Making Money

Can I make money off my blog: Week 3 update and x6 traffic increase since the start of the experiment

Budget time is always a crazy time for any company and even more so for the finance department. The finance team are the driving force behind getting a budget done. They usually get the management team together to start working on strategy for next year. They present the ‘what worked well and what didn’t work well’. They get the conversation going and the sales and marketing teams to start building their plans.

They are the glue that keeps the machine together.

And sometimes that machine can be a tumble dryer and when that happens things can be busy and coming from all angles.

Well, that is how my last week and a half have been and why I am extra-late with my weekly update. I almost had it ready on Sunday, but then I had an article get featured on RockStarFinance and my traffic counters exploded.

I did a month worth of visits in a day.

So instead of issuing the almost ready update, I sat back and waited to see what would happen.

 

Before I go into that, let’s remind everyone of what we’re doing here.

 

I never intended to make money off my site. However, seeing bloggers on jets and sipping cocktails off the Eiffel Tower, I thought I’d take try an experiment to see if my blog could generate any money. It has a very long way to go to replace the package of a Chief Financial Officer of a public company – but why not see how far I could push this, I thought.

The goal is obviously to drive traffic and try to find other ways to monetize it with the lofty financial objective of trying to buy a cup of coffee each week.

During my first week I made a whopping $1.50, which got me my cup of coffee. The first week was about setting up Adsense and creating a marketing strategy, with some initial tests to see what aspects where better than others in driving traffic.

 

Week 2 brought in a stellar $0.50 and I went coffee-less for a week. Not a great start after all.

 

And week 3?

 

1. What did I do different the last week?

 

Not a hell of a lot as I’m trying to manage budget preparations, so sadly the blog took a back seat and I slipped late on my experiment.

However, I did keep to the following cadence of marketing activities:

– three to four tweets, two to three times a day and a few re-tweets and comments on tweets.

– commenting a few times on a new blogpost that I’ve read

– Pinning three pictures to Pinterest every day

– Posting to my own LinkedIn profile

I had started the experiment with Facebook, but with few “friends” I was shooting into the dark and not hitting any targets so I gave that up after week 1.

On Pinterest I have increased unique visits to my profile by 50% from last week, but if I’m lucky only about 0.0001% of those visits find their way to my blog, so my Pinterest silver bullet still evades me.

Linkedin worked really well in driving traffic during week 2. I have 1000+ contacts on LinkedIn, which means my indirect network is substantial. During week 2, I shared a few links and commented on them, like it wasn’t me writing them. That generated a serious amount of traffic. However, I wanted to stay away from that during Week 3 and shared only one article that got over a 1.000 views on LinkedIn and generated about 30% click-through to my blog. Not bad.

RockStarFinance was the traffic driver that came through for me. I know the site gets in excess of 100.000 visits/month so that’s a lot of people making there way to the site and a feature can drive serious footfall to one’s blog. My first feature was a few months ago and it drove 3.000 page views. So far, I’m almost at that level with the current feature. I’m now on the look out to some other “sharing” sites that might want to feature an article or two from my blog and that is the goal for next week.

 

At end of week 2, traffic for the month was x3 my usual average and with the recent feature, my traffic is now x6 my usual average for the last 30 days, so week 3 is the winner.

 

But did all this make me money?

 

Amazon Affiliates

I had a clicks on the book links I shared versus Week 2, but nobody bought anything, just like last week so amazon again made me $0.00. I’ve clearly realized now that it is not a workable money making engine for my blog.

 

Google AdSense

AdSense is the only other money driver for the blog and this week I made $1.50 – so triple last week and … enough for my cup of coffee!

I’m stoked, as I was bleeding without my weekly coffee paid from my blog last week. I’m a big coffee drinker so obviously I wasn’t waiting for my blog to drink the stuff, but there is a certain pleasure in knowing that it is your writing that is paying for the coffee, so I was bitter last week that I didn’t get one.

 

Conclusion for the week

 

So, I made another cup of coffee this week and cut short last week’s bad spell.

However, as I said at the end of both week 1 and 2, advertising on the site is really a poor way to make my coffee money. I’ll be making one more update after this one and then pulling all advertising and book links to Amazon from the site so enjoy them while you can.

 

The CFO

2 Comments

  • Stephen theFIRElane.com

    I like your experiment. Do you plan to bring them back at some point? Right now I’m working with a single adsense ad in the middle of each post and after the comments, plus a few on the home page. I don’t want to go overboard, but I also don’t see the harm in having them.

  • The CFO

    Thanks. I want to see how I go building traffic and seeing how people enjoy what I write first. Also I am exploring other monetising options that may take more work but might be more fruitful.
    Good luck with your site and see you on the forum!

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