Just as we remember Paul McCartney singing, “Yes, I admit, it’s getting better,” we must remember John Lennon’s rejoinder, “It can’t get much worse!”
My huge Google organic traffic slide halted during the third quarter 2013 and there’s even some good passive income news to report. So, for now at least, things are looking up.
My passive income
Passive income, just in case you don’t know, is income that you can earn in your sleep – not income where you’re swapping hours for dollars. I was first introduced to this exciting business concept by Tim Ferriss’s 2008 book The 4 Hour WorkWeek.
Last quarter (April to June 2013) I was delighted to report I exceeded my passive income target of $3000 by nearly a grand. My passive income target for this quarter (July to September 2013) was an ambitious $4000. Let’s see how I’ve done…
Sales of my e-books
My first tentative foray into the exciting world of passive income was selling e-books on this site. So far, I’ve created two:
Here are the sales of these e-books from the last four quarters:
|My product||2012 Q4||2013 Q1||2013 Q2||2013 Q3|
|Running a Web Design Business||$375.24||$511.21||$470.14||$338.22|
|How To Get Clients||$232.09||$26.47||$110.38||$21.20|
Quite a disappointing quarter for e-book sales and I’m not entirely sure why. The drop in Google traffic will have something to do with it, of course.
Another way you can earn passive income through your website is by promoting products through affiliate links which will earn you commissions.
I earn money through products I use and then write about here. For example, I use the Genesis WordPress theme framework which drastically cuts down website development time and WPML – a WordPress plugin that makes multi-lingual websites.
Here are my affiliate earnings from the last four quarters.
|Affiliate product||2012 Q4||2013 Q1||2013 Q2||2013 Q3|
|Genesis WordPress theme||$778.79||$76.94||0||$653.12|
|WPML WordPress Multi-Lingual plugin||$315||$397||$509||$345|
|VPS.net VPS hosting||$85||$340||0||0|
|A2 VPS hosting||-||$170||$170||$85|
|Bluehost shared hosting||$130||-||-||-|
|GoDaddy domain name registration||$17.43||$31.66||$35.43||$27.82|
|E-Junkie shopping cart system||$7.20||$10.80||$3.60||$14.40|
|Aweber email marketing and delivery||$29.40||$37.20||$38.00||$43.50|
|iContact email marketing and delivery||$355.99||$137.97||$442.00||-|
|Tara’s logo course||-||$199.50||$33||$34|
You could say that they are holding up nicely, but I’m slightly disappointed by the direction these figures are taking.
But I’m not doing so well with the hosting commissions. As they can pay $50-$120 per sale, web hosts are a good thing to promote through a blog that talks so much about web design and development. I have articles on recommended shared hosts for WordPress and recommended VPS hosts for WordPress which have supplied a lot of income over the last few quarters.
Again, I can blame the drop in Google traffic but I’m not entirely sure why these figures are slightly down. Anyway, I will continue to promote affiliate products only when I have recently used one that I’m happy with.
Udemy, Udemy, Udemy!
There’s no doubt of my biggest passive income earner. I now have three paid courses on the online learning platform Udemy:
- Creating a Business Website with a Responsive Design
- Build Your Brand: Blogging, SEO, Social & Relationships
- Running A Web Design Business
Over the last three months my Udemy courses have brought in $3617.10.
It’ll be interesting to see how Udemy holds up over the coming months. We’ve all been in the online income game for long enough to never count on anything.
But, for the time being, Udemy looks like it could consistently bring in thousands of dollars of passive income over the coming months. If you’re interested, here’s an article on how to sell video courses with Udemy.
All together the Udemy income along with the e-books sales and the affiliate commissions brought in a grand total of $5191.36 in passive income in Q3 2013.
I’m really pleased I exceeded my target so handsomely. God knows if I can do that again.
Specific business targets
Here are my specific targets that I set three months ago and more targets for three months’ time.
|Target||Q3 2013 target||Q3 2013 actual||Q4 2013 target|
|Monthly unique visitors||30,000||22,500||30,000|
I’ve set a ridiculous passive income target of $6,000 for the next quarter.
And, as my traffic drop has now thankfully bottomed out, I think that 30,000 visitors a month by the end of the year is easily achievable.
General business targets
Last quarter I had only two business targets: to create another paid-for Udemy course (✔ Target Achieved!) and to write and publish a Kindle book (X Target Missed!)
I’m determined to succeed with Kindle so you’ve got to believe me that a Kindle book will be coming soon.
So, here are my new business targets. During the next quarter I will:
- Create another paid-for Udemy course
- Write and publish a Kindle book
- Create a free WordPress plugin
- Launch a new exciting web app
Quite a lot there. But hey, what’s the point of having goals if they’re not big ones?
These are just weird…
|Indicator||31st Dec 2012||31st Mar 2013||30th Jun 2013||30th Sep 2013|
|My Twitter followers||1884||2093||2353||2425|
|My YouTube Channel, subscribers||280||409||599||773|
|My YouTube Channel, video views||143,049||183,271||231,097||273,007|
|Facebook page Likes/Fans||339||406||491||525|
|Subscribers to RobCubbon.com||5488||5949||6130||6249|
There are some interesting movements here. You’d expect these follower numbers to rise consistently as long as you’re engaging regularly with the particular platform but that’s not the case. I’ve been regularly posting to Twitter and quite enjoying my Facebook page recently and yet these aren’t growing as fast as they used to. Another of the mysteries of this quarter. If anyone has any ideas as to why this is, I’m all ears.
And you’ll see I’ve added another metric to the list there – Udemy followers.
Of course, these are just numbers and social follower numbers don’t mean anything without engagement. But, it’s interesting to see how they’re getting on.
There’s been wonderful weather in London recently and that makes the locals happy!
I’ve been more-or-less pleased with my personal development – my Tai Chi and meditation are going well and, although I try to eat healthily and not drink too much alcohol, I still think I could do better in this regard.
I’m trying to balance work and play so I’ve been getting out and meeting people as well as staying in and working hard. I’m looking forward to our Meetup tomorrow in London.
Previous passive income and business reports
You can do it
I hope you can see from these reports that it is possible to earn a reasonable trickle of passive income from online activity.
I was delighted to hear that you guys wanted me to continue these reports last time so I look forward to the next one – the year end report.
As always, I look forward to reading your comments about this quarter and let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.