Ever since 2012, I have been recording the passive income that my business has earned. Just two or three years ago I was predominantly chasing active income, in other words, working for clients and swapping hours for dollars. In two short years my passive income has surpassed my active income.
If you’d like to know more about how I earn my passive income you could watch this video. Otherwise, ask yourself “why a cat” and read on…
My passive income
Think you can’t earn passive income from digital products such as e-books and video courses? Think again. I have shown that consistent effort in content creation can produce fantastic success in a relatively short time.
My target for the first quarter in 2015 was $30000. So let’s get going and see where I made my passive income and if it’s moving in the right direction.
I have been selling video courses on Udemy, the online learning platform, for over two years now and it’s been my biggest passive income earner by a long, long way. Here is my Udemy revenue:
Udemy has remained extremely consistent, averaging over $5000 per month, with a total of $15,659.30 this quarter – almost the same as last quarter. Some months are better than others, for example November is usually good because of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and January is favorable too as Udemy capitalizes on New Year Resolutions to learn a new skill.
Skillfeed is another online learning platform that charges customers a monthly subscription for access to all its courses.
Again the results are extremely consistent at over $1000 a quarter. And this is a completely passive income stream.
New kid on the block! Skillshare are another online learning platform that I have high hopes for. Their website is not as reliable as Udemy’s and I have only just managed to put all my courses on there.
However, look at the trajectory. January revenue: $103.32; February revenue: $150.57; March revenue: $277.27. We’ll see if it keeps going up. The total for the first quarter of 2015: $531.16.
Stone River eLearning
Another new kid on the block – an online learning platform called Stone River eLearning. I put my courses on this platform quite a while ago but I’ve never had many sales. However, this quarter sales picked up so I’ll put the total in here: $219.51.
Dealfuel is a “Deals” site, similar to MightyDeals and Appsumo. They bundle my video courses and e-books to other products and give me a cut of the profits.
This won’t necessarily be ongoing income as I will pretty soon run out of digital products to do deals with but it’s a great way of re-selling content that’s already been created. Last quarter I made $641.92 in revenue with DealFuel.
There are loads of places you can sell digital products. Here’s an article I wrote about alternatives to Udemy.
I have five books that I sell through Amazon, predominantly as Kindles – e-books that Amazon can purchase and, the next second, download and read. Here are my books:
- 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
- Build a Brand, Create Products and Earn Passive Income
- Create the Website You Want with WordPress
The first bit of bad news. This quarter I had no new book launch and I wasn’t a part of a BuckBooks promotion so my book sales on Amazon stagnated.
You can even see in this sales chart of the last three months (the blue line below is borrows and the red line is sales) how sales are slowly declining. This just shows you how consistency of output is more important on Kindle than it is on, say, Udemy.
|Period||Number of books sold|
So I’m disappointed with my Kindle sales in Q1 2015: $1694.01. (I’m writing another Kindle now!)
Sales of my PDF e-books
I don’t promote these PDFs much nowadays as I’m more committed to the Kindle platform, however, both books have recently been updated and offer great content.
|My product||2014 Q2||2014 Q3||2014 Q4||2015 Q1|
|Running a Web Design Business||$123.52||$94.07||$43.83||$41.87|
|How To Get Clients||$103.13||$111.04||$134.15||$63.04|
So more “bad” news. However, a reason for the drop in revenue to$104.91 here is a price increase which was requested in order to make them more attractive as a deal in DealFuel.
My membership site
My membership site now has 8 premium courses and 4 free courses.
For the last two quarters of last year I was selling a monthly recurring fee for access to all the courses. At the beginning of this year, I did a “Jeff Walker style” launch of my newest course: Earn $5000+ a Month Passive Income Selling E-books and Video Courses.
So, from being an abject failure in the first few months of it’s life, the membership site netted me $3681 in the first quarter of 2015.
Google advertising income
This is revenue from ads on my YouTube channel as well as a tiny bit of Adsense here on my website.
|Google revenue||2014 Q2||2014 Q3||2014 Q4||2015 Q1|
ATTENTION: 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. This article contains affiliate links!
|Affiliate product||2014 Q2||2014 Q3||2014 Q4||2015 Q1|
|Genesis WordPress theme||$471.45||$307.76||$253.53||$777.95|
|WPML WordPress Multi-Lingual plugin||$376||$440||$885||$712|
|Aweber email marketing and delivery||$46.20||$63.90||$72.90||$77.70|
So, if we add it all up. My passive income revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was: $26,093.12. It looks good compared with $21,624.45 in the last quarter but I’ve had a few windfalls this quarter (my membership site, DealFuel, etc.)
But, but, but, that’s only half the story! From now on, I’ll be subtracting the expenses I’ve incurred for these quarterly income reports.
|What?||How much per month?|
|Outsourcing (oDesk, Elance and direct)||$2000 (est.)|
|Email marketing (Aweber)||$180|
|Cloud storage (Dropbox)||$30|
|Video storage (Vimeo)||$30|
|Audio storage (Libsyn)||$30|
|Membership plug-in (MemberMouse)||$60|
Remember that some of these expenses are company expenses that are incurred to support my active income. For example, web hosting is needed for my web design business which isn’t passive.
But I always like to err on the side of caution with these income reports as I’d hate to exaggerate here. So, bear in mind that these figures are always an underestimation.
This quarter’s total passive income profit
So the revenue ($26,093.12) minus the expenses ($2,975) is … $23,118.12 (phew, more than last quarter, but only just!) and unfortunately, short of my $30,000 target. 🙁
Comparison with previous quarters
Target for next quarter
My target for next quarter, Quarter 2 2015, is: $30,000 passive income profits.
Previous passive income and business reports
You can do it
You can make this much passive income if you just follow what I’ve done. All the details can be found here for free on the blog, I also have a free mini course on passive income.
I’m interested to hear what you think in the comments.