Leaving Work Behind

My Monthly Income Report — December 2012

Written by Tom Ewer on January 7, 2013. 30 Comments

New Year’s celebrations in my sister’s neighbourhood.

What a year! I have to pinch myself to check I’m not dreaming.

Sure — I’m not living a millionaire lifestyle, nor am I rich or successful by many people’s standards. Nor do I take a position amongst the “make money online” elite. But I am happy, financially secure, I like my work, and I live what I consider a balanced and fulfilled life.

I am writing this post from my sister’s house in Houston where I have spent the past couple of weeks chilling out with family, because I can work from anywhere in the world (laptop and internet connection permitting). In short, I count myself incredibly lucky to be where I am.

I’m happy with how things have gone this month — not because I have made loads of money (I haven’t) but because I have been able to enjoy life as I please and still earn enough to pay all of my bills. And in my opinion, that is far more important than being rich or successful.

Now let’s find out how I got on!

What Happened in December?

December was the calm after the storm (what with the launch of my first information product in November). I knew that I wouldn’t have a chance of making as much money as I did in November, but I knew that if I focused on developing existing income streams (especially my information product), I would be able to build upon the foundations of what I had started.

I planned on working hard on the One Hour Authority Site Project but soon found that I simply didn’t have the time. I could have made the time but I’d rather enjoy each day than overwork myself for no particularly justifiable reason.

I also launched a Kindle version of my freelance writing guide on Amazon, and carried on with my freelance work as per usual. So how did it all go?

Monthly Income Report — December 2012

  1. Freelance writing:
    • Income: $3,775.12
    • Expenditure: $19.70
    • Profit: $3,755.42
  2. Websites:
    • Income: $4.23
    • Expenditure: $51.43
    • Profit: -$47.20
  3. Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
    • Income: $154.14
    • Expenditure: $73
    • Profit: $81.14
  4. Information Products:
    • Income: $893
    • Expenditure: $408.84
    • Profit: $484.16
  5. eBooks:
    • Income: $40.85
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $40.85

Total profit for December 2012: $4,314.37

On the face of it these numbers seem pretty disappointing — my lowest earnings since September 2012. However, things are not as they seem.

Take my freelance writing income for instance — I made a little more than I did in November but got nowhere near the $4,000+ months before that. However, I did just 41 hours of freelance work in the entire month — that’s less than two hours per weekday on average. My equivalent hourly rate was $92 — an increase of nearly $20 per hour over last month. This was largely down to releasing a low-paying client, improvements in productivity, and negotiating higher rates with ongoing clients. You can expect to read more about what I did to maximise my rate in future posts.

Now let’s look at my net information product income — just $484. That’s around one quarter of November’s return. However, the gross income was in fact nearly $900 — the expenditure was largely made up of investments in improving the product (due to the upcoming re-launch with additional price points). My short term aim is for the guide to make over $1,000 per month (gross), so I’m really happy with my progress in December — especially since I have so much more to do in terms of the new price points and sales page optimization.

I’ve already admitted the abject failure of my first eBook, but that has hardly dissuaded me from pushing on with a totally new strategy that I am feeling really optimistic about.

In other news I was a little disappointed to see my affiliate income decrease quite dramatically this month, but I’ve always been expectant of that possibility. I hope to spend a fair bit of time this month on continuing to optimize my site to increase affiliate income earnings (whilst still making sure that my approach is still completely open, honest and legitimate).

What’s in Store for January?

I am really excited about 2013 — I think it could be a big year for me. Whilst I’m not big on setting financial/numbers-based goals, I would love to make six figures (gross) this year. I hope to look back on this post in December and know that I did what I could to make that happen.

As for January, there is plenty to be getting on with. I am launching the new price points for my guide, the first in a series of Kindle mini-eBooks (sign up here to get them free!) and working on One Hour Authority Site Project — not to mention my freelance work!

I’ve got loads of ideas that I would like to start work on but I need to make some time for them first — which means finishing off existing work. With that in mind I plan for January to be a month of consolidation — I would like to have a good idea of when I will start my next project by the end of the month. Because let’s face it — the projects you’re not doing are often the most exciting!

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30 Responses to “My Monthly Income Report — December 2012”

  1. Dustin
    January 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Nice bud,
    Thanks for sharing! I am doing something similar on my site too. Good luck in January!

  2. daniel
    January 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Nice work Tom,

    The future of this year is bright–my expectations are high and I’m hoping to break through 2 to 4 figures as a freelance writer. I believe I will get there– nothing is impossible if you believe and you’re hardworking.

    Thanks for this post– I’m really challenged


  3. Sandra
    January 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    This is great, Tom. thanks for sharing this – and congrats on the ProBlogger nod!

  4. Jacko
    January 8, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Extremely inspirational Tom, Thanks for sharing your results.

    Posts like this keep us going.

    Time is the most valuable resource.

    If you calculated your income by free time you’re waay beyond a Millionaire.

    How many rich people actually have time to enjoy life?

  5. Financial Samurai
    January 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Tom, so long as you’re happy and doing what you want, that’s all the matters. $4,500 a month is one step closer towards your millions!

    Congrats! Sam

  6. Sarah Russell
    January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    What a great feeling to make enough money to pay your bills and live comfortably off the income you produce online 🙂

    Congrats, and I’m looking forward to joining you in the “first time ever grossing six figures online” club during 2013!

  7. Laura
    January 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve done my homework now Tom 😉 Really really pleased for you, what a new year you must have had reflecting on 2012. It was fantastic to read through your story in such detail and hearing all the highs and lows. Very valuable stuff for those of us just starting out.

    I will be following the blog for sure and hope to be where you are one day.

  8. Military Money
    January 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Tom – awesome work, another solid month. I’m really excited to see where your blog goes in 2013 and how your information product fares. I’m working on one myself right now, with a planned launch later in 2013. Good luck!

    • Tom Ewer
      January 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Hi there,

      So far the information product has been selling really well — down in no small part to a new sales page I am testing. Things are looking good on that front and I’ll publish all my findings!



  9. R.C. Thornton
    January 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Just getting into your blog Tom, and I’m really impressed! I really enjoy how you’re transparent about your goals and their outcomes. I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles as they come.

  10. Susan Wowe
    January 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Really like to read your stories. Keep up good work. You are my inspiration.

  11. Billy Murphy
    January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Any big negatives or positives from posting income reports? If so, would be interested in hearing about them.

    • Tom Ewer
      January 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Hey Billy,

      Glad to see you’re writing again.

      Income reports are great for holding you accountable to your goals and writing down your plans often gives you perspective (I sometimes find myself changing my mind as to what I’m going to do further to writing an income report).

      There aren’t really any downsides unless you are concerned with privacy issues.



  12. Tina Landa
    January 23, 2013 at 5:14 am


    I am so impressed and clearly motivated with your income reports. It keeps me motivated that with the right training and learning then this is a viable way to stay home and work with my disabled child.

    Thanks for sharing and for the transparency in where you are. I appreciate it very much! I made my first affiliate commission promoting on my social networks and although it is only 7.00 it made my day and I smiled :). It has taken a long time to get here. I am hoping this year will be the year that things pay off. I would love to see 4,500/month this year at some point and then build goals from there!

    Thanks and Happy 2013!!!

    • Tom Ewer
      January 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Hey Tina,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Now you’ve got your first affiliate sale it’s just a case of scaling it up! Easier said than done but the first sale is the hardest…



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