Well, I finally caved into the peer pressure…
…For the first time ever I’ll reveal exactly how I generate all of my online income.
I resisted doing this for many years. (I’ll explain why in a bit.)
But now I feel it’s time to peel back the curtain a bit.
Income reports can be inspirational to many readers. So it’s only fair to detail a realistic look at what you can earn with an online business.
Before we get to the meat-and-potatoes, I’d like to talk about two things:
- Why I’ve never shown a detailed income report before
- What finally changed my mind my mind about this viewpoint
Here we go…
I’ve actually tracked my income on a monthly basis since 2007. I find that this was a great way to stay motivated and spot important trends. But there are three reasons why I’ve never posted them on my blog:
I. Little Work on My Niche: SteveScottSite.com only generates a small part of my income. The rest comes from a few related authority sites in a specific niche – One that has nothing to do with talking about Internet marketing or making money.
I only work about an hour a week on this site. You see, I’ve almost completely removed myself from this market. It’s something I no longer enjoy and working on it is the least favorite part of the week – Thankfully it’s only for an hour.
In the past, I felt that talking about the income from this niche wouldn’t be valuable to readers. I’m NOT marketing the site. So there’s really no lesson to be learned from a regular series of income reports.
II. Competitive Advantage: More than 90% comes from this niche site. I actually have everything down to a specific system where I don’t have to work hard to manage this process.
This site is how I pay for rent, food, and everything else in my life. Frankly, I’m scared that someone can come along and reverse engineer what I’ve done. I don’t mind sharing my business experiences. But I’m not willing to let someone take what I’ve spent years perfecting.
III. Embarrassment: Lastly, there is a real personal reason why I’ve never provided a full-blown income report… I was embarrassed.
You see, I make almost no money with SteveScottSite.com. The main reason is sheer laziness. I make a decent income with my authority niche sites; so I’ve never sat down and executed an income generation strategy for the blog you’re currently reading.
This is a painful thing to admit because I have a site that talks about…ya know… making money online.
For a long time I’ve convinced myself that it’s okay to NOT make money with SteveScottSite.com because I have a profitable business elsewhere.
But at the end of the day, I was just making excuses.
Which leads us to…
I. The One-Hour Work Week: What I recently realized is my main excuse is actually a good selling point about my online business strategy. From 2006 to 2008, I created an affiliate marketing system that requires only an hour a week to maintain. Basically it’s a:
6-Figure Business with a 1-Hour Work Week <—- (Tweet this!)
Eat my shorts Tim Ferriss <— (Tweet this!)
So while I’ve effectively retired from this authority niche since 2008, it’s still generating almost 100% passive income. Now, I realize that this is something that people would like to hear about.
II. Increased Transparency Online: No longer can you hide behind a computer screen and talk about making money online. Now people expect, even demand, full transparency with income claims. I’m not going to reveal my exact websites. But I can at least talk about the specific techniques that make me money.
Frankly, I love reading income reports. They’re a great way to see the actual ways people make money. Some of my personal favorites are:
- Pat from Smart Passive Income (obviously)
- Justin and Joe from Adsense Flippers
- Spencer of Niche Pursuits
All three of these sites do a great job of breaking down their income generation techniques. So there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from these monthly breakdowns.
III. Kick in the Ass: Finally, we come to the main reason for posting monthly income reports. I need some sort of kick-in-the-ass to get past my current plateau. I make an okay living online. But it’s nothing special.
I’m hoping that making my earnings “public” will motivate me to take action. I know that I’ll look stupid if I write every month about how I’ve done nothing to grow my current earnings. Sometimes… humiliation can get a great inspiration tool.
Okay, that’s my 800 word preamble.
Now we’ll switch over to the dollars and cents…
To give some background info, here is what I earned each month from January 2012 to May 2012:
Month Total Earnings
What I like about these earnings is they are nice and stable
The average is right around $10,000 per month. That’s pretty good money here on the Jersey Shore. But…I know it can be improved.
So let’s see what happened in June 2012:
I. Email Marketing for Main Site: My email list provides the bulk of my income. I send broadcast messages every 2 to 3 days. Some are filled with content. Others have a direct affiliate offer. I know some people shy away from direct email promotions. But I’ve found that this is a strategy that works for me.
My income comes from two different places: Clickbank & Self-Hosted affiliate programs. Clickbank is a huge money-marker; but I’ve also found a few hidden gems in my particular market.
- Clickbank: $4,961.73
- Self-Hosted: $1,505.80
II. Thank You Page for Main Site: The thank you page for my email list is a very profitable part of my system. On it, I give subscribers a basic description of the list and then provide a small direct-response banner to my best affiliate offer.
Thank you page income has worked pretty well for me in the past (In 2011, it generated $18,600 in total income), So I’ve developed the attitude that you should present new subscribers with some sort of offer.
- Self-Hosted: $1,000
III. Information Product: I also have an information product in this niche. At one point, it was earning $4,000 to $5,000 a month. But it’s experienced a severe drop in the last year or so. The main reason is I no longer have any interest in recruiting affiliates or being in this niche. Frankly, I’d rather work on Steve Scott Site and focus on making it great!
The bulk of my information product income comes from an extensive autoresponder sequence. I have over 50 emails that provide a mix of great content and direct affiliate offers. So in a way… My information product income also comes from affiliate marketing.
- Info Product: $1,244.57
IV: Niche Sites: This is an income model I no longer pursue. But I still generate some spare change from a few smallish websites:
- Google Adsense: $13.56
- Amazon Physical Products: $108.96
- Clickbank: $109.81
V: Amazon Kindle: In the past few weeks, I’ve seen some serious action on my Amazon Kindle eBooks. It’s enough to make me start to take this income model seriously. (More on this in future posts) In June though, the income was not much to speak of:
- Kindle: $25.11
VI: Steve Scott Site: This is part where I’m pretty embarrassed. I really don’t make much on this site. But I’m hoping that these reports will motivate me to optimize my income strategies:
- Aweber: $5.70 (Now I can buy that cheeseburger I’ve been saving up for.)
- Trophy Pigeon Report: $28.90
- Optin Skin: $21.24
- Affiliate Marketing without the B.S.: $213.01
VII: Mobile Apps: I’m just about to release my first 2 mobile apps. So I’m hoping that this strategy will become a major source of income. For now, we’re looking at:
- Mobile Apps: $0
Add all these up and in June of 2012 I earned: $9,237.99
That’s right around my average for the year. What makes me happy is the stability. I’m happy that I don’t get a lot of fluctuation like you see with other income strategies. I know that day in and day out this money will be there.
Looking forward, I’m aiming to improve this number by doing three things:
- Promote quality affiliate offers on this site
- Write more Kindle books and optimize my current title
- Start building my mobile app network
Right now, I’m on a six-week trip. So I’m not able to take immediate action. In September though…I plan on doing a lot of work.
Well, that’s my first income report. Hopefully you learned something from these numbers.
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