Making Money Online 2011 2012 – What has changed?


My personal take on making money online in 2011 and what I plan to do in 2012 and what not.

Seems it is this time of the year 😉 You know that time when all, or nearly all, internet marketers publish their yearly review and make their firm resolutions what they will do better next year 😉 Actually I didn’t plan to do this, but as it seems to be a sort of tradition in the MMO world, who am I to swim against the stream 😉 So here my take on 2011 and my resolutions for 2012:

Making Money Online 2011 Review

1. Adsense: Pretty much stable, Hubpages took a dip, some of my own sites improved, especially the German ones, income pretty much the same or slightly rising over that of the past year.

2. Amazon: Nice, nice, very nice year for me on Amazon! Compared to 2010 my income from Amazon more than – tripled! Especially one site shows huge potential with Amazon, so I will need to work on that one more. The nice thing with Amazon is that people buy often more than only the product you promote, meaning you write a nice review of a photography book and they buy it plus a new camera! This is one of the reasons why Lis is so angry with Hubpages at the moment and recommends an alternative approach to Hubpages.

3. Various Affiliates: Also some up, some down. More about that in the 2012 section 😉

4. Traffic: Way up, especially my German sites do well. Tip: If you speak and write another language than English, make a site in that language. Far less competition that knows about SEO and therefor far easier rankings. Better a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond 😉

5. Own Products / Services: As some of you know my ‘make money online’ journey started with selling image licenses via so called ‘Microstock’ sites and on demand products with my own images via Zazzle. The whole subject is worth a own blog post, here just my summary for 2011: As this is the truly passive part of my online income I am pretty happy with it as I haven’t added many images to my portfolios this year. Several hundred dollars a month additionally, without doing anything, is not bad in my books 😉
I also do some custom design via Web Service Pros but that is actually pretty close to a real job 😉 And also pretty unreliable in volume, sometimes everybody seems to need a new header or site make-over and sometimes nobody. So that one is a bit hit and miss.

How to Make Money Online in 2012

1. My main project for making money online in 2012 will be my new revived Theology website, follow >My Keyword Strategy Case Study< to see how it goes. With this I aim to accomplish several things:

  • To have a site I enjoy so much writing for that I can imagine doing this for years to come.
  • To prove to others that the Keyword Strategy method works. In the end, if I can make a Theology website work, traffic and income wise, than that is pretty much possible with any topic as long as there is enough search volume for it.
  • To make some affiliate commissions from people signing up for Keyword Strategy 😉 Obviously this will mean to write about how the project goes here on this blog, traffic and income stats included!

2. Ditching all affiliate programs that don’t worked in 2011, and / or that I am no longer recommending. I already removed the BuildMyRank banner from the side bar. Whilst I still think that it is one of the better programs out there, I am more and more convinced that the only thing necessary to build a successful website is useful, keyword focused content and that Google will crack down on link building services more and more. So, if you still use BuildMyRank or similar, proceed with caution!
I am also giving up on promoting Hostgator, at least in the sidebar. It is the best web host out there in my opinion, but the competition in the web hosting affiliate arena is simply too high. I will still link to them where appropriate, but will not put too much effort into that. So no more Black Friday and Cyber Monday posts about web hosting offers 😉

Basically the three main products I plan to support during 2012 are:

for the simple reasons that I use them, like them and therefor can recommend them … Seriously, I know it is old affiliate knowledge, but the best success rate you have with products that you know well, can support full heartedly AND that are of interest to your readers.

3. Web 2.0 properties like Hubpages, Infobarrel and the like: I am giving up on them completely. I like to have full control over my content AND its monetization and with Hubpages changing their Amazon module to our disadvantage I have little intention to give them more content. So, if I have the time and energy, I will transfer my content from them to my own ‘catch all’ site.
Tip: If you are still on Hubpages or similar or plan to do so in 2012, make sure to have one ‘persona’ per niche and stay focused on your topic. Don’t publish one hub about how to potty train your cat and the next about how to find the best cheap whatever insurance.

4. Own Products / Services
I will keep making headers and site make-overs etc via and might even add some more images to my online portfolios, but I really don’t think that this is the way / route I like to take full time. I do hope to finish at least one ebook to publish on Amazon / Kindle in 2012, most likely NOT in the make money online niche 😉

5. Making a decision about some of my other sites
In an ideal world I would have enough money to outsource quality content being written for some of my sites, but I am not there yet. True quality content is expensive and at the moment it makes more sense to write it myself.
I am, however, open to set up one or more of my ‘under developed’ sites with revenue share. The set-up would be like this:

You write the content for the keywords I find, I do the rest (site set-up / maintenance, keyword research, basically all the technical stuff) and we share the revenue of said site.

If you are interested in that, leave me a comment 😉 stating in which topic(s) you are an expert in. I am looking to do this with a person that writes well, has knowledge about the subject in question and writes frequently. I am not interested in somebody that writes once in a blue moon an article that is basically not more than a re-hash of the top ten results in Google for the keyword …

Summary and Resolutions

Content is getting more and more important in 2012
Resolution: Get more quality content on my sites.

I have too many websites / places where I publish articles on.

  • Take content off the Web 2.0 properties and transfer it to my own sites where appropriate.
  • Concentrate on fewer sites and stop spreading myself so thin.
  • Don’t buy any new domains in 2012. (Not sure if I will stick to that ;-))

Amazon and other affiliate programs do well for me
Resolution: Just a question of rinse and repeat really, plus ‘thickening’ up the sites that do already well with Amazon 😉
Promote, mainly via this blog, only products and services I use AND can recommend with good conscience.

So, that’s it, basically my main resolution for

Make Money Online 2012

is to write and publish more keyword focused quality content on my own sites and to ditch the ones that I am not interested in enough!

What are your MMO goals / resolutions for 2012? Care to share them in a comment?

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10 comments to Making Money Online 2011 2012 – What has changed?

  • I haven’t posted any resolutions yet, but I’m thinking I’ll just tackle 2012 one month at a time. So much can change in a year, but it’s not that hard to maintain focus for a month. I’ll decide at the end of each month what to focus on for the next.

    • hospitalera

      Good point Beth! I guess I adapt a bit of it and revise what I have done the previous month on the first days of the new one. This could help me to stay on track and not get distracted so easily. Thanks!

  • Bizz

    Seems that KS and Market Samurai have a lot of overlap in their functionality. Currently, I just use KS and the Google keyword tool for research, and things seem to be moving along fine. Am I missing something that the Samurai would make indispensable for me?

    I’m done with Hubpages as well, and don’t see myself developing any web 2.0 sites in the near future, unless I really need a backlink for a particular niche post. Even the Wizzely review on Liz’ site is for a program that could eventually go the way of Hubpages… in other words, it would eventually suck! Luckily, I don’t have enough lenses or Infobarrels to even worry about migrating them over to another domain.

    Good luck in 2012…

    • hospitalera

      If you use the Keyword Strategy Tool you don’t need Market Samurai at all in my experience. It is a great tool for people that want to do ‘only’ keyword research, but doesn’t have the functionality KST has when it comes to managing your keywords. Granted Market Samurai is cheaper as it is a one time payment and not a monthly subscription, but it is also very limited to keyword research only. Hint: You can download the free trial and check it out for yourself plus the keyword research module stays functional after the trial has expired. I never tried out to export keywords from Market Samurai and import them into Keyword Strategy, not sure if that would give you some extra long tails?! If you try it out tell us how it goes, pretty please! So, no Market Samurai is not necessary if you have already Keyword strategy, but it could be worth to get the free trial only for the keyword research function that stays available after the trial expires.

      As for Wizzely, I agree with you, it will go down sooner or later the same route as other web 2.0 sites (Infobarrel, Squidoo, Hubpages etc) BUT it might be still a good alternative for people that simply can’t afford their own web site and hosting. For some people in some countries $100 is an awful lot of money.

      Good luck and good writing to you also and if I can help you with anything, you know where to find me 😉

      • Bizz

        I took your advice and downloaded the Samurai software, and have spent a few hours playing around with the functionality, and here’s where I stand; this is great software for those who are just starting out, or for anybody looking for a one-time fee rather than a monthly subscription. It’s important to find something that works and then stick with it, which is why I haven’t had the need to download it to this point. A few bullet points…

        -It would take me a little bit of time to become comfortable with the interface and all of the neat little nuances and functionality, and I don’t have the time to delve too far into it. It took me a long time to become totally comfortable with keyword Strategy Tool, so I’ll stick with that.

        -Samurai runs off GKT, so I can just use the free Google tool, and then drill down keywords that I want to import to KS, or I can just use KS ‘get keywords’ button to do most of the work for me. I like your tip for ‘checking’ a keyword in KS and then using the ‘get keywords’ button to drill things down even further. That has worked well. Samurai offers similar functionality, but I’m not proficient enough with it to give it a grade.

        -For anybody who likes all their research in one place, then the Samurai is pretty cool. I liked the content searcher, as it went out to popular article sites and checked for relevant articles. This would be a nice way to see what others are writing about, and various keyword longtails, etc. Or, I could just go to those sites myself, or do Google searches until my fingers bleed, which is what I prefer to do anyways.

        There isn’t much more to say really. The best part of the free download is that they offer a substantial discount for those who purchase the software during the trial period. Also, as you said, I now have access to the keyword functionality whenever I want it, which is reassuring. It’s certainly more effective I think than the old Niche Refinery days, but I much prefer the Keyword Strategy Tool… because I like to give back to Fraser, and the KS interlinking blog plugin is second to none as far as plugins go. It really makes on-site optimization easily attainable for micro-managers such as myself.

        Hope my ramblings made a bit of sense, and thanks for the heads-up about the software. I’m glad I finally took the opportunity to check out Market Samurai, because I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about it for years now, but always had other things going on.

        Happy New Years everybody…!

  • hospitalera Just saw a comment of your’s over on Lis’s site, long time no hear or see 🙂 good to see all is good with you.. Good luck for the new year.

    • hospitalera

      Hi Neale 😉
      Yes, all good in my part of the world, thanks! And a Happy and successful 2012 to you also! SY

  • It’s great at the beginnning of the new year to sum up your results from the previous year and to set up a plan for a new one. That’s a business approach=) Good luck to you in a new year!

  • Hubpages has been good to me since the sub-domain switch. I’m at twice the traffic and income I was getting before Panda, which is decent progress over the year.

    My advice is don’t assume the problem is the domain (or sub-domain). Chance are that mistakes made on a hubpages subdomain will be replicated on your own sites and it’s a matter of time for G to catch up (once you get visibility in the search results Panda seems to assess you). So take some trouble to think about what the problem is, and then fix it everywhere. Otherwise you end up constantly having to start over as each site gets dinged, and that is exhausting as well as time consuming.

    • hospitalera

      I am very glad for you SilverRose that you still do well on Hubpages, however many of us do not and a lot of those who don’t do well anymore on Hubpages know an awful lot about SEO, keyword research and internet marketing.

      As for the sub-domain thing, I wrote ‘make sure to have one ‘persona’ per niche and stay focused on your topic. Don’t publish one hub about how to potty train your cat and the next about how to find the best cheap whatever insurance.’ What I wanted to say with this is that that way ‘real readers’ can more easily recognize you as an authority on the topic. Brand building is becoming more and more important and as online publishers we are, or at least should be, a brand when it comes to our preferred topics.

      As for the rest what you wrote, as I already stated, my own sites do well, so I must do something right 😉 SY