Since then I have decided to adjust my plan somewhat. I now intend to earn a net income (i.e. minus expenses) of $9,000 per month from April 2015 onwards, rather than only turning over that amount.
My thinking behind this is straightforward: there’s little use in me turning over $9,000 if it costs me $8,000 to do so. To ignore expenses is to encourage a way of thinking that does not promote profitability.
If the original goal was challenging, this one is much more so, which means I have a lot of work to do!
My goal for September is to make $2,000, but I’ve generated only $600 in affiliate revenue so far this month. Last week’s post was about the bigger picture; in this post I want to lay out exactly what I intend to do to make an additional $2,000 in the next 16 days.
Why $2,000 more when my goal is only to make $2,000 total, you may ask? Well, I’ve got some expenses to pay for the month (perhaps $300), and I figure that if I aim higher than the goal itself, I have a better chance of succeeding.
Putting My Goal in Perspective
In simple terms, $2,000 equals 20 Bluehost signups. But to boost my earnings for this month, I think I need to do something extra.
In last week’s post a couple of people suggested that I should focus on more than just Bluehost earnings, and upon reflection, I’m inclined to agree. I already have a fairly healthy audience of existing blogger,s while brand new bloggers are thinner on the ground, so in terms of generating short term revenue, I think that seeking to monetise my existing audience would be a wise move.
That’s step one. The second step is to boost traffic to the site. Writing a blog post such as this helps, but I think I’ve pretty much tapped out the Leaving Work Behind audience – I’m guessing that most of you have already at least heard of Beginner Blogging. So I need to look beyond posts like this to help boost traffic.
Finally, there are some more straightforward ‘tweaks’ I can make to the blog that should help my cause.
I’m going to spend the rest of this post putting forward my ideas for maximising my income in September by improving Beginner Blogging in the above three areas.
Of course, all of the above efforts must be carried out without compromising the value that Beginner Blogging offers. I’m not willing to compromise on value just to make more money; that’s not how I operate.
1. Diversifying Income Streams
When it comes to diversifying income streams through Beginner Blogging, I have a few ideas. Some are a little complicated, while others are more straightforward. Given that I have less than 16 days to make $2,000, I’m going to focus on straightforward ideas for now.
Optinmonster is an awesome plugin that enables you to create email signup forms all over your blog. I use it for all but one of the signup forms on Beginner Blogging, so it’s a product I use and love (i.e. easy for me to promote!).
The plugin is perfect for my target audience. A lot of beginner bloggers’ first question relates to gaining email subscribers, and Optinmonster is an easy-to-use and feature-packed plugin that offers the solution they need.
Since time is of the essence, I plan to write and publish a post on the Beginner Blogging Blog today that features Optinmonster. Ideally I’d like to promote the plugin with some bonus custom-made signup forms, etc., and I do plan to do that, but for the time being, a straightforward promotion will have to do.
WPCurve was introduced to me by Joe in the comments section in last week’s post, and it seems like a great service. I’ve submitted a request for an affiliate account (they are manually approved), and if accepted, I’ll get a free ‘fix’ so I can test their service.
If Optinmonster seems a good fit for the Beginner Blogging audience, WPCurve is perfect. $69 per month for unlimited tweaks to your WordPress website seems like insanely good value. I was considering creating a similar service for Beginner Blogging, but I don’t think I could compete with WPCurve. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
All things being well, I plan to write up a post about WPCurve for Monday 22nd September, and perhaps follow that up with a webinar and other promotional efforts.
2. Boosting Traffic
I’m not big on traffic-boosting efforts beyond social media, guest posting and email outreach, so those are the three areas I am focusing on for the time being.
Basic social media marketing is taken care of; each new Beginner Blogging blog post is being posted to my Twitter and Google+ profiles. At this point I don’t have any plans to expand my social media presence by creating Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts for Beginner Blogging, as I don’t think doing so would have much of an impact.
In terms of guest posting, I’d like to leverage my client connections to drive traffic to Beginner Blogging. I’ll be tweaking my author bios on ManageWP, WPExplorer and IvyCat to include a link to Beginner Blogging. This will essentially make every article I write on those sites a guest post for Beginner Blogging.
I’m not going to write any not-paid-for guest posts this month, as writing them is pretty time-intensive and I won’t know what kind of positive impact they’ll have until I’ve got affiliate sales tracking up and running properly.
Finally, in terms of email outreach, I’m going to send out emails to relevant people in the WordPress space to make them aware of Beginner Blogging. I don’t intend to ask for anything, but it can’t hurt to let them know that the site exists.
I’ve got an ever-growing list of tweaks I can make to the Beginner Blogging site; the trick is in identifying and actioning the tweaks that will actually make a difference.
One tweak I do think will make a difference is adding a sidebar to most pages on the site. This will enable me to:
- make new visitors immediately aware of how the site can help them (with some kind of intro box),
- showcase recent posts published on the blog (to capture people’s attention and keep them browsing), and
- add buttons featuring the affiliate products I promote.
I’ll look to get this done over the next couple of days.
Other things I want to tweak include:
- Updating the course material for WordPress 4.0
- Adding to the the free themes and plugins lists
- Publishing the autoresponder emails as blog posts
- Adding a bottom-right slide-in email signup box to blog posts (split test against the bottom-of-post signup form)
- Adding testimonials to the site (for both the course and the blog installation and setup service)
That’ll keep me busy for now!
Will I Succeed?
Making a total of $2,600 in September is a tough ask. We’re half way through the month and I’ve only made $600 so far.
Let’s assume that, by default, I make another $600 in Bluehost commissions. I should be attracting a fair bit more traffic from sources outlined above, so let’s assume that I can generate another $400 in commissions through the boost.
That would leave us with $1,000 left to earn, which would have to come via the two new affiliate products (say $500 each).
Optinmonster offers a 20% commission on their products, ranging from payouts of $10-$70. Assuming an average payout of $20, I’d need to generate 25 sales. That feels like a lot.
WPCurve offers $10 per month, per signup. So I’d need to generate a whopping 50 sales to make my $500 target.
In short, earning $2,600 in September looks like a pretty tall order. However, I feel like I’m making good decisions and going in the right direction.
I’ll reassess in a week’s time and see where I am. In the meantime, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to share them below!
Photo Credit: smlp.co.uk