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How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – 6 Month Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers were letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 6 months since several of you have been dying for an update. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

Blogging isn’t for everyone and life can sometimes simply eat all spare time.  That is why not all blogs last.  With that in mind, two challengers, Weird About Money and Contented Momma, simply didn’t make it this far.  It really happens to about 90% of bloggers.  I wish them both the best!

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.

Update:

The Queen of England has nothing on me when it comes to an Annus Horribilis!  When I started my blog last July, I had plans to write daily and create all kinds of things for my readers.  For the next 6 months, between major surgeries, medical complications, cancer scares, job loss and hire and a lot of time spent on a relocation that turned out to be staying put, unexpected and major repairs with the house, and multiple deaths in the family and among friends, I found myself doing nothing I had planned.  I got a few posts written each month, but I can’t count how many good ideas came  – and went.

Even though my blog might have been on a back-burner most of the time, it was never far from my thoughts.  I kept track of the stats, and saw them rise each and every month, even with the infrequent posting – heck, they rose every day!  And they still are!  Based on two posts and the resulting traffic uptick, I realized the importance of keywords and search terms and hit on a method that is guaranteed to bring traffic – if the bloggess can write it and get it out there!

I’m a competitive person.  As I do watch my blog stats, I feel a burning desire to repeat, but do it better, get higher numbers.  Even though my only competition is myself, raising those stats is never out of mind.  I thought long and hard through the holidays about what I needed to do in the coming new year, and I created a wonderful plan – And then I got sick.

I think the stress of the hits that just kept coming and coming finally got me.  After I’d been sick over a week, I hauled myself to the clinic.  The Crud Bug was finally bad enough that all the Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zicam, and Old Indian Cherry Bark Cough Syrup in the world just couldn’t fix it.  Ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis that turned out to be pneumonia – well, let me tell you – this chick just cannot catch a break.  What was I – Marie Antionette in another life, and this was payback?

I might not have felt well enough to get much of anything done, in the office or the house, but that didn’t stop my brain from thinking.  You know that hazy place where you suspend, sometimes – that place between sleep and being awake?  If you listen, some of the most simple but absolute truths come to you in dream states like these.

I really looked at all of things I was trying to do with my writing, and realized I was not where I wanted or needed to be and I realized why.  I realized the problem with success or failure is in the “DO”.  You either do it or you don’t.  It’s something I’ve coached people and business owners to “DO” for years – and that is ACT.  Plan the trade, trade the plan.  Success comes only from action.  If I could teach this and have those students go on to great success – what was the deal with me?

Writer, Heal Thyself!  I may still be coughing up crud to this day, but I have been changing the way I do things and I’m getting stuff done.  I’ve gotten more done in the last week than I have in many weeks.  Things are falling into place and things are working.  Come back and visit my blog, and subscribe – because you don’t want to miss a thing! 

Crystal’s Comments:  Health affects everything.  I’m so glad you are getting better and back in the game.  Never feel bad about being side-lined because of illness…it happens and you have to put you first.

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison…although she has moved now…

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Madison just started on June 24, 2012. She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.

Update:

Brace yourself, a long update is coming! Internet meme references aside, I do have quite a bit to share with you!

Years ago I used to blog on various platforms: blogspot, livejournal, xanga, and even my own manually typed html websites I’d upload straight to a domain through ftp. But I took a break from blogging in college. Last spring I wanted to join the blog world again, and I thought I had a great idea of how to go about it. It was, in a way, but once I started blogging I realized what I missed about blogging back in high school and college. I used to write about whatever popped into my head, about whatever happened to me that day, something cool I saw on the way home or on the internet. With Motivated Madison I felt trapped into a particular idea and every time I didn’t stay true to that idea I’d feel like I was letting myself and everyone else down. As if I had led them on, did a bait and switch… And this made me realize I needed a new blog.

Last month I launched Planet Mads. This new blog is going to be me being me. I don’t want to be anyone I’m not, which is what Motivated Madison made me feel like. I also realized I don’t want to make money on my blog. The whole reason I started Planet Mads was so I could just be me without anyone or anything to answer to. It wouldn’t feel right to me to have advertisers that expect something from me that I either can’t or don’t want to give. Maybe someday in the future I may change my mind on making money with my blog, but I think I’ll tackle that when the time comes.

Even though I don’t plan on making money through my blog, there was something I definitely took away from Crystal’s ebook: virtual assistance. It’s not something I had ever heard about before Crystal’s book, so I’m very happy she mentioned it. I have a degree as an administrative secretary that’s being unused and I’d love to make it useful! Some of the things I’d love to help people with are social media management, answering emails, handling giveaways, preparing and editing blog posts, etc. Right now I’m in the process of finalizing the last few details before I launch. So if anyone reading is interested in getting some help with their blog, website or shop, let me know!  :-)

Crystal’s Comments: Blogging is like everything else you create, it changes as you change.  It is sort of awesome in my opinion that you realized what you really wanted and went for it.  Making money with blogging is not a requirement of a great blogger, lol.  Thanks for finding your new path and having fun with it!

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

Update:

I still enjoy blogging, and interacting with other bloggers. Recently I have noticed a slow down in the amount of advertisers that have been contacing me. I know it’s directly related to my traffic, which has slowed down over the past few months because of my lack of interaction with other bloggers. I have not been commenting on as many blogs as I use to and that has affected the amount of traffic that has been coming to my blog. I’ve realized that it is an absolute must to interact with other bloggers by commenting and guest posting. So I will definitely do a better job at this in the future. Plus I do miss reading all the blogs I use to read.

Crystal’s Comments: Having a slow down is natural.  It’s how you bounce back that is the important part. :-)  Google also scared a bunch of advertisers out of the ad pool last year, so some of the slow down isn’t because of you at all…

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward! I am really excited to see what happens! We’ve already seen that continuing a blog isn’t for everyone, but a ton of progress can be made when you dig in!

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any advice for the challengers? Any answers to the questions they mentioned?

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11 comments to How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – 6 Month Update

  • That’s awesome about Madison getting more into virtual assisting. It seems to be something that is very popular right now!

  • JT

    Thanks for this update. I am not surprised that some bloggers ended up quitting, but am surprised that buying a book and enrolling in a challenge was not quite enough to keep it going for 6 months.

    I just spent about 2 hours cleaning out my subscription feed. There were several bloggers that I noticed just seemed to suddenly stop with no apparent warning. Obviously, there is some burn-out and turnover.

    I hope the remaining challengers can meet their goals and wish them the best of luck.

  • To be honest, I wondered why you hadn’t contacted me in months just to check in. I do want to blog now that baby has arrived, but it looks like I won’t have the support of the challenge behind me?

  • I can understand the feelings of some of the challengers. I blog for “me”. Some months I feel really chatty. Some months I rarely post. I used to feel pressured to post a lot to keep numbers up and attracts a lot of ads. But all in all, I find my content is better when I write about things that truly motivate me. My goal has always been to cover expenses with ad revenue, nothing more, and I am easily able to do that The extra income is just a nice bonus but nothing I stress over. Some months are great… some are slow… but regardless I never feel pressured to do more than I want to do. Every blog doesn’t have to be a full time job. One of the things I love about Crystal is she is very supportive of all bloggers, rather they do this as their full-time gig, or if they are just hobbyists (like me!). Her book is a great resource if you want to take your blogging to the next level, whatever that level may be for you.

  • What a cool update Crystal, especially considering our recent conversations! Very inspiring stuff. Congrats everyone!

  • @Michelle, I think it’s awesome too. :-)

    @JT, I hope so too. Apparently only one blogger has dropped out as I see a comment from Helen.

    @Helen, I’m sorry! You hadn’t contacted me since the last update with any questions and I saw that your last post was in October…I made the error of assumption. You are more than welcome to send back your update and I’ll add you in again. This was the first update since Week 10, so it’s the first one I missed emailing you about. Sorry I assumed incorectly. I emailed you directly as well now.

    @Denise, awww! You are one of my biggest supporters and motivators. I really appreciate you Denise. :-D

    @Tony, lol. Good luck with your next steps too! Thanks for reaching out. :-)

  • If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. This challenge update is interesting because it allows me to see where others have successes and challenges…nice to know I’m not alone!

  • Thanks for the update. I have certainly been following the challenge and was curious how everyone had been doing. As I’ve said before, HIMMB was a huge help in getting my blog started and I just hit 6 months. While it has been a huge challenge, I love the interaction and being able to find so many like minded people. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  • Thanks for the update! Sad to see so many dropped off, I think it would have been worth making a solid attempt for 6 months. Hard to track results otherwise. Although I know life certainly gets in the way. Best of luck to those that continue!

  • Thanks for the update! Well done to those that are still participating. It makes me feel better about things when I read about the struggles that other people have :-) (Ahem, I hope the health issues are disappearing into the rearview now!)
    These are a great read, Crystal, keep’em coming!

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