We are now at the end of the third quarter of the year. It’s time to add up all the passive income I’ve received in the last three months and to look ahead to see where my business is going.
I publish my results (along with cat photos) every quarter and, I’m pretty sure, this one’s going to be a biggie so let’s get going.
My passive online income
Passive income, for anyone who doesn’t yet know, is when you earn money in your sleep or income that isn’t exchanged for time – so it can be interest on savings, rental from a property or, in this case, money from digital product sales, affiliate income and advertising revenue.
Every quarter I set passive income targets and my target for the three months until September 30th 2014 was a ridiculous $15000. Let’s see how I got on.
Udemy, the online learning platform, was my first big passive win and it remains my biggest passive earner.
Here is my Udemy revenue:
Boom! My Udemy courses have brought in $11017.98 this quarter. I actually nearly made over $5000 in September alone.
At the beginning of July, Udemy changed their instructor commission and promotion rules again. This meant instructors get a generous 97% of their coupon prices. This means I can promote my courses at around $20 (which is a nice reduction) and get most of that sale. This is primarily the reason for the increase in Udemy revenue.
Skillfeed is another online learning platform where I have my courses. This is a very passive income source. On Udemy, I get a few questions from students that I spend a bit of time answering whereas, on Skillfeed, I just load up the courses and leave them.
|2014 Q3||$1100 (estimate)|
Unfortunately, I’ve had to estimate the Skillfeed earnings as I don’t get the last month’s figure until the middle of the next month.
I thought I was going to be earning less on Skillfeed as, up until now, only new courses seemed to do well there. However, in August, I did quite well. Skillfeed pays you per minute watched. And the amount per minute varies according to how much Skillfeed made and how many minutes were viewed in total across the platform that month. It’s complicated but I’ll be interesting to see if it settles the $400/month mark.
Despite making more money from video courses than e-books, I’m continuing with self-publishing. Here are my Kindle books (including my new release):
- Running A Web Design Business From Home: How To Find and Keep Good Clients and Make Money with Your Home Business
- How To Sell Video Courses Online: How I make $2000+ passive income every month
- From Freelancer to Entrepreneur: Escaping work and finding happiness. Buy this one. No one is buying it. It’s really good. 🙂
- New book launched in July: Build a Brand, Create Products and Earn Passive Income
A lot has happened this quarter in terms of my Kindles. I had my most successful launch to date as I held the number one spot in an entire book category. Yes, folks, I’m an Amazon bestseller. 🙂 You can see the sales increase during the launch period below.
Also, Amazon began lending books more heavily through Kindle Unlimited (the blue line below is borrows and the red line is sales).
I’ve messed up a bit as I’m giving sales between July 4th and October 2nd, so not strictly last quarter but I hope you’ll forgive me. Some of the previous Kindles figures are guestimates as well but I’ll get better at this. They’re reasonably accurate.
I sold 1229 books this quarter (compared with 478 books in the previous quarter). An average of 13.3 a day. Although I’m disappointed to see the sales drop off more recently and, remember, I still get paid for the borrows which are increasing.
Anyway, I’m really pleased with my Kindle sales in Q3 2014: $1800.04.
Sales of my PDF e-books
My first foray into self-publishing, in fact my first foray into digital products, was selling PDF e-books from my site. At first glance you would think this would be a better idea as you can sell e-books from your site for $9 to $99 and keep most of the sales price. Whereas my Kindles are sold at $2.99.
|My product||2013 Q4||2014 Q1||2014 Q2||2014 Q2|
|Running a Web Design Business||$157.87||$178.79||$123.52||$94.07|
|How To Get Clients||$42.40||$72.93||$103.13||$111.04|
I know you can make huge amounts from selling books on your own site. You can bundle them with audio files and other resources and tier the price points to $9, $39 and $99, for example. But I just don’t have the heart to do this at the moment when I’m selling 14,000 word books on Amazon for $2.99. And, Amazon sells to the world not just to my audience.
My membership site
It’s the new kid on the passive income block and, for this reason, we have to go easy on it. In its first quarter my membership site netted me $331.
Google advertising income
This is revenue from ads on my YouTube channel as well as the ads here on my website. I’ve no idea why this has dropped off in the last two quarters.
|Google revenue||2013 Q4||2014 Q1||2014 Q2||2014 Q3|
I am an affiliate for certain products that I recommend or mention here. I get a commission if a sale is made through one of my affiliate links.
|Affiliate product||2013 Q4||2014 Q1||2014 Q2||2013 Q3|
|Genesis WordPress theme||0||$356.78||$471.45||$307.76|
|WPML WordPress Multi-Lingual plugin||$283||$453||$376||$440|
|GoDaddy domain name registration||$27.54||$27.54||$0||$0|
|E-Junkie shopping cart system||$7.20||$7.20||$0||$0|
|Aweber email marketing and delivery||$47.90||$43.20||$46.20||$63.90|
So the affiliate stuff just sort of ticks over.
So, if we add it all up. My passive income in the third quarter of 2014 was (duh duh duh dah): $15,435.79
Comparison with previous quarters
So, as always, even though the figures are going in the right direction, I’m not counting my chickens.
Specific business targets
Here are specific targets that I set three months ago and more targets for three months’ time.
|Target||Q3 2014 target||Q3 2014 actual||Q4 2014 target|
|Monthly unique visitors||17,000||17,945||20,000|
Last quarter was my first five figure quarter so I’m delighted I exceeded $15,000 this quarter. I’ll go for $20,000 for the last quarter of 2014 and we’ll see how we get on.
At last, I’ve hit a traffic target. The target was a low one. 🙂
General business targets
Last quarter I had three huge business targets. Here’s how I got on:
- Create two more Udemy courses (on Photoshop and Illustrator) X Target Missed! I only did the Photoshop one.
- Write and publish two Kindle books X Target Missed! I only published one, my bestseller.
- Have my membership site up and running with over 100 paying members! X Target Missed! I created the membership site but it has barely had 20 paying members. 🙁
I’m sitting here in a co-working space in Chiang Mai, Thailand and it’s forcing me to reflect on my business. Before I got here I was thinking that I should create more books and more courses. Now, I’m seriously wondering if I’ve been working too much
So, here are my targets from now until the end of 2014:
- Chill out and have a bit of a holiday
- Write a personal development book
- Think more seriously about helping people and less about numbers and business, business, business
Here’s the bit that I keep doing because I keep doing it. More numbers …
|Indicator||31st Dec 2013||1st Apr 2014||1st July 2014||30th Sep 2014|
|My Twitter followers||2523||2596||2742||2842|
|My YouTube Channel, subscribers||964||1221||1477||1843|
|My YouTube Channel, video views||322,185||373,423||428,668||486,948|
|Facebook page Likes/Fans||585||638||720||822|
|Subscribers to RobCubbon.com||6491||5948||6276||6692|
As mentioned already, I’ve come to Thailand for a few months.
I absolutely love Thailand and it’s such a pleasure to do this amazing job in such an amazing place surrounded by amazing people. I really am very grateful for this situation I’ve found myself in.
Already the change of scene has had many effects:
- I’m happier (who’da guessed!)
- Exercise, diet and meditation routines are harder to maintain
- Teething troubles getting work done but nothing major
- I’ve met interesting people who are further down the business road than me
- I’m realising that my business is lacking systems
- The people I meet may actually add work as new projects and joint ventures come to light
But, as you might imagine, it’s all good.
I must keep my eye on the main goal, though. Make sure that helping people is a priority rather than the numbers.
Previous passive income and business reports
You can do it
Look what we have proved here! You can make money blogging. People said you can’t but we’ve proved them wrong.
If you build a brand, run an authority website, collect email addresses and create products (Kindle, Udemy, PDF e-books, etc.) then you can create a reasonable monthly income after a few years.
What’s more, by doing this, you will also create a name for yourself as an authority within a particular niche which will help your business in other ways.
And, I have you to thank. Without people reading this blog, subscribing, sharing, commenting, etc., I would never have had the confidence to go ahead with it all. I am extremely grateful to you for this reason. Thank you for your inspiration. With that we are inspiring others.
You can do it! I was a disaster at school and my “career” was a car crash for two meaningless decades. If I can do it, anyone can. Just go for it.
But not now, first you’ve got to leave a comment.