Welcome to my income diary. If you wonder how do websites make money and how to make money with a website, you may find my reports useful.
I will keep my promise of releasing monthly reports on my online income. In 2017, I am currently projected to make $15k on online income.
I’ve received many e-mails concerning this matter. Most people ask me “What can I do to start a side online business?” or “What can I do to make a few hundred bucks at the end of the month”? First, know that I offer consulting services for this, on 1:1 consultations. Either way, let me hash out a general recipe here:
0) Choose a niche. Many people choose niches based on keyword search. I highly recommend people to blog about what they are passionate about instead. If you add value, any niche will work out for you.
1) Set up a website. I host my website on Bluehost, which I highly recommend. For one, its cheap, two is highly reliable. If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial here, to help you start off.
2) Blog. A lot. You may have noticed that I’ve posted twice in the month, on specific months, when I started From cents to Retirement. Doesn’t work. It won’t tie people in, it won’t please search engines and your blog will rapidly be forgotten. Note that I am not saying “publish crap”. Do not, if you expect to have loyal fans and grow. But do not forget to publish.
3) Promote your blog. A big part of having your blog out there for people to see is through high quality posts – eventually, people will share. Promoting your blog will not only get it out there faster but deeper. Promoting your blog can be very hard, but its necessary.
4) Monetize. Adsense is an option. I like Amazon a lot. If you offer consultancy services, as I do, you need to show you can do it yourself first, but clients will pop up eventually.
So, how did I make $109.69 this month? First, the breakdown:
Total : $109.69
Disclaimer: the BlueHost and the Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that I get commissions if you buy products or services through them. The amounts reported above are before any fees, taxes or expenses. I can’t say exactly how much I will net from this.
This month, I had another (and consecutive) decrease in terms of views. In particular, traffic decreased even more than last month, achieving only 21k views. It’s funny how ironic this is because I never worked so much for the blog as in February. As I show below, I’ve only had about 21k, which is really low in comparison to the results I had in the past months, and really nothing compared to the goal I have to hit 100-150k this year.
This is the worst result since September, when I started to blog more often. In December, I made over $1000 online, and last month I’ve made more than $350. I think that at this point, I should be averaging about $500 per month, and dramatically increase this number after July. Therefore, I am clearly not happy with the result this month. At the same time, I didn’t focus at all on driving traffic to the blog, so I am not surprised that traffic actually dropped even further. This will change in the next months, I bet!
I averaged about 800 sessions a day:
without spikes. I have exactly 50%-%50 sessions in terms of new and returning visitors, and a very high bouncing rate of 74.20%. Nothing changed here: this is due to my horrible template, which I am already working on and plan to change in March. 🙂
My Alexa rank is very good (283k globally is a heck of a good result!), but I think that Alexa is based on the traffic in last 3 months, so I will have to work hard to compensate losing the stats from December:
In January, my Facebook page grew by 116 likes, to very close to 400 likes. If you remember correctly, I said this was not good, but this month I have even performed worse, growing my Facebook page by only 31 likes (an increase of about 8%). If I continued to grow my facebook page at 8% compound, I’d have 930 likes by the end of the year, which is nothing compared to my goal of 25.000 likes. I need to work on promoting my facebook page, but right now I am not as concerned with this as I am with the traffic, because social media will be the cornerstone of part II of my crazy SEO experiment (check out part I here), and I expect massive increases of likes. Due to the strategies I use, I don’t consider that a higher view count will necessarily translate into a higher number of facebook likes. Traffic is in general good to increase subscribers, not social media likes and followers.
I must say that as Pinterest doesn’t work that well for me, so I don’t keep track of its growth anymore. I plan to hire a VA to take care of it for me, and boost my traffic from Pinterest.
The subscriber count grew from 841 to 900, wich means an increase of about 7%. I think that the goal of reaching 6000 subscribers until the end of the year is totally achievable (although a 7% compound would only get me to 1750), because traffic will certainly grow, which will bring a lot of subscribers. For instance, in March-April, I expect to grow to at least 1500 subscribers (the reason being me knowing that there will be lots of traffic driven to the blog in these months). After that, I expect SEO to take off and generate enough subscribers to grow steadily.
I have started to have way more social interaction this month. For example, my last income report had 88 Facebook likes.
Goals for February 2017:
- Have over 15% of my traffic from search, due to SEO optimization. FAIL. (but I know understand that it will take a lot more to take off! Plus, I need to correct the mobile friendliness and bouncing rate ASAP!)
- Increase my traffic from Social Media. DONE! (although not to the extent I would like. Next month, I am at 15% of my traffic to come from social media)
- Reach at least 50k views on my blog. FAIL. (I decided to change my strategy for February, by doing a crazy – and time-consuming – SEO experiment which drained most of my energy and time)
- Make over $1000 online. FAIL. (this was also largely affected by changing the strategy)
- Surpass 1100 subscribers. FAIL. (this was also largely affected by changing the strategy)
Goals till March 31st:
- Increase the number of likes on my Facebook page to 750.
- Increase the number of blog subscribers to 1100.
- Reach at least 50k views on my blog.
- Make about $500 online.
In the meantime, let me know if this information is useful to you in the comment section down below.
Your biggest fan,