2022 – A year in review of Dividends & Passive Income

2022 turned out to be a really good year for me, not with just investing, but learning new skills. I spent a lot of time learning new digital marketing and SEO techniques. This started to help my sales towards the later half of the year. I don’t have the numbers on hand but my music website so a HUGE increase in visitors the last 12 months, at least doubled.

Here is a brief look at the growth that occurred from 2021 to 2022. I will preface this by saying my dividend income did drop from 2020 to 2021, so a very small portion of this is a recovery. Not to mention I began concentrating less on dividend Investing and more on ETFs with total return.

2021 to 2022 growth2020 to 2022 growth
Digital Products129%53%
Patreon9.37%291%
Digital Courses34%24%
Dividends39%29%
Youtube Income-12%225%
Passive Income growth from 2020 to 2022

Digital Products

Digital Products had the most growth. This was directly related to my enhanced SEO efforts on my website. In addition, I discovered in 2021 that customers had some issues adding things to their cart due to some plugin issues. My digital product sales continue to grow each month, not only due to better digital marketing, but also because I’m simply adding new products every few months.

Patreon

I was a bit disappointed in my Patreon growth this year. I really have no answers, the majority of content creators in my field of music are more successful than I am at this. I can’t complain because it’s adding thousands of dollars of income to my yearly income. However, I do wish my efforts paid off more. I’ve partly decided it’s because I ironically add new content too much. It seems the more successful creators barely post material. I know that sounds crazy! So, I’ve cut back on my Patreon-only member stuff and I’m focusing my efforts on my YouTube channel.

Digital Courses:

A decent year for digital courses. I did have a decrease in income from Skillshare. This was offset by new income from Udemy. I just started using Udemy six moths ago. Udemy added a few hundred bucks to my yearly income in a short period of time. I unfortunately just got word that Teachable is no longer going to allow me to sell multiple courses without paying for an upgraded membership. This will probably shave some income off in 2023. However, I’m contemplating just uploading the videos on my website, as I have new and improved hosting. I’ve created a few landing pages on my website for my online courses, hopefully these start to pay off in the next six months.

Dividends:

I will take a 39% increase in dividends any day of the week. Now, I can’t tell you how much of this is due to companies increasing their dividend versus how much is from new money I added to my accounts. I just know it’s an increase in income. The dividends are up 29% over the last two years. I will say I did add less money to my brokerage account in 2022 (luckily), I concentrated more on purchasing fixed income investments like bonds. Next year I’ll report my bond income (which will be a fair amount).

Using trackmydividends.com, it’s already projecting a 16% increase in dividend income for 2023. This is only after one month into the year. I’ve been adding more to my accounts each week and I plan to be more aggressive with my equity investing this year.

Youtube

My Youtube income dropped 12% on the year. Of all my passive income sources, this was the worst result. Why? I concentrated more on YouTube shorts in 2022. This led to higher subscriber growth and views; however, the ad revenue from shorts is poor. YouTube seems to really be punishing some creators with the longer form videos. My videos that are over 10 minutes just never take off with the views. The algorithm is not recommending them and I don’t have time to endlessly promote them. My plan is to continue growing my subscriber base and switch to some longer form videos occasionally this year. I did just activate the “super tip” feature on my channel which is already leading to higher monthly income from YouTube. Lastly, YouTube is going to start paying more ad revenue for shorts starting next month, this should help. I remain confident that 2023 will be my highest grossing Youtube revenue year.

My Game Plan:

Even though I don’t have the numbers in front of me, I will say the first month of 2023 is looking strong. I’ve literally made more from Amazon Affiliates in January already than I did the ENTIRE year of 2021. In addition, this website is starting to bring in some Google Adsense revenue which it really hasn’t before. Due to the content (finance), the ad revenue is better than my music webpage per click.

I plan to continue hitting my YouTube Channel hard to grow new fans. I am also in the process of writing some music books and recording music. This should lead to more passive income in 2023 both directly and indirectly. One thing I do plan on doing different is instead of publishing individual pieces of music, I’m going to begin releasing more into COLLECTIONS. I can charge more for collections and I feel they can be better presented to an audience.

I’d like to do at least one new course for the year. At the same time, it’s hard for me to warrant putting lots of time into courses if they don’t provide a basic return. So, part of me feels I need to have some success with the multiple courses I’ve already created before I go to adding more, haha. I’ve also contemplated releasing one of my courses for free on Youtube and just let the ad revenue pay for itself. There is a CHANCE I would make more money from YouTube than I would trying to sell the courses elsewhere, not sure yet.

I have FOUR websites, one of which is purely an affiliate website. It’s brought in a small income from Amazon links. There is a good chance I will continue to add to it and at least get it to the point it’s paying for itself. It currently isn’t running ads, I MAY add a small amount of ads to it.