Month 4: Another Month Of Growth!

Month four is now all tied up, and while there's good overall growth, individual results were a mixed bag. A few strong increases and a few big steps back, and, as always, I learned a lot during the ride. I share my key takeaways below. If you're new to my income reports, I began them from month one with InfoBarrel (August 2012), so you can see the entire revenue growth pattern and learn what I learned each month of the journey. You can see them all on my profile page. Now the good stuff!

The Numbers

Articles and niche sites built in November

InfoBarrel articles published in November 2012: 31
Total InfoBarrel Articles: 136 (4 month total)

Squidoo lenses published in November 2012: 5
Total Squidoo lenses published: 17 (3 month total)

Niche sites built in November 2012: 0 
Total niche sites: 2

November 2012 financials

InfoBarrel AdSense: $37.52 ($22.86 in October) 
Niche Site AdSense: $.67 ($1.92 in October)
InfoBarrel Amazon Affiliate: $11.04 ($23.49 in October) 
Squidoo Amazon Affiliate: $.59 ($2.85 in October) 
Other Affiliate: $17 ($0 in October) 
Chitika: $.44 ($.25 in October) 
RedGage: $1.14 (.97 in October)
Bubblews:  $5.90  ($8.22 in October)
Online Freelance Writing: $138.00 ($194.70 in October) 
GymPact: $10.55 ($10.50 in October)


TOTAL MONTH EXPENSES: -$94.75 ($100 monthly budget. See my August 2012 income report for my breakdown. Also look at my my profile page for some of the keyword tools I use.)

TOTAL MONTHLY PROFIT: +$128.10 (down from $171.01 in October 2012).

Biggest Accomplishments

It certainly wasn't my freelance writing this month. But of course last month was above and beyond the norm. I saw some solid growth from most other areas, except for Amazon on InfoBarrel. That took a pretty big step back, but with the upcoming Amazon changes on InfoBarrel, I'm looking forward to big Amazon months ahead!

I'd say my two biggest accomplishments this month were earning my first non-InfoBarrel/Squidoo affiliate money and increasing my InfoBarrel AdSense by 64% month over month. The former shows me that there's much more to explore out there in affiliate marketing, and the latter gives me the passion to keep on pushing! 

What I’ve Learned In Month Four

I've written about every month of my passive income journey and what I've learned in each.  You can find them all on my profile page, and for the newcomer, I hope they help! For month four, here's the three things that will stick with me. 

You take the good, you take the bad...

Yup. It's the facts of life. There are going to be ups and downs. This is the first month where I had a pretty steep decline in a key area. Obviously, I knew it would happen at some point, but that doesn't stop the desire for every month to be a big win.

The takeaway is to shake it off and look forward. Don't let the steps back control you, especially when it comes to passive income. There will be MANY moments where they don't meet your expectations, and if you let those times stop you, you won't be rewarded down the line. Just keep at it. Write more and improve your previous articles so that there are better times to come. 

Create writing challenges for yourself

I thank my 10th grade English teacher for this. Once a week she used to force everyone to write a complete paper in a 50-minute class session. As a 10th grader it just felt like punishment, but as an adult looking back, it was probably the unsung life lesson of my high school years. It teaches you deadlines. But as importantly, it teaches you how to challenge yourself and just get writing. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you force yourself to a fifty-minute window in a focused environment. Even if you don't finish your article, you'll have a great draft going. 

There are other challenges you can create, too. I've found the 50-minute writing technique to work well for me. 

Choose your battles

Entering my fifth month, I now have a pretty good stable of articles across InfoBarrel and Squidoo, plus some niche site writing. It's over 150 total at this point, and this is the first month where the upkeep, backlinking, and promoting of everything began to feel overwhelming. In fact, it wasn't even possible as one person alone with a full-time career.

The lesson here: choose your battles proactively (and strategically) each month. Perhaps it's a good month to strengthen your top performing articles even more. Maybe it's time to turn those "articles with potential" into real winners. Or, it could even be time to analyze what's performing well and look for complementary themes that have the potential to crush it too.

You won't get to everything, but you can make what you get to count a lot. 

Goals For December 2012

  • Reach 150 InfoBarrel articles. It's the end game of my goal to be at 150 InfoBarrel articles before 2013 hits. That's 14 articles before January 1, so I am in good shape to exceed it. 
  • Create five Squidoo lenses (markweaver there too)
  • Become a Market Samurai expert and get KeywordMap Pro down cold. There's a lot to learn on keywords and I am really loving the pairing of these two pieces of software. KeywordMap Pro (very similar to the Google Wonder Wheel) gives me inspiration (and great related keyword terms for LSI/LSA), and Market Samurai is still the go to keyword software for understanding competition and (very importantly) revenue potential.

And finally, my financial goals for my month five, December 2012:

  • $50 from InfoBarrel AdSense (up $12 from where I ended last month. With this being the holiday month, it can be hit!)
  • $30 from all Amazon affiliate sales across sites (looking for a bounce back with the holidays!)

December should be strong, and I'm expecting big results! As always, I look forward to seeing great things from all those on InfoBarrel. And for the new people who've stumbled upon my income report - welcome and start crushing it!

And Now...Some Books I Highly Recommend

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Amazon Price: $24.00 $9.00 Buy Now
(price as of May 13, 2016)
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
Amazon Price: $24.99 $5.29 Buy Now
(price as of May 13, 2016)
Outliers: The Story of Success
Amazon Price: $16.99 $4.95 Buy Now
(price as of May 13, 2016)