Passive Income Report – April 2015

Passive income report April 2015

 

What I worked on in April

As far as improving my niche websites goes, not much! And that’s the beauty of passive income — it doesn’t require you to keep investing time in exchange for money.

Here’s what I got done this month:

  1. Published a post on Site #2 (152 words)
  2. Published three posts on Site #3 (45-80 words each)

Total time (working on the sites this month): 2.5 hours

These must be the shortest posts I’ve published on my sites. I typically aim for 1000+ word articles but I bent the rules this time. Articles mentioned are quite heavy on images and video though.

The articles on site #3 are about sunglasses and the post on Site #2 is a product review about a microphone I bought (but haven’t received yet). I will probably update that last post with much more content once I receive the product.

Passive Income Report

smartexperiments-income-2015-04

Adsense:
Site #1: $10.01

Amazon Associates Program:
Site #1: $123.79
Site #2: $205.00
Site #3: $55.97

Adsense earnings total: $10.01
Amazon earnings total: $384.76
Total income: $394.77

Expenses

Dreamhost VPS (hosting): $20.00
WebFaction (hosting): $11.40

Total Expenses: $31.40

Net Total: 394.77 – 31.40 = $363.37

My passive income (niche) websites

Site #1

http://*****quotes.com

Site #1 traffic 2011-03 to 2015-04

It’s a site I started in March 2011. I wanted to test if I could build a „high traffic“ site.

I did some basic keyword research and looked at Google Trends and decided to give it a go. I published great amount of unique content but it wasn’t something I created myself. I just took quotes from a popular TV series and cited them on my site.

At first I didn’t even plan to monetize this site.

Later in 2011 I learned about the Amazon Affiliates program and put a banner of a book on the sidebar. It was very closely related to the TV series. I referred 6 sales in 2011 and earned $1.74 from Amazon.

In September of 2012 I figured that it’s hard to make decent money from book sales and started promoting more expensive products. I wrote five posts like „What shirt is Dexter* wearing“ and linked to the product on Amazon. I helped Amazon make 55 sales in 2011 and collected $122.62 in fees as a return.

* Dexter is not actually the show my site is about. It’s just an example. There are numerous reasons why I won’t disclose the exact URLs of my sites.

I added another five „style tips“ type of posts in 2013. I was responsible for 457 sales and made $1,404.58 in referral fees. It’s the year I received my first ever Amazon check.

I added one more post in the middle of 2014 and made $1,763.23 from 790 products shipped.

I haven’t touched the site since and it’s made $333.04 from 114 items shipped during the first 4 months of 2015. That’s not as good as 2013 and 2014 but it’s still making me money on total autopilot.

The reason that it’s not making as much money is because the rankings for „money keywords“ have dropped. It still ranks #1 for the main keywords but serps for money keywords have moved to page 2 of Google.

Note: I haven’t built a single backlink to Site #1.

Site #2

http://*****reviews.com

Product review site started in August 2014. Purely an SEO + Amazon site. I have published 22 articles since the start. About half of them are money articles that link to Amazon. Other half is informational content linking to money articles.

Here’s what the traffic to Site #2 has been like:

Site #2 traffic until April 2015

And income:

site-2-amazon-earnings-2015-04

Site #3

http://*****sunglasses.com

Another product review site that I started in August 2014. I ordered five short articles from oDesk, published them to the site and left the site as is. I didn’t even bother to link the articles to Amazon in the first 6 months. So far the site has generated 4 sales and made me $55.97.

Site #3 traffic is really low (blue spikes on the graph are referral spam):

Site 3 traffic

Lessons learned this month

Books finished:

  1. Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  2. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  3. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins

Online courses attended:

  1. Selling courses on Udemy by Alun Hill
  2. SEO in 2015 by iMarket XL

 

Next steps

May is going to be heavily focused on link building

I’ve already started putting together a list of link building opportunities for my „amazon sites“. And I’ve scheduled 30 minutes per day for getting links. Yes, every day for the next 30 days I will spend half an hour on getting links to my sites.

New content

I have also booked one 30-minute-slot in my daily calendar for content writing. It’s actually been on my daily schedule for almost a week now — that’s how I got the 4 articles published in April — it all happened this week.

Product creation (online course)

So here’s why I took the course on Udemy about selling courses and bought a $130 microphone — I’ve decided to create an online course. I have already outlined large part of the course and scheduled an hour every day for researching and creating content.

Note: I work a regular 9-5 job so I will complete all of these daily “passive income tasks” outside of my working hours. Actually I will have this all done before I leave my home for work at 8:45 am. Sounds impossible? A month ago I thought so too. I used to wake up between 8:30 and 9:30. Now I wake up at 5 am every day and get shit done. You can read more about it here.

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Bodhi Clifford

I believe that anyone can start a successful online business, if they want to. I dedicate this blog to the people who share that dream and are willing to invest their time now to enjoy the freedom in a not-so-distant future. Let’s locate your skills and passions. Let’s find your niche. Let’s create immense value. Let’s accept the money. Let’s live the life we want!

11 thoughts on “Passive Income Report – April 2015

  1. Hi Bohdi,
    I know you don’t want to share your exact .com and it’s normal, but I was wondering if you use the exact brand names in your post urls or dot com like “BestOakleySunglasses” for example or . I think it could help getting tragetted traffic for sure but at the same time I think it would expose the owner of such a site to legal problems because you’re using a brand name that you don’t own. What are your thoughts about that?
    For your ***quotes.com website. You said that you haven’t built a single backlink. I’m very interested in building that kind of site because that’s the way things should be done naturally and I think that these sites will go through the test of time a lot better than review sites with a lot of cheap quality fake backlinks. Claire Smith has been interviewd by Spencer Haws recently. She’s from : http://skefflingsmakemoneyonline.com/ in case you don’t know her.
    She disclosed her strategy. She doesn’t build a single backlink at all and instead she focuses only on very long tail keywords with very low volume and very low exact keyword competition. She monetizes her sites with Amazon and she claims to have a very high conversion because the keywords that she targets are highly relevant from a buyer’s perspective. You might want to test that…
    Cheers

    1. Thanks for the comment Allan. To answer your question about the domain names.. No, I don’t use brand names in domains. Sites like that look really spammy. In fact I don’t even target brand names at all with my articles :) For the quotes site I targeted “Dexter sunglasses season 2” for example.

      I think the quotes site took off so well because I put a lot of content up. I would have to check but it has to be hundreds of quotes. One quote, one post. Most of the quotes are really short though, like 10 words.

      Thanks for sharing about the Claire Smith strategy. I know it’s not necessary to build links once you’ve gained authority but for purely Amazon sites I think it’s tough. I’ll look into that.

  2. Thanks for your answer. I thought that under at least 600 words it was almost impossible to rank. I’ll have to try that. Great tip. Using quotes from a popular show was a good idea too. I would need to have brilliant ideas like that. It seems that I lack imagination sometimes lol. And for Claire Smith, she’s actually targeting very long tail keywords of like 5-7 words with very low traffic (10-500 searches per month) with very very low “allintitle:” competition and very low exact match keyword competition. She’s been doing that for years and she has something like 40 review sites and claims to be making 5000$-10000$ per month. It sounds like a lot ot work for little traffic potential but it seems that with very long long tail keywords like that she can target very specific buying intentions. I have decided to focus on ads income first to get my hands in the mud but when I’ll “master” the techniques I’d like to try that out.

    1. With my reviews site I’m actually targeting long tail (3-6 words), low competition (below 30 KC according to Long Tail Pro), buying keywords (“reviews”, “best”) that are often low traffic (most are below 1000 LMS). The conversion rate (Amazon revenue per visitor) is very different when I compare it to the Quotes site — about tenfold.

      I also have Adsense on the Quotes site but never had much success with it ($10 per month as you can see from the report). I think it’s the placement and low cpc.

  3. First time checking out your site. I like the detail of your income report. I need to use odesk or fiverr to create a few articles for my niche site. It’s been up for 3 months and I’ve made $0 off of it.

  4. Thanks for sharing your passive income report. Great job managing your sites and earning a pretty decent amount from ads and affiliates. Have you looked into building a passive income stream via dividends?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I have to admit that I only recently found about dividends and have not taken a closer look at this yet. I believe it needs some recurring investments, right?

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your experience, I just want to know that why your adsense income is low even thought you have huge traffic?
    I am going to start the blog soon, so curious about adsense.
    Thanks,
    Amit

    1. Hi Amit,
      I believe there’s two main reasons why my Adsense income is so low:

      1. Low CPC (cost-per-click). Google doesn’t pay much for the clicks because my content is not about high cost topics and keywords (e.g. “insurance”). Make sure you do your keyword research before picking a niche and monetization method
      2. Low number of clicks. People not in buying mindset. Also could be because of bad ad placement

      I’m only using Adsense on one of my sites and I never planned to use it when I built the site. If you plan that in advance you can have more success for sure.

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