Ya gotta spend money to make money

unicorn ranch

I’ve always heard it said “You have to spend money to make money”, but never really understood that. You’ll remember a few weeks back, I shared with you all a post about my plans to make money blogging.

Since that time, a little over two weeks, I’ve made just under a $1,000. That’s right baby. I’m rich! Okay maybe I’m not rich, but every bit helps. I love making money off you suckers wonderful people.

As much as I wish I could claim this change is the direct result of secret wisdom I had, I can’t. Honestly, that’s just the way this blogging thing goes. Some months I make good money, and others I make zilch. Nada. Zero. There has been no consistency in revenue.

That has to change. If I want to get serious about this monetization thing, I’m going to need to figure out ways to generate more consistent income. That is why I’ve decided, if I want to make money, I’m gonna have have to spend it.

Do you notice any changes to my blogs layout? Yesterday, I took a big step and made my single largest blog related purchase EVER. I dropped $87 on the Thesis Theme (side note: for those that don’t know, a blogs ‘theme’ is the style, layout ,and appearance of a blog). Ultimately I made the move because Thesis is suppose to work wonders for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I know you don’t care about SEO and to be honest, I don’t either, but it’s a VITAL piece of blog monetization. If you see some changes, if my site is unavailable, or if things just look really ugly, I ask you bear with me over the next few days as I play around with some stuff.

With this latest purchase, I’ve now spent a total of $242 on PDITF. Here’s how…

$20 on registering my domain ($10/yr x 2yrs)

$84 on hosting

$51 on a business license

$87 on my new theme

I don’t have the exact percentage in front of me, but I think my return on investment is something near 1,652%. Can I get a booya for a great ROI?! Tack on a GoDaddy promo code – you might be looking at an even GREATER ROI.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though, I’ve definitely put a crap load of sweat equity in to this thing and if you average it out, my wage would be something pathetic like $2.43/hour. Oh well, ya gotta start somewhere right?!

Punch Debt In The Face is my first business adventure. I don’t plan to get rich from it. I don’t plan to make enough to do it full time (nor do I have a desire to). And I definitely don’t plan on spammin’ the crap out of you readers with pop-ups and junk just to make a quick buck.

I really want to be completely transparent with you all so if you have any questions about my blogging experiences please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. And, as always, I’d like to end by asking you folks a few questions. Have you ever spent money to make money? If so, what on? Do you have any experience running your own business (I sure as heck don’t)? And for you fellow bloggers, do you view your site primarily as a hobby or a business?

31 thoughts on “Ya gotta spend money to make money

  1. You made just under $1k in a couple of weeks?! That’s pretty fantastic. What are your revenue sources? Just adsense? I use adsense and recently discovered Viglink which is INCREDIBLE. My site revenue is very consistent and growing slowly but no where near $1k/month! I think your frequent posting must really boost your clicks. I post about 2-3 x week and have 45k unique visitors and 100K page views per month but earnings are only about $150 (but that’s enough to pay for my groceries which are about the only blogging expense so I’m still very very very happy with that). Oh, and about 25% of my daily traffic comes from search engines… which I’d say is pretty good, don’t you think?

    Anyway, I love this number sharing… it’s very interesting, keep it up!
    Beth

    • What! 45,000 unique views a month! That’s incredible. I’m only hitting about 9K/month and 35k page views.

      I read on one site ideally we’d be generating about 50% of our visits from search engines. Right now I’m at about 19%. That’s why I’m hoping this thesis thing will bump me up in Google, so I get more search engine visitors.

    • Please explain $23.79. Seems like a very random number. We gotta figure out a better pricing structure for you. I assume that’s all adsense?

      • Yep, I logged into AdSense this morning and I had $23.79 in all-time earnings. I’m 1/4th of the way to my first adsense paycheck. I’ll be doing a post on my site later this week to breakdown >$2k in expenses.

        With that being said, I realize that you can’t monetize a site without visitiors, so I haven’t put much work into monetizing my site. I’m mainly focused on content right now.

  2. Man, you moved this over thesis pretty quickly and it looks good. It’s taken me ages (although I don’t really understand the backend webdesign stuff).
    Either way, I have thesis and it’s awesome, but if I had to do it again, I’d get the developers option because you and install it on multiple sites.

    • Jeff, I’m pretty sure you can upgrade to the developers option if you already own Thesis, for just the difference in price of the two. Don’t quote me on that, but you should look in to it.

  3. I blog as a hobby. Actually, I’m kind of lazy and I’m hoping to outsource a few financial decisions (i.e. make it easier to choose between various options by having others decide for me :>). It’d be nice to earn a buck or two, but for a number of reasons (namely, my blog is new, I post twice a week and I’ve committed to posting for a year), I don’t think it’s likely. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have a place to “brain dump” with the opportunity for others to offer me their two cents (pun unintended :>).

    P.S. I love your blog =)

  4. Hi Ninja,

    I have two websites now. My first one, http://www.insightwriter.com is about two years old now and I have never monetized it. I would like to though. If only to cover my operating costs of about $15 a month. Would you, could you, please do a little blog post about how we can all make enough from our blogs to have them pay for themselves? I think this would be a perfect post for your website. What do you think?

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  5. I spent probably around $2000 on my blog this year in various expenses from hosting to domains to staff writer fees to custom plugins, etc

    While that might sound like a lot, it has definitely been worth it as my returns are going to be almost enough to match my day job income. it’s amazing what having almost a second full time income can do for your financial goals.

    With monetization I think it’s key to diversify your income sources to include things like adsense (my biggest source), CPM ads, affiliate sales, information products, and anything else you can come up with creatively.

    Good luck!

  6. I can’t speak much about blog monetization with my 30 visitors a day, but my husband and I recently started an S-Corp for his musician income. I’m sure you know this, but the tax advantages are pretty sweet – especially when your business is also your hobby.

    • Actually Lindy, that’s about all I get at my blog and I’m doing half decently with monetization. Of course, I have a super good UK Alexa rank though, which is why all my ads are for UK companies.

  7. Wow, I am sucking. I get about 2500 unique visitors a month.

    I have been inspired to start a monthly blog stats update though. At the beginning of every month, I’ll post that month’s stats and income for each of my 3 blogs. I’ve put about $270 into BFS (domain for 5 years, hosting, 2 headers, and blog migration from Blogger to WordPress since I am a complete non-techy person) and have made $3300 since starting in February (almost all of that has been in the last 2-3 months). I consider it a hobby now that I am trying to grow into a full time job by 2012.

    • You’re killing it right now if you already have 2,500 uniques a month. Way ahead of where I was at your point. Our revenue is right about equal, but that’s pretty darn impressive considering I had already been blogging for 10 months by Feb. When you get rich and famous, remember me 🙂

  8. Great Work Ninja! It took me way too long to figure out the Blogging for money game. My search engine traffic is around 60% – which makes google adsense pretty stable. I love the other ways to make money though – under “Resources”

    Not only is it a quick blast of money, half the fun for me is negotiating with them lol

  9. Hey, Ninja. Heard about your blog a lot, but I’m finally getting by. I just subscribed. Great stuff. Before I started blogging I wouldn’t invest money in hardly anything. However, when I started blogging if I thought it was going to help the blog grow I at least tried it out. I agree that sometimes those types of investments provide a good return.
    Your site looks great!

    • Welcome Craig, Thanks for taking time to check out the site. Hopefully you’ll find some pretty entertaining stuff. Thanks for the subscription as well. I’ve heard every time I get a new subscriber an angel gets his wings 😉

      What are some of the blogging investments you’ve made?

  10. My blog is purely hobby right now. If I was going to turn it into a business, I’d be pumping out daily posts (even multiple posts per day!) but I’m just not up to it currently. I don’t even understand SEO either – something about tags? Keywords? Ehhh? (If you could do a SEO post, that would be awesome.)

  11. I’d love to start making money on my blog but think I need to ditch blogger and move onto something else. My blog just received national attention and I’m getting a lot of hits and new followers so now is the time to upgrade but I have no clue how to start!

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