Glenn is definitely an inspiration for me as well. He’s got some great content and always pursuing new projects. Awesome.

      As far as my affiliate earnings, I haven’t talked much about it because they really haven’t started to take off until now. I think a post about it should be coming soon :)

      Thanks Ian! All the best to you!

  • Ms. Freeman

    Your candor is so refreshing. One of the reasons I like this blog so much is your conversational tone and the fact that you share the good and the difficult. You provide direction and ideas.

    Plus you share your income details….. :)

    • Pat

      Hey Ms. Freeman!

      Thank you so much for your kind words, as always! Cheers!

  • Omar

    Congrats on your ongoing success Pat. It is definitely an inspiration to continue working hard on my online venture.

    Wish you and the fam the best,

    • Pat

      Thanks man, and good luck with everything!

  • Patrenia

    A big hug for Pat! I have gotten great information from your initial ebook posts. I can’t wait to see what the actual ebook about ebooks will be. Thanks for sharing your life with us :-)

    • Pat

      Thanks Patrenia! I appreciate that :) I can’t wait for the eBook to be completed too!

  • Vance

    You continue to amaze. Still teaching everyone how to be successful while giving your monthly income report. The tips you gave about the call to action and other tweaks are the little things that so many internet marketers never share. I really appreciate what you illuminate for your readers.

    • Pat

      Hey Vance! Thanks a lot for your encouragement, it always makes me smile to hear people appreciate the little things like that. I’m glad you’re finding it helpful. All the best to you!

  • Diggy –

    Hey Pat!
    Congratulations on your success! I can see your readers jumping almost every week! :)

    I am working on affiliate projects myself (this time more serious) and hopefully in a few months the work will start to pay off!

    Thanks for your awesome blog posts and ideas! I learn a lot from you.

    Diggy! :)

    • Pat

      Hey thanks Diggy! Good luck with your affiliate stuff, let us know how it goes!

  • Azad Shaikh

    what i like the most is that you give your time to reply all the comments in your blog.
    Hmmmm when i will earn that much.
    Thanks for the share.

    Azad Shaikh

    • Pat

      Hey Azad! When I have the time, I like to respond to people because they’ve taken the time to respond to me first :)

  • Howie

    Hey Pat, that was a HUGE jump in your Affiliate earnings! Did you start offering a new product or something?….. :)

    • Pat

      Nope, just did a special promotion for one of my affiliate products, and half of it is recurring each month, so it piles on every month :)

  • Tim from My Passive Income Trial

    Hey Pat,

    Another great post, another super income report. Really looking forward to seeing the re-design (out of interest, what about the current layout prompted you to go for this?).

    For what it’s worth I think the honesty that permeats your approach is one the major reasons for the success you have (and deserve) with your blog.

    Keep it up and good luck with the last bit of the pregnancy.


    • Pat

      Tim, I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks! The it seems like time is flying so I’m sure the baby will be here soon :)

  • chris

    Have you made posts about what affiliates your promoting and how? I’m not asking you to I just know your very open about things and if I missed them I would like to read them. I obviously understand if you don’t, I sure as hell wouldn’t 😉

    • Pat

      Hey Chris,

      I haven’t had an entire post dedicated to exactly what I promote as an affiliate. One is sure to come soon though, since my affiliate earnings are doing quite well now. Look out for that soon :)

  • jen


    Guess what?!

    I just quit my job!

    • Pat

      Really!? Congratulations!!!

    • Jackie

      Woohoo! Congrats! (I had to chime in too.)

  • Tony

    Hey Pat.
    I’ve been kind if following you a bit since I heard your interview on the IBM podcast.
    Just found this blog and I just wanted to say that I think what you are doing is great. Its nice to see someone trying to help others a bit without sticking a $97 price tag on it.
    Good luck to your future and happy holidays…

  • Travis

    This is inspiring, as usual! I’m happy to hear about your new eBook. I have a few ideas for eBooks now. I’m going to use your recent four-part series to test the ideas, and then follow your eBook to write them. You are AWESOME for offering all this guidance for free!


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  • valentina

    Hi Pat,

    Congratulations on a nice income … and progress. I think that consistent effort goes along nicely and then boom! One day that pays off big time and that’s when exponential growth begins to take hold … looks like you are on that edge. That is wonderful.

    Wishing you continued success …………valentina

  • Azad Shaikh

    hey Pat, can you share the details about affiliates you are promoting. Just curious to know.

    Azad Shaikh

    • Pat

      In the next post, you’ll see the details about my affiliate income :)

  • Caleb

    Hey Pat!

    I am printing your blog post on a Blogger’s Guide to Facebook and will make it an official guide as I work on one of my blog’s fan pages. You’re an inspiration and a testament to what we can do online for business.

    Heard your podcast on Yaro Starak’s blog and am hoping to learn as much as I can from you and duplicate your success.

    Thanks for sharing this information and will plan ahead.

    Quick question: Initially, how did you begin gaining traffic on this blog? Same with the Green Exam Academy blog? Mainly through the content?


    • Pat

      Hey Caleb. Thanks for your kind words man! I hope I can help you along your journey :)

      As far as getting traffic, it was really about trying to create good content, something unique that people would be interested in, and also showing up in forums and other blogs as a commenter. It takes a while, but after you reach a certain point, it just begins to take off. Good luck!

  • Bob, FL

    Just found this site after clicking a link (for naming the eBook) from your twitter account which I was checking out after getting an e-mail that it had linked to my poor, neglected and practically forgotten twitter account.

    Since I have been in the unemployment line for the last 3 months I have taken a renewed interest in learning how to use the internet more to my advantage. So it wasn’t too diffficult getting absorbed for the last couple of hours with reading your blog. This site is as informative as it is inspirational, and I consider it a must read for anyone who finds themselves in the same circumstances as me.

    Looking forward to your future blogs. Good luck, much success and happy holidays.

  • Joel

    Hi Pat,

    Congrats on the site. You’ve got great content up here, and it has been really helpful in my own passive income journey (Thank you!).

    Each of your monthly reports is a reminder to me that it is possible to be financially independent.

    Have a happy, healthy New Year – And congratulations on your new baby boy!

  • Robert

    Wow, nice money. :-)
    But your Blog rox, so its ok. ^^

  • Luciano Schoolfield

    Geld verdienen
    Er ist auf der Suche nach einer Lösung für das Problem
    zu hause Geld verdienen kann zurzeit zu Tage jeder darum es für viele noch Probleme zu finden gibt.

  • Stepanie Braun

    Congratulations on a nice income … and progress. I think that consistent effort goes along nicely and then boom! One day that pays off big time and that’s when exponential growth begins to take hold … looks like you are on that edge. That is wonderful.

  • Hillary Geld Verdienen

    This is really a nice income!

  • Quek Kai Hock .

    I started reading your income report from (Oct 2008, the first one) till now. I want to let you know that you are inspiring me to just add value and let money just come to you… many thanks!

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