My Monthly Report – October 2008

This is the first 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 for October

  • Launched my Ebook on my blog at intheleed.com on October 2nd.
  • Created smartpassiveincome.com on October 17th.
  • Started a new project, which is still in the works. I’ll reveal that once it’s ready.
  • Purchased 1-year of service with the Email marketing tool, Aweber.
  • Joined the Internet Business Mastery Academy.
  • Interviewed by Lindsay at Writingforyourwealth.com about my Ebook.

Income Sources

  • Ebook Sales: 309 Copies – $7126.91
  • Google Adsense: $596.31
  • Private Advertising (pro-rated): $183.33
  • Gross Total: $7906.55

A very successful month for me being that I was recently laid-off. It kind of sickens me a little to think that if I did still have my 9 to 5 job, I’d have even more money earned in the month of October – but what can I do. Again, I’m looking at it from the other side and seeing it as an opportunity for me to use my free time wisely and create new products and projects that will hopefully be as successful as my first.

I also had the best Google Adsense month I’ve ever had. My previous high was $485, which was for September. I attribute this increase to better Google Search rankings and also word of mouth. Hopefully, it will continue to rise through the end of the year.

What I Learned

1. The most important thing I learned is about the launch of my Ebook. In a nutshell – automation is AWESOME! I’ve set it up in a way that I am never needed in order to process and deliver a sale. I can be asleep or at the gym, and the book is still selling. I will teach you how this process works in future posts, but let me tell you – it’s the ultimate in passive income strategies.

2. Another tidbit is about my newsletter subscription on my other blog. I already have 125 subscribers in only half a month. If I started this back in January when the blog was first launched, I’m sure I’d have over a couple thousand subscribers. I would have been able to announce my Ebook launch to those people, and that would have increased my sales. Big mistake on my part. Get a newsletter service now.

3. One more tip I learned is about my new and upcoming project. I learned that you don’t have to do everything yourself. On my first blog, I created, designed and re-coded the entire website – all by myself. I did enjoy learning about the technical side of a blog and doing all of the design work and such, but the problem is – it took up so much time!

For my new project, I hired a person on Elance to design the website and graphics for me, and I’m really pleased with the results. Even though I paid for the service, I actually saved money by saving time (because time = money). And, I was able to work on other things while my Elance dude was working on my new project. In conclusion: Don’t be afraid to spend money for your business. Just be smart about it.

What’s Next

I have a new project that’s coming out soon. I will be using the blog platform to gain readership first, and I plan to again launch an Ebook for this project after a few months, depending on how Google reacts to it keyword-wise. That being said, I will start writing the Ebook soon, so I’ll be writing posts about the entire process.

  • http://www.writingforyourwealth.com Lindsay

    Awesome work, Pat!

    I’m so impressed by your success with your ebook. It’s great to be able to point people to your site and your ebook as an example of someone making great money who *isn’t* writing products for the “how to make money” niche. So many new internet entrepreneurs get sucked into promoting things to that crowd, when it truly is a lot easier to make it in other niches. You’ve got me mulling over possible ebooks for some of my existing blogs. ;)

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

  • Pat

    Thank you Lindsay! I’m glad I could be an example for your readers at your blog. My next project is also a non “how to make money” website. Hopefully, I picked a good niche – based on the limited knowledge I have about keyword research. We’ll see how it goes.

    It will be my first project that I actually start to purposely increase my income stream. Hopefully my experience with my other blog will help make my new project even better. Soon to come! Soon!

  • http://writeforehow.blogspot.com Julie

    Pat,

    Your success is so inspiring. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • http://www.howtomakemyblog.com HowToMakeMyBlog.com

    Wow amazing numbers in October! Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading more about how you automated the ebook selling process and also following your new book writing process.

    HowToMakeMyBlog.com´s last blog post..Simple Tip To Improve Usability, Stickiness And Page Views

  • http://onlinedividends.blogspot.com/ Online Dividends

    Wow that’s a great amount of passive income. I hope your book sales go as well in November, if not better!

    Online Dividends´s last blog post..Passive Income as of 10/31/2008

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

    I’m impressed and intrigued by the first month of sales for your ebook. Out of curiosity, how much did it cost for the professional website design and graphics?

    Start-Up´s last blog post..Biggest Lesson Learned from this Bear Market

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

    That is a good start! But tell me how did you sell 309 copies to 125 subscibers? What other techniques did you use? PPC?

    • Pat

      Claudia, most of my customers come from organic SEO from Google, who are not subscribed to the blog. I don’t really focus much on the subscribers, as my blog isn’t really a traditional blog where information is updated on a regular basis. It’s more like a static website, which allows me to focus on SEO and driving traffic and selling to customers that way, rather than people who subscribe. I hope that makes sense!

  • http://mynetmarketingland.com/blog1/ Franck

    I’ve just read a few pages on your blog, and it’s pretty impressive for a first try. It’s too bad your link isn’t working http://www.intheleed.com/

    All the best,
    Franck

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina (@CashCampfire)

    Your eBook success is amazing. How many daily visitors did you get on your other blog before you launched the eBook? I’m thinking about creating an eBook, but I’m afraid it won’t sell. Right now I’m trying to build up my subscriber count by providing valuable content. I’m hoping to have the eBook out in a few months though. We’ll see. I’m still a bit nervous.

    Christina

  • http://www.newyorkhardmoneyloans.com edwin

    I am a new aspiring ebook publisher, will be publishing my new 1st ebook by nov. 11, 2010 or before.

    By the way thanks for your educational blog, your free ebook on how to create ebooks which I am reading right now, I am using your ebook to help me create my 1st ebook it was referred to me by someone on warrior forum when I asked for help.

    Anyway, just wanted to make a comment on something, and that is your business model on how to get your sebookold out there via 1st setting up a educational blog on the subject matter being written about.

    At 1st it confused me since I thought this is the only way to approach selling your ebook online based on your feedback and experience on what worked for you period.

    I realized that this was your approach and a accidental one that proved to be profitable and a business model that can be used by others like myself just starting out.

    QUESTIONS:

    (1) Since you got started, are you still following the same business model of setting up a blog 1st to help you sell a new ebook if so why ?

    (2) Are you using other proven methods of marketing and selling new ebooks you publish that is a quicker method of generating immediate income vs having to wait several months to start making money online from your new ebook published.

    (3) Which do you prefer the more immediate online marketing methods to promote and sell your ebooks or the setting up of a blog 1st and adding content to the blog for 3 months before selling your ebook & and the pros and cons of each method if you have not already covered this somewhere on your blog.

  • David

    Hi Pat

    I am actually trying to read through all your posts her on SPI and follow all your trail on how all began and developed, hoping to learn all I need for my own blog plans. I am at a very initial stage and have to come up with a logo and my own wordpress theme. You wrote in this post that you outsourced all the work. I suppose you were talking about the SPI blog? How much did it cost you to get all this done on elance, you still remember? And maybe even remember the person you worked with? I really like the whole design and set up of your blog, so having a blog designs that is as appealing as yours would really excite me.

    Thanks in advance for your support!

    Best regards from Greece,
    David

    • Pat

      Hey David! Thanks for going through all the posts, I often wonder if people come back and read these old posts. It’s good to know :)

      For the SPI blog, I did outsource all of the work. I actually went through 2 designers before I found I liked, Michael from http://visionmasterdesigns.com/

      He did the first iteration that I was quite happy with, and then I found another designer to tweak it a bit more. Those guys can be found at http://www.blazersix.com, and then first did my site at greenexamacademy.com.

      Cost wasn’t more than a couple hundred bucks initially. Hope this helps! Cheers!

      • David

        Thanks so much Pat! I was actually about to write that it’s not necessary anymore to write an answer because I just arrived at your last entry from November 2008 where you wrote a post exactly about that and you also mention Michael there. I just sent him an email to let me know how we can ideally go about this. Of course I didn’t forget to mention you and that a blog design/organization like yours would really be what I am aiming for :)

  • http://www.EscapeThatCube.com Jason

    Hi Pat,

    You have heard this many times before, but this is a great post. I just found your website today from a good friend of mine and really love your story. You are really bringing value to the industry and giving people that earn a living online a good name. Thanks so much for your transparency! I will now be coming back daily to find your latest post and information.

    All the best,
    Jason

  • http://www.smartrebel.com/ Diego

    Hey Pat, are the affiliate profits from this site alone? or you have mini sites were you promote those?

  • Joshua

    Hi Pat,

    I must truly say your blog is very inspirational and insightful. It has convince me on finding the right niche to start up my own website. I know if I satisfy a need and help people, passive income will follow. I truly believe being successful is simply based upon hard work, dedication and the ability to focus on the task at hand.

    I look forward to reading your blogs for further guidance and inspiration!

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  • http://www.makinginternetmoneyinfo.com Vickie

    Hi Pat,
    I got your free Ebook and I think it is one of the best products out there. It’s going to take me a long time to absorb all of that content and use it. I am jazzed to have come across your blog because up to this point I had not found much out there that ws trukly helpful….mostly just information overload and products that were not so helpful really.
    I love your site and hope to have my blog grow up to be just like yours!
    Thanks for all the great stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/nico.schweinzer Nico Schweinzer

    Hi Pat. Wanted to ask, how ebook sales added up to $7126.91. You said you had 309 sales which results in 23 Dollars and 6 Cents. Was that the price? 23,06?

    • Pat

      The price was originally $19.99, then I changed it to $19.95, then raised it to $29.95. Plus, I ran various promotions with coupon codes during the month.

  • http://allaboutjourneys.blogspot.com Cindy

    I have to share I just got my ticket to ride on this Internet Surf and wanted to share that ‘we’ are out here reading the ‘old’ posts. I started back at the lay off. LOL Thanks for the honesty – my husband was laid off a year ago – yep – 12 whole months and in this economic climate and chasing 60 they aren’t knocking the door down – so I blew the dust off the keyboard, got me a notepad, found my readers and the wind of progress blew me into your garden. Hey I am even going to give it my best shot to take you up on that Challenge issued today 9-16-11. But first and foremost, thank you for sharing and caring it will certainly take care of a few of the pot holes without a doubt.

  • http://sybersquad.com Christopher Knopick

    Pat,
    I really like the idea of bringing old posts back up to the forefront so that new readers can profit from the knowledge. Wasn’t that a Derek Halpern suggestion? I’m still amazed at how quickly you got going. Seems like the ebook for sale was the difference. Well, I suppose the great content didn’t hurt either.

  • http://www.startyoungfinishfirst.com Tram Tran

    you truly inspire people. My goal is to be like you one day, both financially and influentially . Keep rocking Pat!

  • http://whatszentrepreneur.com @JudithZen

    Hi Pat,

    Love your blog. What a wonderful content rich treasure trove of information! I have a question for you and thought this would be the most appropriate place for it as it relates to your ebook sales from launch. I am totally fascinated and intrigued as to how you manage to sell 300 ebooks from day1 , or month 1. That’s extremely impressive for someone starting from scratch! How did people find out about your site from scratch? Did you do any pre-launch marketing? Did you already have a mailing list? Did people just find you from googling? Or what?

    I’ve just launched my ebook, still working on tweaking the site. My site has only been up for barely even 2 weeks. I’m on the front page “above the fold”, ranked #7 on Google on my site title, which is also my book title. No one even seems to want to download the free part of the book, a self-contained ebook in itself, let alone getting anyone to buy it. I don’t suppose there’s been much traffic to speak of either. Let’s just assume that my book has high quality, very helpful information. It does, honestly. The site looks beautiful and professional. The marketing part can be improved I know and I’m working on it. So it has nothing to do with the website or the product not looking appealing. I’m learning a lot as I go along and am about to revamp my new site drastically to make it more effective. I also got website #2 (this one linked here) up and running in the last week so haven’t been too focused on optimizing site #1 or marketing my book actively.

    Would just love to know your secret in managing to sell 300 copies of your ebook in your first month, if you care to share. Thanks in advance.

    I also want to say what a great community you have built on this site too. It’s wonderful to be a part of it and be able to interact with other enterprising people. I’ve also commented on Danny Iny’s recent post. You’ll be hearing much more from me here on your blog :).

    • Pat

      Thanks for the comment! It’s cool to see comments on older posts such as this one and it’s definitely an appropriate question in the right spot.

      The fact is, October was the the first month I launched my eBook and at GreenExamAcademy.com, however it definitely was not the first month the site was up. The site was actually created back in early 2007 (at a different, url – intheleed.com), and since then had amassed a huge audience, both via Google and via word of mouth in forums – so, by the time I wrote my eBook I had a ton of traffic and authority on the site already. I didn’t really expect to sell 300 in the first month (I had no idea what to expect), but looking back it wasn’t really a surprise because, again, of all the traffic and exposure the site had already.

      Hope this clarifies things for you! Cheers, and all the best to you! Thanks for all of your recent comments and I hope to see in the future!

  • http://whatsentrepreneur.com @JudithZen

    Thanks for the clarification Pat, and the super prompt response! That’s the way to go, getting the website and the following first! I wish I had thought of that before I wrote the book but I was so psyched and focused about writing the book that I didn’t want any distraction at the time. I did it from conception to launch in less than 3 months, with a full time day job as Mama—it was no small feat. I’ll get the traffic and my audience I’m sure soon enough, it just doesn’t happen overnight. Like you, I care about sharing information and helping people with what I do, it’s not just about trying to sell them something. People know that. And all the marketing tips I’m learning from you help enormously in finding and engaging my audience more effectively. Let this be a lesson for anyone who has an ebook or informational product to sell online: build your traffic and audience first! I have a 3rd related site in the pipeline. I’m going to get the site going first, then work on making the products and introducing them later. That said, there are certain pros for having a book published first, albeit an ebook, it does help with credibility and platform building.

    You are totally awesome for caring and sharing, and being an inspiration and an example! I’m sure you never get tired of hearing that.

    • http://www.familysponge.com Jadah Sellner

      Judith, your ebook looks awesome. I have a lot of single mama friends right now, and this is just what they need. Do you have an affiliate program? I would love to connect with you and share your book on my site with our readers. And I am a fan of anything zen. You can contact me here: http://familysponge.com/contact/

  • http://smallbusiness-trainer.com.au Graham Watson

    I am sitting here in my hotel room in Manila of all places. My wife and I are on our yearly jaunt through Asia away from our manufacturing business. I discovered your website about six weeks ago via a Podcast on Itunes. I’m sure you like to know how people find you….we do.
    I have set myself the pleasant task of going through all of your website during my holiday as I have been becoming increasingly interested in business online and decreasingly interested in our manufacturing one. It does mean I will have to focus one one at a time however, hence the holiday task.
    This website is a credit to you and it is very difficult to find someone with the stand you have taken. The internet is the BEST and WORST place for truthful information. I applaud you for this stand.
    The other thing that has only come to me is that you are not trying to sell me everything under the sun via the email address I gave you some time ago. This also is very hard to come by even though I have only been serious about this for a few months. Mostly, even well known sites send sometimes 20 emails a week…so I unsubscribe.
    Thanks once again

    Graham Watson

  • http://www.digitopi.com Tope Falade

    I started off by reading your most recent post, I was stunned. So I came all the way back to 2008 to start from the beginning. Impressive

  • http://www.inmarketingtips.com Kent @ Niche Marketing Tips

    Pat, I am very inspired to see your growth in these 3 years. You have created SPI brand from ground up. I hope I could brand IMT and scale it up like that. :)

  • http://inkom.com.au Dr Greg Nazvanov

    Hi Pat, great post

  • http://closeprotectiontraininghq.wordpress.com/ James

    You know what. I just had a read of your Jan 2012 income and thought – wow.. but where did this guy start. Now I read this one… I can’t believe that you earned such an amount in the first month… and what a climb up the income chain. I can only hope I can duplicate it (even just a little bit).

  • Oskar Gottlieb

    Awesome post dude :)

  • http://hotbloggingtips.blogspot.com Kanchan

    wow pat!!
    your first month income is so inspiring!! I also wanna make money like you!@!!!!!!!

    You’re blog and you’re articles are my best ones!!!!

  • http://www.aboutrunning.net/ Tommy Hardin

    With you stepping outside of your comfort zone and making that next step shows me a lot. An 8K month selling your eBook is awesome. This is the best blog for transparency. Thanks Pat.

  • http://www.familysponge.com Jadah Sellner

    I am a new fan! I run a parenting site – we launched 11/11/11. And we are working on our first e-book now. I am obsessed with all of your posts right now. And “ebooks the smart way” is on my to read list right now. I promised myself I would focus on creating product instead of consuming content, but I can’t pass up the abundance of information you have here. It’s actually inspiring me more and giving me some ideas along the way.

    P.S., we used to live in L.A., moved to Kauai for 3 years and now live in the east bay area. I have an almost 5 year old daughter, and my plan is for my husband and I to create an income online, so we can have the freedom and flexibility to rock out with our daughter when she needs us. Family time is precious to us.

    Thank you for creating awesome content and sharing helpful information. You are inspiring people to live out their dreams and help people too, so they don’t have to let this economy control their lives and well-being. peace&love

  • David

    This is awesome Pat. Your first earning make it clear that you are the man. You rock pat.

    I always love to read your blog post because anytime i read it, it do ginger me to work more and more online.

    David

  • http://www.shalusharma.com Shalu Sharma

    I am very impressed with the story. Your ebook sales figure is impressive. You did a great job of setting a website and then monetising it. I have looked around this site and I confirm that the information is second to none. You have the good old honest facts. A brilliant blog by all standards. Thank you.

  • http://www.google-wizard.co.uk Steve

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve recently found your website and I’m working my way through it. I’ve looked everywhere but can’t find any articles about how you wrote your first ebook i.e. what software you used if any to write the ebook and to design the cover plus a step by step guide to how you launched it, how you promoted the website etc.
    Best Wishes
    Steve

    • Pat

      Hey Steve – it’s all in my eBook, eBooks the Smart Way :) – you can see it at the top of my sidebar. Cheers!

  • http://www.google-wizard.co.uk Steve

    Thanks Pat, I’ll take a look now.

    Just working my way through your niche website challenge, struggling understanding the filters in Market Samurai! :)

    Best Wishes
    Steve

  • http://knighttask.com John Moon

    This is one of the smartest and interesting thing I have seen online!

  • http://milancole.com Milan

    It is inspiring to read your story and I love that you are willing to disclose so much about your success. Of course I think some people are mistakenly thinking that this represents income from your first month online. The sales of the ebook came from marketing on a website that you clarify had been up for more than a year.

  • http://www.seo.ba/ Nedim Sabic

    Hi Pat, thank you for this blog and this shared information. It would be really nice to read about how you choose the niche and how do you build the community around it, to sell at end a ebook.

  • CashFlowsto.com

    Amazing start. It all seems so so
    Poe when you look back on it. Turning lemons into lemonade you have do sa great job and I’m inspired to see your work.

  • http://www.referencement-gagnant.com/ Pierre

    That’s pretty awesome to see the start of SPI! :)

  • Jas

    Hi Pat,

    Today is my first time at your blog. I like to thank you for sharing this wealth of info. Very informative, very inspiring.

    I see your income reports and oct 2008 being the first. Is that when you started this business? How long before you earned your first dollar?

    Jas

  • http://createvalueshare.com Sibo

    Pat, your success on your first ebook motivates me on writing my first ebook. I joined IBMAcademy last weekend and I am still working on their module I. It seems really good so far. Thank you for your great referral.

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

    Hi Pat,

    I fully agree with you.

    I also strongly believe in the notion of building a blog first, and keep adding content to it for a few months / years to gain readership.

    Product launch comes after you have gained people’s trust.

    Many people struggle online because they want to sell immediately, and this simply doesn’t work.

    People will not buy from you if they don’t trust you.

  • Stephen Tracey

    G’Day Pat,
    Just wanted to thank you for all the free content and podcasts that you have posted on your blog. I first heard about you from Yaro’s interview a couple of years ago. I have downloaded all your podcasts and listen to the over and over again as I walk to work.. Thanks to you I have taken action and last month I earned $200 from an Australian accommodation affiliate program I receently joined. Keep up the great work..
    Regards
    Steve

  • http://capitalinside.com pantherius

    What a great story!

  • http://Local-SEO-Company.net/ Gregory Smith

    Hi Pat,

    Enjoying your blog bud!

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  • Alvin Wayne Weiss

    I really like the transparency of your income posts – very attractive and engaging idea.

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