Hi! My name is Pauline Paquin and I just launched MakeMoneyYourWay.com, a website that helps readers diversify their sources of income with real estate, investing, entrepreneurship and online endeavors. I plan on practicing what I preach, so my new challenge is to make $3,000 on Make Money Your Way by the end of the year. The site launched on July 1st, leaving me six months to reach my goal. Here is how I plan on doing it.
Starting A Site
One of the first blogging mistakes I made with my first site, Reach Financial Independence, was blogging in a cave for the first few months. I was writing dozens of posts, some not so good (English is not my first language, so it takes practice to write better), some pretty decent. No one read them. I came out of my cave after 3 months and the results on the stats were impressive. If you plan on monetizing your site, whatever way you choose, you need visitors to click on your ads, to buy your eBook, to boost your metrics and attract private advertisers, etc. So from day one, I have pushed my new site as much as I could in front of the biggest audience possible.
On MakeMoneyYourWay.com, I am posting three times a week. It gives me time to:
- reply to every single comment and form an engaged community around the site
- network with other bloggers
- promote my posts on social media
- guest post on other sites
- keep posting three times a week on Reach Financial Independence as well, so readers stay interested. RFI has had some success so far, so the advantage of launching your second site is that you can piggyback on the first one and promote your new site there.
Actually I have even hired a VA who helps with the social promotion, looks for pictures, and uploads my posts, allowing me to really focus on the writing and networking. It saves me a lot of time, as I don’t want to spend the whole day blogging, even though I don’t have a 9 to 5 job.
Boosting Your Stats
In order to land private advertising contracts or to rank better in search engines, which in turn will bring more people to your site and more advertising revenue, you need to focus on improving your site’s metrics. As I run a small advertising network, I have found out that advertisers mainly look at your PageRank, Domain Authority, and Alexa Rank. How do you improve these?
This is a rank from 0 to 10 that Google gives you, and updates every quarter or so. You can improve your PR by getting as many links as possible from other better ranking, higher PageRank sites. As a PR 0 when you start, getting a link from a PR3 or a PR4 site is a big deal, as it is considered a vote of confidence that your site is of quality, worth being referred to by a higher ranking site.
How do you get a better ranking site to link to you? By networking. Offer to guest post there, become friends with the blogger, link to their content when you think they wrote something worthy of mentioning, and some may reciprocate. DO NOT try to pay for links – buying links and link farms are frowned upon by Google, so your links will be considered poor quality and have little value.
Moz’s DA is a grade from 0 to 100 that determines how influential your website is in your niche. Again, to improve your DA, you will need to network and manage to get as many links as you can from authority sites. Advertisers start getting interested when you reach a domain authority of 30+. However, note that it is much harder to get from 30 to 40 than it is to get from 0 to 10. DA updates about once a month, so until you get your first PR update, you can see how your site is doing with DA. A strong DA, combined with a good PR, is what most advertisers look for.
Alexa lists how popular your website is, based on the number of people visiting in. How does Alexa know how many people visit your site? It tracks user’s behavior with a toolbar installed on their browser. Meaning that you should install the toolbar today so you start improving your Alexa Rank. After a month, Make Money Your Way has an Alexa rank of 250,000, meaning it is in the first quarter million sites people visit most frequently, but this is probably not so accurate since a great percentage of visitors are other bloggers. Don’t focus on Alexa too much, but it is a nice metric to follow your progress, especially because it is updated daily.
Monetizing Your Site
There are many ways you can monetize your site, and here are the main monetization methods I will focus on.
PROS: You place links about products you use, or write reviews about products you think may interest your readers, and get a percentage on each sale. Your readers will click on the link if they are interested, and that is very easy money, especially if you genuinely recommend using the product or service in the first place. You do not violate Google’s webmaster guidelines for linking to those companies as long as you “nofollow” your links.
CONS: You can turn into a reviewing machine and stop being an interesting or honest blog. Your readers can be disappointed if you recommend a bad product.
Low income until you get decent traffic, unless you get very targeted traffic from the start.
PROS: You get a little money for each click, it is easy to set up and you can simply forget about it. It is unlike an affiliate link, where you have to write a review and update it regularly with changes to the product/service.
CONS: You get very little money, unless you target a high paying keyword, or have tons of traffic. Visually, your readers can be annoyed by the ads.
PROS: Banner ads are easy to put and can make you a decent amount of money. You can put up a banner and place a reminder in your calendar to take it off when the deal is over. With a popular site, you can charge hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.
CONS: Again, your readers may not like it, and stop visiting your blog. Putting a couple of banners is fine, but there are sites where you can’t figure out what is the real content and what is the ad.
PROS: Again, pretty easy money just to put up a post with a link to a company.
CONS: Publishing too many ads can drive your readers away. If you make the link a “dofollow”, and do not specify that you have been compensated for putting that link on your site, you are violating Google’s rules, as this unnatural linking messes up Google’s algorithm. Be ready to get punished by Google if they find out, namely lose your PR and drop in the search engines, meaning the end of good traffic and juicy ad deals.
Selling Your Products
PROS: Writing an eBook is not much more demanding than writing a dozen posts like this one. Mentioning on your blog that you offer consulting services, or that you design websites, is easy and can bring you a few clients once your site becomes popular. I hate selling stuff to my audience and prefer to provide free content while putting ads on my site. However, I have made extra money providing services to other bloggers, such as my advertising network or a carnival submission service. All of my clients came through my blog and networking efforts.
CONS: Why would people buy your book? Your product? Are you the very best in your field? In the personal finance niche, where my sites are, why would people buy my book and not Dave Ramsey’s or another money guru’s? With so much free content on the internet, how do you differentiate your site and eBook? Unless you provide an original product or a service that is valuable to the masses, making money selling your products can be a lot of work for little money.
Again, you can check my progress and tips on how to make money online at Make Money Your Way!