Each month I share the income I’ve generated online, down to the penny.
I do this for several reasons:
- To help me keep track of my progress and focus on improving the numbers each and every month.
- To help you understand the kinds of ways one can generate an income online.
- To share what has and what has not been working for me. And most importantly…
- To be transparent and real about what I do.
As you’ll see, this report isn’t just about the numbers—it’s about education and learning from my past experiences.
Remember, success online does not happen fast, and it doesn't happen to everyone. I'm here to help and give you the best chance to succeed.
I hope you enjoy this month’s report. I apologize for its lateness. I just got back from Blog World Expo in Los Angeles and am still in recovery mode. Staying up late most of the nights to work on my presentation and network has really taken a toll on my body—but it was all totally worth it.
I'll be posting more information about my Blog World Expo experience very soon, and I'll be sure to include my presentation for those of you who were unable to attend. Thanks for your patience!
Important Goings-On in October
October was very much about stepping out of my comfort zone, something that I always try to do because I know it will take my business to the next level and separate me from the pack.
Bold actions, which lead to amazing results, often come with getting uncomfortable.
When I started blogging, shooting videos and recording podcasts—those were all things that I was definitely not comfortable with at first, and this past month it was speaking in public.
At the beginning of the month I attended and spoke at the Financial Blogger Conference, which was my first public speaking experience. I had such an amazing time and I'm definitely looking forward to more conferences and speaking engagements in the future now.
I also began to shoot more videos, and did them in a style that also required me to come out of my shell a little too.
So far, the response has been nothing but positive, which is great! Here are the links to the videos:
- Traffic Isn't Everything—Everything You Need to Know About Conversions and Click-Through Rates
- Blog World Expo Presentation Preview Video
The rest of the month was dedicated mostly to preparing for my Blog World Expo presentation on November 4th, a presentation that was 3 times as long as my first one, and at the largest blogging and new media event in the world. I cannot wait to tell you what happened and what I learned.
Security Guard Training Niche Site
For those of you new to SPI, I recommend you check out The Niche Site Duel to see exactly how I built SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com from scratch.
I wrote a post mid-month about how a niche site with a target keyword (security guard training) with only 9900 exact searches per month generates $1,500 per month on Adsense. Well—I should change that number to $1,968.33 because the earnings in October were just that.
As the site grows and I continue to add a few articles here and there, I continue to be found by more long tail keywords in Google and as a result the income keeps climbing higher and higher.
Additionally, the minor changes I made to the Adsense blocks (as shown on video in Traffic Isn't Everything—Everything You Need to Know About Conversions and Click-Through Rates) are definitely paying off.
The sad thing is that I want to put more time into growing this site even more and expanding the income streams outside of Adsense, but it's time I just didn't have in October. To make more time, I'm thinking about possibly hiring someone to take charge with this site and take it to the next level. I've talked about private advertising and putting a directory on the site before—it would be cool if I could find someone to manage that for me in exchange for a percentage of the income.
Just an idea. 😉
Like I mentioned in my last monthly income report, I'm seeing new sites pop up in the exact same niche, and unfortunately a few of those sites are copying my original content. I've contacted my attorney about this and there are a number of things I could do from here. I'll keep you posted and hopefully give you some options that you could do in case the same things happens to you.
Also not cool is this… a number of people are attempting to log into my WordPress Dashboard. I know this because I'm using a plugin called Limit Login Attempts, which shows me the IP address of those who attempt to login to my site, and I can limit the number of attempts and actually lock them out.
20 people have attempted to login. This is a little scary, and another reason why I don't reveal all of my niches here on SPI.
The plugin lists the IP addresses of those who attempt to login and I really thought about listing those IPs here, but that's not how I roll. Luckily, none of the attempted logins are from people who have commented here on SPI.
…and this is why you should really think twice about what your passwords should be.
A New Old Niche Site?
I'm really thinking about my next “experiment” to reveal on SPI, something similar to the niche site duel where I take you step by step through a particular process to potentially make more money.
After talking to Justin and Joe from AdsenseFlippers.com and learning that they have a database of niche sites up for sale that are already making money, I thought it might be interesting to buy an existing site and see if I could increase its earnings and take it to the next level.
Would this be something you'd be interested in following? Let me know. 🙂
My partner and I have been making extremely slow progress on some new apps, but it's progress nonetheless.
We had some hiccups with our current developer but today we received a promising beta version of an app we've been working on and we're really close to getting to a point where we can finally launch it.
If there are any take aways from this, it's that software development, especially software development that relies on outsourced work, can be a very long and tedious process.
Our current apps saw a little bit more exposure in October, which is why you'll see a slight increase in earnings compared to last month in the income report below.
Smart Passive Income
In October, SPI saw record numbers once again—both in traffic, subscribers and income.
Not much new information to report here, so I'll just do a quick recap of the articles that I wrote in case you missed anything:
- My First Public Speaking Experience at the Financial Blogger Conference 2011
- My Monthly Report—September 2011
- Traffic Isn't Everything—What You Need to Know About Conversions and Click-Through Rates
- What I'm Reading and Who I'm in Love With Right Now
- SPI 027 : How to Harness the Power of Social Proof Online (Podcast)
- Pat FAIL—My Past Business Ideas That Didn't Work Out So Well
- How 9,900 Exact Match Searches Equate to $1,500 Per Month
- Ask the Reader: How Do You Know When It's Time To Move On?
- Follow Up: How Do You Know When It's Time to Move On (From the Readers)
The new podcast episodes, especially, has been getting a LOT of great feedback. One person at Blog World Expo, actually, came up to me and said my latest podcast episode on Social Proof just “blew his mind”, which is a pretty awesome compliment.
If you have yet to listen to a podcast episode of mine, this one is the one to listen to. You can get it on iTunes here and download it to your mp3 player so you can listen to it on the go.
I think it's time for 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. (Click here to read a typical monthly expense report which breaks down where my time and money is spent)
Most parts of the business have seen an increase in income compared to last month, which is awesome!
As I mention in all of my reports, I'll be the first to admit that a significant portion of my income comes directly from this blog, mostly from the products that I recommend as an affiliate, which are products I've used and have helped me in one way, shape or form.
I'm very fortunate to have a community that is willing to support me by making purchases through my affiliate links—a responsibility that I will never take lightly and always take seriously—and as such I never promote just for the potential income that can come from an offer.
That said, over $9,000 this month were earned outside of the SPI blog and whether I make $9,000 or $90,000—I'd still be the same person, live the same lifestyle and be just as happy.
I am extremely grateful for everything, and I will continue to give back with valuable content and my experience in return.
Things I Learned in October
Planting Seeds and Bearing Fruit
In case you didn't notice, my earnings from Bluehost, the domain and hosting company that I use and recommend as an affiliate, makes up about half of my affiliate earnings from SPI—earning $14,700 this past month alone—and it's not a recurring commission.
This just blows my mind, especially considering I don't really do much to aggressively promote the service. Come to think of it, I don't believe I even mentioned Bluehost in any posts that I wrote this past month.
I don't say this to show off, but I say this because I know I have properly planted the seeds to make this happen.
What is a “seed”?
A seed is any form of content that gets posted on the web that could potentially grow into a sale, or “bear fruit”. A post, a video, a podcast—once they are published they are always available on the for people to find. The more seeds you plant, the more opportunity you create for yourself.
It's almost like modeling nature. In nature, for example, do most plants produce just one seed, or many?
Many, of course, because it's all about opportunity.
To help illustrate this point, below you'll see an easy diagram of how people can eventually get to an affiliate link for something I recommend, like Bluehost.
Again, these are non-aggressive approaches that create a highway or avenue of opportunity to click on a link ad potentially make a sale.
For more details about my Bluehost links specifically—where they are located and how they convert—please click here.
The most important thing to do is just plant those seeds and let them grow.
Time for some Vitamin C and some much needed rest. Thanks for your support, and all the best to you! My Blog World Expo recap is up next.