Annual Passive Income and Business Goal Report 2013

Here is an end-of-year assessment of my “improvement” or “progress” with my passive income and business.

Ever since this time last year, I’ve been more serious about setting goals and passive income targets and I’ve been sharing them here on my blog. Half way through the year, I reported on my progress on the first 6 months of the year (a total of $3331.00). And then, I made my income reports quarterly after the third quarter of this year when I’d made $2610.90).

So, what can I tell you now that all the stats, sales figures and goal achievements are in and correlated? Well, I still like cats

2 cats

Any old excuse to show a cute photo of cats. I have a Facebook mind! But I think I’ll put a picture of a cat in every income report from now on – it’ll make them easier to find through the thumbnail images on the archive pages!

My passive income

My target for the fourth quarter of 2012 was an ambitious $3,500. Here’s how I did (spoiler: badly). My passive income for these reports is divided into two sections: product sales and affiliate sales.

Sales of my products

I have two e-books:

Here are the sales from these books for the 3 months to September 30th 2012 in comparison with the 3 months to December 31st 2012:

My product 2012 Q3 2012 Q4
Running a Web Design Business $570.59 $375.24
How To Get Clients $238.16 $232.09
Total: $808.75 $607.33

Bugger! However, I wouldn’t have noticed this reduction in product profits without doing these quarterly reports. Time to create a new product, methinks! See more below! πŸ˜‰

Affiliate commissions

Affiliate commissions can be earned where a special type of hyperlink on your site is clicked to a product seller’s site and a purchase is made. As you can see, I’ve made some money from Genesis – a WordPress theme, WPML – a WordPress plugin and iContact – an email delivery service, to name but three.

Affiliate product 2012 Q3 2012 Q4
Genesis WordPress theme $493.45 $778.79
WPML WordPress Multi-Lingual plugin $229 $315
WishList Member WordPress membership site plugin $87.30 VPS hosting $85 $85
Bluehost shared hosting $715 $130
Siteground hosting $80
GoDaddy domain name registration $5.69 $17.43
E-Junkie shopping cart system $7.20 $7.20
Aweber email marketing and delivery $36.30 $29.40
iContact email marketing and delivery $163.80 $355.99
Others $66.71 $117.59
Total: $1802.15 $2003.70

Calculating affiliate profits can be quite difficult as they all have different schemes and some of the affiliate CMSs leave a lot to be desired! I’m making excuses here because I might have made a few errors in the calculation of the 2012 Q3 figures. I think $715 from Bluehost was far too much and I don’t know where I got that from!


So, if you add my income from sales of my e-books this quarter, $607.33, together with income from affiliate sales, $2003.70, you get a total of $2611.03. This is under my ambitious target of $3,500. :(

Passive Income Annual Total!

Adding up all my e-book sales and affiliate sales gives you the following passive income totals for 2012:

E-book sales 2012 Affiliate commissions 2012 Total passive income 2012
$2,636.24 $6,916.76 $8,553

Not bad, considering my passive income for the previous year was only around $1,000!


Business report

OK. So much for hard and fast figures. Now here’s the bit where I ask myself what exactly have I achieved in these last three months?

General business targets

I made three general goals for the last three months:

I have to admit that I was fairly sure I would achieve these goals as I’d already done some of the work. I have chosen a much harder target for the next three month (see below).

Specific business targets

Here are my specific targets that I set three months ago and more targets for three months’ time.

Target Q4 2012 target Q4 2012 actual Q1 2013 target
Passive Income $3,500 $2447.10 $3,000
Monthly unique visitors 55,000 59,500 50,000
Number of guest posts published 4 3 6

I’m going to go through these now, one by one, and explain my thinking behind them.

  • My passive income target was probably too ambitious. It stubbornly stayed at around two and a half grand. So $3,000 will still be difficult next time. Β XΒ Target Missed!
  • Secondly, monthly unique visitors, I get a ridiculous amount of traffic towards the end of the year for my calendars. This is why my Q1 2013 target is lower than the actual number for Q4 2012. That’s going to be difficult. βœ” Target Achieved!
  • Thirdly, number of guest posts published, this is something that I can do relatively easily but I don’t do enough because I’m a lazy arse. Can do better!Β X Target Missed!

Damn! I’m going to have to write some guest posts now. Boring!


Now for the silly bit…

Indicator 30th Sept 2012 31st Dec 2012
My Twitter followers 1891 1884(!)
My YouTube Channel, subscribers 212 280
My YouTube Channel, video views 106,729 143,049
Facebook page Likes/Fans 291 339
Subscribers to 5,031 5,488

Mixed results. And, possibly, showing us that it’s getting harder to grow an audience due to the amount of competition. There was a reduction or at least a levelling off in the increase in my Facebook Fans and subscribers. And, my Twitter followers actually went down! This was because I unfollowed a load of people!

Business targets for next year

More than anything, I want to create a successful product at a higher price point than my two e-books. I’m sure this is possible. I know there is a market and I know I can create something of value.

I really hope in the next three months I can create a video course at The information will go into more detail than the e-books. I plan to create a professional business website “live” on video and go in much more detail about how to get good web design clients and run a healthy business for my fellow designers.

So, hold me to it!

Personal targets for 2013

I don’t want to only strive to make more money next year because, as we all know, money isn’t everything. I’m interested in helping people, whether it’s giving advice about business or graphic design for free or doing voluntary work in the community, and I hope to be doing more of this in 2013.

It was great to run my business while on holiday in Brazil and I hope to go to Thailand soon for a much longer period. I’m not quite sure when though. But, travelling will be a big part of 2013 with any luck. And furthermore, I need to get back into taking exercise (hitting the gym and doing my T’ai Chi as much as possible from now on!)

More income reports

Do you like to read about how much money other people are making? I do. Here are a list of some of my favorite bloggers’ income reports (without mentioning Pat Flynn who’s too obvious):

What do you think?

I’ve written a few posts like this now. Are they helpful to you? Or am I getting a bit repetitive?

Did this help you? If so, please share!

Download my 2 free e-books and 2 free MP3s on running an online business & getting clients

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  1. says

    Thanks for yet another insightful passive income report Rob. I find them very inspiring.This is one aspect of blogging that I want to get started with this year myself.

    Oh and please do continue to delight us with the cute cat pictures :-)

    (Btw: Over the Holidays I finally made the switch to Genesis ;-))

  2. says

    Great read Rob, it’s always interesting to catch up on how you’re doing.

    Traveling is something I definitely hope to do more of this year as well, particularly as the weather is so miserable in the UK. You can grab your laptop and work anywhere so you might as well make the most of it!

    I’ve also got a site to add to your list of bloggers that discuss their passive income if that’s ok?

    I only discovered it the other day, lots of interesting information on there about SEO and link building and he’s also a fellow Brit which is always nice!

    • says

      Hey Mark, thanks a lot. Yes, this time of year in the UK is always a little bleak weather-wise. I look forward to hearing about your travels!

      Yes, thanks for putting me on to Matthew Woodward, he does seem interesting and I’d never heard of him. Will check him out over the coming weeks/months. I always think that there aren’t many good Brit bloggers when you consider how many good Australian ones there seem to be (and US, of course).

  3. says

    Great Article… I was interested in learning more about creating wordpress themes. Does this involved much tech skill.. and did you have to pay anything to intially create the theme?

    Thanks Rob!