Back in April I wrote a post called “One Year of Personal Finance Blogging Mistakes” reflecting on some of the lessons I learned about starting a blog. Now it’s time to look at what I seem to be doing well.
I don’t think there can be any objective measure of success for a blog. There are just too many factors, and every blogger has different goals. Some want to earn money, some want to reach as many people as they can, while others do it to promote themselves or their company.
I started this site for two reasons.
For one, I wanted to share my financial mistakes and what I have learned, hoping others would avoid them. Secondly, I’m not ashamed to admit, I wanted to see if I could earn some money.
Today, I’m accomplishing both of those goals.
I have gotten several heartwarming comments from readers for whom, it seems, this site has been a help.
Those make my day!
And, my traffic is growing at a steady clip. From just a couple visitors a day one year ago to about 50 a day six months ago, I am now averaging about 250 unique visitors daily! Of course, never one to settle, I’ll really be excited with that number hits 1,000.
I am hopeful that many of those daily visitors find something useful – if only a sentence or two – here on the site.
Secondly, the earnings.
Blogging is rarely a get-rich proposition, but I think I can prove that it can generate nice small stream of secondary income.
My website is monetized in several ways that, in my opinion, do not detract from a visitor’s experience. In fact, I believe a few of my monetization techniques actually add value to this site.
The three ways this site earns money are:
1. Google AdSense
2. Product Referrals (Affiliates)
3. Paid advertising
My monthly earnings vary based upon how many product referrals I write about each month, but average about $200 a month. My only expenses are about $4 per month for hosting and a small amount I use to experiment with paid search ads.
As I mentioned in the blogging mistakes article, this site is by no means perfectly written or optimized. Still, it’s taking off. Why?
With the exception of a few posts here and there, I have never written just to get an article up there. I give a lot of thought to what I write about and post only articles that I think will be unique and provide value to readers.
I also put a lot of thought into the user-friendliness of the site. I probably spent too much time on the layout of this blog, but I wanted to get it to a point where it was comfortable to read, easy enough to navigate, and yet still integrated advertising effectively.
That brings me to monetization. The advertising on this site isn’t an afterthought. Every ad is carefully placed to be prominent, but not tricky or distracting.
Additionally, I try to choose product referrals (affiliates) that will be most suitable to my readers, and provide value to them. Savings accounts referrals have been a great source of earnings for the site, and I can’t think of a product I’m happier to promote. Going into year two, I’m going to be focusing on more regular posting, some longer, well-researched articles, and even a contest or two. Keep coming back to see what’s going on! Do you have a relatively new blog? If so I’d love to hear your success stories (or sticking spots). Leave a comment!