Article by Wendy McCance
A few months back, I began to pull my website apart and describing how I made money on this blog and as a writer in general. So much has happened in such a short amount of time that I thought I would update you on my progress and what I have learned.
Ever since I started my blog and a career as a freelance writer, I have kept my goals tight, but my imagination loose. What I mean is that I paid attention to what did and didn’t work and stayed focused on where my efforts were paying off.
I am very aware that you will find success where you put the most effort. Honestly, most of my effort has gone to freelance writing itself. I built the website, set it up with all sorts of ways to make a passive income and yet, I have only seen a payout when I have put my focus solely on those areas. It makes sense, and at the same time, surprised me.
You see, you read so many blogs where the blogger seems to be sitting back as they make money on a blog. The money just seems to roll in. They have set up affiliated marketing, sponsored posts, ad space and so on. Let me tell you first hand that unless you make a concentrated effort each day, the money will drop off no matter how self-sufficient the idea seems.
Here is a list of the areas I have put some time into and what has worked/not worked since I have been more focused on my writing career.
1. Product Reviews: I signed up for several sites. I wrote posts about the sites and what I was experiencing a few months back on this blog. For awhile, I seemed to get offers fairly frequently until it seemed the offers were rolling in daily.
I got picky as my time became more valuable. I had several writing assignments and unless the money was really good and the product truly interested me, I passed. Now I see offers maybe once a week, and none have impressed me for quite some time.
2. Affiliated Marketing: That would be my estore for Amazon. I have had success selling items, but only when I wrote a post about something I offered. Books have brought me the most income. Even so, they don’t sell themselves. Unless I mention a product and explain in detail why I love it, there is no movement.
I thought I had found a great way to change that. I wrote about my experience with a product right under that specific item on the estore page. Guess what? It didn’t work. Unless I share a story and really pull the reader in, there are few sales. You really need to pull at the heartstrings and put a significant amount of time into the product to sell that product.
3. Sponsored Posts: This has been the strangest development out of everything. For about two months, I was getting emails almost daily from interested parties. There were always questions about pricing. It was a little odd because I have complete descriptions on the sponsored post page.There were never questions about who would write the post or how long it would stay up on my site. I would answer these questions, add a link back to my blog for more information, and ….crickets.
I have no idea why I got so many inquiries, or why out of all the interest, I only had two companies actually follow through. Out of all the ways I could make money on my blog, this by far was the easiest because there is honestly so little work involved. You just put up a page with information, and that’s it.
I did go back through my pages and revamp what I wrote and how I titled the pages trying to make the information clearer. It seems it didn’t matter.
So where have I been placing all of my attention you might wonder? I have gone after writing assignments with great results. Turns out that my focus kept coming back to writing. It’s what I love most and what I naturally gravitated towards.
I have been able to get in front of some dream companies and land some major assignments that are ongoing. Some of my biggest successes have been with landing opportunities to take over social media accounts. I am in charge of providing posts, links and images. Interacting with customers and keeping the site clear of spam. I am in charge of the growth of these sites and it has been incredibly enjoyable.
I love what I do and am thrilled that I went with my gut and followed my heart. No matter how well you plan how to achieve success, I have found that success comes when you follow what works, even if it isn’t the exact road map that you had created. Flexibility, creativity and a willingness to follow your gut is key.
I hope this information has helped you out as well. I think it’s only fair to give you the real information about making money on a blog with some real-life stories of what I have personally experienced.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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I just saw a feature on WordPress called Social Lockers. Are you familiar with this. Do you use them and/or what do you think about them?
No, I don’t know anything about it.
Love this line: ‘I have kept my goals tight, but my imagination loose.’ That’s fantastic advice for pursuing anything - writing, entrepreneurship - anything! Great post Wendy, love it.
Thank you so much Kirsty. I have truly enjoyed your blog. I am thrilled you stopped by to check out mine. 🙂
As always Wendy, a very clear and concise post giving great advice. Life does have a strange way of opening up doors where we never expected it! Your knowledge of social media has certainly helped you find your ‘niche’. You tried all the different avenues and have now found the one which works best for you and I really do wish you continued success, you certainly deserve it and you have worked hard to achieve it.
You inspire me to do the same, keep going with what works for me, which, I hope, is my writing and my book/books!!. I think that ultimately so much about life is following your gut. My Aspie daughter is telling me to do that all the time and she is right! Have a great day Wendy 🙂
Thank Sherri for the kind words. Can’t wait to see what evolves for you as well. 🙂
I liked reading the breakdown on what worked and what didn’t work for you, Wendy. I get a better understanding of your process.
I’m happy for you that you’ve found what makes you happy and love what you’re doing not to mention making money with it. It certainly is through following your instincts and your heart and the roadmap doesn’t always look the way we think it should.
The jury is still out for me — trying to figure out what my heart wants me to do.
Hi Pat, the one thing I did was I didn’t overthink it. Honestly, for awhile, I was certain that I would juggle everything I mentioned. I realized that I was spreading myself too thin and that although everything was moving forward at a gradual pace, I got anxious to see more happen at a faster rate. I ended up gravitating more of my energy towards writing. It just happened without much thought going into it. I have found when I relax and just go in the direction I feel like each day instead of having a definite plan, it works out better for me. Not sure why, but the days I don’t force choices, I seem to have great results (if that even makes sense).
I found that be true too, Wendy, when we relax and just go with the flow, it usually takes us places beyond our wildest dreams. Sounds like that’s what’s happening for you. 🙂
Who would have thought? 🙂
You’ve worked hard for it, Wendy. I’m glad you’re in a happy place.
Thanks so much, I really appreciate that. 🙂
I love your honesty. I started my personal development blog, acreativevoicebeckons.wordpress.com back in February as a way to get back to my first love of writing. Blogging provided a way to share my experiences with a few friends. It was an opportunity to work through a job transition. Two months past, nothing came much of anything, until I started writing about fear. Out of that I wrote an eight blog/eight week series on fear called the tentacles of fear. It resonated with people, particularly the one on bitterness. Through my research, I made a commitment to a certified coaching course. I am on my way to become a certified coach. I will specialize in life coaching.
When we play on our strengths (for me writing, consulting, and teaching), we are energized and we put our time to what is important.
I tried consulting on blogging and have offered to write others’ blogs. Nothing came of that. People are intrigued about blogging. I have suggested to a few people to create an half day or all day seminar on just blogging (intro class).
Thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing about other people’s experiences. Sounds like you stayed in tune with yourself and found the right fit. Wishing you all the best!!