An extra post for the week. I am giving away two Amazon gift cards, worth 25 dollars each, to the subscribers of my blog. Please sign up to receive the updates via email. There should be an option on the right if I installed it correctly. The last time to subscribe and be eligible for the prizes will be on Sunday at 8 PM eastern time. You can always unsubscribe afterwards. I won’t be offended. 🙂 Current subscribers are also eligible.
I also wanted to write about some of the lessons I have learned so far. Perhaps some wannabe bloggers can benefit. Of course, I’m still very much a newbie myself. First, it’s crucial to have a unique angle. We all cover the same topics, but you have to bring something slightly different to the table.
This particular industry is oversaturated and every single topic or interest is covered, it seems. I really debated on whether to add my blog to the long list, but I couldn’t find anyone who was delivering my message. The closest one I can think of is The Deal Mommy, an excellent site, though with a somewhat different angle.
That’s not to say that something unique and exciting is not just around the corner, like Milenomics blog, where the writer combines the principles of economics with miles and points strategies. That’s why I would never fault or mock anyone for trying, even in this crowded environment.
Now, onto the money part… If that’s all you are after, don’t bother! The amount of time you will spend will not be worth it, I promise. First, you have to get approved for links, not a guarantee. Also, I haven’t calculated what I made per hour, but I’m certain it’s less than the minimum wage. And I am one of the lucky ones, because based on frustration I sense from many bloggers’ posts, they probably made even less.
To my readers who applied: Please don’t take it as me not appreciating the commission. I very much do! I’m just saying that there is this misconception about the miles and points industry and a huge amount of money you will make from affiliate links.
That’s another thing. A blogger may write extremely intelligent posts, be promoted by other blogs and have lots of readers, and yet it will not translate into commission. I honestly don’t know what the magic formula for blog monetization is, but it involves more than just those things. Also, one month you may get seven apps, and the next month just one. You have to put in a 100 percent effort, regardless, with each and every post.
The time to get into this industry for the money (among other things) would be 3 to 6 years ago. Many top bloggers have started around that time. That’s not to say that they are not extremely talented and bright. They are. But I think even they would admit that it was the case of being in the right place at the right time.
Now onto fellow bloggers. Some are very nice; quite a few are not. By the time you find out which ones are not so nice, they have already stabbed you in the back. This blogging industry is very much like high school. There are cliques of popular kids and the others who want to hang out with them. And then there is Daraius… Not sure where he fits in, to be honest! I am very much an outsider observing it all. I’m not really into cliques.
Oh, never ever reveal in your posts that you are making money like I did! Some bloggers will not be happy, even though the amount is insignificant. Forget the fact that most have good paying real jobs. They will be upset that you, a person of humble means, are making a little bit of money from your blog. How dare you, when they are not!
The most important thing in my opinion is to stay true to who you are, whether in blogging or in your life in general. If you don’t, readers will sense it. Of course, feedback is important, and you don’t want your blog to slide into a mean, ranting site. I think it’s crucial to contribute something of benefit on a regular basis, and not just vent your frustrations. That’s something I still need to work on.
Ask or beg Daraius at Million mile secrets blog to feature you in his interview series. You will get a number of regular readers in one day that it would take you a year to get on your own. It’s the fact that many featured bloggers forget as soon as the interview is over. I hope he knows that I haven’t forgotten and doesn’t mistake my dry sense of humor as me making fun of him.
Most importantly, you can’t take yourself or your blog too seriously. Just have fun!