April 2013 was a real learning month, as many of them are! Stick around to the end, because I've definitely gained some valuable insights!
1) Passive income from this site and our niche site went down significantly. A few thoughts on this: I knew early in this month that I would not be able to dedicate as much time to blogging and outreach this month due to demands at work and it certainly showed. Traffic was down significantly from last month, primarily due to losing a single position on Google for one of our marquis articles. Yes, a single position on the front page of Google makes that much difference, as the following graph from Chitika indicates:
As you can see, going from #1 to #2 on Google effectively halves your traffic. Go to #3 (our article has bounced around at #2 and #3) and you are down to a third of the traffic of the #1 position.
Couple those traffic losses with the losses that you get from not commenting at other blogs and sites and numbers go down quickly!
2) But, wait, you say! If this is truly "passive income" then why can't you lay off the blog for a bit and still make money? I think this is a great point and we can probably quibble a bit about the definition of passive income. I'm counting as passive income any income that we derive from outside of our jobs, i.e., where we aren't directly trading our time for pay. Of course every article I post here takes time and the effort it takes to put them together is far from passive, but once they are up, they have the potential to make money on their own from that point. In that sense, they are passive.
But even I chafe at this notion myself, so part of our strategy here is to expand our truly passive income opportunities. Also, one thing that I've learned is the value of making money in as many places as possible at once, as every small trickle of income has a cumulative effect on the whole. Plus, any of the trickles has the potential to grow into a river, which you won't experience unless you try.
What do I mean by this in our case?
If I would have just counted on affiliate income from blogging this month, I would have made just $325.23, but opening up the aperture to other sources allowed us to still make $502.24 in total passive income this month. Since I also kept track of the number of hours that I spent on blogging this month (11.5), then the effective hourly rate for blogging alone this month would be $28.28 an hour (not bad, for sure!).
But knowing that I want to develop truly passive incomes where I can, I've increased our investing in P2P loans, through both Lending Club and Prosper, and those investments increased our passive income an additional $101.05 (which is really just interest on the Lending Club loans, as the Prosper loans are too new to have started to generate interest income). Once our $10,000 investment in Prosper loans is fully invested, we can anticipate another $100 or so in interest income from there as well, which is truly passive, and our passive income from P2P loans will increase to about $200 or so monthly (approximately $100 monthly for each $10,000 invested).
In addition, I switched from using a debit card to using three different cash rewards cards for our normal purchases and then paying those balances off monthly. Doing this alone has already generated $75 in cash rewards income in the first month. This is truly passive and I'm stupid for having used a debit card all these years.
3) Changes are coming. Despite burning the candle at both ends at work, my mind drifts back to our online projects periodically and, though I'm very satisfied with the work we've done so far, it still isn't good enough. The seeds are planted for some significant changes, but we just aren't ready yet to take the plunge. We haven't yet come close to bringing our "A game" to our online home, but we will...
So, for the time being, enjoy the remainder of our charts... soak in the realities of blogging as an income source... and find more ways to make money in multiple places in your own lives...
If you want to use our affiliate links for any of these services that we use and like, here you go:
The Rest of April's Charts: