Website Income

Month 7 Update – Passive Income is a Beautiful Thing

March will go down as one of the busiest and most exciting months of my life! With the birth of my first child (baby boy) at the start of march and my day job requiring up to 90hr weeks it was crazy. Luckily I was able to cut back on my hrs at work when my son came to spend time helping out at home.

Because of the amount of time I had to put into other parts of my life I only managed to put in about 10hrs total into my online efforts.

This month has reinforced one of the main things I love about making money with websites – COMPLETELY PASSIVE INCOME!

I put in so little work this month but the systems and people I worked hard to put in place came through and delivered some impressive results.


Key Successes:

100% Passive Income – It is an amazing feeling not checking your stats for one week and then when you login you see that you have made hundreds of dollars and done no work. By setting up the right systems and outsourcing a lot of activities I have managed to keep my business running even when I am not able to contribute to my sites.

Outsourced a Custom Plugin That Increased My Conversions by 50% You Can Download It For Free Here – This is something I started before the crazy busy period at work kicked off and as a result of a great programmer I hired through ODesk we were able to get this plugin created and live on

The plugin (CTR Widget)

–          Read about how I created it for $150 with no programming skills here

–          Download it and see your click through rate on your call to action increase overnight – try it out here


Key Failure:

Productivity – I need to figure out how to be more productive with the changes in my life. I used to work in 3 or 4 dedicated 4-12hr blocks and that was enough to grow my business. However, now that my baby boy has arrived that isn’t possible. So even though I am not always “busy” I find it hard to be productive and catch myself watching a lot more TV while waiting for his next need.

This month I hope to set up a routine and modify my online business to suit my life my thoughts on what I can do to improve are…

  1. Write more posts on my IPhone or IPad while waiting on him
  2. Put my documents in the cloud – I have a dedicated work desktop where I used to run my business from but now I need to be more flexible and do more from any device
  3. Have an ongoing next action list so I don’t spend 15 minutes figuring out what I should be working on – I typically at the start of a work session lay out all the tasks I want to complete and then chop them off one by one but that only works when I have a block of time

If anyone has any productivity tips for new parents I would really like to hear about them!


Authority Website Stats for March


Income = $759.63


A great month for monetization! With the January student loan rush this is to be expected!


My main affiliate offer continues to get tested and I have branched out and started writing program specific review posts which have yet to result in any significant affiliate commissions.


CPA Offer #1  = $333 (+$99)

This is not my main affiliate offer but there are still links on the site which drive around 10-15 clicks per day. The conversions are great and the analytics for this offer are also excellent!

CPA Offer 1 - March

CPA Offer #2  = $426.63


This is a drop from last month but I don’t want to get too worried about it, I only get paid when a loan is funded and because of the relatively small number of funded loans to generate the above income the statistical variance month over month will not be significant.

The leading indicator I should pay attention to is the number of people sent from my site to the affiliate site and the number of people that I sent who initiated the loan process. This is what I can control (number of leads and quality of leads) the other steps between an active lead and a funded loan I do not have control over so don’t stress about it.

Due to my new plugin I had a 50% increase from February to March with similar traffic.

–          February = 54 Leads

–          March = 98 Leads


Costs = 52.16

Again the majority of my costs associated with my website is content creation using my method I talk about here.

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 = $15 @  (posting/scheduling of created articles per my content calendar)
  • VA # 2 – Backlink/General = $25 (web 2.0 creation, Link Authority, blog carnival submission, Friday post creation)
  • VA #3 – Website Manager = $0 (he takes care of security/speed on all my sites – no work this month)
  • VA #2 – Social Media Manager = $5 (I need to get her working again!)
  • Content Creation (0 articles this month!) = $0.00
  • Hosting = $7.16 @ HostGator


Running Net Income/Loss

Another profitable month, the site is continuing to show it’s a healthy site!

month 7 cumulative income 

Traffic =5,652 (+29%) Unique Visitors

A very good month with steady traffic, I would like to see some of my posts going a little more viral and having the occasional traffic spike. The steady traffic is great but I don’t see me being able to grow the site substantially without making the occasional splash. I will have to both improve the content and improve how I promote the content in the future to get that kind of response.


Month 7 Traffic

Month 7 Traffic


Month 7 Traffic Details

Month 7 Traffic Details

Email Opt Ins – Still a failure!

Total sign up = 13!  (2 in the month of February with 5k+ visitors!)

Even though I no longer focus on sign up I will keep reporting this to show full transparency of both my successes and failures.


Content, Promotion and Backlinks

In this section I will show exactly what I have done over the last month to get to 300 visitors a day.


On Page Content = 16 Posts

I find a lot of joy in this! – There is something amazing about setting up a system and watching it work. There is no doubt that I am a systemization/outsourcing geek but this is just cool – 0 work done this month on content and 16 quality posts were published!


Outreach – Blog Commenting & Social Media (2hrs only)

Unfortunately my outsourcing efforts on this front fell a little flat with the VA I was using for this not working and me not able to pick up the slack due to my schedule. I will need to address this ASAP.


Guest Posts = 6 Posts on Quality Sites

Guest posting continues to be where I personally spend the majority of my effort by reaching out to the blog owners and writing the articles myself. However, I did not put any time into it this month but still had a couple posts I had initiated a while back trickle in.

  • GP 1 – March 15 – PR4 – Alexa 39.4k
  • GP2 – March 23– PR2 – Alexa 123k

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 = 145 (+12)
  • Backlinks = 6203 (+1,284)
  • Citation Flow 36 (no change)
  • Trust Flow 19 (-1)

I am not sure why so many backlinks got generated, there was nothing I was doing that would have generated this many links. They seem to be of low quality since my trust flow dropped and they also seem to be from very few linking root domains since it only increased by 12. For now I am not going to worry about it but I will keep an eye on the backlink profile and try to also increase the trust flow by doing some more guest posts and outreach to .edu domains.

Month 7 Backlink Stats

Month 7 Backlink Stats

Image From –

Last Month’s Goals

  • Continue Guest Posting – (guest post on 0 high quality sites) – ACHIEVED 2
  • Continue Content Creation at 10 posts/month – FAILED 0 ARTICLES CREATED
  • Publish Posts per Editorial Calendar – 16 posts – ACHIEVED PERFECTLY!
  • Continue Blog Commenting and Social Media Manager & monitor progress – 200 visitors – FAILED NO NOTICABLE TRAFFIC
  • Monetize – Earn over $1000 on almost complete Autopilot! – FAILED $759 – still happy with this passive income!


Next Month’s Goals

  • Restart Guest Posting – (guest post on 5 high quality sites)
  • Outreach Effort – 1 Epic Post That Generates High Quality Backlinks and a Traffic Spike
  • Continue Content Creation at 16 posts/month
  • Monetize –Earn over $1,000 per month                     

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

  • So far in 2013 I am 0 for 3
  • 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

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:

Ted says April 16, 2013


I’m betting that someone is targeting your site with negative SEO. Spencer over at Niche Pursuits is having troubles along these lines where a lot of low quality, almost spammy links to his public site started appearing. Crazy that someone would do that, but there it is.

    Jon says April 16, 2013

    Ted, interesting…if that is the case the good news for me compared to Spencer is I am in a more competitive niche and have had to build more high quality links so the overal % of bad links would be low.

    Looking at majestic SEO its pretty clear that some high volume low quality links are being thrown at my site…I will research and figure out my options but am confident this spam wont slow me down.

Miki Vicioso says April 16, 2013

Hi Jon! Passive income is indeed a beautiful thing. Congrats on another great month! Keep pushing forward you doing an incredible job and it will come back to you. Also outsourcing has completely change how I work now, i learned to delegate and can accomplish more in less time.
ps: sent you an email.

Noppon says April 16, 2013

Thank a lot for all of your work, you inspire me to make Authority Site the The VA’s section make me get ideas for my plan and my second Authority Site… thank again.

PS. sorry my english language is pool.

    Jon says April 16, 2013

    Noppon, thanks for commenting and best of luck with your site! I am glad to hear that you like the VA stuff. I am thinking about focusing a couple posts on that.

Jon says April 16, 2013

Miki – Thanks for the congrats – Outsourcing is what makes this at all possible and still able to balance the rest of my life! Best of luck to all your projects!

Tung Tran says April 17, 2013

Hi Jon,

Congrats on the success of your niche site 🙂 You’re doing great!

You should spend a little more on SEO … I’m using some high quality SEO services at BlackHatWorld.

My 2nd 1 month old site made $77 in April with amazon affiliate program :D… so good

I will apply your tip on completely using VA to manage the site as I just use VA to create content.

Hope your site keep growing well this month.


    Jon says April 17, 2013

    Tung, that is impressive results – I am wanting to keep my SEO efforts “in-house” so I can control them. Even though it looks like I am being targetted by a negative SEO attack so not a lot of control over that!

    What do you have the SEO company doing for you and how do you know the quality of the work they are doing?

    Tung, I am impressed with your site! you have everything so in control with tracking etc it is impressive!

      Tung Tran says April 18, 2013

      They do web 2.0, social bookmarking, article submission, etc for me.. old school SEO but it still works if you do it properly. But keyword research is still the most important part. My niche site ranked #3 for the main keyword without any backlink 😀
      I have new 2 sales today now… i’m lụcky 🙂

Joe says April 22, 2013

Sounds like you are having great success with this project!
Congratulations on the new arrival.
Our second baby was just born a few weeks ago and I’m finding it hard to get back into the swing of working on my online stuff.

Good luck for next month.

    Jon says April 22, 2013

    Thanks for the Congrats and congrats to you as well.

Joe says April 22, 2013

I just downloaded and installed the plug in but am getting some 404s when clicking on the links:

Also, are there any instructions on how to add it to the site once its installed?

Thanks for developing it as it sounds great!

    Jon says April 22, 2013

    Joe, I have been a little behind and have not had a chance to create the pages that I was hoping I would for the posts the plugin links to.

    For instructions:
    – Install as you normally would
    – Go to Settings > CTR Widget
    – Enter html in the code box

    Let me know how it goes, especially any frustration you have!



Sergio Felix says April 23, 2013

Hey Jon, I’ve been checking out your site and I believe what you’re doing here is apart from impressive a fantastic case study for your readers.

I can’t imagine this is the first time you are attempting to make money online but if it is, then I can predict you’re going to be big as in REAL BIG in Internet Marketing very soon my man.

It takes a lot of entrepreneurship and mindset to just take an idea and run with it and what you are doing here is taking a million ideas and running with ALL OF THEM!

There’s not many people I know that would actually follow through with everything you have done with your authority site, including outsourcing, managing people and keeping track of how everything goes.

Reminds me a lot of Pat Flynn, Tyrone Shum and Steve Scott just to mention a few but you’re even doing graphs and stats (+1 for your engineering skills)

This can be overwhelming for newbies but it is BANG ON for more analytical people.

Not much I can say apart from keep up the great work and keep sharing your results man!


PS. If you’re still struggling getting more opt-ins on your authority site, I would definitely use the AWeber flying-box feature and set it in a way that is not annoying, include boxes on the inner pages and at the end of the articles.

You can even do split testing with colors, graphics, etc., you already know that this is a testing game! 😉

    Jon says April 23, 2013

    Hi Sergio, thanks for the kind words – this project is definitely not my first… I been making some money from websites for about 4 years.

    I started this site because I wanted to share in the post penguin, panda, EMD penalty doom and gloom a relatively straight forward strategy that I felt would show people it was possible to make money online and also help keep me accountable.

    Regarding the opt ins on my Case Study Site I have decided that I will stop trying to get people on my list – the visitors are clearly not interested in opting in for the purpose of “tips” “rate information” “secrets” “interviews” “ebooks” or “videos” so I am not sure if a pop-up even if it does increase opt-ins would help me help more people. My affiliate link CTR is pretty decent and time on site/bounce rate is decent so I think I have to accept that after 5 attempts with opt ins its just not for this niche.

    My opt-in rate on this site is much better in the 13% range so I am focusing on treating my list right here.

    Again, thanks for the kind words and keep up the great stuff you have at

Tim Bonner says April 24, 2013

Hi Jon

Congratulations on your new arrival.

I’ve not gone down the outsourcing route yet but that may be the way to go for the niche site I set up a while back and then never did anything with!

Great to see you making a success of things and thank you for sharing all of this information :-).

Joe says April 24, 2013


I am trying to wrap my head around guest posting and the net impact. I intrinsically understand the link back and the sending of traffic to your site. But, what I really am having difficulty understanding is the page rank link juice benefits.

I see lots of blogs with great PR. Lets say a PR of 5. When you click the link to read the full post on the first page of the blog…then your guest post will open up with no page rank. And once your post rolls off the first page those secondary pages often have a page rank of n/a. Can you help me understand how PR link juice flows through a blog?

My general understanding is that you can generally subtract two from the page rank of the page linking to you and that is where you will be. And my understanding is that the PR of your homepage on a website trickles down to all the pages it is linked to. So if a blog has a PR of 6, why isn’t the second page of blog posts showing up as a 4 and why aren’t individual blog posts themselves showing up as a 4 in this particular example.


    Jon says April 24, 2013

    Hi John

    My short answer is you understand more than you need to already…however let me try and answer your main question…regarding why do high PR sites have blog posts that the page itself is a N/A? This is because Google Updates its Page Rank score maybe 4 times a year so if a PR9 site has a post and then then next week its off the front page it will display as a PR N/A until the next update.

    But overall I would say you are most likely worrying way to much about PR it means very little other than an indicator you are doing the right things in Googles eyes.

    What in particular has you concerned about page rank?

      Joe says April 25, 2013

      Hey Jon

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. I sincerely appreciate it. It was my understanding that Google updates PR four times a year and thus there is a lag. I guess what was catching me off guard is that many blogs have a “page 2” or something for the posts that roll off. All those page 2’s that I come across all say n/a. I kind of figured that since page 2 is a static url that they should have a PR and that was kind of throwing me off and causing some confusion.

      So, I was thinking that only blog posts that rolled off the front page, but were subsequently linked to by other websites with PR was how those posts were getting PR.

      Ultimately, I was trying to get a handle on how/what impact links from high PR pages to your content help boost Google search results. In my studying of SERPs, there are often times when I see a page with lower PR out rank pages with higher PR even when everything else to the naked eye on a cursory examination looks rather equal between these two competing pages.

Anisul says April 29, 2013

Jon, I would be very interested to know more about your content strategy. How do you prepare your content ideas ? what type of contents do you plan to share each week? Are these all informational articles or top 10 lists, curated articles etc? I saw your public spreadsheets but looks like you are producing way more contents each month. How do you come up with so many content ideas?

    Jon says April 29, 2013

    I have a editorial calander…

    Mon – Product Review (commercially focused post)
    Tue – Blog Post (top 7, how to…,)
    Wed – Occasional Epic Post (list of 100 ____)
    Thur – SEO Post (“keyword” for the title)
    Fri – News/Links Post

    The content ideas I borrow from sites like huffington post and other finance news sites. I also use Google suggest and keyword research tool to come up with ideas. Finding lists of products to review is a great source of content ideas.

    Let me know if you have any other questions

Anisul says May 4, 2013

Now I understand better about your content strategies. I think it would be better if you make a separate post explaining more about the content strategies, schedules, failures , things to avoid etc 🙂

Simon says May 31, 2013

Hey Jon.
Can I ask which CPA network do you use?
And can you write more about your CTR plugin?

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