Month 6: New year blues? Yes or no?

Welcome to the new year! I'm expecting 2013 to be full of passive income growth and good things for all. January marks month six for me in tracking my online income (including many passive income strategies), and while I was expecting it to be a bit down compared to December, I'm pleasantly surprised by the final numbers, especially how they came about. More on that later, but first let's see the data points:

The Numbers

Articles and niche sites built in January

InfoBarrel articles published in January 2013: 27
Total InfoBarrel articles: 183 (6 month total)

Squidoo lenses published in January 2013: 4
Total Squidoo lenses published: 25 (5 month total)

Niche sites built in January 2013: 1 
Total niche sites: 2

January 2013 financials

InfoBarrel AdSense: $19.22 ($28.48 in December) 
Niche Site AdSense: $17.86 ($2.65 in December)
InfoBarrel Amazon Affiliate: $3.86 ($7.25 in December) 
Other Amazon Affiliate: $14.51 (new)
Squidoo: $7.79 ($6.33 in December) 
Other Affiliate: $0 ($0 in December) 
Chitika: $.29 ($.35 in December) 
RedGage: $.72 (.97 in December)
Bubblews:  $22.61  ($16.71 in December)
Online Freelance Writing: $110.50 ($125.25 in December) 

GymPact: $7.87 ($8.80 in December)
Gomez Peer: $5.24     ($4.52 in December)


TOTAL MONTH EXPENSES: -$72.35 ($100 monthly budget)

TOTAL MONTHLY PROFIT: +$138.12 (up from $106.56 in December 2012).

Biggest Accomplishments

This month it's an easy one: I am happiest with my first niche site starting to pull in some money. I launched it in late August, and had very little traffic over the course of the first four months.

But the faucet turned on (at least a trickle) in early January. The site jumped to #1 in the SERPs (search engine results pages) for my primary keyword, #3 for my secondary keyword (which is a stronger one than my primary), and from #7 to #45 for a slew of long tail keywords I had been marginally targeting. My traffic jumped from 5 to 10 visits a day to 75 to 100 visits per day - about 1,500 unique visitors in January. 

All very exciting, but it also leads to my greatest challenge. How to best monetize this new-found traffic. The niche site is not targeting truly commercial keywords, so the traffic is not converting to sales at the levels I'd like...yet. It did, though, come close in AdSense revenue to my InfoBarrel articles. I've tried a few ClickBank products in the past (none showed promise), and now I am instead tying in Amazon affiliate links. That did lead to my first sale from the site yesterday, but I've got a feeling there's still a better option.

I am leaning towards creating a Kindle book on the topic for sale for a few dollars. I've heard good things about the approach from those in the InfoBarrel forums, and this is a topic that would work with a fifteen to twenty page e-book. If anyone has an opinion on this tactic, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. 

What I’ve Learned In Month Six

Don't be afraid to experiment, but don't be trigger happy if things aren't panning out in just a few days. 

Building passive income takes a lot of research and experimentation with different strategies. You've got to be willing to let go of tactics you think may not be working (like backlinking to certain sites) if you feel the time associated with it won't pay out in the future. That being said - and here's the lesson - don't be trigger happy when it comes to moving from one experiment to another. It can take weeks for you to see the effects of some of your choices - even months! A few days isn't going to tell you much, and if you are quick to move from one idea to the next, you may never get a real sense of the potential of any given strategy. The Internet may be a fast paced game, but the strategy behind your marketing has got to be deliberate, and patience is key to understanding what works. 

Bubblews still rocks

For all the flash in the pan talk about that site, boy does it rank! I've mentioned it in the InfoBarrel forums, but I'll say it here too: I've got Bubblews posts that are outranking a lot of the articles that I backlink in the post itself. That's some strong coffee they're pouring over there.

Will it last? Who knows. I hope. The team seems very dedicated, and I actually am enjoying reading many of my fellow IB'ers posts, along with some of the better posters over there. It's become a big source of readers for my InfoBarrel and Squidoo posts (many from the SERP ranks these are getting.) And it definitely doesn't hurt that their revenue share is based on impressions, likes, and dislikes. It's a big advantage to promoting those articles (backlinking your backlinks). 

Goals For February 2013

  • Write 18 InfoBarrel articles. Next month I'm going to split time a little more between InfoBarrel and Squidoo. I want to get to 50 lenses by the end of March. But I am shooting for that magic 200 article  InfoBarrel number in February!
  • Create 12 Squidoo lenses (markweaver there too)
  • Work on another niche website. I've narrowed it down to two potential niches. I don't expect the site will be completed in February (more like March). 

My financial goals for my month seven, February 2013:

  • $50 from InfoBarrel AdSense (I'm going to keep the same goal that was not met in January 2013. A little tough with the shorter month.)
  • $30 from all Amazon affiliate sales across sites (Another goal status quo. At some point it will all kick up a notch.)

Again, thanks to everyone in the InfoBarrel community. There are a lot of good peeps roaming these halls. Good things to every last one of you! 

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