Blog Income for March 2016 – $28.95
We made more than last month at least! But to be fair, this is before expenses. April is not looking good so far. We can officially say we make money blogging, but all of the income is from book sales of our own personal finance books. We don’t have ads. We just started affiliate links this month.[Update – April is over $30 at this point]
Where We Started
I explained our beginnings in last month’s income report (with numbers these low, can I even call it a blog income report?). The Money Professors started as an offline company with an online presence. Only recently did we decide to become an online company – to share our message with more people.
Where We Are
Aside from our Amazon Associates Account we have added a few more affiliates. My approach has been simple. Write a blog post draft. Think about services I have used, recommended, or heard good things about. Then see if there is an affiliate program that is relevant and add a link or an image from that affiliate.
Of course, it is not that simple. Each time I add a new affiliate I have to wait to see if I get approved. So rather than holding up the post, I go ahead and post it with a link to them anyway. If I get approved then change the link to the affiliate link.
The way I do this is with Pretty Link. Basically I create a pretty link (such as www.TheMoneyProfessors.com/PrettyLink) using their Plugin. Then I tell it to redirect everything to their website. Once I get an affiliate link, I just change the redirect, but I don’t have to change the link that was already embedded in my post. This has been great because otherwise I would have to remember everywhere I put the original link and go and change it. This will be particularly useful in my email newsletters because you can’t change a link once it’s been sent to your email followers and it’s sitting in their inbox!
I am still struggling with the concept of charging money for our recent ebook, Turn Your Debt into Dollars – which gives readers the strategies to save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating debt and improving their own credit score. It definitely has real value, but am I too new to be charging money for it? Maybe it would make a great freebie download to get people to join my email list… We just sold out at the $7 price and I am upping it to $12. Each time we sell a total of 10 copies, the price will go up by $5. I don’t know if this makes sense, but it is what I am doing 🙂
Where We Are Headed
We are still planning to redesign the website this summer to make it easier to navigate, but that is more difficult than it sounds. I feel like a kid in a candy store. There are so many options and I can’t use them all! First there is the design itself. Then it comes down to landing pages, pop up opt-ins, etc. I have actually purchased some software recently to help with graphic design and engagement. These may have been a waste of money – or maybe the best things ever – we will see.
I would also like to start a podcast and add a youtube channel. I enjoy teaching more than I enjoy writing so this would allow me to use my creative ‘voice’ literally. That will also be a summer initiative.
The new website will have four main portals:
- Money Management
- College Students and Recent Graduates
- Parents of College Students
- Financial Educators
Here is a screen shot of a draft of part of the new Start Here page.
There will also be three main channels:
- Owe Less (Pay off Debt & Improve Credit)
- Spend Smart (Manage Your Money)
- Earn More Increase Your Income)
Here is a screen shot of a portion of the new home page, just below the main header – (I still can’t figure out what to make as the header).
Now it is all about customer management. How will I make sure the right readers are getting to the right resources, blog posts, recommendations, and the right newsletter/email? This is not an easy undertaking, but I am actually kinda nerdy and excited about what it will become in the end.
Since I work full time as a professor, and am in the midst of a textbook contract (which is exciting but a lot of work) – I am just trying to get into the summer where I will have much more time o devote to the website and the blog. I definitely want to be much more active in the blogging community and in the personal finance niche particularly. I am even considering attending FinCon16, but its on the other side of the country! That means more time spent traveling and time is my scarcest resource right now.
Follow Our Journey
If you want to start a blog there are a ton of resources available that we will be sharing in future posts. But you can also follow along with us. I know it is motivating and exciting to hear from bloggers who are making $30,000+ per month, but there is so much they have already done to get there. You can start from the beginning and see what we do to succeed – and at times fail. We will be as transparent as possible in the process. We are educators after all. We want to help others succeed in business. That’s what we do. That’s what we teach.
There are so many exciting things I can’t wait to share such as:
- The steps to start a blog
- Choosing a hosting provider
- Choosing the right theme for your site
- Choosing a shopping cart
- Choosing an email autoresponder
- Joining an affiliate network
- Backing up your site
- Site security
- Looking at the numbers
- Storage and site performance
- The list goes on..
Since I teach business for a living, I anticipate creating some of the above topics as their own standalone face-to-face courses. If so, I will create an online version as well once I get the bugs worked out offline so you will have a high quality college-caliber course without all the additional fees and expenses.
Learn to Make Money Blogging – Or Just Make More Money Period
If you want to learn how to start a business, and want to watch one as it unfolds (our April sales so far are a whopping $14 – so we are really starting from scratch) – then follow us along.
In the meantime, keep making smart money decisions and push yourself further in your career or your entrepreneurial adventures. Feel free to post comments or questions. We look forward to sharing this journey with as many people as possible.
As part of my blogging journey, I have started to join in on some link parties. Next month I will try to list the ones I use, there are about 4 or 5 at the moment. Here are a few below: