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Top 10 Blogging Lessons Learned on Traffic, Monetization, and Life


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Living the eMoms at Home life has been a roller coaster ride of late. LOTS has changed and improved over this [very] short span of time.

Some things have been huge successes. Some things still need… er, tweaking.

Yet in my quest to find the good in everything, here’s what I have learned so far from blogging my heart out to you wonderful readers:

  1. All AdSense sites are NOT created equal I did my due diligence and spent a good amount of time researching AdSense design, placement, etc. Thank GOD I didn’t drop hundreds of dollars on some information product promising me millions. I was doing all of the right things, but making less than $5 a day.Why?

    Because of my niche. I don’t think people really trust home based business ads. Why do I know this to be true? eSelfHelp is still up and running - and languishing, because I put it on hold to develop this blog. But my click through rate on that site - with less than 50 visitors a day (more like 20 at times) is astronomical (One page in particular is nearly 9%). I am actually making more money off of eSelfHelp AdSense ads than I am off of this site, with hundreds of DUV.

    Lesson learned: Though I won’t change what I write on this blog to make more AdSense dollars, it has given me much food for thought for additional projects that will generate alternative streams of income.


  2. Competition is Really Coop-e-tition After enjoying a successful career in the cutthroat recruiting industry (actually, I really did enjoy it!!), coming into the blogging community has both surprised and astonished me at times. Now, it could be my peer group choice, but every single person I have encountered (well.. except this one) has been open, honest, willing to help, and seriously | downright | GENEROUS.
    I didn’t expect it, and in hindsight, I’m not really sure why it surprised me so much. But I am honored to be a part of this community of the best and the brightest, and readers you can rest assured I LIVE to take my good fortune and pay it forward.Lesson Learned: Take advantage of the community nature of bloggers by creating joint ventures or simply reaching out to bloggers you admire. But don’t blow it by expecting something for nothing or by being too darn pesky.


  3. Traffic Spikes ROCK The whole reason eMoms at Home is what it is today is thanks to the LinkedIn Bloggers group. They worked together and a group of individuals linked to my blog over two days.I really didn’t understand the sheer power of this medium until this experience - the power to literally transform who I am, as well of the lives of others via blogging is astounding. This is why I started the BlogJolt project - and now I am seeing the same effects on the participants of that group.I watched it as well with ProBlogger’s List Writing Project, and also watched some really talented and funny bloggers emerge and really come into their own as their blogs received the attention they deserved.

    Lesson Learned: If you have good content, you owe it to yourself AND to the rest of us to do what it takes to bring it to a wider audience. To quote Nelson Mandela,

    We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world…”


  4. Traffic Does NOT Equal Dollars The few times I have seen traffic spikes, it has not automatically translated into dollars. Now, there are times when this is absolutely true. But I have also been honest all along that I am learning this stuff along the way as you are. Don’t assume that just because you can get a lot of visitors they will pull out their pocket book (or their AdSense Ad clicking finger, for that matter). Converting visitors into revenue is a fine art - one I am working on all the time :) .Lesson Learned: Don’t get hung up on PR and numbers. Be sure to balance your time between generating traffic AND creating revenue streams.


  5. “Stats Addiction” Needs its Own 12-Step ProgramProbably the most costly lesson of all is the amount of time I could (and HAVE!) spent on checking traffic and refferer stats. “Addiction” is a kind and generous term in my mind ;) . It’s more like an insidious time sucking machine…Lesson Learned: I have put limits on the number of times I allow myself to check stats - 3 times a day, 5 if it’s a ‘busy’ day on the blog. Otherwise my home based business will rapidly turn into my home based GONEiness!!


  6. Online Networking is Exceptionally Effective Boy, is it ever. I’ve talked about networking before, quite a bit. It’s a bit different doing it online vs. in person. Each has its own pros and cons. It took me a little while to get comfortable emailing people I had never come in contact with before. I was frankly uncomfortable with the whole darn thing - fearful of being a pest, being branded a spammer, or breaking some unwritten rule I hadn’t found out about yet.But it has been wonderful. I’ve built up the BlogJolt group primarily by emailing great bloggers. The group is amazing! And see #2 above. ‘Nuff said.

    Lesson Learned: Make it mandatory to get outside of your comfort zone and meet other people online who can help you - or YOU can help. I can’t stress this one more highly. Make it a MUST.


  7. Integrity is King Our blogging community is a fragile environment, with tidal waves of change hitting us on a regular basis. The ONLY way to stay above the fray and ensure the work you are creating will serve your career goals is to make integrity one of your highest priorities.This includes pay per post opportunities (be transparent with your intentions), book and product reviews, and simply the truth behind your content. We can police ourselves, or open ourselves up to legislation - sooner rather than later if we aren’t vigilant about honesty and ethics in our work.

    Lesson Learned: Just like in life, NO dollar amount is worth having if it’s had at the price of hurting or misleading others.


  8. We Live in and Write for a Small World I used to be intimidated by the amount of blogs created on a daily basis. But considering 40% of them are splogs, and hundreds of thousands more never get beyond a post or two, I’m finding the ones that last are literally needles in the blogosphere haystack.Though it makes it a bit easier to stand out in the crowd for now, it also means that much of the time, we are really only reaching a very small percentage of the world with our blogs.It’s a bigger topic than I can take on in a list post… but it begs to ask some good questions:

    What are we doing to expand our reach?

    Is there a way for blogs to make a social difference? (Toby has a thing or two to say about this subject!)

    How do we get our work in front of the people that need it - but don’t even know to look for it?

    Lesson Learned: The big picture is always there for us to look at. It’s up to us to contribute our part to the Big Painting of Life.


  9. Blogging is a Journey, not a Destination For some, this one perhaps isn’t so relevant… for the REST of us, though, it’s somthing to consider. There WILL be blogs that are, and will be, a stand-alone business. But a more likely scenario is that they will launch you into a different career or business.I’m not telling you to stop building your blog - in fact, DO build it into a stand alone business. BUT, in the meantime, take this opportunity to build up other revenue streams. It could be another blog, another site, an information product, a book, who knows?And JUST IN CASE your blog doesn’t make it to the “big time”, at least you have a backup plan (and if you DO make it to the big time, you’ll have even more money to enjoy at the top if you build a strong foundation now!!)

    Lesson Learned: Just like in any business, don’t put your all your eggs in one basket.


  10. I Have Come a Long Way - and I Have a Long Way to Go I am SO damn grateful for the journey to date. My thanks goes out again to those that have helped along the way - as in, hand over my heart thanks. You know who you are. (Hint :: if you are reading this, I’m thanking YOU.)But I had made some assumptions about blogging (thinking AdSense was the be all, end all… traffic would equal dollars…) that just aren’t true - at least all of the time for all bloggers. Silly me.

    Building a name and getting lots of visitors doesn’t mean much if I’m not making a difference or earning an income. I’ve had a ton of fun, experienced massive growth, and now it’s time to get down to business.

    Lesson Learned: I’m working feverishly on the front end to ensure I continue to add value - and on the back end to build my surprise success into a profitable business.

    This blog has put me into a position with great potential. If I never had another visitor again, I can honestly say this journey has been extraordinary and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

    What I do with it now will make or break me as a blogger. But not as a person, mom, entrepreneur, business woman or leader. :)

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    On August 29th, 2006 at 3:52 pm, Jason Clegg said:

    Great post, Wendy! Your lessons learned are wonderful examples for the rest of us.


    On August 29th, 2006 at 3:59 pm, eMom said:

    Jason - I’m always glad to see a visit from you! Thanks for the kind words - and keep up the great work on your blog as well! :)

    On August 29th, 2006 at 8:56 pm, Easton Ellsworth said:

    Genius. It’ll take some time to digest this great post! Thanks Wendy.

    On August 29th, 2006 at 9:58 pm, eMom said:

    Right back at you Easton. I’d give ya a hug if you were here. :)

    On August 30th, 2006 at 9:57 am, cjcm said:

    I begin to worry if I am doing the right thing with my site…but I will press on.

    So many lessons taught in this one post…I can hardly absorb all of them…but thanks anyway to Wendy…one long post with 10 great lessons.

    I have a very looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to go.

    On August 30th, 2006 at 1:01 pm, katiebird said:

    I don’t even remember how I got here, whose link I followed or what inspired me to click it (delayed reaction: It was a speed link from Darren at proBlogger). I’m so blown away by your lessons learned that time stopped.

    I’ll be back. You are wonderful. Thank you.

    On August 30th, 2006 at 4:45 pm, Jeff said:

    Excellent post … this one will have me thinking for the next couple of weeks, at least!

    On August 30th, 2006 at 5:12 pm, Dan said:

    Excellent post. First hand experience always makes for excellent reading.

    On August 30th, 2006 at 6:45 pm, Rhea said:

    Great lessons here. Thank you for being so generous with what you’ve learned along the way. Especially the ‘don’t check your stats more than 3 times a day’. Ha!

    On August 30th, 2006 at 9:20 pm, Martin said:

    What a wonderful post, full of enthusiasm.

    I came via a ProBlogger link and I’m subscribing.

    Sometimes being in this echo chamber that we’re in it’s refreshing to hear new voices and different perspectives.

    And I love your use of original title tags within links. Nice.

    On August 30th, 2006 at 11:06 pm, eMom said:

    Ah - I am seriously late in my comments of gratitude to you wonderful people :)

    CJCM, don’t worry - have faith in yourself, and start thinking creatively how a great blog can be leveraged in your industry. I’m sure an IT pro like you can come up with a way or two to add to your revenue based on the exposure your blog brings!

    Katiebird - HUGS.

    Jeff and Dan - Thank you EVER so much :)

    Rhea - yep - when I get links from Darren I tend to “relapse” on my stat checking. Shhhhh - don’t tell anyone!

    Martin - great to have you here and to know you’ll be around. I think I’ll be spending a minute or two (or a hundred) on your blog as well, as I am in the process of putting together my own information product. Glad to make the connection!

    On August 31st, 2006 at 3:02 am, Karen said:

    A pretty damn spot on analysis. This will become one of my reference posts when I’m wondering ‘why bother’?

    On August 31st, 2006 at 4:32 am, Al said:

    I just stumbled over from ProBlogger, thanks for the great post, another site for me to add to my RSS feed :)

    Now off to read about your BlogJolt.

    On August 31st, 2006 at 7:23 am, Gleb Reys said:

    Thanks for such a great post!

    Once again I thank ProBlogger for suggesting such an interesting and useful read. I’ve signed up to your feed already, you’ve got a great resource and a noble goal.

    All the best!

    On August 31st, 2006 at 10:20 am, Redthebarber said:

    I really enjoyed reading this post and found it to be both valuable and comforting.

    On September 1st, 2006 at 6:43 pm, Lisa said:

    Thank you for all the information in this post. I am a new blogger myself, just starting out. Posts like yours are so helpful. It is such a benefit to be able to learn from other bloggers as a go along.

    On September 3rd, 2006 at 11:16 am, New Website Builder said:

    I am educating myself about the world of blogging, and this is one of the best articles I have read.

    On September 3rd, 2006 at 1:45 pm, Don Chavez said:

    Well put Wendy! Some great tips in there.

    On September 5th, 2006 at 10:20 am, Snug-A-Bug Blankets said:

    I am new to blogging and can relate to the stats addiction, I think I could sit all day and just watch my stats.

    I use Statcounter, Google Analytics, My Bloglog and Feedburner, as well I have a store on Etsy and I just go back and forth through checking the stat changes and analyzing what people looked at. It is so hard to tear myself away and do some real work, it is so exhilarating to watch them go up!

    I may have to go on the show Intervention;)

    On January 3rd, 2007 at 8:51 am, Andrea said:

    I found your site via your post on Practical Blogging.

    I have been thinking about whether the time and effort I put into my blog is worthwhile or not but after reading this post you’ve given me the motivation to keep going.

    Thanks for the great info. I’m now going to check out your archives!

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