I read through my posts over the last 6 months or so and decided that I haven’t included enough detail. So here is the timeline of how this all began.
I read an article in the entrepreneur subreddit about a house cleaning business. It interested me as the dude basically detailed creating the business. I thought, well if he can do it, I can do it also. So I began putting together a plan to create a cleaning business. This led me to ask my brother to build a website for me. That did not work out so well, he was busy with school and his life, and I was eager. So after figuring out the partnership would not work I turned to a friend to build the site. Again, delays and problems came up and the site never got done.
Well, I thought I better learn how to develop websites if I ever want to do this business.
I came across an interesting new fad and decided that there was an opportunity to provide information and in return to earn some Adsense commissions. This would allow me to learn how to build websites and how to rank websites in google. So I started building. I worked really hard at building a new site on WordPress, and by worked hard, I mean I customized everything. I spent way too much time, effort and thought into the process. One thing I have never learned is that I should throw up something and test it out before I spend a bunch of time/effort at it. I am just not built that way, and it has not turned out to be a great trait. After a couple of months I finally got it published. Thus Site 1 was born (I am keeping everything confidential for now). I published the site in December of 2012.
I didn’t do much. I found out that a site had to be online for at least 6 months before I could become part of Adsense, so I mostly forgot about it.
I found a new job and moved. The new job kept me very busy and distracted, and all my free-time went to working on it. This didn’t last long though.
I was getting bored with the new job, and decided to check out the site I built. To my surprise it had been receiving a little traffic, about 150 visitors a day Monday – Friday with a drop-off on the weekends. So, with the 6 month threshold met, I applied and was accepted for Adsense. On October 27th I added a couple of ads, and then sat back to see how it did.
At the same time, I had decided to pursue another attempt at building a niche site. So began the journey. I decided on a niche and started tracking both money and time spent (that didn’t last long though, it was quite depressing).
As I have done in countless endeavors, I got lost in the details and tangents of the project. I purchased a bunch of domains for a Private Blog Network that I still have not built. I also began customizing WordPress again.
We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience. ― John Dewey
I can’t say, that I will never do that again, as I am sure I will time and time again, but at least I know of my proclivity and can question myself on the importance of a task if I feel I am going down the rabbit hole in the future.
Reflecting back on the month of November, I worked hard, and got nothing done. Such a shame. I need to question my priorities more.
I made a pretty dramatic shift early in the month. I decided to switch from WordPress to a Python based Static Site Generator named Pelican. While this meant that I wasted a bunch of time and effort, looking back now, I feel that it was a good move. I have a lot of control over how the end site looks. I can add features with python (and have built a number of them). I can host the site anywhere, well anywhere that will server html files, which is probably every hosting service. It is extremely fast, as there is no database to query. There are no security issues, as it is all static. Overall I am happy with this decision. Note, that at this time, this blog is still on WordPress, but that will only be until I finally decide to switch it over to a static site, as I really do prefer working on them.
The rest of the month was spent on learning and using Pelican to launch a new site.
At this point, I have one site earning money, and that is the original from 2012.
As I always do at the beginning of the new year, I set my resolutions. I created monetary goals for myself, and a plan on how to get there. In addition to the monetary goals I created a set of habit goals. These are goals designed to form a new habit during 2014. As I always do shortly after the new year, I dropped the new habit goals and went on doing the same thing I had always done, fly by the seat of my pants.
January 2nd: first effort to write in this blog daily.
January 5th: first time I dropped the idea to write in the blog daily.
Towards the end of January is when Site 1 picked up a bit of steam.
Published first “Content Network” site. Only problem is that the site is not a good fit for linking to any of my current or future money sites. ahaha! I am not smart. The site is on World Hunger. Seriously, how in good faith can I create a link from that site to a site that reviews $500 nice-to-haves? I have no idea. The site is powerful though, so it would make a good link, if I felt like it was appropriate.
That makes December and January months in-which I worked hard, but didn’t accomplish crap! I did learn a lot though, and I am not one to bash on learning, especially if I can use the knowledge to make money.
I decided to create a new site, and based it on a self-challenge to lose weight. I worked hard on this during the second half of the month.
Finished the new site around the middle of the month and began an concerted effort to publish a blog entry and a video everyday. I actually did pretty good and made it about a month before I dropped it.
The site had a lot of really cool features. I created some graphs, and used a theme I bought off of ThemeForest. This really sped up the time it took to develop a new theme.
I think one of the problems with the site was that it took too much effort on my part each day.
Finally fed up with the time it took for me to do anything, I created a Content Network site in one or two days. That is how it should always be done. The only problem is that I don’t really have the infrastructure in place to manage a network of sites yet. I also don’t have enough money sites to justify their creation. I figure I need 5-10 money sites before it would be worth it.
Site 1 started really picking up traffic.
July 2014 – Present Day
Site 1 generated close to $1500 in one month. That is enough to cover my mortgage.
June has really been the turning point – the month that I have decided that I really can do this. I have a long way to go, but I now know how I am going to start.