My Monthly Report – September 2009

dollar-signYes – it’s that time of the month again! My monthly report for September 2009 is due!

I love writing these reports because it’s a great way for me to summarize and look back at what I’ve accomplished in the past month. It makes me think about what I could have done better and what I will do the next time I’m face to face with the same situations. On top of that, and I think what motivates more than anything to keep this up, is that many of you seem to enjoy these posts too. I hope it’s not just because you like seeing my earnings, but because of the lessons I’ve learned that you can hopefully apply online as well.

Important Going-Ons in September

This month, I really felt like I got off my lazy butt and began to do some real work again. One thing about living the passive income lifestyle I’ve recently experienced is that it’s VERY easy to get sucked into a mindset where you think you can always put things off until later. You’re making money (even in your sleep) so there’s no real urgency or need to work on other projects.

Luckily I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with some extremely motivated people this past month who have inspired me to begin new phases in my existing projects and take things to a whole new level.

GreenExamAcademy.com

As of 11:59 on September 29th, the domain name intheleed.com was put to rest. It’s in heaven now. This i know because it’s what saved my life after my layoff last year. Thankfully (after quite a bit of chatting and research online), the 301 redirect that was in place for just about a month helped Google understand that my domain name was changing, which did a GREAT job of keeping a lot of my search engine optimization efforts from the past year in tact.

A 301 redirect, in basic terms, is a method of forwarding information from an existing website address, to a new one – permanently. For a month’s time, if you went to intheleed.com you were immediately redirected to greenexamacademy.com, which is the address that showed up in your browser. Google’s magic spider bots crawled through my 301 redirect and basically told Google that I wanted greenexamacademy.com to be the website in Google’s database. It takes some time, but it seems that the one month I had to do this was just enough. I’m still ranking in search engines for certain keywords. [Happy dance!]

It’s a bit complicated, so if you’re ever in a situation where you want to do a 301 redirect, just pay someone to do it for you who knows what they’re doing. Ask for some extra time if you ever need to terminate the original website entirely. The BEST thing you can do is just not put yourself at risk of having to do something like this in the future, which means making sure your domain name doesn’t infringe on any possible trademarks, like mine did. Even though I didn’t do it on purpose and I wasn’t even planning on taking the website this far when I started it, I still had to change the domain name. Lesson learned.

Smart Passive Income

Right now I’m in Phase One of expanding the Smart Passive Income brand. This means I’m getting everything into place before I can go full stride into content creation, syndication of that content, and pure traffic generation. I currently have a VA (virtual assistant) working on optimizing the blog and another working on my podcast introduction. I’m also expanding the brand by creating accounts in places where I will eventually add content. Here’s a diagram that kind of explains how I want everything to connect:

passive-income-diagram

I’ve learned that in order to actually brand myself and my blog, I can’t just blog. So if you look at the diagram above, my blog is in the middle, and everything from the podcast, my Facebook account, YouTube videos, and my Twitter account are all connected to not only my blog, but to each other in one way or another. It’s my network! This does three wonderful things for me (in theory):

  1. The arms of my brand reach out to a variety of extended audiences. I’m sure I’ll reach people through my podcast who would never have found me otherwise. And I’m sure people will find me through YouTube who would have never found me on Facebook or on Twitter.
  2. Secondly, it helps me spread the word about my brand easier and really defines it as more of a brand instead of just a blog. Through teaching via different media (reading this blog, listening via podcast, and watching on video) I can cover all learning preferences. In addition, it will probably be more likely that someone will link to me on their own blogs or pass me on to their friends, which would help me reach even more people.
  3. Thirdly, having everything interconnected and flowing around the same topics will help with search engine optimization. All of these social media platforms have high page rankings. For example, Facebook has a pagerank of 9 out of 10. If you link to your blog from a Facebook profile or business page using a keyword in your anchor text, for example, that page ranking goes through to your website and helps boost SEO for those keywords. Woohoo!

I actually recently created a facebook page for Smart Passive Income. Feel free to click over to become a fan and see how it works.

This all may seem super complicated to you, and you may even be thinking that this is way too much work, especially for a blog that talks about passive income. Let me set this straight – what I’m doing right now isn’t passive, obviously. I’ve already setup my passive business and it’s running on auto-pilot. I’ve had the time to create this blog and teach and inspire some to do the same. Now, I’m doing all this planning and using these kinds of methodologies to reach as many people as possible and build a brand and reputation with Smart Passive Income. It’s not what I teach, but I’m happy to share with you my plans and where I’m taking things. I hope that makes sense :)

Anyways, I think it’s time for the actual numbers for September, 2009:

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.

  • GreenExamAcademy.com Product Sales:
    • Ebook Only: $2081.50
    • Audio Only: $89.90
    • Ebook + Audio Package: $3602.55
    • Total: $5,773.95
      • Last Month: $5,175.68
      • Difference: $598.27
  • Google Adsense:
    • Total: $87.65
      • Last Month: $125.00
      • Difference: -$37.35
  • eHow Earnings:
    • Total: $188.92
      • Last Month: $188.47
      • Difference: +$0.45
  • Affiliate Earnings:
    • Total: $3,123.67
      • Last Month: $3,745.81
      • Difference: -$622.14
  • Gross Total in September: $9,174.19
    • Last Month: $9,234.96
    • Difference: -$60.77

I really wasn’t expecting to break $7k this month, so I’m extremely happy with the results. The reason I was expecting less was because of the domain redirect which I spoke about earlier, but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference. The real test comes in October, now that the old domain isn’t redirecting anymore. I’ve seen a number of sales go through already, so at least I know it’s working.

Things I Learned in September

First of all, it’s true – pregnant women get cravings, and as a husband it’s your job to get whatever it is your wife is craving…or else! April is almost entering her third trimester and she’s doing great. The doc says everything is on track for a healthy baby. Now me, on the other hand – we’ll see how that goes. I signed up for a first time daddy class where I’ll get to hold real babies and change diapers and stuff. I’ve NEVER held a baby in my entire life, so you can be sure I’ll be paying close attention to everything.

Another thing I learned is that if you’re trying to do business online, people will straight up tell you you’re an idiot, and that you will fail. Like Erica says, They’re All Going to Laugh At You.

In a little mastermind group I’m in, there was a discussion about what are sometimes called “Energy Vampires.” Steve from Success Factors writes a nice post about this, but let me elaborate. Energy Vampires are those people who bring you down when you’re trying something new, or going for something big. These types of people can exist in all parts of your life – at school, at work, and even in your own family. When I started doing business online, I was lucky enough to have the support of my fiancee (now wife), and my family and friends as well. Without them, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.

In this online business mastermind group, one member said his own mother was kind of doubting everything he was doing online, and the thing is, he’s successful! Other people started chiming in about their own experiences, and I have to say, everyone has kept their heads high and never gave up. They all know what they are doing is the right thing to do, no matter what anyone else says. Kudos to them, seriously.

It makes me wonder how many people have stopped reaching for their dreams and goals because of what other people have said to them. It makes me wonder if someone was so close to finding a cure for cancer, but it never happened because someone else told that person they were wasting their time.

If you’re ever in that kind of situation, you have to stay persistent and just let those words bounce right off of you. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you what you can or cannot do. If you’re ever down because of what someone else said, get together with a group of people who are reaching for the same goals. Groups of people pick each other up when in need. This is why a mastermind group, like the one I’m in, is so great. We all have common goals, and if anyone ever says anything to us, we all have each other for support and to prove that what we’re doing is the right.

So, I’ll leave you with one final thought…

The Smart Passive Income Blog is almost exactly 1 year old! In addition to an October monthly report, I’ll be doing a YEARLY report as well. Have a great weekend everyone, and here’s to your success!

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  • http://www.DanLilly.com Dan

    Pat… so good to see that you are expanding the site… I love reading your posts.

  • http://www.carlstips.com Carl Coddington

    I really look forward to the monthly reports. I’m sorry your AdSense went down, but it wasn’t much.

    Otherwise, everything looks like it’s going in a good direction :)

  • Ian

    Very inspiring to read this! What kind of traffic does greenexamacademy.com get to generate those sales numbers?

    Also, are your affiliate earnings through this blog, Green Exam Academy or other niche sites you have?

    I’m struggling at the moment to justify to my girlfriend all the time I’m spending on this and not with her (she’s pregnant too!) and it’s harder when I haven’t made any money yet.

    Cheers for such a great blog,

    Ian

    • Pat

      Hi Ian –

      Right now, it’s averaging about 14,000 visitors a month. I also have affiliate earnings though both of these websites, as well as twitter and a review page for the Internet Business Mastery Academy.

      It can be difficult to justify this kind of thing when you’re not making money yet – but the thing is, it takes time to get to that point where you do begin to see money. Unlike the dollars for hours model, you can’t just work 8 hours and get paid right away (or know it’s coming in an upcoming paycheck). But, if you do it right, you can work 8 hours now, and have it keep making you money indefinitely. Congrats on your baby though. I think we’re in for a ride!

  • http://www.EngagedMarriage.com Dustin | Engaged Marriage

    Looking good, Pat. I look forward to seeing your numbers grow once you get the new brand rocking!

  • http://deneilmerritt.com Deneil Merritt

    Pat you are always inspiring to me. Good to see the site kept most of its rankings in google.

  • http://sarahhallphotography.wordpress.com/ Sarah H.

    Great news about the SEO not being too damaged when you switched domains. It looks like you handled the process really well.

  • http://www.themoviebanter.com Craig

    Looking forward to the new content. Curious why you didn’t include iphone apps in your report this month.

    • Pat

      Well, I should probably begin to incorporate that into the earnings. I didn’t do it at first because I didn’t want it to skew the numbers from the previous months, but I don’t think that’s a big deal. It is indeed another method of income and I should be adding it in. I think a lot of people are interested in how that’s going as well. I’ll probably end up writing a report about it :)

      Thanks Craig!

  • chris

    I just want to let you know that your blog is probably one of the only money making blogs I read now. Every other blog I see is just fluff praying that you will click their affiliate link and sign up.
    Kudos for actually having a GOOD blog.

    • Pat

      Chris, thanks a lot for your kind words – I do appreciate it. My main motivation behind this blog is not to make money, but just to share my experiences and motivate and help people create opportunities for themselves online. To hear that I’m one of the only money making blogs you read is really an honor. Thank you :)

  • http://makeonlineincomemoney.blogspot.com/ Niche Momma

    You know, I look at your earnings for ehow vs. adsense and wonder why I even bother with niche blogging. Then I look at your affiliate earnings and think I should probably learn more about that.

    How long have you been doing adsense? Ehow I seem to think you’ve only done for several months, right? Is adsense the same timeline?

    M

    • Pat

      Hi M,

      Well, don’t be fooled here. I’m not actively doing Google Adsense right now. In fact, I took it off my site entirely to keep customers there. I still earn income from some of the archived pages on my site though.

      That being said, before I took adsense off, I was making a few thousand a month from it. Check out some of my earlier income reports, you’ll see the adsense earnings and how much larger they are compared to now.

      I’ve been doing adsense since I started doing things online about 2 years ago. Ehow, I’ve literally put in just a month of work, and just left it at that – and it still earns me a good $150-200 a month consistently.

      It’s hard to compare eHow with Adsense, because on the income side of it, they are different players in the game. (even though your eHow earnings come from adsense clicks on those articles you write).

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

    That is some nice work that you are doing. I also love reading about people’s income reports and I also do my own on my blog. I love to go back and see what I have done and haven’t done. Keep up the great work. Greg Ellison

  • Howie

    Found my way over to your Facebook page, Pat…once again, great post!…..

  • Howie

    Hey Pat,

    I’ve been contemplating setting up my own blog, as well….I found my way over to Barnes and Noble and forked out a good $100 or so for a whole bunch of books about everything from Web Design to SEO…..there sure is ALOT of material out there to learn…..I devoured those book with non-stop reading all last week….

    I have had people tell me to secure 2 separate domains….a really old one and a really new one…and have the old one direct to the new one….have you heard anything about doing this? Is that kind of like what a 301 redirect is?….do you do that for Smart Passive Income?

    My understanding is that the older domain is already familiar to Google and wouldn’t take quite as long to rank high for targeted keywords, as opposed to introducing an entirely new domain to Google….

    • Pat

      Hey Howie! There’s definitely a ton of material out there regarding web design, online businesses, internet marketing and blogging. Which ones did you pick up?

      As far as having two separate web domains, you can do what you said, and that would indeed be a 301 redirect. Are these domain names you’ve had for a while you’ve been waiting to work on (as far as the “old” domain is that you’re talking about)? For this blog, I just have one domain only.

      An “older” domain name might have a little bit more juice to climb the rankings, but after a month or so, no matter which domain it points to, Google will know which one is your main site and just index that one. It’s the content and the links that connect to your blog that really count.

      Some people have a domain point to another is because it’s an easier domain to pronounce or remember. If your main website that you’ve had for awhile is at dog-training-is-fun-for-everyone-including-your-mom.com, then you may benefit from having an easy to remember domain like fundogtraining.com forward back to the original – if that makes sense.

      Anyways, good luck on your new blog. Please let me know when it’s up, I’d like to take a look around. Cheers!

      • Howie

        lol…where do I begin?…

        I don’t go on big spending sprees very often (I leave that to my fiance…)…..

        I ended up picking up:

        1) Head First: Web Design
        2) The Ultimate Marketing Toolkit (2nd Ed.) (Paula Peters)
        3) The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web (Tamar Weinberg)
        4) SEARCH Engine Visibility (2nd Ed) (Shari Thurow)
        5) The Ultimate Guide to Network Marketing (Joe Rubino)
        6) The Social Media Bible (Safko/Brake)

        …..I think I covered just about all my bases there…lol….I mowed through all of them last week (well, except the Social Media Bible…because that one is just REALLY long….more of a reference….)

        Have you read any of those? My fiance and I were studying in the coffee shop at Barnes and Noble…I told her I was just going to take a stroll and only buy one book….much to her surprise I showed up with two big bags worth…..lol….(impulse buyer extraordinaire, just like her)

        • Pat

          Hey Howie,

          Haven’t read any of those books. Actually, the only books I’ve picked up were from Problogger, Yanik Silver’s Moonlighting on the Internet, and Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week.

          Most of my internet marketing knowledge came from the Internet Business Mastery Academy, and just speaking to like minded people around the internet. I’m involved in a couple of mastermind groups, which are groups of internet marketers here in the San Diego area, and we just talk internet business and share tips and struggles and experiences with each other. I’ve learned more from that than anything else, except actually doing things on my own. :)

        • http://www.techipedia.com Tamar Weinberg

          I might be biased, but hopefully you liked at least one of those ;)

        • Howie

          lol….”The New Community Rules” was great…and, I can’t recommend it enough… ;)

          :)

  • Howie

    oh, and I see at the tail end that “Vision Master Designs” designed your blog….were they pretty good to work with? They definitely made an awesome product…were you involved at all with the actual coding?…

    I’ve learned alot from reading those books…but, the design aspect is just a tad intimidating….I’ve been contemplating having it done by a company, rather than in-house…

    • Pat

      Vision Master Designs was great. It’s just one guy, and that’s his company name, so I got really customized help from him. I had wordpress setup on my blog already when i had failed to implement a free theme that I liked, so I hired him and he just built me a customized theme. I did very little actual coding.

      It was a great experience to work with a virtual assistant on the design. I’m doing it again, as we speak :)

      • Howie

        How did you go about familiarizing yourself with the Blog Design process, Pat?………I’ve been reading a ton of articles on the ProBlogger website, and they’ve helped significantly with knowing what things to look for, and how to interact with the designer, during every stage of the process….

        I’d love to create it myself, but I’m leaning towards hiring someone….

  • http://textroubadourtales.blogspot.com/ Will Atkinson

    Pat, I also look forward to these posts. It’s great that you are sharing the things that you have learned with your audience. Keep up the good work (and don’t worry about holding the baby, you’ll do fine).

  • http://www.indiancashmaker.in IndianCashMaker

    that’s a huge income buddy….you are really enjoying your blogging i must say

  • http://www.upgradereality.com Diggy – Upgradereality.com

    Heya Pat!!

    Wow this is awesome, thanks for being so open and honest about everything! I am really learning from you.

    I’ve only been online marketing for a year and just about mastering the basic concepts. I think I am still a while away from being able to create something like intheleed or even multiple sites bringing me a few k usd a month, but I’m determined to keep learning and working at it.

    Seeing your blog helps a lot with motivating me to do this :)

    Thanks for this!
    Have an awesome day!
    Cheers
    Diggy

  • http://giorgiosironi.blogspot.com Giorgio Sironi

    You’re very inspirational..

  • David

    Hey Pat,

    The content is great, it’s cool that you disclose your earnings and help people realize that working online can be a profitable venture.

    I noticed you read Tim’s TFHWW, are you only working four hours per week? You seem like a busy man replying to all of these comments.

    No need to reply to this one, I don’t want to waste your time, just keep up the good work. Say hi to the baby!

    • Pat

      Hey David. If I didn’t blog about my other businesses, I would be living the 4 hour work week. Working on this blog is just something I want to do with my spare time, so hopefully others will be able to live the 4 hour work week too :)

      Thanks for your comment David!

  • Laura

    I couldn’t help but comment on the mention about a cure for cancer. Read about Dr Gerson and the Gerson Therapy. I recently modified my diet and have seen all of my digestive and sinus problems come to an end. Food is powerful! Sorry that this doesn’t relate to your main topic, but it’s something I’m passionate about and I’m one of your readers.

  • http://thesocialrobot.com Kelsey

    Pat, I probably say this every month, but you are SUCH an inspiration! Because of you, I started an internet marketing blog and am trying to optimize adsense, along with creating more passive income with a cafepress store, ebook, and eHow. Thank you so much for sharing these reports. I look forward to them every month.

    • Pat

      Kelsey,

      Awesome! The name of your website is really cool, I can’t wait to see how it all goes! Remember, it takes some time, but the more you put into it now, the more it will do for you later! Good luck!

  • http://songbuilders.co.uk Mike

    Hi Pat

    Another inspiring blog post!

    I know what you mean about the “energy vampires”. I think that people around you in life can be one of two types, “drains” or “radiators”. Drains are those energy vampires, people who are overwhelmingly negative and put you down no matter what you try to do. Radiators are the opposite, people who are positive, who support you and give you energy. The secret of course is to surround yourself with radiators and avoid the drains (difficult sometimes if they are family or work colleagues!).

    Just one point I want to make about your comment regarding Facebook and pagerank, by the way. Unfortunately, most high pagerank social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc) have all of their outgoing links set to “nofollow”, which means that Google does NOT pass pagerank from those sites. This means that you’re not getting the benefit of any pagerank juice when linking from these sites.

    So while I agree it’s good to link back to your blog from Facebook & Twiter to help readers find you, it doesn’t actually help increase your pagerank (unless of course some of those readers start linking to you from their own “dofollow” blogs).

    Anyway, great site, keep up the good work!

    Anyway

  • http://www.homesprosperity.blogspot.com Steve

    Pat, once again, thanks for modeling success for all of us. It’s great to read about the resources you have used to build up your business empire :) I’m going to joing your Smart Passive fan page on FB. When it comes to setting goals for internet income in 2009, I’ll be referencing your monthly reports for motivation!

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  • http://candycollins.com/ Candy Collins

    Good post, great income and the diagram above is good as well. There are many ways you can do it and yours is good one too.
    Your blog always has to be in the middle, it is the center of the wheel and everything from the articles, podcast, Facebook, YouTube, scribd, Twitter and other accounts are all connected to not only the blog, but to each other so they create a linkwheel -your network!

    Be smart, enjoy your work.

    Candy.

  • Bart

    I always look forward to these reports. Not only do I enjoy reading them (I’m a curious being), I especially like the fact that you detail the changes you made and how they have affected your income. Great stuff, Pat.

  • http://www.isopureprotein.net/natures-best-zero-carb-isopure-protein/ Tommy Hardin

    Only sixty bucks net difference than the month before. I like how you laid out the path or sketch showing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Podcast.