September was a busy month at Cash The Checks. There were plenty of changes made, and most of them were made by subtraction. I’m new to the minimalist lifestyle and I feel I should apply what I’ve learned about minimalism to every aspect of my life.
Thanks for giving this a quick read and at the end, let me know in the comments section what changes you’re currently making in your life and/or your blog.
Here’s a few of the things I did in September:
Applying The Minimalist Lifestyle
I am in the process of downsizing my home. Living in a smaller space to me is an upgrade.There will be less space, which means the space I do have will be more meaningful. As far as time is concerned, there will be less to clean and maintain, which will give me more time to work on this blog.
I’m also ridding myself of useless belongings. It’s the first time I’m decluttering, rather than organizing, which is what I used to do.
This month I began applying the minimalist lifestyle to my work life as well.
Becoming Leaner To Be Laser Focused
For years, I managed lots of blogs simultaneously. I probably got up to 20-30 at one point. Back in the day, I’d put out as many sites as possible and would hope Google would show at least some of them some love. It actually worked for many years.
This strategy of quantity over quality no longer works, and it hasn’t worked for years. So a few years ago I downsized to “just” a dozen blogs. I increased the quality, and again, it worked for many years too.
Now though, the only way to get ranked in Google is to create amazing content, rich with images, videos, charts and full of data. In order to get search engine traffic you don’t need good content, you need insanely great content.
So because time is limited, I’m now deciding to put all my focus on this one blog, Cash The Checks. My other blogs are now for sale (contact me if you’re looking to buy a finance blog). I’ve already sold 7 of them already recently.
If you’re trying to build a money making blog, you need ads to make money. However, when you’re trying to build traffic, ads leave a bad taste in your visitors mouth. When you’re new, you need to get people to bookmark your site and keep checking back. The way you do that is by providing them with valuable information – not by bombarding them with ads.
If you don’t have much traffic, what’s the point of having ads on it? It’s not like they’ll be making you that much money anyway.
For now I’ve decided to remove most of the ads on this blog. Once I get a good following, I’ll slowly introduce an ad here or there.
Another key thing I’ve learned is that the real money is in your mailing list. So my strategy going forward is to not place ads on my site, and instead sell something to my list. I’m using MailChimp to manage my newsletter. At the moment, I’m not selling anything, just sending through post updates once per week.
Selling to your list instead of on your blog makes sense. Why would I want to direct my visitors to someone else’s site? If they’re on my blog already, let’s keep them there as long as possible. But in an email, they’re not on my site, so it’s okay to send them to an affiliate offer.
Removing all ads on your blog is easier said than done. After all, I feel better seeing affiliate earnings rising rather than traffic rising. But if I ever want to grow this blog into a monster and make some real money, I’ve got to bite the bullet and remove the ads.
Changed To HTTPS
I’ve heard all the buzz about having a secure website and it never really mattered to me. After all, I don’t collect credit card information, so it really doesn’t matter that information isn’t encrypted. But I’ve since found out there are tangible benefits to having a secure website.
- Pretty Address Bar. A while back I noticed the address bar on Google Chrome said “Not Secure” when visiting my blog. That wasn’t a good look at all. Since this is a finance-related blog, it’s a bit off-putting to see “Not Secure” right at the very top. After making the change, I now see “Secure” in green text before the URL. In Firefox, you get a nice green lock instead of one with a red line going through it.
- Better Google Rankings. See: HTTPS as a ranking signal. Go ahead and look at the results on page one of any search. Do you see a pattern? Many of them are https, even those not selling a thing!
- Improved Optin Form Conversions. Even though I don’t collect credit cards, social security numbers or addresses, I do collect names and email addresses. Can you really get more personal than that? I mean that’s how you actually communicate with people online, by their name and email. So to give my users more confidence and trust in me, I made the switch to https. This way, they know their data isn’t being intercepted by hackers and is being kept securely.
Now it’s your turn, what changes did you implement in your personal or work life this past month?