2014 In Review: Dividends, Writing and a Job

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My last post on Centsable Chicks was in March 2014.  It basically said I was refocusing my efforts – I was going to be building a portfolio of dividend paying stocks.  I would still be blogging, but Google’s numerous algorithm changes had knocked the stuffing out of me.  I had put a lot of work into my blog for not a lot of return.  My dividend income, however, had not seen a lot of effort put in, but was growing  – at least modestly.  Dividends were my future.

With that in mind, I took a job in April of 2014 to raise some investing capital.  It was a part time, low paying job.  And I was miserable.  I was spending my days running from one thing to another and too exhausted to do what I wanted to be doing – write.

It is ironic that after comparing Google’s algorithm change to a stock market crash that there should be an algorithm change in May 2014 that was favorable for my entertainment niche site.

When your site is slammed by Google, whether it’s the Panda or Penguin, the message you are asked to take away is that your site or your content isn’t quality.  That can be a pretty hard blow to a fledgling writing ego.  So when Google began sending my site more traffic in June 2014, I was reinvigorated in turning my entertainment niche blog into an income blog.

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Working in a field I held no interest in, and having no time to actually do what I wanted to do was depressing.  After a couple more months, I quit the job and went all in on the blog.  I’m not earning what I was at the job (and that was an entry level wage) but I’m happier.  Each month I take my earnings and invest them into dividend paying stocks.

So while 2014 didn’t turn me into a passive income, blogging or investing superstar, it did provide me with a business plan.  I’ve also accepted that I will probably work harder over the next couple of years on my blog and my investments than I have ever worked before.  But I will be working for me.  And I’m working to build an asset base that will one day allow me to reduce the time I spend each month working.

2014 reaffirmed what it is I want to do.  And that fact alone keeps me plodding along month after month working to achieve that month’s goal.

Since everyone loves an income report – myself included – I’ve decided to publish a ¼ly income summary.  The quarterly report is to smooth out any lumps from the quarterly dividend cycle.  I’ll also be streamlining the reporting categories.  Since the majority of my income is coming from two main activities:  investing and writing that’s what I will be reporting.

So that I have a point of comparison at the end of this year, my next post will summarize 2014’s income.

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Changing Focus to Dividend Investing | Centsable One

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Things have been quiet on the Centsable Chicks front for quite a while now.  That doesn’t mean I’ve given up trying to build a passive income it just means I’ve been doing it quietly. 

This time last year, it looked like the effort I’d put into an entertainment niche blog was paying off.  Then Google made an algorithm change.   I lost rankings for my keywords and my income dropped drastically.  Overnight.  I’ve come to the conclusion hat Google’s algorithm changes are much like a stock market crash.  They generally decimate income.  The difference is Google’s Algorithm changes are hitting with much higher frequency than stock market crashes.

At the same time a promising new content mill that was starting generate a nice monthly income for me, stopped paying me.  Yep, I was caught up in the Bubblews mess.  HubPages and their Ad program were and still are seeing huge drops in their CPM.

All this conspired to wipe out the meager monthly earnings I’d managed to establish in the blogging and content mills front.

Meanwhile, there was another income category that was chugging along without any input from me.  My dividends and fixed income category.  A monthly automatic investment, reinvestment of dividends and dividend increases were slowly increasing my total income in that passive income category.

And it is the most passive of my so-called passive income streams to boot.

With two years of history it was time to look at the numbers – I did mention I’m a stats junkie didn’t I?

Category

2012 Total

2013 Totals

Dividends & Interest

1074

1248

Blogging

320

1015

Affiliate Sales

62

39

Content Mills

267

539

Kindle eBooks

0

0

MicroJobs

25

5

Yealry

1748

2846

Daily

$          4.79

$           7.80

Monthly

$     145.67

$      237.17

 

At first glance it looks like all is well.  But the Blogging and content mill earnings are heavily slanted to the first half of the year. 

  • $800 of the $1015 blogging income was earned in the first 6 months of 2013.
  • $434 of the $539 content mill income was earned in the first 6 months of 2013.  And that would have been worse if I hadn’t managed to get Bubblews to pay me $50 of the back-pending payments they still owe me (but honestly don’t expect to see).

In reality the only income category that was “performing” for me by year’s end was the dividend and fixed interest one.  Without much ongoing involvement from me.

I’m a slow learner, but not that slow. 

The really interesting numbers start to appear when I added in a forecast for 2014 income

Below is the same table with only forecasted dividends and fixed interest filled in for 2014.  The forecast numbers do not take into account prospective dividend income raises.  Only the dividend rises that have already been announced and the dividends attached to a longstanding $100 a month stock purchase.

Category

2012 Total

2013 Totals

2014 Total

Dividends & Interest

1074

1248

1522

Blogging

320

1015

Affiliate Sales

62

39

Content Mills

267

539

Kindle eBooks

0

0

MicroJobs

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25

5

Yealry

1748

2846

1522

Daily

$          4.79

$           7.80

$       4.17

Monthly

$     145.67

$      237.17

$  126.83

 

The upshot is that with a few dividend raises and even my modest share purchases throughout the year I should be seeing an income from dividends and interest in 2014 that matches my TOTAL income from 2012.

With realistic forecasts added into the remaining income categories for 2014 it becomes very clear where my income growth is actually occurring – predictably and without much of my time invested.

Category

2012 Total

2013 Totals

2014 Total

Dividends & Interest

1074

1248

1522

Blogging

320

1015

500

Affiliate Sales

62

39

24

Content Mills

267

539

124

Kindle eBooks

0

0

0

MicroJobs

25

5

25

Yearly

1748

2846

2195

Daily

$          4.79

$           7.80

$       6.01

Monthly

$     145.67

$      237.17

$  182.92

Unless Google suddenly changes its opinion of me, my blogging income is going to remain modest. And there will be more algorithm changes.  So, whereas the focus of my work over the past few years has been to try build a blogging income. That is now changing.

Yes, I’ll still be blogging and writing at content mills but it will be with the purpose of taking those earnings and investing them into dividend paying stocks and fixed interest deposits. 

I’m interested to see what happens to my dividend income when I’m actually focused on growing it….

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Saving money on fresh fruit and vegetables

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One of the main areas that I have wasted money is on food.  Firstly, I really don’t like processed food.  I have a chronic illness (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and I am a firm believer that you are what you eat.  And if you fill your body with processed crap or take out, your health will suffer.

Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy a big fat burger sometimes, or love a good pizza once in a while.  But MOST of the time I cook fresh, healthy food.  As close to nature as possible.  From scratch.

While this hasn’t ‘cured’ my disease it has made me healthier on the whole. But off that soap box.

If you choose to eat this way, you’ll find that fresh food doesn’t always keep as long as you’d like it to!

I was throwing a whole lot of fresh food away.

I discovered how to keep lettuce fresh pretty early on.  It’s a great trick…cos I love fresh lettuce.

But the rest of the fruit and vegetables are also an issue.

I get a seasonal box of fruit and vegetables delivered every Monday.  It’s awesome, because I don’t have to think about it.  I like most fruit and veg, so that’s not a problem.  It makes me eat what’s in season, which is cheaper and better for the environment, because my food is sourced mostly locally.

Another added benefit is when I open the box I get inspired to cook something.  For example, today’s box had leeks.  So I immediately thought of chicken and leek pies, which I haven’t cooked in years. (The kids loved them!)

But if I don’t cook it all, it goes off.  So what do I do?

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Vacuum seal!

I bought a vacuum sealer years ago.  I used it for a while, then forgot about it.  But it works brilliantly.  Because the fruit and vegetables I buy are very fresh, and local, they do keep for about two weeks in the fridge.  But if I vacuum seal them, I can extend that life for a few more weeks.

It’s very simple to do, and the machines themselves are cheap.

 

Check this one out… FoodSaver V2244 Advanced Design Vacuum Sealer, Black Its very similar to the one I have, and its under $80.  You can also buy replacement rolls/bags relatively cheaply as well.  These will last several weeks!

FoodSaver FSFSBF0534 8-Inch by 20-Feet Roll, 3 Rolls
 

Which vegetables work well?  Any firm vegetables.  Carrots, beans, cauliflower, brocolli, zucchini…I’ve even sealed up some apples.  All good.

It’s amazing.  Extend the life of my fruits and vegetables.  No waste.  Anymore.

 

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How to cut expenses

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Ok… I have been slack.  I admit it.  The kindest way you can put it, is that I have gotten caught in the ‘planning’ phase.  Read:  I haven’t done much of anything on the Centsable Chicks blog of late.

I have reasons…Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I also have excuses…I have too many other things to do.

Enough of that.  It’s time to re-focus.  And look at what I’m doing that might help others.

Since my husband and I separated, my budget has been severely depleted.  I have had to adjust my lifestyle considerably.  While that sux, being with someone who doesn’t love you sux way more.  And there are lots of small ways that you can cut corners and cut costs without it having a significant impact on your lifestyle.

For me getting a job is not an option.  I am living on disability, a fixed income.  And not a big income.  Hence my efforts at making an online income.

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My efforts have not been good lately.  Although Centsable One is going great guns, and that keeps me motivated.  Illness and some bouts of mini-depression keep me standing still.

So back to re-focussing.

What have I been doing lately?  Cutting expenses.  This is the other side of the ‘making money online’ coin. And it is just as important in the big picture.  It’s where my focus has been, and that’s valid.  So it’s time to blog about it!

How to cut expenses.  In small, simple ways .  How to cut your heating bills.  How to cut your electrical bills.  How to cut your food budget.  How to keep food fresh. How to reduce waste.  How to keep your car running economically.  How to save on clothes.  So many things that I do daily…and don’t think to write about.

So.  Re-focus.  Please feel free to comment, and keep me honest.    In the meantime I am still working on making an online income.  But cutting expenses is just as important.

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How to keep lettuce fresh

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Ok, it’s not summer anymore, but a salad is still nice sometimes….and adding lettuce to a ham sandwich also adds a whole lot of freshness.  I love lettuce.  I swear just having some lettuce makes up for that chocolate I ate last night, and makes me feel like a whole world of healthy!

But…I buy a lettuce.  I put in in the fridge.  I promptly forget it exists.  Four days later I feel like salad, but it’s gone all limp and brown at the edges and very sad looking.  It doesn’t look healthy anymore, let alone do anything for my health.  I sure don’t want to eat it. At.  All.

So.  How do you prevent that?

(Well, eat it the day you bought it…)

Besides that!  If you store it correctly, it will keep for several days.  Two weeks, even.

So, how do I store lettuce so that it stays fresh?

1. First, get a really good quality fresh lettuce.

fresh lettuce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Next, chop it into leaves.  Wash them thoroughly.

3.  Then put them in the spinner to dry them really well.

4.  Find yourself a clean tea towel.  Wet it and then wring it out.  It should just be damp…not wet!

fresh lettuce

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5.  Wrap your lettuce in the tea towel GENTLY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.  Then put the whole lot in a freezer bag.  Now put it in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. DON’T put something on top of it and squish it, like my son did.

If you store lettuce this way, you’ll have fresh lettuce leaves for at least ten days and up to two weeks.  So you can add fresh lettuce to your kid’s sandwiches (and yours) without most of it going to waste and being thrown away.

And you’ll feel healthy…and you won’t be wasting your money on brown lettuce!

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March 2013 Income Report- Building a Location Independent Income

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I was nervous about this month.  One of my blogs has made good gains in income over the past couple of months and I have to admit I thought it might be a “flash in the pan.”

But it wasn’t.  My blogging income stream has kept pace with last months earnings.  In fact, I’m starting to be optimistic about hitting my goal for this income stream over the coming quarter.  There I said it.  By the end of Q2, I hope to have achieved a $200 per month blogging income stream.

I also took care of some housekeeping this month.  You see, I’ve been racking up earnings through various advertising networks, but hadn’t completed the paperwork and set-up to actually get paid.  This month I saw my first earnings from Chitika an advertising network I have been testing.

The thing about getting some of these payouts is that I can now invest that cash into my Dividends and Interest income stream thereby getting closer to my $200 a month goal for that income stream as well.

I’m a big believer in compounding, but I haven’t been letting it work for me as I should.  That is about to change.  It’s time to work smarter.  Look for a whole post on that topic later this month.

Summary Results:

Total Income Goal:                         $1000

Total Income March 2012:            $ 71

Total Income March 2013:            $ 262

Up 269%

Here’s the break-up by income stream:

Category  March  2013 March  2012
Dividends & Interest 69 44
Blogging 168 13
Affiliate Sales 3 3
Content Mills 22 11
Kindle eBooks 0 0
MicroJobs 0 0
 Total Income 262 71
Income per Day  $ 8.45  $ 2.54

Dividends and Fixed Interest

Target – $200 per month

March 2012 Result – $44

March 2103 Result – $69

Up 57%

No complaints here.  Dividends and interest have been growing year over year despite little additional investment.  I’m hoping to see the income in this category tick up over the coming months as I see cash come in from my blogging and content mill income streams.

The plan is to park the earnings into the high interest accounts until I find an investment to make.  I’ve been a little lax in putting what meager funds I have to work for me.  I’m determined to change that – thanks to an iPad game…who said computer games were a waste of time?

The breakdown of this category includes:

Dividends

  • $8 from RYN
  • $4 from JNJ
  • $24 from BHP (ASX)
  • $7 from Vanguard Senior Income Fund (VVR)
  • $3 from Realty Income (O)

Interest:

  • $22 from high yield internet savings accounts

Blogging

Target – $200 per month

March 2012 Result – $13

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February 2013 Result- $168

Up  1192%

Last month I wondered how long it would take to have a $20 day in terms of daily online income (everything except dividends and interest).  Well, I didn’t have long to wait.  I cracked the $20 daily income figure on 1 March, 2013.  Then didn’t even come close again for the rest of the month.

So, my new daily income record stands at $20.15.

But blogging income was up from last month’s $158 total.  This is deceptive, however.  Because February was a much shorter month than March, daily income was actually down a bit.  Either way, income stayed in the same ballpark as last month.

Since March has been my worst month for online earnings over the past couple of years, I’m thrilled with this result.

Affiliate Income – Amazon

Target – $200 per month

March 2012 Result – $3

March 2013 Result – $3

Even

I still have my affiliate blog sidelined.  It’s making a few sales a month – low value ones as you can tell by the dollar amounts.  I’m still contemplating this blog’s future since a change in Amazon’s affiliate rules.

I have a couple of ideas, but am honestly wondering if it is worth my while…

Content Mills

Target – $200 per month

March 2012 Result – $11

March 2013 Result – $21

Up   100%

My approach to writing for content mills is undergoing a re-think.  A long time ago I read somewhere that you should never make writing for content mills and web2.0 sites your business plan.  I think I may have made this mistake in the past and am only now realizing the value in the advice.

CPM’s continue to fall at Hubpages,  Xomba continues to bring in a couple of dollars a month as does Yahoo Voices.  I didn’t post to any of these sites this month, though I am test driving a new bookmarking site.  I haven’t added it to my income reports as I’m not sure whether I will ever post enough to get me to the $25 payout threshold.

I also tried writing for Infobarrel this month.  After 2 attempts at getting an article in my niche approved I gave up.  There may be a reason there is precious little in the entertainment niche posted to Infobarrel.  I don’t think they want this type of content.  So be it.

Kindle Publishing

Nothing to report and will be dropped from these reports until there is.

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February 2013 Income Report- Building a Location Independent Income

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Its been an exciting month.  I know the numbers I’m reporting aren’t huge, but the last couple of months have been showing some upward momentum.  And that excites me.  Its about the potential, being glad I didn’t quit a few months back and making plans to keep the momentum going.

Will I be successful?  Who knows.

While one of my blogs has been seeing record income days this month, another, thanks to Amazon changing some of its afiliate rules is now sidelined.  So its always a juggling act.  And yet another reason why it’s important to remain diversified. Even if it does slow progress.

But as long as one of my projects is seeing progress, I’m able to stay positive about my ability to make an income online.  So onto the results – which over all were good.  But the month wasn’t without it’s disappointments as well.

Such is life…

Summary Results:

Total Income Goal:                         $1000

Total Income February 2012:      $ 93

Total Income February 2013:      $ 251

Up  170%

Here’s the break-up by income stream:

Category  Febraury 2013 February 2012
Dividends & Interest 55 58
Blogging 159 28
Affiliate Sales 8 5
Content Mills 29 2
Kindle eBooks 0 0
MicroJobs 0 0
251 93
Income per Day  $8.96  $3.32

Note: Because months vary in length, 28, 29, 30 or 31 days, I track income per day to smooth the effect of variable length months.  For example – last year February had 29 days, this year only 28, so the total income figure can be misleading.  When broken down by day however, you get the true picture of how much better I did this february over the same time last year.

Dividends and Fixed Interest

Target – $200 per month

February 2012 Result – $58

February 2103 Result – $55

Down 5%

There is nothing sinister happening here.  No one reduced dividend payouts.  An investment I had last year that paid a dividend in February got cashed out.  The cash, for the moment is sidelined in a high interest account, which is why the interest numbers have increased over the past couple of months.

The breakdown of this category includes:

Dividends

  • $4 from Altria (PG)
  • $17 from Boardwalk Partners (BWP)
  • $7 from Vanguard Senior Income Fund (VVR)
  • $3 from Realty Income (O)

Interest:

$24 from high yield internet savings accounts

Blogging

Target – $200 per month

February 2012 Result – $28

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February 2013 Result- $159

Up  468%

This upward trend started last month, and has continued this month.  As I’ve said before growth isn’t linear, so somewhere along the way I’m expecting to see income plateau or even fall again. For now I’m going to enjoy that my daily income record (from writing online – that is dividends and interest are not included) was broken twice this month.

The record for daily online income prior to this month was $16.67.  It stood for 17 months. This month saw a daily income day of $17.89.  That new record only stood for 24 hours.  The following day saw income of $19.54.

Hopefully, it won’t take 17 months before I see a $20 day!

Why do I get so excited about new highs?  Probably because I’m a stats junkie.

Seriously, though, because over time the new highs become the average!  This month the daily average income in this category was over $6 a day.  Once upon a time, not that long ago, a $6 day was the monthly high!

This month saw my highest daily average income and highest monthly income also.  I’m a little nervous about next month now!

Affiliate Income – Amazon

Target – $200 per month

February 2012 Result – $5

February 2013 Result – $8

Up 60%

This is the category where I saw bad news this month.  My new affiliate blog will be caught out by some new rules Amazon puts in place effective 1 March 2013 for the promotion of free items.

This blog hasn’t been making a lot of money so I would rather have the rule change now than down the track when it will mean a large loss in income.  This site needs to be rethought.  It is sidelined for now.

Content Mills

Target – $200 per month

February 2012 Result – $2

February 2013 Result – $29

Up   %1350

With CPM’s declining at Hubpages quite consistently over the past months I seriously considered giving up writing at Hubpages.  I chose not to – you can read why here.

This month’s CPM’s moved upwards – not enormously – but in the right direction.  For now I will continue to post 3 articles a month.

Kindle Publishing

Nothing to report and will be dropped from these reports until there is.

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A Record Day!

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It has taken almost 18 months to break the record “online income” day I had in September 2011.  On that day, when by entertainment niche blog was a mere 5 months old; I stared in amazement at the income my blog was generating.

This making money online thing was going to be a cakewalk I remember thinking.

Well, as my income reports have proved, it has certainly NOT been a cakewalk.

That month, September 2011, coincided with a major one-off event in the niche I was blogging. In my inexperience, I suspected traffic would fall, but didn’t quite want to believe it.  Think positive and all that.

The following month my best day earned me $6.18.  And MOST of that came from an affiliate sale.

Well, here it is, February 2013, and yesterday I finally broke the daily online income record set during that month.  The old record was $16.67.

Yesterday I earned $17.89.

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That total is also boosted by an affiliate sale.  (Affiliate sales are few and far between).

So my daily income record set in September 2011 has been broken.  But another record from that month still stands.  It was also my best ever monthly online income result.  And unless I’m going to break my daily record again a couple of times this month, that monthly income record will stand…for at least another month anyway.

Definition:  Cakewalk

1. (Performing Arts / Dancing) a dance based on a march with intricate steps, originally performed by African-Americans with the prize of a cake for the best performers

2. (Music, other) a piece of music composed for this dance

3. Informal an easily accomplished task

Source:  thefreedictionary.com

PS:  It’s days like yesterday that made me glad I didn’t quit trying to make an income online.  It’s much harder work than I ever imagined it would be but slowly my average daily and monthly incomes are increasing.  And that makes the hard work worthwhile.

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January 2013 Income Report- Building a Location Independent Income

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OK.  It’s a bright shiny new year.  Since I didn’t even come close to achieving my overall income goal last year, I’ve left it the same as last year.  To achieve $1000 per month from 5 location independent income sources.

Because seasonality and my dividend income stream skew my income on a month to month basis, and I now have a year of income behind me, I’m going to do a comparison to my income in the same month last year.

Income tends to go up and down on a month to month basis. I’m hoping that on a year over year basis that effect is smoothed and I will have a real indicator of progress, or lack thereof.

Summary Results:

Total Income Goal:                         $1000

Total Income January 2012:         $151

Total Income January 2013:         $267

Up 77% 

Not a bad result overall.  I’m trying to remember the  last time I got a 77% payrise from any 9-5 job.  Yep.  NEVER.  Of coures, to be fair, my 9-5’s have paid a little better too…

Here’s the break-up by income stream:

Category  January  2013 January 2012
Dividends & Interest 144 119
Blogging 94 16
Affiliate Sales 3 11
Content Mills 26 5
Kindle eBooks 0 0
MicroJobs 0 0
267 151
Income per Day  $            8.61  $          4.87

Dividends and Fixed Interest

Target – $200 per month

January 2012 Result – $119

January 2103 Result – $144

Up 21%

I have made few investments through the past year, so most of the increase in this category is due to obtaining better interest rates on deposits and dividend increases.  Not bad.  Imagine what would happen if I actually had capital to invest?  This is a 21% increase for basically no work.  I’m liking dividends and interest as an income stream more and more…

The breakdown of this category includes:

Dividends

  • $105 from General Electric (GE)
  • $7 from Altria (MO)
  • $7 from Vanguard Senior Income Fund (VVR)
  • $2 from Realty Income (O)

Interest:

  • $23 from high yield internet savings account

Blogging

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Target – $200 per month

January 2012 Result – $16

January 2013 Result- $94

Up 488%

This result is exciting.  I hope the trend continues. There seems to be a sudden income breakout on my entertainment niche blog.  I’m putting this down to the following:

  • The blog is approaching 2 years old
  • Migration from blogger to wordpress – there are now over 3 months of posts with the better SEO that WordPress provides
  • I’m trying to be timelier with my content.  I’ve developed a work schedule to help me manage my time.

Affiliate Income – Amazon

Target – $200 per month

January 2012 Result – $11

January 2013 Result – $3

Down 73%

I expected this category to fall after the Christmas shopping season passed.  My new affiliate blog is responsible for most of this income.  It doesn’t take much time each day to run, but I need it to return more than $3 per month for it to be viable…

Content Mills

Target – $200 per month

January 2012 Result – $5

January 2013 Result – $26

Up 420%

Hubpages is responsible for about half of this income.  CPM’s there have been steadily falling.  I’ve decided to keep writing hubs until June and review.  My blog in the same niche is performing much better than my hubs in terms of CPM, that is.

At some point I have to face I may just be better off posting to my blog – even if it does reduce the diversification of my income streams.  On the plus side, another revenue share site, Xomba, which I wrote for in the past, is suddenly generating income again.  Bizarre.

Kindle Publishing

Nothing to report and will be dropped from these reports until there is.

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Hubpages Ad Program CPM Falling – Seasonal or Something Else?

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Why are CPM rates falling over at Hubpages?

Recently, the big topic in Hubpages forums has been falling CPM rates.  There has been much speculation, but the most common reason put forward is simply seasonality.

As writers who share in advertising revenue as the primary means of payment, Hubbers expect an increase in traffic and CPM’s around the busy Christmas shopping season.  That is now passed, and January should have lower CPM’s – or so the argument goes.

There are, of course, other variables to consider.

Niche for example.  Advertisers in different niches pay very different advertising rates.  And they may pay better at different times of year, depending upon that niche.

Since I have a self hosted blog in the same niche as I write in on Hubpages, I thought, I’d take a look at what has been happening CPM wise across the two platforms.

What is happening to my Hubpages income?

I, like many others, have also been experiencing falling CPM’s at Hubpages. In fact this month’s CPM rate is particularly dismal at less than half (try 40%) of the rate when I opened the account in May 2012.

Unlike some Hubbers I’m not bitter about this development.  I’ve quit writing at other venues because of the low rate of pay – try $1.50 per thousand impressions over at Yahoo Voices (I know, it scales to $2 and there is the potential for up front pay as well).  And I’ve always known from the moment I started writing on this account at Hubpages that should things go south, I can move the articles to my blog in the same niche.

A comparison – Hubpages vs Self Hosted Blog CPM’s across same niche

Since I wasn’t the only one experiencing a marked CPM decline on Hubpages I decided to do some analysis of the average monthly CPM’s across my blog and my Hubpages account since opening the HubPages account.

That would take the niche issue out of the equation:

The results were kind of interesting.  And a picture is worth a thousand words.  Since I don’t want to get in any trouble by disclosing CPM rates or earnings, I’ve removed the numbers from the graph below.

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What is left is a picture of the relative difference between CPM’s at Hubpages and my self-hosted blog in the same niche.

Hubpages CPM's vs Self Hosted Blog CPM's - same niche

Hubpages relies on income from ads only.  So does my blog.  The big difference is the CPM achieved on my blog is the combined result of two advertising programs.

My observations of my CPM statistics

  • Early on the there was little variance between the CPM rates I achieved on the blog and at Hubpages. Since I also believe in diversifying my income streams, I continued to write at Hubpages even though it earned me slightly less than my blog.
  • After what felt like a honeymoon period (I noticed this on another Hubpages account after turning on the Ad Program) the CPM began to slide.  Since this coincided with summer in the US my decision was to watch but keep writing, hoping for an increase during fall/autumn in the northern hemisphere.
  • The Christmas shopping season came and went, and my Hubpages CPM continued to slide.
  • Meanwhile over on my blog, my CPM’s increased steadily.  This also coincided with moving the blog from the free Blogger platform to a self-hosted WordPress platform.
  • This month, January, reportedly a bad CPM month after the end of the Christmas shopping season, my Hubpages CPM reached an all time low.  My blog CPM has shot upwards, making the divide between Hubpages CPM’s and my blogs CPM impossible to ignore.

Will I quit writing at Hubpages?

My first inclination was to contribute to the discussion about CPM’s on the Hubpages forums, but on second thought didn’t see there was any advantage to that.

Hubpages is what it is.  I know when I write there I have no control.  Where ads are placed, advertising contracts and CPM rates and everything else about the management of the site are the domain of the Hubpages management team.

All I can control is whether I write there or not.

This month’s CPM at Hubpages currently stands at less than a ¼ of the CPM my blog has achieved over the same period.  Logic says I should place all my articles on my blog and quit writing for Hubpages.

But I’m not going to do that.

For 4 reasons:

  1. I can’t help it.  I still love Hubpages.
  2. I still think diversifying my income streams is a good idea.  And who knows? The trend may reverse.
  3. I don’t have 12 months of data – yet.  This is turning into an interesting case study, and I’m really curious to see if CPM’s on Hubpages return to the highs I was achieving in May and June of 2012.
  4. I always have the option of turning off the Hubpages Ad Program and using Google Adsense.

So, for the next few months at least, I will continue writing at Hubpages.  Am I nuts? Maybe.

How are your Hubpages CPM’s looking?

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