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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Google Now Tops at HubPages

I have been waiting for this day since last fall. I thought that it might happen before the end of this month, and here it happened, on the 31st.

Google is now the top traffic source for my articles at HubPages. Prior to this afternoon, HubPages itself was the top traffic source. But slowly over the past several months, I have been getting a little more traffic from Google so that each and every day, the gap was closing.

Early on, I always wondered how people could get so much traffic from the search engines. Most of my traffic had been internal traffic and so I was amazed at what I had heard. But over time, the articles gradually worked their way into the search results. Truly patience has been virtuous in this regard.

Now, over 80% of my traffic overall at HubPages comes from various search engines including Google (US and international versions), Yahoo, and a little from Bing. All in all, it was a pretty exciting day for me. I look forward to being able to compare the amount of traffic in coming months and years.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Revenues Disappointing (sort of)

I was fairly excited in February considering the amount of AdSense revenue that I had received from the two blogs, HubPages, and Xomba primarily. I thought that March (with an extra 3 days) would actually do fairly well.

Unfortunately, AdSense revenues have been somewhat disappointing this month. Granted there are still over 2 days left in the month, but there is no way that I will earn as much as I did in February. There are 2 primary reasons that I see for this discrepancy. First, the amount that I am earning per each click is lower. Second, the amount that I am earning from Xomba is way off the pace.

Over the past few months, I have noticed a nice increase in the amount of traffic and revenue via HubPages. I suspect that some of my efforts of last fall are starting to take effect. I can only hope that this positive trend continues. On the other hand, I have not been very active. I have always wondered whether or not Xomba might work well as a source of passive income. The jury is officially still out, but March's results do not bode well overall.

Nevertheless, I do expect some fluctuation. I have to keep in mind that I have never been through a complete annual cycle online. It is possible that I am just seeing normal and seasonal variation. I know the weather is starting to get nicer in the Northern Hemisphere. I also know that I will be wanting to spend more time outside.

On a positive note, earnings at eHow have made a nice improvement compared to February. I look forward to being able to finalize the first quarter's earnings and report them in a few days. My hope is that each year will see a gradual increase in traffic, AdSense impressions, and earnings. So far, so good.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Productive Than I Thought

I haven't really felt very productive lately. In fact, I haven't really felt like I had accomplished anything since the beginning of the year. And while that may be somewhat true, over the past ten months of writing on the internet, I have been fairly productive considering that this is a part-time effort. I don't have 6 or 8 hours each day for writing and promoting.

I started working on making money online the last week of May 2009 approximately 300 days ago. In that time, I have produced the following content:

122 articles on HubPages
100 posts on this blog (My Online Income)
43 articles on Xomba
38 articles on eHow
22 articles for Life123
13 posts on the Real Assets blog
6 articles on InfoBarrel
5 articles on Triond
5 lenses on Squidoo

The total is 354 which works out to just over 1 article or post per day! I had no idea I had done so much until it hit me that I had written my 100th post here. Then I thought about the 122 articles on HubPages and thought that I could be close to 300 articles.

Obviously I have written in spurts of motivation and creativity. I just haven't felt like writing a whole lot since the beginning of the year. But now, I am starting to get motivated again. Maybe it is the spring and the warmer weather. Maybe I had just been needing to slow down for a few months.

Anyway, I think in the next few months, I am going to attack the writing again and finish the last month to 6 weeks fairly strong. I definitely want to get the last 11 articles written so that I can say that I averaged 1 per day for the first year. Then I want to average one per day for the next year and have over 700 articles or posts online available to me to earn passive income.

How much do you end up writing? One per day? More or less? I am curious to know what some of the full-time writers have done or are currently doing. What about you part-timers like me?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan?"

One of my favorite movies is "The Dark Knight" in which the late Heath Ledger plays the Joker and utters the words in the title during a hospital scene with the character of Harvey Dent. He goes on to say that he is like a dog chasing cars and wouldn't know what to do if he caught one.

Those words are illustrative of my online career (if you could call it that) so far. I have clearly not had any sort of plan and have flitted from site to site seeing what works and what doesn't as if chasing cars. If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I started out in May of 2009 at Squidoo, moved on to HubPages and eHow, and Xomba. I have also written a little for InfoBarrel and Triond as well as Life123 which no longer has an author program.

I am not sure if this has been positive or negative. Certainly, I would have gotten more accomplished had I pursued a well-defined plan. But then again, progressing down a path that was not productive is also not wise. Besides, I am still of the opinion that this is more of a hobby than anything else. It is just that this hobby provides a little bit of income, while my golf hobby costs me money.

Never thought I would come this far...

When I started, I didn't think that it would be possible to write as much as I have. This is actually the 100th post for this blog. I am absolutely shocked. I also have over 120 articles at HubPages, over 40 at Xomba, 38 at eHow (though I wrote a few more than that), plus a few odd articles elsewhere. It is simply hard to believe that I could actually generate that much stuff in 10 months.

But maybe it is time to put together a little bit of organization behind my efforts. I don't really want to commit to an all out assault on internet marketing, but I would like to work a little bit smarter. In addition, I would like to see if I can develop my own site. I have some ideas that may or may not work. Either way, I think it would be fun to create something out of nothing.

Toward that end, I purchased Michelle Adam's Site Flipping Guide just this morning. I scanned through it briefly and got fairly nauseous. I am SO scared to actually think about trying to develop my own site. I know absolutely nothing about WordPress or hosting accounts or cpanel. Basically, I don't know jack about anything! But, my intent is to plow on through. It may take some time, but I have never been one to back down from a challenge. I will be sure to keep everyone here updated on my progress as well as some of what I am learning.

Sorry that I haven't posted for awhile. Knowing this was the 100th post, I wanted to make it worthwhile. Also, I wanted to think about my direction with the Site Flipping Guide. It took a bit of time to get up the nerve. Finally, there were some family issues and other things that kept me quite busy last week. Having made the decision to purchase the guide and start making my own sites, I think that this is an excellent topic for the 100th post. Hopefully, by the 200th post, I can have some great success to show for this new direction I am taking. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thinking About Michelle Adams Site Flipping Guide

I got an email the other day advertising a guide from Michelle Adams regarding site flipping. Now mind you, I am not interested in site flipping. I am interested in possibly building out my own site. I figure that if the guide explains how to build and sell a site, building and keeping the site should also be covered.

The problem is that I know very, very little about the whole process. I am not technophobic but just haven't spent the time to learn all of the ins and outs of the site building aspect.

Admittedly, it seems a little scary to me. I have never done anything like it before. What if I spend a lot of time and spend money each month to have it hosted, and nobody visits? What if just absolutely stinks as a website? Like I said, SCARY!

But, I had heard of Michelle Adams before and have actually been to her website about online money. Plus the cost of the guide through the special email promotion was only $47. And I had gotten paid from Life123 just a few days before that so I have plenty of money sitting in my Paypal account just waiting to reinvest.

I haven't spent any of my money attempting to make money online. I have only used my time and so far (with the exception that one month ad) haven't even spent anything at all. I don't have any hosting expenses. I am really only spending time on HubPages and Xomba which are free to me. I have gotten 2 Google AdSense checks already. So I am profitable.

Before I commit, however, I would like to gather some professional opinions. I know that several of you who read this blog own your own sites and are even professional site designers. I would like to know if anyone has used Michelle's guide. Is there another one that you might recommend? Believe me when I say that step-by-step directions are necessary in my case. I assume it is worth it to have your own site. Any advice or encouragement?

I would sincerely appreciate any information that my readers would be able to share. Thank you so much in advance.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Second Google AdSense Check

I picked up my second Google AdSense check yesterday and made the bank deposit today. It was certainly a good feeling to know that over the past few months despite having limited time to create additional content, I have been able to earn something.

Achieving the required $100 level to reach payout occurred in 3 months this time compared to 5 months for the first check. My goal is to reach the next payout in 3 months as well. February got off to a good start, but March so far is mightly weak on the revenue front. Of course it is stil early. Plus I will have April as well. No matter what happens, though, I won't get overly concerned since that is not my sole motivation.

I want to be able to share with others what I am learning and provide assistance in whatever way I can. I am not a professional writer nor internet marketer. I don't intend to be either so I can share all my secrets since it won't cost me anything. I am not selling any products or e-books, either. I don't even have my own website, yet.

Anyway, just thought I would share. It has been a busy day at a gymnastics meet for my two boys today. I spent 11 hours in the gym and have to drive about 2.5 hours each way to go to Louisville, KY with one of my girls. Another long day of gymnastics. No wonder I have little time for content writing. Oh well, it is still fun to spend the day at the gym. Probably better than writing all day, anyway. Til next time. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Received Payment from Life123! Yippee!

I received the notification in last night's email that I had received payment from Life123 for all of the articles that I had written. I immediately went to paypal and looked at the payment as well as the account balance. It was certainly a great feeling.

Because I had just over 20 articles, the balance that I received was $400 even! I had already received payment for some of my views previously prior to the shut down of the site. I must say that Life123 was a class act. All of my interactions with the site were very professional.

I am sure the terms of service said that they could shut down the program at any time and for any reason (usually TOS are so long, I don't bother with them). But I doubt they said that Life123 would pay out the full potential amount for the number of views without regard to the actual numbers. In that respect, Life123 went well above and beyond.

I am still disappointed that the program closed and won't be available any longer. I thoroughly enjoyed writing for them. If you get a chance, stop by and read some of my articles and visit the site.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HubPages Challenge Off and Running

Well, I am off and running on the HubPages Challenge for the month of March. Truly it will be a busy month, and I am not sure how much writing I will be able to complete. But at least I am getting back into the mode of writing again after a nearly 2 month lull. Although in my defense, I was sick for a week, gone for a week, and have been incredibly busy.

My personal challenge for HubPages was just to get back into the swing of things by writing several Hubs following some keyword research and trying to focus in on a topic or two with which I might be able to make a decent showing in the SERPs. Little did I know that HubPages was planning a helpful health hub contest for the month of March.

I found out about it since Maddie (a HubPages staffer) commented on one of my recent blog posts. I decided that I would write a few Hubs on the topics that might interest me or which might provide for a good article. Anyway, I did some keyword research for the topic for March 1st which was herbal remedies. I found some decent words that I might want to target but ended up taking the article in a totally different direction. Maybe someday I will come back to those keywords but I'm not sure.

However, I think the article that I wrote is interesting, insightful, and helpful. It is entitled, "Herbal Remedies and Anesthesia: A Prescription for Disaster?" If you get a chance to read it, I would certainly appreciate it. Furthermore, I sincerely value your comments. Personally, I think it is more original than some of the articles I saw coming out as a result of the contest. It seems to me that so far (although it is the first day), people are just going after the obvious topics and rehashing what is already out there on the web.

Granted, I will do the same thing now and again if I am trying to get out an article for the sole purpose of generating AdSense Impressions. But you really should try to put your own personal spin on the information. Oh well, like I said, I won't be participating every day and will only go with those topics that are interesting and in which I might be able to produce interesting, original content. I don't have enough time to simply write articles just to have stuff online.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who stops by and takes the time to read this blog. I know that your time is valuable and there are many other useful things that you could be doing. I hope that I am able to somehow contribute some useful information about whatever topic I am covering at the time and that your time here is well spent.
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