Thursday, September 30, 2010

Total Earnings for September 2010

Well, another month passed and time again to look how my online earnings have been going. This month has felt a little better all in all with some encouraging things happening.

The big news of this month is that I have (at long last) received my first payment from Adsense. Yay! This has taken me nearly two years to get this - although it has to be said that it was very slow going for the first, things have certainly picked up in the last few months.

Another encouraging factor is one of my niche sites. I put it together a couple of months ago after finding a high search volume, low competition keyword with Micro Niche Finder. I spent some time putting in links, writing articles etc attempting to get my site onto page one of the Google search results for my key phrase. Frustratingly, it seemed permanently welded to the bottom of page four for a couple of weeks, before suddenly disappearing into oblivion. Naturally I was not getting any traffic at all. I decided to leave it alone for a while.

Within the last couple of weeks I noticed that I have suddenly been getting a steady trickle of traffic. I searched again and have found that my site is at the top of page two. As I have used a Wordpress template that is optimized for Adsense it has been making me a small amount of money every day. The aim is for it to make at least $1 per day, then I need to replicate the same strategy several times over in order to receive a decent income. At the moment I am just concentrating on this one though so I can figure out what works for me, so my current aim is to get it up a few more places and onto page one and hopefully traffic should increase.

There is an interesting contrast with my other blog here which has decent traffic, but makes me next to nothing in Adsense. I am not using an Adsense optimized template for that blog, but I am not sure I would want to as I think there is a danger of losing my regular readers. I think I need to re-think my monetization strategy for that blog. Having said that though I have managed to make a couple of private advertising sales.

On the down side, Clickbank sales have remained slow (just one this month) and only one Amazon sale. Also, as predicted, Squidoo income has dropped off this month.

Here is the total for this month (counting what I have actually received):

Adsense: $101.42
Ebay: $50.08
Private advertising sales: $45
Surveys: $6.29
Squidoo: $3.07
Clickbank: $38.84

Total: $244.70

Not too bad actually! Although my target currently remains at $500 per month, it does feel like I am actually getting somewhere.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Squidoo List Plan (Part One) - Choosing a Niche

This is the first part of my plan for building a subscriber list primarily using Squidoo. The first stage here is choose which niche I intend to concentrate on. My theory is that I should choose a broad niche that allows for me to write a large amount of varied content. Within this broad niche there should be scope to be able to able to focus on a series of sub-niches. By sub-niche I mean a smaller area within my main niche. For example, if my niche was dog training (it isn't by the way), then a sub niche could be training Jack Russells.

The main criteria though, is that it must be something that I am passionate about and have some degree of knowledge. From experience, I find it difficult, and actually quite tedious, to write stuff about things I have no interest in and no knowledge about. The plan here is to concentrate on just the one niche where I can relatively easily come up with new content on a regular basis without having to struggle with researching the niche and being held back by boredom.

More importantly though, you need to ask yourself whether anybody else is interested in your niche. There are number of different ways of testing this. Perhaps the first place to start is to look at search volumes by using Google Trends.  Don't just test out your main niche though - try out some sub niches. For the niche that I am considering the I can see that for the main niche and related sub-niches there was a negligible search volume prior to 2007, and then it has steadily increased from there. The fact that the volume has continued to grow suggests to me that it is not a passing fad, but here to stay.

Other places to look are your local magazine stockist (either online or offline) and look at whether they stock publications that are related to your niche. If there are one or more magazines either directly or indirectly related to your chosen niche then this is clearly a good sign.

Another place to consider is Amazon. A number of issues to consider here. Firstly are there books on sale relating to your chosen niche - specifically recent publications. In my chosen niche there have been several books published this year that are directly related, and hundreds more that are indirectly related. A final point to consider is are there products on sale (and more to the point are they selling) that relate directly or indirectly to your niche. The number of reviews on a particular product gives some indication of how well a product is selling.

So, now I have chosen my niche and I am ready to progress to the next stage.