Editor's Note: The content regarding eHow and Infobarrel is no longer relevant. Please visit our Getting Started page, which we keep up to date with advice for getting started with earning money online. (Updated 10/2015)
Welcome to my 30th monthly income report!
Since October of 2008 I've been keeping track and posting my online income publicly here on SPI, and they've become the most popular posts on the blog. I do this not only to help me keep track of where my earnings come from and the health of my businesses, but more importantly to share with you what I’ve done that may have an effect on any increase or decrease in earnings, and what I’ve learned along the way so hopefully you can learn what do to (and what NOT to do) too.
I hope you enjoy this month's income report.
Important Going-Ons in March
A lot of wonderful things happened this past month.
In January, coming off the success of the Niche Site Duel, my competitor Tyrone and I started a training program to teach a group of 20 students to find a niche, build a website, rank in Google and begin to make money. In March, the 10 week training program ended and our students graduated with flying colors!
In only 2 short months we have a number of students who are already ranking in the top 10 in Google for their primary keywords (in only 2 months!) and others who are extremely close. Some of our students have already started to earn money, which is fantastic because we didn't expect it to happen so fast, as it usually takes a little more time to rank a niche site high enough to start to see an income roll in.
Tyrone and I had such a blast teaching our students and developing a strong friendship with each of them, that we're deciding to go through the process all over again to guide another group of students! There were over 100 applicants the last time so we know it's in high demand, and we're anxious to get started on round 2.
We're currently updating the sign up page for round 2, but if you want to get an application in to us early, you can sign up on the Niche Site Coaching homepage (note: it says the program is full, but you can still enter your name and email anyways to get information about applying!).
Even though coaching and consulting is not really a form of passive income, because it's something that makes me feel really good I definitely don't mind devoting a few hours a week to it.
My Own Niche Sites
On to a topic of something much more passive, my niche sites enjoyed a record month of earnings in March.
My primary form of income for my niche sites is still Adsense, but I've made a few tweaks and changes to the placement of the ads themselves that have made a dramatic effect on my earnings (from an average of $8.00 to over $20.00 per day).
I've also been exploring other avenues of income for my niche sites as well. On my security guard training website, I about to launch a campaign to promote a company directory listing on the site, which I'm very excited about.
On another niche site (that I haven't revealed on SPI, but I'll tell you that it's in the wedding industry), I hired a couple of designers to actually create a product to sell on the website, and I sold a couple of those products in March already.
Things are going well and I'm excited to see what happens in the next few months with my niche sites.
I've been outsourcing the development of a couple of WordPress plugins for the last few months and I still have nothing public to show for it. I'm really disappointed because I expected these plugins to be readily available to you a long time ago, but we're still fixing some bugs.
I'm not giving up though, and it's been a wonderful learning experience.
When talking with my dad about this he brought up a good point—there are software companies out there that spend millions of dollars developing software and when they release them to the public they often still have a ton of bugs in them.
Apparently, it's very difficult to develop a piece of software that is 100% perfect, especially with all of the other pieces of software that have to work along with it.
It's hard though because I want these plugins to be 100% perfect. Since they are being launched under the SPI brand, I wouldn't want anything less.
But, am I being unrealistic?
Should I launch these plugins even though they aren't perfect, or keep working on them until I think they are perfect, which may or may not ever happen.
So, that's what's going on in my head. I just wanted to fill you in because I know a lot of you have been wondering what's happening.
With that said, let's get into some numbers!
Full Disclosure: Some of the items in the list below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase through that link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
Another fantastic month of earnings!
I have a diverse portfolio of passive income streams so that when one is down, the others will pick up the slack—sort of like a diverse stock market portfolio. But sometimes, as you can see, they all just perform really well—and I definitely can't complain about that.
Everything was up in March. Some things I can explain—like the niche site earnings, but some things I can't—like why my eHow earnings and money from Free applications were significantly higher.
No matter what though, I'm very happy and feel truly blessed to be where I am in life. The Internet is a powerful tool and if used in the right way, if you can provide a product, service or information that fulfills a need, desire or want, and you can get that in front of lots and lots of people, nothing can stop you from being successful. And the more people you affect, the more success you will have.
Things I Learned in March
The first thing I learned was how important it is to stay healthy. I'm reminded of this because I spent the 2nd to last week of March taking care of a sick wife, then the last week of March taking care of a sick baby, and now, as I write this post, I am sick.
This was probably the most difficult and time consuming post I've ever written, even more so than The Backlinking Strategy That Works (which took about 10 hours to write and film everything) because I'm coughing between every sentence and am getting interrupted by a snotty nose after each paragraph.
I just can't think, write or do anything while I'm sick.
So, the first lesson is—take care of yourself and those around you too. I'm pretty sure it was my family that got me sick, but often times we make ourselves sick too by forgetting about eating well, sleeping well, exercising and doing even the littlest things like washing our hands.
I didn't do much active work in the later half of the month because I was taking care of my family (and now myself), but I'm lucky to have those passive income streams working for me so I can continue to earn an income anyways.
Facebook has recently become my number one traffic generator besides Google organic search. People are getting more and more comfortable using Facebook and clicking on the “Like” buttons off of Facebook and I'm seeing significant increases in traffic as a result:
If you are not yet utilizing Facebook, you're totally missing out. Definitely take advantage of the landing page that you can create on your Facebook Page, but also make sure you place “Like” buttons on your blog posts and articles as well.
You see, whenever a person clicks a “Like” button on a post, it shares that information on that persons activity feed. So, for example, when I go to Corbett's latest post on ThinkTraffic and click the “like” button, this shows up on my activity feed in Facebook:
Now, all of my friends who are hooked up to me and watching my activity feed see this link.
And again, this is another important reason why the headline of your post is uber important.
On my blog posts I have the LIKE button in my ShareBar plugin, which you can see on the left hand side of a post if you're reading this on the blog.
I'm also testing how the button performs within the blog post itself, either at the beginning of the blog post, or at the end (or both!).
To get more information about the Like button and how to create a LIKE button for any specific webpage, you can visit the Facebook Like Button Page.
If anyone has any LIKE button resources they'd like to share, please feel free to leave a comment for the rest of the community.
Finally, I just wanted to thank you.
Thank you for being patient with this post—it is out 12 hours late, but again it's because I'm (cough) sick.
Thank you for being the best community around—even if you don't actively comment, the fact that you're reading this means I have your support, and that means a lot to me.
And lastly, thank you for the motivation. I just surpassed 20,000 subscribers, which is a huge milestone for SPI, and I owe it all to you.
Here's to a profitable (and hopefully healthier!) month of April for everyone.