Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Good Backups Make Happy IT People

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Backups are such a pain. Mostly because you don’t ever need them until you need them and then you just hope that they work. Of course, they also hit you at a time when you’re least expecting them. You can be completely consistent checking and verifying your backups and then the week you decide to not test it (or just plain get busy and don’t do it) is the week that you end up needing it for real.

Luckily, I’m writing this post without an experience to share in this regard. Although, I am in an evening where I’m going through and adding some more backups to my various blogs. I’d say I do a reasonably good job with backups considering the data that I’m working with, but I could always do better.

The good part for bloggers is that there are a lot of plugins out there to help you with your backup needs. wp-db-backup is my favorite. Simple and just straight up works. It doesn’t get the files which is annoying on some sites, but most of my sites are content anyway, so for me it’s all about the DB backup.

Add the email backup it provides with gmail’s filters and space and it’s a pretty sweet backup solution.

Monetizing My Blogs

Friday, September 10th, 2010

On a forum I recently started participating in, someone asked me a question about how I monetize my blogs such that I can be a full time blogger. Here’s the question in it’s full form and my response:

“Mind telling us what you blog about and what your revenue stream is
(advertising, affiliates, etc.)? I’d be interested in hearing about
it.

Aaron”

I mostly blog about 2 main topic areas: Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and TV Shows. You can see my full list of blogs: http://www.crashutah.com/about/

I have 3 main revenue streams:

  1. Direct Sale Ads – I have 20-30 ads for my blogs that I’ve sold directly to advertisers. My first ads came from people interested in getting some SEO value of having an ad on my site. Over time my traffic has increased that they get a number of benefits including SEO and click throughs. I haven’t really solicited too many advertisers. I just posted an image on my site that said “Advertise Here” and that linked to a page with some details. Although, I do occasionally find an advertiser from someone I’ve met.
  2. PayPerClick (PPC) – My strongest source of revenue for this is Google Ads. It took me a month to get my first $100 check. 3 years to get my second $100 check. Then, I found the right niche and how to scale up traffic and it’s done very well for me. I also do some text link ads which provide some revenue, but not a significant amount. I’ve also been trying to diversify this revenue stream by trying adbrite and others. Can anyone get me into the Microsoft ad network?
  3. Affiliate – This is an interesting part since my EMR sites sale $1000 scanners which make a nice commission, but obviously I don’t sell that many of them. My TV sites have a niche around the music from TV shows and so I sell iTunes music like hot cakes, but at $1 a song it takes the volume to really add up. I also do pretty well with Ticketmaster tickets that are kind of the middle of the road between those 2 extremes. Amazon affiliate has been decent for me too. I was sad that eBay partnered with another site for tour/concert ticket sales and killed that revenue stream for me.

I do a couple other minor things with a job board and other affiliate things, but those are my major sources of blog revenue which let me work for myself full time.

I have a different focus than many other people who make money through advertising/affiliate. Many people that do it create a zillion websites about things they know nothing about and just drive the traffic like crazy to these things and make a commission on the traffic. Often they’re paying for lower cost Google Adwords in order to convert either higher paying Google Adsense or higher paying affiliates. Personally I don’t feel comfortable doing that.

Instead, I build a website that’s chock full of content that provides value to the readers (at least that’s the goal). I spend $0 on marketing (so far) and instead use free online marketing methods and great content to build the traffic and community. Then, I monetize that traffic using the above methods.

Anyway, this is probably more than you wanted, but take it for what it’s worth. I’ll be telling more of my experience becoming a full time blogger at WordCamp Las Vegas.