Before launching into telling you about my latest project, a little history of my previous attempts at making money through the Internet is in order.
Early this year, around about March, I was working for a massive American telecomms company and searching for ways to make money under my own steam, without having to spend all day implementing the random idle wishes of random bosses. One way that sprung to mind was setting up a blog and making money from placing advertising on the blog, through a service such as Google ads or CJ.
I immediately set up a blog, this one, and waited for thousands of people to flock to my site and click on my adverts. Then I realised that I had made a number of critical mistakes. Firstly, I had not written my articles around key phrases that people are actually searching for, nor had I placed such key phrases prominently in my articles, as is the idea behind SEO.
I had also started a blog that had no really clear focus. Inasmuch as it did have a focus, the focus was largely about making money online, an extremely competitive field.
Blog Number 2
I set to work to correct these mistakes with another blog. My second blog overcomes several of the deficiencies that this blog suffers from, as far as making money goes. Firstly, it is tightly focused on computer programming. This means that the people who go to my second blog are interested in computer programming, and might click on computer programming-related adverts. Secondly, I wrote nearly all of the articles around popular key phrases with low competition and good monthly search volume (as found by the procedure described in my article on the Google keyword tool).
The number of users visiting my second blog increased far more rapidly than was the case with this blog. After a few months I was starting to get about 200 per day. Then I basically gave up on it and stopped posting.
Why? Well, partly because I ditched my job, moved to Hungary and lapsed into a state of exhaustion from which it took me four months to recover. But mainly because I realised I’d made another crucial mistake even with my second blog. I had ensure that I was tightly focused on one topic, my articles were written around key phrases with good search volume and low competition; all well and good. But I had forgotten about ensuring that the niche was a profitable one (as judged for instance by looking at the cost per click or CPC of advertising for these key phrases in Google keyword tool).
I fell to just using my second blog to advertise my own services as a computer programming tutor. Actually I now have one student (alongside teaching English lessons in Budapest), but I found him through Guru.com! Nevertheless occasional enquiries come to me via my blog, so maybe it will pay off for me in the long run. In fact I can now see that it is perfectly possible to make a living teaching computer programming online, a fact which has inspired me to start posting to my programming blog again. Regular posting should build the number of blog visitors up gradually, eventually to the point where I can easily solely make a living from teaching programming if I chose to do so.
Blog Number 3
So that brings us to my third project (leaving aside an aborted mathematics blog that I quickly ditched). Now that I’m fairly settled in Hungary, earning some money from giving lessons in English and programming but not enough to quite live on, I’m ready to explore blogging further. Actually I’ve been inspired by my friend LP, who tells me that a friend of hers makes quite a lot of money precisely by selling advertising space on his blogs.
My new project will be a travel blog, carefully written around profitable key phrases, and written frankly more with the idea of making money than being a vehicle of self-expression. I’d love to eventually be able to making a living literally by visiting places and writing about them, but for the moment I’m content to research things that people want to know about, using the Internet of course, and write short articles based on that. A possible spanner in the works here could be my lack of actual knowledge about tourist destinations, but we’ll see. I’ve lived in four or five countries depending on how you count them, but I’ve never really made a bee line for the tourist hotspots.
At the moment I’m in the process of changing the URL of my aborted mathematics blog and wiping the data. My plan is to purchase a premium WordPress theme (a year ago I didn’t know what WordPress was but now I do, and believe me it’s very useful if you want to create a website), such as this one. Then I want to document the whole process of how the blog does financially and in terms of visitors.
Based on my programming blog, I think that if I post a short article more or less every day, I should be attracting 200 visitors a day after a few months. If I can earn even 30% of the CPC listed in the Google keyword tool for my proposed key phrases, and 5% of my visitors click the ads (which may be over-optimistic), I should then be earning at least 60 euros a month. This seems somehow frankly unbelievable considering that this would be 60 euros per month every month (with minimal further posting) for an indefinite period of time.
Where is the flaw in this reasoning? Perhaps no-one will click on my ads, or perhaps my programming blog achieved a certain degree of minor popularity quickly because I was providing niche information in an area where I know what I’m talking about. I’m not sure. But I plan to document how it goes right here.