I am guilty! I admit it.. I never hold records of my blog earnings, so.. I am lost in the making money system! This is really bad because I don’t know how much I am earning from my online business, I have no idea what’s the average of my blogging profits, and it’s extremely dangerous because I never knew how much I spent on my business, I didn’t know the truth about making money online, I hope you are not doing the same mistake! You really don’t want to have a bad experience at the end!
Before you continue reading, This post has loads of my aff links! (Just want you to know!)
Most bloggers think they can blog and earn lots of money!
Well.. it isn’t going to work this way!
And.. Yes! I know.. we all wants to key making money from blogging, but you need to know the ugly face of making money online, which is spending money (first!) Then work hard to to make money! Then.. Work more harder to make more money!
It’s Time to Take Business Seriously
This is not just talking, it’s what I’ve started already to do, and I think you also should start recording your expenses and earnings reports.
One thing I remember from the accounting classes in college was “expenses and earnings”, expenses always comes before earnings, this is why I suggest you start with writing down all expenses first, at least you will not be disappointed at the end of the process if you discovered a high expenses rates compared with blogging earnings. Check out this Blogging for money infographic:
To do this, I’ve created a folder on my laptop, I started to make my first draft of my income report or diary or what ever you like to call it, I use a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to do it, I will fill the cells with my expenses and earnings, but I think one document will not be enough, so.. I will have to create more than one doc, each file will hold data about a particular way. I know this sounds crazy, more tasks and extra work, but in this online money making niche we really need to do a lot work!
Here some examples to help you planing your folders and documents:
I will make it short, and summarize blog expenses to only three points:
- Web Hosting and Domain
- Blogging Tools
Web Hosting and Domain Name
I really don’t want to remember those hard days while deciding which web hosting service is more reliable to host my sites and blogs, and which hosting plan to go for, anyways when talking about web hosting, it makes sense to start small with BlueHost or HostGator shared hosting. then you can decide during the first year of blogging while shared hosting plan still fit your blog and business size.
I also suggest you buy domain name through GoDaddy, they have the best Domain Name management tools and interface ever. Click here to get a Go Daddy $7.49 Sale for .COM Domain Names!
This is a huge topic, there is tons of awesome blogging tools out there ready to serve your needs, you just need to know which tool is the best for you. basically stay a way from free stuff as much as you can, keep your blog premium by buying hot blogging tools, services and products that has support, these stuff like:
- Premium Theme Design, take a look at some Thesis Skins!
- Premium Wordpress Plugins, I use ScribeSEO and Ninja Affiliate
- Keyword Winner SEO plugin for WordPress
- Pro Stats and Tracking Tools, I use CrazyEgg and some other services
- Email list management service like Aweber, I also use popup domination
I have a list of stuff I am using on my blogs in case you decide to do some blog shopping.
First of all, I know you can be a successful blogger by learning alone, but it could take you years to understand what it takes to be successful, and this is big waste of your time, Education and being part of active communities like ProBlogger.com and ThirdTribeMarketing.com is very important for every blogger wants to reach the top.
One of my jobs was to build, develop and manage online communities, this explains the high average of guest posts on FamousBloggers, and why it became a favorite place for guest posting. I am trying to remind myself with some useful personal experiences and things I’ve studied that helped me a lot with blogging , it could be something like:
- Photo Semiology, it helped me to pick images for articles publishing
- Media Staff Training Program
- Electronic Journalism training
- Professional Web Site Design course
- Basics of PHP coding
- SQL Data Base
- And several business classes at College.
You can see from the list above there is nothing about blogging itself, I didn’t really need to study the how to blog, or how to start a business, but I still need to learn a lot about making money online which is a huge topic!
So, here is a list of recommended Blogging Education
In this list, you will find the best blogging courses, SEO resources, Social Media, e-books, workbooks, online money making guides and memberships
- Income Blogging Guide Membership – Andrew Rondeau & Joel Williams
- 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – Darren Rowse
- Guest Posting Workbook – Chris Garrett
- SEO Copywriting ebook – Glenn Murray
- 3 Day Money – David Risley
- Amazonian Profit Plan – Paula and Wanda
- Twitter Dummy Guide – John Paul
- Facebook Ads Guide – Jonathan Volk
I think everything under the “blogging umbrella” should be considered blogging earnings, E.G. I’ve got a freelancing job through my blog, this is a blogging income because if I don’t own a blog I wouldn’t get such opportunity. some people will think different about this, but this is my personal opinion. Also read Kristi’s post on BlogEngage to learn more about the truth of making money online! (great resource)
Although, you will face the problem of categories your earnings from different blogs or websites associated to the same service, E.G. If you have one publisher account at an advertising network or an affiliate network, and you run ads or place banners on several blogs, you will need an easy way to track those ads or sales individually in some cases, this will help you to study the performance of your blogs or sites to be sure of what’s working for you better and makes you more money.
Here is how I setup my earnings reports:
- Paid reviews and Advertising
- Products and Services Affiliates
- Sell Own Products
Paid Reviews and Advertising
I think most of bloggers started their blogging life with paid reviews and placing advertisements like Google AdSense, some of my friends are satisfied with the results, but most bloggers are struggling and they always looking for better ways to increase their income. some times I ask myself, is paid reviews a great way of making money online? I used to do cheap reviews on my other blogs when I first started blogging, and earnings was great because it was a different time, and I was living in Egypt where the dollar equals 5.7 Egyptian Pounds, now things have changed, and also opportunities are limited by the market, so.. I do paid reviews only when it’s about a good product or service, it must be in-depth and honest review, and I should get the price I ask for.
Earnings from advertisements are cool, but still not enough to pay off my living expenses!
After a few months of blogging, I discovered low income, this is not really working for me, so I jumped to the next level immediately!
Products and Services Affiliates
This is the real beginning of making money from the internet, I’ve been lucky marketing some products and services and recommending them to my blog readers and friends. I’ve doubled my earnings in a few months, and now things are getting better and better each day, so .. honestly, affiliate marketing is getting my attention more often.
There are three main affiliate networks I am part of right now, I believe you know about ClickBank, ShareSale and E-Junky, these are affiliate networks that you can find 1000s of product to promote. So, be sure to join.
Sell Own Products
From a step to another, blogging, the marketing, and finally thinking of producing your own product and trying to sell it, this seems to be the best way to do things, I am talking here about the step by step process. Some people would jump in producing a product then trying to sell it, but they face a problem of how and where etc. One of the benefits of blogging is to build an active community to help you marketing your products and earning with you at the same time.
I have one product at the mean time, it’s related to Thesis Theme, I deliver Thesis Skins in a form of a membership site, if you are a Thesis Theme user and run several blogs, so maybe you can spice it up with one of the 4 Thesis Skins you can download for only $29.99 before 25 Oct 2010, this is an awesome offer and will never happen again. I’ve got so many feedbacks to change my strategy and pricing, and I am going to follow these great feedback.
Oh! I also have an affiliate program for Thesis Skins with 50% commission at the moment, you may signup to start making money together!
The real funny thing I would like to share with you is while developing the site, I’ve sold to a few memberships, that was really awesome!
Again plz, Why Holding Income Records is useful?
Note: The more details you are able to save in your files, the better results you will get out of it! Allow me to explain..
- Comparing earnings from last months to see how your plan is going!
- This will help on reporting your Tax income
- Saving records of all your advertisers contacts in one document for fast reach.
- The list can be really long.. you may add in the comments!
I hope this post help you to understand the process of making money online, and to find the truth, there must be expenses for any successful business, the online money making niche is like any other business, you must think of expenses and earnings to know your real profits.
P.S. Feel free to republish or use the “How Much you earn from your BLOG infographic” on your blog or site.