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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Online Income Goals for 2011

This is the time of year that many put together New Year's Resolutions, and I am no different.  I certainly have plans for 2011 but want to keep them reasonable.  I have a tendency to over commit and then find myself unable to accomplish what I had originally envisioned.  So this year, I plan on keeping it somewhat simple.  That means simply focusing on the task at hand and allowing the chips to fall where they may.  I do have the expectation that I will be able to get it done, however.

I hope to continue to develop my passive income over the next year and triple my AdSense income.  Of course I have no direct control over the amount of income that I make with AdSense but I do have control over my publishing and linking efforts.  My general sense is that I will need to triple my traffic to triple my income since CTR and CPC have been within a range over the last several months.  As a result, here are my main goals for 2011:

  1. I plan on publishing 3 Hubs at HubPages per week.  I figure that if I can write one during the week in bits and pieces and one each on Saturday and Sunday, by the end of the year I will have an additional 156 Hubs to add to my 173.  That is almost double the number of articles.
  2. I plan on submitting 3 backlinks per day each and every day during 2011.  This will provide me with over 1,000 backlinks to my Hubs.  I would think that this should at least increase my traffic by about 50% or so.  
When taken together, these two activities would be expected to triple my traffic.  I have been practicing over the past several days submitting 3 daily links.  I have been using Xomba and SheToldMe.  Once I finish down the list of Hubs with these 2 sites, then I will move on to Snipsly since it also offers AdSense revenue sharing.  I am hoping that using revenue sharing sites will help with the ultimate goal of tripling my AdSense income.

As a result of the above 2 efforts, I would like to see the following happen.  I don't have direct control over these results but would hope for:

  1. Tripling of my AdSense income--I simply need to triple each and every month of the year and will be able to track my progress by taking the lowest AdSense total for 2010 and multiplying by 3.  My three worst months for 2010 were April, May, and June with $22.86, $24.54, and $28.10 respectively.  Therefore for the month of January 2011 I simply need to earn $68.58 to remain on target.
  2. I would like to increase my followers on HubPages to 750 by the end of the year.  I am at 520 currently.  I would also like to see the number of followers on this blog increase to 80.  This will be more difficult since I seem to be adding followers more slowly here.
  3. I would also like to see the amount of traffic at this blog increase by a factor of 2 and hopefully see the Alexa rank decrease below 500,000.  I am starting to see an increase in the amount of search engine traffic appearing at this blog.  It is up over 15% now so that is encouraging to think that I might be getting some increased visibility.
  4. As a result of increased traffic at HubPages, I would like to see my Amazon results improve as well.  It took 18 months to get to my first $10 payout.  I am now at about $7 on my way to the next.  I think it would be wonderful to get 3 payouts in 2011.  I will just have to see what happens since I won't be writing very many product Hubs.  But who knows?
These are my main goals for 2011.  I plan on hitting HubPages and linking in a consistent fashion in 2011 and letting the results speak for themselves.  In doing so, I would expect by the end of the year to be getting monthly checks from Google AdSense.

There has been a lot of talk and suggestions from others that I get my own site.  I would like to address that in the next post so be sure to read that one if you are a regular.  Also, be sure to comment and briefly list some of your own goals for 2011.  I will be looking out for the posts as well.  I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year and a productive 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Look Back at 2010

I feel that it is important to make short term and long term goals.  But I also think it is important to look back and see what happened over the course of time and whether or not those goals were met, why they were not, and how they might have been changed and altered.

So before posting goals for 2011, I would like to look back at my post of goals for 2010 and compare those goals to my actual experience over the past year.  If you want to look at the original post from December 2009, you can access my goals for 2010 but I will reproduce them below and then provide commentary in italics:
  • 250 total articles on Life123. I plan on writing about 20 per month on average and maintaining a steady pace throughout the year.  Life123 suspended their author compensation program within a week or two of establishing this goal.  As a result, I was only able to publish a limited number of articles on the site.  To Life123's credit, they paid the maximal possible income to each author who had published so I received a one-time payment of $400 for 20 articles.
  • 150 Xombytes (articles) on Xomba. That would require about 10 per month. I also want to post links on Xomba almost every day of the year. I plan on posting links to all of my articles that I have written so far plus adding all of the new ones. I currently have a spreadsheet that tracks what links I have added to my writings on Xomba, Shetoldme, and Snipsly. I need to do a better job of linking when I don't feel like writing.  I have done a lousy job of linking this year.  I also did not publish many more articles on Xomba.  I don't feel that Xomba has turned out to be a great source of residual income for articles and so I decided to focus my limited amount of time elsewhere.  I have placed backlinks, but not nearly the number that I should have or could have.
  • 150 articles on HubPages. I have 115 so that means I will just sprinkle some here and there during the year. I would like to see my HubPages results improve.  Finally I was able to meet a goal.  It turns out that the majority of my effort has been spent on HubPages this past year.  As a result, I have 172 total Hubs so at least I can point to some positive results for 2010.
  • 50 articles on eHow. I have 38 right now. I would like to add some to see if that helps the earnings there. Despite not writing anything for a few months, eHow continues to earn some money. The site has great potential, and I hope that maybe the break will have allowed me to get back into it.  I still have 38 articles since the compensation program changed at this site as well.  My income at eHow seems fairly consistent but that is it.  It really isn't growing and I really don't expect it to grow much either.
  • I plan on continuing to write every 2 or 3 days for this blog. That would mean 10-20 posts per month. I will be linking to these posts as well and trying to bring traffic to this blog.  Overall, I have published just over 80 posts this year which is less than 10 posts per month.  I am not too upset since I would only want to publish if I have something to say.  I do think traffic has increased although I would like to have seen it increase a bit more.
  • I hope to get up the nerve to create a niche website. I have a few ideas but would like to make a little more writing content first. But now that I am putting it out there, I will be forced to attempt to deliver.  I didn't create a site in 2010.  I know I should, but I didn't and that is all I can say.
I will post my goals for 2011 in the next post.  In the meantime, I am curious to know if anyone else has taken the time to look back to see how 2010 went for online income.  This is always an interesting time of year for reflection as well as planning.

PS--I have published a Hub on "Swimming with Dolphins" in Cozumel from our recent cruise and vacation in case you missed it elsewhere.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Back from Vacation and A Passive Income Report

I am back from vacation and plan on writing several Hubs about the experience.  I will post the links on this blog when I get that done for those who might be interested.  We had a great time especially in Cozumel where we swam with the dolphins as you can see from the accompanying picture.  The sun was great that day!

Anyway, I thought I would report on the passive income that I received while away with no internet access.  I will include the time from starting travel on Sunday, December 19th and count through this morning as I write this report.  This is the time that I didn't do anything on the internet in relation to online income making all revenue totally passive.

This only counts AdSense income as I did not note how much I had earned on eHow prior to leaving.  I do know that while away I had an Amazon order for a book but it hasn't shipped yet so I don't know how much that will earn.  I expect it will be about 75 cents to a dollar.

I did receive decent levels of traffic while away, but traffic did decline between Tuesday and Christmas day.  I am not surprised since I suspect many people had last minute preparations for the holidays.  I was somewhat disappointed that I did have a few days with minimal revenue, but I did have 2 good days.  The total for those 6 full days and 1 partial day was $10.93. 

Overall, not that bad considering it is on par with what I might expect to earn for a 7 day period based on my recent monthly earnings.  Needless to say, I plan on being able to increase this total over the next year and will write a post on this in the near future outlining my goals and plans.  In the meantime, I have several days off work to be able to relax and write a little bit as well.  I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and is getting ready for a wonderful 2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A True Test of Passive Income

What do I call a true test of passive income?  Those times when I travel and know that I won't be having internet access for several days in a row.  Well, starting in about 48 hours, I won't have internet access for 5 days.  I am leaving the snowy, gloomy Indianapolis weather behind and boarding a Royal Caribbean ship in Tampa, Florida with my wife and 6 kids.

We decided that rather than purchase Christmas presents for each other this year, we would take a cruise instead.  I have been looking forward to the time to get away from work, email, and any other responsibilities for awhile now.  Of course, while I am traveling, I will still be able to make some passive income.  I can't wait for the day that I make enough while gone to pay for the trip.

I can say, however, that the amount of income that I have made since starting in May of 2009 is paying for 2 and a half of us.  LOL!  The time will mostly be spent on the ship since we are going to leave Tampa, sail to Cozumel, Mexico and then go back to Tampa.  But that is OK.  I look forward to the sun and laying by the pool.

Anyway, I will be curious to see what kind of income I can make over the next week or so.  I am hoping that it continues to average about $2 per day so that I can report back when I return that I made over $10 while cruising on Caribbean.  We begin driving to Tampa in less than 20 hours so if you don't see a lot of response to comments just know that I am still busy packing.  I hope to come back refreshed and ready to tackle 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Earning Two Dollars Per Day

Even with the somewhat seemingly slow start to the month of December, I have now reached the point when I have earned on average exactly $2 per day.  Two dollars per day has been my next big target since it is a logical round number on the journey to $3.33 per day or $100 per month.  I first have to consistently earn $2 per day before I can get to $100 per month and the monthly Google AdSense check.

This is the first time I have averaged that much.  I may not end the month with this average, but if I do, then December 2010 will be the best month ever for AdSense.  The best that I have done for a full month has been in October 2010 when I averaged $1.91 per day.  Even if I don't quite make it this month, I am aware of the fact that I have seen a slow and steady increase in earnings.  I have to look back over several months and see where I was during May and June of this year and can see the progress.

The best part is that progress has occurred despite being incredibly busy and not able to do as much as I would like.  I just have to keep reminding myself to do what I can and that eventually the results will appear.  I may be on a longer time table than those who are able to devote more time to developing internet income, but it will come in due time.

Even at this seemingly glacial pace, I am still about 6 months ahead of a pace that would allow me to make my goal of $3000 monthly by the time my youngest hits college.  Just check out the table in my Hub entitled "Compound Your Passive Income Online".  I don't include it in the Hub, but if you carry out the table for 3 more years, you will be making $3000 monthly. 

Right now, I am making over $53.87 per month and have been for the past 3 months but still need to break above $60.  Anyway, I plan on hitting over $100 per month next year sometime.  I will explain how I plan on doing that in my post on goals for 2011 in a few weeks.  I am excited about the $2 daily average and hope that revenue continues to grow.  I plan on putting in as much effort as possible given my limited amount of free time and only time will tell.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Traffic Surprise

I am not sure how I feel about surprises.  Usually if someone says they have a surprise for you, it is good.  Otherwise they say they have bad news or ask you to sit down first.  In keeping with that tradition, my traffic surprise is a good one.  At least as far as my online writing goes, the only surprises that can occur when it comes to traffic are good ones!

At HubPages, there are little red arrows next to your articles in the stats section that mean your traffic is going up.  Two little arrows mean that it is going way up.  Well, I have two articles there today which had two little arrows by them.  I was totally shocked and wanted to figure out where all the traffic was coming from.  I went to the articles and clicked on the stats section that reveals details about that particular article.  (I think it is wonderful to have this information available at the click of a mouse courtesy of HubPages.)

The first one that I looked at had essentially doubled its views over the past 24 hours.  It turns out that someone had posted a link at so a lot of the additional traffic had come from that site.  The article is about Lasik surgery and getting a free TV.  Obviously, someone found that somewhat interesting.  Here is the link to the actual article:

Have Lasik Eye Surgery and Get a Free TV!

The other one has been published for quite some time (since July 2009) and was something I wrote as part of the weekly HubNugget topics.  I hadn't noticed but 20% of the views have come in the last 30 days with a significant portion in the last 24 hours.  Mind you significant to me means double digits.  Nonetheless, I went to the stats page and noticed that the traffic was coming from Google.  There is also a tab that allows you to see the search terms that are leading to the article.  I did this and found that people were searching the phrase "golf as a hobby".  I did this myself and found that I was in the first position.  How exciting!

Needless to say, I am pretty pumped and hoping that the mini-spike in traffic will persist.  I am hoping to get another article written today.  I already made a few links and just plan to keep working since you never really know what can happen when you have content out on the internet.  Here's to many pleasant surprises to all who read this blog! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December Off to Mediocre Start

So far, December has just seemed kind of "blah", like I am stuck in the snow.  Not only is that the way that I have felt, but that is the way the results seem to have gone as well.  I had wanted to get to 200 Hubs by the end of the year, but that is not going to happen.  I am currently at 166 and just don't have enough ideas or motivation to get the job done.  I will keep striving for the 200 total and will make some goals for 2011 that I will share toward the end of this month.

I had also hoped to make payout at but that doesn't look like it will happen either.  I needed to get several more lists published if I wanted to have a chance at making it to the $10 mark.  I didn't get those done either.  Obviously, I have done less writing than I would have liked.  I currently have 13 lists and am lucky to earn a few pennies each day.  Right now it seems that my effort is better spent at HubPages since the majority of my AdSense income comes from that source.  I want to build to the level of monthly payments from Google before I go out and try to diversify.

Speaking of Google AdSense, the results there are mediocre as well.  I am getting respectable amounts of traffic comparable to last month.  Traffic overall is down from October but that was a record month.  Earnings seem somewhat slow to start.  It only takes one or two good days, however, to make for a decent month.  I am simply hoping to get to payout so that I can start counting on a check every other month.  I did get to make a Google AdSense check deposit yesterday which was cool.  That was my fourth one for this year!  I did make it more than halfway during the month of November so it should be close provided things don't continue to decline.

With my busy life and the holidays coming, I think that I will abandon all goals this month and just do what I can when I have the time.  I will make some goals for 2011 and for the month of January and post those so that I can try to establish a little intensity after the first of the year.  Last January, I got ill and it took several weeks to get back to 100% so hopefully that won't happen again. 

I hope everyone else's December is off to a better start.  I know that several have Amazon sites and have been focusing on those for the holidays.  That is a strategy that I haven't utilized but often consider.  I don't feel that I have the knack for selling so it would be a lot of learning and a big stretch to accomplish something like that.  Maybe someday.  I still need to work on getting traffic to my current stuff first.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Made First Amazon Affiliate Payment

As part of HubPages, it is possible to make money with Amazon as part of the Amazon affiliate program.  Simply add an Amazon capsule to your Hubs.  Now I am not a salesman so I have very few product Hubs.  Most of my Hubs are informational.  I will place many books next to my Hubs related to the topic I am discussing.  I certainly don't push any products.

Despite this, I have managed to get the occasional sale through Amazon.  It has taken 18 months to get to the point of receiving payout even with the low $10 minimum.  Nevertheless, a few days ago I received a direct deposit into my checking account for $11.47.  Not a large amount but totally passive in nature.  I didn't really do much to earn this money.  I simply took the time to place the capsule next to most of my Hubs.

This month has been my best month for Amazon yet.  I have shipped out 6 products and am just over half way to the next payout.  I would be thrilled if it took less than 18 months to get the next payment and eventually was able to generate enough traffic and interest to make over $10 monthly through the Amazon affiliate program. 

Like anything online (especially for me), it is a gradual process that starts out slow and picks up.  I will just have to see what happens.  Again, I am not a salesman.  I can't write for the purpose of selling.  I can only advocate those products I use myself and enjoy.  Anyway, just thought I would share that I finally got paid through Amazon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Doing More Linking At Xomba

I have been doing more linking at Xomba over the past week.  I haven't felt much like writing so I haven't done much.  I have some ideas but am fairly busy and just haven't taken the time to sit down and put them on the internet.  Sometimes getting the motivation to write is difficult for me even if I have significant goals.

So instead, I have been doing more backlinking at Xomba.  I decided that if I couldn't write, at least I could be doing something.  As a result, my traffic at Xomba this month is already double what it was last month.  Unfortunately, this confirms for me that which I had already figured out.

Xomba has not turned out to be the best place for residual income.  I really tried to use the site for that purpose.  I have 47 articles published on the site which represents the second highest number of articles following HubPages (of course I am excluding this blog).  And yet last month, I didn't even earn a dime from Xomba despite a decent number of views.

I have earned some money this month but that is only because I have been so active over the past week.  I have placed 7 bookmarks on the site.  It is only when I have actually done something that I saw the traffic spike along with a little bit of revenue.  I had hoped that the site would turn out to be a decent site for residual income.  I do get a few views each day.  In 2010, there was never a day when I haven't had any ad impressions.  And I have made $42.85 so far this year.  But I would liked to have seen in the neighborhood of $10-20 per month which hasn't happened.

So, I will continue to simply post my links on the site and make what money I can.  The site may help a little with traffic at my other sites, and I may get a little payment for doing it.  But I won't be writing any more articles since I think that writing elsewhere will turn out to be a more productive and lucrative use of my time.

Photo credit: Toni Lozano

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hot or Cold

The weather in central Indiana has been very interesting so far this November.  Last week during dinner, we saw a few snowflakes drifting down out of the sky.  There was no accumulation, but it was interesting to see.  This week, the temperature has been in the upper 60's and mid 70's.  In fact, I have a 9 am tee time tomorrow with a forecast of sunny and 74 degrees.

The weather shifting from cold to hot on a dime is the perfect allegory for my online earnings this month as well.  It is either ice cold or fiery hot.  So far in the eleven days of the month, over half my earnings has come from 2 days.  Last month seemed incredibly consistent with what seemed to be a steady stream of traffic and earnings.  This month, traffic has remained steady but great swings in the earnings department.  Needless to say, I would rather have consistency like in October.  It is a lot more encouraging to see consistent results from my efforts whether than wondering if I am wasting my time or not.

I guess that is just the way that it will be.  I will continue to keep writing and accept what happens.  I am pleased to say that I have published 5 Hubs so far this month as opposed to 3 in October.  I think this momentum will help maintain traffic levels and provide some encouragement to keep up the efforts through the end of the year.  As mentioned in previous posts, my goal is to get to 200 Hubs total by the end of the year.  It will tough to get done and I might need to pick up the pace a bit, but it is still entirely possible at this time.  I have 36 left to go.

Well, I hope your month hasn't been as hot and cold as mine (unless of course we're talking about the weather and you plan on playing golf).  Here is to hoping that the rest of November will be HOT!

Photo credit: Guaoguao 

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Know Revenue is Slow When....

eHow income is ahead of HubPages income during the first 5 days of November.  After a record month in October, I would have expected a slow down in earnings considering there are lots of ups and downs in revenue from month to month.  But I didn't expect to hit a brick wall. 

It isn't even that traffic has disappeared either.  Sure it is down somewhat compared to the mid-October spike, but daily traffic is higher than it was in September.  The big problem is just what you might suspect.  I don't have any of my own sites and don't offer any products or major affiliate links.  I do have some Amazon capsules on many of my Hubs, but don't get many sells since my Hubs are usually educational or informative.

Oh well, I am sure that things will pick up.  I have to remember to look at the bigger picture and keep writing and publishing.  It is just that every so often I need to give myself a little pep talk.  It has seemed for the most part that the beginning of the month can be especially slow with things picking up later on.  And I am still at the point where it only takes a few solid days to make the month decent.  I have yet to get enough traffic to see consistent daily revenue which is one of the things that I would like to achieve.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my mini-rant.  I am just going to keep going.  I have 39 more Hubs to complete by the end of the year and 9 lists at to get finished by the end of the month.  I should be able to get this done and will see what the effort brings.  I really want to just be sure that I surpass November 2009 earnings.  I am not quite on pace to do that yet, but it is still early.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Set Several Records in October 2010

October has turned out to be a very good month for me in terms of AdSense and traffic.  I have set several personal bests for the month that I would like to share with you without getting too specific.  I wouldn't want to violate any terms of service.

First of all, I enjoyed record levels of traffic (and thus ad impressions) at this blog and at HubPages.  I am really excited by this since it is only through increasing levels of traffic that I can really expect earnings to consistently increase.  I don't know that I can repeat this level of traffic since I had one really good article at HubPages which contributed quite a bit.  But, it continues to get residual views and my lowest traffic levels of the month were higher than the lowest levels in any of my previous months.  That demonstrates that at least a positive trend exists and that I have possibly reached a new plateau.

Along with the record traffic came a record number of ad clicks.  Again, I don't expect to earn too much more in the next two months, but I am hoping that as things level out, it will be at a higher level.  I do plan on continuing to write more.  I would like to get to a total of 200 Hubs by the end of the year.  To do this would require that I publish about 20 Hubs per month in November and December.  It is certainly possible but will take some work since I only published 3 in October.  If I am able to do it, then the levels of traffic may very well stay close to my current record.

The last thing that I would like to mention is that even though I still have days without any ad clicks, they are getting to be fewer each month.  I long for the day when I can earn some ad revenue each and every day.  Personally, I think that by July of 2011 I will be able to say that I have enough traffic that I am earning something each and every day.  I would also hope to be able to see a monthly check by that time as well.  I have been getting closer each month and will get another check for 2010 based upon my results in September and October.

Well, I just wanted to share that things have been going well.  October of 2009 was the best month of the fall last year and turned out to be good to me in 2010 as well with a big boost in traffic and earnings not to mention my first double-digit AdSense day!  I plan on working hard the next few months and seeing what happens.  I can't wait til October 2011 to see what it has in store.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update on List My Five

It has been awhile since I wrote an update on  For those who don't know, I started writing some at the site having joined the writers compensation program.  If you want, you can read more about why I signed up for ListMyFive.  I have also written a few other updates in this blog as well which you can find in the archive along the right side of this page.

The site seems to be picking up more and more traffic.  As I write this, the site's Alexa ranking for 3 months is 121,543 and for 1 month is 61,007.  Compare these to the rankings on October 5th of 245,519 and 86,673 respectively.  So, the trend is definitely positive.  There are a lot of former writers from eHow who seem to be working to market the site and add content.  I think there is a lot of potential with the site.

Personally, I have written 10 lists so far.  I published 7 in September and only 3 in October.  But, I was out of the country for 10 days and was sick for almost a full week following that trip.  I am only now just starting to feel back to 100% of normal.  I had hoped to have more lists published by now but it is what it is.

I do seem to be getting a reasonable number of views, but it is hard to assess what it actually means since the number of views increases rapidly when tweeting.  I am excited since my most recent list was indexed in Google within 48 hours without any help from me.  That means that the site is getting more internet respect which is also promising longer-term.

I am somewhat disappointed with my earnings this month.  I had hoped to make payout by the end of the year.  I still think that is possible but I would have been more encouraged had I earned more than $1.21 so far in October.  That puts me at a total of $3.50 meaning I will have to earn $6.50 during the next two months. 

It is possible but I will have to publish quite a bit more I believe especially in the month of November.  I don't think I will make it unless I get to 20 or 25 lists by the end of next month.  On a positive note, I do have about 10 different ideas already written down, and it doesn't take all that long to write and publish once I get going.  Now that I feel better, I suspect I will be able to get some more done.  Well, that is all I had to report.  Things seem to be going according to plan and about the way I would expect.  Now I just need to get it in gear and publish a little more so that I can realize the potential of the site.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Indecent Proposal?

I recently received an inbox message from an individual who was willing to help market my eHow articles.  The essence of the proposal was that I would send him links to my 5 highest earning articles on eHow, and he would market them through his social networks.  If my monthly earnings increased over 2.5 times what they typically run, then I would keep 60% of the total earnings and he would get 40%.  If my earnings failed to increase by that much, then I would keep everything.

On the surface it doesn't sound like all that bad an idea, but I have a few reservations.  As the father of 6 kids, I am always looking to the longer term risks and worst case scenarios for any request that I get.  So, here are my thoughts.  First, why would I want anyone to know which articles are my best earners.  Granted I don't earn a whole lot on eHow, but sending out the URLs to my best work simply asks for competition.  Even if that isn't the intent, the other scenario that I can envision is a lot more sinister.

There would obviously be an incentive to increase my earnings so that this individual can benefit directly.  How can I possibly verify that the means of increasing my earnings by 2.5 times normal occurs through legitimate means?  Can you say "click fraud" anyone?  If anyone is at risk, then I am the one would could lose the eHow account.  Even my AdSense account could be at risk if this "scheme" were to be traced back to me.  Why on earth would I want to even take that chance?  It makes no sense at all.

I am not saying that either of these scenarios is what this individual has in mind.  He could be perfectly honest and genuinely looking for a win-win business proposition.  But I have no idea who this person is.  This was an unsolicited message.  Besides, if something sounds too good to be true....I think you know the rest.  So, does anyone else have any thoughts on this proposal?  Indecent or not?  What would you do?  Feel free to comment.  I am interested in knowing if anyone else has been approached with something similar as well.

PS--Don't know if you ever saw the movie with this title, but it was interesting.  Photo credit: Koshy Koshy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First HubPages Sign-Up

You may have read that I had a great week of passive income while I was gone.  I had written an article about List My Five which has generated lots of traffic and has led to increased followers both at HubPages and at this blog.  The increase in traffic has also been responsible for an increase in AdSense earnings as well as my first double-digit earning day.

What I didn't know at the time that I wrote my first post is that during the same week I had my first two HubPages referral sign-ups.  That is such wonderful news.  One hasn't done anything on the site, but the other individual has written 11 Hubs already.  I am hoping that he will end up like Ryan Kett and get lots of traffic which can only enhance my passive online income.

HubPages will place your AdSense code on 60% of the page impressions that people read and their code on 40% of the impressions.  If anyone signs up under your referral code, then 10% of the time your ad code will appear next to their work.  This comes out of HubPages cut so the split becomes new Hubber 60%, HubPages 30% and referrer 10%.  Ideally, you will refer lots of people to write for HubPages, they will work hard and that 10% will end up making you a lot of extra money.

Anyway, I am hoping that is how it works out for me.  It hasn't worked out all that well yet since I have had over 2000 clicks on my referral code and only 2 sign-ups.  I had begun to think it wasn't working, but obviously it is.  If you look over my blog you can see what kind of money I am able to make at HubPages writing part-time.  If you really want to be aggressive in writing like Ryan Kett, you can make serious money.

So, if you are interested in writing for HubPages, be sure to sign up for HubPages using my referral link.

In the meantime, be sure to visit the profile of my most prolific referee, Romian1, and read several of his Hubs and make a comment or two.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Great Week of Passive Income

Well, I just got back from Honduras and had limited access to the internet.  As a result, I did absolutely nothing for developing my online income.  You may have noticed that it has been a while since I last wrote a post.  I left last Thursday early in the morning and got back late last night which was actually 9 days total.  I am still tired and am gradually trying to get back into the swing of things.  I figure it will take about a week to catch up with everything.

There were several great things that happened while I was away in terms of the work that I am doing online.  My articles and blogs continued to earn money.  While I was gone, I earned a total of $29.55 with AdSense.  One of those days was even in the double digits!  My first one ever!

Traffic is also at record levels.  I am amazed by the amount of traffic that I am seeing.  It seemed to run consistently above my typical average.  Not only is traffic high, but I added followers on both HubPages and this blog.  I am now over 400 followers on HubPages and over 50 on this blog.  These are numbers that I didn't expect to hit until the end of the year.

I think the key to my improved traffic and earnings is the level of effort that I put into passive income development during the 6 weeks prior to my leaving.  By publishing at a rate that was higher than I had been publishing this year, I was able to enhance my visibility during the time that I was away.  This visibility led to increased traffic and ultimately, increased earnings including my first ever double-digit AdSense day.

I am encouraged that as I get back into the swing of things and begin publishing again, I can maintain traffic levels at a higher plateau than I had enjoyed previously and will begin earning more on a consistent basis.  I suspect that I could even achieve another double-digit earning day by the end of the year.  It won't be long and I will be making enough with Google AdSense to receive monthly checks.

So if you feel discouraged about your online income, remember that hard work will eventually pay off.  You may not know when it will happen but give it time.  Ultimately good content will rise to the top.

Photo credit:  *Micky*

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Update on List My Five, LM5 Taking on eHow

I thought I would provide an update on my efforts and results at List My Five before I have about ten days with limited internet access.  For those who don't know, List My Five is a new writing site that is reminiscent of the early days of eHow.  I wasn't around for those early days, but I can definitely see the similarities.

Since I have articles at eHow and am writing for List My Five as well, I thought it would be fun to compare the sites as well as providing an update on my LM5 activities.  My first list at LM5 was published on 9/17/2010 and by the end of September had published a total of 7 lists.  I have published another in October and hope to get several more done by the end of the month.  With those 7 lists, I earned a total of $2.29 by the end of September.

I started writing at eHow on July 23, 2009 and by the end of the month had published 8 articles.  I had not earned anything by the end of the month but did manage to earn a total of $13.76 by the end of August so I made the payout.   I did publish an additional 18 articles bringing the total to 26 for that first full month.  Currently I have a total of 38 articles at eHow and that is all I will ever have.  I will typically make payout earning between $10 and $20 each month in totally passive income.

So far this month, I have earned $0.78 with eHow and $0.11 with LM5.  It will be fun to watch what happens with earnings as I get more and more lists published.  It would be cool to make payout by the end of this month, but I certainly don't expect to get to that level until the end of the year.  I am happy to say that each list except the most recently published has earned something.  I suspect that is because it hasn't been indexed yet.  Here are the two lists that I know haven't been indexed yet:

Top Five Online Stock Brokers I Have Used

Top Five Activities When Suffering from Writers Block

I am not sure how long it takes for lists to be indexed since apparently it helps to post one link to those lists.  I think that it won't be long (by the end of the year) and LM5 will be recognized as a decent, legitimate content site.  It is growing by leaps and bounds.  When I checked today, its Alexa rank for 3 months was 245,519 and 1 month was 86,673.  Also each time I look at the site, new people are signing up daily.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it have a 1 month Alexa rank under 50,000 by the end of the year.

Overall, I have had 820 views of my lists.  I am adding about 15-20 views per day.  I even had one of my lists make the front page.  That is exciting.  I am really pleased with the progress at LM5 and feel that it will provide decent residual income to add to my Paypal account each month.  I just want to make sure that I get more published than I have at eHow.  I would like to get it done by the end of the year.  Getting 50 lists published seems like a decent goal to me. 

Well, I will continue to make periodic updates.  Has any of you joined List My Five and published any lists?

Photo credit: Nanami Kamimura

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Online Earnings Report for Third Quarter 2010

I enjoy reading about the earnings of others since it can help to motivate and encourage.  I think knowing about the struggles that others face can also be encouraging knowing that we all go through similar experiences.  I also think that it is good to see the progress that is made despite the struggles.  I think that is why the earnings reports are my favorite posts.  It allows me to look back and when I feel like I am not making any progress, realize that I actually have.

I choose to do quarterly reports since there can be a little more variation in the monthly reports.  It allows me to look at larger trends in my earnings.  Of course, I am constantly keeping the data so that I know when one month is bad and work to improve the next month.  But comparing this quarter to the last and to the quarter one year ago allows me to see where I have been and to see the results of my hard work.  Even though I am not working on online income as a full time venture, it is a lot of hard work when I do have the time to spend on it.  So, here are my earnings for the third quarter of 2010:

July 2010 - AdSense earnings: $34.86  +  You Tube: $4.51 + eHow: $19.16 = $58.53

August 2010 - AdSense earnings: $44.34 + You Tube: $1.41 + eHow: $13.01 = $58.76

September 2010 - AdSense earnings: $56.37 + You Tube: $2.76 + eHow: $11.17 = $70.30

When I look at the earnings above, I clearly see a markedly positive AdSense trend.  I believe that this is a result of increased publishing of Hubs at HubPages.  I have seen an increase in both traffic and earnings as I have been more active recently so I think it would be wise to continue to put forth a decent amount of effort without burning out.  I also have noticed a decline in the earnings for eHow.  I am not sure what I can do about this since the format changed and I haven't added any additional material.  My plan is to just allow it to fluctuate and remain totally passive income.

Compared to the second quarter, my earnings are also up.  In the second quarter I earned $123.56 whereas in this quarter the total is $187.59.  That is a very substantial increase in my opinion.  Furthermore, compared to the third quarter of 2009 when I earned $101.01, it is up over 80%.  Obviously I am making progress.  My goal is to continue to earn more each and every quarter.  If I can simply increase my earnings by 5% on average each and every month, I will be making a substantial amount within a few years.

If you look at my Hub on compounding passive income, you will see that I am almost a year ahead of schedule.  I want to keep up that intensity and be making over $100 monthly by next summer so that I can be getting monthly checks from Google.  With September's results, I am more than halfway to that goal.  The other cool thing about the third quarter is that for each of the 3 months, I averaged more than $1.50 per day with AdSense.  Of course there were days when I only earned a few pennies, but others when I earned significantly more.  Overall, it seems like I am having more consistently better days, and I like that.

I am still waiting for that double digit AdSense day, but I feel that it will be coming up before the end of the year, especially if I can continue to publish at a decent pace.  I have had some really solid days over the past month so I think I am on the verge of a breakout.  It will just require a little more traffic.  I am looking forward to the day when I have so much traffic that I am routinely seeing double digit days.  That will be phenomenal, and I will be sure to let you all know when it happens.

I know that several have had good earnings in September.  Here is to a great October and rest of the fourth quarter of 2010.  I offer everyone the best of luck and my best wishes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Best AdSense Month Ever!

Not that I make a ton of money mind you, but September has turned out to be the best AdSense month I have ever had.  I am kind of surprised given the somewhat slow start that I saw.  Traffic is down a little bit as are clicks, but my amount per click is what really did it.  It is also as high as it has ever been.  Of course, it is just by a small amount but the combination of decent traffic, CTR, and amount of revenue per click was enough to make it happen.

This pretty much guarantees that I will actually get another check by the end of the year.  I should be seeing one in the mailbox any day now.  Plus with September's results, I would expect that October and November will put me over $100 again so that I will get one in the mail during the month of December.  Eventually, I will get one every other month and then monthly.  It would be great if I could be getting monthly checks from Google by the end of next year.

I am looking forward to putting together my quarterly report in the next post.  I figure that will come this weekend sometime after I have had a chance to see the final tally from eHow.  That site always takes an extra day or two to update earnings information. 

I am a little disappointed in the fact that I haven't put together as many Amazon Hubs on my secondary HubPages account as I would have liked.  I am just not the salesman type so it is like pulling teeth to get me to write anything with the idea that I might sell something.  Oh well, I will plug away and eventually build up a portfolio of Hubs for that account as well, but it is going to take awhile.  In the meantime, I still have plenty that I can be doing.

I still have one more day left in September and it is possible that I could even make it over the $50 mark for AdSense alone.  That would be great, but I especially want to continue to see some consistency.  I have been able to publish more this month than I have since April of this year when I published 12 Hubs.  This month I was able to get 9 done.  I would like to keep working to get at least 20-30 more done by the end of the year which would put me within striking distance of 200 for the main account.

Well, that is all I have for this post.  Like I said, I can't wait for the quarterly update when I will report earnings for the last 3 months and compare them to the 3rd quarter in 2009.  That is where it is really possible to make growth comparisons and assess progress.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

List My Five Update

Well, it has been one week since I joined List My Five so I thought I would record what has happened during that time.  Of course, I had hoped to have more done during that time but isn't that always how it goes.  It seems that I always set out my goals and try to get too much done in the amount of time I have.  Life just always seems to be too busy overall.

Despite a busy week, I did manage to get 4 lists published.  I linked my first two in my last post and will link my next two in this post.  I am not sure if there is a connection, but the first two were indexed in Google by the next day.  My most recent two have yet to be indexed so I wonder if the reason my first two were indexed so quickly is the fact that I placed links here.  I guess I will learn something fairly soon.  Here are lists number 3 and 4:

The Top Five Ways to Make Extra Money with Your Body

The Top Five Dividend Yielding Stocks of the Dow

Needless to say, if those two lists get indexed now, I will have to be linking all of my lists for a little while from this blog.  I would hope that after another month or two, the site will command some authority of its own.  Looking at the Alexa Rank from today, the 3 month rank is 432,672 and the one month rank is 162,638.  That tells me there is some fairly rapid growth.  I would suspect that in the next week or so, the one month rank should be in the top 100,000.

So far, I have had 325 visits to my lists.  I have no idea if there is any search traffic at all in that total.  I have also earned a total of 12 cents.  I am somewhat encouraged by this since it took me several weeks to earn anything at HubPages.  My goal will eventually be to make the $10 minimum payout each and every month like I am at eHow. 

I think it would be awesome if I could make the first payout by the end of the year.  There are 14 weeks until the end of 2010.  That means to make a $10 payout would require me to average 71 cents each week.  At 3 cents per list for this week, I could probably get it done with 25 more lists made over the next week.  HA!  Like that is going to happen as busy as I usually am.  But at least it is theoretically possible by posting only 3 or 4 lists each day.

Well, I will just have to see what happens and will post an update in another few days.  In the meantime, I guess I should start making a few more lists and get some work done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Signed Up for List My 5

I want to thank Maria for introducing me to List My 5.  It is a relatively new online writing site with a writer's compensation program that is reminiscent of eHow.  Feel free to read Maria's post about List My 5.  I certainly don't want to rewrite what Maria has to say.

What I would like to say, however, is that I have signed up for the site, joined the writer's compensation program and published my first list in about 30 minutes time.  Now it is just a matter of seeing what income might possibly result.  In the spirit of the site, allow me to list my 5 top reasons for joining and writing on

  1. Opportunity for Residual Income--The site seems to have a similar business model as eHow paying writers residual income.  I suspect it is somehow tied into views and ad clicks as well as possibly activity on the site.  It is not entirely clear how the money is made, but I am sure AdSense revenue plays a big role.
  2. Payments are via Paypal--I really felt like I wanted to have some more money coming into my Paypal account.  I am using my Google AdSense checks as extra payments on a credit card.  My plan is to use Paypal money for increasing my web presence and possibly even using for hosting and other related fees when I get to the point of creating my own website.  Extra money in my Paypal account will allow me to do more sooner.
  3. Low Payout Threshold--Like eHow, listmy5 will make monthly payments when you reach $10.  The amount also rolls over to the next month if you don't make it.  I like the prospect of being paid monthly assuming I can make the minimum each month.  I suspect it will take a little while but maybe by the end of the year.
  4. Opportunity to Diversify--I like the idea of being able to diversify my income stream away from HubPages since it represents quite a bit of my AdSense income currently.  List My 5 seems like a site that I can get excited about and publish a fair number of articles rather quickly.
  5. Quick and Easy Writing Format--The writing format seems to be something that suits my personality.  I was able to write my first list with ease in about 20 minutes, not to mention the fact that it was published instantly.  While some lists will require research, others might simply be personal favorite lists or preferences.  I was able to come up with about 20 different ideas for lists on my drive to pick up the kids from gymnastics practice.  Not all of them were good, but the brainstorming was rapid.
  6. (BONUS)  Ownership Rights--OK so I am a geek and will read the Terms of Service from time to time.  I liked the fact that I retain all ownership rights to my content.  Ultimately, if the site disappears then I can republish on another site.  Just be sure that you keep a copy of your content on your personal computer.  I have been rather lax about this lately at HubPages and should go back to copy and paste.
OK, so I guess you get the flavor of the site.  And don't use my list above as a list on the site since I have already done that.
My goal is to publish several Lists over the next several days and wait a few days before posting some backlinks on the various sites I use such as Xomba, SheToldMe, and Redgage.  Then I will see how long it takes to develop some earnings and determine how much time and effort I would like to spend on the site.  In the meantime, you can see the two lists that I have published so far:

Reasons to Invest in Silver
Reasons to Join List My Five

Well, that is all I had for now.  I will be sure to keep everyone up to date with my progress on the site.  I am not sure if the view counter is working properly since it says I have over 50 views between the two articles within minutes of publication.  Maybe it is counting Google ad spiders.  I suppose that could be a good thing if Google is visiting the site frequently.  Oh well, like I said, I will let everyone know how it goes. 

Feel free to offer up any comments or assessments.  Photo credit: woodley wonderworks

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gathering Publishing Momentum

I think that one of the keys to success when it comes to making money on the internet is to constantly publish new material.  I also think that I am gaining some publishing momentum and need to keep working hard as long as I am able to keep coming up with new material to publish.  It is those times when I can't think of anything to write that I should use for creating backlinks.

To give you an idea of the momentum, I have published 4 Hubs in the last 5 days.  This compares to 4 Hubs for the entire month of August, none at all in July and only 1 in June.  So as you can see, my production has increased dramatically.  I am not seeing it in the way of earnings yet but I do think that all of this effort will pay off by the end of the year.  My biggest hope is that I can continue to work at this pace through the end of the year.  Then I will start thinking about taking some time off.

As mentioned in some earlier blog posts, I also want to devote some major effort to some Amazon product Hubs.  I have also written one of those in the last 5 days as well and plan to at least begin another one tonight.  Of course it will take some time for me to see the impact on Amazon affiliate income, but I would like to see a nice increase in activity by the end of the year also.  I may be too late to have a major income boost for this Christmas season since I don't think I am all that great at generating traffic yet.  But a slow consistent effort should pay off over the next year and put me in a decent position for next year.

My goal is to capitalize on all of this effort in order to see an approximately 30% increase in traffic by the end of the year.  Last month was my best overall month for traffic and even though this month is down from August, it is still better than many of my other months in the past.  I am trying to get past the ups and downs and focus on the longer term trends which are clearly up at this point.  I would love to hear your plans from now through the end of the year so feel free to share and comment.

Photo credit: Bergfalke2

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Having Fun Watching Traffic

I recently put a Live Traffic Feed widget from Feedjit on my blog.  In case you hadn't noticed, it is down the right side at the very end of all of the other widgets and links, etc. that populate that area of the blog.  I think it is a fun little widget to follow.  I am enjoying seeing all the different world locations of all the visitors that are coming to read this blog.  I have seen visitors from Russia, Indonesia, Australia, England, and all over the United States.

I can also look to see when the visitors have stopped by.  It is obvious to me when I am looking at my blog, and I can see who stopped by while I was sleeping.  Some folk on the internet have some crazy hours!  I can also keep a mental note of how much traffic is stopping by between my own visits and how far apart visitors are stopping by.  I can tell that traffic has slowed down just a touch since there is a little bit longer time between visits.  Someday, it will be really exciting to see the whole widget filled with visits in the past few hours only.

Anyway, just thought I would point out this nifty little tool that I placed on my blog and how much fun I am having with it.  It is nothing earth shattering but does help me realize how much smaller the internet is making the world.  I always enjoy visiting new places and am enjoying seeing all of the world locations.  Why don't you comment and let me know where you are from so I can see you on the Live Traffic Feed?  LOL!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Looking Back at Earnings and Traffic from June 2009

Someone over in the forums at HubPages asked how long it was before everyone had earned anything with AdSense.  This, of course, got me curious to look back and see how long it was before I had earned anything.  My first ad impressions were on May 26, 2009 and it took me 13 days before I saw my first ad click and revenue.  Needless to say, there were many, many days when I earned absolutely nothing.  In fact, that first full month of June 2009, I earned a whopping $4.16!  I also took notice of my levels of traffic.  Though I think they are pitiful now, my average traffic is about 4-5 times higher now than then.

It sure helps put things in perspective.  Today will likely be one of the worst days of the month as far as traffic goes considering the Labor Day Weekend.  Despite that, my traffic will be about the same (if not a little better) than my absolute best day in June 2009.  Furthermore, despite the horrendous start to the month as far as revenue is concerned, I have earned more between AdSense and eHow than I earned for the entire month of June 2009.

It certainly makes me wonder where things will be a year from now during the Labor Day Weekend of 2011.  I would certainly expect to be earning monthly AdSense checks by then which means I ought to be making over $100 per month with just AdSense.  There is no reason why I shouldn't be able to achieve that goal provided I continue to put in at least a modest amount of effort generating additional content and getting more backlinks.

Anyway, I found it interesting that I felt kind of disappointed with the last few weeks considering what an awesome start I had in August.  I know that there will be ups and downs in traffic and earnings.  I had gotten quite accustomed to the fluctuations but thought that I was getting the hang of it a little bit more so that I would see a little more consistency overall especially when it comes to AdSense.  Alas, it is not to be, at least not yet.  I am still seeing some fluctuations and figure I will have to wait until 2011 before seeing the monthly AdSense check from Google.  But that is OK.  It will be all the sweeter when that day comes.  And I will be sure to let you know when it happens.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Is Best AdSense Month for 2010

Well, August 2010 slowed down a bit at the end but it still turned out to be the best AdSense month of 2010 for me in several different areas.  First of all, it was my best month EVER for ad impressions.  This obviously means that my traffic was the best ever for the month.  I am hoping that this is the beginning of a positive trend that will last for the rest of the year.  If I can continue producing content and creating backlinks, I think that I can increase traffic by about 30% by December 31st.

It was also the best month EVER in terms of absolute number of ad clicks.  Again this is another encouraging sign that I am hoping will continue as we move into the fall and winter.  In 2009, October was a very big month for me.  I am not quite sure if there are seasonal variations yet since I have only been doing this for a little more than a year and haven't had time to see a pattern.  I do know that there are plenty of ups and downs in traffic and revenue but I am hoping that the trend remains positive.

Finally, August 2010 was the best month of the year (and 2nd best ever) in terms of AdSense earnings.  Needless to say, I would especially like this trend to continue.  I would eventually like to get to the point where I am able to earn enough to get a monthly check from Google.  It is difficult to know exactly when this might occur since I am not quite halfway there.

I was very pleased with the overall consistency that I saw for the month of August.  I was able to earn something most days for the first 3 weeks.  It slowed down the last week of the month, but I was very encouraged to see a positive response to my online efforts after taking the month of July off.  I will still be very busy during the rest of the year but plan to make an extraordinary effort to write and backlink.

As you know, I would like to develop some product Hubs for Amazon to see if some concentrated efforts will lead to increased sales.  I would like to end the month with 30 Hubs devoted to products.  Since I have 3 already, I would have to make 27 more.  That will be quite a bit of work for the month and would represent getting almost 1 done each day.  Obviously, I can't let myself get behind.  I will be doing this on another HubPages account so that I can keep them separated from my other articles.  I think it will be easier to follow traffic in this fashion although I won't keep Amazon stats separated.  I will still be able to tell if my Amazon clicks increase.

Well, I know that there are several who had a good month of August.  I know that the earnings trend was positive for many people.  So, how were your results for August?  Traffic up?  Earnings up?  Get a lot of work done?  I would love to hear how it went and look forward to being able to share some encouragement with one another.

Photo credit: Nachoman-au

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hoping for a Strong End of August (Plus Free Golf)

August 2010 has been one of the most consistent months for AdSense earnings that I have seen in a long time.  It is very encouraging, and I hope that it is a sign of good things to come for the rest of the year.  Even if things don't quite go as expected, I need to keep things in perspective and realize that I am building on the future.  Everything that I do now will benefit me a year and two years from now.

Also keeping things in perspective is the fact that last August my AdSense earnings were $20.85, and I have already doubled that total with a few days yet to go.  I am also closing in on my all-time best AdSense month of $45.95.  If I start seeing this type of consistency in the last four months of the year, then it might be possible to receive a check from Google every other month.

As mentioned in the previous post, I want to start working a little on Amazon earnings since I am very close to a $10 payout.  I want to have 30 product Hubs (up from a current 3) by the end of September so I will have quite a bit of work to do next month and have to find the time to do it.  That is the biggest problem for me currently.  Finding the time to compose Hubs during soccer season is incredibly difficult.  I will go to work in the morning, go to my daughter's soccer game from work, and then go to pick up the others from gymnastics practice.  The end result is that I am gone from 6 am until 10 pm three or four days each week.

Oh well, I can only do what I can get done and not let it get me down.  I have to maintain my physical condition and mental sanity which is why I have been taking a decade long approach.  I am in a marathon and not a sprint and will have to make year to year comparisons rather than focus on month to month as much.

Anyway, I hope that everyone is doing well.  The weather here in Indiana has been fantastic for August with mild evenings and low 80's highs.  There is plenty of sunshine as well.  I have the day off from work to go to a charity golf outing that was unexpected.  A colleague had a group fall through and asked me to go instead since the fee had been paid.  I can't think of anything better than free golf.  Don't worry, I won't feel too bad if I don't get any Hubs written today as long as I am putting well!  LOL!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goals for Rest of 2010

I took a look at my online income goals for 2010 recently and realized that they had to be modified quite a bit.  So, I thought I would take the opportunity to review those goals and make some changes based upon new circumstances and directions that I plan on taking for the last four months of the year.

I will list the old goals first, followed by the modification of that goal in bold text.  This will save you having to flip back and forth between posts.

  • 250 total articles on Life123.  Life123 had suspended their writers' compensation program early in the year.  They did pay out for all work previously done which was nice and professional.  However, this goal is no longer applicable.
  • 150 Xombytes (articles) on Xomba.  I currently have 45 articles.  I am not entirely convinced that Xomba is the greatest source for residual income.  Thus I should focus my goals on sites that will actually make me money until something happens with those sites.  I do think Xomba is a great site for posting links and will continue to do this.  I hope to have every single article at HubPages linked at Xomba by the end of the year.  If you want to join Xomba for linking purposes with the probability of making some extra cash, that would be reasonable.
  • 150 articles on HubPages.  I already have 145 Hubs.  HubPages has become my main money making site.  Last month, it was responsible for the majority of my earnings.  This month, it is not quite 60%.  I think I want to go for 180-200 by the end of 2010.  I also want to have a second account and put up 30 sales Hubs by the end of September to get some Amazon sales heading into the Christmas season.  I would also like to have over 300 followers from the current 285.
  • 50 articles on eHow.  eHow has changed the format to Demand Studios.  I still have 38 articles.  I looked at some of the titles offered and did not like them.  For me, eHow is no longer applicable.  I simply hope to finish making additional links and make the $10 payout each month.
  • As for writing for this blog, I have kept up but at a pace closer to 2 per week instead of 3.  I don't plan on making any changes.  I still think I have a shot of getting in the top 500,000 Alexa rank and will continue to strive for traffic and followers.
  • I am putting my own site on the back burner for now.  I bought Michelle Adams' ebook on virtual real estate.  It is good, but it looks like a lot of work.  I would rather write.  I think I might look into having one built for me when I get a little more cushion in the paypal account to pay for a site and some hosting.
As far as earnings are concerned, between Life123, Xomba, HubPages, and eHow, I thought that it might be possible to make $195 monthly by the end of 2010.  Most of that ($100) was going to come from Life123 which no longer exists for me.  If I subtract that out, I still think hitting a $95 month with the other 3 sites is possible but will take some additional effort.  I will need to see Xomba pick up some which could happen if I am busy using the site for links.  I think I might be close to $60 this month so $95 in a month by the end of the year is not outside the realm of possibility.

So, what are your goals for the rest of the year?  Have you even bothered to look at your original plans for 2010 to see your progress?  Feel free to shout out and comment.

Photo Credit: Elliot and GoAvs

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar

"Another day, another dollar."  How often have you heard that expression when referring to a menial, dead-end job?  People always seem to say it with a feeling of despair and hopelessness.

But, I am here to tell you that I am excited for that dollar!  Why should I be excited about a dollar which doesn't go near as far as it did 10 years ago (although if it is a silver dollar, it would retain its purchasing power)?  Because that is my AdSense income for today.  I am excited about the fact that my daily income so far for the month of August has been fairly consistent.  In fact, this is the 11th day out of the 18 so far that I have earned at least $1.  That compares to a total of only 8 days for the entire month of July.

I am incredibly pleased with the amount of consistency since I haven't seen this type of steady traffic and revenue for quite some time.  After a very non-productive month of July, it is very encouraging to see these results.  I am motivated to keep working hard for the rest of the year.  Now I should probably sit down and work out some productivity goals for the remainder of the year.  I think I will do that and post them in a few days.  Well, it is getting late so I am going to get some rest.

How has the month of August been treating you so far?  Are you productive?  Are your earnings up?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My SEO Theories About Traffic and Backlinks

If you read my last post about the SEO experiment, you know that I have been thinking about search engine optimization, traffic and backlinks a lot recently and have come up with a few theories regarding these topics.  I am not sure if they are correct, but my thoughts make sense to me and seek to logically explain some of my own experiences and observations.

First of all, if I am running a search engine, my goal is to deliver relevant pages so that people will find what they are looking for and click away from my page.  At the same time, I want them to find my search results valuable so they continue to use my search engine when they next need to find something.  Having repeat users allows me to create a business model based upon advertising.

So, how do I decide what pages are relevant to an individual search?  I can use computers to look at the content of each page and try to evaluate the context of that page based upon the words and composition of language.  I can also use the results of past users' searches to determine if they found a particular page helpful based upon their actions when they initiated that search.

Essentially, what I am saying is that Google will place some recently indexed material fairly high in the search results and see what sticks.  If the site is enticing to users, then the site will see a reasonable amount of traffic.  The site will continue to appear high in the SERPs and as long as users keep responding positively, then a positive feedback loop is established until something more enticing or relevant comes along.

This traffic theory helps explain why I will see PR0 sites along with PR5 on the first page search results.  It helps me understand why, despite my ineptitude at backlinking, some of my articles will still rank fairly high and others will be nowhere to be found.  This also explains the development of authority sites that consistently rank high based upon readership and traffic levels giving them an inherent advantage in the SERPs.

By thinking of it in this way, I need to determine what will drive a self-sustaining level of traffic to each individual article.  Maybe the article needs a better title that will capture attention or a better summary that will encourage readers to click on the result.  Maybe I do need to create more backlinks in order to advertise the article to more potential readers so as to obtain the traffic that will start a virtuous circle.  For those articles on page 1 already, maybe very little will help enhance traffic, and I should focus my efforts on some of my other sites.

Unfortunately, this means that I might have to put a little bit of thought into what each article needs in order to maximize its potential.  Blindly posting backlinks may not be all it takes or it may be exactly what is required.  But it at least gives me an idea about the effectiveness of what I am doing if I can compare the traffic results of certain changes or efforts.  I know that I had one Hub that was getting no traffic at all.  I made a simple change to the title and now that same article has seen 10 times the level of traffic as before.

I know that many SEO experts will castigate this post but I think that my theories allow me to understand that which is mysterious to many people.  You can't tell me that Google result #2 is any more relevant to a search than result #32.  But the decision regarding the order has to be made somehow, and I suspect that traffic and the silent votes of actual users plays a big role. 

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Am I way off base?  I appreciate any and all comments especially since I am willing to learn.

Photo credit: LosHawlos

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My SEO Experiment Revisited

Just the other night, I decided to look back and see whatever happened to the SEO Experiment that I conducted in October of last year. So I typed in Google search "SEO Experment" and found my blog post on page 70. That was quite a shock considering I had been on Google page 1! In fact, there was quite a bit of buzz and interest at the time.

This is the original post on the SEO Experiment in case you missed it or weren't reading the blog in October 2009.

Needless to say, this got me to thinking a little about SEO, SERPs, relevance, links, and traffic. I had created several different articles and posts related to SEO with backlinks to the original post. Obviously, this enabled the post to reach page 1 in a relatively short period of time. But, what caused the dramatic decline over these past 10 months? Is the post that much less relevant to the keyword search phrase? Do I need to build additional links each and every month? Will this post generate additional buzz and help in the SERPs?

I have a few thoughts about SEO that I will share in the next post but in the meantime, I would like to hear what you think about SEO, SERPs, relevance, links, and traffic. I look forward to your comments.

Also, here are several of the articles from last October that were related to the SEO Experiment:

SEO Experiment The original post
Why Am I Doing an SEO Experiment? This has consistently ranked as well
Making Money Online: Climbing the SEO Ladder Start with less competition and work your way up
How to Build a Link Wheel for SEO
Understanding SEO: The Link Wheel
SEO: Black Hat vs White Hat
Google First Page in 16 Days Celebration Time
5 Things I Learned From My SEO Experiment
Update on the SEO Experiment This is a blog post from December of 2009

Monday, August 9, 2010

August Off to a Great Start!

Well I must say that so far, so good for the month of August. I would dare say that I am off to one of my most consistent starts ever in terms of traffic, earnings, and doing work. I haven't produced a lot of content, but I have been making links and trying to do a little bit on most days. Things are certainly better than they were in July.

Traffic at HubPages is up over 10% over the last month. I would expect that if things continue at this pace, my traffic will set an all-time high before the end of the year. I am also impressed with the fact that my earnings are fairly consistent. So far, I have had more good days than bad days, which I define as earning over $1. I should easily be able to earn at least what I did last month provided things continue as they are.

The start to August is offering me more encouragement to keep working when I get the chance and not waste so much time on the computer. I have been playing lots of games rather than working since I have been burned out. The games are just a mindless activity that I can do, especially when tired. But I think that I am getting more and more motivated with each passing day.

I think I may even write an article or two in the next week. I know that I have another blog post for my Real Asset blog which I will write after I get done with this one. Plus, I think that I should be able to write another Hub or two. Well, I am feeling that motivation so I suppose I should get writing. Thanks to everyone for reading.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Putting Long Term Thinking Into Perspective

I just read a great post by Felicia over at about big dreams and long term thinking. Of course, this got me to thinking about my longer term goals for making passive income online.

In case you hadn't read previously, my goal is to make $3000 monthly by the time my youngest is on her way to college. That means I have about 8 years and 10 months left to achieve this level of passive income. Considering that I made just over $58 last month, it would seem that getting anywhere near my goal in less than a decade would be impossible.

But, what happens if I start by making just $30 per month and increase earnings by 5% each month for the next 106 months? Certainly a 5% increase doesn't sound that unrealistic, does it? That would simply mean going from $30 to $31.50. At the end of 6 months, that would be $40.20. I am sure that I can be making over $40.20 monthly by the end of this year.

However, if I carry this out for the full 106 months, then I would be making over $5200 per month! That is well above my goal of $3000 monthly. So, the question becomes: What does it take to increase earnings by 5% each month?

Well for August 2010, it probably won't take a whole lot since I will likely be above the $31.50 without doing much. But what I do this month will make a difference 2 or 3 years down the line when the 5% increase is a much bigger number.

But just like compound interest can work to the advantage of the saver, the work I do now will compound and work to my advantage. Each backlink will metastasize into several backlinks. Each article will be read multiple times and will continue to earn month after month long after my effort has ceased.

Thinking about this is mighty encouraging. Even though growth seems fairly slow now, I realize that it doesn't take a lot of growth to add up into some seriously big numbers over time. It makes up for the burned out feeling that I was having last month and will inspire me to keep going and shooting for 5% growth each and every month. It will also provide me with a target each month to track my longer term growth. This means that in December 2011, I should have made $69 to stay on target. I think I can do it!

Photo credit: TakingITGlobal

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lost the Fire, But I Feel Better Now

For those of you who follow this blog, you may have noticed my absence for essentially the entire month of July. Well, the fact is that I was burned out. I wasn't necessarily burned out with my online income venture, but was undergoing lots of stress at work and was physically and mentally exhausted. I just didn't have anything to give and was simply surviving.

Well, I know that I feel a lot better now and am starting to get motivated to write again. About a week ago, I went to bed early at 8:30 and slept for just over 12 hours. Boy, did that make a huge difference. I had another long night of sleep this week (about ten hours). Even though my back is sore this morning from working out Thursday and playing golf yesterday, I still feel pretty good.

I began to question why I was putting so much effort into developing passive income and lost all motivation to continue so I took the month of July off. Between the last post on this blog about earnings and this post, I did nothing at all. And despite doing nothing, the income kept coming in! Granted, it isn't great but it was a little better than last month.

So, I have some motivation back, and I am going to bust my tail to develop links for the articles that I already have written. I want to work on the eHow articles and have all of those completed by the end of August. It will take a lot of work, but I actually feel up for it now. I may not end up writing a lot of new content, but will definitely do more writing than I did in July.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that I took a little unplanned vacation from developing passive income, but that it was well worth the break. What do you do when you get burned out? I would especially like to hear from those who are doing this for a living since it would be tough to take a month off.
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