2013 ended with a bold income statement, I made more money than ever. Even more than I would have earned being employed. Last month I reached my personal milestone of making $1,000+ per month and this month really topped the bar. I made $1,962.67, which isn’t a huge amount of money compared to incomes from guys like Pat Flynn - still it feels incredible to me.
Let me explain how I got there.
Why Passive Income Is Just Nice To Have
In November I made most of my money with active income and thus I decided to focus on active income only for December. Passive income would only be a small part of my income streams, Adsense and affiliate marketing were out of focus for me.
Right from the beginning it was clear to me, that I would drop Google Adsense from my blog. It messed up the layout, it destroyed any trust that readers might have had in my content and it most likely prevented me from selling my coaching.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill (click to tweet)
Besides using Google Adsense I’m integrating affiliate links in my content to earn passive income, but I always had a hard time getting those affiliate sales. The funny thing is that I know how to teach affiliate marketing or how the principles work, I just can’t use that for myself. I’ll have to spend more time on learning this specific topic, but making money was my first priority.
So I decided that both Google Adsense and affiliate marketing wouldn’t be priorities for me in December. Also I stopped working on niche sites, since it took too long to make the big sites rank (maybe I targeted too competitive keywords).
My Network Is My Net Worth
While making money with Google Adsense and getting random affiliate sales was encouraging, it decreased the trust readers had in me and my content. You know it from yourself, if you see ads on a website you automatically distrust the owner - even when the content is high-quality.
So Google Adsense had to go. Instead I focused on getting more web design projects by contacting business partners I worked with in the past.
Reactivating old contacts is a great way to spread your name, showcase your skills and get customers. Porter Gale wrote a book titled Your Network Is Your Net Worth and I found it to be very true.
Especially when you’re freelancing you’ll want to have other people cheer about your skills. Turning customers into fans is the best promotion you can get, far better than promoting yourself.
Luckily I have a network of business partners who know and trust in my skills. So I got new web design projects in December and made more money from active income.
If you don’t have a network like that, go and build it. Create a portfolio of your skills and make connections to influencers and decision makers. Meet them in social media, get in touch via mail or even better, meet them OFFLINE.
Building Your Brand
I’m sure you heard this statement over and over again. People like Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, Chris Ducker or Natalie Sisson are perfect examples of powerful personal brands. Basically they became known as experts in their fields and build up positive connotations to their name, so that people build up trust in their skills and content.
Creating a strong personal brand is crucial for everyone, not just entrepreneurs. So I decided to work on mine and therefore I got help from my good friend Navid Moazzez. He helped me develop a strategy how to restructure my websites, so that they support my brand and (hopefully) make it easier for people to trust me.
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” - Malcolm Forbes (click to tweet)
I created a plan to merge my blogs MyGreatOnlineBusiness and jkoch.me to one blog, which would serve as platform to build my brand. Therefore I contacted Arslan Khan as my favorite developer to see whether he could create a custom design that fits my brand. We started the project and thus I’ll be using this Genesis template only until the custom design is done.
The change was on December 31st., a date chosen to kickstart 2014 with a branding concept that would get me known as expert who helps people restart their lives by building online businesses.
Breakdown Of The Income In December
I still made most of the money with my web design skills also I’m proud to say that I got several applications for my online business coaching and sold the first one! It seems that my plan to build up several income streams is working out.
The traffic for December was 5,547 visitors and 8,619 page views. It went down again since I focused on active income and didn’t publish many articles. Also since the active income will become much more important, I’m thinking about dropping the traffic statistics in these income reports. Traffic statistics don’t add any value to the discussion anymore, because the main income source isn’t related to traffic. If I don’t see you screaming up in the comments, this will be the last time I’m including traffic statistics in the income reports.
As you’ll see below, I made a little money through passive income which is caused by getting an affiliate sale for Hostgator. Adsense decreased and so did Clickbank.
In 2014 there will be way less passive income. I’m not using Google Adsense on my blog anymore and I won’t focus on affiliate marketing. Maybe I’ll include affiliate links where it’s appropriate, but I’m not expecting too much.
Nevertheless I’m confident that my active income will stay consistent and hopefully increase, so I won’t bother about loosing the passive income.
Web design: $1,695.07
Total Income: $1,961.67
When I was employed, my monthly net income was approx. $1,770, so I earned almost $200 more in December! If that’s not a great end for 2013, I don’t know what is! This really makes me confident to achieve my goal of earning $5,000 per month at the end of 2014 - I won’t let anything stop me from getting there.
If you read through this article, I’d like to thank you for following my journey! It means the world to me that you’re still reading this and I hope that my story shows you, how hard work can change your life. I’m not different than you. I started my online business while being employed, with no experience at all.
All I had was the will to work hard every day to make my ideal lifestyle reality. By now I can say that I’m living my dream and that I want you to experience the same! Life is too short to live someone else’s dream.
I’d love to hear what you think about my journey, please take a minute or two and leave a comment below.
All the best,