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Hi! I'm Mike and this is my wife, Jen!  Since we began this site, we've learned to live more frugally, completely eliminate our debts, create new income, radically increase our net worth, and live altogether better lives!  Sign up below for instant access to our members-only toolbox, including our exclusive guide:  15 Steps to Fix Your Broken Finances and Live a Better Life!

Monday
Oct272014

One Reason Affiliate Income Is Never Truly Passive

All of you know that I haven't spent much time with LTNE lately.  That said, I still check my affiliate income at least once a month, for the sake of each monthly report.

Today, I was pleased to see that I had received a $25 commission for one of my links, so I drilled in deeper on two of my other affiliate relationships within that affiliate marketing company, only to discover that I had tons of clicks for campaigns that had been abandoned by the sponsoring companies.  These clicks did nothing for our affiliate income. 

Some of these were highly-lucrative links, with leads that begin at $25 and shoot up to $75. 

In at least one of the cases, the company no longer even offers an affiliate program, despite the fact that those articles are still up and running here at LTNE, sending them customers.

In the other company's case, they have abandoned the affiliate marketing company where I had a relationship with them and have gone to another, requiring a new application, etc.

Keeping up with affiliate links is far from passive.  If you are using WordPress, plug-ins like Pretty Link help make it a whole lot easier, but it is still something that requires constant attention.

Better yet, consider approaching the company directly, as I did some time ago with a few companies, and offer for them to purchase advertising space on your page. 

All of this is even more reason that any pivot that I do with LTNE in the future that still involves affiliate marketing will involve some process that offloads these responsibilities from me to someone else, so that I can enjoy writing and not have to worry about keeping up with links.

Otherwise, inattention leaves cash on the table, and that is never a good thing.

Sunday
Oct052014

The LTNE Report -- September 2014

Here are the highlights from this month:

Our net worth continues to grow, though those following the markets know that this month has been tough.

After much soul-searching, Jen has decided to undergo a job change-- this will either result in her returning to working at home (and saying goodbye to that secondary income!) or she will move to a new position.  We should know soon, but we're prepared for either and both are deliberate and intentional courses of action.  As such, I'll be temporarily adjusting our monthly investments from $5,000 each month to $2,500, until this is resolved!

Our net passive income continues to be negative due to the difference between our rent earned on our rental home and its mortgage.  We are 16 months away from our break-even point on that rental home mortgage (all things staying the same, the value of the house will then equal our principal-- the decline in the housing market has killed us with this!).  

Sources of passive income this month included:

Amazon affiliate income from your Amazon purchases through our site!  Thanks!

USAA credit card leads (Our USAA AMEX card is our primary cash rewards credit card).

Our cash rewards cards generated a total of $201.96 in passive income this month!

We generated a total of $194.57 in interest income from our Prosper and Lending Club P2P lending accounts.

The real value of this month was that much of our future has been clarified-- I now know that certain opportunities that I thought might exist for us won't actually materialize.  Though this seems to be a bad thing, it really isn't, as it provides clarity and will allow us to begin to craft next chapters with more fidelity.  (One thing that I have learned, though, is that unexpected things happen; the key is to bend probability curves your way and see what happens!).

Enjoy your October, friends!  I appreciate your stopping by!