The first blog, called how to lose and win, was a blog written in english about weight loss. It was my very first consideration for a blog because nutrition and dieting is a field I am very familiar with. I wrote about 100 articles on that blog.
Only after a while did I realise what my first mistakes were. Not only did I target keywords that were hopelessly out of my range. Even the ones that I had a chance to rank for were still highly competitive compared to the same keywords in my native language, German.
So I realised that I was wasting my time. I could have kept on fighting, trying to rank for a term that has 10000 searches a month and 10 million results, instead of switching to German and competing for the same keyword (just different language) with 1000 searches and maybe 50000 websites going for it.
I dropped this first blog, the english one, pretty much immediately.
I moved on to a new blog, this time a German version of the original english blog I had made, with the exact same design and overall layout, just a different title. It was difficult to start over. Only a fraction of the english posts could more or less be transformed into german posts (I had to rewrite everything). Most of the time, I found myself writing totally new articles.
While it was hard work, I realised pretty soon that I was about to have a lot more success having a german blog. There are many reasons for this. Germans are not "behind the moon", we do have cars, technology, computers. But we are also a little traditional in some ways and not up to date with certain things. For example, most people prefer a savings account with 2% interest rate over the slightest risk of going into the stock market.
And that mentality is carried over into many situations in life. It even goes deep into the German law. For example, we have mandatory health insurance. Usually, this is a good thing, as every employee will automatically be health insured, which is paid for by both the employer's and employee's contributions. But the downside is that if you are not employed (in other words: if nobody is your boss), you have to pay a lot of money to be insured.
This cements the attitude of Germans to always cling to their professions in an employee-employer relationship. It also has to do with the fact that the german education system is different from most of the world. In Germany, you need to learn a profession before you can start anything substantial. Want to work in the office? Must finish a 3 year job training first. Want to become a gardener? 3 years job training. Salesman? 3 years job training. Unless you are a mere factory worker or other "unskilled" jobs, you are going to spend 3 years of your life learning that profession, exams included.
All of this leads to a lifestyle of dependence on big companies. There are, of course, always exceptions, but these are usually people starting real, physical businesses, not online ventures.
Now back to blogging. I noticed that Germany was "behind the schedule" in some way. While the english-speaking market was full of American, English and even Indian people writing tons of articles that were useful and totally optimized to be on the number 1 spot on Google, I had not so much competition in Germany. And always bear in mind that this is how money is being made!
Eventually, I ended up writing another 100 blog posts, all in German. I got increasingly better at this, finding the right keywords to rank for, optimizing in terms of which topics could also generate income, and making the articles look more attractive.
At first, I was sceptical, but now I know that some money can be made. The only problem is that I would have to keep doing this for a long time before I can live like this only blogging and not working as an employee. I'd have to earn 20 times as much as I do now. Although this sounds like a lot, it should be worth mentioning that, right now, my blog is basically earning 5% of what I earn in a 40 hours a week job.
There are, of course, always downsides: I have to pay income tax as if this was a regular job. I have to register my blogging as a business, which will lead to additional costs in the end. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved. And if I decide to make it my only way of living, I have to pay for my own health insurance.
But for some reason this does not discourage me too much. And that is for several reasons:
- I am earning more than I expected I would earn after only 8 months.
- People on the internet were a lot more pessimistic towards "making money blogging" and claimed it's impossible.
- I am earning more money than over 50% of the bloggers do, according to statistics I found on the internet.
- Due to exponential growth and increasing improvements on my blogs, there is a rapid growth in earnings that is difficult to foresee but usually beats my estimations.
- I have only applied what I learned so far. There is still a steep learning curve ahead of me.
- I benefit from english-language experts because I can understand e-books and articles in english, and I can use that knowledge in a market where I am in a superior position compared to english blogs.
- I have only started and I can keep going like this forever if I have to. Right now, it's only 100 useful articles. I might as well write until I have 1000, including new blogs that open the doors for visitors of different niches.
- As a spouse of someone who is employed, I would be health-insured nevertheless. This is not the case right now but it might be, and that would save costs and I'd be on the safe side improving my websites over the course of years.
All of this combined leads me to believe that I might succeed. Right now, it's mostly about time and not even so much about money. Of course, I need to stay employed, which sucks because I would rather spend every day writing extensive articles on the internet. I would rather build empires of blogs now and benefit from them later. Because I realised: As an employee, you only work for the present moment. You give your work power to your employer, you're hired and "rent out" your working power. The results are always given to the employer. You don't benefit in the long run. You have to start over every month, repeat your workload every month, work each month for the current month, and keep repeating these steps. With blogging, it's different. Every blog post, every article adds up, goes on top of a pile of pieces of WORK that keep generating income. Some more, some less, but they STAY to work for you. Every hour of work, if invested well, brings returns in the form of money.
Sounds enthusiastic, doesn't it?
The only things that I found to be very important:
- Always save your work. If your blog host decides to delete your blog, you must move on to elsewhere but KEEP your intellectual property, which is your articles.
- Don't mess with the terms of service of those advertising or affiliate companies you work with. Don't try to cheat or to beat the system.
To be very honest, I can imagine that this might work out for me. I definitely have the passion. I'm also, with all due modesty, quite a clever guy. I like analyzing things, and I'm ahead of my competition because there isn't that much of it. I can find my niches. And when I look at what American bloggers write, it amazes me because they are happy to have 500000 other websites competing for the same keyword, and that's not even a problem I have!
So now I've started a new niche blog about ginkgo, as I mentioned before. From what I've read, niche sites are interesting because they don't take much work, can go to the top spot of google easily, and if they succeed, you can transform them into authority blogs to give them more credibility. If they fail miserably, you just discard them. Simple.
So I'll see how that goes. If I duplicate my results another 19 times (or if all my blogs double in size, only 9 more to go), I'll be able to quit my job (unless my contract ends anyway, which is possible) and live like that. I also know that I'm quite familiar with the stock market, so I could expect some sort of income there, too, although I admit I don't like stressing myself out. It's a more intense way of earning money, but it includes stuff I like: analyzing.
All of the things that are happening right now sound a little too good to be true. And I suppose paying taxes will eventually bring me back to reality. On the other hand, if it turns out to become my only sources of income (earning money online), I'd have to pay less taxes anyway because I wouldn't have a normal job then. We will see. It's always been a dream for me and it's not just for the convenience of being a lazy stay at home guy. No... there is something else. The prospect of making more money out of what I do. This is what drives me. Not the idea that I'd stop in the very moment that I earn 1000 euros (or any other arbitrary number) a month. I'd like to see how far this can go.
I do admit that what I am earning right now is not THAT much. But I was able to grasp the potential that blogging offers. At least for the lucky people who are smart enough, love to read and read about it all the time and who don't need to blog in english. Because blogging in english is extremely hard to make money with. And of course, time and patience is needed.
If any of you who is reading this (probably nobody) is from a country where english is not the preferred source of getting information online, you might wanna check out if there are possibilities for you. I mean, my vision is that sooner or later all these countries are going to have their niches covered. Some smart companies will emerge that will fill all the blanks, stuff all the holes and answer every long tail question a google user can come up with. Whether it's about ginkgo, dieting, bodybuilding or other stuff. Right now, there is still a chance to succeed.
That spirit that is in the air right now... it's like the early 80s when many people started to realize you can only make a fortune if you invest in stocks like microsoft, IBM and the like. You know, I always wished to find that kind of opportunity where I can sense it's going to be profitable if I only know the secret trends. I feel I've found it with blogging. I mean, the internet is still relatively young, think ahead 50 years how different it's going to be.
End of the story.
PS: I got 10 times more pageviews with my successful blog in those 8 months than in 8 years of blogging in this private blog.