- Internet & the Web
Time to Recharge My Batteries
When I first considered blogging I really didn't know anything about it, so naturally I started to Google "blogs", "bloggers" and "blogging". I soon learned that it was extremely easy to set up a blog, especially for someone who knew nothing about building a website, SEO and all of the other "tech stuff" that goes with it. I learned that there were both free platforms and paid platforms. After looking at a few of the free platforms I chose one which seemed easy for me to use. I started writing with this platform, monetized it and waited for the traffic to come.
Well not much really happened, as I had expected. By this time I learned a little bit more about blogging and the use of widgets and link sharing. I soon realized that the hosting program I chose limited me as to what third party widgets and tools I could use. I also learned that the customer service there was non existent. After trying several times to obtain help I decided to quit that site and try another platform. I ended up with Blogger, as it seemed much easier to use and there were a number of third party tools I could use, After initially having only one blog, I then added two more blogs with different foci, after I got used to using Blogger. I even tried building a forum on a paid web hosting site, but gave up after the only traffic I received was from my own visits.
After two years now I have settled in with one travel blog, Retired in Malaysia and an opinion and political blog, Steveso Thinks. I have been concentrating all of my blogging efforts on these two sites, with the aim of at least doubling the traffic on Steveso Thinks. I spend most of my time writing posts for the two blogs as well as writing an occasional Hub for my Hubpages account. I still do research on how to increase traffic both for the blogs and Hubpages. After much thought, a couple of months ago I decided instead of using free tools for blog promotion I would spend a little money on OnlyWire, a content submission tool and also Alexa Pro, a tool to help me analyze one of my blogs progress, or lack of progress. Thus far I have not seen much of a change, except in my bank account.
It has seemed as though I had come up against a brick wall in trying to drive traffic to my blogs and Hubpages. After spending many hours in researching how to increase traffic to my blogs and also how to make money, I saw no results. I was ready to give it up. I live in Penang, Malaysia, where the weather lately has been extremely hot and humid and where the Internet is not always reliable, so I became quite lazy about writing any Hubs or blog posts. Since it was also Chinese New Year, which can go on for a couple of seeks I could not find any energy to publish anything. I was on the verge of giving it all up and never writing anything again.
For some reason I once again turned to the Internet looking for successful blogs with a great deal of traffic and also a great deal of income. Regarding the making of money by blogging there are hundreds of sites telling how easy it is to do so. That's a lot of crap. When I checked out the top money making websites I noticed a few things. First of all the sites were very professionally designed, with a number of pages and several features. Secondly there wan't just one author, but several writers or bloggers with their own specialties. Thirdly the blogs were updated not only once a day, but often several times a day. All of this costs a great deal of money and they must make money in order to survive.All of these sites used Google AdSense as well as other types of advertising. I found out that in order for a blog to make any kind of decent money it must have at least 1000 unique visitors a day.
Almost every website I looked at, which said how easy it was to make money blogging, referred to blogs where a product or service was sold. It was almost impossible to find any information regarding making money with a personal opinion, political or travel blog. There were, however, quite a number of blogs that would offer you tools or advice on how to do just that, but for quite a hefty fee. I have come to the conclusion that the only blogs that will make money are those that sell false hopes to people like me! I could spend hours upon hours reading different blogs and websites that promised wealth and fame for those who had the patience to stick with their sites and spend a bit of cash. It is interesting to not hat many of these sites has a last post date of 4, 5 or even 6 years ago, I guess they couldn't survive their own advice.
Blogging has become a hobby to me and a way to keep my mind sharp, while voicing my opinions to anyone who wants to listen. It would be nice to make enough money to cover my expenses keeping my blogs up and running and paying for my two promotional tools, but I know that probably won't happen. I don't care, I like what I am doing and I will not accept defeat, even though just about all of the professionals say I will fail. I can't fail, as long as I keep trying.