On Christmas day, I was at work and doing some research on… I don’t know… something, and I started to formulate a plan.
I wanted to be home with the dogs. Now, I like my job and I really like that I have a LOT of time there to do my own work. And I really like that I work holidays and weekends when my brother is home with the dogs.
However, given the option, I’d rather be at home too. I’m just very comfortable there. I don’t even mind doing some housework on occasion if I’m home a long time. But how to do it?
Last year, I came up with a brilliant idea of an online monthly membership. I would curate resources for the online beginner who has decided they need or want to have an online presence, but don’t know where to start or how to do it.
I can tell you from my own experience that the internet is one giant rabbit hole. Tunnels everywhere and some end in a nice warm place and so just turn into more tunnels.
I knew that there were many people who dabbed a toe in the water and gave up quickly. Some of these people were my friends and family. They became overwhelmed and walked away.
My goal was to create a site where these people could come and all the basic questions they had would be answered. Right there. Or with a link directly to the answer without the rabbit hole.
I wasn’t going to include all this extra stuff they didn’t need to be thinking about yet. And I built that site, but I really struggled with determining who my market was. I had experience in Real Estate and I knew other Realtors could use such a resource. However, my experience with Realtors also taught me they were notoriously cheap and quite frankly not a great deal of joy to work with. In general.
I finally decided on focusing on the newbie online entrepreneur. However, I really wanted to niche down to tiny business builders. People who were intentionally building a business tat would always be small and held closely by them. People who had personal businesses and wanted to build personal relationships.
I mentioned this membership site often in my podcast, which at that time was also directed at the small business builder.
After some number-crunching though, I determined that my effort in this endeavor would be more than anticipated and keeping it updated for only a few members, was just not going to work big picture. I needed and wanted to create some more passive but still at scale. The membership site would need to be back-burnered. Kept warm… but we are not cooking with it yet.
I had recently helped a couple friends build websites and I knew how frustrating it was for some people who had never done it, but for me, they were pretty easy. That’s not to say that I know code or all the ins and outs. No, not at all. But what I do know is how to find answers quickly.
My point here is that I can build a website pretty quickly. So, I was thinking that websites might have some part to play in my idea.
And they do.
Back in 2003, I think, I started a blog. I enjoyed it. I had read at that time that people were making an income from their blogs. And I enjoyed writing and was good at it, so it seemed a natural fit.
One of my mistakes was to tell my dad. My dad knew nothing about anything to do with the internet and world wide web, except how to get into his email (to make this even more clear, my dad would hit the return key to go to the next line while he was typing an email).
So, he couldn’t support the idea. He didn’t understand it. And in his attempt to be protective and in my beginner steps, the dream was kind of knocked out of me. I didn’t know where to go at that time for help or support. I floundered a bit and then the blog just became a showcase for my rambling thoughts.
Can you make money with a blog?
That was my question. I didn’t call it a blog, I was thinking more just “website.” Could I make an income with a website?
Yes, you can make an income with a blog/website. I stumbled upon a couple guys who had a boatload of videos on this topic and I started watching. These guys have a program/membership they sell and I’m not here to talk you into or out of it, so I’m not going to mention these guys by name.
However, there are several people on YouTube you can get some great information from for nothing but your time. For me, however, I was not going to invest in yet another program or course or membership when I had already spent a couple thousand on one that I had yet to do anything with.
I know that I’m attracted to shiny objects. So, every time I start going down a path of “maybe this is the answer,” I have to ask myself if I really think that or if I’m just avoiding doing anything real with a path I had already picked.
This time was no different. I had spent a couple grand on a course that was going to help me launch a course myself and I still hadn’t. I watched videos on the course for a couple days and then do maybe a day or work and then I was in the weds again.
So, I was definitely not spending ANY more money on anything like a course or program. That’s a hard no from me. Let me say again, that I am NOT trying to talk YOU out of it. I think there is a lot to be gained from it or any number of other programs you’ll no doubt come across.
For me, though, I kept going down rabbit holes intentionally to see what all was out there in this. Who was making money with a blog and how were they doing it. And I took copious notes. I’m still taking notes on parts of my path, but I gleaned enough information and advice from various teachers to create my own plan.
The 24 month plan, in brief.
I actually already wrote this on my personal blog. What I want to say here is that I’m a month in now. I have 7 posts on my newest site and this site (where you are right now) and my personal site (where that link goes) are my other two sites, part of Phase One.
For me, the difference with this plan that I’ve created and the program that I paid $2000 for and never really did anything with, is that this plan is already utilizing skills and interests that I’ve had for years, like writing and research, and building simple starter websites. So, I’m already further in this plan that I ever got in that other one.
Now, let me say that I’m not yet ready to call that a complete failure. Through creating and starting this plan, I had more and better ideas on courses I could create and so therefore, one day I would be utilizing the information in that course. Just not today.
Something else this plan has going for it that my why is pretty clear. I want to be a full time stay at home dog mom. Period. Also, coming from over 30 years of experience in the dog rescue ‘field’ this is a big interest for me and I already have dozens of topics for posts with headings and subheadings.
I have planned out, as much as possible, where I’ll be or should be in this plan. For example, I have no expectation of making any money at all, not even pennies, for a few months.
As I get further along, I hope other dog moms and dads decide to join me. I think/believe that everything is changing. There is no reason we cannot create a home business and spend our days with our dogs.
While this plan is not 100% passive, like maybe investing in stocks and bonds and living off the interest made, it IS pretty passive. At least, it’s passive enough for me.
I’ll eventually outsource the content creation of several of my sites, when income is enough to do so, and make those sites as passive as possible. The first few sites Im working on right now, though, are of personal interest to me and I plan on being personally involved with content for quite some time.
The biggest change I’ve made to the plan so far is that initially I was going to build the one site for a couple months and then I had two other sites planned as the next part of phase one. Then I kind of realized I already had a couple sites with traffic and history and I could more easily monetize them and update the, add some content, and THEN start on two newer sites.
I have all my sites published to possibly get a slight advantage when I go to post something. Typically you can expect a new site with new content to take like 35 weeks before Google really ranks it. I am wondering if some of these sites, have been built and just sitting MIGHT get a tiny boost in the timeframe. I’ll try to remember to let you know what I find in a few months.