My name is Mark Riddix and I am a registered investment advisor. I have worked in the finance field since my graduation from college and started my own investment advisory firm five years ago. I never dreamed that I would venture into the blogging arena.
The Story Begins
My path to producing online income was an interesting journey with many twists and turns. I would like to take a little bit of time to tell you about it.
I have always had a passion for investing from the first time that I heard about a stock and a mutual fund. I bought my first mutual fund in college and have been investing ever since. Every financial asset interested me so I decided that going into investment management would be a career occupation.
I had been working as an investment advisor for about three years and was always coming into contact with people that had questions about investing. My business catered to higher net worth individuals so I wanted to start a site that would address the needs of regular everyday investors. I had the bright idea to create a financial blog.
I figured that I could provide a little insight into the world of investing and answer questions that my site’s visitors might have. I named the blog Buy Like Buffett because he was an investing role model of mine and the name sounded pretty catchy. I really wasn’t seeking to make money online. I was just looking for a way to share information about investing with other people interested in the topic.
I Start To Blog
I proceeded to start blogging and wrote about my thoughts and opinions of different investments. I began blogging part-time and tried to stick to a schedule of writing at least three posts a week. I did this consistently for the first three months and then I started slacking off. I was getting very little traffic to my blog and my interest began to quickly wane. After a few months I started to skip my weekly posting schedule and was blogging only a few times a month.
I was close to giving up on blogging because it seemed too time-consuming and pointless. Why bother writing a post? No one is going to read it anyway! I had experienced blogger burnout in my infancy and was not even aware of it. Fortunately, I did not give up and decided to keep blogging for a few more months.
I recommitted myself to posting and would write a post at least three to four times a week no matter how I felt. I wrote about all sorts of topics related to investing. I wrote about some of my personal stock purchases and my stock sales. After a few months, I started to receive the occasional email from someone who was reading my blog. That really got me pumped because it meant that someone was reading what I had to say.
Making Money Through Ad Networks
My readership was slowly growing. I still had not made one cent blogging but that wasn’t my primary focus in the beginning. I was blogging to provide information.
It struck me that I could monetize my blog after about six months of writing regularly. I then went in search of ways that I could generate some income. I wasn’t looking to make a fortune. I just wanted enough money to cover my web hosting fees and money that I had invested in my blog thus far.
My search led me to a number of different ad networks. I have probably used every single ad network out there. You name it and I tried it. I used Google Adsense, Adbrite, Widgetbucks, Chitika, Clicksor, Linkworth, and Commission Junction.
I generated a little side revenue each month from these networks to cover my fees. I made my first ever blogging profit after about a year and realized that there was money in blogging. I was not making a lot of money by any means but even a few hundred dollars is a lot when you are used to generating no online income.
Making Money Blogging
I began devoting more time to building my site and increased my posting frequency. I started to write a post at least once a day and sometimes twice a day. I spent hours each day writing content, marketing, and promoting my website. I started submitting guest posts to a lot of larger financial blogs in order to build my name in the online financial community. I had 15 different staff writing positions at various financial blogs and churned out content on a daily basis. This gave me greater exposure and only helped to build my brand further.
My business was still generating money for me offline and my website was now starting to bring in additional dollars every month. My monetization strategy was finally starting to pay off. The writing jobs were bringing in a few thousand dollars a month and my income from ad networks was increasing.
Next, I started running paid posts. I had produced so many posts that other websites were contacting me and asking to run sponsored posts on my site. My blog was seen as an authority in the finance industry. I began by charging $25 to $50 a post and quickly increased that amount to a couple hundred dollars a post.
As my site’s popularity increased, I abandoned banner ads, text links, and most ad networks. My focus became on selling advertisements directly to companies.
I emailed a few companies in the finance space and began structuring monthly advertising deals myself. Selling ads is simple when you inform companies how they are saving money by paying a monthly fee versus paying for each click. I eliminated the ad network middleman and was making even more money.
Making Money Selling Products
As my blog’s popularity grew, I noticed that online income was becoming a bigger portion of my monthly household income. My online income monetization strategy expanded to include producing digital and physical publications. I wrote a personal finance book on money management and long term investing. The book has been sold directly through my website and through traditional bookstores. I also produced an investor guide to the Best Mutual Funds. I used my offline knowledge of financial assets to make money online.
My blog posts and financial products started to open more doors and I was able to get published in national magazines. I had a few articles run in Forbes. Recently, I had a story about my investing experiences run in the Wall Street Journal and an upcoming story in Black Enterprise next month. All of these opportunities have led to greater exposure for me, my business, and my website. Now I only write articles for a small number of websites and my pay rate has increased exponentially.
The next step was to share a lot of the knowledge that I learned from my three years of blogging, so I created a blog detailing my journey to making online income. The blog was self titled, Mark Riddix dot com, and is filled with lots of information on all of the ways that I found to make money online. This site explains all of the ways that website owners can start generating passive income. I also wrote an ebook called How To Make $2,000 A Month Online. Most bloggers may not have the success that Yaro did blogging but anyone can make at least $75 a day online.
Making Money Via Marketing
My latest venture has led me down the path of affiliate marketing. I have been able to create additional income by reviewing and promoting different blogging products and services on my latest website.
I started marketing sponsored tweets, blog reviews, and hosting services. I am careful to only recommend products that I really believe in. As individuals buy specific products through my site’s links, I am able to make a percentage from each sale.
Niche blogging has become a new interest of mine. I have started creating a few more blogs catering to specific topics that people are interested in. I have been filling the sites with content and have added Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliates links selling blogging products. These newer blogs will not require me to tend to them daily and should generate their own income.
Recently, I have launched an article writing service that provides content for Internet marketers and website owners. I have hired a couple of writers to write the articles so that I can focus more on content management. This business is only two months old and is already bringing in a nice amount of income each month.
The money that I make online gives me extra capital to invest and put into the market. My goal each month is to take the money that I make online and use that to purchase more stocks. This plan has worked really effectively so far. My blogging experience has taught me that there are so many paths to making money online that any website owner can benefit from.
How Can My Story Help You?
One of the things that I would like to get across is the importance of perseverance when trying to make money online. Small hiccups occur from time to time but you should never allow them to deter you from your long-term money making goals.
I learned how to make money online through the trial and error process. The exact same thing can work for you. You may find that your site isn’t optimized to sell your own products but is perfect for selling the products of others through affiliate marketing. I have learned that the key to online success is to match the right blogging topic with the right product and the money will start to trickle in.
Coming up next on my column here on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, I will go through a step-by-step process that I used to take a relatively unknown site and attract web traffic and advertisers. I will explain the entire process that I went through and how I launched my plan of attack four years ago.
In the beginning finding ways to make money online was not the easiest thing in the world to do but I learned a lot in the process and would like to share my experiences with you. My goal is to make the path easier for the next online entrepreneur who is seeking to find their own path for making money online.
One of the things that I absolutely love about working as an entrepreneur is the freedom it provides. You have the freedom to create your own schedule and plan activities around your work. I love being able to open up my notebook and earn money online at anytime of the day or night. Whether you are seeking full-time income or just some supplemental side income, your online business can help you reach your goals.
In upcoming posts I will take the time to discuss the following areas:
- How to Take Your Offline Knowledge And Use It To Make Money Online
- How to Start A Blog From Scratch
- How to Make Money Writing For Your Own Site And Other Websites
- How to Grow A Website From A Small Readership Into A Loyal Following
- How to Sell Products Related to Your Niche Online
- How to Take The Money That You Earn Online And Increase It Through Investing
Each of these topics is a real passion of mine and played a role in my journey to creating an online income stream. Hopefully by sharing my experiences, I can provide some insight into any questions or issues that you may be having. That way you can be on your way to making money online that much faster.
I am looking forward to sharing my ideas with you in future posts and hearing from you as well.
Click here to read part two of this series.