Each month I publish a fully transparent income report which documents my online earnings. These income reports exist to demonstrate my progress, share my experiences, and motivate others who want to make money online.

Check out my online income report for September 2013.

What I Did In September

Apologies for this very late income report, I have been extremely busy and distracted. September was a really significant month for me, though it wasn’t as financially rewarding as recent months. But I’ll get to that in a minute…

During September I actually managed to find time to work on what I wanted to. My upcoming game, Aeon Chapters, was my primary focus, while my other work took a backseat. Limiting my focus to just Aeon Chapters did cost me money, but I consider it to be a very important project worth making time for.

Aeon Chapter’s development log discusses my progress in more detail, but notably I worked on redesigning the entire project, launching an official website for the game, and porting the prototype to iPad. So far, I’m really enjoying working on Aeon Chapters, and while it will be quite an investment over the coming months, I’m looking forward to spending more time on it.

On the topic of spending, September brought about a shift in my approach to money. Last month I briefly discussed my intention to be less reckless with my highly expendable income, and to start cutting down on my living expenses. It turns out it was a good month to start. Even though I purchased a new iPhone 5S for work, I did manage to spend much less than usual. I’m currently in the process of saving for the 30 day holiday to Hong Kong that I have planned for January 2014.

This month I began looking into passport registration, which is a tedious process, and setting up travel arrangements. The biggest obstacle at this point is simply saving up the money to go. Unfortunately, September through to January were some of the lowest-earning months for me last year, so I’m going to have to work really hard to save the amount I need.

Income Report

September wasn’t that great, financially. I must have jinxed myself in my previous income report when I said: “While my plan each month is to make at least $2000 online, I have been consistently overshooting that mark for quite a while now.”

Compared to recent months, September was a below-average month. But, my online income has proven time and time again that it is far from consistent.

$120 ($220) – Licensing
$240 (+$22) – Website income
$720 ($240) – Book sales
$955 (-$2631) – HTML5 income

During September 2013 I earned a total of $2035 ($3069) online!

It’s interesting to see how the past 3 months – July, August, September – compared to the same time period last year in 2012. Revisiting my income reports from that time: July 2012 was a very strong month, August 2012 was a very strong month, and then September 2012 crashed to around $2000. This year, it’s happened again! I believe it’s a pattern influenced by the HTML5 market, and not so much a coincidence since many months this year have been reflecting the past.

Earning $2000 online in a month is still enough to pay my bills and living expenses. It’s certainly not a bad month, it’s just not as good as recent ones. Anything over $2000 is a bonus as far as I’m concerned.

What’s Next?

I have very specific goals for October. Moving focus away from Aeon Chapters is going to be a necessity, but in general I just need to work harder than I have been lately. Recently I’ve been working less hours per day than I really should be. I seem to be getting a bit complacent when I should really be trying to push my boundaries further.

My primary goal for October is to work on four new HTML5 mobile games, and finish them within 48 hours each (taking a break between each game, of course). This should give me enough new content to finish the year on a high note. Creating four highly polished and refined games in a short period is going to be difficult and draining, but I’ll do my best and see what the result is. On top of that, I also plan to complete my passport application, and finalize my taxes for the past financial year. The latter is actually going to be very tedious and time-consuming, so I’m not looking forward to that at all…

October is set to be a very challenging and exhausting month. I just hope it’s a bit more profitable than September!

  • Jarvannis says:

    Hi Matthew, congratulations for all you did since you began.

    I have a question, which you maybe d’ont have the answer. I’m french, and I would like to create HTML5 games too, but the market is not as developed as it is in USA (and even in the USA, i guess it’s only starting :-) ).

    Do you think I should try with foreign companies (principally USA in my case) or should I try some french general game plateforms instead ? I mean I would try both, but what do you think is more worth it ?

    Thanks and congratulations again :)

    • Matthew says:

      Hi, thank you for your comment.

      You should try to think internationally, not nationally. I’m from Australia, for example, and there is no active HTML5 market here but I still manage to sell my games to an international clientèle. So don’t limit yourself by only selling to French companies…you might as well go global :)

      • Jarvannis says:

        Thanks for reply, I didn’t know you were australian ! so very helpful answer, thank you !

        See ya,

        PS: “clientèle”, love your french touch :D

  • ninja turtle says:

    Hi Matthew, html5 is a gold mine right now, what about 5 years later?

    • Matthew says:

      Well, I can’t see into the future but I’m expecting the market to become a combination of the Flash and mobile app markets. Can I keep up? I think so, certainly for a long time yet.

  • HTML5Noobie says:

    Hi Matt,
    Last month you had very little advertisement income because one of the advertisers was late and you said you’ll include it this month. Now I don’t see any ad income this month. What is the case?

    • Matthew says:

      Hi there.

      This month I decided to merge affiliate income and website advertising income into one category, and also merge HTML5 advertising revenue and HTML5 sponsor revenue into one category. It’s a bit more streamlined and straight-forward this way. Some readers have been confused by the differences between some of the categories previously.

      This month, I merged the unreported advertising revenue from last month into the HTML5 income category.

      • HTML5Noobie says:

        That’ is nice, but I am very interested in HTML5 ads, as they are like a passive income. I was expecting you’d have over 1K just from ads (previous + this month). Now I see you have less than 1K from 2 months ads + html5 sponsorships. Could you explain just for me the breakdown this month, please :)

        • Matthew says:

          I do not rely greatly on ad revenue, as you can see from my previous income reports where I have reported fairly conservative ad revenues. Sponsorships in some ways can still be passive, for example when a publisher sponsors a game for a monthly fee.

          As appealing as ad revenue may be as a passive income stream, it is much less profitable to focus on HTML5 ad revenue as opposed to sponsorships.

  • Claggyful says:

    Glad to see this finally online! I’ve been looking forward to it since last months report.
    I thought I should congratulation you on your recent successes and the passive income you have built. Like you say, it isn’t like $2000 isn’t a lot of money. It’s a really good amount of money to make almost entirely via a passive stream.

    I wish you luck in the coming months, and look forward to your next income report!

    • Matthew says:

      Thank you very much, I appreciate the support. Certainly, $2000 is still a lot of money, especially to earn solely online. This month is entirely made up of passive income so in some regards it’s as impressive as many other reports.

      Thanks for reading!