Experiment #1: Back in 2008, I started a bunch of project websites to explore how to make money online.
Flash forward to 2019, and only one of those baby experiments is still going. But, this WordPress website right now is my main money maker.
I write about multiple topics, do product reviews and use affiliate marketing links to monetize the site.
Table of Contents
- Current Focus
As I start a new career in digital marketing and turn making money from the internet into my full time job, this Project #1 is where I need to spend most of my time.
I don’t have time to keep on working hard. I need to optimize my efforts and try to focus my limited time on things that actually pay out.
If we look at some numbers, Project #1 has made me the bulk of the $45,198 (CAD) that I made before 2019 using affiliate marketing.
- From 2008 to 2018, this WordPress website made me approximately $36,000 (CAD) using affiliate links from Commission Junction.
- I’ve written over 170 posts about various topics, including product reviews for various merchants.
- Of these posts, 22 of them have actually made me money. (In other words, around 13% of all the posts I wrote actually generated online income.)
- Of the posts that made money, 2 of those posts made approximately $24,000 (CAD)
What’s my current focus for this project?
- I need to focus on specific keywords that generate traffic and convert into online sales
- I need to monitor results and optimize what I do.
- I don’t need to produce more content now. I need to focus on getting more traffic to the content that converts and makes money.
How to Make Money Online 2008 Project 1 Strategies to Make Money Online
I’m trying to monetize this site in two ways:
- Affiliate Marketing links on Product Review Pages
- Google Ads on other high traffic content marketing pages
Hands down, the strategy that makes me money on this site is doing affiliate marketing using merchants from Commission Junction.
I’ve also run Google Adsense ads on the website, but I found that those ads made less money than the affiliate links (per click)
So far in 2019, I’ve made $3,080 (USD) from affiliate links.
At the time of writing (May 25, 2019), there have been 144 days from the start of the year. So (right now) this project makes me approximately $28 CAD per day ($21 USD)
Approximately 4.89% of people who click my affiliate links end up buying from the merchants.
So, I think my strategy needs to be to drive more traffic to the product review pages that are driving traffic to my merchants
How to Make Money Online 2008 Project 1 Strategies to get more traffic
My current strategy (which seems to be working in May 2019) is to update my key landing pages daily to see if that helps me rank in Google.
How to Make Money Online 2008 Project 1 What does Effort look like?
There are a few things that I can measure and keep track of to see if I’m putting in the effort
I try to stay focused my planting digital trees on this mindfulness app.
Each tree represents 25 minutes of focus, so every day, I plant a tree and:
- Update the landing pages and tweak a sentence or paragraph (or two)
- Submit the changes to Google Search Console
- Look in SEMrush to see if visibility and estimated traffic numbers go up.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
So, at the end of May, I should have 31 trees planted.
I know that at the end of Q1 2019, affiliate marketing counted for 62% of the money I made online. But, I also know that I spent very little time on this project website in that quarter.
(I only re-started using the Forest App in April 2019, so I don’t have the data to show my time allocation.)
How to Make Money Online 2008 Project 1 Deciding which pages to focus on
I can generate reports from Commission Junction to see which of my WordPress website pages results in the most sales.
I use SEMrush to get an estimate of which pages on my website rank for the most keywords. These are the landing pages I should prioritize.
How to Make Money Online 2008 Project 1 Wonder what experiments to try
- I wonder if using Google Analytics and Google Search Console will give me better insight as to which of my WordPress website pages are the most popular. (And therefore, the ones that I should spend time trying to rank for organic search traffic.)