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:
- Published a post on Site #2 (152 words)
- 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
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
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
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.
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:
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):
Lessons learned this month
- Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
Online courses attended:
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.
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.