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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Revenue is Bouncing Back Following Panda

I could tell that revenue (and especially AdSense revenue) was bouncing back following the Panda update, but I really didn't realize that it had taken such a hit until I actually looked at the numbers.  To give you an idea of what happened, allow me to list my AdSense numbers for this year:

  • January 2011-- $53.39
  • February 2011-- $42.84
  • March 2011-- $44.09
  • April 2011-- $14.73
  • May 2011-- $20.49
  • June 2011-- $23.05
  • July 2011-- $35.65
  • August 2011-- $44.00
As you can see, once the Panda update hit at the end of March, AdSense revenue fell by about 70% but has now returned to the level that I was seeing before the change.

The main reason for this has to due with developing my own blog.  I have earned just over $20 this month by developing and working hard to get traffic and grow readership.

The effort has been a lot more than $20 worth, that is sure.  But it is fun to make a little something while sharing with my readers which I am enjoying immensely.  I enjoy the interaction and creating a worthwhile venture based upon my own hard work and diligence.

I am hoping that by the end of the year, I can exceed my previous AdSense revenue record of $62.53.  I think I have a decent shot at it.  I would also like to think that I could achieve monthly revenues of $100 by July 1st of 2012 which would still put me on track with my ultimate goal of earning $1000 monthly by July of 2016.

Needless to say, I will keep busy working on my blog and developing others along the way.  If you haven't taken the plunge and developed your own site, I would encourage you to do so.  I know that the idea of developing a blog can be very intimidating.  I knew nothing about WordPress but got thrown into it by a big, bad Panda.  I learned and am continuing to do so, but I can't help but wonder why I didn't do it sooner.  There really is nothing to fear.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Puppy Website is Online

Hey, I just wanted to let all of you readers here that the puppy website is online.  I spent Monday buying the domain and getting WordPress installed at Hostgator.  The domain cost me $15 for the year.  I know I could have gotten it cheaper, but I went through the Hostgator site so I didn't have to try to figure out or wait for a transfer.  I was able to see it online within about 20 minutes of purchase and installation of WordPress.  It really is getting easier each and every time.

My eldest daughter and I then found a free theme for the site and began working on the various pages.  She wrote a post while I wrote the welcome page.  She spent yesterday while I was at working figuring out how to make a slideshow and put some pictures of the puppies on the site.  She has really figured out how to work with WordPress with no instruction and has only been at it for 24 hours.  It is really easy to set up your own website and get going.  My other site, is actually paying for itself now.  You should really go to the HostGator site and get started if you haven't already.

Anyway, I knew that several had asked about seeing the puppies so if you go to you can see our puppies.  They are so cute and are a little over 2 weeks old now.  Their eyes are open, and they have started army crawling around and hobbling about.  By next week, they should be walking.  They will also get their teeth this week.

I would appreciate any comments you have on the site.  We have gotten some great feedback from friends already and have made some changes based upon that feedback.  Our goal is to sell the puppies when we have a litter, but also to provide a resource for those who might try some breeding as a hobby or those who just got a new puppy and would like to learn about development and training.  I would like the website to become an authoritative site with valuable information and an Amazon store as well.

I think it will be a fun family project.  Everyone has played some role in carrying for the dogs and helping with the puppies.  My daughter and wife have been working on the website and with Facebook.  All in all, it will be a great learning experience for everyone.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Carrying Its Own Weight

I am excited (or maybe even ecstatic) that the blog,, is now carrying its own weight.  Just this past week, AdSense earnings for the site surpassed $10 in the month of August.  Since the hosting cost I am paying at HostGator is only $9.95, CFM has paid for itself.

It was only about 3 months ago that I started the site so I am pleased that it is now "profitable".  Of course, it still is taking a lot of my time which is uncompensated, but I am having fun writing content, commenting on other blogs and interacting with the financial blogger community, and growing the site.  I know that it is going to take a lot more effort, but I am encouraged by the early results so far.


I am a little disappointed that I haven't had as much time to write on this blog and track my efforts better.  I also haven't been able to spend as much time developing another site as well.  I would really like to be able to have more time for writing and building stuff on the internet.  But until myself and my family can learn to live without food, clothing, or shelter, I will have to continue to work and only write in my spare time.


I am, however, looking forward to being able to use my skills to help develop another website for my family.  This will be a fun project.  We have 4 cockapoo puppies that were born two weeks ago.  Their eyes opened just yesterday. 

We plan on spending the weekend putting together a website to showcase the puppies for sale.  We don't plan on having a lot of puppies to sell but maybe one litter a year or so.  In the meantime, I am thinking that we can create a resource for others looking to learn about puppies or breeding or training dogs, etc.  Maybe I can even convince some of the kids to write a bit of content.

I will of course be sharing with everyone on this blog our progress.  The first order of business is to get the domain purchased and get a workable site together over the next 3 days or so.  I had hoped to get started on it today, but circumstances beyond my control may prevent that from happening.  Oh well, it will happen so I will let you know how it is going.

That is all I wanted to share for now.  There are still several days left during the month of August for CFM to make a little more and actually show a profit for the month.  Everything past today is simply icing on the cake.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Plans and Happenings at CFM

I am sure you know by now that I have started my own personal finance blog at Cash Flow Mantra.  It has been live for just over 2 months so I wanted to update you on several exciting happenings that have been occurring.

Guest Posts

I have published 2 guest posts myself at other personal finance blogs.  This was a great experience although I didn't really experience much, if any, additional traffic as a result.  I may try additional guest posts in the future but am discounting the true value at this point.  I also published a guest post at Christian Personal Finance as part of an interview process for a staff writing position.  It is a competition for 2 spots and 10 authors are in the running.  I am OK with whatever happens, but I did have several visitors from the site as a result of my post.  The number was in the mid-teens, but it did help me set a daily traffic record at 62!

Finally, as far as guest posts go, I actually had someone contact me to post on CFM.  That post went live yesterday so I am officially a guest post host.  It is nice having some content without having to write it.  I could get into this and might consider one a week at the most.  I did have an idea for a contest but was planning on saving that for after the first of the year or at some time when I am busy or feeling burnt out.  I would like to have the majority of content on the site self-authored.

Page Rank Update

I heard that there was a Google PR update that occurred recently, and I am pleased to announce that CFM is now PR3.  Yippee!  I don't know if the increased traffic that I am seeing is a result of this or more exposure to my above mentioned guest post, but the last 3 days have been the most traffic ever with a record 62 visits on Wednesday.  I wouldn't be surprised if I could be getting 100 visits per day by the end of the year.

Attracting Traffic

Speaking of traffic, I will be focusing on two things for my blog.  Writing content and posting 3 times per week if at all possible and commenting on other blogs.  I have found that this social interaction is great for generating interest in my blog.  It is one of the ways that I discover new blogs.  Someone who leaves an interesting comment and has a link that I don't recognize is likely to have me visit.  If I like what I see, then I am likely to subscribe and interact.  That blogger may then visit my blog and become a regular reader.

I am still convinced that traffic has to figure into the Google algorithm somehow as an incredibly popular site must mean it is more sought after.  The result would seem to be a virtuous cycle of increasing traffic, improving PR, and better search engine placement leading to increasing traffic and on down the line.  I don't really know how the algorithm works, but it would seem logical.  Not to mention the fact that it seems to be working for me so why argue?

Yakezie Challenge and Alexa Rank

On July 1st, I joined the Yakezie Challenge with CFM.  The goal is to be a supportive community member and by working together help others market their blogs.  I have been working on this and other financial bloggers have been reading my blog as well.  This also goes back to blog commenting.  We are all pulling together to improve our visibility on the web.  My particular goal is to drop my Alexa Rank below 200,000 in the first 6 months.

Well, it seems to be working since my Alexa Rank is 340,083 but the  1 month ranking is below 200,000 so I am thinking that if I keep at it, I should be able to achieve my goal.  Now is not the time to slack off but continue to post 3 times per week and keep interacting like I have been.

Oh and by the way, I will occasionally make a little AdSense income as well.

So as you can see, there are lots of good things happening in just a few short months.  I expect many other good things to happen as well.  You could do it too.  It is simply a matter of getting out there and getting it done.  Host Gator has been a big help also.  I you are thinking of making your own site, I would recommend them.  They helped me out with their live chat every step of the way.  CFM works and will soon be paying for itself.  Feel free to click on my affiliate link banner for Host Gator above.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Different Kind of Guest Post

I had a guest post published today on  You see, Christian Personal Finance was looking to add another couple staff writers to their blog so I figured I would send an email and ask about it.  It turns out that there were many, many responses to this post offering these 2 positions.  In fact, there were about 100 responses. 

So the owner of the site decided to hold a little guest posting contest.  The editors narrowed down the field to 10 bloggers based upon previously submitted writing samples.  I simply provided the link to my blogs and HubPages articles thinking I didn't have much of a chance against 100 others.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had been included in the top 10.  The next portion of the "interview" was to write a guest post for publication and let the blogosphere help make the decision.  Of course, the deadline for sending in the post happened to be midnight on the evening that we were driving back from Dallas where I had crappy internet access and little time for writing.  At least the deadline was midnight Central time.  Since I was in the Eastern time zone, I had until 1 am to get it done.  When I sat down at 11 pm after driving for 16 hours, I got an extra hour to get it in.

Let me tell you that writing a post late at night after driving home 900 miles from Dallas is not that much fun.  I certainly wondered if I should even bother, but I have always been one to do my best no matter the circumstances.  Besides, the worst that could happen is I get a guest post published along with a link so that I might get a new reader or two to my personal finance blog.

On the other hand, I could end up picking up a staff writing position and making a few dollars per month for blogging while reaching a much wider audience than I can currently.  Either way, I was honored to be considered as one of the top 10% of writers who had expressed interest.  I still consider myself an amateur writer and blogger so to be considered is a great accomplishment for me.

Anyway, if you want to read my article on lessons we can learn from Solomon, please feel free.  I would be honored if you consider it worthy enough to comment upon, tweet or retweet or digg or stumble or share on facebook, etc.  If not, then that is OK also.  I am just pleased to be making progress one day and one post at a time.

Thanks for reading this blog as well as my other writings.  I really appreciate it.
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