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make money blogging challenge week one

Make Money Blogging Challenge – Week One Report

One week already passed since the beginning of the 60 Minutes to Success Challenge. The aim of the challenge (in case you are not familiar with it) was to find out if it is possible to make money blogging in 60 days, spending at least 60 focused minutes per day on online activities related to the blog. What a week!

The main objective of the first week for me was to write the post that described the challenge to make money from a blog and to drive traffic to the blog using free traffic methods.

To drive traffic to my blog this week I used 3 free methods: forum posting, blog hopping and posting the newly published post(s) to Facebook groups I belong to.

1.Forum Posting

This is an underused free method of driving traffic to your money making blog. The benefit of forum posting is two fold. First, forums in general, allow you to have a signature link. This link is directed to your website and as a result you will be receiving some link love to your blog. Secondly, when you comment on other people posts or write your own thread other forum participants will see your link. When your comments or posts are of value to them they may click on your signature link to learn more about you and your blog.

This week I concentrated on Warrior Forum. This is the most popular internet marketing forum and a good thread there may get thousands of views. So the potential to capture some traffic to your blog is pretty good.

Sometimes it is not easy to find posts you can contribute to, because the questions asked may not be in your field of expertise. Again, if you cannot give an answer of value then don’t post. A lame answer is not going to do you any good and your reputation on the forum may even suffer.

On the forum you can start your own thread. You can ask questions, for example. If your question is more of a general interest you may potentially receive quite a large number of views, hence more opportunity for your signature link to get clicked.

! Poor forum signature = an opportunity missed. I have created 3 threads on the forum. My threads got almost 2000 views during the week (that is huge). Number of clicks to my site, insignificant. The reason, my poor signature link. Initially, I only used the name of my website in the signature link (well I did not want to rock the boat, I thought). Only after I adjusted the link to be more descriptive the traffic from Warrior forum came to my money blog. By then, it was too late. The bulk of the viewers were gone!

That was a hard lesson to learn. So make sure that your forum signature link is descriptive. Your description still can contain the keywords you are targeting. This mistake certainly did not help the chances of my money making challenge.

2. Blog Hopping

Blog hopping is nothing more than commenting on other blogs within your niche or related niches. Easy, wouldn’t you think? Well, yes and no. First of all you have to find reputable blogs to comment on because if you post a comment on a blog with a bad reputation it may come to haunt you. Think about, if you hang around bad neighborhoods soon you will be considered guilty as well. You are who you hang out with and that applies to your blog as well. If some of the bad reputation would rub off on your blog, it may lose its ranking and you could lose all traffic from searches. That could affect your chances to make money blogging, especially if your financial success depended on the traffic to your blog alone.

I used the following ways to find blogs to comment on:

  • Recent posts – used keyword specific Google search for blogs in my niche. I narrowed the search down to blogs that were no more than one month old (I tried to reduce the search to posts published in the last 24 hours, but for some reason it did not work out too well for my niche). The idea here was to find freshly posted articles with only a few comments on them.
  • Established blogs – a regular all time search using the same keywords. The reason for this search was to find high ranking blogs related to my niche. The reason to choose these is that these blogs are of an excellent reputation, have a great following and contain excellent material to read.
  • Google Alerts – set up Google Alert to send me daily information of posts or article being published.
  • Commentluv blogs – looked for blogs that have commentluv. The reason for finding these blogs is because they allow the links to your latest posts to be published. Because of this feature commentluv blogs can also be used as a vehicle to find other blogs that interest you and make blog hopping an easier task.

Blog hopping was hard work. I take commenting very seriously as, I feel, I owe it to the blogger to submit a comment of value. In order to do that you have to read the article you are commenting on. Something like “Great post, thanks” just does not cut it. It may in fact result in having your comment sent to a spam box and if not, your comment may not get approved by the mediator. That would be a total waste of your time. You need to submit a comment that will catch the eye of other commenters in order to improve your chances for your site to be visited by them as well.

My results from blog hopping were encouraging. A large percentage of mediators checked out my blog and even commented on my post. A few of these people also subscribed to my mailing list. Unfortunately it took me longer than 60 minutes to post comments. Double that time is more accurate.

3. Facebook Group Posting

If you belong to a Facebook group, in most instances, you are allowed to share your blog posts, providing they are of value to the other members of the group and are not promotional. (Always check the rules of the group you are belonging to.

I often post my newest posts to the groups I am belonging to. They appear to be quite welcome and the group members are pretty responsive to my posts providing, as I said, I offer them value.

“How To Make Money Blogging – 60 Minutes To Success” post (initial post of the challenge) was well received. Many people are curious how the challenge will develop and want to hear about the progress and of course, the final outcome.

Keeping Up With My Blog

I posted only one additional blog post to my site since the beginning of the challenge simply because organizing and driving traffic to my site was taking far more time than I expected it to take. I will not do that again because my main objective apart from this challenge is to keep my blog fresh and interesting for my readers to enjoy. My blog is only in its infancy and it is important that I publish or else my blog will perish.

The Results After One Week Of “Make Money Blogging Challenge”

  • Traffic to my blog has doubled since I initiated the project.
  • Time taken to do the job was over 60 minutes per day. In fact it was more like 3 hours per day (that included writing the two posts last week).
  • Received 4 sign-ups for the newsletter and updates
  • Received 2 sign-ups to BloggingSpree Feedburner feeds
  • Received one friend request on the Warrior forum
  • 3 emails at the Warrior forum from people who needed more information or help from me

Overall the whole week was very productive, but I was disappointed that I had to spend more time on the challenge than I anticipated.

In week two of the challenge to make money blogging I will be reducing the amount of time I will be commenting. I will introduce one or two new free traffic methods I learned from the Simple Traffic Solutions course. As well, I want to publish at least two new blog posts.

I’d love to hear from you. Any suggestions or constructive criticism are welcome. Until next week then!

 

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12 Responses to Make Money Blogging Challenge – Week One Report

  1. Brian Butler January 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    Hiya Dita,

    I really like this idea of challenging yourself in a live scenario like this. It gives us all a good insight into the day-to-day activities of a true internet entrepreneur. I certainly learned some great tips here.
    I think if people really want to succeed, this kind of reality check in what it takes is superb.

    Thank you for such valuable inside information.

    Best regards,

    Brian

    • Dita Irvine January 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

      Hey Brian, I love challenges. They are so much fun, especially when a whole bunch of people participate. This is how this challenge took place. The most interesting thing was that only few of us lasted the whole process. But it was an excellent experience!
      Dita Irvine recently posted…My Blogging Lessons Learned From Years Of Writing A BlogMy Profile

  2. Dakota April 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Hey Dita,

    I am interested in seeing the results of the experiment. I would like to see the results of the others who aren’t tied to Warrior Forum, other forums, etc. In other words, can someone start completely from scratch and build even an income of 1,000 a month in a matter of two months?

    Not sure. If they could. Could they repeat the process?

    ~Dakota

    • Dita Irvine April 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi Dakota,

      When you start writing a blog, no one knows about you, search engines or anyone else, except perhaps some friends that you let know about your blog. In order to make money blogging you have to get traffic to your blog and eventually build a list of subscribers. Eventually, if you follow the rules that appeal to search engines your blog will begin to start being visible in the search engines and you will get organic traffic.

      By visiting forums and commenting on blogs you are driving traffic to your blog which is other than organic traffic. Interestingly, this is important if you want the search engines to notice you.

      For example, part of Google algorithms is user experience /bounce rate. When people stay on your blog for a longer period of time Google will notice that and you will get some points for that.

      But in order to examine a bounce rate you must have traffic. So you need some methods to generate traffic.

      I like to use forums because that is where I expose my blog to traffic (potentially). Warrior forum is for internet marketers. Gathering from your domain name you are in the music niche. I am sure that you will find forums related to the music niche and you can join those forums to talk about issues related to your blog. When you provide good comments, you will get noticed (your forum signature) and you will get traffic from the the forums.

      So driving traffic to your blog is important and with the post Panda Google algorithms you have to help the search engines at least at the start.

      Before Panda, you were able to stuff your site with keywords and search engines “discovered” you and you could rank high quite quickly.

      It just does not work like this anymore.

      Hopefully, you got the picture. As well, even though Warrior Forum is an internet marketing forum you should check it out. If you are going to be making money with your music blog you should learn about some of the internet marketing techniques.

      Best wishes,

      Dita

  3. Lola Stoney March 21, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Dita,
    Great job with your challenge. Honestly, there is so much one can do with limited time.

    Commenting on blogs takes time but it is really worth it. I am here to check out your blog because you commented on mine… see? So it’s not time wasted, As you highlighted above, a number of bloggers did the same.

    I know putting a cap on the number of comments you make per day can help you save time and you can still reap the fruit of ‘blog hopping’!

    • Dita Irvine March 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Thanks for visiting Lola,

      You are so right, I have seen other bloggers visiting my blog after I commented on their posts. I think it is wonderful as I see commenting not only as a traffic generating method, but also as a means to get to know the bloggers in the same niche. As well you get to read some awesome blogposts which normally you would have missed.

      Dita

  4. Jerry Handy March 21, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Dita that was an awesome post and an outstanding week that you had. Your post was very well thought out and neatly organized so that it was easily digestible. It appears to me that you have a good plan of attack and it should yield great results. I personally have been doing a little of both with the blog hopping and forum marketing.

    From my stats it looks like the forum marketing traffic is slightly above the blog hopping , but I am not too concerned about that. I know that my comments will be there from here on out and I cant focus on the immediate results but rather the days, weeks , and months to come. As to the signature issue that you had, I didn’t know what to put initially when I first started and then I came across some info that reminded me to always be selling the next step. Marketing is always about closing, so I try and come up with a signature that’s will sell them on clicking the link.

    Keep it up, I really enjoy your blog and its setup. Excellent spirit.
    Jerry Handy recently posted…60 Day Challenge-Day 7My Profile

    • Dita Irvine March 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Hey Jerry, thank you for your compliment. I agree, it was an awesome week. With respect to the comparison of blog hopping and commenting as you know from the posts I made a huge mistake with my signature link. Had I not made that mistake, I suspect that my forum posting would hugely outperform my commenting efforts. But we learn from our mistakes, so nothing was really lost.

      Dita

  5. Glenn Shepherd March 21, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    Hey Dita,

    I enjoyed reading your update, it’s interesting to see how you’ve made progress through the week.

    I appreciate how difficult it can be to contribute with comments of value and to do so ethically. It can so often seem like we’re just a tiny, almost insignificant voice among a crowd of thousands of shouting people and it can be difficult to stand out and attract attention. But the good thing is that once we start to get that attention by contributing value then our voice can slowly but surely become a little louder.

    I think we’ve all done well with our first week and it’s going to be really interesting and exciting to see how things pan out over the remaining five 🙂
    Glenn Shepherd recently posted…60 Days, 60 Minutes, Day 6 and SEOMy Profile

    • Dita Irvine March 21, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for stopping by. You are absolutely right. I met some really nice people through commenting. I really want to contribute with my comments because I know how hard they worked.

      I also know that getting comments is very gratifying. It make me feel people are connecting with me when someone comments on my blog. I believe that we all feel the same so I want to give back.

      Dita

  6. Sandy Halliday March 21, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Hey Dita,

    Great to hear that your efforts have doubled the traffic to your blog even if it has taken more time than you originally anticipated. All this IM stuff certainly takes time!

    I remember reading somewhere on Adrienne Smith’s blog that she spent a year religiously commenting on other blogs to get traffic flowing to her blog and engage with others.

    I agree about the Forum signature. I am about to change mine as a test as I have not had much traffic from The Warrior Forum.

    Good luck with your next weeks efforts and I look forward to seeing your results.

    Sandy
    Sandy Halliday recently posted…How I Increased My Website Traffic With Non Stop PinterestMy Profile

    • Dita Irvine March 21, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for the comment. I am still upset about my losing all the potential traffic because of my signature. I certainly will be smarter next time.

      I am going to try other forums as well. See how that will work for traffic.

      I am going to catch up with you later on FB

      Take care,

      Dita