Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big Life Altering Changes and Resolution Update

 A lot has happened since I last posted in March. At the end of April, my websites took a nosedive and I lost most of my income. Around the same time, my parents accepted an offer on their home and put in an offer on another. We are officially moving before the end of the month. They didn't buy a duplex so I won't get my own apartment but I will have my own separate office which is going to be great. The main reason I wanted to post tonight was because I need to come up with a game plan for after we move.

Most of the 2012 resolutions and goals I set for myself involve money. I need to make $1,800 to pay off the car loan, $5,000 for a down payment on a house, a 3 month emergency account, enough to pay off one of my student loans and enough money for tickets to a Vikings game. That's a lot of money and I only have six months left to come up with it. That's why I need a game plan.

I own 10 websites and 8 of them have content on them. Not all of them are complete. Out of the 8, only 3 of them earn any money. In March and April, I made almost $300 from my websites and InfoBarrel. In late April, my sites tanked in the search engines and I only made $108. $25 of that was from my InfoBarrel articles. I need to find a way to increase my Adsense and Amazon income, diversify my traffic sources and diversity my income sources.

I was thinking about different ways to do this and I have a general idea what I'm going to do. I have a three part plan. First, I think I'm going to start another website. I know what you are thinking. "She's going to start another website when she can't even handle 10 of them?" This new website will be an authority style blog about my favorite hobby, sweepstakes. I will pull in traffic from message boards I frequent and blog comments. This blog will give tips and advice to newbie sweepstakers. I will try to post three times a week. I will monetize the blog with affiliate offers. I'm not sure if I will use Adsense or not. I don't want a ton of advertising on the site but a banner ad in the sidebar might be unobtrusive. I'm hoping to bring in around $100-200 a month within 6 months. Not only will this new blog help diversify my traffic sources and income but it will help me stay motivated to keep up to date on my sweepstakes which was one of my resolutions.

The second part of my plan is to complete all of my websites. I will build out all of the websites and transform them into authority style website instead of small micro-niche sites. All of the websites will have at least 100 articles posted. I will use Yahoo! Answers and a keyword question tool to find article ideas. The idea is to pull in long-tail keyword traffic. One of my websites isn't even ranking for the main keyword but still brings in over $50 a month. The website pulls in traffic from hundreds of long-tail keywords. The more articles you have on a website, the more long-tail keywords your website will rank for and the more traffic and money your site will generate. I figure that 100 articles on 10 websites should bring in around $800-1,000 a month. I will also be starting around 10 free Blogger blogs based on random topics and write hundreds of articles for each blog. This will bring in the other $1500 a month that I need to complete my goal of $2500 a month.

The third part of my plan is InfoBarrel articles. After I have completed or at least started on the first two parts of my plan, I will begin to write InfoBarrel articles. I have a list of 200 InfoBarrel articles I want to write but haven't gotten around to it. The InfoBarrel income will make up the difference in income between the first two parts of my plan and my income goal.

The hardest part of my plan is deciding how I'm going to get all of this work done. It's not hard work but it takes time. I don't have money to outsource all of these articles so I will be writing them myself. I will be writing around 1,200 articles total along with the three articles per week for my authority sweepstakes blog. I would like to get all of the articles written before October so I can take advantage of the holiday shopping season. I will need to write 10 articles a day, everyday to reach that goal. If I write 13 articles a day, Monday through Friday, I will easily reach my goal.

The plan is to start with one website and work on it until it is complete. I will wake up early in the morning and spend four hours entering sweepstakes. After lunch, I will write all 13 articles for the day. In the evening, I will enter more sweepstakes or write a post for my sweepstakes blog.

Here is an update on each of my 2012 resolutions:

1. Be at $2,500 a month with Adsense before the end of the year - I'm far from completing this goal. I was doing really well at increasing my income each month until the Google algorithm update on April 24. I will recover with the plan I detailed above.

2. Pay off car loan - $3,400 - I'm down to less than $2,000 on my car - Unfortunately, I'm not paying it anymore. My parents are making payments for me since I'm now only making $100 a month. I will get the car loan paid off this year but it sucks because now I owe my parents money. I would like to pay them back before the end of the year.

3. Save $5,000 towards the down payment on a house - Not even close. Maybe I'll win a nice big check through the sweepstakes I enter.

4. Set up a dating profile (I don't have to actually go on dates but I want to at least get used to contacting guys online) - Last night, I was searching through match.com and a couple dating forums. I really want to get started at this but I feel like such a loser living with my parents. I might get the courage start a profile after we move.

5. Lose 50 lbs - around 1 lb a week - I went on a diet at the beginning of May but it only lasted two weeks. Moving has been very stressful lately and I have been stuffing my face. I'll start a eating better as soon as we get settled into the new house.

6. Pay off 1 of my student loans - I'm haven't even made a payment this year. My loans are in forbarence and I don't have to make another payment until December. Of course, I'll start making payments before then and will accomplish this resolution.

7. Go to a Vikings game - Not even close.

8. Build a 3 month emergency fund - I started a new checking account with ING and will start a new savings account soon. I will be able to separate my savings into different sub-accounts. One account will be for the emergency fund, one will be for the Vikings tickets and one will be for a house.

9. Read 2 books a month - I read Gone With The Wind in January and I started Pride and Prejudice in April. I'm half way through it. As you can see, I'm way behind in the reading department and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get caught back up.

10. Keep up to date on my sweepstakes - I'm going to make this a full-time thing as soon as I get settled into the new house. I'll be updating my progress and will keep an updated a list of wins on my new sweepstakes blog.