Hello and welcome back to my blog!
A little while back this year I wrote an article on my preliminary results for selling the source code which accompanies my technical articles and subscriptions to the site. You can read it here.
This article is basically an update with some longer term results in.
I always really appreciate when other business owners share their revenue details, so I like to be able to do the same when possible.
Turns out that there is some promise to the idea of blog micro-transactions and people are generally quite receptive to the idea of purchasing source code accompanying my articles. As long as the main article contains enough value by itself, readers don't seem to mind that I charge for the source-code which accompanies them.
The result is that this blog is currently bringing in around $500 / month in source code purchases and site subscriptions (whereby all the source I release is included for one year). Although its not a massive amount of money it does indicate to me that this is something worth expanding on, especially given the relatively low amount of page-views the site gets.
Note, the transactions total is a little low, since I'd only added subscription tracking in analytics half way through the month.
Getting those page-views up
My current plan of action to increase revenue is to keep writing quality articles with attached code. The main difficulty is actually finding a topic which really resonates with developers. I've been using Google Adword's keyword tool to try and get a handle on this, but the results are not that inspiring.
Using that tool I noted that the phrase 'How to make games' had a good high search volume associated with it (over 1 million worldwide searches), so I wrote an article targeted at the kind of audience the phrasing of the query implied - i.e. those who are absolute beginners just starting out and want to know how to make games.
You can read it here, if you're interested.
I'm currently ranking number 7 on the front page of google (in the UK) for that search term, which I was very pleased with. I'm on the front page worldwide as well, but at the bottom.
However, this has not resulted in the influx of organic traffic I'd hoped for. In fact, that's somewhat of an understatement; its resulted in 7 organic visits this month so far! Obviously there is a big drop-off to be expected from being the no.1 google hit and being number 7, but I hadn't expected this.
Quite what is going on here, I'm not sure - I'm probably falling foul of my ignorance when it comes to using Google's keyword tool correctly. Hopefully I'll see some improvement in the coming months!
The other obvious source of income for a blog is advertising and indeed, I've had a number of inquiries from companies wanting to place adverts on the site, but I feel that with the level of page-views I'm currently serving it wouldn't really be worth it, as I'd only be able to charge a tiny amount. I do want to explore this option when the page-views are up to an acceptable level, though.
For now, I'm leaving AdSense enabled, although I need to work on my ad placement. I'm not including any revenue details from AdSense because I've only just had my account reactivated since I finally received my pin number.
Hopefully this business model has some scale to it so I'll be trying to bring in more page-views throughout the rest of the year. I'll also do some more analysis to figure out what is going on with the google keywords tool.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with the results - my goal is to be able to stop taking on contract work and devote myself to the blog full time. Hopefully 2012 will be the year, but we'll see!
Until next time, have fun!