December was an extremely bizarre month. I moved back to Winnipeg (from Calgary) on the 16th and did next to nothing on InfoBarrel after that time. I also started learning about how to build Amazon niche sites, since I've never had success with Amazon and wanted to figure out how to use it more effectively. I also started my personal blog, Renegade Writer, and spent a lot of time figuring out CSS code to make it look nice.

My main December project though, was putting together a mastermind team. I got such an unexpectedly overwhelming response that I decided to ask the people I knew best, the people I had learned from when I was starting out here, if they wanted to start a joint venture. On January 1st we launched 5Currencies, which I'm not going to talk about in this earnings report - but I highly recommend you check it out.

This on top of the demands of family and friends (not that I mind - it's just a lot of energy!) has left me with an incredible need for a vacation - likely in the form of a couple 100 new articles.

Here's what I had stated as my December Goals, along with my notes:

Earnings: $700 ($23.33 average over the month - I currently average about $10/day)
Total Articles: 500+ (additional 150, this should be doable)
Forum Posts: 1000 (17/day)
Article Earning Rate (per week): $0.35/Article - aided by more social bookmarking with revenue share
1 Referral
Any Amazon earnings
A single $40 day by the end of the month

I have never been through December before and didn't realize that it is actually one of the worst times of the year for traffic. Nevertheless, I like the trends:

Articles Page Views Clicks AdSense $ Chitika $ Amazon $ Total $
September 2010 55* 487 8 $6.46
$0.59
$0.00 $7.05
October 2010 92 2889 115
$29.88
$2.58
$0.32
$32.78
November 2010 351 8083 598 $176.87 $22.11
$0.00
$198.98
December 2010 515 13280 1003 $329.38 $31.78
$22.52
$383.68

I actually made all my non-monetary goals! I finished with over 500 articles, over 1000 forum posts, one referral, and Amazon earnings in the bank. If you include two Market Samurai sales and the Amazon gift card I will presumably get, my total for the month comes to $501.80. So I didn't make $700, but I really couldn't be more pleased at this point!

My plan is clearly working, using the abilities I have as best I can. My biggest problem is trying to do too much, which since coming home has prevented me from doing any single thing well (like cranking out obsene amounts of articles). Right now, writing this, I feel extremely burned out - something I didn't feel even after the November contest and through the first couple weeks of December.

Lesson: do the bare minimum number of things you can to be successful, but do them extremely well!

Another Lesson: Ignore what people think you "should" be doing. I'm not going to lie, it's been a little strange having people look up to me and follow what I'm doing - it's not something I was prepared for. I've felt pressure that I should be delivering the "right" message, like I should optimize more, backlink more, because "that's what people do." But it's not what I do - I built my system specifically for me, and while I hope people can learn from what I do, I don't pretend like my methods are optimal for anyone else. I can already feel the stress levels dropping!

My goal for this month is straightforward: simplify.

IB + blog + new website + needing content everywhere + trying to do videos = insanity! I still want to have a life off of the computer, which I did very well in November, not so well the last 2 weeks. I know a couple people have the impression that I'm a high octane machine, but it's really not the case - I probably do far less than many others here, it just looks like a lot since I only write articles and do so efficiently. So I'm going back to barebones IB articles, and lots of them!

Specific numbers:

Article Total: 700
Earnings: $700 (though Adsense, Amazon, Chitika)
Page Views: 28000 - based on my earnings rate this is what I'll need
Daily earnings by Feb 1st: $30/day*** If I can accomplish just 1 thing, this would be the one I'd like.

As always, my rule is to aim high. I could easily put in numbers that I know I will reach, but that won't push me to reach them and something inevitable doesn't feel like an accomplishment. Here's to a great 2011!

If you haven't already, I suggest you sign up for InfoBarrel! Success is yours for the taking. See you on the forums!