500 Euro/month in 6 months challenge

Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:01 pm

Happy new year, everybody! Hope you had a beautiful vacation and you’re off for a great 2013!

After speaking to Allan about two-three weeks ago, I’ve decided that I need to grab the bull by its horns and work out a strategy to get my affiliate business back on track.

What’s the situation? I’ve been building affiliate sites since 2004, with a varying degree of hard work. Thanks to it, I managed to get enough cash to have a pretty comfortable lifestyle through much of high school and college. Ok, I live in Romania where living is cheaper that western countries, but still, the money was good.

Well, I finished college and by an unfortunate coincidence, so did the revenue from the websites (give or take half a year). Causes are plenty and I already went through that.

I want to get back to earning substantial sums, because first, the money from the day job (yeah, got one of those too) isn’t quite enough to get by and also have a few interesting escapades, and second, because I loved the freedom that I had back in the day. While many of my colleagues were getting part of full-time jobs, I was rolling like a boss skydiving and traveling.

I’m not starting from scratches. I have about 5-6 affiliate websites in English. Two years ago I also started building Romanian sites, as the affiliate sector started growing here too. As you can see, I spread myself too thin which, coupled with other internal or outside factors, led to the downfall of my whole online venture.

So, starting today, January 6, 2013, I’m starting a challenge for myself, that in 6 months I will be earning 500 Euros (about 660 usd) per month. I’ll share this goal with my family, girlfriend and you. Yes, it’s not much, but if I do that by the end of June or early July, then I should be able to get way more than 1000 by the end of the year.

The strategy I’ll apply is simple:

- Bring back to life the site with the highest revenue potential and greatest success in the past.
- 3-4 months before a spike in demand for any of the other niches, put all the effort into the respective website to capitalize on the money flowing around.

This way, I don’t completely abandon any of my websites (which would be heartbreaking), but I also don’t lose focus with too many things at one time by working on maximum two websites.

Sounds reasonable.

So, I will be coming back every month (around the 6th) and report on the progress. Will figure out all the details I’ll share then.

Wish me luck and let get this thing going!
Eugen
 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 10:30 am

Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:31 pm

Hi Eugen, Congrats on making your goal public, and for promising to provide monthly reports.

When you're working for yourself, it's so easy to get distracted and waste time on trivia.

Going public with your goal will help you stay focused, and help you to keep asking yourself...

"Is what I'm doing right now moving me towards my main goal?"

"Is what I'm doing right now the most effective thing I could be doing?"

Go for it!
AllanGardyne
Site Admin
 
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Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Eugen:

Awesome goal! I look forward to seeing your results in two weeks. Where else did you discuss the problems with your other websites? I'd be interested in reading those posts.
scottfanello
 
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Location: Denver and Dallas

Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:41 pm

Congrats on your achievements and your goals. I am also from Romania. I have started my own websites in college, with a main website making the most of the income. I was barely making 500$ a month. I had other sites too but they didn't generated much.

1 year before graduation my site dropped a lot in traffic and earnings, but luckily I had a friend who wanted to take care of it. I allowed him to take all the website earnings until I finished college. Few months later I got the site back in a better condition and I have started to grow it. I have started other websites too but the main revenue comes from the first website, but it is way bigger than it was in college.
thedark
 
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:38 am

So it's been a few days since I should have posted an update. Here it is:

I started putting more work into the romanian site I plan to grow and so far it shows. Google Analytics shows a sustained upwards trend. Traffic ain't great so far, but the future looks promising. As far as sales go, they're less than in the months leading to december, but that's normal.

On the other hand, the english site took a major dive after december. That was normal, for january, but looking back at the previous years, this is the worst so far.

Yesterday, I had some spare time and went through the statistics, did some reading and I got really dissillusioned, almost depressed :( Let's face it, the content on those sites sucks. My English it great, but writing in English on subjects I'm not particularly interested is tough. And going through all the old articles and fixing them would take a really long time.

After some more consideration, I'm ready to give up on my English sites and focus on the Romanian ones. I'm putting them in 'conservation' mode for a while, at least until I get back on track with the affiliate revenue and hopefully getting more free time by getting rid of the day job.

The Romanian affiliate scene is maturing and we have a great affiliate network and some great independent affiliate programs, including one which is sort of a local Amazon.

So, looks like I have 5 more months to go. I've got to to make it!
Eugen
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 10:30 am

Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:39 pm

Hi Eugen, Good to see you back here again!

Eugen wrote:After some more consideration, I'm ready to give up on my English sites and focus on the Romanian ones.

Makes sense. You're doing research, and then trusting your instincts. If you're more comfortable working in your own language, you should find it easier to make good progress faster.

Perhaps when you've reached your income goals you could hire someone to revamp your English language sites.

The Romanian affiliate scene is maturing and we have a great affiliate network and some great independent affiliate programs, including one which is sort of a local Amazon.

That's really good news. It should be much easier to compete against Romanians than against all the millions of English language marketers.

Also, if you can create well written, genuinely useful content you'll find it easier to get links to it and people will stay on your site, visiting more pages and trust your more.

I look forward to seeing your next report.
AllanGardyne
Site Admin
 
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Thu May 09, 2013 2:01 am

Hi Eugen, How's your progress? Anything to report?
AllanGardyne
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Mon May 13, 2013 7:57 am

Hey Allan,

Not much to report actually. At some point I got a little too busy with other stuff and didn’t work as much at the site as I’s like. Plus, I often don’t feel like doing much after coming home from the ‘regular’ job.

However, about a week ago, my Romanian sneaker site got hacked by some Turkish guys. They didn’t do much harm, besides changing the homepage with one of their own and changing my email/password. I think I figured it out after about 2-3 days. The other pages were intact (I actually registered a commission while the site was hacked). My host had backups, so it all got solved in about 1-2 hours after I notified them.

Anyway, one of the hardest things for me is to get those back links. Back in the day I relied on article directories, but now I’m lost. I certainly didn’t knock on all doors, but it seems that Romanian bloggers aren’t that keen on guest blogging. I contacted a couple, but I haven’t heard anything back.

My June deadline is clearly no longer standing. Is it cheating to try to reach this goal by October? :P
Eugen
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 10:30 am

Mon May 13, 2013 9:37 am

Eugen wrote:...it seems that Romanian bloggers aren’t that keen on guest blogging. I contacted a couple, but I haven’t heard anything back.

Mmmmm. One approach to try is - instead of sending the description of the article you're offering to write - send the actual article. That makes it easy for the blog publisher.

Just speculating here ... I'm wondering if it would be possible to get around the language problem. Perhaps you could do some guest posts for English language websites, and link to a specially written English language page on your Romanian site? And that page could link to your main page, to help give it a bit of link juice.

My June deadline is clearly no longer standing. Is it cheating to try to reach this goal by October? :P

Of course not. Go for it! You're cheating only if you give up. :)
AllanGardyne
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