It’s a cliché.
But after all these years, it’s something that I’m only now starting to really put into practice.
“You have to build a business, not just a blog.”
To make money online, it helps to move beyond trying to build a blog. Building a real, honest-to-god business is the best way to make money on the ground (out there in that scary, offline place known as the “real world”), so it makes sense that building a real business is also the best way to make money in the Internet world too.
I knew that.
Heard it lots of times before.
Started trying to do it — I mean, really do it — a year and a half ago.
But here I am in late 2014, and only now I feel like I’m actually starting to build a real business online.
Two of them, actually.
Here they are…
Real Online Business #1 — Article Directory
I started a small article directory a couple months ago. It covers 13 different categories and currently has 25 posts on it. It’s a small start, and that is the way I want it. I cannot afford to do it any other way.
The main reason I am happy to throttle down the site’s growth is money. I’m not making any yet, but I am paying out 50 cents per article per month. This is not a revenue-sharing website like HubPages or Squidoo or Bubblews. That setup just encourages spammy practices and ruins the site for everyone. On my new article directory, writers get paid the same amount for every post every month, regardless of traffic and other stats.
1,000 page views per month?
Zero page views per month?
Still 50 cents.
So since I’m paying out of pocket, and it will be quite some time before the site picks up traction and starts ranking on search and making me any money, it’s a good idea to grow it slowly at the beginning. Plus, I’ve never done this before, and I don’t have an expensive site design set up where everything is automated, so it’s probably better to keep things small as I iron out the wrinkles as they come up. As my friend pointed out to me, I don’t want to grow too fast, make some huge mistakes and end up gaining a bad reputation.
Yeah…I’m thinking of Bubblews haha
So over the past few weeks we’ve picked up our first 5 writers, and right now we’ve got 25 posts published with a couple more pending.
Here is the site: www.pukitz.com
Real Online Business #2 — Hawaii Arts & Crafts Design
This one came up suddenly and unexpectedly, but it’s a total no-brainer and kind of a mystery why I wasn’t doing this all along.
I’ve always been an artist.
That was my thing.
When I was 12 years old, you ask anyone, “What is Chris good at?” They’ll tell you, “He can draw.”
When I was 18 years old, you ask anyone, “What is Chris good at?” They’ll tell you the same thing.
That was my thing, and it always was.
Even when I stopped drawing for years at a time and would only doodle a little for my kids’ school project or whatever…that was still obviously my thing. And anyone who knew me could tell you that art was the thing I was best at.
But when I turned to the Internet to make a living a few years ago, I don’t know why I didn’t do the art thing. Well, I kinda did go in that direction, at first. My first business was a photography business back in 1997 or so.
Tried again around 2008…ish?
Did a lot better, but still failed.
Had some personal dramas over that one…
So when I went online to make money in 2012, photography and art were the last things on my mind. Maybe I was too bruised and battered by having failed the first couple times. I dunno. But I turned to writing instead, made some money, but not very much. Almost three years later, and I feel pretty burned out on blogging.
Of course, I always say that haha
Anyways, last year I started drawing and painting again for the first time in years.
Even sold a couple paintings.
Then I stopped to focus on other things…like blogging again.
So now I’m back to arting.
“LET THE ARTING COMMENCE!”
So last week I started out with some blank pocket notebooks from the craft store, and I made some fun ink drawings on the covers…coconut trees, mango trees, papaya trees…that kind of stuff. There’s probably someone out there willing to buy them.
And last night I started working on a little wood jewelry box. Another coconut tree beach scene. Did a coffee painting on the lid and will add some ink doodles or something on the sides tonight. Then I’ll take some good photos of it and put it up in our online store on the new website…kind of an online boutique or something.
Here’s the site: www.picklemangostudios.com
So things are looking good.
These aren’t just zero-budget blogs that take forever to make their first dollar (well, the first one kinda is, but adding lots of content will accelerate those earnings).
So I think I’ve officially crossed the line from building blogs to building real businesses, and it feels pretty good. It took a ridiculously long time for me to arrive at this point, but I’m glad I’m finally here.
Got my BIG BOY pants on now!