Authority Website Income

Month 10 – $3000 Per Month Passive Income

Since starting my site 10 months ago I have had some great months and month 10 has been another great one. Last month I went over the $2k/month mark for the first time and this month my one website has made over three thousand dollars.


The beautiful thing about this month is that based on my plan for my business I moved away from personally working on the student loan site and focused on my new site I am building (Canadian Insurance niche). So the $3k was almost entirely passive.


Key Successes:


Passive Income – Now that I have shifted my focus from the student loan site and to the insurance site the income I have earned from the student loan site was entirely passive. Last month I only spent 3 hrs editing a couple guest posts before they were submitted.


“Real” Business Idea – I will talk about this a little more in the future (don’t worry it is NOT an info product). Usually when I get bit by these ideas I am able to shake them but not this one. This idea has me excited and I know its something that would add value because I would/will use it once it exists…teaser…it involves my VA’s and processes including access to my developer license theme clubs all available to other people…if this sounds interesting please contact me I may be looking for some beta testers. There is one big twist I will be keeping a secret for now.


Key Failures:


Not Being Patient – It’s tough when my new site is not performing where I would like it to be. However, it is a very competitive niche and currently the site is performing better from a traffic standpoint then the student loan site was at the 1 month mark. But I am not seeing the traffic growth or income from the traffic I have that I would like to.


Video Creation & Traffic from YouTube – I have been paying for a VA to turn infographics into info-videos using PowToon but I have not been seeing a positive ROI on this effort and may go back to me doing Screencasts on my own based on powerpoints my VA puts together.


No Post on Authority Website Income – I don’t plan on this site being my main source of income ever but I should still hold myself accountable to at least 1 other non-income report post per month. My plan though is to keep the post #’s down but the value very high – I had a decent reaction to my detailed post on 3 successful case studies using expired domains.  It was mentioned by a few people including the Empire Flippers Podcast, Dale Goodwin’s Podcast, Matt’s passive income site and a few others (thanks!)


Authority Website Stats for June


Income = $3,114.90 (+773.49)


  • CPA #1 (loan consolidation) = $480.00 (-$72)
  • CPA #2 (load consolidation) = $2,629.00 (+$869.19)
  • CPA #3 (credit check) = $0.0 (-$22.40)
  • CPA #4 (debt monitoring) = $5.90 (-$1.3)


CPA Offer #1  = $480

Although this affiliate is not main focus the conversions are great and I really like the ability to quickly judge the quality of traffic through the daily conversion reports here.



CPA Offer #2  = $2,629.00


The number of leads continues to grow and since the average time for a lead to payout is 4 weeks it most likely means my income next month will be slightly lower and in the $2,200 range. But I am still learning and seeing how the traffic reacts so we will see.

  • February = 54 Leads
  • March = 98 Leads
  • April = 151 Leads
  • May = 194 Leads
  • June = 178 Leads


CPA Offer #3  = $0.0

This item is promoted in an email I send when people opt-in. Clearly they do not find the offer appealing.


CPA Offer #4  = $5.90

From a post I wrote about this debt repayment service I generated a little income.


Costs = 47.11 (basically on auto-pilot this month)


As I mentioned above, my teams focus is on building out the insurance site so that’s where all the effort went this month.


The VA’s do a lot of things for me such as research post material, identify potential guest posting opportunities, publish content, modify graphics, upload and syndicate videos I make and other assignments as they come up.

All my team members are hired through ODesk

  • VA #1 – Content Publisher = $5 @  (posting/scheduling of created articles per my content calendar)
  • VA # 2 – Backlink/General = $10 (web 2.0 creation, Link Authority, blog carnival submission, Friday post creation)
  • VA #3 – Website Manager = $5 (he takes care of security/speed on all my sites – no work this month)
  • VA #4 – Social Media Manager = $0 (not going to use on this project)
  • VA #5 – Outreach – $0 (moved onto another assignment)
  • Content Creation = $0.00 (all already created and scheduled)
  • Hosting = $7.16 @ HostGator
  • LeadPages = $0 one time fee paid last month
  • AWeber = $19.95 (for the size of list my student loan site has)


Running Net Income/Loss

Revenue up and costs down = a nice looking graph for the month of June…



Traffic =12,745 Unique Visitors

An ok month for traffic with consistent traffic compared to last month. The traffic has reached a plateau which I will need to keep an eye on. Consistent growth is the goal but this is a cyclical niche.



8% Traffic Drop but all other engagement metrics were within 1% of eachother meaning the traffic quality was essentialy the same.



Email Opt Ins – Working

My strategy I talked about last month has resulted in almost doubling my list this month with opt ins going to 349.


Here is how I did it….(shared in last months income report but I think its worth mentioning again because of how awesome LeadPages is)…


What I love about this strategy is that people self-segment between people looking for a loan consolidation and a private student loan so that I can then target their needs in my email follow ups.


Content, Promotion and Backlinks

In this section I will show exactly what I have done over the last month to continue to grow my site…


On Page Content = 17 Posts

A lot more great posts were published following my editorial calendar.


Outreach – Blog Commenting & Social Media (5hrs by VA @ start of month)

Blog commenting via a VA and then reaching out for guest posts is a strategy I want to keep using and improving on.


Guest Posts = 2 Posts on Quality Sites

The most guest posts I have had published happened this month. I have a few scheduled for next month but I am not going to focus as much on this now while I build up another site.

All of these guest posts were achieved using the method I talk about here.


Backlink Stats

I use majestic SEO (free) to track my link profile and help estimate how my link building efforts are being viewed by Google.

  • Referring Domains = 330 (-3)
  • Backlinks = 33,307 44,881 (-11,574)
  • Citation Flow 35 (-6)
  • Trust Flow 21 (-)

I believe I had some site wide links which have now disappeared off some sites that had A LOT of indexed pages. This is the reason for the substantial backlink count drop. But I care more about trust flow and it stayed even.

My goal to keep this site on autopilot with minimal invested has me a little worried though. Without promotion efforts I am concerned I will slip in the quality of my link profile and rankings. This we will find out over the next couple of months.


Image From –


Last Month’s Goals

  • Automate Guest Posting – 1 VA working on her own to publish 4 (FAILURE)
  • Blog Commenting – 1 VA working on her own to publish 30 (FAILURE)
  • No Content Creation (SUCCESS)
  • Costs Reduced to $50 (SUCCESS)
  • Monetize –Earn over $2,000 per month (SUCCESS)


Next Month’s Goals

  • Automate Guest Posting – 1 VA working on her own to publish 4
  • Blog Commenting – 1 VA working on her own to publish 30
  • Costs Maintain at $50
  • Monetize –Earn over $3,000 per month
  • Move monthly reports to be less about my 1 case study site (only so much I can say when I only work a few hrs and spend $50 on promotion)


2013 Website Goal Progress:

My website case study (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) will earn more per month than Pat Flynn’s case study site for at least 3 months of the year

  • Before June I was 0 for 5
  • January (-$2,796.18)
    • $452.13 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $3248.31 for – Report
  • February (-$1,675.35)
    • $1126.55 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,801.90 for – Report
  • March (-$2,076.94)
    • 759.63 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,836.57 for – Report
  • April (-$1,581.86)
    • $1,127.1 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,708.96 for – Report
  • May (-$367.55)
    • $2,341.41 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $2,2610.62 for – Report
  • June (TBD)
    • $3,114.90 for (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
    • $?? for – To Be Determined

I think I may have finally done it – my first month with more income from (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) than – but we will have to wait for Pat’s income report!


My Overall Onlince Income Goal Progress

As discussed in my long post about my online income history and my overall business strategy post here my goal is to be making $15k/month securely by my 35th birthday and move my family back to our hometown to raise our kids there.

I am going to add a section to my monthly reports showing my overall online income and progress towards $15k/month.

This Month:

  • Actual = $4,974 net income
  • Planned = $2,875 net income


About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

James says July 4, 2013

I think its great how digital you are with your goals, knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and how you plan on accomplishing it all while tracking it. I am sure you will achieve your goals!

Also, your new project sounds very intriguing.

    Jon says July 4, 2013

    Thanks James

The Financial Blogger says July 4, 2013

Man… you just keep doing awesome!

It is very impressive how you were able to monetize this site with a relatively low level of traffic.

Are you able to track how many sales are coming from your mailing list vs your “on site” CPA ads?

    Jon says July 4, 2013

    I really really wish I could track that…once the lead goes to them my reporting is minimal. However, I can track via Pretty Links how many clicks goes…but I don’t know the difference in conversion once on the site.

Tung Tran says July 4, 2013

You’re amazing Jon. I’m really impressed with your record earning this month.

You inspire me so much! I have to rethink about my business strategy 😀

Thank you Jon for being awesome!


    Jon says July 4, 2013

    Thanks Tung, but its definitely not all good all the time…my newest site is struggling to get the traction I want it to have and I am really fighting with that one!

JoeSoCal says July 4, 2013


First of all, congratulations. It is amazing what you have accomplished. I must confess that I get encouraged and deeply discouraged whenever I read income reports. On one hand, I know that there is proof it can be done and on the other it reminds me of how slow my progress is!

I could really use your help on something that is frustrating the hell out of me.

I have been building a website based on a key word and attempting to rank for many different other keywords that have very little competition. The easiest example I can give is this:

Main Keyword: Shrimp Recipes
Secondary Keywords:

Boiled Shrimp Recipes
Fried Shrimp Recipes
Sauteed Shrimp Recipes
Grilled Shrimp Recipes

All of my secondary keywords have very little competition with most of them showing the top 10 results have zero or 1 juice link according to Long Tail Pro. And I cant get on the first page for almost all of them.

The good news is that I rank number one for my initially targeted keyword and I have been building up links to the homepage. I have attempted to do some blog commenting and bookmarking for the other secondary keywords and I am not really seeing any results. It is quite bizarre because I was able to rank number one relatively easily for the more competitive keyword and yet my secondary keywords are harder than hell.

Do you have any explanation or thoughts on this predicament that I am facing? I can’t seem to bust through this plateau. Is the answer that I really need to do aggressive link building for each secondary keyword? Am I being too naive to assume that the strength of my homepage would trickle to the other pages?

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Jon says July 4, 2013

    Thanks for the detailed comment and I totally understand where you are coming from with income reports. Make sure to read my backstory… there have been a lot of less profitable months!

    Congrats on ranking for your keyword!

    The solution to your problem is probably fairly straightforward…promote your sub-pages.

    Don’t think of it as linkbuilding just naturally let people know about your subpages that provide answers to their problems. For example – provide helpful answers on Yahoo Answers and leave the URL, provide answers on relevant forums and leave the URL, write a guest post and link to the subpage…you need to promote your subpages not just your homepage. But don’t just build low quality links do some additional work and create videos for your subpages and include them on youtube and link to your sub-page or something similar.

Samir says July 5, 2013

Hey John,

Man this is a great achievement …. You are really breaking your own record each month… Thats great… It would be great if you consider me for the beta-tester for your business idea.

Some more details on how to go about selecting CPA and strategy how to go about ?

We love you..

Anisul@NicheSitesSecrets says July 5, 2013

Jon congratulation man! I am sure you’ll outrank pat’s site this month! Btw, How your site managed to get so many backlinks so fast? Obviously you didn’t build 33k links alone. Do you think other people are also sharing your website url? How do you plan to monetize your new website?

    Jon says July 6, 2013

    A large number of the links are from site wide links on sites I don’t control. Although I think these links are ok I wouldn’t go out and try to get them. I am far more interested in the number of unique URLs linking to me and the quality/relevance of those sites. The overall number of links is essentially a vanity number and I don’t look at it too much.

Nick LeRoy says July 5, 2013

Jon – love seeing the month over month success with this site. Extra credit to you for your success in a competitive niche too. It’s one thing to research and find a keyword where there is no competition and another to find a niche within an already saturated niche. Keep up the awesome work!

    Jon says July 6, 2013

    Thanks Nick, its been really rewarding going after this competitive niche. In my mind there are a lot of benefits to making a natural site in a competitive niche over a small one…easier to build links for and when sharing the niche publicly there are fewer problems with copy cats going after a single keyword.

Dale says July 7, 2013

Hey Jon,
Thanks for the mention and more importantly way to go beating out securityguardtraininghq! I think we would all love to be able to report that.

Joe says July 22, 2013

This is great news. Keep up the good work and long may these results continue.

Gives me some hope for my new site.

    Joe says July 22, 2013

    Also, I am interested in your beta VA service if you are still accepting people.

      Jon says July 24, 2013

      Hi Joe, thanks for the comment, I have sent you an email.

    Jon says July 24, 2013

    Thanks Joe, best of luck with your new site and congrats on your growing income.

Clio says July 28, 2013

Hi Jon,

First off congrats! Those are impressive results. From what I have seen so far, comapared to many others you are monetising your site really well. I am writing this comment hoping I can pick your brain about it.

I have a site of my own that shows similar traffic to yours. For the past month, I had 12,539 visits (9,376 unique) with 5.34 pages/visite, 00:04:34 visit duration and 36,56 % bounce rate. In my opinion this is quite good. However, I was not thinking about monetisation when I started this site. Now I am having a hard time with it.

My site is about movies (just info, no download) so adsense is not accepting me. I’m using another but it is not very good. Affiliate marketing is not doing well either (who still buys dvds?) and I cannot use netflix or anything like it, nothing exists for my country.

So do you have any idea on how to monetise a site in a more unconventional way?

    Jon says July 28, 2013

    First off those metrics are outstanding!! It means you have created a very useful site – congrats!

    I can see how monetization for this niche would definitely be a challange. I would say AdSense would be a good starting point but I see why it would be a problem. I am sure you have tried and failed with Amazon affiliate links (like you said who buys DVD’s). If netflix isn’t an option my approach would be this…

    – Find other sites in your niche and see how they are monetizing…
    IMDB – AdSense and Amazon Affiliate Links
    RottenTomatos – AdSense
    MovieBlog – AdSense

    So based on this I would say the likely winning strategy is AdSense…so that is not good new for you.

    The next approach I would go is looking at how the torrent sites monetize and try to emulate.

    So look at CPA offers for other online movie sites like affiliate program (or similar)

    If you want to email me the URL and I can make some other recommendations.

Clio says July 28, 2013

Thanks for the long answer, it helps already!

For one it looks like I need to find a better replacement for adsense. Then CPA offers. I just spent some time looking for movie affiliate programmes and it turns out there are quite a few out there. Although I don’t know if any will be useful. My site is about lesbian-themed movies in fact, and most of them are often unavailable in shops. But there must have a few at least.

Anyway I need to look more into this tomorrow. If you have a minute to go on my website I really appreciate it. It is in French though so I don’t know if that is okay for you. I am sending you the link.

Thanks again and keep up the good posts. I have read a couple more today, your work is really impressive. Looking forward to the rest.

    Jon says July 31, 2013

    Clio, I have to admit French lesbian themed movies is not exactly my forte!

    Regarding monetization…with the value you are adding (based on your metrics) and the hard to find nature of your content (not available in stores) would a membership or premium content section be an option? It may be something worth surveying your audience and testing.

    Let me know how it goes.

Mr. Ryan Cote says August 13, 2013

Awesome progress Jon. 3 grand in passive income is impressive. Even more impressive is that you were at the 2 grand per month mark the month before. That’s serious growth man.

Financial Samurai says August 24, 2013

Love the progress Jon! Congrats on making it to $3k. That is quite an accomplishment in just 10 months.

I think $15k/month is a great goal by 35. How many more years you got? I had a similar goal in 3 years time after I left corporate America in 2012. So far so good.

What are your thoughts on google penguin/panda updates and how to insure your partial or exact match domains don’t get negatively affected?



    Jon says August 24, 2013

    Hi Sam, thanks for stopping by! I am a big fan of all you do at your site and with Yakezie! Right now I have 6 years to go…the last graph in the post shows my progress towards the $15k.

    Where are you at on your progress…how many years in?

    Regarding penguin/panda – there is no way to be 100% safe all the time but I try and pass whatever it is I do through the filter of “does this add value to a human” if it does than I am not afraid of it. A diverse promotional strategy that doesn’t rely on any 1 strategy too much has me believing it is the path forward. I can’t imagine you are worried about your main site which has thousands of very high quality very natural links…do you have some niche sites that you are concerned about?

      Financial Samurai says August 25, 2013

      Hey Jon,

      I don’t have any niche sites other than FS and I’m going to give it another go and make a business out of the Yakezie Network before year end. We shall see!

      6 years is a long time. I’m pretty certain you will get there no problem if you stick with it. I wish I started at your age. But better late than never.

      I can’t believe it, but I’ve surpassed my two year target after one year.
      Definitely helps to focus full time in this stuff. I don’t know how the momentum can keep going,
      but of things stay flat here indefinitely I will be very happy.



        Jon says August 25, 2013

        Sam, There is definitely some way to build a business of Yakezie…private coaching from you, paid premium community kinda like the dynamite circle or create a free course on becoming a successful PF blogger and embed useful affiliate links within it…but you know the audience the best so I am sure you have some great ideas.

        Thanks for the vote of confidence…6 years is awhile…if I can do it sooner great!

        2 year target in 1 year – Good for you – I hope the momentum continues!


          Sam says August 25, 2013

          Sounds like a lot of work! Lol

          Let’s say you reaches your $15k/month goal, do you think you’d still bother or would you totally take it easy and spend time with the family, travel, etc?

          Jon says August 26, 2013

          I would definitely be looking to grow from there. Spending more time with my family is definitely a big motivator though. Do you have a kick back and relax target income?

Thibaut says October 10, 2013


First of all, I thank you for this site: its a great place where we can find nice information.
My question deals with VA: do you really think having up to 5 VA is useful ? I mean, you could have one or at least two managing every task you are demanding. I guess handling 5 people could become quickly time-consuming especially for trivial operations.

Cheers !

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