My journey to making money online has taken me from failure all the way up to a six figure income online. Everybody’s journey will be different. But don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not possible to earn a six figure income blogging.
I’ve done it, and I can guarantee you this, I’m dumber than you are!
There are countless ideas to earn money online. You can fill out surveys for a few bucks at SurveyJunkie. You can earn cash back on your purchases with Swagbucks. You can try your hand at reselling items on eBay. You can teach an online course at Udemy. You can become a freelancer on Fiverr.
You can try them all. But what is it going to get you? Lots of hard work and not too much money. I know this because I’ve tried it all! And here is the one thing I have learned:
There is no better way of making money online than through starting a blog!
I have been able to generate a six figure income blogging from the comfort of my own home. There’s been lots of ups and downs, but here I am making six figures blogging again. I hope your journey isn’t as rocky as mine was.
Let me tell you about how it all began.
Starting Mini- Sites In 2002 (Result? Six Figure Income)
The internet back when I started was the wild wild west. The top search engines were Altavista, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and MSN. Google was the up and coming search engine that was mostly used for academic research.
Ranking at the top of search engines was as easy as stuffing keywords into the title and text. I took full advantage of it by creating mini-sites. Lots of them.
Mini sites were small informational sites that did not update. They were sites with about 10-20 short articles on any given topic. Think of it like an FAQ about a particular subject. The main purpose of these sites was to get search engine traffic (there was no social media) and then get the user to click on the ads.
Here are the types of mini-sites I had:
- the best cruise lines
- the top cruise destinations
- how to lose weight
- wedding dresses
- wedding planning
- car loans
- debt relief
- first date ideas
Yep, I did it all! I probably had 20-30 mini sites going at the same time. It was so easy, just put up content and watch search engine traffic roll in. I would place text and banner ads and get paid every time someone clicked on an ad.
I soon began generating a six figure income online and felt like I was on top of the world!
Then in 2006, Google slapped them all and banished them as part of a thin content penalty and poof! All my online income went away. There I was, with a vast arsenal of now worthless content and worthless domains.
What were my options at that point? It was either quit and find a real job (GASP!) or find another way to get traffic from search engines.
You see, the overall traffic of the internet was increasing, Google’s power was still increasing, it was just my methods were now obsolete. So I studied what sites were ranking at the top for the keywords I used to rank for.
What I found was sites with lots of content that updated. I came to find out this was a new thing called blogs.
That was my lightbulb-moment and off I went to start my next journey of trying to make money online…
Creating A Blog Network In 2006 (Result? Six Figure Income)
In 2006 I started my first blog (cashthechecks.com). But see, my method to making money online was always doing everything big. So instead of creating only one blog, I built 20!
I used the same strategies as before, build build and build some more. Only this time, no more small mini-sites, they would all be blogs. This time there wouldn’t be 10-20 articles, but 50 to 100 articles per blog.
Here are the topics of the blogs I created in 2006:
- real estate
- saving money
- credit card debt
- dating tips
- gadget reviews
- losing weight
- travel guide
I stuck to topics that had affiliate programs and had wide appeal. These topics were successful for me in the past, so why not try them again.
To fill up that many blogs with content, I had to pay for writers. I found that Fiverr was the perfect place. For just $5 I hired writers to crank out 500 word articles for my blogs.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t even read the content they delivered. I just copy+pasted it right onto the blogs. Clearly, I was focused on quantity over quality.
Some worked out, but most were miserable failures! This is how I learned which niches get traffic and which niches make money.
I found that my health blogs and my finance blogs were most successful. They had the unique combination of having lots of searches on Google and lots of products to promote.
In no time I had about 20 blogs, all with lots of content, constantly updating. I was on top of the world, generating a six figure income yet again!
Fast forward a few years to 2014 and yep, you guessed it, poof! All of my blogs were now gone from Google’s search results. This was part of the private blog network penalty. All my online income went away in the blink of an eye.
Again, I was doing something wrong in the eyes of the all powerful Google search. By then there was only one player in town, Google. So I studied up on both off-page and on-page search engine optimization (SEO). I wanted to learn exactly why the sites at the top are at the top.
Here’s what I learned: Your blog needs to provide real value.
Creating Quality Blogs In 2014 (Result? Six Figure Income)
What I noticed was that my blogs were not providing real value to the reader. It’s not just lots of text or lots of articles that’s the answer.
The real answer is to provide value, real value.
I had to create a blog with the reader in mind, not a site created to look good for Google.
Google doesn’t just see the text on a page to determine quality. They look at both who and how many people link to your content.
They also study the behavior of users when browsing your site. Do your visitors stay on your blog for a long time?
These metrics are indicators of value, and are what matters in SEO today.
So for my next approach, I focused on creating only quality content.
I looked around on Fiverr for quality writers who could write content to my high standards. What I found was that they charge about $50 per article. That was way over my budget, so I had to do it all on my own.
Due to the heavy workload of having to crank out top quality articles, I could not manage too many blogs simultaneously. So I chose only 3 blogs to work on.
After my 15+ years of experience I knew what types of content can both generate good traffic and can generate revenue.
I decided to focus on the personal finance niche and build awesome blogs. I mean if you’re going to go through the effort of trying, why not make it great?
Fast forward to today and my blogs are ranking well on Google, the traffic is back and yes, I’m now generating a six figure income again!
Looking Ahead to 2020 And Beyond…
I’m not a mind reader, but I can tell you this: blogging is not a fad. It is here to stay!
Is there money in blogging? You bet there is!
- Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents (personal finance) is making $104,814… per month!
- Melyssa Griffin (personal development) is making $283,680… per month!
- Millennial Money Man (finance) is making $127,213… per month!
- Alex and Lauren (travel bloggers) are making $130,953… per month!
Each of them are bloggers who started the same way I started. With just a dream and not much else!
But with hard work they managed to prove the naysayers wrong and are now multi-millionaires!
The future for blogging looks bright and there’s no better time to start a blog than… RIGHT NOW!
What Can You Learn From My Journey?
Here are the key takeaways from my journey to a six figure income online.
You must evolve your strategies through the years. Nothing lasts forever. Keep changing and adapting with the times. You don’t want to be the last person at the video rental store turning off the lights.
There are no shortcuts.
There is no shortcut to success. Even the biggest sites that seem to have been overnight successes really weren’t.
It’s not too late.
It’s never too late. In fact, the very blog you’re reading right now, EdwinDollars.com, was started in late July 2018. Not too shabby for a new blog, eh?
Hard work will always win.
Perseverance is a pretty cool thing in my opinion. Because even if you’re not that talented as others, you can win if you just keep working hard.
I’ve lost a lot. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ll lose again! But you’ve got to go head-first anyway and just roll with it. Failing, after all, isn’t really failing. It’s just learning the wrong way to do things. Real failure is not even trying.
Ready to set up your first blog? Get my step by step guide here!
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