The year's almost over and it might be useful for us to recap a bit, especially those of us who have been doing IM for a while. I've made roughly the same in 2012 and 2013, but I've had some friends straight up leave IM this year, unlike any other year. I've had to spend a less time backlinking because I'm using tools less and purchasing more PR backlinks, cost of doing business is going up. I've had to spend A LOT more time writing and outsourcing content, and paying coders to make more advanced sites. My thin sites stopped performing as well early in 2013. I'm doing less EMDs and instead making sites with a general niche that have 5-20 sub-niches within. Overall I'm definitely putting more work in for the same profit, but the sites I have will probably generate revenue much longer than before so I'm looking forward to 2014. I'm competing with noobs less as less noobs are even able to break in. As far as penalties I've probably been a bit lucky, but I'm doing more guest posting and more grey style backlinking. The people I see getting penalties are using very public PBNs and overdoing low quality links.