We all know there are a lot of blogs out there that promise to teach you how to make money online. You can bet that 99% of them aren’t making anything significant. Sure, there are folks like Pat Flynn who are making tons of money; I believe Donna Merrill‘s probably making livable money… if not more (I’ll let her tell you if she ever sees this lol).
Truth be told, I’m not sure how to make money anymore by blogging. I say “not sure” because at a couple of different points I was making a nice bit of “side money”. I was averaging around $600 a month with this blog and later around $300 a month on my finance blog. Two years ago I was averaging around $250 a month on my medical billing website/blog; now it’s down to $100 every 4 months (curse you Google!). That’s certainly not livable money, but it was great making some extra cash without having to work very hard for it.
That’s a misnomer also; if I hadn’t been working hard writing content on both of those sites, I wouldn’t have made that kind of money.
I was writing nearly 300 articles a year here; advertisers loved this blog. Unfortunately, Google didn’t like the kind of advertising I was getting and “disowned” this blog via page rank… which is luckily gone now.
I was also writing a lot on my finance blog, but nothing like what I did here. The difference maker was when I started accepting guest posts to add to what I was already doing. This time I made sure the advertisers were in the same niche so Google wouldn’t get mad at me. I probably should have been charging more at the time because the blog was ranked well, but truthfully almost no one ever read any of the guest posts and certainly didn’t comment on them (this is a lesson about accepting guest posts; make the writers help promote them and make sure they come back to respond to any comments).
My medical billing site has made most of the money instead of my medical blog, and that’s because of Adsense. The topic is a specific niche, and it was profitable for a short period of time. Suddenly the big G decided it wasn’t good enough, even with the articles on the blog… thus the income tank; sigh…
I guess this means I do know how to make money blogging… or at least I used to. The best thing I can say is that I thought my money making efforts were ethical. Even when I was posting products at the end of each blog, many of which I’d never used or even thought about using (like ladies clothing), I felt it was ethical; I wasn’t trying to mislead anyone; I thought some folk would see something that intrigued them and go to the site to check it out).
I even wrote that it might not be our fault that we’re not making money. There are a lot of factors that go into it if you’re hoping to make a livable income, and most of us don’t know a lot of it, even if we’re reading the blogs and articles of others.
I also wrote a post talking about the kind of work it takes to drive more visitors to your blog so you can have a shot at making money. This is what I used to do… until I got tired. 🙂
At the end of 2017, I didn’t write any goals for this year… because I really didn’t have any. After a year where I had to get used to my mother living with me and her dementia, a year where I pretty much did nothing except live off reserves until December, I really wasn’t ready to think of any goals for 2018 other than to start getting contracts again… on my own terms.
Then it happened; I got two contracts, short and sweet, but I’ve already made more money from my business than all of last year… and it’s still February. That might be the spark for greater things in 2018… and I’ve now determined I have another goal… that’s to be making at least $500 a month blogging by the end of the year.
To me, that’s a pretty low goal based on the fact that I have 5 blogs; it shouldn’t be an issue. Yet, it’s been an issue; there’s no denying that. Since Mom’s not going anywhere anytime soon, I need another way to generate money from home and in a “passive” manner… if I could do it before, I can do it again… right? 🙂
How am I going to do it? Ahhh… it’s in the details!
First, I want to highlight my little donation button at the end of this article. In one of those articles I linked to above, I mentioned that I’d only had one person ever who’d donated something to the cause; now I’ve had 2. It might not be big numbers but it’s a start in the right direction. I’m going to put that same thing on all of my blogs; maybe it’ll generate a little bit of scratch.
Second, I’m going to punch up the content on my medical billing site… not necessarily the blog. I give some basic information about all aspects of medical billing, but most of the articles aren’t long enough or detailed enough by today’s standards. Thus, I’m going to work on those pages a bit more, and link to some of the blog articles; internal linking is always a smart thing to do.
While I’m at it, I’m going to go back through some of my blogs, find articles that were pretty good but thin on meaning and content and beef those up also. No one said all content had to necessarily be new. I would recommend that if you’re thinking about doing it, do it for articles that didn’t get any comments… or very few.
Third, I’m going to put together a few small ebooks on topics that match up with the topics that 3 of my blogs discuss. I need a book on blogging for this site; I need one about budgeting on my finance site; and I need one pertinent to medical billing on that site. These will take some time to put together, but it’s got to get done sooner than later.
Fourth, I need to look to do a bit of affiliate marketing again, but I need to do it differently. I need to find products I believe in that have something to do with my interests for the particular blogs I’m writing on, even though I’m still big on things like Fitbit (looks like I need to fix some of the product links in the link to the right). Most will probably be books since that’s what I’m interested in more than anything else. I might need to see if I’m eligible for the Amazon influencer program (yeah, right lol) so I can market books I review, such as Lisa Sicard’s book How To Tweet And Thrive On Twitter, Marcie Hill’s book 62 Blog Posts To Overcome Blogger’s Block and Beverly Mahone’s book How To Get On The News Without Committing Murder; by the way, I’m in these last two! 🙂
Fifth, I’m going to comment on more blogs than I did in 2017. I used to be a serial commenter but that’s dropped considerably. Since leaving good comments drives more traffic than anything else (tested this many times), I need to get back into that… which I started this past weekend.
Sixth… this one is a toughie… I’m going to actively solicit advertisers and sponsors for a few of my other blogs… but not this one. I have the local blog so I’ll try to get a few local folk as sponsors. I can do the same with the finance blog and the medical billing blog. I can’t do it for my business blog and… well, I have no idea who I’d get to advertise anything regarding blogging or social media… but it’s possible there’s someone out there; research time!
Those are my plans to get it going. I’ll throw out the caveat that my consulting work will come first because it pays better; I’m not an idiot! lol Still, it’s a goal… one I believe I can make some progress on.
What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try yourself? Do you have suggestions (unless it’s to start a mailing list; I’ve heard that one often). Come on y’all; let’s go for the gusto! 😀