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One Blog’s Journey to $2000 Per Month

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I'm not going to go into too much detail here, but today I hit a milestone: $2000 for the month of June from one of my blogs (if you know me and what I've been promoting lately, you may know which one I'm talking about). It's in the business niche. I don't blog because I expect them to be big earners... I earn the majority of my income through my PR firm. But I have been trying to take time away from freelance writing clients this year to focus more on earning from my own websites, blogs, and other content-oriented projects, and this is the first serious progress as far as blog monetization goes. Here's a little bit about how it evolved:

1. The site wasn't always a blog.

It used to be a small niche content network, with four key sites. I later moved it to WordPress in blog form, and increased the topic count to 20. It was launched a little less than a year ago.

2. The blog isn't heavily promoted.

And the traffic isn't anything phenomenal (I have practically non-earning sites that bring in more traffic actually). I don't write specifically for SEO. I don't make any big link-building efforts (like directory submissions, article marketing, etc.). Most of the promotion has simply been in the form of writing content of a high enough quality that people seem to link to it naturally (including a few pretty significant related sites that found it entirely on their own).

I was previously using Adsense almost exclusively to monetize the site (low $xxx per month most recently). I've removed the vast majority of adsense ads, and replaced them with privately sold ads. I've also looked to other options than the monthly ads, such as sponsored posts and paid links within existing posts (which are made to appear differently than normal links so it's no secret to readers). This is the first full month that I've been using all three of these methods combined. Here's the breakdown:

  • Monthly Private Ads - $625
  • Sponsored Posts - $240
  • Sponsored Links in Existing Posts - $1140
  • Adsense - $11.02 (from just the header ad that's been left over and not replaced yet)

I have to say, I'm happy with the results with this being the first month with a big push towards monetizing. I'm working on a content strategy right now to keep the blog updated at least once per day in July; preferably a few times per day, and I'm going to be at least a tiny bit more proactive in my link-building efforts, although I refuse to get into any kind of mass submission-style links so popular in SEO these days. I'll mostly get more involved in other business blogs through commenting (more to drive traffic and network anyway), and I'll probably be doing more reviews and interviews (which are amazing natural link builders). And of course, I'll be releasing a few press releases (when I have something even remotely newsworthy to say). I'm also thinking about releasing a short free e-book or report to help build links and spread the word a little bit.

So anyway, I just wanted to share in the good news a little bit, and show that you can in fact earn a decent amount running your own sites without having to invest years, and only having to put a part-time effort in for a few hours per week. I have enough interest right now in the one-time link options (between links and sponsored posts) on top of the monthly subscriptions, that at a minimum (assuming no other promotion on those one-time options) July should show around $1300-1500. All I can say is that it's nice to see something "on the side" paying off reasonably well. So if you've started a content site or blog that you're trying to monetize, here are a few things to take away:

  1. Don't stop creating content.
  2. Don't jump on the "everyone is doing it" train as far as how you promote your site.
  3. Don't just settle for things where they are.... Keep testing new promotion and monetization methods for your site. What works for one won't work for everyone else.

4 thoughts on “One Blog’s Journey to $2000 Per Month”

  1. Moving your site to WordPress was probably your secret weapon here. From what I understand, WordPress sites/blogs index in the search engines quite quickly and tend to rank well. That is not to say that your writing wasn’t spot on because I’m sure that had the most to do with the great results you are experienced. Good info. It’s good to know what methods you used to monetize. This is an older post, you must be up to a zillion dollars by now. 🙂

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  2. I’m a bit torn on the WordPress vs static sites issues. In some cases switching to WP immediately improved rankings, and in other cases the WP sites can’t compare to the rankings of the static sites. I guess it’s all in how you optimize it no matter what tools you use. I prefer WP because it makes updating so simple and I can do it from everywhere. Uploading all the time is a hassle.

    Haha, I wish it were earning a zillion dollars. The site was slapped by Google which cut the earnings significantly quite a while back (because on principle I won’t allow Google to tell me that well-vetting private text link ads are “inappropriate” for my site). It still earns a few hundred per month even though it hasn’t been updated in a very long time and it’s never promoted. It’s on my re-launch list though. I have a writer lined up who’s going to help me keep it updated as soon as I can make time to upgrade it and decide what I want to do about the design on the new site. The original domain is being converted into a small business owner’s toolbox kind of site, to plug the free tools and resources I create, and to highlight others from around the Web. It’s a good case of letting sites run on auto-pilot though — monthly income to literally do nothing, and never having to worry about a 3rd party getting in the way (like a content network closing down or relying too heavily on one income source — right now it’s a combination of pushing my own product and PPC ads, with some affiliate ads in the mix).

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