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Fear and Anger Are Freaking Motivating

I’m annoyed.  No, that isn’t really the right word.  I’m freaking ticked off.  And now I’m motivated to change.

Blog Advertising

My husband and I run a blog advertising business.  Google hates paid links and ads (although Adsense seems to be fine to them).  So every time they decide to punish the masses for breaking their terms of service, my life becomes more difficult.  It’s totally their choice to change people’s rankings in their system, but why does the entire online world seem to give them so much power?  Some don’t care and base their decisions on Domain Authority or MozRank instead (woot!).  But the majority of bloggers and advertisers really, really care about how Google thinks.  I never liked giving one popular kid a ton of power and now my entire livelihood seems to be based on that.  Grrr…

Motivated to Change

Overall, I’ve been able to reign in my annoyance.  In fact, it is a little fun to just say “screw The Man” and continue on my merry way, but indignancy alone won’t pay the bills.  So I’m changing myself for others, lol.  Specifically, I’m changing Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) a bit.  Don’t worry, the change will be for the better.  I am still going to write from the heart, still cover the same subjects, and still hope all of you check in and comment as the mood strikes you.

But, I’m also going to steal a few great ideas from one of my blogging heros, Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income – it’s time for me to monetize in ways that online super powers can’t affect.  So you are going to see some new posts once in a while about products I use, eBooks I read, and maybe I’ll even publish another eBook myself…we’ll see.  ;-)

I Won’t Suck

Please don’t worry about BFS becoming a boring sales site.  I would never do that to you.  I love this blog – it’s my baby.  I love interacting with all of you.  In fact, I am going to make BFS even better.  Here are my general plans:

  • Write more posts every week from the heart like this one.  You all have met Happy Crystal, Motivated Crystal, and some Venting Crystal.  But I sort of edit out parts of myself that I don’t like.  For example, Crazy Crystal (irrational for no reason at all) usually gets edited out.  Pissed Off Crystal is usually toned down too.  And Giddy Crystal annoys me, lol, but I’ll make sure I let her out too.  I swear I’m not schizo – no multiple personality disorders to deal with – but I am going to be even more open than I have before.  Writing from the heart is just better for all of us.
  • If I write about an eBook or product, I will be 100% honest.  I will also try to point out how you can use it the best for your own purposes.  General reviews sort of make me roll my eyes, so I will review it and walk you through it.  Maybe that will also help convey exactly what I think about it.  I will never push you to buy something.  I’ll just point out the pros, cons, and why I am writing about it.  My reviews won’t suck.
  • I am going to include you more.  In fact, here is my first big push…

What Do You Want?

I would love your feedback right now.  Please comment below or email me anytime at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail.com – really, even if you find this post in 6 months or 3 years – I want to know:

  • What subjects should I write about more often?  Do you crave more personal stories?  Or do you wish I’d talk about stocks more often?  Both?  Maybe you just want to know what I am reading?  Let me know!
  • Do you like short posts or long posts?  It seems like I am the queen of the 500 word post, but when I get going, I can go on forever.  What do you prefer?
  • Do you have any questions about a product or eBook that you’ve seen in passing?  I’ll try to track it down and give you a full review.
  • Will one product or eBook review every week or two drive you away?  Pull you in?  This blog is like my diary, but it’s also a personal finance blog.  I need to know what you want from it just so I can adjust my course.
  • Did you want me to write another eBook about anything specific?  If you have any ideas, please share.  If I go with yours, you’ll get the first published copy.  :-D

Income Updates

I’m going to start doing monthly updates on this new goal to make non-PR affected income from blogging starting right now.  Here is all of the income I made in February 2013 that isn’t messed with by the big G:

  • eBook – $170.00
  • Affiliate – $0.00 (made $104 from Flexoffers but haven’t received the check yet, so it doesn’t count yet)
  • Freelancing – $25.00
  • TOTAL = $195.00

My goal from March is to beat that total and to flesh out my plan of attack.

Thank you as always for tuning in.  Thanks for any feedback you can give me now!

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28 comments to Fear and Anger Are Freaking Motivating

  • Hi there – I’m a new follower. Which is funny because I thought – great I just started following her and now she is gonna change. Glad to hear you won’t be a sales page. I love personal stories and am bored by stocks so that’s what I like to hear. I like medium length posts. Oh – and one Ebook review would be fabulous.

  • I tend to like posts that are a little longer – but not so long that you just end up repeating yourself 6 times or making a list that I don’t care to read to the bottom of. Specific enough? =D

    Personally I’d love to hear even more about the back-end business of blogging. You definitely have a unique perspective there on building a small business that I think is meaningful to bloggers and people who want to be entrepreneurs as well some day.

  • Crystal,

    Thanks for this post!

    I started following you because you had a ton of information that helped me. You helped me start my own blog, budget well, and learn the ins and outs of the trade. Because of you (and a few others), the goal of my blog is to help people. I love hearing your personal stories (although I find when I give my own life updates no one cares so I don’t too often). The best thing you hav to offer is your expertise…and just be yourself! I’ll keep reading.

  • Awesome! I’m trying to focus less on advertising and more of affiliate income.

  • Good luck! In my opinion, Google is ruining the internet. let me explain…. Bloggers have to pay the bills and many would slip links into normal posts or bury ‘guest posts’ back into the archives – easily searchable but not really noticeable by regular readers. Now with all the G scare tactics bloggers and advertisers are scared. The result I am seeing is lots of bloggers doing nothing more than hacking products instead of writing posts. I have stopped reading several of my favorite sites because they are now nothing more than infomercials. But I can’t blame them for trying to make a buck and cover expenses … they just don’t know how to do it correctly. When 2/3rds of their posts are commercials (sometimes not even written by the blogger, themselves) there is a problem. That said, I don’t see you going this route – you know how to blog and know how to keep loyal readers. Hey, perhaps your next ebook needs to be about how to advertise affiliates without pissing off your readers? :)

  • The biggest thing I come to your site for is budgeting/income pieces. The series on buying your second house and the older posts you used to do about your monthly income/budget are some of my favourites, and a recent post I found helpful was the one on the new Discover card. It’s hard to balance though what you want to write about/what people want to read about/what makes you money though!

  • I think you’ll enjoy the new direction Crystal! It was hard to get over the initial hump to figure out how to incorporate affiliate advertising in my posts, but once you find the products you use and love, you can’t help but what to recommend things that help people save money. It feels good and you no longer have to worry, or worry as much about Google.

    The income is unlimited and largely passive. Good luck!

  • Mel

    I love reading reviews, especially indepth ones (like how to use it, why it sucks, or who the hell invented this thing?!). But I’m with pretty much all of the above opinions – 1 a week would be fun for me, but keep up with your spirit, which is why we all love you! I’m also with Mrs. Pop about more on the back-end of blogging. It’s so fascinating to me and I love reading those posts around about how people do it (and how they stick it to the man!).

    As for another e-book, what about time management and work/life balance in the virtual office? There are days I just don’t know where the time went, even though I’m counting the moments that I could have been productive… and I’m in a 9 to 5! Well… 6:30 – 3:30, but same diff.

    Looking forward to your new and improved direction! :)

  • Crystal, I think you will be just fine. I like a mix of personal stories, how you blog/make money stories, and a little bit of general money stuff (not too many, personal is way better).

    I think the fact you are open makes you successful. No one trusts a robot or perfectionist. Continue being honest, and if you can add even more honesty please add it. Trust me, you should show the pissed off and angry side. It makes people relate, and realize you are just like them. Of course, if someone is pissed off everyday that is another story.

    I am glad you are honest about changing your style. At least you tell your audience, and don’t try to just sneak it in. I really do appreciate that in a blogger.

  • Julie @ The Family CEO

    I understand your frustration. I’m with Sam…I think you’ll enjoy this new direction. It allows you to be more authentic. Looking forward to following your changes.

  • Hey Crystal, if you’re getting traffic through Google than your affiliate income is reliant on them too. If they penalize you and drop your ranking from #2 to #200 you’re not going to be making any money. You could probably say the same thing about ebook sales…no traffic, no sales.

  • I’ve heard from a few bloggers how Google has really screwed them lately by dropping their PR to 0. Damn you Google!

  • Best wishes on your new direction! Look forward to reading more of you!

  • Congrats on the new direction and I’m sure you’ll do fine. I don’t mind longer posts if you can keep my attention but if you’re just writing longer posts to hit a word count I’ll get bored and skim the rest. I like personal stories too but some really good how to posts are always welcome. I’m also interested to hear about great products I’ve never heard of before.

  • I like a good mix of financial advice with a personal tone. I like positive more than negative, but you don’t always want to be Pollyanna either. Maybe if you can find a way to make more affiliate income, you can write about that. I think you have to have the traffic first, so how to build that up would be helpful. It seem Google is going to get everyone’s page rank at some point, so other ways to make money would be good to know.

  • retired

    I think Google is hitting a wall. Instead of going around it or figuring out how to incorporate the problem of honestly assessing sites, they are getting into the rut of trying to write new code that will automatically figure it all out. Pity, Google Maps with their satellite and street views was quite innovative. They helped make the web a more dynamic place. It became a wealth of information. If you gave you could get back with ads and links. Now, it seems to be harder to get good search results; there’s too much paid ads/infomercial sites in Google’s results. They say power corrupts … I just wish it didn’t affect the web experience as much as it is right now.
    Good luck with writing for affiliates. I liked the one you did on the Discover credit card. The only financial advice I have read is when I haven’t heard of it before, like the HSA’s. If you could peruse new IRS savings plans or changes every 6 months or so, I think that would be cool. I like it when you cover entertainment options available for less, like when you met Kevin Sorbo or visited the fortune telling monk.
    Like others, I like it when you have your moments, just like everyone else. Also, I have liked it when you added photos to your blogs, but that may because I am more of a visual type person. Being honest is fine, but I like entertaining more, lol. Good luck with everything. Perhaps Google will get their house in order and bring FUN and efficiency back to the internet experience.
    Love your March banner too.

  • It’ll be interesting to see how this enterprise goes. Personally, I’ve never had much luck with affiliate links, unless I could persuade real-world friends to order products through links on my site. Really: how many casual readers are going to hurry right out and buy something from Amazon just because you plugged it on your site, no matter how sincerely you raved? Not many…

  • @Dianne, LOL. Thanks for finding me and I promise I will try not to chase you away!

    @Mrs. Pop, I can do that. :-) I like talking about blogging.

    @Tony, thanks! Sorry to hear you aren’t getting feedback on your personal updates. I really, really need to make time for browsing again. I’m making that a new goal.

    @Michelle, good luck!

    @Denise, I never thought about it like that. If I can successfully stay a blog and not an infomercial and make money too, I will definitely let you all know how. :-)

    @Sheryl, I love you! Those were my favorite posts and that Discover card one did have affiliate links in it, so yay!

    @FS, thanks! Hope it continues going well for you too!

    @Mel, LOL! I can’t write about time management yet…still haven’t figured it out (says the girl answering this at 1:30am while listening to an Aziz comedy show…). And thanks for the post suggestions!

    @Melinda, thanks for the support!

    @Julie, me too. ;-)

    @Mike Collins, that sucks. I bet Google wouldn’t affect Smart Passive Income much. Maybe I need to be word-of-mouth famous and say screw search engines all together. :-D I’ll work on that!

    @Mo’ Money, yeah! Damn you Google!

    @Jules, thanks!

    @Lance, don’t worry, I can’t pad a post to save my life. :-) Thanks for the ideas!

    @Kim, well now I am not so sure about affiliate income being protected from G thanks to Mike (see above), lol. Oh well, it’ll be nice to learn something new anyway.

    @retired, glad you like my banner! And I’ll make sure to keep doing entertainment posts – I just started playing frisbee golf…that’ll probably be Friday’s post. :-)

    @Funny, nah, I don’t think there will be lots of Amazon links or anything like that. I was thinking more along the lines of an occasional review of a service like Host Gator or credit card reviews for ones that I would try or use (like I really do love Discover). And maybe eBooks that I think a bunch of people could get use out of. We’ll see.

  • I loved your ebook and found it super helpful (I still reference it all the time). I think it’s good to diversify a bit because google can really make or break you if you have all your proverbial eggs in one basket. Just keep writing and having fun and being you. I don’t mind product plugs or affiliate stuff as long as it’s good stuff and stuff that I can use.

  • You’re making me all nervous. Monetizing the blog is something I really want to accomplish. I have NO idea what Google is doing to mess with people though. It’s all very confusing to me.

  • @KK, I emailed you directly, but thank you so much for the very kind words about my eBook. I really appreciate it.

    @Mutant Supermodel, accepting paid do follow links is against Google’s terms of service so they retaliate by dropping people’s page ranks when they are angered…

  • Oy. Sometimes it sounds darn near impossible to maintain editorial integrity, keep on the good side of the big G, AND keep readers happy. Look forward to reading more about your affiliate adventures.

  • @eemusings, if it works out and I actually start bringing in $12,000 or more a year in just affiliate income, that will be my next eBook. I’m making notes on what I’m doing so far…

  • I realized the power of affiliate income a few months ago. It’s not uncommon for my affiliate revenue to be 100x that of ad income. Good luck with the new direction Crystal.

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