Income and Progress Report: October 2010

This is my first income and progress report. Today I will tell you exactly how much money I made this month and how I did it. I do this for two reasons. The first ist to track my success, the second is to show you that making money online is absolutely possible. I will prove to you that living the travelling internet lifestyle is totally possible. For everyone!

Before I get to the numbers, I will give a short review over my actions of the last month.

Important Going-Ons in October

Two important seminars and a new tool

The first seminar I went to was the 9. Stuitgarter Wissensforum (Translation: Stuttgart Knowledge Forum), which basically was an entire day full of presentations by some of Germany’s best speakers.

I spent 129€ on the ticket for this event and wondered, if it was worth it. And believe me, it was. Although the event itself was interesting and motivating, the event itself wasn’t even what really had the big impact on my life. More important was the free ticket I got to the  Global Internet Seminar in Böblingen.

At the Global Internet Seminar I met some of the most successfull young online marketers, e.g. Shaun Stenning, who made a ton of money using a simple technique. I actually spent more than 2300€ on a tool he offered (Snipr) to create and market websites faster.

Right now, I am completing the begginer’s course for snipr and have already created a new website. I will keep you up to date how this tool works out for me.

Relaunch of Hochzeitsportal24.de

For the last 12 months, I have been working on the relaunch of my main project, which is a German wedding website. We planned to relaunch on November 1st, but there is still some minor fixes that have to take place.

I spent some money on quality pictures from Fotolia, since it is really important to have high quality pictures if you want your website to look professional.

I set up a Facebook page for Hochzeitsportal24 and reactivated the Twitter account in order to get some more traffic which is not dependend on Google.

The hardest thing with this project is to rank for the main Keywords in this very broad niche, which are Hochzeit (wedding), Brautkleid (wedding dress) and Trauringe (wedding rings). On Google.de I currently the ranks currently are #31 (Hochzeit), #166 (Brautkleid) and not ranked for Trauringe.

I do already rank for some traffic intensive keywords, but these three are money keywords. I need to get these up to increase income dramatically. This will be my biggest challenge for the next 12 months.

However, for now, the most important thing is the relaunch. Hopefully, we can relaunch by the end of this week.

Income Breakdown

Hochzeitsportal24.de

  • Display Advertising: 686,25€
  • Affiliate: 1€

On Hochzeitsportal24.de I have a marketer to market display advertising, who doesn’t allow me to disclose my income. Therefore my income from display advertsing will not be split up between income from the marketer, adsense and other incomes.

Niche Sites

  • AdSense: 248,36€

Gross Total in October 934,61€

Overall this is the least total I have had in the last 8 months. Since most my websites are wedding related, the drop off in the winter is just normal.

What I have learned in October

The most important lesson I learned was the fact that I need more than one website to make money online. I need a system. And I think I found that system in Snipr. I looked at the income from my niche sites and realized that with very little effort I made two years ago, I make almost 250€/month with the few niche sites that I have.

So I will increase the number of niche sites to increase the amount from 250€/month to a point where I feel comfortable with. Also I need to find niches that don’t fluctuate as much as wedding websites do.

I hope you enjoyed my income report. Do you have any questions or other thoughts you want to share? Please leave a comment.


How to break 6-8 bad habits per year

Everyone has them. Everybody hates them. The bad habits we all have. Most of the times we are aware of them and (unsuccessfully) try multiple times to get rid of them. If you are anything like me, you have failed just as many times. Find out how to finally break up to 8 bad habbits PER YEAR!

I learned this method at the 9. Stuttgart Knowledge Forum. It has helped me so far and I hope that this will help you make your life more enjoyable. Because this is what lifestyle design and this blog is all about.

First, we should define the term “bad habit”. Wikipedia defines a bad habit as a negative behavior pattern. Bad habits are really close to being addicted. The only difference between addiction and bad habits is will power (or the illusion of it).

How many bad habbits do you have? Ten? Fifteen? Or even twenty? Usually they start at waking up to late and end up with going to bed way too late.

With me, the bad habbits are (and this is just an excerpt):  Waking up too late, eating too much, not working out enough, not working as efficiently as I could, not remembering birthdays, not keeping the apartement as clean as it should be, etc.

The wrong way to get rid of these habbits

Some people might say that if you want to change, you have to change your entire life. Just stop doing what you have done before and change your entire life.

Just do a radical sweep of your life and get rid of all bad things at once. Just like building a new house. You have to demolish the old house before you can build a new one. Or to say int in the words of Bruce Lee’s ghost in Karate Tiger: You have to empty the glas before you refill it.

Only a radical change will force you to become the person you want to be. Right? Wrong.

How to do it right

Breaking habits is tough. Changing your life is even tougher. Although I like the building the house metaphor, you can’t really demolish your life and rebuild it. That is not how the human psyche works.

There are people with will power stronger than a bulldozer, but for most of us, things are easier if we go step by step. And this is exactly why breaking bad habits doesn’t work like building a new house.

There are three steps for breaking a habit:

Step 1: Choose one bad habit which bothers you the most.

Step 2: Start easy

Step 3: Never, ever make an exemption in the first 6-8 weeks

Step 1: Choose one bad habit which bothers you the most

If you choose only one bad habit to break, you are able to focus solely on that habit. It makes it much easiert to control yourself.

You’ll see the results quickly and start being proud of yourself. That builds momentum, which will help you with the next bad habit after you’ve broken the first one.

If you concentrate on too many things at once, you might succeed in all of them but one. But because you failed in one, you might think that it is all worthless and keep going back to your old ways with all the bad habits.

Step 2: Start easy

Depending on the bad habit, you might want to start easy.

If you want to exercise more, don’t start by going out run for 2 hours. You and your body are not used to that yet. Start with a 10 minute power walk. Follow that up the next day with a 12 minute power walk and so on. Sooner than you think, running for 60 minutes will be a piece of cake for you.

If you want to eat less, don’t start with an all out diet. Start by swapping your french fries for a baked potatoe. The next day, you eat a salad for lunch instead of a steak.

Get used to the new life. Slowly. Give yourself a chance to adapt to the new You.

Step 3: Never, ever make an exemption in the first 6-8 weeks

This is critical! If you allow yourself to make an exemption just once, it will get easier and easier for you to find reasons to justify an exemption.

  • “Oh, it’s rainy outside and I am already a little sick. I won’t exercise today.”
  • “I had such a terrible day, I just eat one piece of chocolate. I earned it because of the stressful day.”
  • “I didn’t get to bed until 3am. I have to sleep in. Otherwise I won’t be productive today.”

Believe me, I have used all of those excuses. Sooner than you think, you well sleep in daily, eat as much chocolate as you want and do not exercise at all.

For daily actions, it takes 6-8 weeks until a bad habit is erased from your psyche and overwritten with the new good habit.

After that, it will even be hard for you to go back to your old habit, because you are used to the new habit by now.

So if you really need to make an exeption, then don’t just go back to your old ways. Do something that will make your mind realize, that the habit change is still in progress.

If you promised yourself to wake up earlier and you went to bed late, just wake up early, walk around for 3-5 minutes and go back to bed.

If you wanted to exercise more and you’ve gotten sick, just put on your sports clothes go outside walk around for a few minutes and go back in.

Do little things that are easy to do to remind yourself that want to change.

If you follow these 3 principles, you will have success in breaking bad habits. After you finished one, just pick another one for the next 6-8 weeks.

And let’s be honest: Wouldn’t you love to break all your bad habits in the next 2-3 years? Don’t think you will be able to break them all at once. If you do that, you will end up with no change at all. Just pick one and stick to it.

Here are the bad habits I will break in the next year:

  • Oct- Nov. 2010: Sleeping in too long. I want to wake up at 7 am on all workdays
  • Dec.-Jan 2011: Eating too much. No sweet treats during the week, except christmas.
  • Feb. Mar 2011: Not working out enough. I will work out every day except the weekend.
  • Apr.-May 2011: This one I keep private!
  • Jun.-Jul. 2011:  Apartement not being clean. I will keep the apartement clean every day.
  • Aug.-Sept. 2011: Not enough fruit and vegetables. I will exchange one meal a day for a salad.

What are your habits you want to break? Have you (sucessfullly) tried any other methods for breaking bad habits? Feel free to leave a comment.

Get your mindset right!

The last couple of weeks I had some trouble staying motivated. One speaking event and one 3-day seminar increased my motivation to an entirely new level.

Starting to be self employed turned out to be more challenging than I have thought. Somehow it was easier for me to work on my business when I only had a few hours every weekend.

I knew I only had a few hours and the work needed to get done. I knew that some things could not be done, just because I didn’t have the time for it.

Now that I don’t have a job to go to every day, it makes it harder to get organized. There are so many things I have to do now, that I don’t even know what I should do first. This resulted in me sometimes not doing anything.

How I changed my mindset

On October 8th I went to the “9. Stuttgarter Wissenforum”, which basically is 9 hours full of excellent speakers talking about various topics from health to marketing. A very good day of getting yourself motivated, even for 129€ per ticket.

However, the most important part wasn’t this event. More important than that was the free ticket I got for the Global Internet Seminar in Böblingen for last weekend. This really changed things!

The Global Internet Seminar is a seminar where online marketing speakers from all over the world share their knowledge. The most important knowledge they tried to transfer was the right mindset.

One of the most impressive speakers was Shaun Stenning. You can read about him on various sites. What impressed me most, was his commitment to being successful. It took him 18 months just to make a single $. As soon as he made his first dollar, he started to make big money.

The lesson I learned for myself is: Having the right mindset is crucial for being successful. If you don’t have the mindset to be successful, you probably never will be. I have to believe in being successful and actually see it!

I reset my goals for my first year. I hope I will find the time to share my goals with you in the near future.




The first two weeks

The first two weeks of my new life have started. And it is a little different than I imagined. Some things turned out to be more difficult. Well, nobody said it would be easy!

Just coming off of a soul draining job in sales I guess I should have allowed myself a break. Instead, I was so nervous about the decision that I wanted to start right away.

There is only one problem. I was so busy with my job and with the renovation of my new apartement that I haven’t done any work on my projects for the last 4 months. And – believe it or not – I forgot how to do it. I can’t really focus on the things I have to do and waste too much time jumping from one task to another.

With my decision to become self employed, I started an online course at Internet Business Mastery. Although it costs $97/month, this is one of the better decisions I have taken in the last few days. The good thing is, in the beginning, they focus on finding out your inner most desires and what you really want from life.

What is your definite major purpose?

In Internet Business Mastery, they ask you to define your definite major purpose (DMP), before you start doing anything else. The definite major purpose is what you really want in your life. It is not about things to own, but about the stuff that really makes you happy.

Although I thought about my dreams and goals, I haven’t really put in the time an effort to write everything down. Also I didn’t specify my short term goals. And this is the reason, why I’ve had so much trouble focusing in the last two weeks.

I know that I want to be selfemployed. I know I want to travel around the world and see all 1000 places. But these are not very tangible goals. So defining my goals or “dreamlining” (as Tim Ferris calls it) will be my next challenge and also my next blog post.

The very next thing I will do – right after this post – is to really define my goals and set timelines for each goal. This way, I know what I am working for. This way, I will know what all this is about.

So check in shortly for a detailed report on my definite major purpose.

Passive income 101

In my recent post I talked about some myths of passive income. Now that I told you what not to expect from passive income I will start teaching you about what passive income actually is and how you can achieve it. This will be series where I show you the different ways of earning passive income with or without prior investment.

There are tons of ways to get your passive income going.  But you will see that they can be broken down in a few categories of passive income. I will tell you about the different ways and name the pros and cons of each version of passive income.

Just read through all the different possibilities of passive income and find your own way.

Different ways to get your passive income flowing

  1. Sell an informational product e.g. ebook
  2. Make money with a content website
  3. Do PPC affiliate marketing
  4. Set up your automated online shop
  5. Passive income through investments
  6. Sell stock photography
  7. Earn money through article
  8. Set up a premium membership website
  9. Invent something and sell the patent
  10. Offer an outsourceable service

These are the topics I will write about in the next few weeks. If you have another idea which doesn’t fit in any of the 10 categories, leave a comment so I can put it on the list.