Firstly, thanks to Webby for setting me up with an account to blog here. As someone who wants to "make it" but is not quite there (yet!), I hope my scribblings will be of interest to some of the newer people here.
A few days ago I celebrated the first anniversary of my first ever money-making website. Back in April 2006 I launched http://www.yearinthelife.org" A Year in the Life a 500-page website featuring my day-by-day backpacking diary I had written whilst on the road. That month I made $5.08 in Adsense income, and was chuffed to bits. I bought a pint down my local with it.
I worked a few hours most nights promoting the site: posting on forums, exchanging links, and reading hundreds and hundreds of articles about newfangled concepts such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and trying to apply the concepts. But after six months of hard slog, my monthly income had only risen to a paltry $8.
I was close to throwing in the towel. I had invested all that time – at the expense of my increasingly non-existent social life – for seemingly no return; I was even in the red after taking hosting fees into consideration.
Then it all started to come together. I was suddenly awarded a decent Google PageRank, which meant I could start selling text links, which like Kirsty has since become the staple part of my monthly income. I then had a flurry of small affiliate sales through from another site of mine. I started to climb the Google rankings as other sites naturally linked to my content, resulting in increased traffic and a healthy Alexa rank.
As a result, I’m happy to report that as of last month, the end of my first year in this game, my total monthly income from the handful of websites I run has risen to just over $1400.
So what did I do to celebrate? I took $5 out the bank for a pint down my local, and put the rest in my travel fund 🙂
My message is simple: if you are just starting out on the Working Nomad way, or have been going for a while without seeing much return, Do a little, often; keep regularly building links at a steady rate and keep refreshing your content. Experiment with lots of different income streams and see which one works for your site(s). If it ever becomes a chore, take a break. But keep coming back to it, because eventually you make it.