My Make Money Online Journey – Mistakes and Learning

It’s been almost three years since I started this blog the motivation behind which still remains pretty much the same i.e. to blog about blogging itself, make money online tips and various Internet marketing topics and thereby making money. In the beginning, like any clueless blogger, I have been busy following those MMO moguls and gurus and made a lot of money for them (by signing up as their referrals) than making anything for myself. It took me 5-6 months of time to learn that making money on the Internet is not an easy job and just having a blog doesn’t work for all niches.

This post is about some of the MMO mistakes that I did, misconceptions that I had about making money by blogging, what worked for me so far and what hasn’t during my MMO journey that still continues.

My top MMO mistakes

Like many bloggers, my initial assumption was that as soon as I started the blog, visitors would just start pouring in 1000s and start clicking my ads and signing up to my ideas. The long list of mistakes started there and here are some of those in no particular order of priority or chronological sequence.

#1 Putting ad blocks too early

Into less than one month of my blogging, I started putting various PPC text ads and private ad banners. Ideally, within this time frame not many blogs get a lot of organic visits as the content volume is less and indexing by major search engines is still pending. So the learning here is that unless you have something like 500 visits per day, don’t even think of putting any ads which won’t anyhow fetch in decent income.

#2 Worrying too much about stats

In the rat race for improving blog statistics (Alexa rank, Google PR, Technorati rank,…) and bragging about the same, I lost some focus on some potential MMO opportunities. Any budding blogger may please note that stats don’t mean much and you can always make money from your available traffic channels and niche specific opportunities. Focusing on content building and establishing yourself as an online content provider would add more value as good statistics are bound to follow you.

#3 Running after useless MMO methods

Initially I spent some valuable time doing all those stupid MMO instruments that return peanuts. For example, I did some online surveys, make money for reading emails stuff etc for not anything good. Well, the idea also was to learn how these things work, write about them and educate my readers but these were not worth spending time anyhow.

#4 Going for Text-Link-Ads

Well, when you get your first significant page rank update on your home page, many will be tempted to try text link ads and some paid reviews. It sure can fetch in some money but can also do damage to your page relevance and sometimes end up getting degraded by Google. I had tried text links for a couple of months initially and completely stopped it. I still do paid reviews but only once in three months or so. I personally believe that putting banner ads (e.g. via OIOPublisher plugin or BuySellAds) is a better and safer bet than link ads.

#5 I thought Google AdSense is life!

Well, AdSense is the bread and butter for many bloggers who have significantly high traffic and it will really work in such cases. However, mid-size (or small?) MMO blogs such as mine will do better off with instruments such as affiliate products marketing via blog content. I still have one or two AdSense ad blocks which doesn’t really fetch any great money. If I ever grow to the stature of getting say 10000 hits per day, AdSense will be back here in full strength though.

#6 CPM ad mistakes

Well, I had tried some second rung CPM ad networks earlier when I got my ban from AdSense. To be frank, this is something that no blogger should probably have as even very high traffic blogs make very little out of CPM banner networks. I think, non-blog websites (e.g. News sites) would do better of with CPM banners. I decided not to use any CPM banners there after and by the way, leading CPM ad networks seldom approve your blog.

#7 Not entering affiliate marketing early

It took me almost two years into blogging to really get started with affiliate marketing. It was a mistake not to get started with the same early enough because the potential here is tremendous. Today, affiliate marketing (mainly PPC driven) is my main source of income from this blog and otherwise followed by referral income purely from the content affiliate links.

#8 Not building a list

Well, I am not really into email marketing as I feel that it’s more like spam driven methodology. And list building is really an intrusive methodology which I hate when I visit other blogs or websites. However, I know that building an email list do wonders as an additional channel to help with affiliate marketing. I haven’t tried less intrusive list building methodologies yet and this still remains a regret factor. On the other hand, my ethics don’t allow me to go that route either – Internet marketing dilemma!

#9 Trying in-text links or content links

Well, this was a short time mistake – Personally I had tried Kontera at a time when I did not have much traffic. I stopped using this completely based on certain feedback received from loyal readers of this blog. Basically this misleading way of fetching ad income was actually causing irritation to the users and the returns weren’t too good either.

#10 Not buying MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate early enough

About an year back, I started using MaxBlogPress Ninja affiliate plugin on this blog to convert keywords into affiliate income. This has done wonders in terms of selling a dozen products related to the content of this blog. Today, the referral income is the second best methodology that works for me. You should not confuse between what Kontera or InfoLinks and this plugin does. Here we are talking about linking only highly relevant products where as the in-text ads might land you up in totally unrelated places where you have no control over what you get or show your readers.

Well, the story doesn’t end here. I have a lot more to write about what I learned from my early mistakes – probably on another day.

Happy Money Making!

Comments

  1. really great share ajith,
    the funniest thing is, even before registering a domain for my blog , i applied for adsense via hubpages and got rejected!

  2. Like anybody else online, it is definitely a journey. Problem is there is no right or wrong answer. So what you discovered may be dead on for you but totally off base in another market. Bottom line is test, test, test, learn, learn, learn, change, etc. You get the picture.

  3. tushar :

    i have heard a lot about Max Ninja Plugin and looks it is high time i should buy it..
    also, ajith your article is a must read for newbies as they are prone to these type of mistakes

  4. Good post Ajith, If I ever want to get into money making through blog, probably I should come to you. :o). But many of the plugin work great for wordpress blogs. Mine being in blogspot I find it hard to set anything up. Any tips?

    • @Sumee, well things can work on blogger blogs also but not at the optimum best like it does on self hosted blogs. At some point you have to move to your own hosted blog. However, AdSense should work well on any type of blog…

  5. Nihar :

    Great share Ajith.

    Thanks for this post. I think i am also on the same boat. Google ads from the very first day of the blog :)

  6. interesting read Ajith!

  7. These are some of the mistakes we all make.. but I think building a list is super important.. I’m doing pretty good because of it.. effective and easy to keep up with clients.

  8. My biggest mistake when I first started to internet marketing was to read too much and take very little action. Then, my another mistake was going after very small niches and building websites around them, this cannot be a long term strategy anymore.

  9. Do you know what I love about posts like this? It makes bloggers who are making money look human. They might be making decent money but even they have made silly mistakes in the past.

    Keep up the great work. :)

  10. Thanks Ajith. My situation is exactly like what was yours. My blog is not getting even 100 hits daily and i already rejected 6 times by adsense. After reading this article now i will focus on getting visitors not money.

  11. These are exactly the same mistakes I did when I started my earn money online journey. I think many begginers are misleaded by such scam MMO sites which promise to get you rich overnight.
    By the way, were you ever banned from adsense, I will love to hear how you restored your account.

  12. Email List is very crucial for every bloggers. They should focus on building email list first rather than thinking of revenue from day 1.

  13. A fair list for the starters, #2 Worrying too much about stats is most relevant part and putting affiliate links is better than ad blocks for starters. Building up network is better than wasting the time in crappy things and thinking about advertising.

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