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 November 2010 Monthly Income Report!
Each month I write a detailed report about the money I've earned online. It's not all about the numbers though—it's more about what I've done to earn that money and the lessons I've learned along the way. I've been keeping this up for over 2 years now, and every month brings along something different as I'm constantly building my passive income portfolio with new projects and new forms of (virtually) automated businesses each and every month.
So why share this with you?
There are a couple of reasons:
First and foremost, it keeps me headed in the right direction. Seeing the numbers and writing down both my wins and my failures help me stay the course and always try to outdo myself, and publicly displaying these things holds me accountable.
Secondly, and more importantly, I do this to inspire. I'm not a genius, I'm not anyone special and I never went to business school. I'm just a guy who was laid off and decided to do businesses online and make it work, and I try to show you how I do that here.
This report is packed full of exciting stuff, so I hope you enjoy!
Important Going-Ons in November
I don't even know where to begin because I have a lot of stuff to report. That's a good problem to have though, I guess.
Top Ranking in Google for the Niche Site Duel
For those of you who don't know, the Niche Site Duel began in late August when Tyrone Shum challenged me to create a niche site from scratch to see who could rank higher and earn more money. In 73 days (on November 6th) and a total of about 60 hours of work, I climbed to the #1 ranking in Google for my target niche and it's been making money ever since.
To date, my security guard training site has earned a total of $267.98 from Adsense. I've recently added a few more monetization strategies on the site including a job board, education lead CPA offers, Amazon links for products, and I'm working on some advertising deals as well.
Sure, $267.98 might not seem like much, but for only a few months of work and the ability to automatically generate income from the site daily, it's something that I'm looking to do even more of now.
In fact, in mid-November I started a brand new niche site for a keyword that has similar search and traffic numbers as “security guard training”, and I'm already ranking #15 in Google and earning about a dollar a day from Adsense. Using the same exact backlinking strategy that I did before, I know once I get to the top spot in Google I'll basically have another decent income stream on my hands.
I do have a virtual assistant working with me on this new site, which is helping a lot (so I can spend time working on other projects), but I'd like to remind you that I did about 99% of the work on my security guard training site myself. So, a virtual assistant is not necessary, but a well-trained one can definitely help.
On a (totally) different subject, as many of you know I also co-own an iPhone application business. For the past few months, we've been doing nothing to expand our product line, however in November we started to get back into it.
It was probably a big mistake not to add some new apps to our lineup over the past few months, as each new app presents a new opportunity for an income stream. Luckily, even though we haven't built anything new for a while, the income still rolls in from iTunes, which is awesome.
We've started the development process on a few new applications and have already completed iAd upgrades to integrate Apple's advertisement program into our free applications, which has a higher payout than some of the other mobile “Adsense-like” pay-per-click companies we've been using.
The development process varies depending on the type of application you're building, especially when outsourcing the development, but we're hoping to get these done within a few weeks.
Record Numbers for The Smart Passive Income Brand
Everything related to the Smart Passive Income Brand saw record numbers in November. I can't thank you enough for your support and helping to make this happen.
Here are some quick stats for November:
- 74,709 Visits
- 183,241 Pageviews
- 4 minutes and 20 seconds Avg. time on site
- +980 RSS Subscribers
- 1,306 Comments!
- 1,813 YouTube Subscribers
- 4,033 Facebook Fans
- 47,528 Twitter Followers
Regarding the number of comments, I'd just like to point out that I think I have one of the most engaging and active communities online, and I love it! Thank you all for your participation, your questions and your comments—it really means a lot to me and shows that what I'm talking about does draw some kind of interest. Even Corbett Barr from ThinkTraffic.net, who was my co-host in Session 8 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, mentioned in his Traffic Report how engaging YOU were on his site. That's awesome! [Editor's Note: Corbett no longer runs the ThinkTraffic.net site. You can find him at corbettbarr.com.]
“Record” Numbers for GreenExamAcademy.com
My LEED exam website, which was my very first online business, saw record lows this past month. This, however, was totally expected.
Traditionally over the past couple of years, November and December have been the worst months of sales and traffic for GreenExamAcademy.com. The primary reason is that no one is studying for exams at the end of the year. Most people are not 100% focused on work (I know I wasn't when I was working my 9 to 5 job…but don't tell that to my ex-boss) as thoughts about holiday vacations transpire.
So, as physical product sales increase during the holiday season, study material goes on the decline. Looking back, I made the mistake of not introducing any Black Friday sales or special coupon codes to my email list. Ill definitely do this maybe a week before Christmas, which is coming up fast.
I better get on that.
I have a few more projects I'd like to talk about, but I think it's time to get to the numbers.
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.
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.
A fantastic month! The dip in GreenExamAcademy.com sales and iPhone app revenue were definitely picked up by my diversification in affiliate sales, which primary come from the Smart Passive Income brand. A couple of income reports ago, I talked about the importance of diversification, and I hope that now you can see why.
It's also great to see a 223% increase in Adsense revenue, thanks to the niche sites I've been creating. Let's keep this trend going!
What I Learned in November
One thing I learned in November is the power of a good product.
In my affiliate earnings, you'll see that my biggest income generator is Market Samurai—a killer keyword and search engine optimization research tool that I'm using to find profitable keywords that I can rank for. I'm not really surprised though because it's probably the best product that anyone that does keyword research on the internet can use, and as an affiliate I can easily say that it sells itself. Nothing is easier than promoting a high-quality product that works.
The key point here is that the best products you can be an affiliate for are the ones you use and the ones that work.
Somewhat related to that point: the most important thing I learned in November has to do with proof.
Proof is wicked powerful.
Especially today where we have an Internet that is overflowing with people who talk the talk—it's becoming much harder to figure out who to really trust.
This is exactly why I'm so transparent here on my blog, because talk becomes walk—or in other words, I don't just say it—I prove it. This is how my blog has grown so fast, my affiliate earnings have increased, and how I've earned a lot of people's trust.
Within two days after I announced that my security guard training niche site climbed to the number 1 spot in Google, I earned 28% of the affiliate earnings that you see in the above report.
When I posted about My P90X Results, several other well-known bloggers decided to dedicate 90 days of their life to the extreme home fitness program too. Yaro Starak, one of my heroes and people I respect the most online, talks about the influence my results had on him to start the program as well.
Real proof—proof that other people can confirm, see, touch and feel, is one the most powerful marketing tools available.
My WordPress Plugin—Let's Have Some Fun
A lot of you have been asking me about the new premium WordPress Plugin that I'm developing. It's scheduled to be finished within 10 days, at which point I'll be testing it on a few sites before launching it. Again, because it's something that I'm going to use and absolutely need, I'm guessing that it's something that many of you will find extremely useful as well (and if not, at least I'll get some use out of it, hehe).
I know I've kept the idea behind the plugin a secret, but a lot of you have actually emailed me trying to guess what it does, and so far none of the guesses are even close!
Before I reveal what it does, I think it would be fun to see if any of you can guess what it can do. If you're up to the challenge, fill out the form below and give me your best guess. If you're one of the first five people to guess correctly, I'll give you a free copy of the plugin. Also, if you're the first, I'll send you $100.00!
Good luck, and thank you for all of your support. Here's to a happy holiday season for you and your family. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay profitable.