It's time to start getting in the income report groove. August 2012 being my first month on InfoBarrel, the figures are rather tiny, but you do need to start somewhere. And it can pretty much only go up! Thanks to everyone in the InfoBarrel community for being so welcoming and helpful. This is an excellent community, and I hope my monthly reports will be a help to someone down the line. They'll certainly help keep me dedicated to improving month to month.

My InfoBarrel Approach

Like many people here, my goal is to build my passive income streams into enough money that I can leave my full-time career job (in marketing). I've freelanced as a writer online for the past year, and I've decided to take much of my ongoing monthly online income from that and invest it into my passive income strategies from day 1. The monthly budget I've set is $100, and I'm going to report on that here too as it does affect my total earnings. Now, onto the numbers:

InfoBarrel articles published in August 2012: 43
Total Articles: 43 (month 1)

August 2012 Income

  • Infobarrel (First article published July 31, Adsense approved August 7)
    • AdSense: $.11
    • Amazon Affiliate: $0
    • Other Affiliate: $0
    • Chitika: $0
    • RedGage: $.35
  • Niche Site (launched August 10, 2012)
    • Adsense: $.04
  • Other Online
    • Freelance Writing: $101
    • GymPact: $5


August 2o12 Expenses

TOTAL EXPENSES: -$94.75 ($100 monthly budget)

I talk about the services I use on my profile page. I plan on writing up some articles about my experiences with them, but so far they've all been very useful, especially if you use tier two and tier three backlinking strategies.

Total August 2012 Online Profit: +$11.75

Biggest Accomplishments

It was a month of firsts for me. I'd say getting my AdSense approved without having a site to my name (solely off of InfoBarrel articles) was my biggest accomplishment. I've noticed a lot of people having a rough go of that route in the forums, but it is possible. I applied for AdSense after I posted my first article and a second was pending approval, and I made sure I wrote and submitted an article every day during the waiting process (8 total days). I  had eight published InfoBarrel articles by the time my AdSense was approved. I also filled out all of my W-9 paperwork on AdSense during that time to show Google I am serious about using their system. I'm not sure if that helped, but if there are people reading this that are in a similar boat, I want them to know exactly what I did.

Quite a few of my InfoBarrel articles are already being ranked in the 2nd and 3rd page for their primary keywords, some are even flirting with page 1. I am the first to admit that I am an absolute geek for this part of the game (backlinking and ranking strategies) due to my marketing background, so seeing some decent early SERP returns for the lowest competition keywords is exciting. I'm looking forward to getting some of my more competitive keywords to rank.

I also launched my first ever niche site using Thesis on Wordpress. While the build and the content was a lot of fun to put together, I can already see that I have to really think about my strategy for ranking. I've been able to get the site within the top 64 (highest rank 30), but at PR0 it is destined to waffle in and out for a while. It's a marathon not a sprint, so I'm looking forward to this challenge.

Most Important Things I've Learned In The First Month

Most is newbie stuff, but it's good to share:

  • Getting into a daily writing habit is key. Seriously. Try to publish an article a day. When the habit is set, you'll find it becomes much easier than it sounds.
  • Aim to get 31 InfoBarrel contest points. The bump in AdSense percentage the following month is a big benefit.
  • Don't get bummed out if your content is denied, just learn, revise, and resubmit. InfoBarrel has high standards and particular requirements for external links, as it should. You learn as you go and try not to make the same mistakes twice (though that can happen too).
  • Sign up for all revenue opportunities at InfoBarrel, especially Amazon. Don't leave money sitting on the table. And take advantage of the two self-serving links per article and signature. Build affiliate opportunities.
  • Use signatures to cross promote relevant articles. I have a lot of work still to do here, but it's a great way to boost traffic.

 Goals For September 2012

  • 30 - 35 articles on InfoBarrel. I am doing well with getting up a few hours earlier and using it as quiet writing/backlinking time, but 43 articles in a month (like this past month) is tough with my current full-time work schedule. I'm going to try to settle into an article a day on the week days, and two to four articles per weekend. I use some evening time each day for keyword research and link building too.
  • One new niche site. This should be doable as I have already researched and built the site architecture. I just need to punch out a first round of content.
  • Learn the inner workings of Market Samurai. I've taken about half of the dojo video training courses, but it's time to get my black belt in Market Samurai.
  • Figure out how to get the advertising on InfoBarrel to be more relevant to my content and make the necessary changes to all articles. I have some pages where the ad is spot on relevant, while other pages are showing seemingly random products. I'm assuming it has something to do with my selected keyword being too specific.
  • Add affiliate opportunities and signatures to ten articles that are currently missing them. I have about twenty articles that need this attention, so ten this month and ten next should cover me.
  • Research Squidoo and HubPages. I am definitely concentrating on InfoBarrel content right now, but I want to diversify my content portfolio. I know very little about either site, so this month will just be fact-finding.
  • And finally some new number goals for September, month 2:
    • Increase AdSense earnings to $2 (big jump from fourteen cents)
    • Get my first Amazon Affiliate sale
    • Have at least one other affiliate sale
    • Make a total of $7 from InfoBarrel efforts
    • Increase my freelance online writing income to $125. It used to be much more, but with most of my efforts now going towards my own content, my freelance has taken a plunge. I think I can get it back to $125 though, maybe higher.
    • Make $14 from GymPact. This is a brilliant online service that pays you for exercising. Of course you need to wager against yourself, so if you don't meet your goals, you'll have to pay them money. Great idea and keeps you motivated.

And that's that. Thanks for reading and see you next month, hopefully with numbers that smash my goals. 

And Now...Some Books I Highly Recommend

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
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(price as of Aug 20, 2013)
Outliers: The Story of Success
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(price as of Aug 20, 2013)