Leaving Work Behind

My Monthly Income Report — April 2013

Written by Tom Ewer on May 7, 2013. 49 Comments

Image Credit: We Love Costa Rica

Celebrate any progress. Don’t wait to get perfect. ~ Ann McGee Cooper (tweet this)

I constantly remind myself that life is short and one should live each day accordingly, but conflicts often arise from this way of thinking.

For instance, life is short so I should strive to earn money so that I can afford all of the things I would love: a bigger house, a better car, and so on. Yet at the same time, life is too short to spend all of your time working, isn’t it? Therefore, what each of us must find is our own personal equilibrium — a balanced and ultimately satisfying involvement in every aspect of our lives.

That is something I have been working hard on in April and will continue to work hard on through May and beyond, and it could have a direct impact on my earnings. Read on to find out how I got on last month and what the future may hold for me.

What Happened in April?

Although it may not seem the case now, I may look back on April as one of the most influential months of this year, or possibly even my life.

Why? Because it’s the month I made my most deliberate and committed step towards getting in shape ever by starting the P90X Program. Over the next three months I will eat healthily and work on every aspect of my fitness in an attempt to get in better shape than I have ever been.

Although I am hoping for big results within the three month program, I am also hoping that my involvement in P90X will act as a foundation for a lifestyle of healthier and fitter living. If itย doesn’tย then at least I will know that I have tried.

My thinking is simple: I do not want to get to sixty years of age having never truly been in shape and not having known what it would’ve taken. If I get in tip top condition and decide that it’s not worth the sacrifice, fair enough. But I want to give myself at least a chance of knowing what it would be like, so that I can make an informed decision.

In other news, my home office was finished in April, as I revealed to my Facebook page a few weeks ago:

My home office

I’m really happy with it, although I need to get some things up on the wall plus a nice plant! Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section ๐Ÿ™‚

In terms of my business, April was actually pretty low-key — I didn’t do a great deal beyond my “normal” scope of works. That seemed to align with my prediction in last month’s income report that April would not be a record month, but how did it end up? Let’s see!

Monthly Income Report — April 2013

  1. Freelance writing:
    • Income: $5,191.84
    • Expenditure: $19.95
    • Profit: $5,171.89 ($131 per hour equivalent)
  2. Websites:
    • Income: $10.12
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $10.12
  3. Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
  4. Information Products:
    • Income: $1,236.56
    • Expenditure: $134.88
    • Profit: $1,101.68
  5. eBooks:
    • Income: $75.56
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $75.56

Total profit for April 2013: $7,977.67

I’ve managed to squeeze by with yet another record, surpassing last month’s previous best by over $500! I also narrowly avoided breaking the $8,000 mark. I was really happy with this outcome, especially given its unexpectedness.

I put this month’s new record down to three things:

  1. Solid freelance earnings: I continue to attract new clients, increase my rates and optimize my workflow to make more money.
  2. Westhost affiliate earnings: This month I made a concerted effort to promote Westhost with some minor tweaks and by publishing this post. It paid off! You can expect more information on my approach to affiliate marketing in a future post.
  3. Information product earnings: These continue to tick along at a fairly healthy level. I’m happy if earnings stay above $1,000 but I would like to see them increase.

You may also notice my paltry eBook earnings. My journey into Kindle publishing has not been a successful one, and while Iย could probably do more to optimize my efforts and make more money, I simply don’t think it’s worth my time.

I put my failure down to two things:

  1. A lack of reviews: A handful of the thousands of people who downloaded my books for free were extremely generous in giving them positive reviews (in fact, I don’t think I’ve received a single review below four stars), but I’ve only managed to attract 32 reviews across all five books that I published. That’s simply not enough to get them to rank highly for key terms.
  2. The subject matter: quite simply, I just don’t think enough people are interested in online freelance writing to make it a sexy prospect. Or perhaps if they are, they’re searching for different terms on Amazon.

I think now is the time to cut off my involvement with Kindle publishing. I may return to it in the future, but for now I have bigger fish to fry.

At this point I feel that while I can continue to build my affiliate and information product earnings steadily, if I want to earn considerably more I need to do something new and different. So that’s what I’m focusing on.

My Authority Site

Longtime readers of Leaving Work Behind may remember that I launched the One Hour Authority Site Project back in September 2012.

In the eight months since then it has consistently been neglected due to my focus in other areas (such as my information product and Kindle eBooks). I have mentioned in more than one income report that I intend to make good on my intentions to give it a fair crack of the whip, but I have yet to do so.

With that in mind, I’m not going to make any promises — especially given the amount of work I have on at the moment. However, what Iย will say is that I have an interesting idea for the site that could help me to develop it further with minimal time input. It may involve you. Stay tuned!

P90X Journal

A big new project of mine is my new blog: P90X Journal.

It will represent what I believe is an unprecedented look at the trials and tribulations of following the P90X program. I will journal everything from my food intake, to my workout results, to my thoughts and feelings about my journey to peak fitness.

My primary reason for doing this is to hold myself accountable to my commitment. I am determined not to give up on my endeavour, and going public with it will make it all the more difficult for me to do so.

However, I do a have a secondary goal.ย Ifย I am successful in getting fit and healthy with P90X and can demonstrate radical results, the blog could become a potential source for affiliate referrals. I am not working towards this at present (I’m not even using affiliate links) but it is something I have in the back of my mind.

This will be taking up a lot of my time over the next three months, but I do also hope to have time for something I am really excited about.

Leaving Work Behind: The Book

For a very long time I have aspired to produce a manifesto for Leaving Work Behind — a handbook for those who want to quit their jobs and build a successful online business. As time has gone on and I have spent time outlining this project, it was become more apparent to me that I have a book on my hands.

However, it wouldn’t be just another “make money online” book. I would delve deep into the underlying principles behind the Leaving Work Behind ethos and its often contrarian approach to business and life. I would only publish it on the basis that I strongly believed it could change lives. There are so many people out there who may have all the determination in the world but simply don’t have what I perceive to be the correct outlook. I want to help those people apply themselves in theย right way.

I see the creation of this book as a huge step in rounding out the Leaving Work Behind brand. It would make clear everything that this blog stands for and would hopefully vastly increase Leaving Work Behind’s exposure within the blogosphere and to the world in general.

It’s a huge project, no doubt, but one that I am very excited about.

What’s in Store for May?

I need to get my house in order this month.

P90X is a little like having a part-time job and I have yet to find a way to effectively integrate it within my working days without it having a pretty major impact on the available hours I have. It has become clear to me that with P90X on my radar, I simply won’t have as much time to put into my business. What effect this has on my earnings remains to be seen.

Otherwise, I will be soldiering on as per usual with my freelance writing work and I may even get some time to work on my book project. I have so many ideas and so little time in which to implement them, but if I keep my eyes on myย current projects I am excited about what could result!

Make Your Start as a Beginner Freelance Writer

We're sure you've had enough of hollow promises and get-rich-quick schemes.

We don't buy into that stuff; it's never worked for us. Instead, we create profitable online businesses through nothing other than hard work and persistence.

Enter your email address below to get our best tips for getting a head start on the learning curve with our ebook "How to Make Your Start as a Beginner Freelance Writer" right away! Learn 10 ways to make money, how to set income expectations, and choose your niche in this comprehensive guide.

49 Responses to “My Monthly Income Report — April 2013”

  1. Mike From Maine
    May 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Tom, nice to see you continuing to have success.

    I’m also beginning to publish on Kindle, and it’s not as easy as some people say it is…but I’m going to keep trying.

  2. moseskerub
    May 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Leaving work behind book ha? sounds cool! seems like everyone is writing books these days, next move- to the theaters!

    nice to see your WestHost earning, pretty inspiring.

    BTW, what do you mean by information products? I mean theres your freelance writing, affiliate earnings, eBooks, and your freelance writing course… OK I answered myself, thanks

    • Tom Ewer
      May 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      It’s the old writer’s cliche Moses — we all want to be authors!

      You got it — the freelance writing course.

  3. Marketing Resultant
    May 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    What are you charging for freelance writing? I’ve got an opportunity for this, but I’m not 100% certain what my rate should be.

  4. Pablo
    May 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Always enjoy reading these. Good luck with p90x! I tried it out a few years back, but didn’t end up finishing. I made it to day 46 then I went on a trip for a while, came back and never started it. Even then, I got into great shape and that was without following the food plan, just doing the exercises.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Man, Day 46 then you quit! That’s a great effort — good to read you got good results. That’s encouraging ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. John W
    May 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Very nice! I think you’ll see that the more fit you get, the better things in life come your way. I can’t scientifically prove that…but it seems to be the case. I think P90X can help anyone become more disciplined not only in fitness, but in business as well. If you don’t have discipline, you probably won’t survive as your own boss.

    Congrats on the record month! =)

  6. David shaw
    May 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Great stuff Tom, you deserve every cent (penny) you earn! ๐Ÿ™‚ have you considered a podcast? You could be the uk version of Pat Flynn :))

    • Tom Ewer
      May 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      I’ve considered it many times David and I’m really tempted to launch one. It would however take a big commitment, which is the only thing that holds me back. Not making any surprises, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I launched a podcast by the end of the year…

  7. Sibo
    May 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Tom, nice income for April, but I am more into your new P90X Journal.

    I started a challenge to myself to lose 45lbs in 1 year about 23 days ago and I lost about 9 pounds up to today. I decided to document everything to inspire myself and others, so I am posting my daily calorie intake on my Facebook page, post weekly summary with tips on Warrior Forum and plan to post monthly summary onto my own blog. While waiting for Pat Flynn’s NSD2.0, I just bought my niche site domain to keep track of progress and join NSD2.0.

    Today I just found that you are doing the same thing by documenting your progress on you new P90XJournal.net. I am very excited about it and I will go to your site on regular base to share fitness experience with you.

    Good luck with you new adventure!

    • Tom Ewer
      May 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Hey Sibo,

      Congrats on the weight loss so far! That’s great work. It’s really interesting to read that you’re doing something similar and I’d heartily welcome any feedback you have over at P90X Journal ๐Ÿ™‚



      • Sibo
        May 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        Just checked the site out. It looked great. I just registered Bluehost to my new purchased domain. Once my site is up (should be ready by tomorrow), I will communicate with at your P90X Journal site.

        Keep up the great work, Tom!

  8. Daryl
    May 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hey Tom,

    Great work for the month!

    I’m wondering if the lack of interest in your Kindle books is just due to the platform? I’m not really sure that I see many information products released through the Kindle platform (I could be wrong).
    Could it be possible that people much prefer reading a long ebook that they paid a decent sum for than to pay a couple buck for a short ebook? Maybe it’s simply the customer not perceiving the value due to the cost?

    Lots of questions there.

    But congrats again on the great work on the affiliate earnings from Westhost, and I’m surprised that you have managed to keep up the ebook sales! Good job still though

    • Tom Ewer
      May 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Daryl,

      You could well be right — there could be more to it than I’ve outlined above. Having said that, I know plenty of people who have succeeded with the short eBook format.



  9. microtasker
    May 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Tom

    Congrats on another record month.
    Where on earth do you get the time and energy to do everything you do?
    The book sound like a good idea – as well as a good way of increasing exposure and traffic.
    Fair play to you for putting your money where your mouth is with affiliate products. P90X is a tough cookie of a workout program.

    Can I ask you, honestly how much time do you spend on your business daily? Including everything from research, writing, publishing, twitter – the lot? If you say less than 20 hours per week you’re either superman or a bullshitter:)

    I ask because I struggle to get 2-3 hours per day “free time” after work and family commitments. How much can your realistically get done in say 2-3 hours per day.


    • Tom Ewer
      May 9, 2013 at 1:18 am

      Hi Jamie,

      To be honest I don’t work *that* much — perhaps 5-6 hours per day on average. It’s just about being efficient when you do work!

      2-3 hours is loads of time. I probably worked on my side endeavours less than that before I quit my job, so you’ve got no excuse ๐Ÿ˜‰



  10. frenchadele
    May 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Hi Tom, I appreciate that you are very clear and detailed with your plans and progress. No secrets! (Well, none that we need to know anyway)

  11. Sofie
    May 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Hi Tom,

    Really looking forward to reading more about your affiliate approach. I’ve tried it on my site, but don’t think I gave it the attention it needed and as it didn’t really pay off, I kind of let it go.

  12. Benny
    May 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I like the home office! Lots of natural light coming in. Very simple in design as well.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 9, 2013 at 1:20 am

      Thanks Benny! I like to keep things simple because being creative with home decor frightens me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Filipe
    May 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I would fill that big white wall with a printing of a quote you love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Mike Collins
    May 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Hey Tom,

    I discovered you through your articles on Steve Chou’s blog and came here looking for more informative and engaging writing. Your freelance income is impressive and I just started reading about your one-hour authority site case study…I’m interested to see what kind of success you have in today’s world or penguins and pandas.


    • Tom Ewer
      May 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Mike! The authority site project is definitely a slow burner but I’m looking to kick it into gear in the coming weeks.

  15. Paul Kridakorn
    May 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Hey Tom! Congratulation with your outcome.

    I am also looking forward to your book.

  16. Jeanne
    May 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Great income report. You’re quite the inspiration.

    Good luck with P90X. I’ve done Insanity, which is the perfect title for that program. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Kevin Striker
    May 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Came across your blog via Zac Johnson post and glad I did. I have very similar interests to you and I’m following a similar path. Enjoyed the post greatly and hope you don’t mind, as your candid account of income and similar philosophy on work/life balance is not only inspiring, but is something I intend to ‘study’ closely. Love the idea of how posting what you do automatically makes you accountable and pushes you further. Great idea. Looking forward to witnessing your success!

  18. Joanne Munro
    May 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Hi Tom,

    Firstly can I say how useful your website it. Along with Location 180 it’s my favourite site and it really is a pleasure to read. It looks great, the UI is smooth, and the content is well written – so thanks for that!

    Also if you’re looking into fitness you might also want to take a look at Nerd Fitness if you haven’t already as I think their way of looking at things would also suit you.

    In regards to your office… now THAT’S my speciality! You might want to get some storage in there so perhaps some stacker baskets to keep copy paper and whatnot. A big chalk board or pinboard would help to keep track of what you’ve got going on and need to do, and you also want some good lighting to make it a pleasure to work in.

    I’m in the process of writing a one-stop shop website for wannabe Virtual Assistants and have a Pinterest board of realistic office spaces if you’re interested in getting some Pinsperation (sorry) which you can find here: http://pinterest.com/jojomunroro/realistic-home-offices/

    Thanks again for the transparency and being so inspiring Tom!

    • Tom Ewer
      May 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Hey Joanne,

      Love Nerd Fitness — although I’ve only ever communicated with Steve Kamb via email he seems like a great guy.

      No storage needed thankfully — I like the minimalistic look! Although a chalk board would be great in principle I doubt I would use it after the novelty wore off.

      I’m not a big Pinterest user but that’s a great gallery! I’m going to check it out in more depth now.



  19. Harry
    August 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

    That’s great work Tom. Hope to see you continuing with the same momentum in the coming months. By the way, what’s your primary source of getting clients for freelance writing services?

    • Tom Ewer
      August 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      They come to me Harry — either through this blog or from bylines on client sites. By far the best way to get clients!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *