I wrote a little blurb about passive income over at Penny Thots explaining how it really isn’t all that passive initially as building a business or creating something does take a lot of work before the income becomes passive. That is what happened for me online. July has been a busy month with a week of vacation, catching up from vacation, and playing softball two nights per week.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t done squat this month on this blog and have struggled to keep up with the others (although I haven’t been doing all that well). That’s OK, since I do feel that everyone needs a little break now and then. Besides, I figure most people will be paying attention to the Olympics over the next several days anyway so I can gradually work my way back into the content creation mode.
Nevertheless, despite my lack of accomplishments (I last published here on July 2nd and mid-May on HubPages), I still managed to earn some money with the blogs and HubPages. So by definition, I am considering the income passive and am thankful for what I was able to earn this month. It is certainly not enough to quit my day job and become financially independent, but it is better than a stick in the eye.
Since I have been such a slug, I have failed to keep up with my carnival inclusions so I will be making up for that now. I have four weeks’ worth of links so bear with me. I also have over 800 articles in my reader and will skim titles quickly for the best ones. When the weather gets cold, I won’t be wanting to get out for softball or golf so my online activities will increase again.
Anyway, here are the carnival links:
When I first started writing online, I was frightened to start my own blog. I was intimidated by WordPress and the thought of self-hosting. I wasn’t sure that it made sense to pay for setting up a blog. So I sought out totally free options and made it my goal to only devote time and not any personal funds to any online venture that I might undertake.
One of those sites that I happened to run across in May of 2009 when I started writing online was HubPages. It provided me a “free” (or should I say “nothing out of pocket”) platform for writing. So I started writing while reading and learning about keywords, SEO and ways of monetizing a site.
I signed up for the Amazon affiliate program and earned a little bit of money by placing Amazon capsules in my Hubs. I also was earning with Google’s AdSense program. Things seemed to be growing rather nicely until the Panda update about one year ago. I saw traffic to my Hubs drop by more than 50% and earnings with AdSense drop by even more.
Panda Was a Good Thing
It turns out that the Panda Update was just the kick I needed to push past my fear and apprehension for starting something on my own. I was also affected by the shutting down of the eHow writer’s compensation program and could no longer make any money using that platform. So taking some of the money that I had sitting in the PayPal account from eHow, I decided to launch my own site.
I started out with Weebly, still afraid to go for it all alone and discovered that I enjoyed the blogging nature of writing content online versus a static site. Ultimately, Cash Flow Mantra was the result of this journey, and I must confess that I wish I had started sooner. It has been a great opportunity for me to meet fellow bloggers and interact.
My experience here has led to the formation of a second main blog, Grand Per Month. I know several of you read that one as well for which I am incredibly thankful and grateful.
More Changes Coming
Which leads me to the point of this post. There have always been changes to the internet landscape. It will continue to shift and evolve with an occasional earthquake hitting. Those that can adapt will survive. I intend to be one of the survivors. I am gradually making more money with the HubPages Ad Program and will be reinvesting those funds to hire writers for more blogs in the future.
In March, I will make just over $40 which will pay for about half of my paid content on Grand Per Month. By the end of the year, I expect it to pay for all of it. Then, I can start another blog or site and continue to grow. I think that it will pay to be diverse in numbers of sites and types of platforms as well as methods to obtain traffic.
Ultimately, my goal is to grow my online income slowly and surely obtaining a nice base. I view it as a marathon and not a sprint and have been planning for 5% monthly growth over the past 2 years. I have been hitting these targets and will do what it takes to continue to grow in a sustainable manner. I would like my online income to help pay off my debt more quickly as it has been doing. Making extra payments will help the monthly cash flow which is what this blog is about.
Fellow bloggers, what changes have you needed to overcome online?
I haven’t spoken too much about specific blogging goals for this year in numerical terms despite having put together a few SMART goals at the beginning of the year and mentioning that I wanted to make $30,000 this year by blogging. In order to get that accomplished, though, I figure that I should have some targets as far as traffic and other types of measures.
Number of Posts
This will be the easy one since it is something that I can directly control. I feel that my blog has done better since going to a regular posting schedule. I was inspired by Derek at Life and My Finances for this and plan on keeping a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule here at Cash Flow Mantra throughout the year. That should put me at close to 250 posts total by the end of the year.
I also plan to do the same with Grand Per Month using a Monday, Thursday, Saturday posting schedule. I would then expect to have just over 150 posts on that blog by the end of the year, giving me a total library of over 400 posts between the two blogs. That is about 4 times the number that I would have had at the beginning of the year.
Visitors and Subscribers
I also have some goals for visitors that I would like to achieve by the end of the year. I am deriving these from Mike at The Financial Blogger. He considers a blog significant when it has 5,000 monthly visitors with 10,000 page views. So that will be my goal for each of my two blogs this year. Between the 2 blogs, I am at just about 5,000 visitors and 8,300 page views, so I am half way with the visits but will need more page view growth. Ultimately to get to 20,000 monthly page views between the two sites, I will probably need more than 10,000 visitors.
As far as subscribers go, I would like to have 250 at CFM and 100 at GPM. Currently the numbers are 116 and 32 respectively. I think that this is a reasonable goal which should be achievable provided I can grow the blog like I would like this year. If I am more than doubling the amount of traffic, I figure I could do the same with subscribers.
I will keep you updated from time to time on the progress of these goals.
As mentioned, I have a goal of making $30,000 this year with blogging as part of the Online Money Bloggers Challenge. With that, I will be making earnings more public so on the first Saturday of each month, I will be posting an earnings report over at Grand Per Month. Be sure to check that out. I will be reporting only that money which I actually receive so that it is like reporting income for tax purposes.
In order to make $30,000 for the year, I have monthly targets that need to be met corresponding to some expected growth in the two blogs. I will then be able to report whether or not I am on target and how much ahead or behind I am. January has seemed like a slow month, but I might actually not be that far off.
I also have an idea for another blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to write but could get it set up, do the editing and managing. I would need to partner with several writers and would use an innovative compensation scheme that I believe would prove to be potentially lucrative for everyone involved. Ultimately, I would need between 10 and 20 writers who could commit to one or two articles per month.
If you have an interest in financial topics and might be interested, send me an email at email@example.com. If I do get enough writer interest, it would still be March or April at the earliest before getting up and running.