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Friday, January 28, 2011

January Efforts on Target... least for the most part.  Too bad I can't say the same for the results.  Since it is getting close to the end of the month and I took some time away from publishing Hubs during my golf trip, I decided to look and see how the publishing efforts looked against my goal of one Hub during the week and two on the weekends.  I took the calendar and counted out the number that I should have published and came up with a total of 14.

Then I compared it to reality and found that I have published 11 Hubs so far this month.  I also have the rest of today to publish another as well as this weekend to do two more so I am officially on track.  I haven't been as lucky with my linking efforts.  I know for a fact that I didn't get 3 done each and every day.  I would estimate that I got it done on about half the days, but I still have done more linking than any month previously.  I plan on finishing out the month strong with 3 more Hubs and doing my links each day.

Unfortunately, it looks like I am only on pace to double the income of my lowest AdSense month in 2010.  That is OK since I couldn't expect a flurry of activity to have immediate results.  This is by far a record traffic month so that can only mean that better results are on the way.  The biggest problem is that my CPC is down compared to other months.  I guess that having more traffic with more clicks probably averages them out to a lower overall value.  I just haven't quite made up for it in volume yet.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a solid start to the year.  I will say that eHow income has been solid, much better than last January.  I will also say that I am impressed with my Amazon clicks this month.  Looking over the stats for 2010 showed that my clicks increased each and every quarter of the year.  That is probably due to increasing traffic levels.  At the current pace, they will increase again this quarter so that is good considering it is not a big shopping time of the year.  I can't wait to see if I can get another payout sometime in the next few months.

Photo credit: Casito

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Celebrating Small Victories

I just got back from my South Carolina golfing trip about 48 hours ago and am getting back into the swing of things here in Indiana.  I got to come back from some short sleeve weather to 6 inches of snow and single digits temperatures.  What a shock!

But just like on the golf trip where I have to compete in the "A" bracket against guys shooting about 15 strokes better than me for skins and pins, so it is on the internet.  I have to celebrate the small victories.  It is a major accomplishment on the course when I get a few skins (meaning I got a better score on a hole than all of the other "A" golfers which for me meant a par).  Likewise, I have a few major accomplishments to celebrate for 2011 even if I don't quite match up with some of the other internet gurus.

So, I would like to list my accomplishments to encourage myself and others:
  • Before leaving for golf, I was able to maintain my publishing schedule and publish 9 Hubs (I even published one while in South Carolina but it is difficult to keep up when physically tired from 27 holes each day).
  • Even though it doesn't look like I will meet the earnings target this month, I am already ahead of my worst AdSense month from 2010 with several more days to go.  I am also getting some earnings virtually every day.
  • Traffic is more than double compared to January 2010.  In fact, my worst day this month was better than every day except one in January 2010.
  • I had 58 Amazon clicks in the first quarter of 2010 with no orders.  In January 2011, I have had 85 clicks with 7 orders.
  • Linking at SheToldMe is paying off since it now shows up as a traffic source for my articles at HubPages.
  • I have added followers on this blog and HubPages.  I am almost at 600 followers on HubPages.
  • My Alexa rank on this blog has been steadily declining and is under 400,000 for the 1 month ranking.
  • EHow earnings have almost doubled compared to January 2010.
 Even though I am missing the earnings target tripling goal, I am seeing plenty of positive response to my efforts and will have to keep up the intensity.  The earnings will be a lagging indicator but from what I am seeing above, they should be improving in the next several months.  I am really excited about Amazon since that is something on which I am not focusing and I am still seeing positive results.  I also have to remind myself that the effort I am putting in now will benefit me next January and the January after that and on and on as well.

I hope this has been uplifting for someone.  I know it can get discouraging to feel that you are making no progress but looking back at a year ago will reveal otherwise.  That is why it is helpful for me to keep the data that I do.  I hope everyone has a solid remainder of the month.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Yakezie Challenge Seems to Be Working

    If you happen to read this blog, you will know that on New Year's Day I joined the Yakezie Challenge.  Yakezie,com is a site that as best I can tell is a confederation of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers seeking to help others through their blog as well as giving back.  They even have a scholarship fund that allows them to give out scholarships to prospective college students.  Be sure to check out the site.

    The challenge calls for several steps with the ultimate goal of improving the Alexa ranking of your blog.  For example, this blog had an Alexa ranking of over 600,000 when I started.  The goal is to improve that ranking to less than 200,000 by July 1st.  Obviously to do this, I will need to increase traffic.  This is where fellow challengers can help.  It is asked that you help your fellow challengers by mentioning their blogs and so through combined efforts we all increase in our rankings together.

    It sure makes sense.  There are so many blogs out there on the internet that it is hard to get noticed.  I am constantly finding new blogs and writers some of which I like and others which I don't like as well.  And that is OK.  It is nice just to be able to sample some new sites from time to time.

    So, I would like to recognize those fellow Yakezie challengers who have sent some traffic to this blog according to Google Analytics.  I am sure this list will ultimately get bigger, and I will share more links with future updates but for now I would at least like to mention: -- I love the name by the way!  This is a pretty neat blog.  And the divas have even taken time to come here and comment.  I appreciate that immensely. -- Another nice site with great content and great design.  I wish I had as good looking a blog.  Oh well, Thou shalt not covet! -- Being frugal is always important.  Gotta get back there to read the Dogs of the Dow post from yesterday. -- Another blog with great design and an awesome name.  Not to mention, it is one of my favorite topics.

    So, how have I been doing with the challenge so far?  I had started to notice an increase in traffic toward the end of December and heading into the new year.  I have noticed an additional increase since starting the challenge also.  In fact over the past month, my traffic is up about 50%.  Even better is that my total search engine traffic is now 20% of the total.  I would like to see that increase to about 30% by the end of the challenge.

    So far, my Alexa rank is now under 600,000 but under 400,000 for the one month report.  This is definitely a good trend and a positive sign that getting to under 200,000 by July is possible.  Of course, it will take additional work but I can certainly handle that.  I will be sure to keep you updated as time goes on.  I will be curious to see the overall impact in the months ahead.

    That is all that I had for this post.  On a side note, I am getting ready to go on a golf trip to South Carolina.  Hopefully the snow will melt in time.  I plan on a post or two from down south.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Earnings Report for Fourth Quarter 2010

    As is my custom, it is now time for reporting quarterly earnings.  I have shied away from monthly earnings because of the variability whereas I would hope to be able to see some positive progress when comparing one quarter to the previous and especially when comparing a quarter to the previous year.

    I am pleased to report that the fourth quarter of 2010 did indeed show progress.  I experienced several firsts during the quarter.  It turns out October has been fairly good to me.  I saw my first (and only so far) double digit earning day in October on record traffic for the month.  I can only hope that October continues to improve into the future and that I can continue to improve traffic levels throughout 2011 until that time of year.

    Here are my earnings for the final 3 months of the year:

    October -- AdSense $62.71  eHow $15.55  ListMyFive $1.29
    November -- AdSense $56.54  eHow $13.59  LM5 $1.73  Amazon $11.67
    December -- AdSense $55.17  eHow $13.28  LM5 $0.40

    Grand Total -- $231.93

    Compare this to the final quarter of 2009 when I earned a total of $191.71, and I managed to increase my earnings by almost 21%.  That is certainly respectable but my plan for this year is to triple my AdSense income over the year.  It will take quite a bit of effort with a subsequent increase in publishing and traffic compared to this year.  But I think I am up to the task and have it broken down into manageable pieces during the year.

    I would also like to add my own sites to the AdSense mix somehow.  I am still working on that and will keep you up to date on those plans.  In the meantime, I will continue with what I started in terms of publishing on HubPages and building links.  In reading many of the other online earnings reports, it seems like the fourth quarter was decent for many people.  Let's hope that momentum continues into this new year.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    I Have 2 Website Ideas, But...

    Oh no.  There's that word again.  My teenager can't complete a sentence without using that blasted 3 letter contraction.  It drives me nuts, and here I've gone and done it.  She does it because she only sees the world from her egocentric position and thinks she is always right.  On the other hand, I have a more open mind and more experience in the world so my "but" is legitimate.

    Mind you, I am not making excuses either.  I really want to develop my own websites but..

    You see, I have 6 kids although one is in college.  Still I spend 1 hr and 15 minutes total commute time each day and work full time.  It is 45 minutes each way to get the 4 youngest to gymnastics, and they are there 6 days each week.  I have many days when I leave the house at 6 am and don't get home until 10 pm.  I often get up at 4 or 4:30 just to have time to write what I do get done.  So I don't view these as excuses but as reality.

    I am a fairly quick study.  I have often read something and been able to do it.  Occasionally it takes more time which you can see is a limited resource, especially when it comes to learning something new.  Nor am I really afraid of doing new things or failure either.

    I have 2 website ideas, but I am simply thinking that time is at a premium and so I need to outsource some of the development.  Which is why I am coming to my readers for assistance in this area.  I know that several of you are more experienced than I am in development and design of websites.  Some even did this and sold on Flippa.  I have looked there for sites but would prefer to have my own project.  Plus, I trust my readers more than some of the characters I have seen on Flippa.

    That is why I am soliciting bids (and especially comments regarding viability from those with more experience) for these 2 projects.  First, I would like to develop an article directory.  There have been some for sale at Flippa, but I simply don't feel comfortable purchasing from some of those individuals.  One has been up for 4 separate auctions.  Of course, not having $3000-$5000 helps make my decision as well.  I know that many sites are designed and sold for a few hundred dollars which is more my speed.

    Second, I would like to develop my own authority website on financial topics.  I know that the space is crowded.  However, if you have taken the time to read most of my Hubs, you will find that it is a strong interest and passion of mine so it will be easier to work on it over a period of time than picking something I don't enjoy.

    So, if you are looking for a client or could make a recommendation, I would sincerely appreciate it.  I am not in an incredible rush and should be an easy-going client.  I am also not necessarily inclined to take the lowest price but am looking for quality work at a fair price. 

    I understand that you might not want to conduct business via comments so feel free to contact me privately through my HubPages profile.  It will be easy to access through the HubPages article links at the right.  Also, feel free to offer any public advice or comments on this blog to help others who are reading and may be considering their own site as well. 

    I am thankful for the knowledge and expertise of my readers.  I appreciate all the encouragement so far in this journey and am looking forward to the next several steps.  So remember, I am not making excuses but simply outsourcing.  LOL!

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    I Joined the Yakezie Challenge

    I ran across a new site today called  It seems to be a community of bloggers focusing on personal finance topics.  I am still exploring the site and trying to figure it all out.  But I did run across a challenge that I knew right away was something in which I wanted to take part.

    The challenge relates to Alexa ranking and is something that I have been trying to improve on my own.  The target seems a bit aggressive but I think it will be possible with a little help from fellow challengers.  If I am understanding correctly, networking becomes a large part of the community.  I know that I have met several wonderful bloggers in the internet marketing and online income worlds so I figure those who write about personal finance are equally as friendly.

    As a result, over the next several weeks I will probably be reading several new personal finance blogs and introducing you to those that I think are the most helpful and interesting.  Maybe this will end up being the inspiration I need to start my own financial blog.  I have been kicking the idea around and know that I would be better off having my own site.

    Anybody reading more than a few of my Hubs knows that I enjoy the topics of finance and investing.  I especially enjoy stocks and options.  Hopefully my knowledge and practical experience in options can be useful to the Yakezie community.  Now back to the challenge itself.

    The challenge is a six month challenge and calls for those with an Alexa ranking of greater than 200,000 to move into the top 200,000.  I have placed the challenge badge on the right side of this blog next to the Alexa ranking widget to help you keep track of my progress.  I need to post 2-4 times per week which is something I do anyway so that is not going to be hard.  I also need to help promote others in the challenge which again is something that I have had a tendency to do anyway.

    I am excited about the prospect of improving my ranking on this blog.  The target is more aggressive than I would have selected but I still think it is doable.  Clearly there are many others who have taken this same challenge and succeeded.  I am looking forward to it.  What a great way to start the New Year!  That and corned beef and cabbage later today along with football and I am set.
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