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AJWalton's November InfoBarrel Earnings Part 1

This article has been generously donated to InfoBarrel for Charities.
By Edited Jul 11, 2016 8 53

This is a 3-part series about my InfoBarrel experience. Part one covers my earnings to date and some backstory. Parts 2 and 3 cover what exactly my methods are - every tactic, tip, and technique revealed.

In The Beginning: How I Learned About InfoBarrel

I first discovered passive income through a book by Tim Ferriss: The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW). This is not the place to go into what I learned, but it did lead to a number of things: I started my first blog (which has undergone 2 revisions and is finally at a place where I'm excited about), and I started reading a lot about passive income online. On Eric's "My 4 Hour Work Week" blog he proposed a "passive income experiment" - writing 3 articles per day for a website called InfoBarrel until you have 2000 articles, with the hope of making at least $2000 per month. Lots of accompanying statistics about InfoBarrel's relative youth, and rapid growth persuaded me that this was worth a shot. I'd recommend you sign up now, but if you need more convincing, read on.

I have chronic tendinitis, which keeps me from doing much typing - or returning to university for my final year of a jazz guitar performance degree. If this were a movie I'm sure a great big deal would be made of this fact. It's really more of an interesting side note. The important thing is that I bought speech-to-text software as a result, more on this later.

Between July 26, 2010 and August 3 I wrote 21 articles (many lifted from my first, defunct blog), purchased the InfoBarrel Success package by Jason and Howie, and Market Samurai - a keyword research tool. I also studied SEO with the book The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization, written by some of the leading minds on the subject (and it's over 600 pages, whew!). The only article from this set that I didn't make a charity article is How to Get Rid of Raccoons. This would be my case study for much of September, applying what I picked up from the various resources at my disposal, especially the IB forums and studying jcmayer and Travis.

September & October 2010: Building a System, Building a Team, Building a Plan

September was rather uneventful, I totaled 61 articles at the end of the month and earned a total of $7.01. While the earnings were nothing extraordinary, I was slowly figuring out how to best split my time between writing, rewriting, backlinking etc.

October saw things pick up, I ended with 104 articles (12 of them charity). I earned more during the last two weeks than I had in September ($10.08 and $12.30 respectively). During October I tried outsourcing backlinking with minimal success. I don't regret trying though, as it forced me to refine my strategy further and overall things improved. I had wanted to win the contest this month, but was totally unprepared to go up against DKRunner, and I gave up somewhere during the second week.

The most important thing that happened during these months is I started talking to my friend Alex, who lives in Calgary, about IB and what I was doing here. He, like myself, doesn't like the idea of working the 9 to 5 forever so we developed a plan: I would come live with him and focus my attention completely on IB - he would work his job (which payed far more than I would make) and cover food and rent. IB earnings would eventually pay down these numbers, until he didn't need to go into work any more. Nice guy, he would even help with the more arm-intensive tasks regarding optimization.

I ended up with $32.78 for the month, a 465% increase. More importantly, I was now earning every day, and started daily tracking in my spreadsheet (using the =x1+x2+x3... function).


November 2010: My Earnings Report

My goal for the month had initially been to make $100, which I later bumped up to $150. Either way I crushed this number. My only other goal was winning the contest I didn't set any other specific goals in terms of articles published, page views, or clicks.

On November 12th, I moved to Calgary from Winnipeg and started focusing exclusively on IB, which I imagine counts for the incredible earnings increase during this month.

  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

*I'm not sure how many charity articles I had in September so this marks the grand total. Other figures represent total articles that earn.

It's much easier to get inside the numbers and see what they mean on a smaller scale, this doesn't really look like slow, steady, growth - but my week-by-week earnings update makes sense of all this in detail.

Weekly totals for the four complete weeks in November: $24.18; $33.18; $49.62; $71.22

I added 259 articles in November. While this seems like a ton, many of these were unpublished holdovers from October upon realizing I'd never catch DKRunner for the contest.

I only had AdSense channels set up for about 175 articles. Out of those, 65 earned over the course of the month. Only 2 articles earned over $5, and InfoPirate was my second highest earning channel. I finally integrated AdSense with Google Analytics, so from now on I will have the complete picture, but by these numbers 1/3 of my articles earned. Keep in mind this is without doing optimization or almost any backlinking because of the contest.

While I ended up with about 4x as many articles in November as October, suggesting earnings of maybe $130, I didn't spend most of the month at 351 articles. I spend almost all of October at 92. The discrepency is actually quite large. My earnings rate per article almost doubled over the course of the month.

I ended up winning the contest with 506 points, a new record score for the contest. The end was extremely difficult, I had a terrible cough that wrecked my throat and made me have to essentially stop talking. Remember that I use speech-to-text software? I had to physically type everything out over the last 4 days and it was rough, but I was determined not to let 26 days of hard work disappear.

The best part of the month was the last full week (Nov 22-28, my weeks start on Monday). Predicting a $70 total for the week, Thanksgiving seemed to get in the way of people's spending. After 3 and 4 days I was looking at not only missing the $70 mark, but falling short of the previous week's $49.62. On Sunday though, I had a record day totalling $20.02, bringing my total to $71.22 for the week. Ups and downs will happen, but the trends over time won't lie.

I've been earning a lot using social bookmarking sites with revenue share - almost 20% of my earnings are coming from these sites. (Use the link to see my list of the best ones - they're all free)

Past and Present Predictions

So far, I've made every single one of my earnings goals. To get to $70 one week up from $49 the previous is the most shocking success I've had so far. I keep trying to make predictions that I can't quite reach, but they end up working out somehow. Who would have thought I'd earn $198.98 one month after earning $32.78? Not me that's for sure. With that in mind I've created a set of December goals I think you'll find wonderfully unreachable:

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


For how I actually do things, and plan on reaching $700 up from $200, (this is the interesting part folks!) head on to Part 2: Let's talk tactics


Dec 1, 2010 11:52am
Great introductory summary!!! As usual, I'm lovin' the rate of change and trends in the numbers :)
Dec 1, 2010 12:06pm
haha the numbers look DEADLY. Lovin' the pic.
Dec 1, 2010 12:10pm
Totally AWESOME!
Dec 1, 2010 1:38pm
Thanks aguy!
Dec 1, 2010 12:34pm
What a great article AJ! I'm supposed to be heading back to work now but I think I'll read part 2 first. :)
Dec 1, 2010 1:39pm
I'm honored you'd give up work to read this series! haha
Dec 1, 2010 1:14pm
Your success here is so inevitable - Awesome job! Can't wait till your earnings pass me by - at your pace it will probbaly happen in December or January!! :0 Congrats!
Dec 1, 2010 1:41pm
Thanks chez, not only for providing a model for success, but for being so helpful within the community!
Dec 1, 2010 2:11pm
Thanks for the details. This is interesting, but distracting me for the December contest. :-)
Dec 1, 2010 2:13pm
I also have a contest/writing article that could provide further distraction...haha best of luck to you dpeach!
Dec 1, 2010 2:19pm
Wow! Wow! Wow!Your plan and the execution are both GREAT! Thanks again for the inspiration!(I'm too supposed to be writing articles right now -:)!)
Dec 1, 2010 2:32pm
Thanks LoveSpaces, it was a long time in the making!

I guess you and dpeach will be duking it out. I'll be watching you climb the leader board. Good luck & have fun!
Dec 1, 2010 2:44pm
Thank you AJ! I wonder about your "Forum Posts: 1000 (17/day)"? What exactly do you try to accomplish with this?
Dec 1, 2010 2:47pm
Profile points. The top profiles are featured on the homepage - and it's more prominent in IB 2. based on the glimpse I saw. If it's # of articles, I'm in a good spot, if it's total profile points, I have some work to do.

Also, they provide a very weak backlink to your profile apparently, but this really isn't a motivation for me.
Dec 1, 2010 2:58pm
Thanks for the update. You're obviously working hard; your progress is inspiring.
Dec 1, 2010 3:12pm
Thanks AnaJackson! (I checked out your profile, you have nicely designed articles)
Dec 1, 2010 3:25pm
Awesome article! And thanks for the shout out to my blog!
Dec 1, 2010 3:34pm
Thanks Eric!

I knew there was something I forgot - it's now an active link. I hope it sends some traffic your way.
Dec 1, 2010 3:36pm
Thanks man, I appreciate it! Also, maybe when you have some free time over the next month or two, I'd like to do a written interview with you on my blog. I know you're not making millions yet, but I think you're a success story in the making and I'd love to share it with all of my readers.
Dec 1, 2010 3:41pm
That would be wonderful! I'm going to try to get back to writing on my blog now that the IB contest is over - so there will be something for new visitors to check out.

Want to say early January? I'm sure December will be rather hectic for you just like it will be for me. Also - I think December could be a huge breakthrough month, and it might be good to give insight into that in the interview.
Dec 1, 2010 3:45pm
I was thinking the same thing - the more months we wait (January is totally fine though) the more powerful your story will be, because I have no doubt your earnings are going to continue increasing at a significant pace.
Dec 1, 2010 3:48pm
Ah, well it doesn't have to be January, so long as it's not December! I guess we can see where things are at come the new year and decide what will make for the best story.
Dec 1, 2010 3:49pm
Sounds great - we'll definitely be in touch either way.
Dec 1, 2010 8:27pm
That was a huge jump in earnings! Great article.
Dec 2, 2010 11:34am
Thanks Ernie - and thanks for sharing your IB updates all this time too!
Dec 2, 2010 10:24am
this is a fantastic article, thanks for sharing
Dec 2, 2010 11:35am
I'm glad you liked it Louis - thanks for the feedback!
Dec 7, 2010 10:54pm
That's really excellent. It's a pretty nice rush to see the earnings come in and increase like that. My biggest downfall is production. I have lists of articles to write, but am just too slow. It's frustrating, but slow and steady is fine I guess.
I'm considering buying MS. I looked at some keyword thing today and was interested...$99 a MONTH! Pssh. No way.
Keep up the great work! You deserve it!
Dec 7, 2010 11:02pm
For $99 a month that keyword tool had better write the articles as well haha.

I think the $97 one-time fee for MSam is worth it. Of course, if you're considering it take the trial. And absolutely nothing wrong with slow & steady. I'm fast and erratic, very little optimization going on.

Thanks for the comment JP :)
Dec 14, 2010 11:32pm
That awesome, Good on on you.
Dec 15, 2010 12:20am
Thanks Jak2010.
Dec 24, 2010 8:30am
Great work Walton. Best wishes for your $700/month hunt.
Dec 24, 2010 11:20am
Thanks shabarigirish! I was unaware of the "late December lull" - so I probably won't hit $700 this month. But I've learned a ton this month and the future looks great!

I did a bit of a double-take reading your comment. People in junior high always called me "Walton" hahah.
Jan 5, 2011 9:55pm
Have you ever considered promoting clickbank product?
Jan 5, 2011 10:01pm
This is something I've considered, but haven't made time to look into in detail. It's on my list of to-do items, which is unfortunately, a bit overwhelming right now. I know I'm leaving a lot of money on the table at present, but using the computer for extended periods is difficult so I focus mostly on the basics right now. I'll get there eventually - thanks for the tip :)
Jan 17, 2011 2:47pm
AJ, this is a great article. What do you mean by forum posts? How does that help with the numbers?

Jan 17, 2011 3:28pm
Forum posts help because now almost every new member knows who I am. People sign up with my referral links or visit my blog. Having a ton of articles is great, being a trusted & respected member of a community is even better.
Jan 18, 2011 11:51am
Great point!

Thanks for being my friend. :)
Jan 18, 2011 12:10pm
You bet! We're all in this together. :)
Feb 13, 2011 12:27pm
You are the most inspiring story onboard IB.....Every time i m bored of writing i read your tactics :)
Aug 22, 2011 11:08am
Thanks sushantkshr!
Aug 21, 2011 8:46pm
I hope to follow your tactics also... hehe... Thanks anyway for the very informative articles.
Aug 22, 2011 11:09am
Best of luck to you esemchoy. By all means adapt them too - I'd recommend most people build backlinks for instance.
Aug 22, 2011 7:36pm
Thanks AJ. But actually, I'm just still starting in IB. Although I have written a lot of articles for other people in the past, I still don't have enough idea in SEO,PRs or backlinks... Do you have any advices or articles about this things? Thanks again.
Aug 22, 2011 8:04pm
Ahh gotcha. Actually I don't, I probably should though.

The most important thing is learning to do good keyword research. I promise that if you master this, you can succeed with almost ANY online endeavor. I'd pick up Howie and Jason's "InfoBarrel Success" ebook (maybe ask on the forum where you can get it - they do give it out free).

SEO I can sum up like this: Use your keyword in the title, first paragraph, and first heading of your articles. Use other related keywords as much as possible throughout the article. ex// Your keyword is "four wheeler" - you should also use "quad" and "atv" in your article. That's it. Don't worry about how many times you use each keyword, natural writing works just fine!

Learn to do that, and the rest is easy (and none of the other stuff is mandatory to know or do!)
Aug 23, 2011 5:50am
wow... thank you very much! No wonder why most of the people here in IB prefer to write with keywords. Perhaps this also the reason why my 2 blogs didn't work out because I used to write without thinking of keywords. Now I should read how to search for good keywords.
Aug 31, 2011 8:57am
Thanks for the awesome articles AJ, I'm just starting here on infobarrel after I read about it on "my 4 hour work week". Your articles give me great inspiration and motivation!
Sep 22, 2011 6:49pm
Good stuff. You are an inspiration to continue writing and learning.
Oct 2, 2011 9:50am
AJ you really are living it now aren't you?! Well done and keep at it. I can but dream and work.xx
Oct 11, 2011 8:04pm
Fantastic, you go girl I am hoping that I can make as much as you do, looking forward to this new program, thank you for the information.
Oct 22, 2011 9:33pm
Thanks for this information.
Mar 19, 2012 10:28pm
Thanks for your Info Barrel earnings report and it will eventually encourage us to write more articles to improve our earnings.
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