Table of Contents
- Clever Blog Income Report #8 – My 8th Month Blogging
- Times Are A Changin’
- Past Income Reports
- What Worked This Month
I also think I’m at the tipping point right now too, and that’s effecting my ability to share my thoughts at the moment… I decided when I was in Maine, I’m going to become a full time blogger and go all in on this. I can taste the blood in the water, and it’s clear to me now that everything I do is headed either one step closer or away from my desired destination. Fact is, I don’t make a dime from these income reports (seriously, I haven’t made a single cent from any of them thus far), so these posts are the lowest on the totem pole as far as impact toward my goal is concerned. (I thought I’d at least get a link or two out of them also, but nada. Wait, you mean you actually have to market yourself in 2016??? hahahaha… I’ve known this all along, but wanted to wait until later: Start. Prove Model. Duplicate. Market. #incomeforlife)
(so this is becoming a delicate balance between documenting, and producing what moves the needles at the same time) My other content, and really the content in my youtube queue is likely my most profitable area to spend my time. In the back of my mind, I know I can’t be fiddle-fucking around until I reach a full time income. I have about 200 videos that are already filmed, they just need to be edited and uploaded. Once that’s done, then sure, I can experiment with some other types of content again. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to double my income next month, so I’ve gotta stay focused and keep the fire lit. (under my ass that is 😉 )
Clever Blog Income Report #8 – My 8th Month Blogging
Affiliate Income Streams
- I generate Amazon Affiliate income through several sources and product reviews. I explain how anyone can make an extra $200/mo by blogging about what you already buy in this article.
- Despite being owned by EIG, Bluehost is the only affordable shared host that I’ve tested that has really good phone support with native English speaking support techs. This is critical for newbies in case they run into a problem, and I recommend all beginner bloggers use Bluehost to setup their first blog. (note – if you’re setting up your blog/website for the first time, get your domain through them too so you don’t have to learn how to sync it up)
- LiquidWeb is where I host all of my mission critical needs. Their Storm servers offer good redundancy, and allow me to spool up clones or resize my servers within the hour. Most importantly, they have 24/7 – 365 phone support, which is my #1 requirement aside from data center & network preferences.
- Namesilo is where I buy all my domains when I want a domain without web hosting. Best pricing in the industry, but more importantly, the best interface in the industry with no bullshit up-sells like Ho-Daddy.
- I’m an affiliate for something like 28 different companies inside the Shareasale network, and promote products and services I like such as Freshbooks, Shopify, PicMonkey, Studiopress, Template Monster, WpEngine, etc… (not all of this income is generated directly through this blog, some is from YouTube channel & other Clever Leverage properties. Click here to read my tutorial on how to do this for yourself, and make money with ShareASale.)
- eBay affiliate income comes from product reviews and listicles where old models aren’t available anymore, or people are looking for used items specifically… So I went back and added some eBay affiliate links to those old posts, and am getting a trickle here and there. (* note – I used to make a full time living with eBay when I was into it, and hope to do an eBay/Amazon niche site case study soon to test the waters again!)
Passive Income Streams
Youtube: A little over $77 (Adsense)
- Even though this is chump change, I love the fact that this is passive income. I’m going to test some strategies to grow this to $500/mo, hopefully without becoming a viral clickbait strumpet. (we love you DurianRider)
Niche Site Income
Clever Vlogger: $105.96
- Clearly something is wrong here. I haven’t worked on this site at all yet, and earnings are steadily climbing… That’s not how this works. I’m going to stop reporting income on this until I figure out where I messed up. (prob used the wrong tracking id somewhere I’m guessing)
Total Income For October 2016: $2,375.71
If you’re looking to start a blog of your own, here’s where I buy all my stuff:
- Domains – Namesilo (unless you’re starting your first blog, then just get your domain name free through Bluehost so you won’t have to learn how to setup DNS. Here’s a quick step by step guide you can follow.)
- Blog Hosting – Bluehost (cheaper for beginners) & LiquidWeb (good quality when you have traffic)
- WordPress Themes – Themeforest, Studiopress, Thesis, & Template Monster
- WordPress Plugins – (I removed the list of paid plugins… if you’re just getting started, you don’t really need to spend money on any paid plugins)
- The 17 WordPress Plugins I Use & Why
- Stock Photos – Deposit
Other tools that might help you if you’re new:
Times Are A Changin’
I’m going to have to change the way I break out these income sections, and start creating subsidiaries of Clever Leverage as sister sites. The time has come to stop so much overlap, and start theme’ing the content on this site to be about my 5 pillars of focus. Sure, I want it to remain a lifestyle blog, but it needs to tighten up a bit now that I’ve got some data for the next properties.
The winners of the content experiments I’ve performed over the past few months will get their own sites, and I’d like to do case studies on all of them which I what I wanted from the beginning. I had to prove the model first, and now it’s time to duplicate it and refine the process. Once I do that, I’ll partner with others who posses skills or industry knowledge and expand even further, or create products and courses to show anyone how to do this for themselves.
I’d also like to do a case study on just YouTube, and start a couple new channels and test building something from scratch without even having a website. (I could be technically shooting myself in the foot saying that… I think Youtube requires a url to be attached to the channel now in order to get a custom channel name url, so that may change. But you get the idea…)
I’m going to have to lump some of the affiliate stuff together, because it just takes too much time to break it out…I have always wanted the income reports to be about other projects within the Clever Leverage umbrella, I just couldn’t create them all at once in the beginning even though I wanted to. (side note – this is one of the things that held me back for 7 months… I had this grand vision of my ultimate ecosystem, with everything planned out that I talk about now ((for example, I struggled with some health problems in my life, so I’ve always wanted to create a resource for people to help with that)) but it was too much and I never got anywhere because my efforts were scattered. I had to accept the fact that I’m only one person, and without working capital, being in the trenches, and establishing real time experience once again, my pulse was delivering the wrong type of feedback that wasn’t allowing me to accomplish a damn thing. I spun my wheels for months until one day I said fuck it: I’m starting it and I’m gonna try shit, but only on one platform. Results came. Now I have more options as the cement truck is on it’s way to finish pouring the foundation… If you catch my drift.)
And as I’ve said before, these income reports haven’t earned me a dime ever since I started this blog. I do them because I want to be able to go back and read them and be able to remember what it was like. I’m in a weird state a lot of the time when I write these month after month, but I think someday someone will get something out of these that’s on a similar path. While it’s hard to justify one of the most time consuming posts with the least return, if I want to reach full time income in a shorter amount of time… long story short, I’m looking to streamline the amount of time it takes to do these, as I think I’ve made foothold points in the previous reports. I feel confident that you can create a full-time income blogging in less than 2 years. I did it in less than a year, (you’ll be surprised by the next two month’s income) and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same if you bust your ass and follow the shortcuts I’ve laid out for you.
Past Income Reports
- In July I Was Able To Generate $640.59 In My 5th Month Blogging
- How I Earned $205.39 My 4th Month Blogging
- How I Made $77.88 From My 3rd Month Blogging
- $92.51 From My 2nd Month Blogging
- Clever Blog Income Report #1 – How I made $217.46 From My 1st Month Blogging
What Worked This Month
As I always say, what I did the month prior is the biggest factor that contributed to this months increase in income… And you have to remember, just because I made more money one month, doesn’t mean it is a direct result of the work done the month prior either. There are a lot of things in play here, and the biggest factor in raising income, is a culmination of doing everything over a period of time. (high rate content production, backed up with third party platforms for supplemental reinforcing traffic, continued over time, will snowball.)
In this section, I go over what contributed the most to the growth
What’s Worked Well (prob not what you think!)
If you take a look at my most highly trafficked content, it doesn’t always perform as good as it looks like it does in analytics. In fact, just from a monetization standpoint, a lot of items I sell on Amazon are in a lower commission tier, since they cap electronics and other popular categories at 4%. Meaning, instead of earning my normal higher commission rate, I only earn 4% on things like Bluetooth speakers and laptops. I certainly wouldn’t start a site based on just those categories alone for that reason, but if it’s part of a bigger picture I don’t see any issues with it. (just don’t think you’re going to make all your money with one single thing… that’s the biggest takeaway I’ve learned from all this)
So what’s worked well then you ask?
Just being in the game. Period.
When I was planning, speculating, and watching other bloggers make money month after month, trying to figure out how I wanted going to do it, I didn’t have access to the opportunity to try stuff. Hell, I didn’t have my platform live up on the web, so I could work on it every week. I think the biggest thing that holds people back is fear and self doubt. Disbelief can be overcome relatively easily and quickly, but only once you begin. I think the secret to working on something not knowing if will work out yet or not, is to pick a direction, get firm on your commitment, and set a timeline longer than you’re comfortable with and make an agreement with yourself that you’re going to give it hell until then no matter what.
Now obviously you have to make sure you’re following sound advice that’s going to work, but as someone who’s gone before you, I’ve already laid out exactly what you can do in order to duplicate this for yourself. In 2017 and beyond, I see no reason why someone who’s hungry enough, should ever have to go hungry after college or job hatred. (did you catch that?) It’s fucking 2017! You have a world at your fingertips. You have unlimited potential and opportunity. WHAT THE FUCK are you still doing reading this goddamn income report for!?!?
Yep, I’m getting fired up dammit!
This is what I WISH someone would have written when I was reading their income reports two years ago! I wish someone would’ve said, “get off your fucking ass Matt, stop reading, stop fucking wishing, and start doing! Today.”
I wish someone would’ve slapped me in the face and told me to wake the fuck up. I wish they would’ve said, “everything in your mind right now as you see it, is going to change. So stop trying to plan everything perfectly, and just let it happen by starting.”
“The only constant in life, is change.”
Once you start things will take shape if you persevere. The more you wait, the longer it’s gonna take. Why not start building an asset for yourself today? At the very least, adopt the mindset of “let’s explore this and see what happens.”
That’s what I wish someone would’ve done for me, times ten! They would have saved me time. They would’ve forced me to confront my fears faster than I wanted to. They would’ve helped me grow in life faster than I was comfortable with. But a year or two out, they would have helped me tremendously, and given me the gift of living life on my own terms that much sooner.
Sounds harsh? I hope so, cuz that’s what it’s going to take to snap your TV watching, news consuming, cubicle working ass out of the limiting life trance you’re in if you currently live “The American Dream.”
So What Should You Do Instead?
Stop watching, and get in the fucking game right now! Click this link and follow the steps to setup your platform right now! DO NOT go to sleep tonight without being able to see your live url on the web from your phone. I want you to wake up tomorrow with hope that there’s another way, and with inspiration, fire, and a sense of opportunity waiting at your feet! Knowing full well you’ve already taken the first step to getting your own platform up and running, because there truly is, unlimited opportunity waiting for you.
Why the sudden change of tone?
Because doing what everyone else does, is going to get the life everyone else has.
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your readership and interest reading my blog, but you must know the truth… and the truth is you won’t change your life and accomplish this for yourself by reading alone.
You must take what I’ve distilled here over the last 8 months and put it into action for yourself. The only way the struggles I’ve documented will be worth a fuck, is if you take the knowledge with you while you build your own path. I mean let’s be real with each other… the only reason you enjoy reading blog income reports in the first place, is because you like the idea of building that for yourself right? Just consuming them and adding to your “knowledge bank” (brain) and never putting it to use though, is a waste.
- You don’t need a fucking blogging course.
- You don’t need any fancy ebooks to teach you anything else.
- You don’t need to waste time figuring out what the fuck blog template to use.
You need to do two things. (2 things you can do today!!)
- Go setup your blog right now
- Use your brain, experiences from your own life, and create content like I’ve outlined for you here
You need to aim to write 6k words per day. If you can’t, try. You will eventually. Will there be hard times? Yes. But that’s why I documented everything I went through month after month in my past income reports.
Stop thinking reading blogger’s income reports is going to make you any more equipped to make money in your fucking underwear than you already are. You already have everything you need within you, you just need to get started, and make a decision that you’re going to figure it out no matter what.
Sure I might create books and courses that will speed this up for you later on, but you don’t have to buy any education you don’t already have in order to succeed. The posts I have coming out over the next couple months will help anyone transform their ability to create extra income no matter what their situation is, as simple as pie.
Take it from someone who grew up digging ditches (literally installed irrigation systems), where there’s a will, there truly is a way.
– Over and out
How can I make these income reports more helpful / useful for you? Comment below and let me know!