A Change in Direction

Aaaaaaah! I’m annoyed. I wrote a huge post and now I can’t find it. Don’t think I saved it. My battery died and all seems to be lost. So this is a shortened version due to extreme frustration.

To start, sorry about the lack of earnings and spending update for April! I’ve been in Europe and haven’t had much time to myself to get online. So… here it is: I earned $5,008 in April. Sadly, that’s the last time I’m going to be posting my earnings to my blog. I know it kind of sucks. I remember when the Working Nomad stopped posting his earnings reports. I was pretty bummed as I looked to them as proof that earning online was, indeed, possible and I enjoyed comparing his earnings to my own. But I have my reasons…

First I guess is that I’m not really enjoying posting the earnings reports all that much. The truth is that I really don’t do many things that have an effect on my earnings from month to month. So the reports are generally just “Here are the figures and, yet again, I didn’t do anything different or try anything new to share with you.” That’s kind of dull for me to write and probably dull to read, as well.

The second reason is that I’m finally starting to feel slightly uneasy about the methods I use to earn online. I do a lot of things based only on hunches and instinct (totally scientific! 😉 and, up until recently, whenever Google were laying the smack down on people for links sales and paid posts or whatever, I didn’t pay it much attention. I guess I didn’t feel like I needed to… I sort of trusted that what I was doing was working still and didn’t feel so afraid of Google. This was probably the way to go as I never got a nasty email or saw my sites banned or anything like that.

But now something just ‘feels’ different. I’m a bit more uneasy these days that my methods for earning online will be profitable for much longer. I think the paid posts gravy train might be leaving finally. It’s not just my hunches that lead my to this conclusion but two other things as well. First is that I’ve had a lot fewer people contacting me for links and guests posts than normal this month. Of course last month was a good one and the one before wasn’t great so I can’t really just go on three erratic months. But this month is looking bad.

Then there’s the fact that I’m getting a bunch of emails for people who I’ve done previous deals with who are asking me to remove their links. They don’t want refunds, they’ve just been send emails from Google telling them to clean up their linking act. Whether my sites are on some bad guy list or something I don’t know and I don’t care all that much but the fact that people are removing links they’ve paid for tells me that this guest posting thing won’t last to much longer. At least not if Google has their way. Normally I’d ignore all of this stuff and power on… but then there’s that feeling that’s there too. It just feels like it’s time to figure something else out. Something that’s not at the mercy of Google.

That something is, thankfully, already in the works and already earning a bit of cash. I’m going to shift my focus to becoming the expat overlord of Kigali with my main website, an eating out guide, and eventually a printed tourist map, an ebook, and an app to bring it all together. The site is already very popular, it’s the only game in town, it’s trusted and visible and I’ve attracted a few advertisers already without having to do much. I haven’t quite totally worked out how to earn a decent amount from all of this but I know that having influence over a very lucrative target audience who arrive confused in a place where lots of businesses want to get their attention can only be a good thing. I’ve got the moving to Kampala site as well (which my partner and I have let slide a bit but are we’re the verge of hiring two dedicated contributors) and a site for Dar Es Salaam is on the horizon too.

The things I’ll be trying with these websites and products will be new to me and things that I will enjoy writing about. So, though my regular earnings reports will be gone, I’m going to post more about my adventures with these community sites and once I get things going a bit, I’ll start talking about how (and how much) I’m earning from these sites.

I know a few people will be disappointed that the reports are stopping but there are a bunch of people reporting their earnings online these days – way more than when I started doing it years ago. Off the top of my head there’s Matthew Woodward and The Blog Builders.

I hope people will continue to check in with me – especially if you’ve got an interest in community/city guide type sites as I think my adventures with these sorts of sites could be pretty interesting! It’ll be nice dealing with real people and businesses. People who actually want to engage and find my content useful and advertisers who actually want to engage with my readers. The way I’ve been doing things up until now has been a bit too faceless for me. Doing all of this in a developing African country should add a bit of extra bonus excitement to the whole thing!

Well… that’s all for now. Stay tuned for posts going in a new direction including more travel and personal life posts as well, just for the hell of it! It’s time to connect again. Thanks!

About Kirsty