earn passive income online

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Summer is flying by really quickly. It seems like I just wrote about my $7,353 in Q2 online income and now its time for another update! July has been a stellar month and I managed to pull in just over $3,200 in online income.

As usual, Ebay was my biggest earner with nearly 33% of the online income. I’m glad I’m not dependant on only one source for the majority of my income, especially since I found out that one of my friends got booted from the Ebay Partner Network (EPN). While the real reason is a mystery, I can only guess it was one of the following:

  1. He wasn’t promoting related products on his blog. This tells the EPN that you’re not a serious affiliate marketeer and that you don’t know how to internet traffic conversion works.
  2. Some of the other sites were thin-sites. A site with no content and just affiliate links to products doesn’t usually rank well in the search engines and as a result gets no traffic. This also indicates that you’re a novice.

Ebay is facing problems increasing their revenues. They desperately need people to market their products for them. However, they don’t want people to sign up for the affiliate program and use it subsidise their own purchases.  If you make it seem like your internet marketing skills are non-existent there’s a pretty high likelyhood of their rejecting you. But you do have 60 days to try out BANS and get a refund if you don’t like it. If you don’t like BANS you can try this other Ebay plugin for wordpress that is pretty decent.

For more information read  my 1,000 word guide on how to make money from BANS

Anyway, here’s the monthly breakdown for July’s online income:

Direct Ads were a huge portion of the income as well. But this number goes up every July! Check out last July’s online income numbers. This July, the online portion is almost 40% higher while my dividend income is 40%! Speaking of dividends, I need to write a post about that!

My “other affiliate” is pretty low. It’ll probably be higher next month since I won’t be working and can devote more time to it. Lets see how that works out.

In the past year I’ve experimented a lot on different sites and I’ve found that Ebay’s affiliate program is pretty easy to implement. I’m also experimenting on new things, many of which just don’t work so I scrap them and move on. One of the things I did try a while ago was automated blogging. You create a site that pulls content from other sites and you put adsense around it. Not only did I get little traffic, the site was de-indexed from google and adsense blacklisted the site. Essentially I was warned that my adsense account might be shut down if I continued such blatant theft of content! While I don’t make much money from Adsense, it’s still $1000+ a year.

Anyway, let me know how you guys are doing and what seems to be working for you (or not!).

Every month there are 673,000 searches for the term ‘make money online‘ and over a million for various combinations such as ‘earn money online‘ and ‘how to make money online‘.  Apparently there’s a lot of money to be made in this niche and there are tons of people who will sell you ebooks, CDs, DVDs and monthly subscriptions on how to make hundreds of thousands of dollars by pimping stuff online or through secret google-checks. The sad truth is that is difficult to make $100,000 a year but it is not impossible. With a little bit of effort I’ve been pulling in a little over $2,000 a month for almost a year. I wish I could devote more time to it, but with my MBA, job search and some part-time consulting (and now summer internship) I barely get any time to try new things. In fact, I barely get time to post on this blog either.

Here’s my breakdown for the 2nd quarter. I made $7,353.84 in online income I made between April 2009 through June 2009. For comparison, I made $6,760.85 in online income during the 1st quarter.

On average, I made just over $2,250 a month.  As usual, Ebay was the largest income producer.  Till date this year, I’ve made just over $5,000 from Ebay affiliate commissions and over $8,000 since I started last year. (click on the graph twice to see a larger image).

Ebay-build-a-niche-store-earnings

As you can see from the graph, the earnings (in yellow) have steadily increased each month (with a big surge before Christmas followed by a huge drop right after!). Read this post on How to make money from Ebay without selling anything if you want more information about starting your own niche sites.

One of my fellow blogtrepreneurs makes over $3,000 from his BANS sites so there is decent money to be made.  However, the few $100k/year guys I know make it from selling ebooks and other online products. From what I gather, that is the most likely way to make a real living from online marketing and sales. Towards that end, I’ve been working on a project to create and sell some online ebooks. Within the next several weeks, I divulge more information about it. Until then, all I can say is that the idea was motivated by this $7 ebook!

I just ran the totals for passive income for December and I found out that it was the 3rd most “profitable” month of 2008.  The other two were October and June.

Monthly Passive (alternative, online & dividend) Income was $3,276.07.

The total online income was $2385.20 which broke the previous record by ~$130.

Here’s the breakdown of the $3,276.07:

Online Income:$2385.2

Dividend/Alternate Income: $890.87

The largest segment was the income from Ebay which was over $900, probably due to Christmas. Over the course of 2008, I made a total of $3332.55 from the Ebay sites. Adding a storefront on this site has helped boost this income.  The store targets people who want to buy online businesses, cheap real estate and timeshares, gold coins and other income producing ventures.

In another post, I’ll list the total income for 2008 and a break-down by category.

One of my near-term goals’ is to create $3,000 in passive income. (Since writing this post, I’ve broken that record. Check out this post to see how I made over $3,000 in a month) So far I’m about half way there, with income from various sources like blog advertisement revenue, Canadian Income funds and stock dividends,  and direct oil and gas drilling programs. Serial-blogger, Derek Beau, has already reached this target and his goal is to now make $10,000/month! Unlike me, he’s chosen to generate this income solely from blog ad revenue.

Over the past 2 years, he’s created 23 blogs on various topics ranging from golf balls to pregancy (apparently personal experience or expertise isn’t a deterrent!). He outsources the content creation using sites like Elance, and pays between $3-$5 per post. After waiting for a few months, during which time he lets the traffic build up, he begins to monetize it using various companies like Google, Text Link Ads, Kontera and direct advertizers . He’s making $3,000 every month and his eventual goal is to have 100 blogs pulling in $10k every month.

This isn’t by any means a unique or novel concept. However, I haven’t met anyone who actually have put in the effort to create so many sites and successfully monetize them.

Anand of TheAnand, has taken this automation one step further by suggesting that you can even automate blog posts by having google alerts send emails directly your blog auto-post email address! He even has a disease site on Avian Flu thats a really good example of a topic specific information site. I’m not sure what his traffic or conversion numbers are, but its still quite well implemented. [Updated note August 2009: I tried my hand at autoblogging and nearly got my adsense account shut down. It didn’t work for me. I’ve been able to create $3000/month in online income using other methods so make sure you go through all my posts!]

While creating 20+ blogs takes an awful lot of time and may not be possible for everyone, there are still ways to make passive income online.

This post describes two ways for you to earn passive income from your domains with a minimal amount of effort. If however, you’re interested in running a website that actually makes money passively by selling stuff, be sure you check out this link where you can buy existing online businesses.