Even though April is not quite finished, I have no doubt that this will be the worst month for AdSense revenue in 2011 so far. It very well may end up being worse than 2010 for that matter. I started writing online at the end of May 2009 so by April of 2010, I had been at it for almost one full year. I was actually quite surprised with the results at the time and suspected it had something to do with the fact that I wasn't very active during the early part of 2010.
Now I recognize that there can be seasonal variations in online revenue and traffic. I suspect I am seeing some of that seasonal variation in addition to the changes at Google. At least I hope that is what I am seeing. It would make sense to me. With the majority of my traffic coming from the United States, it would make some sense.
April is the beginning of warmer weather in the Northern parts of the U.S. and people (including myself) are anxious to get outside. Yard work, walking the dog, jogging, and golf are all activities that haven't been enjoyed for many months so at the first signs of spring, everyone gets away from the computer to head outdoors. It seems logical and is what I am telling myself.
The next few months should really tell me a lot about what the future might hold for online income. It has been a struggle to stay motivated with so little revenue coming in. It seems like an entire year's worth of work has been for naught. Of course, it doesn't help that I have been incredibly busy or that the weather is nicer. Oh well, I will keep on working on my new site as I am able and add content. If I can get it to pay for itself, then I might take the plunge and do another one.
It may not be the best traffic (photo credit: Derek Harper), but I am starting to get some search engine traffic at my new site, Optionsdude.com. It seems that the majority of that traffic is coming to the various posts on my blog through several longer tail keywords. I can't tell you how exciting this is so soon after starting the site. Unfortunately, the bounce rate is pretty high and minimal time has been spent on the site, but there has been one visitor who spent more than 1 minute!
I am also generating daily traffic by commenting on blog posts from blogs that I find on the Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network at Yakezie.com. There are a lot of good bloggers that are part of the network. I know that I will never be able to have a blog like one of those, but maybe someday, I could come close.
By commenting daily, I am able to get a handful of visits daily which provides just enough motivation to keep going. I did have one day last week which had no traffic at all, but that was the only one over the past 30 days. My plan is to continue to read various blog posts and make relevant comments on ones that I might be able to add to the discussion. I will do this as I continue to try and add content to my site. Adding content is a little slow going right now, but I did add a page this past week. Maybe I can get something up tomorrow also.
I would like to see the number of visits to the site surpass the number to this blog by the end of the year. It will be tough going, but I think I can do it. I will need to post some links to some of the various articles after I get more content up. I really have yet to try and backlink any individual pages other than with a few blog comments.
I also want to say that I am seeing some of my pages in Google for some of the longer tail keywords that I have been following. I am on page 2 for one and page 4 for another. Too bad there is little monthly search traffic for these words, but at least I know the process is working. Again maybe by the end of the year, I can get some serious ranking done for some of these keyword phrases with backlinking.
The bottom line is that the progress is somewhat slow for me since I don't spend 8 hours per day on the internet. But at least there is progress. Oh and by the way, I have earned $1.10 on the site, so I only have $38.90 to break even!
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will realize that I don't publish monthly results since the variation can be unsettling. Instead I prefer to publish quarterly reports and compare to the previous 3 month time frame as well as the results from a year ago. I think this gives a better sense of true progress and smooths out variations that may occur with various seasons and holidays.
The first quarter of 2011 saw some interesting changes for the prospect of earning passive income online. The Google update caused my HubPages traffic to drop. According to Google Analytics, I am looking at a 25-30% drop in overall traffic. I think that this will have some impact on AdSense earnings going forward. I am hoping that some of the other sites will make up the difference.
HubPages also added an Ad Program that did make up the difference during the month of March. It is based upon impressions and traffic so if you want to read a few of my articles, feel free to check them out through the widget in the sidebar. I will be including the revenue from this program in the results below.
I did benefit from the Google change through my eHow articles. In fact, March was my highest month ever at eHow. I am curious to see if this trend will continue and I will see improved earnings or if this is a new plateau. Either way, I will take it.
So here are my online earnings for the first 3 months of 2011:
January 2011 (Compare to Jan 2010 of $58.40)
February 2011 (Compare to Feb 2010 of $55.97)
March 2011 (Compare to Mar 2010 of $47.49)
HP Ad Program $13.25
You may notice that the total doesn't add up. I didn't report very small totals like the amount from ListMyFive or YouData but did include in the totals. I also do not report Amazon income until I actually receive it. I did this because it took 18 months to make the first payout.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, I made $231.93. This quarter I made $225.12 so I have seen a quarter to quarter decrease in income (although counting the roughly $18 I made on Amazon in Feb and March would have helped). I will, however, remain optimistic that compared to one year ago I improved my earnings by $63.26 or almost 40%. Last year, the summer was a slow time for me so I plan on busting my butt over the next 3 months. I will post those goals and plans next time. I hope everyone will make it through all the interesting changes and continue to build larger and more varied income streams.
I am just a neophyte learning to make money online. I am excited about the opportunities and hope to share what I am learning.
I am also interested in real assets such as gold and real estate. I have a blog on these topics as well. Be sure to stop by and check out both my blogs.