February wasn’t a great month. I knew making money online was going to be variable, at least that much I expected, but a $500 drop from the month before is huge. Because I want to quit my job and eventually work from home this is somewhat worrisome. I’ll need a plan to deal with these drops in the future. This is something I’ve been working on.
Although it was bad, the drop in February was somewhat expected. It is a short month after all. Losing 2-3 days meant about $100 in online income.
The other factor was that my SEO traffic was expected to dip in February. Some of the keywords that drive search traffic to the site are seasonal, or so it seems. To check this I’ve used a great tool called Google Trends. This gives you a view on how popular a particular search term is over time.
It seems like a few of my search terms dip during the months of February an March (circled in red). This drives less targeted search traffic to the site. The good news is that using the forecast feature it appears that this might only be temporary and by the time June rolls around my SEO traffic should be up 50%!
ineedmoneyASAP Google Trends:
Using Google Trends is actually quite a bit of fun. It’s a tool all bloggers should have in their toolkit.
Long term trends for search terms become clear using Google Trends. For example you can compare Pepsi (blue) and Coke (red) to see how many times it’s searched. (Apparently Coke is winning!)
Take this with a grain of salt. There could be just a resurgence of people searching for the term coke… as in cocaine 😉
Pepsi vs Coke Google Trends:
Something that’s even more fun is to look at how search terms change thanks to pop culture or viral media. The term ‘quaaludes’ spiked with the debut of the Leonardo DiCaprio film the Wolf Of Wall Street. You can see the huge spike in the graph below. It seems like a lot of people want to know a bit more about that drug after seeing the movie.
Popular Culture Google Trends: ‘Quaaludes’
Another interesting search term to look at is ‘ice bucket challenge’. You can see how quickly that went viral and just as quickly disappeared (I’ll let you look that one up yourself).
Google trends is a great tool to keep track of your brand too. A rising trend is good. A falling trend means more work to do.
Speaking of work to do. Here’s a quick recap of how I made money from home in February.
(Looking for other opportunities to make money? Check out our monster post of ways to earn money online)
My February Update: $1,126
Although the month of February was slow one bright spot was that in early Feb one of my posts got some traction on Reddit. There were quite a view views of the post “How To Survive On Minimum Wage – 37 Strategies To Make Ends Meet” from r/Frugal. This drove a few thousand views in just a few hours!
Other than this spike the rest of the month was rather slow. During that time I worked on some new posts. I’m still posting regularly once per week but I’m going to try to add another post on Thursdays. Probably not on a consistent basis though. It’s tough to find the time. But I have managed to build up 14 posts that are ready to go. Having 20-30 posts ready to go would be ideal.
Shareability of my posts is also something I’ve been working on. There are things I’d like to test in the next few months to see if I can have an impact on how many shares via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest I can get.
Here are my stats for last month.
- Sessions: 10,609
- Pageviews: 27,196
- Pages/Session: 2.6
- Bounce Rate: 52%
This month Swagbucks was pretty good to me. Though some referrals and some of my own effort I managed to get up to $44 from the site. This is a great way to make a few dollars each day. You won’t get rich but it’s super easy to get a little extra cash.
Clickworker is another site I use to make money online. On Clickworker its possible to make between $5-$10 per hour. The trick is to qualify for good tasks by doing well on the assessments. This month I only make ~$5 on Clickworker thanks to a referral.
SliceThePie is a website I featured in my post “Make Money Online Now With These 9 Websites” and I’ve been playing around with it a bit this month. Its fun because you review music on SliceThePie and can get paid anywhere from $0.07-$0.40 per review. My goal is to do 10-15min a day and try to earn $1-2 per day in the near future. This money will go towards Christmas gifts.
No progress on my carpentry projects this month. Most of my creations are sold in the summer months. But summer is fast approaching so it’s something I need to get started on again.
Last month I mentioned that I started a Financial Planner certificate at a local college. My first course is the Introduction to Financial Planning. Last week was my first exam and I did great. With a bit of studying I managed to get 84%! This was one of the best marks in the class. Wooohoooo!
We’re also working on a group project. This is worth 10% of the final grade so it’s not a huge concern. It should also be pretty easy as we’re just making a financial plan for a fictional student.
If you’re considering taking some classes to improve your earning power I fully encourage you to go do it! You might think going back to school after many years might a challenge but I can tell you its pretty easy.
Making Money From Home:
That’s it for this month. Hopefully March will be a bit better but based on the Google Trends data it probably won’t be. It looks like things won’t turn around until April/May. Hopefully that’s the case 🙂
Wish me luck!
How was your February? Did you reach your goals, financial or otherwise?
Photo by markus spiske via Flickr