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 …
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:
- How To Get Clients my first e-book which I think is good but stubbornly doesn’t sell that well.
- Running a Web Design Business which is still a good book but sells much better, I think, because of the targetting of the title.
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|
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! 😉
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.net VPS hosting||$85||$85|
|Bluehost shared hosting||$715||$130|
|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|
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|
Not bad, considering my passive income for the previous year was only around $1,000!
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:
- Start podcasting. Target Achieved! Three podcasts published. Please check out my interview with Tara Roskell, how to design logos with Tara Roskell and my interview with Andy Sowards. Here is the link to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
- Guest Posting. Target (sort of) Achieved! I’ve had guest posts published on Problogger, Business2Community.com and VandelayDesignBlog.com
- Create a video course. Target Achieved! I’ve set up Creating a Business Website course on Udemy which is available for free. This was to pre-empt a paid-for course I hope to be starting shortly!
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|
|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. X 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. 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! 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 RobCubbon.com||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 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):
- Ana Hoffman at TrafficGenerationCafe.com is great for general blogging and marketing tips – check out her October 2012 figures.
- I’m a big fan of Steve Scott, here are his September 2012 figures.
- Justin and Joe of AdsenseFlippers.com run a cool business out of the Philippines setting up and flipping niche sites. Read their November 2012 income report.
- Kristi at NerdyNomad does very well with advertising (something I’ve failed at miserably so far). Here’s her November 2012 breakdown.
- Prolific blogger, Tom Ewer from LeavingWorkBehind.com, gives us revenue and costs, active and passive. Here’s how his November 2012 went.
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?
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 ;-))
Rob Cubbon says
Thank you for saying so, Alexandra. And good to hear another vote for cat pictures. I’ve checked out your site. Let me know if you need any help with Streamline. 🙂
Thanks Rob, I might take you up on that offer 😉
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!
Rob Cubbon 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).
Miki Vicioso says
Hi rob! great post! i absolutely love how accurate you are and how well design and space is used on your blog (im a designer). Keep it up.
Rob Cubbon says
Thanks, Miki, hope you come back to read more articles here! 🙂
very interesting figures, thanks Rob!
Rob Cubbon says
Thank, Siegfried. 🙂
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?
Rob Cubbon says
You don’t need to but a theme, you can adapt an existing free WordPress theme. Here are a series of videos about how I do it these involve purchasing the premium theme framework Genesis for $59.