1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My "$1000/month from Single Blog" Journey

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by sudosu, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    I have done this before, but that was a long time ago (5 years in internet time is long time) when it was relatively easy to make money from blogs. Not that it is impossible now but it certainly is much harder than it used to be. I think this should be a proper challenge, because I am trying to do something in one year that took me 2+ years to do in favorable conditions.

    My Goal:

    Is to take my ~8 months old site with average traffic and minuscule income to a $1000/month blog with at least 500,000 page-views per month.

    The niche of my site is technology. Here are some stats as the site stands today:


    stats.png stats2.png stats3.png stats4.png

    As you can see from the stats screenshot there was one freaky month when the site did really good (and I didn't have any ads on it that time because it was a new site) after that I pretty much stopped working on the site till this December. The site has ads from lijit now, I am just trying them out (for the 2nd time), I tried them out once before and they didn't do much good. Now it seems to be doing not so bad, at least considering the size of the site. BuysellAds and Adsense won't even accept my site to their network. BSA said to come back after I have at least 50k page-views for couple of month. I think BSA is the right fit for my kind of site, but we will see as the site evolves and I get a better idea.

    I don't do keyword search type of post. Or short "regurgitated" articles from other similar sites. I try (most of the time) to write from my heart with my own point of view. This is an exact opposite to one of my other projects I am doing (but not part of this journey thread) where I just make dozens of short blog posts, that site is just a test ground to see what happens, not a serious project like this one.

    I also work well when I set small goals for myself. I call them "milestones". Here is a list of milestone for this blog i am hoping to achieve (I might add/remove milestones as the project matures).

    1.png 2.png 3.png

    What kind of update you can expect from me.

    - When I reach my small milestones
    - Something interesting happening with the blog
    - Answering question related to site

    Feel free to "poke" me for updates if I fall off the radar and stop updating. :)
     
  2. 1337rout

    1337rout Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Mars
    Looks interesting. Good luck, man. I'll try to e sure to make sure you keep updating it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. BigFatWallet

    BigFatWallet Power Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    927
    Good luck with your journey man. :D
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. mikemeth

    mikemeth Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    115
    Home Page:
    Good luck, so you want traffic from SE only for this blog or you will use other techniques also?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Denissimo1

    Denissimo1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Ireland
    looks good best of luck:cool:
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    I will promote on social media sites. Which usually gives me nice bumps in traffic if the content is good but dies out the next day. Traffic from Google is still the king. You have to do both. I do zero hand-on SEO, I just setup yoast plugin and forget it, besides wordpress itself is pretty good SEO ready on default setting.

    So once in a while I will submit my article on social media sites (twitter and facebook gets automatically submitted in all articles) some site will pick it and write about it with a link back and google will pick it from there. This is exactly how I always did things, I never asked for link-back or link-exchange. My theory is I am doing it for the long term, I (try to) write quality stuff and people will pick it based on the merit of the article . I think readers now a day a very sanitized towards SEO optimized post and they are good at telling a difference between a good thing and "just trying to make some money" thing.

    Eventually you get to have this "Sticky group of small fan" that regularly comments on your blog post. Those are the people that will promote your blog for you. I haven't reached that stage yet, but that's the plan.
     
  7. krishnaverma

    krishnaverma Power Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    171
    Occupation:
    Student
    Stats look superb and I think you can certainly repeat it. Just try to evolve your methods as per the recent changes. All the best for new journey.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. gabmasm

    gabmasm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    29
    You can do it! good luck with your goal.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    I just spent the last 4 hours researching top blogs on mine and similar niches and find out how and why they are good at what they do. How did I find sites on my niche? I went to BSA (buysellads) and looked at the sites with the most traffic, I did the same on federated media. These sites have traffic information and how much they charge for their ads and a link and description of their sites.

    I needed this, because not only did I get a good idea of what I need to do to be successful, but I also got a huge inspiration from watching and studying other successful blogs.

    I divided the successful blogs in three categories:

    - Blogs which are famous for their star power. Well-known personality with wide following who happens to start a new blog. I don't have interest in this type of blogs because I am not a well known personality.

    - Blogs which has dozens of paid and unpaid bloggers who are churning out insane amount of contents per day. These sites don't interest me either, because I am only person who will be working on the site until I reach a point where I have the funds to hire additional authors. Even these sites have two sub-categories. One in which they just publish rubbish articles daily just to have a huge number to show off to Google (these sites stagnates after reaching a certain viewership) and the other is where even large number of contents published daily has very high standard. The second type of blog is what I am hoping to reach. These type of blogs are very very rare for obvious reasons but they are the ones that have potential to be huge one day and not just stagnate to one level.

    - The last kind is the kind of blog which was started by a single person and still more or less run by a single person. Has average number of contents and he is no one when he started out but slowly and steadily generated a following on the internet. This is the type of site that I am interested in creating but once I reach a certain point I want to expand to multiple authors with very high standard for articles.

    All these sites (except for one I found which I am not going to name) had few things in common which I believe is what makes for a good and successful blog on the internet.

    - Very frequent updates. I initially though I am just going to make 12-15 posts per month, looking at these sites made me realize that's a very very low number of posts per month to have. I should go for something like 25-30 posts minimum per month. Anything lower than that I shouldn't even bother trying. This is not easy but I think I can push myself to do it.

    - The all have clean and professional looking site. This is also very important. But of course design is subjective and I found couple of them rather ugly looking but still garners good traffic. In my own biased opinion, my site is rather decent looking, unfortunately I don't want to share the site with you at this point in my journey, but maybe someday if and when the site makes it big.

    - All the sites have good following on social media sites. This is still a work in progress for me, but for the size of my site it doesn't have a bad following on Twitter or Facebook; it certainly could be a lot better.

    - Have patience, things will get better. As an impatient person I needed to see this for myself. One of the things that I did for 40-50 sites that I researched in the last couple of hours is that I looked up their very first entries in their blog. The first 2-3 pages when they started blogging and then I compared them with the recent articles (by the same authors/owners) its just amazing transformation in both quality and the tone of writing and frequency of writing and the type of feedback they got on comment. Just amazing stuff. It show that if you stick to your guns and keep doing it and have patience it will come to you. Persistence is very very important. There is only one way to find out and its the hard way.

    I am sure some of these point I wrote here is nothing new to most of you and probably read a 1000 times by now. But there is a difference between hearing from others and doing your own research and seeing it for yourself and actively re-discover by yourself by actually doing it. A knowledge is only good and useful if you actually get to use it for yourself.

    I will be working in the next couple of days to make frequent updates on my site - I will update you guys if something interesting comes up.

    Yesterday I made .09 cents on my blog. Remind me on this day next month to update you specifically today (I will of course keep updating you guys in-between) to make a good comparison on how far I have come after doing my research and some self-examination in my motivation and goals on what I have to do to be successful.

    Cheers! :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  10. ElbaneDark

    ElbaneDark Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    16
    Occupation:
    EMT
    Location:
    Texas
    Quite interesting, will follow, good luck.
     
  11. ElbaneDark

    ElbaneDark Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    16
    Occupation:
    EMT
    Location:
    Texas
    Nice to see you using Wunderlist -- which is an awesome app!
     
  12. r4ys--

    r4ys-- Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    125
    Occupation:
    Employed
    Location:
    Home of the MH370 and MH17
    you can prolly saperate effort driven milestone, kpi and goals.
    make some note on task dateline and when do you expect your goals and milestone be achieved.
    it will greatly improve your productivity.

    all the best and good luck!
     
  13. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    As I said in my earlier updates that I will be working on some quality articles. And as it is with most hard work, it almost always pays off. I published 2 articles yesterday on my blog and both of them did quite well on social media sites, helping to break some of my easier milestones. Yesterday I made $1 whole dollars :)Which is the most I have made in a day from this blog so far. The traffic stats and the ad stats are on different time zone. Unfortunately I can't change the lijit ad time zone so it doesn't sync with my analytics stats. Nothing biggie, but it would have been nice if it did. Another thing with lijit is that it only pays good cpm with US traffic (that too not always), for traffic outside US the fill rate and the CPM is shitty. But lijit is a temp solution for the blog till it gets bigger, then I will move to better ad network (considering they take me in). I have tried adbrite and it wasn't so good for me. Hoping to get in to BSA when the traffic is good enough.

    stats.png stats2.png stats3.png stats4.png

    The milestone are really easy, but it feels good that I am done with them and now I can move on to completing harder milestones.

    Until something interesting happens the next update should be the end of the month update. Where I will summarize what was done this month and my goals for next month.

    I think its better to only update when there is something meaningful to show, then to make daily meaningless update.
     
  14. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    The thing with this kind of goals/milestone is that some of it is in my control (like how many posts I will make) and the others are completely out of my control (like how much ad money I will earn or how much traffic I will get on my blog). I can only work to reach my goals but I can't control the environments. So expected time frame for most of these goals are not doable. As a matter of fact the only thing that I have direct control over is how many (and the quality of) articles I can publish for my blog. That's about it.

    Cheers!
     
  15. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    I know its not the end of the month yet. But I want to summarize whats been done this month and get it out of the way so that I can plan accordingly for the next month. Phew, its a new year and next thing you know its been (almost) one month already!

    So whats been done on the blog this month?

    I posted 9 articles. Something I am not proud of at all. If I want to reach my goal in any reasonable time than I have to do much better than this. 9 posts is just not enough. Successful blogs that I researched even when they are at the pick of what they do make 50-60 significantly large articles per month. Of course they have the help and luxury of more than one authors, but still 9 articles per month is just not enough even for 1 author. Need to put on a lot more effort on this.

    At 27,000 page-views this is the second busiest month in the six month existence of the blog. Considering that I published only 9 articles, this is pretty good but no where as good as originally planned it to be (100k page-views). It means:


    1. We over-estimate what we can do.
    2. If I can get this traffic from 9 articles, it tells you that I am good at promoting and writing the right kind of articles that people might be interested in.

    Now, if I can scale this effort to triple the amount of update I do, then I should be, to a certain extend also increase the amount of viewers I get.

    So my plans for the month of February:


    • Write and publish 40 articles for this month. This might not seem like a lot compare to established sites, but because its a single person blog and I have other plans for the month not related to this blog I think its a fair amount of posts. The trick obviously is not to just post large amount of articles but also to post good quality articles. So this definitely will be a challenge for me. Consider this. In the six month history of the blog there has been 34 articles, some of them quite small. So, in that context its a significant goal to have I think.
    • Reach At-least 60k pageviews. Of course this is not all in my control. And I don't do anything black-hat spamming stuff.I just write articles and submit them on social media sharing site. But considering the amount of articles I am writing, it shouldn't be too difficult to reach this goal, I think.
    • This month so far I made ~$2.30 at the time of this writing just from lijit ads. I know its not significant, but its still $2.30 more than I ever made anything on the site because this is the first full month of ads on the site. Again things are not in my control in terms of what kind of CPM I get, but I am hoping to make at-least $30 from February. I am hoping that lijit CPM will get better with more time and also I will be making some cold calls to see if anyone would be interested in putting some ads on the site. Again $30 might not seem like a lot of money, but I am in it for the long run not quick bang money and then sink to oblivion.

    Thats all for now. I should put couple of articles before the end of this month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  16. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    Got an email from adsense telling me that I passed a partial review and to install adcode to help pass a full review. I installed a single 469x60 in single article page footer and linked my google analytics to adsense.

    Even though I haven't used adsense in a long long time (6-7) years I have been told by Private message that with my traffic I should be expecting more CPM then what I get from lijit. Which I think could be true because lijit doesn't serve on every visit (fill rate is very very low) and barely serves ads outside USA traffic.

    So hoping for the best to get accepted by adsense so that I can test and see if its better than lijit.
     
  17. sudosu

    sudosu Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    18
    Took couple of days off from computer to clear my mind.

    Got approved for Adsense (yay!) and replaced all my lijit ads with adsense ad units. Will be observing them in the coming day/weeks to see if its working better.

    using Adsense for the first time in 5-6 years, Few things I noticed:

    - They now load ads async. no more stuttering for the webpage to load (hated that)
    - Their Dashboard UI still sux donkey *ss. Ugly and convoluted.
    - No real-time or even short-time delay stats update. Probably the only ad company that does this.
    - No official android app. You would think they would make something like that since they are on mobile OS business big time.
    - Still a 30 day gap before payment.

    Anyways. Hoping for the best. This month should be all about writing contents and generating traffic from social media sites. Hoping for the best.

    Total Earning from Jan: $2.47 (only Lijit ads)

    Edit: just realized adsense actually updates same day earnings. I must have missed it before.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  18. johanrioux

    johanrioux Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    1,701
    Occupation:
    Interactive Media Consultant
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Subscribed. Good luck! Sounds like you've got a good plan.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  19. Nian99

    Nian99 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Good luck. This will be interesting to follow.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  20. stfrank

    stfrank Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes Received:
    1,920
    Home Page:
    I am running some 4 figure alexa rank tech blogs.. If you need any kind of help/question do let me know.

    Tips:
    #Post atleast 700+ words articles.
    #Make backlinks on each post.
    #Conduct interviews each week of popular bloggers.
    #Don't post news/trending topics.
    #SEO optimized articles with proper keyword research.
    #Use only longtails in each post.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2