Where’s Da Money? – Rethinking My Online Income System

My Online Income SystemWhere IS all the money at?  Lately what’s been on my mind is all the whirlwind of activity within the personal finance blogging world.  We’ve got 1) Google threatening more algorithm updates, 2) some big sites losing their PR, and 3) sites being sold off.  With all of this hoopla, it makes me wonder if I need to rethink my online income system for making money off my blog.

Going forward, what IS the marketing plan for My Money Design?

Private advertising seems to be barely hanging onto life support.  I remember when I first started my site, I used to read about how people were getting paid +$1,000 for selling 125×125 widget ad space.  But that was then, and it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve had anyone knocking on my door for deals like that.

So with private advertising on the down low and Google threatening more algorithm changes, what are we bloggers suppose to do for more online income?

Affiliate marketing seems to be a much more legitimate and steady way to produce income.  A great example of this would be Jeremy’s page of the best credit card offers where you use your blog to create a separate subpage of products you can get behind and offer your readers.  It’s Google friendly; to a degree.  But it is so slow.  And your success depends a great deal on your traffic, your ability to produce conversions, search engine visibility, etc.

Some people take affiliate sales to the next level with multi-level marketing.  An example of this is when you subscribe to someone’s email list and they send you a newsletter for a new book or product.  I’ve read a lot of claims that this is a much better and more targeted way to make sales.  But I’m totally sure if I’m sold on this method.

I’ve noticed a lot of people reporting success with freelance writing and things along those lines.   That kind of work sounds fun and something I’d be interested in doing more of.  However, I wouldn’t exactly consider this to be the most passive of my online income system options.  You’re payout is a ratio of the time spent on the activity.

What about writing an eBook?  I’d still eager to do this, and other bloggers seem to be making some handsome passive income.  Glen from Monster Piggy Bank has an eBook releasing on Monday.  More on that to come!

Then there’s my niche site effort.  When you run the numbers, this one has it all.  Low investment, potential high payout, passive income, etc.  However, it has not been all easy.  I think Google really hates me.  My site has been “in the sandbox” ranking at position #300 for a while.  AND as you can guess it’s not making any money down there.  But I’ve got a few ideas to try to get it back out.  I’ll have a niche site post coming up this week.

All of this has me wondering too if I should seek out a business incorporation of my services.  The more and more I treat my blog like a business, the more I realize how important it is to protect myself legally.

Readers – Has your private advertising been slow?  What do you use for your online income system?


Blogs You Should Check Out:

In case you missed them, here are a few great stories you should check out this weekend:


Carnivals & Mentions:

My Money Design was featured on the following sites this week:

Thanks to everyone for linking to my site and enjoying my posts.  I really appreciate your support and hope you continue to visit!


Posts This Week:

  1. Wealth Creation Strategies That Are Within Your Reach
  2. Using Blogs to Learn Great Basic Financial Planning Skills
  3. How to Clear Credit Card Debt By Clawing Your Way Out – Thanks again to Kev from Financial Update for his guest post submission this week.  If anyone would like to do a guest post, please feel free to shoot me an email.

Image courtesy eCards.


    • MMD says

      I’ve noticed you seem to be having some success in this area. Are you finding you’re having better luck with your newsletter or your actual website in terms of affiliate sales?

    • MMD says

      That is exactly the attraction for me. Just set it up and you’re done. Now the hard part is driving traffic to your site and growing conversions. But I think if you can crack that equation, then you’re on to something huge.

  1. says

    Thanks so much for the mention MMD! I’ve made a hard move to affiliate advertising and will probably be implementing a newsletter here in the near future as well. Freelance writing can be good, I do some of it myself, you just need to find good paying gigs to make it worth while.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Shout Out Saturday #9My Profile

    • MMD says

      Will you be using Aweber? I’ve heard a lot of people mention that they’ve gone this route and had some pretty good success with it. They claim they reach a much more “targeted” audience. However, writing a newsletter that promotes an affiliate product seems like yet another thing you’d have to add to the already crowded list of things to do while you blog.

  2. says

    I don’t really have an online income system. I just put up a few google adsense ads and I’ve linked to my affiliate link with ING (now capital one) and had a few folks sign up. Right now I’m just writing because I enjoy it, and if any opportunities come my way that’s the “cherry on top” so to speak.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..My Spending Life StagesMy Profile

    • MMD says

      I’m sure at some point you will probably want to put together some sort of plan. Adsense money and the occasional affiliate click are nice, but I know that there’s got to be more to it that I’m not really taking full advantage of yet.

    • MMD says

      Who have you been using for affiliate products? And how did you both pick up your free-lance writing gigs? Writing sounds fun, but I’ve heard of some pretty wild highs and lows that people are offered to write posts.

  3. says

    I’m part of Glen’s e-book so I’ll be curious to see how we do…especially since the profit is split so many ways. I don’t have enough experience with online income, so I don’t think or rely on it too much. To me it’s icing on the cake if it happens. I need to look more into affiliates, but not sure my web traffic is there yet.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Link Love/Week in Review 3/17/13My Profile

    • MMD says

      I’d actually think that freelance writing and affiliate income would be perfect for you in terms of blog income. With the number of comments you seem to receive on your site, I’d say you’ve probably got more potential than you think. The hard part about getting behind an affiliate is picking and promoting something that you can really get behind.

    • MMD says

      Precisely what I was going for. I don’t want to be 100% begging at the heels of Google or any search engine. To some degree you have to play their game. But a really smart person would spread the odds out as much as possible so that the next time there is an update they don’t get burned.

  4. says

    I always feel a bit guilty trying to sell a product (but go buy my ebook). The ones I really would be able to support seem to want a million visitors a month before you can become an affiliate. I think I’m working on building traffic right now. If I can get that to a certain point, we’ll see. Any money is great right now. Two years down the road, my attitude might change.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..The A-Z of Saving Money-Ebook Launch and $250 GiveawayMy Profile

    • MMD says

      I hope you guys do great with your eBook!

      It does seem like you need to have some pretty significant traffic numbers before certain affiliates will accept you. That just gets right back to playing the SEO game and trying to get your pages to rank naturally. Perhaps its all unavoidable. Part of me doesn’t mind working on this whole niche site project because I know that some of that knowledge will carry over into improving MMD.

    • MMD says

      That’s probably the best way to do things. Without 1) lots of traffic and 2) the right kind of people visiting your site, you’re not going to sell anything anyways. So why bother with affiliate marketing until you’ve got the first part down. I guess that just opens up the question: Does blogging deserve some extra attention and research because of the possible income that could be tied to it?

    • MMD says

      Interesting. You are the first person to mention leveraging paid traffic sources. Do you have any recommendations?

  5. says

    I have not heard of e-mail marketing referred to as “multi-level marketing” before. I think you’re right about affiliate marketing being a great way to go – but it has it’s pitfalls. For example, how do you KNOW that you are actually being paid/credited for the sales or leads that you produce?

    I am pretty infatuated right now with this whole idea of e-mail marketing (monetized by affiliate marketing). All the big players say, “The money is in the list.” My thinking is… if you want to be one of the big players, you have to do what the big players are doing.
    Matthew Allen recently posted..Passive Income Report – February 2013My Profile

    • MMD says

      MLM (Multi-level marketing) is just a buzz term for anything where you form a list of clients, sell your low cost introductory product to that list of clients, and then sell your higher level products to those customers. You hear about it a lot in books and blogs. Here’s an example:


      It’s not just email marketing. Another example is the infamous Robert Kiyosaki from Rich Dad Poor Dad. He gets people to buy his book ($20, lowest level), then come to his seminars (higher price $400 medium level), and then sells them consulting business (highest price thousands of dollars highest level).


      I’m personally not a big fan of this approach because I rarely buy anything in this manner. But then again, people do have a lot of success with this strategy. Perhaps I just need to put together a product offering I can believe in for me to use this trick.

      It’s funny you mention the scrutiny about the affiliate marketing. There are times when I’m sure my traffic has produced more leads and sales than I’m being paid for. I do have my suspicions ….

    • MMD says

      It is a delicate line. And one that if you cross it, you’ll piss off your readership. I think it helps to really only promote things you can believe in (such a novel idea, right?). You may not make millions, but I think you build a lot more credibility when you link to stuff that you know people can really benefit from.


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