About 1 month ago, I decided to start my own blog, finally. I was playing with that idea for a few years already, but never really believed that anyone would be interested in what I had to say. But based on the feedback I got from you guys so far, it wasn’t all that bad idea at all.
In one of the emails, that I sent to the subscribers of my email list, I asked for suggestions on topics to cover on this blog. To my surprise, large % of those who replied, asked me to document the process of building this very own blog and to write about why I’m actually working on it, what I expect from it, how much time and $ I spend on it …
I’m building this blog for you, people who read it … so if you want that stuff, I shall deliver 🙂 And since a month has passed already, now would be a good time to look back and sum up what I’ve done with the blog so far.
WHY DID I START THIS BLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE?
There were 3 main reasons behind this decision:
1st Reason : About a year ago, I got seriously tired and bored by running affiliate campaigns only. My whole day was about buying traffic, analyzing data and setting up new campaigns. I needed a new challenge and that’s why I took the position of a Moderator on the STM Forum.
At first, I thought it would be a short journey, but I realized that I actually loved to write articles, respond to questions and give help those who take the time to ask for it. The feedback I got from the people was very positive too, which gave me the confidence I needed – I could see people actually were interested in the experience I gathered over the years.
2nd Reason : When I started in AM, many years ago, it was all about building sites. And that’s what I was doing for a long time too. But that’s all gone now, it’s been quite some time since I built the last site. And I somehow felt the temptation to do it once again and see, if I still have the skills it takes. And since it’s always a good idea to build a site in a niche, that you know as much about as possible … this blog was a logical decision.
3rd Reason : I decided to build a personal brand of mine. I was living in the background for too long and it didn’t really help my business at all. In a business like AM, the right connections can mean everything, so I finally decided to stop living under a rock and put a face next to the nickname. This wasn’t an easy decision, since I really value my privacy, but this post from CharlesNGO really helped me to make that final move : https://charlesngo.com/personalbrand/ Read it if you haven’t, it’s a great article.
WHAT DO I EXPECT FROM THIS BLOG?
Many people asked me about the expectations I have for this blog, whether I’m doing it for “money” and what’s my motivation to invest time and $ into it in the first place.
First of all, I don’t have any set of expectations that I could define just like that. I gave you my reasons above already, but I certainly do expect some gains from this, otherwise I wouldn’t spend some much time on it.
I expect this blog to make me feel good in a way. I’m already getting messages from some readers, who are telling me how much they like the articles I did write so far, and that they helped them in their affiliate careers. This is instant gratification, and it’s an awesome feeling that money cannot buy. This stuff is really addictive, try it ones and you’re hooked 🙂
I expect this blog to help me keep my mind clear and be my go-to resort, when I feel bored and tired by running campaigns. It’s really hard to stay focused on just one thing at times. You need a way to refresh your mind and do something else from time to time, or you will burn out in no time.
I expect this blog to help me grow my business in a way. AM is a lot about who you know and who you network with, and I’m sure this blog can help me with that.
I don’t expect this blog to make any money directly, not anytime soon. Making money with it, isn’t my intention, that’s not why I’m working on it. But let’s be honest here, I’m not stupid and so aren’t you … if there is a way to make some money with it, in a non-intrusive and honest way, I will do it… I mean, why shouldn’t I? For example by selling an AD spot, or recommending a product that I know is good … I don’t see a single reason to not do this. We will see what the future brings and how many readers I will be able to attract. For now, monetizing this blog is not a topic at all.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME NUMBERS NOW.
There are 23 articles posted on this blog as of now, this one is the 23rd actually. The first one was posted on the 4th of October and it was this one : http://www.matuloo.com/welcome-to-my-blog-about-affiliate-marketing/
I am not sure if I can keep such high posting rate, so far it was 1 article in 2 days on average. But I would certainly love to post at least 2 articles a week, hopefully 3. Funny thing is, writing the articles alone isn’t such a problem, but coming up with topics that you would be interested in … now this is a problem. Please, send me TOPIC SUGGESTIONS !!!
Let’s take a look at traffic stats, here is the first screenshots for you, going all the way from 9th October up to 15th November.
As you can see, the number of visitors is growing slowly. The spikes are caused by shares on Facebook. The highest day so far was November 11th, with almost 230 sessions. If the trend continues, the daily traffic will not fall below 100 visits pretty soon. I would say it’s a pretty good result for 1 month old blog in a relatively small niche such as AM Marketing. I’m not too happy about the on-site times and pages-per-visit figures. This can definitely improve.
I also included the breakdown by country, I think it’s pretty interesting mix so far 🙂
Social media and the email list help with getting visits to the blog a lot. Every time I send out an email, many of you come to the blog to check out the updates. And a fair share of you also respond to my Facebook posts in the same way.
The second screenshot shows the breakdown of visits by acquisition method:
As you can see, social media is leading the way for now, it’s all from Facebook. Referrals are pretty much all from StackThatMoney.Com, which is the forum where I moderate, so no surprise here. I was really pleased to see Google react in a pretty timely fashion, the first visits from Google came on October 26th. Its just a trickle for now and it goes up and down from one day to the next, let’s see what happens in the next few weeks. There is also a large % of direct visits, which is pretty much all returning traffic, so people who come back for the updates. I’m really glad to see it’s such a high %.
Let’s take a look at the next screenshot now. It shows the amount of email subscribers. In case you’re wondering, I’m using the GetResponse.com tool for email collection.
As you can see, there is currently a bit less than 150 subscribers on the list, growing at an average rate of 4 per day. On some days it’s 0, the best one so far was 12. The best days are, when I post a new article and it get’s shared on Facebook – no surprise here either.
I’m not sure what to think about these numbers yet, it’s too soon to make any conclusions. I’m happy about one thing thou, so far not a single person unsubscribed.
WHAT ABOUT THE INVESTMENTS SO FAR?
Everything comes at a price, and this blog is no exception 🙂 Let me sum up the expenses I had so far, this might come in handy for anyone who plans to launch a blog for example.
1. Hosting – I used one of my servers, so 0 cost. Hosting is very cheap these days and a blog doesn’t require a super fast server, so I’m sure any “$5-$10 per month” plan would cut it without any problems.
2. Domain – I paid $7, you can get them as low as $0.95 thou.
3. Scritps – I used WordPress CMS, which is FREE. Along with a few plugins that were all free too.
4. Theme – Didn’t want to use the default WP theme, so I purchased one on ThemeForest.Com, $45.
5. Email List – I picked GetResponse.Com, the first month was free, then I had to upgrade to a paid plan. I picked the smallest one obviously, so 12 EUR = $13.5
Total costs to build the blog : $65.50
I also invested a bit into advertising. Why? Because I hate to write something, when there are no readers 🙂
To be able to target who I want to read my stuff, I chose Facebook for this.
First I made a Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/matuloocom/ Then I launched a few AD campaigns to promote it.
I tried 3 things so far : To boost a few posts, to start an ad campaign to get page likes and another one to get site clicks. Boosting posts didn’t really work out, the response was pretty poor. Getting page likes works pretty good and so does the one for getting some clicks to the site.
I still keep the 2 running, with a small $5 daily budget for both. This way, I was able to drive the “LIKE” count of the page up to 500 already. Thanks to good targeting, these people also react pretty well when I post something. The ratio of Paid to Organic likes is about 65/35 so far.
The total cost of Facebook promotions so far was $136.
This means, I invested $201.50 so far, to make the blog what it is today.
WHAT ABOUT THE PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
I think the most important parts of the project have been all covered so far. Based on how much the situation changes, I will write a similar post every month or maybe every 2 weeks if it makes sense.
My plans for the future are pretty clear when it comes to this blog. I want to post more useful articles and attract more readers. I know it could use a better design, better post formatting etc … but for now, I believe the content is more important than anything else.
Should the readership grow continually, I will spend some time on making it better of course.
I would like to emphasize one thing again, I’m writing this blog for you guys, please let me know what you would like me to cover! Do you want more about how to work with paid traffic? More about building sites? More general AM stuff? Or should I mix it like I do now?
I’d love to hear from you. Reply to the emails I send out, or comment here. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner!
Thanks for reading.