My May 2016 Income Report

June 28, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

This is a quick post for my May income report. It’s very late and usually one of the last things I get to. There’s not a lot to report at this time. Time sure seems to go fast but my progress seems slow at times.

I have a large shipment of products sitting in my garage right now that I need to get ready to ship off to Amazon. There are a couple of things holding me up but eventually I will get them out of my garage. In all honesty, my products should’ve been on Amazon a couple of weeks after I got them. My original plans were to have them selling at the beginning of May and now it’s almost June and no action! All in good time I say!

One of the things that stands out (at least for me) is my Amazon affiliate earnings. This is the biggest month I’ve ever had. I have several websites the promote Amazon products. One of them actually helped contribute to a good portion of this month’s total. That helped bring me to just under $1000 this month. It seems that reaching a 4-figure monthly income continues to elude me! What’s interesting is that that website only has one page. The main page is the only page on that site that has any affiliate links or content on it. I started the site as a test like all my other sites and it appears to be a keeper. I have started many websites and if after a year it doesn’t make much money I let the domains expire.

But I’ve said in the past that building websites is my least favorite things to work on when it comes to making money online. It doesn’t mean I won’t build any more in the future but I have other things that are more interesting to me.¬†Here’s my May income report!

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My April 2016 Income Report

May 17, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

This is another month that I’ve seen a positive increase in my earnings. That doesn’t mean I’m raking in the dough though! I’m still under $1000 a month in income and it’s a decent amount of passive income but I strive to grow! When I think back over the past few months, I really haven’t done a whole lot to make progress. Sure I’ve posted new YouTube videos and published a couple of books but those add very little to the bottom line.

I do have one series of books that seem to sell themselves with very little marketing so I plan on creating more titles on that subject. It’s also an interesting subject for me so that makes it a lot easier. One of my books has reached the #2 spot for one of it’s keywords on Amazon which has resulted in a nice increase in sales of that title. It shows up #2 when searching under All Departments, Kindle Store and Books. I’m enjoying that! This was the last book I wrote in the series and I think the subject matter and title had a lot to do with this minor success. I have another book in this series that I started months ago but never finished. It’s about half-way written and I just need to get back to it and finish it.

Part of the reason for my break in writing is that I’m building my Amazon FBA business. I’m not sure why I didn’t keep writing during this time because the Amazon thing really isn’t taking up that much of my time. But self-publishing will continue to be one of my business activities that I will pursue long-term

Amazon FBA Update

Things are moving along with my Amazon FBA adventure! It has taken several weeks but I managed to successfully talk to a supplier in China and put together 2 products that I want to sell. After inspecting my samples last month I was ready to place my order. This wasn’t as simple a task as I thought. I had issues wiring money overseas. I was trying to do it online but it just wasn’t working. So I had to go to the bank and do it in person. The first wire transfer was for 50% of the cost to get production started.

When I got to the bank, they couldn’t figure it out why the transfer wouldn’t work. But eventually it was simply that my account wasn’t set up for international transfers. To do that, I would have to upgrade my account which would result in an additional monthly fee for my account. But the banker graciously allowed me a complimentary transfer since I was already there and it took so much time for them to figure out why it wasn’t working out at first.

Scammer Alert!

Now here’s where it got interesting and confusing. Right after I wired the money, a different person from the manufacturing company emailed me and told me I need to send the balance of the money before they can start production. They said the price of the raw materials had gone up and they need the funds now to pay for the materials. Also they said I need to pay it with Western Union or Money Gram. That last statement put up red flag in my mind because I heard that those are not secure payment methods and that scammers use them. So I messaged this person a few times trying to confirm that I really needed to pay the balance. They said yes. So after just over a week of messaging this person I was breaking down and wanted to proceed with my order.

So one morning I was setting up a Western Union account online and the funny thing is that in the middle of setting up the account, the original agent I was working with sent me an email saying production has started on my products. At first I was confused and then I was relieved that I didn’t send more money at that time. So the other person was a scammer that hacked into my agent’s Gmail account and had been monitoring our communications and decided to strike just at the right time! Luckily I didn’t get scammed! The person asking the balance payment via Western Union or Money Gram was posing as a sales manager of the company I was dealing with.

Knowing this, I was going to play around with this scammer a bit more but decided I didn’t have time or interest to play games with this guy. So a couple of weeks later, my agent tells me my products are ready and sends me photos of them. At that point we make arrangements for the final balance of 50% of the costs. I am proceeding extremely cautiously at this point. I even got on Skype with my agent to confirm the account I was sending the money to. I eventually sent the money and the shipment is on it’s way to me!

Here’s one of the pictures that was sent to me prior to shipping.

Shipment Box

It’s going to be 10 boxes total and 350 pounds of freight! This is not that big of an order. There will be 300 pieces arriving at my door. It’s going to be interesting! But it has been a good learning experience and I will be moving onto the next steps of getting my products ready to ship to Amazon.

That’s where I’m at with my FBA business. Here’s my April income report!

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My March 2016 Income Report

April 4, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

Time sure is flying by fast! Here we are in the 2nd quarter of 2016 and it seems like I’m still not moving much in terms of income. I’ve been at this plateau for quite awhile and itching to start making some sort of progress. I’m not complaining though because all my earnings are completely passive. That means I don’t have to do much to keep the money coming in. It’s a good amount but it seems small when I think about how long I’ve been trying to make money on the internet.

I’m determined this year to do something to start making the needle go up. If you read my last income report, you’ll know that I’m starting an Amazon FBA business. It seems simple yet there are a lot of moving parts to it. Specifically I will be private labelling a product that I will be sourcing from a manufacturer in China and selling it on

Starting My Amazon FBA Business

I’ve actually made some progress in a relatively short amount of time. It’s been about a month since I started seriously evaluating what I need to do to get this FBA experiment going. Here’s what I’ve done:

  • Researched a product
  • Tracked sales of competing products
  • Corresponded to factory representatives
  • Ordered product samples
  • Tested samples
  • Placed a 50% deposit on my first order
  • Awaiting production to be complete on my order

All those tasks happened over the course of about a month. I found one agent on that was really easy to work with and she was very detailed and answered all my questions thoroughly. We went back and forth on the products her company offered and different combinations of accessories to go with it. She sent pictures and descriptions so I could see what they had. Once I found the right combination of products, I placed a sample order. She shipped it through DHL Express and I received it in about 3 days for $65. Here are photos of the packages I received.

Amazon FBA Samples 1

Amazon FBA Samples 2

I’ve since had time to test out the products and put my deposit down to start manufacturing. She said it’ll take about 15 days to complete. So now I’ve got a few more things to do quickly before they ask for the other 50% to begin shipment:

  • Design printed insert cards (I’m doing this myself)
  • Design a company logo¬†(I’m doing this myself)
  • Create an Amazon Seller Central account
  • Take product photos (using my samples)
  • Write product descriptions and come up with keywords

This whole thing is a learning process. I learn best by doing things so I kinda just jumped into this and will figure it out as I go. My priority is getting the logo and print materials ready before shipment because they will be packaged with the product. I can take my time getting the product to Amazon but the printed cards have to be available to the factory when they put the product into the poly bags.

Launching More Than One Product

The factory I’m working with has several products I’m interested in selling so as I roll out my FBA business, I will actually be launching 2 products at the same time. Both these products are being manufactured now and will be shipped to me at the same time. So I have double the work to do on this. I’m starting with relatively low quantities of 200 of one product and 100 of the other product.

This business model has more risk than anything I’ve done in the past. But I’m not worried. I’m just glad I have my online assets like self-published books, mobile apps, websites and YouTube channels to help fund my experiments. So for the past month, I’ve been dedicating my time to getting the FBA business going. I still plan on doing the other things but since this is new, I needed full attention to it and hopefully my research will pay off.

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My February 2016 Income Report

March 10, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

The second month of 2016 is over and it’s time to see how I did with my online assets. The main thing I did was work on a new self-published book. It took me about 1.5 months to write and format and in February I released it. I had high hopes for this new series but it really isn’t selling at all! This Kindle publishing isn’t as easy as some make it to be.

I know this is a new series and I ran promotions for both of the books but I think I’ve had maybe 5 sales total with both books. While I thought this was a good niche to be in, I think there might be too much competition. There are way more titles in this subject than I originally thought. Not sure what to do with it now. I will leave it on Amazon for now and will try to come up with a plan to get some sales going.

Speaking of self-published books, my first series of books is selling ok. They are offered in both Kindle and print formats. However, the print books are selling way more than the Kindle versions. I’m not sure why the discrepancy in sales. I have marketed all my books the same way but there seems to be little interest in the Kindle versions but higher demand for the print versions. I’ll take it though. I actually am into my print books more than the Kindle books. I’m also working on the 7th book in this series which provides my main income when it comes to self-publishing.

Starting My Amazon FBA Business

Last month, I mentioned I will be going into the Amazon FBA business (Fulfilled by Amazon). I have now finished research on physical products I want to sell on Amazon. I was tracking sales of 6 different products for 2 weeks. I have narrowed it down to 2 products now. So what I’ve done so far is contacted a few manufacturers in China. I’ve been going back and forth with them and I think I’ve picked the factory I’m going to use. the representative from this company has been very helpful and I like the detail she has put into her responses and the detail of her replies.

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My January 2016 Income Report

February 10, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

It’s a new year and time for the first income report for 2016! I will try to keep these reports going but blogging is really the last thing I want to do these days. I’m trying to use my time more for projects that actually bring in some money.

In January, I started the 2nd book of a new series. It’s actually done right now. It just has to be uploaded to Amazon KDP. I’ve been procrastinating because I was missing the description for the book. Every day I wait means I could potentially be losing income especially when I have both the Kindle and Createspace versions ready.

In January, my iPhone app was finally approved by Apple. Bugs in the code kept the app in rejection status. A rejected app means I need to fix it and upload a new binary file. This takes a lot of time! Once I upload a new app for review, it takes about 7 days before a reviewer from Apple starts the review process. If it gets rejected again, it’s another week’s wait plus the time it takes me to fix the problem. That’s one of the reasons why this is probably the last app I will make. Not knowing how to code really puts a lot of stress on me when an app gets rejected. I can’t just fix it because I don’t know how. Minor stuff I can figure out but when it comes to errors based on updates to the iOS then I’m completely lost. So I present to you my last iPhone app called Ghost Camera: Paranormal Revelation: Read the rest of this entry →

My December 2015 Income Report

January 4, 2016 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

I finally did it! In December of 2015 I broke the $1000.00 threshold! Not by much but I did it. The holiday shopping season had a lot to do with it so I don’t expect next month to be the same. My Amazon affiliate income and book sales were the highest they’ve ever been all year. I kept watching my Amazon Associates grow in December and knew early on it would be better than in earlier months. I have 2 websites solely dedicated to Amazon Associates and I’m glad I built them. One of them is built out to several pages while the other one is barely up and running with 2 pages but it is getting sales. I plan to build the second one up a bit more this year.

I have finished a new iPhone app but I’m having problems with errors. Not sure why since this is the exact same source code I’ve been using. I suspect it may have to do with the iOS 9 update. Anyways, I don’t have the time or interest to continue in app development so I hope to get this one approved and I’ll be done. Today I just uploaded a 3rd version for approval. If this one gets rejected again, I’ll have to hire someone from to help me out since I’m not a programmer.

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My November 2015 Income Report

December 10, 2015 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my online income report for November 2015. It seems I’ve been busy working on things but my income sure doesn’t show it. I’ve been holding at about $700 a month for quite awhile and can’t seem to make that number go up. I have topped out even though I am working on things. However, my earnings are completely passive again which is a good thing!

Back in September, I hired a freelance writer on Upwork (formerly Elance/Odesk) to write a book for me. However, 2 months later that writer didn’t produce anything. The communication was very sparse. It took her 2 weeks to respond each time I contacted her and then at the end she didn’t respond at all. The writer agreed to have the project done 2 weeks after I awarded her the project. So I ended the contract. Fortunately I got my money refunded and she admitted to have taken on too many jobs at one time. So now I’m looking to hire someone for another book.

I’m kinda glad this one didn’t work out because I lost interest in the topic. I now have a new topic I’m writing on. In less time than it took for me to hire and fire the freelancer, I wrote my own 16,000+ page book on a topic that I currently have an interest in. Plus this new topic is open to lots of titles that I can already list. Read the rest of this entry →

My October 2015 Income Report

November 11, 2015 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my online income report for October 2015. This month I have been working on a few things on my business. None of this will bring any money in for at least another month or so but at least I have passive income that comes in from past projects.

I’m currently working on 2 new Kindle books. Both of these are on completely new subjects I haven’t written about yet. I need to start branching out. One of the books I am writing myself and I’m at 10,000 words right now. Aiming at around 15,000+ words when I’m done. This will be an entire series that I will write myself.

The second book on another topic is being written by a ghost writer I hired from Upwork.

I thought this second book was going to be done a lot sooner but the freelancer has been very slow on this one. Plus I haven’t gotten much communication or feedback on progress. I did hear back yesterday but it is already 1 month late from the deadline we set. I’m not in a hurry but would’ve liked to have had another book published by now so I can hire another writer for the next book.

That’s about it for now. Only 2 more months left in this year! Let’s get to the income report!

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My September 2015 Income Report

October 8, 2015 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my online income report for September 2015. It seems that I’ve been a little more productive this month. Subliminally I think I took the summer off of my online business. I didn’t intentionally do that but I think that’s what happened. I also noticed that I wasn’t listening to podcasts much during the summer. But the last few weeks, I seem to have a renewed interest in my online assets. Speaking of podcasts, I started loading up my phone with episodes from Mixergy and the Write 2B Read Podcast. I have a lot of time on my commute so I’m glad I can learn while on the road.

I have been narrowing my focus on only the activities that I have the most interest in. That means that all my energy is now spent on writing books and making YouTube videos. I finally finished and published the 6th book in a series I have on Amazon. It has only sold maybe 5 copies but it’s still early. I usually don’t get huge sales numbers when I first release a book. But because this is part of a series, I’m hoping that people will find it when they see my author profile on Amazon. This book is available in ebook and print formats.

Book Promotion

I ran a 5 day promo when I first launched the book and I gave away 417 copies. I used a combination of free promo websites and also posted updates to my email list, Facebook page and Twitter account. Here are the number of followers I have in my niche:

Facebook: 100

Twitter: 977

Email List: 561

I haven’t been maintaining those social media accounts but they are growing slowly. I do have an invitation for people to subscribe to my email list in my books which is maybe why it’s been growing a little faster than I thought it would. I have a free book download for anyone who subscribes. Everyone says that an email list is critical for book marketing so I kept up a sign up form on my website before I even knew what I was going to do with it.

I’m glad I kept these accounts going because I think it should help me in the future as long as I keep writing in the niche that I’m publishing in. I do have plans to grow my Facebook followers by posting pictures on it regularly. But up to this point, I really don’t do anything with those accounts except when I have a new book launch.

YouTube Channel Growth

My YouTube channel is the one thing that I have the most interest in but it is one of the smallest money generators in my portfolio. But I do know that if I consistently post new videos, that income will grow. I have an unwritten goal to hit $100 a month on YouTube at the end of the first quarter of 2016 but it’s going to take a lot more videos and subscribers for me to get to that figure.

I’m also making an effort to reply to comments on YouTube so subscribers and viewers know that I am an active participant on my channel. The negative comments are a bit hard to take but I just have to laugh at them and know that I can’t please everyone!

Videos are so easy for my to make and they require the least maintenance after they’re done. I have videos that I’ve made years ago and the best ones make $1 to $12 a month (most of the videos make very little). I just need to make more videos in the $12 range! This is awesome to me because it roughly takes me about an hour total to shoot and edit a complete video. Also, I’m making a point to add closed captioning to all my videos. That way, my videos can be enjoyed by all and I think the captions might be advantageous for SEO. Here’s my latest video tutorial:

That’s about it for now. I’m looking forward to the final quarter of this year! Let’s get to the income report!

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My August 2015 Income Report

September 17, 2015 in Income Reports

Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my online income report for August 2015. So I was actually working on a new book in August. It’s the 6th book in a series I’ve been working on. If you look back on my past reports, you’ll see that self-publishing has always been the biggest income generator in my portfolio. So in the last week of August, I published my book on Kindle and Createspace. I am now starting to outline my next book in the series. One of my goals I want to reach is a four-figure income with my books. Books have been the best source of passive income for me ever! There’s practically no maintenance at all with them!

I have around 10 books total on Amazon but only 5 of them really make any money. I plan on un-publishing the ones that have zero sales. Those books literally get no sales at all. I’m also researching a new topic to pursue in my publishing goals. I think I’ve found one and I need to make an outline before I can get started. The first series I have I wrote myself. For this new one, I think I’m going to hire someone to write the main copy and then I’ll take it and put my own spin on it. This will hopefully save me some time.

As far as YouTube goes, I’m still making videos. I recently picked up three Android phones for $15 each and started making tutorials with them. Here’s one video that has gained more momentum than any of the other ones recently.

As I write this, the video has 637 views and 26 thumbs up after having uploaded it 3 weeks ago. It’s only about 1:30 in length but that’s all I needed to cover the topic. I never know which videos I make will start gaining views but I figure if I keep making high quality videos, the viewers will be there. The phone in the video is the LG Optimus Exceed 2 and I’m using mostly as a podcast player in my car. Ok let’s get to the income report!

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