I have written around this subject a bunch already. But here it is – an updated post of how I’ve built BFS to the point where I make money blogging and aim to make more.
I started BFS on February 20th, 2010 with dreams that a whole group of yet-to-know-friends would talk with me about the wonderful subject of money…a subject that my poor husband was pretty tired of hearing about from me, lol. When I found out that some blogs actually made money, I thought a few hundred a year would be fantastic since it would pay for itself.
By the end of February, I had a few commenters every day. BFS felt like my special world. I got addicted pretty quickly. I also decided that I finally found my dream job. That’s when I started taking it a little more seriously. I knew I wanted to try for “real” money.
I was already reading a bunch of blogs since I was a commenter since 2009 (I actually started at the suggestion of FMF and some awesome FMF commenters). My comments were getting long enough to justify me finding my own place.
I added to my reading list and started leaving my new blog name all over the place. I also discovered the Yakezie in March and jumped at the chance for a support network. Kris at Everyday Tips and Thoughts randomly emailed me around that time as well and has become my closest blogging buddy. We helped each other through those first very slow months and she is still the first lady I email when blogging crises pop up. I also started developing my method to success (hokey, yes, but it’s a good description).
The Development Process
I comment on at least 20 blogs a week, participate with Yakezie discussions so people can get to know me, and guest post at least once every week or two. I’m a staff writer at Sweating the Big Stuff on Wednesdays as well. I also have a weekly roundup, host blog carnivals, and I try to help out whoever I can. You can see my general blogging schedule at Crystal Clear Thoughts. I sincerely like to help and have tons of opinions on posts, lol, so most parts of getting name recognition are fun!
I haven’t reached beyond the development stage yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I start reaching a maintenance point.
I make most of my money through link ads and sponsored posts right now. Most advertisers either contact me via email or through the Yakezie. They started noticing me in May, but I didn’t start making ”real” money until September. You can see my last two monthly income updates here.
When I started getting recognized by advertisers, I made up my mind on what I was willing to accept. As I posted last week, I accept almost all advertisers. I will never write a review that isn’t 100% what I feel, I won’t accept pop-up ads, and all of my ads have to be rated “G”, but those are my only lines.
I also made a form letter that I can cut and paste for ad replies (tweaking as needed of course). My letter states my Alexa Ranking, MozRank, and PR (like a one-line interview, lol). This saves me SO much time. I also have a rate table I can send to interested parties.
Progress So Far and Goal for 2011
As of December 1st, I had made about $5200 total for 2010. By the end of the year, I’m guessing this total will be around $6000. I’m aiming for $25,000 in 2011, but we will all have to wait and see. A realistic goal would probably be closer to $15,000, but I am nothing if not ambitious.
Do any of you more experienced bloggers have any suggestions to add? Anybody have any specific questions for me? What do you think of it all?