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How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Ten Week Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers are letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 10 weeks. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

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:

I have not been posting enough.  The month of September I wrote 3 blog posts, and it should have been much more.  I’ve seen a steady rise in traffic since I started the blog in July, and each month has shown an increase in unique visitors.  Those numbers could and should be much higher, and a new month brings a new resolve to “just write”.  I need to get serious with time managment, and start filling in my calender with blog post dates (in addition to what bill is due) – and just write.

I have not been commenting regularly on other blogs. I’ve noticed Madison is pretty good at that!  I’m sure it is translating into traffic for her, as I have seen hits to my blog go up the few times I have commented on something.  I do have a good friend who is making it a point to post my blog posts to Facebook, and I’ve seen traffic from that.  Getting the word out does work!

No advertisers have contacted me yet, but I’ve had a couple of contacts regarding guest posts.  Two people have sent me complete articles, and I need to ask your opinion of those, Crystal.  Can you give any tips, hints, or warnings about guest posts?  One of the articles reads well, but the link back is to a “financial service” – an MLM, if you will, in the financial world.  What are your thoughts on the subject?

Crystal’s Comments:  I reply to “guest posts” that seem like they are from commercial sites with a reply asking if they would like to see my rates.  If I am not sure about the linked site, I ask if I can change the links to authority links of my choosing.  If they say no, then they get sent my sponsored post rates since they are looking for free advertising.  :-)

Contented Momma

Contented Momma is owned and run by Helen.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Helen had bought the domain already but hadn’t started blogging yet as of the beginning of July 2012.

Update:

With pregnancy fatigue, I have been slacking on blogging. But I have a plan in place to get my topics/posts in line. I’ve got 17 weeks until baby comes and I want to be sure I have a good schedule in place before then and also some posts ready to go for when baby is actually here!

One thing I’d love to hear you/your readers talk about is the demise of Feedburner. Through the comments on your blog I was advised to use this service rather than the simple WordPress feed and now it seems Feedburner is no longer a viable choice!

I am still great on commenting on my favorite mommy blogs and getting discussions going there. No blog carnivals, but I am now aware of some that I can participate in with regards to menu planning or mommy ideas. No advertisers yet. Hoping next time we post our stats I can see something that will get me closer to that.

Crystal’s Comments:  Here is a solid update about Feeburner…I’m waiting to see what really happens…
http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/24/feedburner-experiencing-stat-issues-api-to-shut-down/

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison.

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:

I try to post 2-3 times a week, but this past month has been rather stressful outside of the blogging world. Which meant I just didn’t feel like posting for a while. However when I do actually post, I notice a lot more interaction and growth. So I think that just shows that posting frequently and reliably is important for blog growth! Apparently it’s something I need to work on too.

Commenting is so much fun! Even during my times away from blogging, I do make sure to comment on posts that I find interesting. Commenting has really helped me get to know a few other bloggers, find new blogs to follow, and get my own blog out there to new people. Another new blogger just recently reached out to me via email and we’ve been chatting a bit since then. I’m a rather shy person so emailing people out of the blue just weirds me out for some reason, but it worked in this case. No guest posting yet for me though. But I think I’ll try making time for it soon.

Advertisers haven’t contacted me yet. Both button swapping and one blog sponsoring another blog seem to be pretty common in the personal, lifestyle type blog niche. I have been swapping buttons recently and I do see growth based on that! I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing for now to continue growing my blog and my readership.

Crystal’s Comments:  Great job on commenting!!!  Good luck with posting more!

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’ve still been posting 3 times a week. I have seen some growth, but I know I would see more growth faster if I posted more often. I am still working on increasing my number of posts per week. I was thinking of including some guest posts to increase the frequency of posts per week.

I have been keeping up with my commenting, but haven’t been doing much guest posting on other blogs. I’ve done a few blog swaps which I enjoy, so I’ll probably do more of those.  I have met a few bloggers which has been great! I’ve been learning a lot from other bloggers.

I have submitted my articles to quite a few carnivals, but with the wedding and honeymoon last month I did fall behind. I am getting back into the swing of things now.

A few advertisers have contacted me, but I haven’t been able to close the deal. One asked for my rates. I sent them based on your suggestions and I haven’t heard back. I sent a follow up email and still haven’t heard back. I am sure more will come knocking at my door.

Crystal’s Comments:  Remember to send your rate letter to the “free” guest posters that are obviously from commercial sites too.  Only 1 in 10 will become money, but it’s still money.  :-)  And if if that doesn’t interest you, keep in mind that the more requests like those that you receive, the better your site is looking to direct advertisers.  :-)

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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14 comments to How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Ten Week Update

  • I have all these blogs on my feed and I have to say that you are all doing a good job. One thing that I am sure Crystal probably already coached you on is, even if you cant find the time to post frequent content you must be sure the posts you have pull people in and are relevant. One tip I can give is if you have no ideas start with current events, pop culture, or upcoming holidays as your theme and work content around that.

  • Thanks for the update, everyone! Very interesting!

    Shondell, I went to your blog and subscribed with the RSS link. It was delivered right away (the last ten posts), but without a title, so when I saw it in my reader, I couldn’t tell right off the bat what it was. Then, when I clicked on it, the only ID I got on it was CMWYWEC, which doesn’t mean a lot to most people. You might investigate how to get at least the beginning of the blog name in your Feed so if people forget what they subscribed to, they won’t just delete it. (BTW, when I did go ahead and click through to your blog, I noticed that it looks really nice and clean!)

  • The beginning of blogging is always hard. The best thing I did was set a schedule and stick to it. If it doesn’t work for you it can always be modified later!

  • I think you are all doing great! In the beginning it may seem like a lot of the advertisers are just trying to annoy you, but soon enough they will be paying the big bucks :)

  • Thanks for your feedback Gharkness, I have just made the change. It should be fine now.

  • I think it’s really cool that you’re doing this and I love reading about beginning bloggers (like myself) who are trying to make something of their blogs. I’ll be looking forward to future updates!

  • Good luck to all of you! Starting a blog is easy, keeping it going is a whole other ballgame! :)

  • Good luck to everyone. It is hard to stick with a set posting schedule, but I think the more you do it, the more it becomes routine.

  • Thanks for the update! Good luck everyone!

  • Ugh, I’ve been dreading the Feedburner thing since I heard about it a few months ago. Thanks for sharing that article. Looks like now is the time to try finding a replacement…

  • My little bit of advice would be to keep a copy of your template letter on your phone where you can easily copy and paste to reply to advertisers!

  • I am continuously browsing online for articles that can help me. Thanks!

  • Very useful and interesting stuff there, one of the most important principles of blogging is to reach out to your audience and give them value which literally jumps out of the page at them, then the relationship between the blogger and the reader becomes such a natural process, they will return like bees to flowers without fail, even many of the top earners who are blogging gods had to start somewhere, and the skill set required is merely just write your thoughts, it could be on any given subject…keep up the good work people, its been a pleasure, I have now bookmarked and will be returning without a doubt….

  • Motivation! that’s everything there is to get things going. Many thanks for this very inspiring post!