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Yes, 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 Goings-On 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.
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:
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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
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 though . . .
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!