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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Next 365 Days

In my last post, I took a look back at my first year of making money online and found that I had written more than one piece of content per day on average and earned $2.22 on average for each of those pieces.  The results were actually better than I expected but were influenced by the payment from Life123.  I think it will be challenging to overcome that payment, but I would like to at least make as much this year per article.  That way, when I end up adding more articles, I will end up making more total.  At least the Life123 payment represented just under half of my total income for the year.

So, if I look ahead at the next 365 days, what is it exactly that I hope to accomplish, and how do I propose to accomplish these goals?  First, I want to say that while it is useful to make income and traffic goals, I really don't have any direct control over those results.  I first need to make sure that I figure out how I intend to accomplish those end goals and get those tasks finished.  So, let's look ahead at the next 365 days:

HubPages:  My goal with HubPages is to continue generating traffic at the current rate and then double it.  That means going from 25,000 views to 75,000 views over the next year.  It won't be easy to pick up an additional 25,000 views over my current pace, but I think it can be done.

Getting 50,000 views in the next year would require 136 views per day which is about one per article.  There are occasional days that I am getting that much traffic so my goal may actually be low.  I plan on writing more articles and having between 200 and 250 Hubs by a year from now.  I also plan to revamp some of my more poorly performing articles (My next post will be a useful example).  Doing a better job of linking should also help drive more traffic to my existing Hubs.

eHow:  I will not be writing any more articles so will have to live with the 38 that I have.  I can drive traffic through better linking and plan on doing this during my various linking campaigns.  I would like to more than double my views from 8,900 to 25,000 using this strategy.

Xomba:  I plan on adding more articles to get my article total to 100 over the next year.  I will also be adding links at the site to my other work.  Combining these efforts, I would hope to get my total reads around 18,000.  This might be difficult as that would mean getting about 20 reads per day.  That may not seem like a lot but the total reads from last year include reads by bots.  Now it is only counting human reads, and I know what my current daily reads are.

My Online Income Blog:  I plan on adding content steadily throughout the next year--on average 2 posts per week.  I don't make a ton of money here but enjoy the interaction with other bloggers.  I would like to add some followers and have about 60 total by the end of the next year.  I would also like to watch my Alexa rank climb into the top 400,000 or so.  I think that is possible if I can double traffic over the next year.

Miscellaneous sites:  I will continue to post periodically to my other blog, but am not sure what I will do with Triond, InfoBarrel, or Squidoo.  I also don't know if I will pursue other sites.

Niche site:  I do want to create a niche site this next year.  This will take me out of my comfort zone, but I think it is important in order to move to the next level.  I want to at least get one done by the end of 2010 so that by next May can begin to see some results.  I will probably begin to work on this in the next few months after getting done with the current Hub Challenge.

Well, it seems like I have a lot of work in store for me.  I didn't realize how much I could get done this past year while working full-time and running 6 kids all over the country for their activities.  Here's to the next 365 days. 

What are your plans?  What do you hope to accomplish?  How will you follow your progress?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Year Online--A Look Back

Well, it is hard to believe that exactly one year ago on May 26, 2009, I published my first online article on HubPages.  I don't exactly remember how it started or why I did it, but what started as a small, little experiment or hobby has developed into a "part-time" quest for developing passive income.

I ended up starting this blog to chronicle my journey and share with those other "part-timers" (or anyone else who might be interested) what I am learning along the way.  I have also shared my goals, frustrations, and the results of my various efforts.

One year ago, I had no idea what a keyword or a backlink was.  I didn't know the difference between "follow" and "no-follow".  Now I can use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to try and enhance my CPC.  I have a rough idea of how to drive traffic and improve my SERPs even though I may not be very good at it.

For those of you who have followed this blog, you know that it has been my goal to ultimately earn $100 daily online by the time my youngest reaches college.  My thoughts are that this will help pay for her college and then ultimately provide a supplemental source of retirement income.  That day was nine and is now eight years away.

I am really only about 1% of the way toward my goal, but I still have 8 years left.  So, let's look back and see what the actual results of the last year have been starting with content and traffic.

HubPages:  I have published 141 Hubs, have 256 followers, and have received 25,000 views during the past year.

eHow:  I published 43 articles of which 38 still exist.  These have been viewed just over 8,900 times.

Xomba:  I have 44 articles and 212 bookmarks.  The total number of reads is 10,795.

My Online Income Blog:  This is post number 117.  I really don't have easy access to the number of views, but there are 35 followers through blogger and 8 Facebook followers.

Real Assets Blog:  I have 14 posts with 3 total followers.

Infobarrel, Triond, Squidoo:  There are 6 articles on IB, 5 on Triond, and 5 lenses.

Life123:  I published over 20 articles on Life123 before the program for authors was discontinued.

All told, I have 390 pieces of original content published on the internet.  These were all completed in one year's time which averages out to just over 1 piece each day.  Personally, I find that pretty amazing considering all the days that I did not write.

For all that effort, however, the earnings will seem rather minuscule.  I have to remember that those articles will be out there with the potential to be earning each and every day.  I have done nothing on eHow since October of 2009, and yet those articles continue to earn month after month.  Not a lot, but something.

With those comments, lets look at the earnings.  As of this evening, my total earnings are as follows:

AdSense:  $325.72  --  I have received 2 checks already and will get the next one in late June.  This took 5 months for the first, 3 months for the second, and 4 for the next one.

eHow:  $157.74 -- There has been only one month that I didn't make payout, and that was when the UK site was started.  I should make it this month, but it could be close.

Life123:  $440 -- I really liked writing for Life123.  Too bad it couldn't continue.  They were honorable and paid the maximal amount of $20 for each article.

My expenses for the year consisted of $1 for advertising and $57 for the Michelle Adams Flipping Guide.  So my net profit for the year amounts to $923.46 - $58 = $865.46.  Divide that by 390 articles, and I got $2.22 per article this past year.  Of course, this is heavily influenced by the Life123 payment but I'll take it.

I hope to improve upon these results in the next year.  My next post will discuss my goals for the next 365 days and what I hope the impact of my activities will be.

So, how has the past year been for you?  Productive?  Profitable?  What will you be doing to improve your results?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Making Money on You Tube

I don't know why I didn't realize this before. I suspect it is because I am dense and not fully in tune with the process of making money online. At least it is not a full time profession for me or I would be homeless.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened. I was either on You Tube or looking at my AdSense stats and saw the reference to You Tube. I'm not even exactly sure how I did it, either. But if I was able to do it, it was easy and only involved a few clicks.

Somehow, I was able to integrate my AdSense account with my You Tube account and begin showing ads next to the 2 videos that I had posted about 2 years ago. It is interesting in that those two videos have gotten almost 25,000 views combined. As a matter of fact, they are pulling in more traffic than all of my other articles that are showing AdSense ads.

I figured it was worth doing since I was getting some traffic and was so easy. But, guess what?! Now after only 8 days, I have earned 45 cents. Granted it isn't all that great, but it is totally passive. A couple bucks a month would easily pay for a domain name. Plus, there is a lot of potential as noted in this article about Michael Buckley.

Now, I don't suspect that I will start a parody of the news and quit my day job. But, I would consider posting a few more videos or making some educational videos on options or stock trading. Of course, I need one more thing to do in my spare time.

Anyway, if you have a You Tube account with some videos and an AdSense account and haven't started showing ads next to your videos, why not go for it and see if you can earn some extra cash? Who knows, you might just pick up an additional 6 figure income!

Here are the videos for those who might be curious:
Vee's High Intensity Training Chin Up
High Intensity Leg Extension

By the way, Vee is my personal trainer. I see him once each week.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It Is Important to Get Backlinks

I have always suspected that it is important to get backlinks, but I suspect that I really didn't fully comprehend their true power. The second part of the 60 Day HubPages Challenge is to promote the articles that were written during the first part.

Content may be king, but backlinks and promotion will determine the size of your kingdom. That concept really hit home while brousing the HubPages forums last night. One of the Hubbers posted a thread stating that he was on track to make $100 in AdSense that day. $100 in a day! The key thing was that he has only written 19 Hubs.

Someone asked how this was possible with only 19 Hubs. He stressed that it took good keyword research and lots and lots of backlinks. I think that I have done a decent job with the keyword research, but a terrible job with the backlinks.

I think that is why I am excited to participate in the 60 Day Challenge as I will be forcing myself to focus on obtaining links to my articles. Then I will be able to assess the true impact on the traffic that is generated. I did spend time doing some keyword research and trying to pick decent topics based upon the results of the research and my spheres of interest and experience.

I think the overall success of my writing is going to depend upon my ability to generate traffic through the use of good promotion techniques. I have never been a salesman and have a difficult time with self promotion so it will take quite a bit of effort.

My plan is to start today taking those articles that I have written for the challenge and start with Xomba. Then I will move to Redgage and SheToldMe. I will also search to see if there are any other good social bookmarking sites that offer revenue share. I might as well see if I can earn additional money while trying to get traffic. Then I will move on to other sites. I do have a Snipsly account also that offers revenue share.

Just working with these four sites will likely take me the better part of the rest of May, but it will be interesting to see the results. Of course, I will be sure to let you know what happens. I am encouraged that my traffic had been slowly rising without my doing much during the past few months. Maybe expending some effort will be fruitful. I did notice that I would get much more traffic to this blog when posting a few links here and there, so maybe the impact will be positive.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

eHow vs HubPages: A Comparison of Passive Income

I just got paid by eHow this week for the month of April; $22.94 was deposited in my Paypal account. For me, eHow has been totally passive since last October. I haven't written anything, nor do I promote in any fashion. 100% passive income.

Contrast that to HubPages. I have been writing Hubs in April as part of a challenge. Granted I didn't get the 30 Hubs completed, but it was still a lot of work and a substantial amount of effort taking up many, many hours of research and writing. Furthermore, this month I will be doing some promoting of the Hubs that I have written trying to stimulate traffic. For the month of April, I earned $22.59 from HubPages.

I am actually surprised that the totals are as close as they are. Considering the amount of effort devoted to HubPages and the number of articles (141 vs 38), I would have thought that I could have earned more than eHow.

And look at what has happened so far this month. eHow is at $4.50 so far and HubPages is at $1.97. I am incredibly disappointed and surprised that I am not earning more considering the effort. Traffic seems reasonable. It is certainly not decreasing. It is actually slowly improving. The amount of search engine traffic seems to be reasonable as well. HubPages is showing over 75% search engine traffic according to Google Analytics.

I have tried to keep a decent attitude and haven't had near the number of emotional ups and downs as when I first started. But, I must admit that 3 months of declining revenue after a decent February is starting to take its toll. I suppose this could all be related to my lack of effort during the early months of this year. Maybe all of the effort now will be paying off this fall.

But I am really getting down and having some difficulty getting motivated to keep plugging away considering we are almost halfway through the month and I don't even have $2 of earnings at HubPages. That is quite depressing to think about considering how much I earned last month. I would think that increasing traffic with a decent proportion of search engine traffic should at least allow my earnings to hold steady.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I will start promoting several of the Hubs that were written as part of the challenge and report the results. So far, I think writing and publishing has helped generate a little more traffic but, as you just read, no improvement in earnings.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Writing on the Road

So I am here at the Men’s Junior Olympic National Gymnastics Championships in Knoxville, TN trying to squeeze in enough extra time to get 15 Hubs finished as part of the 60 Day Challenge before the promotion phase begins sometime in the near future and likely within the next 24 hours. Let me tell you, it isn’t going to happen. There is no way that I can get 15 Hubs written in 24 hours. I suspect that I can get 5 or 6 done. In fact as I write this, I have 3 in various levels of outline and can get those done. Staying up late tonight will enable to write a few more, but not 15.

Be that as it may, I am still pleased with my progress even if somewhat embarrassed at not being able to carry my weight as part of the challenge team. It didn’t help not having my laptop for the first week of the challenge, nor not having any day off during the week for 3 straight weeks during the main writing component. Each weekend was also filled to capacity with gymnastics and soccer. Considering all the impediments to time, I am quite impressed with what I have accomplished.

That being said, I still want to work hard and finish the 30 Hubs as quickly as possible while maintaining their usefulness and quality so I can move on to the promotion phase. I am really looking forward to that aspect since getting traffic has been one of the most difficult tasks of making money online. I think that my writing is respectable and useful, but I have never been a salesman. I have a very difficult time selling and promoting let alone promoting myself.

I will be curious to see what kind of traffic can be gained during the promotion phase and the long term impact on the search results. I have already been noticing an increase in traffic simply from publishing a lot of material. In fact according to Google Analytics, my HubPages traffic is up 25% over the last 30 days. And I haven’t done anything except tweet each article and post some of them to Facebook after writing them. I can’t wait to see what happens and hope that the results are sustainable.

Well, I shouldn’t waste much more time writing here. I need to get back to the articles but wanted to take a mental break. My son is going through an early morning practice on the equipment. He doesn’t compete for another 48 hours so we are going to try and find something fun to do while here. The weather is nice with blue skies and the grass and trees are green. I am enjoying the experience and won’t spend all my time writing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Didn't Quite Make It--But I Will

Well, I didn't quite make my goal of getting another AdSense check within 3 months. February started out so strong that I thought it would not be a problem at all. But then March and April just fell apart. The CTR in April was simply pitiful.

Actually, it turned out to be closer than I thought it would considering the poor start in April. I was actually under $3 away. That just means that I will get a bigger check in June which is OK by me.

eHow Surprise--Good

Surprisingly, my eHow income was better by a few cents than my AdSense income. And the best part is that eHow has been totally passive. eHow earnings have been increasing steadily since January when I didn't even make payout. Needless to say, I hope that this trends continues. It may just mean that I am climbing in the search engines and getting more revenue as a result. I really don't spend my time tracking views so it is hard to know if I am getting more traffic. For me, eHow has been truly passive. I simply log on every 2 or 3 days to see if the earnings have gone up and that's it.

Xomba Surprise--Bad

Xomba, on the other hand, was absolutely terrible. I actually had slightly more traffic than last month but only earned 6 cents. SIX CENTS!! I found more than that on the ground last week (I found a quarter). Fortunately, I did not spend a lot of time at the site since I have been working on the 60 Day Challenge at HubPages so at least I don't feel that bad. But it sure makes me wonder about residual income at Xomba.

Speaking of HubPages, I am still plugging away trying to get articles done. I have published 11 articles (out of 30), have another one written but not published, and have several more ideas. I am hoping to write 3 tonight before going to sleep but have some household duties first. It is already 7:15 pm. Maybe I can sit and write from 10-midnight. I will have to see how it goes. Tomorrow will be busy, but I might be able to get one done.

Well, I would love to write more here, but I really should get going and work on the household chores so I can get writing some more. All in all, this Challenge has been good for me since it has forced me to actually get some work done. Otherwise, I would have wasted time. Plus the impact on HubPages traffic has been positive although earnings have yet to see an impact that I can tell. I am sure that in time the benefits will be positive.

Until next time. As always, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to read. I certainly appreciate it and hope that I have been helpful or motivational to some of you.
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