In my opinion, the best self employment option is to become a professional blogger. This is what I do at least and earning your living online is extremely nice, even though stressful and an existence filled with unpredicted events. My approach is to build authority websites – or at least start websites that have the potential of becoming authority ones if they pick it up – and go as white hat as possible with the link building (aka getting them naturally, which is a real PAIN!). However, all authority sites start out as small blogs with just a few articles and each month I am going to share with you their progress, income reports and thoughts on what went well and what didn’t for each of my blogs.
Since the beginning of the year, I launched a few niche blogs that I will hopefully be able to turn into money making authority websites. We’ll follow them from now on, but before the first income report which doesn’t look too impressive, let’s find our more about them!
Niche site #1
Launched on April 28th, this is a blog focused on a particular iPhone game. I had some partial success with a previous blog that is now earning me passively about $10 – $20 per month and I decided to give it a try again with a more complex game. Unfortunately, the game didn’t pick up in the rankings and even though it’s a potentially evergreen title, the fact that people are not playing it (and therefore they are not looking for information about it) doesn’t help my traffic. Here is how the traffic looks like since the day it was launched:
As you can see, the blog started to generate traffic as soon as I launched it, because there is virtually no competition for it. Unfortunately, I have written 12 articles and I have three more in the pipeline for related keywords and the visitors are not coming. On the contrary, there is a downwards trend that might prove that the game is losing even more interest. We’ll see.
Monetization is difficult with this type of blogs since I can’t really sell anything, so it will focus entirely on AdSense ads. I was waiting for it to get to 100 visitors per day before placing some AdSense on it, but it appears that we won’t get there, so I will have to give it a try!
Niche site #2
This is a parenting blog with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, I never had the time to optimize or really take care of its development. I have published exclusively outsourced articles of not-that-great quality and did no link building. Two days ago I started adding some juice via SocialADR and we’ll see if there are any results. It will be easy to actually follow the impact of these links, since I will be doing no extra link building here. Here’s how the traffic looks like right now:
Again, this is a blog that I have not monetized, but has huge potential. The parenting niche is pretty wide and since I am a parent of an 11 months old, I know what to write about. Hopefully I will have the time too and I won’t have to stick to outsourced material. Monetization plans: AdSense, Infolinks and Affiliate Sales.
Niche site #3
My first real Amazon affiliate website, one that I really plan to invest some time and money in. Until now, I have always worked with micro niche (think 500-1000 searches per month) Amazon affiliate websites with very cheap products. I got sales, but earning just a dozen cents per product isn’t that amazing. Now I have launched this Amazon Affiliate website and I am planning to make it really big. It was just launched at the end of April and no link building has been made:
In May I had to take a long break due to health issues, and this is why I haven’t been able to work on my websites. That’s why it took them so long, but it should be no problem when I start adding new articles from now on: I plan writing 1 article per week for this website and I want to prepare it for the shopping craze in December. Yes, blogging is about setting long term goals!
Niche site #4
This is a pretty interesting blog to follow, as it has a really interesting story. I have launched it last year as a personal financing blog and have been posting constantly on it. However, its domain name suggests a different website, and a couple of months ago I decided to change focus: from the personal finance niche, I’m moving it to a new one that I started a slow transition to several months ago. The new niche is retirement/expat info on a particular country. It’s not your regular South American or Asian country – it’s actually one that few people want to retire to, but this also means less competition to beat.
Right now, here’s how the traffic looks like, with most of it coming to the personal finance articles, still:
This niche blog is already monetized, but brings in some pocket change. Monetization comes from AdSense and Media.net ads, but I am planning to go a bit more aggressive with the ad placements and sizes now that the focus is changing. However, it’s generating some income and we’ll talk about it during my first income report!
Niche site #5
This is the best performing website on the list, as you will see from the traffic stats (and the income reports when they are published). Right now I am only willing to say that it’s in the technology niche and it’s based a lot on referral traffic / viral traffic. You will see what I mean when you will check out the traffic stats below:
All the spikes are of stories going “viral”. I am using quotation marks because I consider something viral from 30,000 hits and upwards, but I can’t find a different word to describe this. Most of the content on this blog is outsourced, so even though it brings some money, it’s not all profits. Monetization methods are varied: CPM, CPC, in-text ads and Affiliate marketing. Links come naturally to this site (NO MANUAL LINK BUILDING HAS BEEN MADE!) and the organic traffic is slowly increasing, so hopefully it will be an interesting one to follow.
This would be my “niche empire” so far. I also own this blog, Thrifty Self Employed, and a few other properties, the latter being the ones that actually build up my online income. But we’re going to study the growth of these niche sites and learn together what to do to build your own niche blog empire!
So make sure you add us to your bookmarks, because I promise that things will get really interesting!