Smashed My Month 2 Income Goals!

I thought I’d get that right out of the way. No dilly-dallying on the numbers, it was a good month two in terms of goal smashing. I doubled my InfoBarrel financial goal and met most of my other September goals that I mentioned in my August online income report. Obviously nowhere near “living off my passive income” numbers yet - it was only my second month - but every win counts. Here’s the breakdown, then I’ll jump into what I learned along the way and goals for October.

The Numbers

Articles and niche sites built in September

InfoBarrel articles published in September 2012: 30
Total InfoBarrel Articles: 73 (2 months total)

Squidoo lenses published in September 2012: 5
Total Squidoo lenses published: 5 (1 month total)

Niche sites built in September 2012: 1
Total niche sites: 2

September 2012 financials

InfoBarrel AdSense: $2.50 ($.11 in August)
Niche Site AdSense: $0 ($.04 in August)
InfoBarrel Amazon Affiliate: $11.50 ($0 in August)
Squidoo Amazon Affiliate: $0 (really just started)
Other Affiliate: $0 ($0 in August)
Chitika: $.15 ($0 in August)
RedGage: $1.04 (.35 in August)
Online Freelance Writing: $110.54 ($101 in August)
GymPact: $8.30 ($5 in August)

TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME: $134.03

TOTAL MONTH EXPENSES: -$94.75 ($100 monthly budget. I talk about my budget strategy in my August 2012 income report. You can also see what services I use on my profile page.)

TOTAL MONTHLY PROFIT: +$39.28 (up from $11.75 in August 2012).

Biggest Accomplishments

I met most of my goals from August 2012 and then some! I was shooting for $2 in InfoBarrel AdSense income in my second month and eeked out a win. And I had my first Amazon affiliate sales. My goal for InfoBarrel based earnings in month two was $7, and I hit $14.15.

I had  hopes to advance my Market Samurai education another step, but I was sidelined in the second part of the month by Squidoo! Part of my August 2012 goal was to explore other sites to diversify my income opportunities, and learning about Squidoo was part of that. I ended up enjoying it so much that I’ve built five lenses in the past ten days. It’s an addicting platform to work on with a lot of good revenue potential. No income yet for me there, but really it’s just begun. Plus, there’s great strategic opportunity to cross-promote InfoBarrel articles to help build traffic and more revenue generation opportunities. I am on Squidoo under the same MarkWeaver handle.

What I’ve Learned In Month Two

Like in my first month’s income report, I am writing these with the hopes that they'll be a help to someone just starting out. I know the first few months can be especially challenging in any new venture.

Month two - Gone is the “new car smell”

Month one of your passive income dreams is exciting! There are big plans and eyeballs the size of plates when it comes to the opportunities that lie ahead. Month two is different. Month two is when you start feeling the new content grind. Daily writing starts taking its toll. It’s when you start checking your Adsense every few hours to see if anything has changed (and normally it hasn’t). And it’s when, I bet, most people who are in it for income throw in the towel.

On the flip side, month two is where real dedication is born. It forces you to acknowledge that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It makes you adjust your habits and find new ways to motivate yourself. If you power your way through month two, you are more than likely in it for the long haul. Know that the moment of truth is coming in month two, where you’ll wonder if the efforts are worth it. If you make it through, you’ll be stronger for it.

Google Analytics is your friend for understanding traffic patterns and discovering new opportunity

I have an article that, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was causing it to be as popular as it has been. It isn’t ranking anywhere in the top 64 of Google search results for the keyword I am targeting. In fact, to date it isn’t within the first ten pages of results. Yet, it’s my second most popular article next to my first income report.

Enter Google Analytics. Through it, I discovered that the article is ranking high for a secondary keyword, not one I was even consciously targeting. Not only did I solve the riddle, this knowledge opened up a new potential keyword to build content around, one that seemingly has low competition, but a high amount of popularity in terms of search. If you haven’t added Google Analytics to your InfoBarrel profile, I highly recommend doing so. It’s a powerful tool that can help increase your income.

Leverage Every Income Opportunity

I use a virtual private server (VPS) so that I can do keyword research and use full-blown computer programs on my iPad. It’s part of my budget above. I know it’s not the most efficient way of working, but in my full-time job, I often have small windows of time when I can get some quality research in and my iPad is the computer by my side. It's like the camera adage - the best camera you own is the one on you.

Back to the point, late this month I placed Gomez Peer (a service that pays you for unused processing power) on the VPS as a way to defray some budgetary costs. It may only equate to maybe $5 - $6 over the full course of a month (still in pending status), but that’s nearly half of the monthly cost of the VPS and I don’t even notice the program running.

The moral of the story is look for every legitimate passive income stream out there. Every dollar adds up. It's also why I love GymPact. I'm already exercising, so it's great someone pays me a small amount weekly to keep me motivated.

Goals For October 2012

  • Reach 100 InfoBarrel articles. The milestone is within targeting distance, and I am very excited to reach it.
  • Create five more Squidoo lenses. I can see why some people aren't fans of Squidoo, but for me the platform is aces. It’s just a lot of fun to use, and I'm a sucker for gamification.
  • Become a Market Samurai expert. I will keep adding this goal into my monthly goals until it is done.
  • Read and rate and/or comment on 20 InfoBarrel articles. There’s a lot of great writing happening on this site. It’s important to be involved.
  • Read and squidlike and/or comment on 20 Squidoo articles. Same as above only different.

And finally, my financial goals for my month three, October 2012:

  • $5 in InfoBarrel Adsense
  • $20 in Amazon Affiliate earnings (between all sites)

This is more than triple my previous month’s goal and a little short of double of what I actually made last month in these two areas. We’ll see if I can again smash my goal in my next report. Until then, thanks for reading, keep writing, and stay motivated!

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