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 know that many of my current readers may have started reading in the last few months and weren’t around for the beginning of Cash Flow Mantra, so I wanted to look back briefly on 2011 and highlight some of my more popular posts from the year plus some ones that might not have been popular simply because no one knew they existed. I suspect this is the case since the majority of the least viewed posts come from that first month online. I myself rarely go back and read a lot of the older material on a blog that I discover unless I am looking for the answer to a specific question.
All of this data comes from Google Analytics and is based upon the number of views of the particular post. I am hoping that the most popular posts for 2012 all have more than 1000 views each and the least popular are at least over 100 views.
Top 5 Most Popular Posts on CFM
- My Investing Strategy for the Next Decade was by far and away the most popular post of this past year. I received a link from The Dividend Blog Guy who obviously has a ton of readers which linked through to check out this post. For 2011, this post got 721 views and continues to get a few per day. It was published on 8/29/2011.
- Bloggers that Make $1000 per Month was tied for the second most popular post of 2011. It received 319 views during the year and really was the result of my wondering if a part-time blogger such as myself could actually make $1000 in a month from blogging. Well, I saw a few fellow bloggers who were able to do it. Then in November, I was able to do just this by about $20. Nevertheless, it spawned an idea that has developed into my newest blog, Grand Per Month. The post was published on 9/19/2011.
- Also receiving 319 views since publication on 11/25/2011 is Warren Buffett, Intel, and Me. I am sure that it helps being in the number 4 position on Google page #1 when searching “Warren Buffett Intel” and sounds like a tell-all book. SEO was not on my mind when writing the post. I was simply pleased to know that Warren Buffett was investing in Intel like I was. I was going after the dividend.
- In the number four position with 283 views is the post entitled “My Thoughts on Investing in Gold and Silver”. It was published on 9/3/2011 and continues to get some views each month. I will probably be writing about gold again later this week.
- Rounding out the top five is New Car vs Used Car – Throwing My Hat in the Ring which shares my thoughts on the topic. I am actually pleased that this is in the top five with 206 views since it was published early on in the life of the blog on 7/13/2011.
Five Posts that Were Not so Popular
Now some of my less popular posts were link posts from the early months when I didn’t have as many readers so I will not be including those. Instead I will be looking for those posts which might actually be decent but might have been missed because of lack of exposure. Each of these posts has less than 50 views.
- Is Budget a Dirty Word? was my post on budgets vs spending plans. It was actually the first post ever written on CFM with the exception of the welcome post. I am not surprised that it got missed by many readers. It was published on 5/27/2011.
- I am really surprised that Sound Money and Cheap Gas did not get a little more discussion. It is actually quite a good post if I do have to say so myself. It was published on 6/20/2011 which was early, but I am still surprised it only received 33 views.
- I am not really surprised that Going on a Spending Fast at Work didn’t see much action. It was published on 6/1/2011 and is more personal in nature. Plus I only lasted about a week so it must not have been very motivating either. I wouldn’t even bother checking out the link I added. But you should read “Sound Money and Cheap Gas” if nothing else.
- Is There a Cheaper Alternative was another attempt at my frugal side which does exist, but can be difficult with 6 kids and a spouse. The post was also meant to encourage creative thought on the part of my readers. Not surprising that it got only 37 views since I didn’t have that many readers on 6/11/2011 yet.
- Finally, The Folly of Using Credit as an Emergency Fund is another one that I am surprised didn’t get a lot of traction although being published on 6/7/2011 didn’t help. I am sure that most of my fellow PF bloggers would agree with that statement so may not even need to read the post.
Top Five Referring Sites
Finally, I wanted to take the opportunity to recognize the top five individual blogs that referred visitors to CFM in 2011. I won’t be highlighting the bottom five.
- The Dividend Blog Guy tops the list primarily from that one link. 320 visits.
- My Online Income is my own blogger blog where I highlight my efforts at writing online and making some money. I started this site 2.5 years ago shortly after I started to write for HubPages and eHow. I still post there about 3-4 times per month and have some devoted readers. 276 visits.
- Life and My Finances sent 207 visitors my way in 2011. I am trusting that will improve in 2012.
- Retire by 40 also sent a fair number of visitors to CFM (135). This is a great blog that I enjoy reading so it is cool to see it in the top 5.
- Finally sending 117 visitors my way was Beating the Index, another blog I enjoy reading since I am into the energy sector as well.
I think this wraps up all the 2011 recap and 2012 goals posts for now. It will be back to regular content on Wednesday.
Oh, I should take this time to mention the carnivals that I have been during the holiday season:
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #13