At the very beginning of February 2017 I read How This 27-Year-Old Made $1 Million Last Year published on Forbes.com. The title was very clickbaity, but totally worked on me. I subsequently visited her site Making Sense of Cents simultaneously intrigued and empowered. She was making a living off of blogging. She was publishing her income and traffic review each month and showing the progress through the years. In the past I would have made a New Year’s Resolution to start my own site then promptly dump the idea when I got scared of the daunting task. Keeping with my own self-motivating adage, “Get comfortable getting uncomfortable!” I dove right in.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
I did some research on how best to get a domain name and have a host for it. It’s basically between GoDaddy and BlueHost. I eventualy chose Godaddy. From my reading the offerings looked very similar, but Godaddy was more flexible with it’s payment options. I bought my domain and had an account. I learned that the platform Godadddy had for simplistic blogging just wouldn’t work and quickly switched to WordPress.
In between actual writing, I learned a great deal about WordPress, widgets, and plugins; trial and error. I also wanted to monetize the site for a couple reasons. First, I started a business that failed and I have something to prove to myself. This site is a business, but with limited to til financial costs and limited opportunity costs. At the same time it presents huge upside. The second reason is that I wanted a side hustle that could generate income to help further pay off my debts. I learned about two systems I could immediately implement: affiliate marketing through Amazon and paid advertisements through Google.
With Amazon I am able to place links in my account like this one for different products as well as banners on the side of my page like this:. I make a commission every time some one purchasing something on Amazon through that link. What is really interesting is that it doesn’t even have to be the specific product. If you clicked on that link, but then bought something else, I would still get the commission so long as it was bought within 24 hours or within a month if it was added to a wishlist. With Google Adsense, I’m still trying to figure it out. I place ads within my site and along the side. I get paid based upon the number of views and clicks. It’s something I definitely need to learn more about.
Income and Traffic Review
Right after I started I established a few soft goals for my first month related to income, users, page views, and social media ‘likes’.
- For income my goal was $1.00. Actual results were much higher than anticipated: $18.04 total. The majority came from Amazon Affiliate shown here: Google Adsense results are shown below:
- Social Media I hit one mark and missed another. I aimed for 50 Facebook Page ‘Likes’ and received 88. Twitter lagged behind. I converted my own personal account and started with 56 ‘Followers’ and aimed for 100. I fell short at 64 ‘Followers’. The goal of the social media accounts is to funnel traffic back to the site.
- I had aimed for about 1,000 total page views; although I did not have a good reason to choose this number. I ended up well above that as shown below. You can see that I had 3x that amount in page views.
- If you look at all three graph you’ll see a commonality: all three have a very large spike in the middle. This is when I published 101 Tips from a Fat Guy who Hates Running on How to Finish the Spartan Ultra Beast. I realized prior to this that my original Ultra Beast post; How I Learned to Stop Making Excuses and Love the Spartan UltraBeast was by far my most popular up until that point. I took my time and wrote a 5,000+ post about my tips for running an Ultra Beast. I shared the post to a few groups I belong to on Facebook and the results speak for themselves.
- I had a goal of writing 8 posts and succeeded with 10.
- I had a side goal of eliminating $30.00 from our monthly budget. This was accomplished by eliminating our TV Service with Comcast and signing up for SlingTV. We are also making good progress with fixing up our house prepping to sell it.
- Income: Exceed February’s Income.
- Facebook Page ‘Likes’: 110
- Twitter ‘Followers’: 75
- Posts: 9
- Page Views: 5,000
- Complete all the workout left in the Crossfit Games Open
Author: David Matthews
Welcome to my site!
I started this site as a way of discussing what I’ve learned about the relationship between personal finances and physical fitness. What I have learned allowed me to lose 50lbs and improve my creditscore 150 points in the same year.
Husband. Father. West Virginia University Grad. Licensed Insurance and Financial Professional. Sports fan (Phila, WVU, and Manchester City). Huge nerd (like Magic: The Gathering huge)