These monthly reports are really a great way to take a step back and look at the big picture. I find that each month, I make a little more progress and learn something new.
What I learned This Month
This month, I’ve really started to get the hang of using some offline blogging tools. I had reviewed a number of desktop blogging programs and found that I really enjoy using them. They do increase productivity because of the better text editing interface.
Overall, I gravitate between Qumana and Marsedit. I find these both to be good tools. Qumana is free, whereas Marsedit is $39.95. So, if you read up on my post on desktop programs, Qumana is the most economical program, while Marsedit is the most expensive for the mac. I guess I gravitate towards the extremes.
My focus this month has mostly been in the social media topic. It’s evident that social is really the driving force on the internet. With that in mind, I learned a social lesson while working on an avatar to build up the Riches Corner brand.
This is a lesson in sharing and helping others out. I’ve often talked about giving value to others and really sharing to become a successful blogger. This was demonstrated this month when out of the blue, Alex Whalley helped me out by creating my new avatar.
Imagine my surprise, when he sent me an email with the above attached avatar. Totally awesome! Of course, I had to dedicate a blog post to this gesture.
Also, this was my first full month with my new hosting provider, hostgator. I have to say, they are stable and fast. What a difference a host makes! While my previous provider beat them out price wise, I was having problems with stability. Once I knew that I earned enough each month to cover the cost of hosting with hostgator at $8.95 a month, I made the switch. So far I couldn’t be happier. As far as hosting goes, I’ve learned that it really does make a difference to start with a reliable hosting provider.
Finally, this month I published my first book! I had done a little practice publishing on the Amazon Kindle with some PLR books that I had found, but those are not original works and the store is filled with duplicates of PLR material. However, I set aside a holiday this month to put together my own original book. It’s quite a different experience when you put together your own ebook and I’m really glad I did it. It does take some time and editing took longer than I expected but it was a rewarding experience overall. You can read about it and get your free copy of the book in my post here.
Overall, I believe that the greater stability of my new host and my focus on social media as well as consistency with the content has had a very positive effect on my traffic numbers.
Each month marks a little bit of growth. This month, I received a bit more that 3,600 visitors, beating last months margin by almost a thousand visits! This is really exciting. I’ve seen growth in virtually all areas which I find encouraging.
Here’s a comparison with my February numbers:
My main sources of income continue to be Mylikes as well as my job board. If you haven’t noticed, my job board is one of my favorite parts of this blog. While it does provide a source for passive income as well as traffic generation, I’m much more pleased with the value that it gives the readers in helping people find jobs. In my own small way, I feel like I’m taking an active part in supporting the job market.
Here’s my income summary for March:
Donanza Job Board: $15.00 (Also got a $60 payout last month from my accrued earnings)
Sponsored Tweets: $3.12
As each month passes, I can begin to see the pattern from each of my income streams. Mylikes is a consistent earner, but with fluctuations. Much of the income generated from Mylikes depends on the quality of the advertisers for that month. While they have a long list of advertisers, I find that only the ads that target social media, seo and software development will get more clicks. This makes sense as that is my niche. I suppose this tells me that I have done a good job of building a targeted twitter following.
I believe that my Donanza Job Board is seeing some growth as I make more of an effort to highlight it’s useful features. I did get a payout this month for my accrued earnings of the previous months. The $60 payout represents my largest single payout yet. It’s very encouraging.
Just a note about my income from the job board. It is paid by the companies who post the listings and do the hirings. I think that’s fair as people shouldn’t have to pay to look for a job. Using and seeking a job on my job board is free. That way, it’s the deep pockets that pay instead of the jobless poor.
You’ll notice in this report as well as last month’s, I’ve included a new section in the income report for investments.
While, investment earnings is not money from my blogging endeavors directly, I do use the earnings from my blogging income for investing. This section, I’ll use only to discuss the investments that I made with my blogging earnings. I do have money invested away in traditional places as well, but that will not be discussed in this section.
In particular, I had joined a company called Lendingclub, which is a service that provides peer to peer lending. So, people basically apply for loans with their service and the lenders are other members of the service.
I consider this an alternative investment plan. I act as a lender with my money and the borrower makes payments which include an amount of interest. I get that interest. It’s not so much different than the stock market. Instead of investing in companies, I invest in people. I list this investment here because the interest I earn with lendingclub is the proceeds of money from my blogging endeavors that I invested.
As you can see, my net annualized return is in a very high range. I can’t get that kind of return from the stock market or from any kind of savings account. So, I’m very pleased with my growth.
That said, I am investing in loans that pay out higher interest. What that means is that I am assuming a potentially higher risk of defaults. Keep in mind that with lendingclub, the lender does assume the risk of someone potentially defaulting on a loan. However, I’ve been lucky in that regards. I’ve had only one loan that is currently late, however the borrower contacted lendingclub and set up a payment plan.
The benefit to lendingclub is that they take care of all the collections aspect of the loans and if there are late payments, I also receive proceeds of any penalty charges assessed to the borrower. Still, I do vet my investments carefully and have certain characteristics that I look for in a borrower.
If you are also a member of lendingclub and wish to discuss investment strategies, leave me a comment.
Overall, my income seems to be growing from month to month. While I do see some fluctuations, I can account for it as a standard deviation. I do plan to make more attempts at publishing ebooks in the future. That’s really a good source of passive income. Once I write a book, it’s in the kindle store and doesn’t need any further effort from me to generate income.
Now, I’m not earning thousands, or even hundreds, but I am earning enough for the blog to pay for itself and a little extra that I can put away towards investments. Not only that, but all of this is done on hobby time after work and after my family time. It’s mostly passive income that is building on itself, so I can certainly see the potential on the horizon.
Another month has passed and Riches Corner is still on a growth path. That’s always encouraging news and really could not be done without all of you. So, I have to take a time out here to say thank you for your support!