Passive Income: 2010 In Review and The Two Day Work Week

Yeah I know – there are nearly 2 months left until the end of the year – but  I am about to hit the road for a spot of independent travel so I will probably have more important things to do than to consider my business position – like spending the loot! Yeah I now make $1,110,223.21 a month in my sleep – and could too – if you would just sign up …

Anyway about a year ago I had some passive income goals for 2010. By the end of March I reported an income of :

Total income of around US$3000/month – of which about 1/3 is passive;;

In the last 6 months (May – October) I earned an average of US$3500, the 6 months before that $3200, and the 6 months prior to that US$2156. My all time record was last month, October, where I was just $8  short of US$4000.  The individual months bounce around but the general trend is definitely in the right direction. Still short of my US$5000/month goal – but not so far off as to be depressing.

But the really exciting bit is that in the last 6 months I have never had less than 40% of my income from passive sources (Adsense and affiliates) – the percentage jumped to 60% in October.

I’ve taken to looking at a rolling 3-month and 6-month average to predict my income and tax liabilities – it seems a much better indicator than just looking at my monthly income.

But there is downside. I don’t live in the US – I can’t spend $US – I have to convert them into NZ$ – and NZ dollar is now pushing 80c to the US$ – it  at around 65c at the start of the year :-(  . I can’t do anything about my Adsense income which is direct deposited at the day’s rate into my NZ account.

I can use my PayPal account as a US$ account – but I hate leaving too much money in there – I have heard way too many stories about people having PayPal accounts frozen for no good reason and they are not a bank so there is no protection for my money there (and yes there are protections for people’s bank deposits in my country).

Internet Marketing While Traveling or a Full Time Income While Working Two Days a Week

As I mentioned we are going travelling. Now I’ve thinking  quite a bit about how I was going to manage the whole thing of working while I am travelling thing.  Lets face when faced with a warm beach and cheap eats and booze in Thailand – what would motivate me to be working? Well yesterday I found that motivation.

Every week or so I run Market Samurai to update the rankings on my sites.  I also keep an eye on Google Analytics to see what keywords people are using to find my sites.  I haven’t put a new site up since April – but I wasn’t getting anywhere ranking most of the sites either.   At the start of November I spent half a day finding the sites which were anywhere in the top 100 with a focus on the sites which were showing me nice cost per a clicks or where  I was getting traffic but wasn’t in the top three yet.

In October I made record figures (for me) with both Adsense and eBay. Yesterday I ran the same sites – I saw green (meaning rankings had improved) almost everywhere.  Now whether the links I build with Postrunner or the more recent  links I’ve built with Build My Rank I didn’t really care. The result was I was seeing an awful lot of “nearly there” sites rankings on the 3rd and 4th pages. I couldn’t just assume that the keywords I thought would work – would be OK for over two months. I needed to be more in touch. I needed to be able to run Market Samurai while traveling.

I thought about it for an hour or so. I did a happy dance,  and then went out an bought a netbook To be exact an eMachine EME2501915 10.1, 1.60GHz Intel Atom N270, 1GB Ram, 160GB Hard Drive, Windows XP Home (Actually mine has this year’s processor which is slightly faster – but it was as close I could find for my American readers – NZers – head down to Bond&Bond or Noel Lemmings NZ$398)

eMachine EM350 1.66GHz N450/1GB/160GB/Windows XP

(For size comparison purposes its sitting on top of my HP ProBook 4510s – lovely laptop but way to large and heavy to travel with.)

Seeing all those  nearly there keywords meant I suddenly was motivated to factor in working a couple of days a week when on the road. Well that’s the plan – how its actually going to work in practice when travelling with a guy who is definitely in holiday mode because his J.O.B finishes on Friday – not sure, I’ll get back to you on that.

I hadn’t meant to post this today – some other keyword is higher on my priority list – but I found myself, having just reviewed last year’s tax returns from my accountant – sitting there with a big smile on my face. I had just redone my projections for this year – I was in the money – I was going to owe the government so much tax that I’d have to pay provisional tax too – YEAH!

I see people on the Keyword Academy forums asking when? When will I make money? How long will it take? The answer is – it depends – and really you do need to just plain do the work for 6 – 12 months.  Then as you start to see the results (and remember making your first affiliate sale or hitting your $100/month Adsense payout amount is absolutely the most difficult part of this whole business).

Carpe Diem

Seize the day for the non-classicists. If you have been thinking about signing up for Build My Rank cause I am not the only person reporting great results from it – you may click thru on this link an then be disappointed to notice that its closed for new sign ups, but you can sign up for the wait-list.  The owners seem to be making a genuine effort to keep the quality of the network high my not  having too many posts get posted to each site a day. They will reopen again – but whether the price has gone up then (and frankly it should – they could easily be charging at $129 or $149 or limiting the number of domains you can link to) – I don’t know. Sometimes its just not a good idea to hesitate too long – I have a policy of buying fast and canceling/getting a refund fast if it doesn’t work out.

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40 Responses to “Passive Income: 2010 In Review and The Two Day Work Week”

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  1. Seth says:

    Impressive stats Lis, even it’s just 1/3 of your earnings are coming from passive income, we all do still need to do work sometimes to really improve our earnings. With regards to working while traveling, time management will do play a huge part on this (I’m experiencing the same dilemma as well), and I’m now thinking of outsourcing some of the tasks that are really time consuming to reduce my own work load, well how does that sounds?

    All the best.
    Seth

    • Lis says:

      Yeah I already have a full-time outsourcer Seth – he’s the one that gonna be keeping me on my toes I think! At the moment I am thinking about scheduling 2 days a week: Sat/Sun for about 6 hours work each – and seeing how that works out.

  2. Sarah Russell says:

    Great post – glad to see that your businesses are performing well! Cute pic of the netbook – that’s on my to-buy list as well, since traveling with a 17″ laptop is a little difficult :)

    Safe travels and enjoy your vacation!

  3. Denise says:

    Lis I am so happy for you and proud of your accomplishments. You have really come a long way in the past couple of years and you definitely deserve all your accomplishments. You are one of the success stories on internet marketing. Kudos Kid! :-)

  4. That’s really fantastic! For me the experience of travel itself is enough to motivate me to work a couple days a week, and I find it easier and more relaxing to do so while on a walkabout than I do while sitting at home in the office, but I am kind of weird. Great to hear about your accomplishments, and enjoy your travels!

  5. Congrats Lis! Very good results. Keep it up and you’ll hit your goal early next year.

    • Lis says:

      @Trent – Iwas going to type ” are you sure” – but I must say I tend to agree with you – at one hand I see the momentum growing – on the other I fear the dreaded G slap !

  6. Tiffany says:

    Enjoy your travels and spending all that hard earned money you have made. I love the netbook you bought and would love to get my own since most of my work is done on the couch while watching the kids and my laptop is just too big. Maybe if I drop a couple hints my husband will get the hint for Christmas (I doubt it!)

    My year for 2010 was definitely not as profitable as I would have liked, but it was my first year doing it full time without doing freelance work as well. Hoping that my stats look like yours next year.

    • Lis says:

      I am loving sitting in my hotel room with the little netbook – its really awesome and quite good to type on even! So far every hotel we’ve stayed at has had free WIFI in the rooms too – that may change as the islands get smaller though!

  7. Tyler Davis says:

    I’m making about 1% of that maybe I should start using my tracker to send traffic to your hubs and then I can start getting a piece of that 3,000. Maybe you can start a new bookmarking site called travel bookmarks(so you get keyword authority for your niche bookmarks) modeled after snipsly(with referral program for free backlinks). I promise to blast you with tons of bookmarks to make passive income with :)

  8. Nick says:

    Hey lis,

    Good one on the earnings and shame you haven’t got to the $5,000 mark as it is good when you do. But., like you, the US against the pound isn’t as good as it was 18 months ago, so I’ve been concentrating on my UK sites of late – much because the people in the UK always pay more (in real terms) for things (not sure why, but it is).

    Also, on the currency aspect – you might want to look at multiple currency accounts for your business (and yes, you can get them for personal accounts too). Saves the unreliability of PayPal and backs up the diversification paranoia that I got from Vic ;)

    • Lis says:

      Nick – sorry for the delay on approving – WP decided to not tell me when I had a comment – I assumed you guys were just pissed with me taking off to the beach :-) Yes I do need to look into currency accounts – will look into it next year.

      • Nick says:

        Don’t worry, I thought that was the case ;)

        And I hope you had a fun trip away – we had snow in the UK when you were here I think so I bet that was cool ;-)

  9. Nick says:

    Also Lis,

    I’d probably have on your list for when you get back to make sure you get your SEO small business site setup (if you haven’t) and plan to take an extra $6k in the first 6 months of 2011 – it really won’t be that hard for you, trust me.

    • Lis says:

      Oh I have done one Nick – and have down some clients but most of the locals are still mainly at the “I need a website” stage – so I spend more time explaining SEO rather than doing it!

      • Nick says:

        Haven’t been here in ages. I had that trouble, but I did a five page pdf for people to read and know what I offer – I build them a simple (wordpress-based) site and then do a bit of marketing for them. I hate repeating myself to people, so I wanted something easy to get them to invest some time and effort into it before I asked for some wonga.

  10. AdventureRob says:

    Good work Lis ^_^ How many hours are you putting in to make up the non-passive income?

    • Lis says:

      Sorry for the delay Rob – my WP blog has decided to passively not send me emails when someone comments! I have a monthly client – it takes about 8 -10 hours/ month to do their work!

  11. Lisa says:

    Lis, you have given me a new fire. I have been concentrating on a few projects and doing all I can to optimize and achieve my goals. thank you for your insights and have fun on Holiday!

    • Lis says:

      @Lisa – I think I’m 1/2 way to living the deam – typing this from a tropical island – waiting for the sun to drop enough to head back to the beach – my Adsense income today would cover our food and drinks bill in Malaysia ! Its pretty darn good!
      !

  12. Colorado Image Consultant says:

    You had an impressive review here. That is truly passive, I hope I can achieve it! Well thanks for sharing.

  13. Spike says:

    Passive income is a goal or dream for many people, but eludes some because they simply don’t know where to start. We are not taught in school how to generate passive income, only how to get jobs. As adults most of us find ourselves running in the same rat race as everyone else, wondering how we got there and if there is a way out.

  14. Monica says:

    Article writing has become very popular in the last decade or so, and can earn you money upfront and residually. Sites like HubPages, Squidoo, and Associated Content pay you a recurring amount based on how many visitors your page gets and/or how many people click on the ads placed on your page. Best of all, writing these articles or building these pages is fun, free, and you can write about almost anything that interests you. If you can write legibly and passionately about your interests, you can start earning.

  15. Marisa Wright says:

    I would be doing very well if the Aussie dollar hadn’t shot up in comparison with the US dollar – bummer!

    I have to confess I still haven’t “got serious” about earning online – I find it too isolating to do full-time. Right now I’m unemployed and trying hard to find a part-time job to get me out of the house!

    Best wishes for the travelling, I know how you love it! I seem to have got travel out of my system – after 20 years I still feel like I’m on holiday in Sydney, it’s such a paradise compared to a drizzly Scottish summer!

    • Lis says:

      You need a dance teaching job Marissa! Keep you fit and out of the house! Yes I agree its very isolating – and its definitly not for everyone – I think you need anti-social tendencies to handle it full-time !

  16. John from CD Duplication Services London says:

    Congratulation Lis! You had a very awesome achievements here. Keep it up and more power to you.

  17. Rahul says:

    How many sites do you own?
    2 years ago i joined hubpages. after reading some hubs of yours. But i started working last year. I made 90+ hubs most of them failed badly. i get 150 visitors every day to them and make some dollars every day. Right now my hubs earning is increased and this is real passive income. 8 months ago i made another profile and i wrote 25 hubs. These hubs get 150-250 visitors every day. and sold products of $750 products on amazon and my adsense income is now bit increased. From hubpages is learned ‘how to pick keywords’ and how to write things.
    I am preparing list of keywords for making more hubs and doing research for my future websites. Possibly not as successful as yours in short time but i will do it some how.

  18. Kirsty says:

    Hey Lis! It’s been awhile since I checked in. Thanks for the updates on your earnings and other goings on. I cleared the $5000 mark for the first time in October and I probably have you to thank for getting my ass in gear, finally! Outsourcing and link building are both going well (again, thanks to some recommendations from your site) and I’m looking forward to working on a couple of fun projects in the New Year… but they might not pay off for awhile.

    Enjoy your travels, happy hols and best of luck in the New Year!

    Kirsty

  19. kidgas says:

    Congrats, Liz. I have been following your progress since my early days at HubPages and am pleased to see you ever closer to your goal of making $5000/month. Seeing your trajectory is sure an inspiration to many. Keep up the solid work and report it periodically as well. Hope you have a wonderful 2011.

  20. kidgas says:

    Whoops. Sorry bout the spelling, Lis. Have a good college friend with a “Z” and it just came out naturally.

  21. Krest says:

    Hi Liz,

    Am inspired by your article. I didn’t believe people make much money from adsense until now. Am a newbie but am targeting to make a monthly income of $1500. I think there is so much i have to learn to achieve that. I guess i have to stick with your site for information, but i will also like to get a personal assistance. Thanks!

  22. Vi says:

    Lis, I wish you this year to achieve your goal :)

  23. Rodderz says:

    Hi Lis,

    Congratulations on your steadily increasing passive income and I hope you have a fantastic time traveling. I really enjoy reading your updates.

  24. Andrew says:

    Wow, you have some impressive numbers. I am sure you will reach your $5k mark in no time. Keep up the “hard” work. There are so many people that are too scared to even try to attempt what you have done.

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