My First in Person, Youtube Video Experience.

So, I finally got my first Youtube video up, well, not my first, but my first one with me in the video! And you know what? I really enjoyed it. Sure I was up til 3 or 4 am 2 nights in a row trying to get it done, but it was actually perfect doing it that way because with 3 boys in the house during the day, there’s no way I could have got it done without you being able to hear kids yelling or saying “Mommmmy!” in the background  😉  So I have to do my videos after hours!

I usually hate seeing myself on video and hearing my voice, but this one turned out really well I think. The first take I did, I had my hair up in a ponytail and my husband watched part of it and suggested I’d look better with my hair down and that I reminded him of that blond girl off of Big Bang Theory. I can’t remember her name since I don’t watch it very much, but she’s the one that’s married to the astronaut guy. Anyway, I think I was trying to be too chipper or something, so the next take I tried to relax and be more myself.

So if you’ve been thinking about getting a youtube video up and you’re a little scared to show your face or talk in front of the camera, my advice is, just do it! I did mine late at night while everyone was sleeping so I’d be alone and noone would hear me. I am much more comfortable that way.

It’s not as bad as you think. I am naturally a shy person and hate getting up in front of people, but over the years, I have conquered that fear many times by just making myself do it! You can do it if you really want to! And with a Youtube video, you are not in front of a crowd when you record it, so just have fun. You can to as many takes as you need to to get it right and get more comfortable.

Also, I did my video in a few sections so if you need to stop and take a break, you can always do it in sections and then just use a neat transition effect when you go to edit the video. I use iMovie on our Mac and I love it. There are some cool effects you can use and it makes it really easy to edit your videos and then you can upload it to Youtube right from iMovie.

For the video camera, we bought ours from Amazon last year and it has been a wonderful video camera! I really like the sound quality on my video, since I had heard that you may want to use a microphone to get the best sound for your video. But I think this little camcorder did just find. It has a wonderful picture quality too and does great for action also. The video camera I use is the Panasonic HDC SD-60 (SD-80 I think is the newer version)

So get going and get that Youtube video done! Just do it, and I know you’ll be happy you did! I know I was :)

Pushing Through to The Other Side with SmartPassiveIncome Podcast

Wow, today I totally felt like “what’s the use?”. It’s kind of odd because all week, I’ve been pumped up about my websites and moving forward with them. I’ve been listening to the Smartpassiveincome podcasts, which, by the way, are awesome! Pat has really got me motivated, well, until today. I was motivated while listening to him today though for a little bit.

I just started listening to his podcasts on Monday this week and am now on #15, so I’ve been soaking it all in! I don’t know though, today I think maybe I’m getting sick or something. I ended up with a headache and bit of a sore throat,so most likely my body is just drained. I realized earlier today that I can’t just go by feelings. I mean, you’re going to feel down in the dumps sometimes but you just have to keep pushing through. We can’t just quit things just because we’re sick or feeling down one day. I wouldn’t do that if I had an outside job would I?

Nope.

In fact I would have still gone to work today if I worked outside the home. So part of it too was that I’m not seeing the results that I think I should be by now and today, since I wasn’t feeling well anyway, that just kind of hit me and a lot of negative thoughts started running through my brain.

So, what did I do?

Well, first I took a nap with my 3 year old. A much longer nap than I intended and then woke up with a headache! So that didn’t really help, but then I started thinking about what more I need to do with my candle making site, which is my main project right now.
Now I was listening to podcast #14 or 15 I think, and Pat was talking about how he only focuses on one project at a time, even though he has many projects going on at the same time.

This is how he does it…

He has specific things to get done for each project and lists those things in order. So like for his example, if he is working on an Iphone app, he only focuses on that until he gets to the point where he sends the idea to the developer. Then once it’s in the hands of the developer to work on, he can now focus on one of his other projects.

With each project he has certain “stopping” points. So once he gets to a “stopping” point, he will take that time during the stopping point for one project and focus on another project. So he has multiple things going on, but he gives each one his full attention until he gets to a stopping point, like sending an app idea to the developer where it is now out of his hands and he doesn’t have to work on it until it’s done being developed and then he’ll go back to it for promoting it or whatever.

Making My Own Stopping Points

So I was thinking today about making myself some stopping points for each website I’m working on. Just places where I can stop working on it for a little bit and work on another website. I’ve been doing a lot of building backlinks for my candle making site this month and also writing content for it, so I’m thinking I am going to spend this next week writing more content, putting up more pictures and I’m also going to try and get a Youtube video up tomorrow actually and I’m hoping that will really give me a boost too.

But I think after next week, I am going to give myself a stopping point for that site and start back to work on my horse classifieds site. I’m excited to get back to work on that one since it has been awhile and of course horses are my absolute passion. But it’ll also give me a chance to step back from this site for a bit since I think I’m getting a bit burnt out with all the work I’ve been trying to do. I’ll just give it a chance for Google to pick up the back links and kind of take a break and see how it does in the rankings.

Obviously, if people start emailing me about making soy candles, then I will answer them back and try to help, but no working on the actual website for a bit.
So that’s my plan to help prevent burnout on each project. I was really happy today though for one reason, this morning I looked a my Adsense account and I had $2.52 just from 2 clicks today! I’m really hoping my Adsense earnings get back up to around $20 or more again. It’s been a real downer seeing it plunge so much, but some of my keyphrases are getting back up there. Frappuccino Recipe is back to the first page, though down toward the bottom so I’m not getting much traffic from it yet, but that’s definitely progress from when it fell to several pages deep.
So that was my downer day today! I think tomorrow will be better. I’m looking forward to doing my candle making video for Youtube! It’ll be fun. I’m also thinking about doing a podcast just talking about my life and the different home businesses I’ve pursued, and just about my journey so far to this point today, which I will post here.

So anyway, keep your chin up and keep pushing!

Till next time!
~Melissa

Income and Traffic Report for October 2012

So I’m trying to keep track of my income at the end of each month here. This way I can have documented for myself what’s been going on with my income and past income and kind of give me an idea of what strategy’s have been working. Plus I want anyone looking at starting an internet business to be able to see how I’ve been doing and hopefully, when my income starts to take off, they can see that it is possible to be successful online.

As I said at the beginning, I am not making much yet, but I am excited to be following Pat Flynn at Smartpassiveincome.com because he has shown me that this could work if I work at it! As I said before, my short term goal is to make $200 a month either with one site or with all my sites put together, but that’s my goal. Considering how much I’ve seen that quite a few people online are making per month and even not long after they started, I think $200 is a pretty easily attainable goal.

So, I’ve had some setbacks, but I’m working as much as I can to overcome these and get my sites back on track.

I’m going to go ahead and get into the traffic report so here is a list of sites I have currently. The ones in bold are the ones I am working on at the moment, and the others are on the back burner for now. Most of these sites I’ve had for several years, but only this year really started learning the right way to monetize them and get more traffic, especially after the setbacks from the latest Google updates.

Before those updates, I didn’t usually have any problem ranking for low-medium competition keywords/phrases, but now? I feel like I’m swimming upstream! lol

Traffic Reports

So here’s the list, I will use Google Analytics for this since it doesn’t count search bots so it’s more accurate of the true amount of visitors than Awstats or another stats program that you might use through your web hosting company.

  • Learnhowtomakesoycandles.com  visits: 350 unique visitors: 250  with 2.45 pages per visit.
  • Homemade-candle-creations.com (my original soy candle site when I was selling them) I’m not listing traffic for this one yet because I had been redirecting it to the learnhowtomakesoycandles.com site, but I’ve removed the redirect and am going to leave it as it’s own site connected to the making soy candles site. I’ll explain later!
  • Mom-venture.com visits: 819  unique visits: 742 with 1.29 pages per visit
  • Myworkathomeventures.com visits: 29  unique visitors: 12 with 5.17 pages per visit.
  • ClassAdsequine.com visits: 986 unique visitors: 492 (I am using Awstats for this site because I have some pages that I haven’t added the Google Analytics code into, so it isn’t tracking all my pages in Analytics yet.)
  • Higherfocusart.com Visits: 715  unique visitors: 257 (using Awstats for this one too for the same reasons stated above)
  • Homecoffeerecipes.com No stats yet, I just started this site at the very end of October.
  • Chris-Hall-Music.com (my husbands site for his music) Visits: 247 unique visitors: 119 (also using awstats. Need to fix the analytics code I think)
  • Higherfocuswebdesign.com  Visits: 7  unique visitors: 6 with 2.29 pages per visit

I have 3 other sites I’m working on, one for a friends gunstock carving business, another for a group camping rental website and another for my brother’s drive thru espresso business, but I’m not going to post stats here since they aren’t my personal sites.

Income Reports

Online Income for October 2012

Offline Income:

Quickbooks (and website work) for my brother’s business: $125

 

So that’s it. Income went down some more due to less traffic, but I am very optimistic that it will start increasing again once the backlinking strategy starts to kick in, plus I am really trying to hammer content out on my soy candle making, and coffee recipes sites, and of course this site as well.

Until next time!

~Melissa

 

 

 

Site Changes and Backlinking Strategy, Lot’s of Work this Month!

Wow, it’s been a month of clawing and scratching to get my soy candle site back up to the top in Google! I’ve made quite a few changes. Some are mistakes that I had made that I didn’t know about and I’m hoping these are what has kept my home page from even being in the top 800, if you can call it that…… I had found it on page 88 at one point and then “Poof” gone! Nowhere to be found! And then I’ve been working on my backlinking strategy which I will go into detail about. So far I’ve seen a little movement from some pages in my site, but not much. It is a bit early to tell yet though so I’m optimistic about it.

Questioning Myself…..

So a few months ago I changed my soy candle business “Homemade Candle Creations” from a candle sales website to an informational website on making soy candles and starting a business. So I had found out about exact match domains and thought, maybe if I change the address of the site to something that was more specific to making soy candles, that that might help me to get to the top for my main keyphrase of “how to make soy candles”. My homepage had originally had a target keyphrase of “Soy Candles” and although it never did rank well for soy candles, it did rank well for Homemade Candles and Homemade Soy Candles, most likely due to the fact that the name of my business and the url is Homemade Candle Creations.

So , around March or April I had the brilliant idea to change the domain name to learnhowtomakesoycandles.com .  I thought I was so smart, putting in place my 301 redirects for each page that I transferred over. And you know what? Traffic started picking up about July. I shot up to the top of the page for “homemade candles” , though still did not rank well for “how to make soy candles” and my traffic steadily increased  and so did my Adsense earnings until that fateful day, September 27th 2012…… “homemade candles” dropped some that day, (see my first income report for a analytics chart)then more the next, then down to nothing the day after that. Since then, it has gone up a little, but is still buried around page 20. What would cause this drop? Well, the update Google rolled out that day was the EMD update (Exact Match Domains). Now I’m not sure why mine got penalized since the keyphrase that got dumped wasn’t even in my domain name. I am assuming that I just got penalized all around because I had an exact match domain name.

So I’m thinking that I made a mistake in changing my domain name. I could have kept “Homemade Candle Creations” and it still would have worked with the theme of my site. So now, do I try changing the domain back? Probably not since I just sent out a bunch of articles using the learnhowtomakesoycandles.com domain name.  I’m thinking I’ll just have to keep adding content, keep creating quality backlinks and keep plugging away to see if I can climb back to the top for some sort of good keyphrase!

Attempting the Backlinking Strategy that Works

So I’m attempting to follow Pat Flynns Backlinking Strategy That Works. I realize that after these last few Google updates, that this may not work as well as it once did. I really wish I had found out about this like, last year….. Do you ever feel like you’re two steps behind? I do! I’ve been building websites and trying to start an online business, oh, since 2003 and I never heard of Pat Flynn till now. I know I shouldn’t think of it like this, but if I had known about this strategy even just last year, I could have been ahead of the game and maybe already making more money by the time Google rolled out all these updates.

I mean, think about it. Pat started his Security Guard Training website back in 2010 for a niche site duel to see who could get a niche site started from scratch and earn money from it. Well, he used this backlinking strategy and wrote great content and made it to the top in Google. So by the time all these Google updates rolled out, that site was already an authority site in that niche with an exact match domain I might add, and so Google most likely will not touch it, and rightly so. If I had been able to do that through lots of backlinks, I could have made it to the top most likely(making soy candles is not a particularly large niche) and maybe, with lots of good content, have started getting “authority” status too and then most likely I wouldn’t have had these problems with keyword ranking. I should say, I ranked well for several of my pages when I was selling my soy candles, and business was growing. It’s since I changed to an informational site that I’ve started running into road blocks although traffic was growing and growing until the google update in July and September. That’s when my site was dropped out of the first page (around position 1-3) for “homemade candles” which was where much of my traffic was coming from. I ranked great for it when my site was www.homemade-candle-creations.com (wouldn’t that be considered exact match, or close to it?) but when the EMD (exact match domains) update happened, I was dropped out even though my domain wasn’t exact match anymore www.learnhowtomakesoycandles.com. Keep in mind, I changed the url of of my site before the google updates and traffic continued to climb, even more than it had before.

Doesn’t make sense to me.

So anyway, that’s my little pity party. I promise I won’t do that again any time soon!

Illustration of the Backlinking Strategy

Sorry this illustration isn’t the easiest to see, but you can click on it to enlarge it. As you can see, I started with my main site in the middle “Learn how to make soy candles” and then the Anchor layer that links back to the main site are the Ezine Article, Squidoo, Web 2.0 properties, WordPress.com site, Blogspot site and so on. Then I use anchor text directed to the anchor layer sites to submit mass articles and also submit the anchor layer sites to social bookmarks. You can check out Pat Flynn’s post on the Backlinking Strategy that Works for a more in depth explanation on all this.

So to recap what I’ve been doing the past couple weeks, I’ve submitted a spun article to each of the top article directories. Then created some web 2.0 properties and blogs with an anchor text linking back to the main site. Then I’ve submitted my own original article, spun, to Unique Article Wizard with anchor text linking back to 2 of my anchor layer sites like Ezinearticles and Squidoo. They send out hundreds of different unique versions of your original article to different article directories and blogs. This is supposed to increase the link juice to your anchor layer (squidoo, ezinearticles, wordpress.com, etc.) and pass it on to your main site through the links from your anchor layer.

Then you do mass social bookmarking to your anchor layer articles too which is also supposed to create link authority.

So will this all still work after Panda, Penguin and EMD? Pat seems to think it still works, though probably not as well as it used to. So I’ve decided to try it anyway and just make sure to vary my anchor text and try to make things look as natural as possible. And the cool thing is, that Unique Article Wizard has a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked. So if I don’t start seeing results after I’ve been working my rear off with this article marketing campaign, I’m going to request my money back.

I’ll post updates on how the site is doing. It’ll probably take another week or so to really see some improvement.

So that’s it for now! Next up should be my income report for last month…..

Until next time!

~Melissa

 

Bouncing Back with Google!

So I’ve been so disappointed, if you hadn’t noticed, with how 2 of my websites have fared during the recent Google algorithm updates the last couple months. I keep wondering if my sites will recover, yet I can’t see how they wouldn’t? They’ve done so well for several years now only to be completely knocked down overnight??? So, yes, I’ve got some work to do to keep that from happening again….

But!!

Tonight I was checking my search ranking for my Mom Venture site, for that certain recipe page that got knocked down after enjoying a huge traffic boost from it for the last year. Wellllll One of my main keyphrases that used to be at the top of page 1 of Google before the update on July 24th, that knocked it down to page 35-40 is now on page…..drum roll please!…… 5!

Still not a good page to get traffic from, but that is a huge leap in one day! So I am optimistic that it could make it back up to page one.


Site Speed Changes

One change that I did recently though is that I changed the theme back to Greenpark 2 which has proven to have a much faster load time than Atahualpa theme, which I had been in love with for awhile until I realized how slow it loads! I love how easy it is to customize, but I know enough now that I can almost fully customize different WordPress themes without too much problem.

I remembered that that is the main reason I had switched to the Greenpark 2 theme, so I’m wondering if switching back to Atahualpa theme was what delayed my bouncing back after that update in July. Google does take into consideration site loading speed, and when I checked my load time on Pingdom.com it was 15 seconds!! That is snail speed! After switching back to Greenpark 2 it is down to about 3-4 seconds, which is still a bit slower than I’d like, but way better than 15.

Upcoming Projects

Anyway, I am just really excited and hopeful now to see what this coming week brings. I’m just going to keep plugging away at submitting articles to top article directories and building quality backlinks for both my main sites this week.

I’m also going to start back to work on my horse classifieds site too because I’ve had some major brainstorming going on, and I think if I could focus on that site at least 2 days a week, I could really get it moving. There are tons of possibilities for content on that site, and I am very experienced with horses, training and riding lessons, and it is my passion, so we’ll see where this goes!

Plus I have an idea and have already bought a domain name for a new niche site, but I’m probably going to only work on it one day a week for now until I get my other sites going well.

So until next time!

~Melissa

Newest Panda Update as Well as EMD?

Well, I just found an article that says that Google also released a new Panda update about the same time as their new EMD update. September 27th. Here’s the article:

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2214841/Website-Traffic-Down-Might-Be-Google-EMD-Update-Might-Be-New-Panda-Update

So I had been wondering why both my Mom Venture site had gone down even more in traffic, although the main recipe that was bringing in so much traffic before July 25th has gone up a little in results for one of it’s main keyphrases, and my How to make soy candles site had took a dump in the search results and traffic after several months of significant traffic growth.

Now it is really frustrating to me, because I look at some of the sites that are at the top of the list in search results for homemade candles (which was not my main keyphrase for that sites homepage, but it was one I was ranking almost at the top for), and I really don’t see the quality that should be there. In fact I don’t see why my page took such a nose dive at all! The only thing I could think of is that I didn’t exactly have “homemade candles” in my title although for some reason when I’d see my homepage in search results for homemade candles before the update, it didn’t show my site title, but showed the name of my site “homemade candle creations” which I always thought was kind of weird!

So, I changed the title a couple days ago to include “homemade candles” in it. I guess we’ll see if that works. Google has indexed my site since then to reflect the change, but there hasn’t been much difference. Though I know it can take some time to bounce back from this so I just need to be patient.

As far as my magic traffic recipe on my Mom Venture site……I just don’t know what to do about that. That drop happened back in July and I still haven’t been able to recover from it and since the new Panda and EMD update, I’ve seen even more of a drop in traffic. This is a blog I’ve had since 2009 with quite a lot of content.

It’s just so frustrating now because I used to not have much problem ranking for certain keyphrases and now??? I just don’t know what Google wants, because great content still is just not enough. I imagine that if you have lots of people sharing then, sure, you’ll rank well, but what about the great content that is new. How are people supposed to  see that content if you can’t be found in search results because the already established content is all set at the top? I don’t know….

So before I came back to finish this post, I found out that there was in fact a Panda update on July 24th, which coincides with my high ranked recipe dumping down in the serps on July 25th!

http://www.v7n.com/forums/google-forum/312054-google-pushing-out-panda-update-3-9-tonight.html

That explains it……

So now what to do about it?

Well, I just plan on continuing on with the new backlinking strategy I’ve been working on, and see how things are in another couple weeks, and keep adding content to those sites.  Pretty much all that can be done right now.

Until next time….

~Melissa

Monthly Income Report and Google EMD Update

So July I saw a huge drop in traffic due to one of my main keyphrases dropping down significantly in the SERPs for my mom venture site, and then on September 28th, I saw a huge drop in traffic for my candle site!! I wondered what was going on since my candle site traffic had been on the rise and was doing well, and now it is at an all time low. Well, I found out that Google rolled out another lovely update to target low quality exact match domains (EMD). From what I hear, and also from what I’ve experienced is that there are quite a few legitimate, higher quality sites that have been hit hard as well. I realize what Google is trying to do, but personally, I think they are taking this a little too far. You can only do so much determining what is “quality” content. You can place algorithm after algorithm into the search engine, but there’s only so much that a computer can do to determine what is “quality” content or not. Personally I think they need to leave well enough alone, because the more you try to make something perfect, the more it eventually will become imperfect because they are more and more taking out good sites along with the bad. These are peoples businesses you’re dealing with here.

Anyway, I will say that Matt Cutts at Buzzblogger.comsaid it well….”Google is known for releasing aggressive updates and then drawing them back in over time. So let’s wait for the dust to settle before drawing too wide of a conclusion.”

It could be that my sites will come back up in the rankings once the dust clears from all this.

I am also working on a new backlinking strategy that I have been reading about from Pat Flynn at Smartpassiveincome.com. I won’t go into exact detail here, but you can click on the link to Pat’s site to see how he does it. I am excited to see how it works from my candle site this month!

Ok, so with all of the loss of traffic, my Adsense has taken a hit and Amazon hasn’t done much more either. Here is my report for last month:

Google Adsense: $12.60

Amazon Associates: $.70

Total: $13.30

So that’s it! I’ll keep up to date on how the backlinking strategy is working and if my sites get back on the charts with Google!

Until next time..

~Melissa

Can Slow Site Speed Cause Drop in Google Search?

That’s what I’m wondering right now. I went to check out the site speed on my Mom Venture blog and found that it was taking over 15 seconds to load!! Now that’s unacceptable.

So I’m thinking, “what in the world?” I have had issues with that site being slow before, but finally had it at about 3-4 second load time just a few months ago. What changes did I make to cause it to be slow again?

Now in case you don’t recall… this is the site I’ve been having issues with since July 25th when a recipe that was bringing in tons of traffic, suddenly dropped in the search results and along with it…the traffic! So now I’m wondering, was it maybe the site speed that caused that drop?

What did I do before that, that could have slowed up the site that much?

Well….I believe that was around the time I changed the theme back to Atahualpa theme. I had that site using Atahualpa from the beginning, but now I am remembering that the reason I changed to the Greenpark 2 theme, was to see if it would help the site speed. Which, as I recall, it did. Well shortly before July 25th, I changed back to Atahualpa because I just like the looks of it better and the way I had it set up before switching. I totally forgot about why I had tried changing to Greenpark 2 in the first place, so I didn’t think to check the site speed again!

Sigh….

Well, I did end up getting the site speed back down to around 5 seconds today, which is still a bit slow for my taste, but way better than 15!

Here’s what I did:

  • Got rid of WP3 Cache which is supposed to help site speed, but it has slowed down every site I’ve tried it on! This was what made the most difference in site speed
  • Already had 2 plugins installed to put css and javascript in footer
  • Got rid of all the plugins I was not using
  • Made css and javascript in Atahualpa theme inline instead of external

So that’s basically all I did to improve the speed so much. I can not believe that WP3 Cache would slow a site up so much when it’s supposed to increase site speed, but obviously not! I hope to see better results in the search rankings in a few days or so. I know Google does take site load time into account and I’m pretty positive that this is what actually hurt me this time.

Have you had site speed affect your search rankings?

~Melissa

My First Income Report

First of all, I had hoped to get more videos up by now, but it has been incredibly difficult to get any quiet time to do them lately.  I’ve been homeschooling my boys in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoon if we get up late, and then keeping up with the house work, cooking and then the boys have been having a really hard time getting to sleep before 11pm at night even when I put them down around 9! It’s enough to drive one a little nuts.

The good news is that we are building a wall to section off for a 3rd bedroom any day now, so we’ll be able to move our oldest who is 8, into his own room and the other 2 will share the current bedroom. I am excited to see how this does with the bed time battles :)

So anyway, I’m attempting to write this before going to bed while it is somewhat quiet (with the exception of my husband wanting to talk while I’m typing…..)

Let’s get down to business.

So I’m going to admit, I don’t make much per month yet, BUT, I had a significant jump in earnings last year just before Summer started without doing a whole lot, so I’m going to show you about that. After this introductory income report, I’ll try to keep up to date on posting a monthly report. This is so that I can keep myself on track and look back at where I’ve been and what’s worked and what hasn’t, and so that hopefully anyone reading these reports can learn a little something too, and gain some encouragement knowing that you can indeed make money online.

I’ll tell you, what really got a fire under me this year was Pat Flynn over at SmartPassiveIncome.com .  I love his site and reading how he got started and seeing where he is now! If I could only make a fraction of what he’s bringing in per month, I’d be happy as a clam! I only wish I’d found him sooner.  lol

Ok, so let’s really get down to business this time….

Adsense Earnings and Drop in Traffic

Adsense is so far the #1 income source for me, and I’ve been toying with Adsense since I started my first self hosted website back in 2006. For a long time, like years, I just placed some Adsense ad blocks on a couple of my sites and didn’t do much with them. I earned a few cents here and there, but my first paycheck from Adsense finally came last year (you have to get to $100 to get a check from them). Then after some changes to some of my sites, moving Adsense into the content, and especially after writing a recipe on my MomVenture site, that ended up get tons of traffic much to my surprise!

I still get lots of traffic to that one recipe and I have yet to write another post that gets so much attention and ranks so well in the search engines for a popular term like that.

There was a significant decline in traffic last month though, and I am trying to figure it out. It started after July 24th (while the family and I were off at church camp for the week of course). I do know that that keyword fell in the search results a bit, though still on the first page.

Google Analytics Report of Traffic Drop

 

So you can see, after I started my serious SEO campaign, doing more keyword research for each post, adding a bit more content to some of them, changing some of the titles, etc… I had a significant rise in traffic last year, and in turn, had a siginificant rise in Adsense earnings from this particular site. You may notice a gap in January, but somehow I lost analytics for a period of time, though I can’t remember exactly what happened.

Then, this year, I had an even larger increase in traffic due to that particular recipe I posted, and have more than doubled my Adsense earnings per month from this one site.

But July 25th my keyword fell in the search results and so did my traffic….drastically. I should have documented my changes prior to that, but I didn’t. (shame on me!). I do think though, that I had changed the title of that post in order to hopefully improve my ranking even more, and I think I moved a paragraph that I had at the beginning of the post, down to the bottom just before that too.  Obviously I should have left well enough alone!

I have in the past 2 weeks, restored that recipe’s title to what it was prior to the drop and moved that paragraph back up top. I have seen a slight improvement on one of my major keywords, but the other is playing ping pong. It had gone up, but now it isn’t even on the first page at all, but the 3rd! So it’s just going to be a wait and see. Sometimes Google does that when you make changes, and then it eventually gets back to a good first page position.

So I have 4 other sites that have Adsense on them and they also make a little money each month. Here is how all my sites rank as far as how much they bring in from the most to the least:

MomVenture (My mom blog)

Learn How To Make Soy Candles (My soy candle business that I closed and changed into an info site)

ClassAds Equine (I am a horse lover!)

Higher Focus Art (I also paint in my spare time….I know…what spare time?)

I’m not going to post how much each of these made individually right now, but I will give you a screen shot of how my Adsense earnings have improved over the years:

Adsense Earnings Report 2007-2012

As you can see, there was a pretty good jump in earnings starting in June 2011 where I made a little over $8.00 that month! After that month, I averaged around $10 a month until March of this year, where I made $25 in one month! I had almost hit my goal of making $1 a day from Adsense! Since then, I have been doing about $14-$20 each month.

So since last year, I have been able to get 2 checks from Adsense! Very cool!

I’m a little concerned about September though, since my traffic dropped so much for my Mom Venture site and so far this month I’ve only hit $3.78  which isn’t too good. I’m hoping that since I’ve been posting more new posts on that blog, and with some new content on my other sites, I’ll be able to get it back up there and start seeing some more forward progress!

Adsense Earnings for August 2012: $15.01

Other Income:

So here are some other ways I’ve been making a little income. I’ve just started about 1-2 months ago with all of these, so It will take some more time to build, but I’ve made a little money :)

Amazon.com Affiliate earnings: July 1st-Sept. 11 $2.17 (Mom Venture Blog)

Bluehost.com Affiliate earnings: $0

Other affiliate earnings: $0

Offline Income

I have also been working for my brother doing his website development and online marketing for his espresso business. My parents now own one of the drive thru espresso stands too and my cousin is now running the other (there are 3 of them in Salem, Or.). I am also going to be starting soon on taking over Quickbooks for them and doing the payroll too, so I’ll be making some extra money with that each month too. Exciting!

Well, that’s the first report! I’m sure the monthly ones won’t be quite so long 😉

Any questions?? Please feel free to ask!

Until next time…

~Melissa

How To Make a Full Width Header Image for A WordPress Site: Atahualpa Theme

This is the third video in my How to Build Your First Website series. If you are new here, don’t have your own website yet and want to get started, please visit my first video Build Your First Blog or Website in less Than 10 min. with WordPress.

In this video I show you how to make a full width background for the header of your web pages so that it looks like the header image is stretched all the way across the top of the webpage. I’m using the WordPress theme Atahualpa, Gimp (free) image editing program, and Bluehost for my hosting company.

I love how this website is coming along. In fact  this is the first website so far where I’ve actually used a full length background for the header area, and I can see that so far it’s shaping up nicely. There’s still more work to do but I plan to document each step as I go along.

Now it is taking me some time to get this site finished because of having to record what I’m doing and  redo recordings because of mistakes, uploading them to Youtube, and other family obligations and projects, but if I wasn’t having to record it to show to you, it would not take long at all to get this site finished. In fact, you could get it done in a day if you have a good idea what you want for the design.

The next video will be coming soon and I’ll show you how to make the actual header image that will blend with the full length background and complete the header design!

So stay tuned, subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow along!

Until next time….

~Melissa Hall