How I'm Trying To Make Money During a Recession

This country is seeing record-high foreclosures, job losses, and minimal spending. According to what the media is telling us, we’re doomed. Game Over.

But are we really in a recession? Are things really as bad as they seem? People lose jobs and houses all the time, and cutting back on excessive spending can help you save up your money. Why is it any different today than it was 4-8 years ago?

Technically speaking, yes the US is in a recession. But are you personally in a recession? Have you lost your job and/or your house? If you have, my sympathies go out to you.

Reading The 4-Hour Workweek Can Make You Do Funny Things

When I quit my job at Wal-Mart, I did so with the intention that I would start my own online business and make a living that way. After that, I began to post regularly and this site received more views than ever before. Then, I lost my internet connection. The reason I lost it was because I ran out of money in my savings from Wal-Mart to pay for it. Sure I was making money from my website (around $20 a month), but it wasn’t enough to cover my expenses or sustain me. After my savings ran out, I decided to look for another job. Little did I know how difficult it would be to find one, especially during a time when most businesses are laying off rather than hiring.

I did manage to procure a “job” selling Rainbows, but I never made a dime from it. I disliked the dubious process of selling them. I felt like I was manipulating the potential buyer into purchasing it. Yes, the product delivers a value that I believe in (clean air and carpets so everyone can breath easier), but the manner in which the value is presented is what turned me off of it. One day, I just handed them my demo unit and I haven’t been back since.

Fortunatly, I did manage to secure the job I have now shortly after. However, I don’t plan on staying with it for a long time. I’m moving with Eriopolis to Bowling Green in July/August so I’ll either need to get another job in the area by then, commute to my current job, or develop another source of income.

Why Two Is Always More Than One

Earlier, I had planned on setting up an Amazon WebStore in order to make some more money. I read into it, and apparently it’s only used to sell your own products. It’s not quite what I had in mind (selling Amazon’s products through my site) so I’ll need to look into another means of making additional incomes.

The programs that I’m using right now are Text-Link-Ads, Amazon Affiliate, PayPal Donations, and Exit Junction. I had Chikita and several others up here before, but they never really made me anything. Today, the only one that’s really making me any kind of money is Text-Link-Ads. I plan on utilizing the Amazon Affiliate links in a more creative way so that I can increase my click-through-rate. I put up Exit Junction fairly recently so I’ll give it some more time to fully develop. I have not received any donations as of yet, but it has the potential to be a major moneymaker later on.

So if only one of my programs are making me a significant amount of money, then why should I bother with more that aren’t? It’s simple really; having three programs gives me three times the amount of income streams than just one. More streams means more security. Sure, only one of them is really making something, but I can fix that with more trial-and-error.

Balancing The Streams of Income

The big problem that I’ve run into (and I’m sure many of you have this problem too) trying to make money online is getting a stable and significant source of income. You either make $20 one month and $5 the next, or you consistantly make 5 cents every month. Either source is too unstable to make a living from by itself.

In this case, the solution is to add as many sources of income as possible to your site, right? Wrong. Simply adding affiliate & advertising programs willy-nilly will disrupt the look and feel of your website. If that were to happen, not only will no one click on your ads or buy your product, they’ll stop coming altogether. It’s best to think of your affiliate & advertising programs as additions to your site; a supplement if you will.

As such, they must complement your content instead of clash with it. For example, I had an affiliate program to sell a guide to improve your website’s SEO. The program might have been able to turn the $95 or so that you spent on it into $95,000 a month guaranteed, but no one would have bought it. Why? Because it was irrelevent to my website. So I dumped it and kept on trying other streams of income.

How Much Is Too Much?

The real trick to making money from your site is to not only have multiple streams of income, but have them complement your site in being both relevent to your site and not overwhelming your content. Also, have them properly placed throughout the site, preferably as close to the top of the site/article and as far left as possible. The reason for this is to make it the first thing the reader sees. The quicker and easier it is for the reader to see your ad/affiliate program, the more likely they’ll click on it. It’s also good to have ads inside a post as well as the end, but have your main program be the first thing they see. Use moderation and don’t place a ton of ads in a post. If you’re wondering how much is too much, picture yourself as a reader of the post. Are there too many ads in the way of the content? If so, remove them and leave the biggest and most relevent moneymakers in. Ask someone else if you’re still unsure.

How Much I Plan On Making By Year’s End

In my New Year’s post, I said that I want to be making at least $1,000 a month from this website by the end of the year. I’m still holding myself to that, and thus, will be presenting value equivelent to $1,000 a month or more. On the surface, the goal may appear to be “make $1,000 a month by year’s end”, but in reality, the goal is “create and deliver value so that others may present you with something of value, in this case, making $1,000 a month by year’s end”. Of course I do want to earn more than $1,000 a month, but it’s really just an arbitrary figure; a means by which I can gauge how well I’m presenting and delivering my value. It’s not the only means however. A comment or email from a reader that says my content changed their life somehow is also very meaningful to me and tells me that I’m on the right path.

Value Is Content, And Content Is King

Although I can have ads and affiliate programs that bring me in the big bucks, without quality content, I’m presenting nothing of value to you the readers. If I don’t present something of value, then why would you bother to come to my website and click on my ads and purchase my products? You wouldn’t.

As Steve Pavlina once said, take care of the giving side and the getting will take care of itself. I truly believe this; you must give before you can receive. With this new blogging schedule that I’m implementing, I plan on creating and delivering more consistent value than I ever have before. Look forward to it!


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