Making Money Online Online Business Passive Income Plan Review

We Don’t Need No Stupid Badges!

The Keyword Academy has this absolutely infantile, ridiculous scheme where you can apply for badges to match your (verified) income – I mean its like pre-primary school right? Except for some odd  reason it does seem to matter to me – and today I made it – I made the next badge up – in the last month I earned $2500 in passive online income and I have nice pretty badge to prove it. Half of that was from Adsense and that figure represents a 50% increase over December’s Adsense figures. So how long does it take to make at total of $4000/month of online income? So in answer to the question “Can You Make $1000/month with Adsense”  (written almost exactly 2 years ago) – is YES, I DO. And yes at the time, I really didn’t think it would be ME that did!

View From Our Hotel Window, Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur

In fact I blame Mark Butler (from the Keyword Academy – yup you can get a personal consult for free within the Academy – its smart move by them – but unbelievable good value for members) – I had a consultation with him a few weeks ago – and I wrote on my white board – make $2500 by April 2011 (my anniversary date with Keyword Academy and my birthday). Oops looks like I will have to revise that LOL. Even my long-time goal of US$5500/month is starting to look reasonable – that would mean about US$4000/month in passive income. I can now see that happening this year – so long as I stop my obsessive stat’s checking and go back to work! Especially when I consider that my income has jumped while I’ve been on holidays – I thought  I might resent working while I was travelling but instead

Why that figure – it would cover all our regular household expenses (so long as the US$ doesn’t completely collapse). That’s called freedom – for both my partner and I. Coincidentally it would also be about what I earned as a highly paid, bored, stressed out, IT professional – that would be sweet revenge!

So How Can You Make $2500 / month in Passive Income?

I don’t flipping know – I don’t know you – but I can tell you what has made a difference to me:

  • understanding I wanted a business not a job. Freelance writing is a job. Developing websites for other people is a job. Developing your own websites which produce more income even when you are on holiday – that’s a business.
  • outsourcing. Hiring a writer not only freed up my time – it made me become more organised because I had to tell him what to do – like duh!
  • having a range of sites in totally unrelated niches – sites I thought would be winners – no traffic. Sites I thought no one would EVER buy THAT online – they buy – go figure. I’m too stupid to figure this out in detail – my fool proof method of knowing if there is traffic for a keyword – get to page 1 and see if there is!
  • learning to believe my own stats – rather than what people are saying about the death of SEO, Google changes, Supersite, niche sites are dead, etc, etc. The best information on how to grow your business will always be found in understanding your own statistics – maybe I should write a post on that!
  • I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a paid placement – but I really do credit the forum over at TKA for being part of my success – I really don’t think I would have have hung on this long without the help support and I get there. I rarely ask for it – but just seeing people going thru the same stuff as I am is so incredibly useful and encouraging. Lets face it – few of us have anyone in the “real world” who understand why we play on the Interwebs all day – its nice to have some online friends who do.

Thanks for listening – now I have a lot more work to do…

42 replies on “We Don’t Need No Stupid Badges!”

Hey Lis,

Great to see you pass the $2500 mark. I wish I had such a good chunk as yours in TKA residual affiliate income. It’s nice to know that is at least a fairly safe chunk, which is something I’ve been trying to establish. It’s hard to ween ones self off adsense for something that may take a while to get going but will be more stable in the long run. For me my next goal is going to be largely centered around diversification. I need to get selling some amazon products or something.


That’s interesting Justin cause you do outrank me for some KW’s i’m after LOL. There was a heart stopping moment last year when they talked about dropping the affiliate program (for new sign ups) – but that’s off the table now! Yeah I want to do more with diversification in the next year- I hear of people doing well with Amazon but I’ve never cracked it!

Yeah I don’t think we’ve ever gotten our TKA stuff to convert overly well. I think it’s a big plus of the social aspect of your site that helps with that. I remember a long time ago Griz talking about reader engagement, namely how she had only a few thousand RSS readers, while Problogger had some ~60k at the time, but Griz destroyed him when it came to comments per post.

Justin – Yeah but Problogger has better fluff than me. 🙂

Lis – Well done. Nice huh? Just spread your eggs around so you don’t lose it all in a G slap.

What the heck… a captcha??? How insulting. Last time I spam you! 🙂

LOL – yeah its to check if you can spell Griz- actually its stopped – “you blog very nice please post more” comments in their tracks – so sorry for the inconvience – and its an easy captcha!

You blog very nice please post more like this. Do you mind if I share it on my blog because it is such good information. I was searching all day online for this and nothing was as good as yours. Thank you.

Is that a good enough comment? LOL!

Really though, I am very happy for you achieving a great milestone with your passive online income. Keep it up Lis!

Congrats, Lissie! That’s a sweet badge.

Your point about wanting a business and not a job is spot on. That shift in mindset is crucial for long term success. Most people don’t understand it and never get there.

I’m so happy for you, Lissie. You’re such an inspiration! I tried to get a consultation with Mark, was even going to pay for it, invest in my future as an internet marketer, until I saw he wasn’t charging anymore something about “wanting to talk with as many of us TKAers as he could” so I followed the instructions to send him my detailed email and he told me to contact Matt? No individual consult for me but I’m glad it worked for you!
All the best!

Well Done Lis! Very well done! Enjoy this moment and your holidays, and I figure I’m about 10 months behind from joining the ranks. Well back to work…I mean business building 🙂

That’s awesome, Liz. Way to go!

I’m curious: Is that “passive” income amount net of expenses — like your writer’s wages and monthly fees for the tools you use (e.g., TKA, BMR, etc.)? It’s interesting how paying a writer is like buying discipline, eh? 😉

Again, BIG CONGRATS on reaching your goal. Keep going!

Hi Mia, good question – I was going to include that – I have about US$500 / direct expenses (hosting, domains, memberships, writers) plus another US$100 or so of home office expenses I manage to claim.

Big congratulations Lis! You have come a long way from when we first met on ‘that’ online forum years back 😉 You totally deserve your success and the only thing I envy you for is having found a good writer, I am still struggling with that point. SY

Great to see you back to the “grind”, Lis. passive? You call this passive? ;-). But seriously, there are two really, really good nuggets hidden in the other good nuggets this article offers up.

One, don’t obsess, obsess, obsess with ‘niche hunting’. Half the time the one you think is best never works out that way, and vice-versa. Pick a niche that’s “good enough” and blast off with it, the market will tell you what changes need to be made.

And Number Two … one I have never seen mentioned before, despite a whole slew of pro-outsourcing content from dozens of wide-circulation blogs over the past few months. Perhaps the biggest reason outsourcing will help you (and maybe the reason I’m too lazy to outsource) is, if you want to outsource content production, link building or some other site building process, you have to decide what you want the outsource person to do, and then check and verify their work.

Having a plan and following it through is the number one path to success, no mater if you follow the plan doing the work yourself, or you hire someone to do the work and then supervise.

If someone asks you today, “What’s your plan”, and all you can say is “Ummmm” … well, there you go … many of us have achieved “Ummm” simply because, well, that’s all we planned to do, anyway.

Yeah planning – who would have thought that was the key LOL. Yup links will make you more money than obsessing about your niche LOL

Awesome amount, I’ve rejumped on the wagon this year after focusing on my offline pursuits. Career is going well just waiting for the ‘break’ contract!

Online wise i’m hoping to hit a small (in comparison) amount of $500 a month passive. I’ve hit $100 before, and I think I know the tricks of the trade now (kinda). So im hoping by end of this quarter to hit the $50 passive mark at least.

Though congrats and will be glad to see you hit the 5.5k mark! Been following your journey for a looong while now and always inspirational!

*goes to get more useful links*

Congratulations, Lis! I had no idea there were badges. Haven’t been to the TKA, sounds like a fun place. Nice pic from the hotel, btw – you’re up pretty high there! I thought it was a shot of a model (as in: miniature, not, “magazine”).

BTW, some of the best tips online I’ve found for Amazon: (I’m sure you know Dave) (Paula and Wanda – yeah, they sell an ebook and I “flog” it as you call it – but their blog is packed with the goods)

Amazon and CJ = good times

10th floor I think it was and the pool was on the first! Yeah it was obviously designed to look good from above – it was nice spot (actually I don’t generally pay for 5 star- but its always nice to do it from time-to-time). Yes I know Dave – he definitely seems to know Amazon – I’ll check out the other one – that’s a new one!

Wow, congrats Lis, big achievement!

I need to get my ass into gear and work on online stuff again. I’ve almost got my first payment from Google and Amazon wallet is building up too, this is all from hubpages.

May I ask what percentage of that is hubpages?

My blog got a google slap last month and I’m down to PR3 so suspect my income from advertisers will go down now unfortunately, so I’m keen to diversify now too.

My HP income this month is around $250 – which is lower than usual – but I must admit I’ve been focussed on my own sites for the last little while.

Nice Work Lis,
It is really nice to see someone who helps others to succeed, turn around and succeed herself.

I can’t agree with you more about Mark Butler. Last summer when I hit $1000 per month he said now do $2000 by next June. Well, I went to work and only missed the $2000 mark by $200 this month. So I should do it in February which will be six months before schedule. And all of it is passive income-I make money today whether I work or not.

It is amazing what a person can accomplish once they know what to do and they do it. I absolutely recommend the Keyword Academy.

Hi Lis,

Good to hear you’re doing so well! You’re right about how hard it is to get people to understand what we do. My partner can see how much I make from weight loss in some serious affiliate commissions and she can see what I have to do to get it, yet she still insists I’m just “going on the computer” to mess about online!!

I branched out to target Amazon stuff late last year and I’m amazed at how easy it is compared to hammering away at such a tough niche. Dave knows his stuff and is killing it, not just Amazon by the way. Any affiliate product can be sold when you go about it the right way as I’ve discovered too.

A few years ago I got mixed up in a sales gig involving timeshare (cold-line) before I got online again and I remember the introduction by the boss who actually had a very poignant piece of advice. He said “This can be the easiest, best paying job you ever had, or it can be the hardest, worst paying job you ever had. It’s your choice.”

Those words stayed with me and they can also be true of this business. Its up to each one of us whether we succeed or fail and that all depends on how much we’re prepared to put in to what we’ll get out.

Hi Terry – yes that’s a good quote and very true for this business. Amazon I think may be my next focus – so glad to here that its working for you

Well done Lis.

I came across this site a while back and follow your progress with interest. I’m still some way behind you with earnings but your success provides the inspiration to keep going. I agree so much with your thoughts about planning and outsourcing and am just hiring writers for the first time. Long may your progress continue!

Congrats Lis! I am still one of those aiming for my $1000 badge by the summer, but just in the past few months (when I actually really started to buckle down and work like I should be) I have seen my income go up dramatically. I’m now focusing on the keywords that make me some money and working to get them to #1 before moving on.

My biggest problem is having too many sites and being spread too thin… this doesn’t work and I am now just learning it. I agree when you say that you have to look at your own stats to see what is working. There are some people that promote making 100 sites and I just don’t have the time for that. Instead I will take my 20 or so sites and work on them 1 or 2 at a time now.

I defintiely don’t think I would have stuck it out for so long without TKA either!

Congrats to you Lis. I know you worked hard to get where you are.

You and I have very similar goals with slightly different ways of achieving them. I enjoyed this post, especially the part about leaving the stats alone and getting back to work. I’m guilty of spending too much times on stats and not enough time working.

I’m right behind you on the passive income ($2,257 last month). It definitely makes a goal of $5,000 a month in residual income feel more attainable.

I’m taking a bit of a break this month but I’ll get back on track next month to work towards the next milestone. You’re living proof that it can be done if you stick with it and work smart.

Wooo I wish I was making that. I really don’t make much online but I keep trying. 🙁 For some reason people don’t link to me. It makes me think that I did something wrong.

hi lis,

I have some question about BMR,

its written on their website that 59 is only for 5 domains.

Is your package similar? I seem to recall unlimited domains.

If yes, do you think you can strike a deal with BMR management to give us the old package using your affiliate link?

I signed up as soon as I found out about the product – so I pay $59 for unlimited domains – they have since reduced the number of domains you can build links for at the same time. I think you can swap sites in and out though?

LOL nope I am just an affiliate for BMR they don’t talk to me about their pricing policies !

Congrats on you’re success. I love how you make no promises to others on their ability to make money online. Obviously it can be done but it is not easy, if it was everyone would do it. My partners and I are on a similar quest. We are running all of our businesses debt free. This makes everything take a little longer but we think it will be well worth the extra time and effort in the end. Great job!

Hey Liz. Great post. Am becoming a big fan, from the Great White North and actually live within close proximity to certain “Grizzly” type bears. You two are wealths of info, wish I had met you guys a couple of years ago. Got sucked into Sit Build It at first, was building a site for my Lawn Care business and it seemed the way to go. Then I started TrafficticketGuru after retiring from the Cops and did it on SBI as well. It does ok, but could do a lot better. Partly due to other stuff I am doing and procrastination on my part. I am thinking of moving my domain from there and my content but also worry about whether my rankings will plunge. I have great ranking especially locally against the paralegals and lawyers as well as the cops and the courts and don’t pay a cent in adwords etc. I have found that traffic geyser is a helpful service. Not sure if you are familiar with them or not.

Devouring yours and Griz’s blogs keep up the great work.

So long as you keep the same urls for your blog’s pages moving hosting or the technology your blog is built on won’t hurt it – but you do have to be careful with redirects if you have to change urls e.g. droping the dot html if you move to wordpress

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