Personal Income Report
January – May 2015

Written by Matt Wolfe
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I mentioned in a recent post that I was planning on sharing income reports once again. I became so busy with projects that I just haven’t been able to post on this blog as much as I would have liked to.

Since the last time I created an income report, I stepped down from my role in Learn To Blog, launched the Beyond The Hype podcast & blog with Josh Bartlett, launched a course about Facebook advertising, and laid the groundwork to launch a course on video marketing as well as a monthly newsletter. There’s also a software launch in the works, but that’s a little more distant future…

There have been some affiliate promotions that we’ve gotten behind and, all said and done, it’s been a pretty decent start to 2015.

I’ve always been hesitant to present my income reports on my blog. I go back and forth… Should I post this? Should I just let people make assumptions about what I’m making?

It’s a tough decision. On one hand, creating an income report shows that I am practicing what I preach. It shows people that I am making this online business thing work. It motivates those that are making less than me to try to strive to get to where I’m at…

On the other hand, it makes me vulnerable. There’s probably a lot of people out there that think I make a lot more than I actually am making. There’s a perception out there and posting income reports could shatter that perception.

Weighing the pros and cons, however, I believe more good than harm will come from sharing.

If I’m sharing my numbers with the world, you bet I’ll be trying to improve my numbers month after month. You will see in a moment that this year I’ve had some good months and some less-than-great months. Posting consistently will be a motivator to top each month.

The income Reports:

Let me start by making a few disclaimers… The numbers below are net after refunds for the month. This is the amount that I actually received in that month, all refunds considered.

Many of these projects, I’m partnered with Josh Bartlett on. What you’re seeing is what I made. This isn’t the total made before Josh takes his cut. This is the totals that I made off the various promotions. Josh and I are not necessarily 50/50 partners on every promotion we do so it should not be assumed that what I made is also what Josh made. I respect Josh’s privacy and will not share information that indicates how much Josh may have made off of a project.

Finally, some of the links in the income report will be affiliate links. If I mention a product that’s not one of my products, it’s safe to assume that it is an affiliate link and that I will receive a commission if you decide to purchase. This does not affect the price of the product and I only ever recommend products that I use and can stand behind 100%.

Without further ado, here are my income breakdowns for each month this year so far…


January 2015

Info-Product Businesses:

Affiliate Promotions:

Book Publishing:

  • Apple iBooks: $283.23
  • Kindle Sales: $182.03
  • CreateSpace: $92.77
    • Total Publishing: $558.03

Miscellaneous Earnings:

Total Income – January 2015: $7,480.33

Some things to note about January 2015…

I’m sure this number is probably smaller than what most people would have expected. It’s actually a smaller number than some of my old income reports from years ago. While partnered on Learn To Blog I pretty much put all of my energy and focus into that one business. All the affiliate earnings and miscellaneous revenue streams were simply passive streams left over from before I went full-time focusing on Learn To Blog.

This was the last month that I was an owner of Learn To Blog. The $5,000 was what I drew from Learn To Blog but, in no way, represents the earnings of the Learn To Blog business.

You will notice in subsequent months that my income reports become more and more diversified as I spend more time spreading my time across multiple income streams…


February 2015

Info-Product Businesses:

Affiliate Promotions:

Book Publishing: $0.00 (Explained below)

Miscellaneous Earnings:

Total Income – February 2015: $14,783.94

Here are some things to note about February 2015…

Josh and I launched Beyond The Hype Insider to a small test audience. It was an opportunity for people to work directly with us and ask us direct questions. We closed it off after a small number of people to test the concept and to really work closely with those involved. We have since reenvisioned what Beyond The Hype Insider will be and it will be available again later in June.

Book publishing shows as $0.00. That’s simply because February is a short month. Book payments come at the end of the month. February’s earnings ended up coming in at the beginning of March so next month will show a slightly inflated publishing number.

February was the month that Bradley and I came to terms for Bradley to buy me out on Learn To Blog. Most of the month was spent managing that arrangement. I took on some private client work and spent the entire month working with Bradley on the terms as well as working with clients to keep my workload minimal while I game planned what’s next for me and my business.


March 2015

Info-Product Businesses:

Affiliate Promotions:

Book Publishing:

  • Kindle Sales: $413.50
  • Apple iBooks: $218.11
  • CreateSpace: $155.62
    • Total Publishing: $787.23

Miscellaneous Earnings:

Total Income – March 2015: $10,605.62

Here are a few things of note from March…

I spent most of the month of March building my next product, a course on running Facebook ads. It didn’t get released in March, but that’s where the majority of my time was spent.

Josh and I did a promo for a great product by Joey Xoto and Lon Naylor, called Screencast Pro. I think we landed 4th overall on the leaderboard. However, we jumped in late on the promo so we didn’t really have an opportunity to focus on climbing the leaderboard.

I experimented with selling some physical products on Amazon. To me, it’s a bit too much effort for the return. I may experiment with it more in the future and I do have a product or two for sale right now so you will see the occasional income as a result of that, but it’s not a primary business model that I’m choosing to focus on.


April 2015

Info-Product Businesses:

Affiliate Promotions:

Book Publishing:

  • Kindle Sales: $205.56
  • Apple iBooks: $282.04
  • CreateSpace: $46.65
    • Total Publishing: $534.25

Miscellaneous Earnings:

  • Client Work / Private Deals: $5,269.40
  • Fiverr Gig Sales: $58.92
    • Total Miscellaneous: $5,328.32

Total Income – April 2015: $23,393.21

A few things of note in April…

April was, by far, my best month of 2015 so far. This is mostly due to the info-product, FB Uncovered, that I spent most of March working on and finally opened in April.

Everything else stayed sort of consistent for April. You’ll notice a “Master Cleanse” affiliate sale from one of my niche blogs about health. I still have some of the niche blogs that I built back around 2007 floating around and I occasionally see an affiliate commission trickle in from them, despite not having touched them in years.


May 2015

Info-Product Businesses:

Affiliate Promotions:

Book Publishing:

  • Kindle Sales: $165.39
  • CreateSpace: $32.61
    • Total Publishing: $198.00

Miscellaneous Earnings:

Total Income – May 2015: $10,575.22

Things of note for May 2015…

FB Uncovered continued to sell into May, although sales are slowing down. We really sort of stopped promoting it in order to work on the funnel. Expect to see sales of FB Uncovered spike again around July when we dial in the funnel and really start driving traffic to that offer again.

A while back, I launched a report called “A New Income Stream With Fiverr”. It sold really well for several months and then really slowed down. In May, it began seeing sales again for one reason… If you look at the top right of my blog, I added a menu item for “Products”. If you click on “Products”, you can see the product listed there. Simply adding that to my blog has resulted in an additional $126 in sales in May because people who discovered my blog began discovering that report.

The product “The App Shortcut”, which I consult on, saw a spike in May as well. This is due to the fact that we did a special promotion of the product at a reduced price in the month of May.


Here’s a recap of the first 5 months of 2015

January: $7,480.33
February: $14,783.94
March: $10,605.62
April: $23,393.21
May: $10,575.22

2015 (January – May) Total: $66,838.32

As you can see, my year hasn’t been off to a bad start. If you take what I’ve done so far and divide it by 5 months, I’m averaging about $13,367 per month. I’d like to get to where months like April are the norm / low months.

For those of you wondering what my monthly expenses are, I average $1,509.82 per month in expenses.

It breaks down like this:

Monthly Expense Breakdown:

Rent: $525.00 (I have an office away from Home)
Libsyn: $5.00 (Hosts my old B&B Podcast)
Amazon S3: $16.83 (Video Hosting)
Bank Fees: $20.00
Fiber Optic Internet: $79.99
Cell Phones: $171.35
Edgar: $49.00 (Social Media Management Tool)
Audible: $14.95 (Audio Books)
Liquid Web: $77.70 (Web Hosting)
Southwest Credit Card: $300 (I rack up airline miles)
Infusionsoft: $250 (Autoresponder / CRM)

Total Monthly Expenses: $1,509.82

Online businesses are amazing because overhead is extremely low. You can probably add in another $1,000 per month in spending on random shiny objects that I purchase like new website builder tools, cameras, audio equipment, etc. that pops up from time to time. It’s rare that I’d spend more than $2,500 in a month on the business.


Social Media Stats

In my last report, from December, I stated some of these stats so that I can track the progress. I might as well continue this tradition. It’s important to note that I created a brand new personal Facebook fan page because my old one had a lot of “fake” followers. I wanted to start fresh and build a fan page the right way.

Personal Twitter Followers: 4,268 (+1,298 since December)
BTH Twitter Followers: 687
Personal Facebook Fans: 507 (-669 since December)
BTH Facebook Fans: 466
LinkedIn Connections: 1,251 (+132 since December)
Google+ Connections: 3,755 (+359 since December)


From creating this income report, and reflecting on the year to date, I’m also realizing how small little things that I did months or years ago continue to have an impact today. Niche blogs that I created years ago still generate random commissions, my Easy Video Suite review web site that I made a couple years back still generates good money each month. In 2015 alone it’s made $1,925 so far and I haven’t touched that site since probably 2013. A single blog post that I wrote about GetResponse back in August of 2013 has caused my GetResponse commissions to climb, earning me $1,467 so far in 2015.

Creating little assets all over the web has been what’s kept me going and paying the bills during tough months when I don’t have a product to launch.

So this is the beginning of my monthly income reports. I should be able to keep up with them from here on out to keep everyone in the loop and to hold myself accountable. I want each month to be bigger than the last and, when it doesn’t happen, these blog posts help me work through why it didn’t happen so that I can course correct.

These posts are just as much for me as they are for readers. Putting these numbers out there and analyzing them and commenting on them will help me figure out what I’m doing wrong or right just as much as it will help readers of this blog get inspired and help point them in the direction of avenues they can explore.

I hope you enjoyed this and here’s the link to the June 2015 Report

Please leave any questions or comments below. If there’s something you want to see me include in these reports that aren’t there, let me know.

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About the author

Matt Wolfe

Matt Wolfe is a father, a husband, an author, a speaker, a teacher and a bit of a hacker. He was one of the original founders of LearnToBlog.com and co-founded Beyond The Hype. Matt is an expert on paid traffic generation, email marketing and affiliate marketing. He's constantly developing new training courses and is currently in development of a new software platform, set to be released at the end of 2015.

  • One thing that I didn’t think to mention in the post is Facebook ad spend… I do spend money on Facebook ads to drive traffic to my blog posts and info-products.

    Here’s the breakdown of that spend for 2015:
    January: $0.00 (Learn To Blog ran ads but I didn’t personally)
    February: $0.00 (No ad spend – Spent the month game planning)
    March: $221.45
    April: $807.06 (Ran ads to promote FB Uncovered)
    May: $270.63

    Between March and May, you can see that there’s a pretty direct correlation between ad spend and amount earned. You can also see that, while ads are super effective for me, I don’t actually spend that much on ads relative to the income for each month.

    Just wanted to make sure there was full transparency and address this question before it came up.

    Matt

    • Hey Matt, I was beginning to wonder where all the traffic came from man.

      I know all distributed content like podcasts, videos, blog posts, guest posts, interviews and even being a Learn To Blog owner (at the time) amongst a few other things, are absolutely capable of driving some good traffic but I had my doubts if you were strictly using 100% organic traffic or not.

      Glad you cleared this up here and congratulations on the income achievements man, that’s definitely some good amounts!

      PS. Good job on the blog, looks super sharp.

      • Thanks for jumping in here Sergio Félix!

        I was actually going to include a traffic breakdown in this post but opted not to because it would be difficult to break it down across 5 months and across multiple websites. I plan to include a traffic report in future income reports to give people a better sense of where it all comes from and focus mainly on the traffic sources to the largest revenue drivers for that month.

        Main Traffic Sources To This Blog:

        #1: My Mailing List – I’m at around 65,000 subscribers. This has obviously been grown over 6+ years as a result of my other traffic sources…

        #2: Google – This blog gets a decent amount of organic search traffic to 4 or 5 key posts that went somewhat viral.

        #3: Twitter – Believe it or not, my efforts on Twitter have really been paying off and have become a big traffic generator to this site.

        #4: Facebook – Both paid and organic traffic combined comes in #4 for THIS BLOG…

        #5: Learn To Blog – People that discover me there and then jump over here…

        Main Traffic Sources To Beyond The Hype:

        #1: Combined Mailing List of me and Josh (around 200k subscribers). I have a list, Josh has a list, and Beyond The Hype has its own list. This equals serious traffic power.

        #2: Google – Some of our posts over there already rank pretty well. We do little things for SEO but we don’t make it a priority. It just kind of works out that way.

        #3: Facebook – We spend a little more money on ads to BTH than I do to my personal blog. Most of my ad spend mentioned above is to drive traffic to BTH (not MWnet). Still it’s only the 3rd largest traffic source if you combine paid and organic traffic.

        #4: MattWolfe.net – This blog actually drives the 3rd most amount of traffic over to the Beyond The Hype website…

        #5: Twitter – Again, growing a Twitter following and engaging makes an impact. I don’t spend a ton of time on Twitter but responding to people from my phone from time to time is paying off…

        Main Traffic Sources To FB Uncovered:

        #1: Our lists – Once you’ve built this asset, it will pretty much always be your biggest traffic source.

        #2: Affiliate Traffic – This is a Clickbank product so a big chunk of traffic came from affiliates getting behind it and pushing.

        #3: Facebook – Most of our ad spend in April was to drive traffic to this product.

        #4: Google – Not sure how the FB Uncovered page ranked in Google but it did…

        #5: MattWolfe.net – This site again, drove a quite a bit of traffic over to that course.

        So, I wasn’t going to put it in the blog post but I ended up breaking it down here for you anyway. 🙂

        Hope that helps.

        • Help? Man, this was an EPIC breakdown, thanks a ton man, gives a LOT of info and insights on where should effort be placed in traffic driving terms.

          Really amazing numbers there, I’m actually quite impressed, thanks again!

        • Emilia Eneva Nagy

          Very helpful thanks.

    • Great stuff for the new bloggers.

  • This is really great information! Thanks so much for being open and sharing. Not sure if it would be plausible, but perhaps in your next report, you could give a sense of how much time you spend building/managing each income stream… both in the beginning/startup phase and in on-going maintenance.

    • Thanks for the comment! Sure. I can include more of that type of information in future posts… Since I’m planning on creating a monthly update, I won’t be trying to squeeze as much info into a single post. This one spans 5 months. Future posts will only be a single month, leaving more room for more details like time spent.

      Just for a quick overview though… Here’s some insight:
      – Almost all of my affiliate commissions are completely passive. They are mostly generated from blog posts that I’ve written years ago but still get some traffic.

      – When I promote a new affiliate program like Screencast Pro, I spend about a day (6-8 hours) crafting the perfect bonus, building a bonus page, and working with Josh to write up some good emails to go out to the lists.

      – Most of my time is spent on one thing… Content creation. It accounts for 75% of my workload…. Creating videos for the various courses, writing blog posts to share cool content with subscribers, creating updates for Twitter and Facebook, writing articles for 3rd party publications to gain additional exposure, etc… That’s where the time spent goes.

      – When creating a new info-product like FB Uncovered, I usually spend about a day creating the technical parts… The member’s area, sales page, etc… Using OptimizePress, I can put them up pretty quickly now. Josh writes almost all the sales copy for products we do together now so I don’t worry about that.

      Does that give you a bit better of an idea?

      • Emilia Eneva Nagy

        Yes o0

  • thanks Matt, you rock as always!

  • Hey Matt, I definitely didn’t figure you’d end up going hungry or anything, but it’s great see you back to
    sharing with everyone JUST HOW it all shakes out for you month to month out here on “The IM Super Highway”. Very awesome and inspirational AND HELPFUL to see such details, not to mention the abundance of “Genuine and Authentic” that shines through from such transparency.

    I honestly don’t know very many people in this world that I’m more proud and honored to be able to call “friend”. Love you bro!! Keep up the awesome and all the best to you & yours and to Josh & his as well.
    KEEP ON ROCK’N!!!! ~Peace out 🙂

  • Emilia Eneva Nagy

    So inspiring Matt thanks for the authenticity and trnsparency. Emilia

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