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2015 Passive Income Year in Review


2015 Passive Income: Let’s Talk Money

Establishing passive income streams has been kind of an obsession of mine for these past couple of years and I’ve been working really hard to diversify away from dividend paying stocks into more active, online business kind of stuff. I still love dividends, but I wanted to have passive income coming in from a variety of sources instead of a single one.

My two main focuses have been affiliate marketing with niche websites and self-publishing books on Amazon. For the sake of this 2015 passive income report, I’m going to consider any money I didn’t earn teaching English as passive income, even though some (much?) of it isn’t really passive.

Last Year 2014 passive income total: $4375

This Year 2015 passive income total: $11,192. That’s an increase of 156% over 2014. Nice!

Passive Income 2016-Let’s Break it Down:

Dividend Payments: $2950. This is after taxes, commissions and brokerage account interest on the money I’ve borrowed from them.

HubPages: $730. The beauty of passive income! I’ve spent only a couple hours on this during 2015, yet still managed to earn over $700. I’m still reaping the benefits from the hard work I did five years ago.

Affiliate Programs: $650. I’m part of a few different programs, with Amazon being the biggest one. I plan to focus more on my Amazon affiliate sites in 2016, so hope to increase this significantly to $5000+. It’ll be a big challenge!

Book Sales: $2691. I currently have 12 books up on Amazon and three more on the way in the next couple of months. My marketing efforts have only scratched the surface of what is possible, so I hope to increase this to $5000+ in 2016.

AirBnb/Roommate: $2274. As a way to kick my savings into high gear before I go to Canada, I’ve been renting out my spare room on AirBnb and had a roommate for a few months as well. It was a pretty painless way to earn over $2000. See: The AirBnb Experiment.

Freelance Work: $1745.

2015 Highlights

Self publishing 11 books on Amazon (+1 in 2014). It was a serious grind to get it done, but totally worth it in the end. I published about 1/2 of them with a friend of mine which was really useful. We pass the torch back and forth, so that when I feel like the book is dead to me and I don’t want to put another single second into it, I pass it to her and she runs with it a bit. Then, I take it over a week or two later when she’s done and I can look at with fresh eyes.  See all our books on Amazon.

Menstrual cups website. I got this site up and running in June of 2015 and didn’t put any serious effort into it until about October/November. But, sales of menstrual cups on Amazon have been encouraging. I have since realized that the major flaw with this site is that all sales are one-off since people use a single menstrual cup for years. Because of this fact, the site will never make me rich. However, it can be a steady earner of a few hundred dollars a month, and the things I’ve learned during the process are invaluable (mostly keyword research).

Email list from 0—>1600. I started 2015 with no email list. Now, I have 1600+ active members and it grows by at least five people a day. Most of the success is attributable to a couple of new websites I started related to games and activity ideas for English teachers. There are currently 55 emails in the auto-responder series and I plan to add more.

Skills learned! I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about: SEO (search engine optimization), self-hosted websites, social media management, content marketing, email marketing, online business tools, and self-publishing on Amazon.

2016 Online Business Goals

See this post of mine about my online business goals for 2016. It’s going to be an exciting year for me as I get my last pay check from the day-job on February 25, 2016 and from then on, it’s all about passive income and online business.

When I move to Canada, the freelance work and roommate thing will not be in effect. However, subtracting those things, my online business income was $7021. If I can double it in 2016, to around $14,000, I’d be extremely happy.

I will have $80,000 USD to invest in something, either rental real-estate, purchasing websites, or the stock market, so with this cash infusion plus my more full-time efforts, $14,000 will be doable.

Onward and upward for 2016!

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