Joey Kissimmee interviewed me last week for his Income Press podcast. If you don’t know Joey yet then take it from me — he’s one of the good guys. We really hit it off and it was a genuine pleasure to share my story with him.
But what really got my juices flowing was the revelation that Joey’s site makes about $5,000 – $8,000 per month. He told me he manages this with around 500 – 1,000 visitors per day.
In May I made a total of $2,031 (nett) and received on average 784 visitors to my site. Compared to Joey’s earnings, this tells me one thing: I’m not making the most of this blog’s potential to make money. In this post I want to reveal the plans I have to make amends for that.
Joey had one suggestion right off the bat that was simple enough to incorporate immediately — the introduction of a banner for my freelance writing guide on all posts with the “Freelance Writing” tag.
Now if you click through to a freelance writing post on LWB you will see something like this:
This should hopefully boost the percentage of visits to my information product’s sales page as a percentage of total visits to my site — a key metric for measuring the income-producing potential of my blog. A simple trick and one I should have implemented a long time ago.
Joey followed up that suggestion with another: use a link tracking plugin. This is actually something that has been on my list for a long time but I have neglected to implement it until now. I chose the excellent Pretty Link Pro on the recommendation of several internet marketers and I’ve certainly not been disappointed yet.
The plugin enables me to set up trackable links for all of the affiliate products I recommend and also for my freelance writing guide. This means that I can see how well links (such as that connected to the banner in the screenshot above) perform in terms of directing visitors. With that information I can optimize my site which should lead to increased earnings.
I’ll probably follow this up with a more in-depth post on how to make the most of Pretty Links Pro in the future.
Making the Most of My Information Product
For the past few months my information product has made around $1,000 per month. While it has effortlessly outperformed my original goal I do feel that it has the potential to make more.
With that in mind I plan to instigate a new split test with a drastically different sales page. The existing sales page is pretty bland to say the least:
I had my web designer guy draft a more colorful sales page with edited sales copy and I plan on testing that against the above over the next few weeks. I am hoping that a more colorful and dynamic sales page will result in a higher conversion rate.
Beyond that, I may have another crack at split testing the pricing structure of my guide. Although I have tested this in the past, the results were somewhat inconclusive.
Boosting Affiliate Earnings
My affiliate earnings have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since August 2012 (when I first made any kind of real money). I have broken $1,000 in both of the last two months but income was down ~$450 in June compared to May. This inconsistency in earnings hardly fills me with confidence.
My approach to affiliate marketing has been quite soft as I have always been wary not to portray myself as yet another money-grabbing “make money online” type blogger. However, upon reflection I think have been far too cautious. In reality, I think I have a lot of value to offer in terms of teaching people how I use the premium products that I love — doing so can help them. And if I make some money at the same time, everyone’s a winner!
With that in mind, you can expect more from me in terms of actionable tutorials in the near future. I am hoping that publishing such posts will provide a healthy boost to my affiliate earnings.
Increasing Traffic and Subscribers
The above methods focus on optimizing the site so that I can make more money out of the same number of visitors. On the other hand, the alternative approach is to get more traffic and subscribers.
In the past I have fooled myself into thinking that I work hard on building traffic and subscribers to LWB. However, over the past few months at least I have done very little. Sure — I have published posts and dabbled in social media, but how much time and effort have I put into an organized marketing strategy? Very little.
I’m hoping that the release of my book in September will have a huge impact in this area. I feel like I need to something big and bold like publish a book in order to take this blog to the next level.
While I have enjoyed steady growth since this blog started in May 2011, I want to see Leaving Work Behind get much bigger. I hope that the book goes a long way in achieving my goals on that front.
If blogging has taught me one thing, it is that often the best solutions are those most obvious and yet most easily missed. With that in mind, I’d love to read your suggestions as to how I can enable Leaving Work Behind to make more money.
There’s no such thing as a bad idea as far as I am concerned, so please fire away in the comments section below!