Passive Income and Business Report – End of Year Special

Happy New Year! Every three months I do a passive income and business report. This one is really special because I now have data stretching back two years.

cat with multiple income streams

And I’ll look ahead and make some new years resolutions

My passive income

Passive income is income you can earn in your sleep – not like swapping hours for money.

Last quarter (July to September 2013) I earned, for me, a massive $5191.36 passive income. My passive income target for this quarter (October to December 2013) was an even more ambitious $6000.


I have three paid courses on Udemy. (More coming soon!)

Over the last three months my Udemy courses have brought in $3127.69.

I have just written a new Kindle book with the title How To Sell Video Courses Online: How I earn $1000+ a month while I sleep so I have to be true to my word and bring in an average of $1000 a month from Udemy.

If you’re interested, here’s an article on how to sell video courses with Udemy.

Amazon Kindle

This quarter I started to experiment with Amazon Kindle publishing. Apart from the above book about online teaching I also published Running A Web Design Business From Home: How To Find and Keep Good Clients and Make Money with Your Home Business.

I didn’t enter the Kindle marketplace with the intention to make money. Although Amazon’s royalties are a little tricky to work out, I might as well share the revenue with you here: (let’s call it) $200.

Google income

Although I’m not a big AdSense fanatic, I am starting to make a bit of money from my YouTube channel these days and I can bundle that in with the tiny AdSense revenue I get.

Total income from Google this quarter: $498.30.

Affiliate sales

I’d been making more money from affiliate sales in the past as a couple of articles on WordPress hosting that were quite popular. The popularity of these articles, however, has waned recently as they were written a while ago so my affiliate income has reduced.

Here is a breakdown of affiliate income from the last year.

Affiliate product 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3 2013 Q4
Genesis WordPress theme $76.94 0 $653.12 0
WPML WordPress Multi-Lingual plugin $397 $509 $345 $283
GoDaddy domain name registration $31.66 $35.43 $27.82 $27.54
E-Junkie shopping cart system $10.80 $3.60 $14.40 $7.20
Aweber email marketing and delivery $37.20 $38.00 $43.50 $47.90
Others $98.26 0 $12 $174.66
Total: $1499.33 $1231.03 $1214.84 $600.30

As you can see it’s dropping. I could write more articles reviewing products that I’m an affiliate for, but I only want to do this “naturally”.

Sales of my PDF e-books

I sell two PDF e-books from this site both costing $24.

Here are the sales of these e-books from the last four quarters:

My product 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3 2013 Q4
Running a Web Design Business $511.21 $470.14 $338.22 $157.87
How To Get Clients $26.47 $110.38 $21.20 $42.40
Total: $537.62 $580.52 $359.42 $200.27

It’s not to see why these sales are falling off. My Kindle e-books are on Amazon for $2.99 and, while they’re not the same content, it’s getting hard to justify $24 for a 10,000-word PDF e-book.


All together the Udemy income along with the e-books’ sales, the Google income, Kindle sales and the affiliate commissions brought in a grand total of $4626.56 in passive income in Q4 2013.

Down on the last quarter. :(

Annual totals

This should be interesting!

Period Revenue
2012 H1 $3331.07
2012 Q3 $2447.10
2012 Q4 $2611.03
2013 Q1 $2036.93
2013 Q2 $3,949.05
2013 Q3 $5191.36
2013 Q4 $4626.56

So, that makes the total for 2013, $15,803.90 compared with $8,553 from 2012.

That’s quite cool, actually. You can definitely say I’m kicking on with the passive income. I think this is mainly down to the Udemy products but you can also see the importance of multiple income streams.

My passive income target for 2014? Go on, $30,000 updated to $50,000 see comments below.

Business targets

Specific business targets

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

Target Q4 2013 target Q4 2013 actual Q1 2014 target
Passive Income $6,000 $4626.56 $6,000
Monthly unique visitors 30,000 22,084 30,000

As you can see, I missed my passive income and visitor targets for the last quarter of 2013. I’ll keep them the same for the first quarter 2014 and will see how we get on.

General business targets

Last quarter I had four business targets. Here’s how I got on:

  • Create another paid-for Udemy course (X Target Missed!)
  • Write and publish a Kindle book (✔✔ Target Achieved! – I created two)
  • Create a free WordPress plugin (X Target Missed!)
  • Launch a new exciting web app (Target Achieved!)

OK. Fair to middling. Let’s see how I get on in the next quarter.

By March 31st 2014, I will:

  • Write another Kindle
  • Create two more Udemy courses


These are a bit of a waste of time but I might as well keep doing them.

Indicator 31st Mar 2013 30th Jun 2013 30th Sep 2013 31st Dec 2013
My Twitter followers 2093 2353 2425 2523
My YouTube Channel, subscribers 409 599 773 964
My YouTube Channel, video views 183,271 231,097 273,007 322,185
Facebook page Likes/Fans 406 491 525 585
Subscribers to 5949 6130 6249 6491

Social follower numbers don’t mean anything without engagement. But, it’s a fun thing to keep an eye on.

Personal goals

My previous goals have been along the lines of looking after myself spiritually, mentally and physically (avoid alcohol, eat well, exercise, meditate and help people).

These haven’t been going great, apart from the meditation. I broke my arm two months ago and I got the flu over Christmas which gave me great excuses to not exercise and eat and drink badly. I haven’t had many breakthroughs with “helping people” either.

However, I have been feeling better these last few months and, as the weather deteriorates in London this time of year, that’s quite an achievement. I’m trying to feel grateful for what I have (which is a lot) and I think that’s helping.

Previous passive income and business reports

H1 2012
Q3 2012
Q4 2012
Q1 2013
Q2 2013
Q3 2013

You can do it

I’m really glad everytime I get an email from someone saying that they have been inspired by these income reports or by the site in general. I would like to thank you all for coming and contributing, I’m really grateful.

I wish you all the greatest health, wealth and happiness for 2014 and every year hereafter.

But, don’t forget, you can do it. You can achieve any passive income target you want to set. Just take one step at a time.

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

Plus a list of my 12 favorite resources for online business

two free books and two free mp3s and a list of favorite online tools


  1. says

    Hi Rob! Great Work! I’d love to know some other ideas you have kicking around that you can’t get to. You know, those “If I had more time” kinds of ideas.

    My best idea by far was creating a PDF book and selling it from my site. But not just any book. The book was vetted by the popularity of an article on my site. So if you have an “anchor article” brining in targeted traffic, you can do well. The more niche the better, if the article is about solving a problem people in that niche.

    • says

      That’s a good question. I think the more ideas you can get round to and explore the better. That’s a good New Year’s Resolution – act on more ideas.

      Your idea on acting on that popular blog post was exemplary. I think it’s proof that the best way to get ideas is to keep on writing different blog posts and experiment a bit. I think I need to write some slightly different stuff and get out of my comfort zone a bit.

      Happy New Year to you and yours, Doug.

  2. says

    Hi Rob,

    A very curious post, enjoyed the read. However I have one observation.

    Your target for next year, it’s a bit too realistic.

    I’ll explain:
    If you carry on with the rate of progress, I have no doubt that you’ll hit this as you are building upon everything you know and have already done. And that’s my point, this year you are not starting where you were last year, you are already several steps ahead.

    So having a target of only double this year is easy, why not go for $60,000 or 90,000 instead?

    This is 4 or 6 times more than last year because you’re already many, many of steps further on than last year. Plus it’ll get you out of your comfort-zone and help you think differently to what you have done (which is working, we’re just needing to up the pace a tad).


    PS. You know the goals I set myself for January 1st, they were so unrealistic I didn’t hit them but got very, very close.

    • says

      I guess you have a point, Matt, but I have a terrible scarcity attitude and you’re calling me out on it so, well done. Let’s have a look at the figures:

      Year 1: $1000
      Year 2: $8000
      Year 3: $15000
      Year 4 target: I say $30,000 you say $60,000 or $90,000

      So, you probably have a point. Targets should be SMART (the R is realistic). But maybe $50,000 – I’ll have to be very successful to do that. But, why not?

      OK, you’re the man. I’ll edit in the post…

  3. says

    Your posts are a real inspiration – thanks for doing them and for being ballsy enough to share all the gory details from revenue to goals and aspirations!

  4. says

    Absolutely amazing work on your income. Your Amazon ebooks sales of $200 is not great but I am sure it will pick up. The best ones are your Udemy courses. Well done. I am very much interested in starting one myself but seriously have to think of what type of courses I can do. Do you have a blog post about it?

  5. says

    Wow Rib…

    This is an AMAZING report!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You have reached most of your goals. What a great passive income making money for you while you sleep. And you never stop engagement with others, right? This is an ongoing thing. You really inspire me.

    This Udemy courses is one of my target goal. It’s kinda scary right now but with a lot of practice on YouTube, it will prolly become better.

    You work so hard, Rob. You are a multi-talented man who wears a lot of hats. Again, thank you for all the inspirations. I’m still reading your latest books! Anyway, it’s getting late here. Seems like nihhtime is my favorite night to read my friends blog.

    Have a great week my friend.


    • says

      I forgot to ask you…how did you manage not to put a date on this one? I want to reconstruct my other 2 niches web, develop the content and do not put a date. But how?

      I appreciate your help, Rob.


      • says

        Not with you here, Angela, this post is dated 2nd Jan. However, it’s easy to take off the date in WordPress but depends on your theme as to how you do it. Let me know if you need any help.

    • says

      I think engaging with others is one of the most important things you can do, Angela, and you do it better than me. :)

      Yes, keep on with the YouTube tutorials. Design how-tos with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are quite popular both on YouTube and Udemy. You will get better the more you do. You’re nice and slow and easy to understand already.

      I really don’t work that hard, honestly. Thanks for your kind words. :)

  6. says

    I came accross your site months ago when I was searching for ebook cover. I never cared about other things. I just saved the page and ruched out. But just yesterday I decided to go through the page and offcourse take another peep on your site only to notice that you are even doing greater things than I even thought. Give me a better sit cos am not leaving your site. Thanks 4 the detailed stat. You ar a “catalyst”.

  7. says

    I’m surpised you earned that much from YouTube ads. You should try experimenting with adding more videos.

    Keep up the great work Rob. These reports are pretty motivating.

  8. says

    Hi Cubbon,
    To be honest with you, this is really inspiring! I plan earning a four figured income this year and this post has indeed lifted my spirit.

    Thanks for this and do have a wonderful week.

  9. says

    Hi Rob,

    I bet your are doing great. You are my inspiration. I like that kind of reports. I also share it more often than you, every month!

    I could see that the main income was from your course, but you didn’t share where the buyers were coming from.

    If I am about to plan an online course as well, where you recommend me to promote it?

    Thank and hope to get some feedback soon.

    Happy New Year!

    • says

      I have an excel document with everything in it. It’s all different. All the platforms (Udemy, Adsense, Kindle) provide relatively up-to-date figures. The affiliates are a little more different. Some of them I go to there affiliate panel every time I do one of these posts. Sometimes I just add up the money I’ve received via PayPal. I make sure I do it the same way for each income stream each quarter so I can compare properly.