The first Yakeze challenge was simply to improve one’s Alexa ranking by getting as low a rank as possible. The ultimate goal was for everyone to breach the 200,000 mark, and I’m pleased to say most have and are continuing to improve.
What I discovered during my first 6 months journey of blogging is that once Financial Samurai breached 200,000, random people from all over the world started contacting me about promoting their products. This is why I introduced the 200,000 Alexa hurdle mark. We’re talking book reviews & giveaways, online budgeting tools with free 6 month memberships, and other neat things which I welcomed. Soon thereafter, I started getting overwhelmed by the amount of offers, so I politely turned them down because I wanted to focus on writing about fun stuff that interests me and the readers.
I was careful not to upset anybody and responded to every single solicitation with a basic “No thank you.” A couple more months passed and I started getting advertisement solicitations for real money right after breaching 100,000 in Alexa. Money has never been a motivation for me to run my site mind you. If I focused on the income generation of blogging, I know I’d get depressed because I’ve devoted countless hours writing, editing, and interacting with the community. We all have. How can you put a dollar value on something which is priceless? You can’t.
One day I realized I was being selfish for not accepting money from advertisers because: 1) Other people could use the money, 2) Perhaps other bloggers could use the contacts, and 3) I was wrongly associating blog revenue with my day job income, which is obviously much larger. Instead of comparing blog revenue to day job revenue, why not compare it to a stream of dividend income or monthly equity investment returns instead? In this context, blog revenue became that much more relevant.
I decided to accept advertising dollars so long as it didn’t interfere with what I wanted to write, when I wanted to write. Long time readers of Financial Samurai will attest to the raw content of the site. There aren’t any affiliate type posts, although I should probably give it a go once in a while and experiment. If advertisers want to support my site, great. Sometimes I wonder who I should accept money from, but I’m not conflicted because the majority of money is donated away.
After a while, advertisement revenue really started to pile up. Some of the products were just OK, and others I adored. But, at the end of the day, advertisement was a means to an end, to keep my site running and help other people in need of monetary help. This is when it hit me that frankly anybody can make a minimum wage salary online just by writing what they want!
LIFESTYLE DESIGN IS A NATURAL EXTENSION
The other catalyst for growing online revenue is the revelation that there are hundreds of “lifestyle design”, “digital nomad”, and “location independent” bloggers out there traveling the world on just US$1,000-$2,000 a month. I’ve always had the goal to one day “retire” and travel to new parts of the world while living off an online business. 30-something countries down, and hopefully 30-something more to go! If I can generate thousands of dollars a month online, the irony is I wouldn’t even need a huge war chest of retirement savings. I’d just go.
I strongly believe there are a lot of free spirits out there who don’t want to live the 9-5 lifestyle either. Yet, many of them have blogs which generate very little income. With the Yakezie Lifestyle vertical, we hope to branch out to a new genre of bloggers who are taking chances and living the life they’ve always dreamed. By joining the Yakezie, I’m sure those dreams will become closer to reality because together, we’re going to find a way to generate a sustainable amount of online revenue.
IT REALLY COULD BE THAT EASY
There’s really only one main building block and that is consistent, diverse amount of content, and a big enough audience to attract advertisers. Everything is just a numbers game, which is why it is imperative that we at least do well in our Alexa rankings, and have a consistent amount of daily traffic to see tangible monetary results.
In addition to traffic, you need the ability to understand and negotiate pricing, as well as know your value in the market place. If you can sell a banner add for $300/month, but accept $50, you are leaving $250 on the table and hurting the market in the process. At the Yakezie, we are going to make sure we get fair market value, and have a consistent flow of advertisers in the pipeline.
With the Yakezie Network, Members are able to leverage off each others relationships and build campaigns and spread the wealth. Already since Yakezie.com’s launch on August 10th, we’ve leveraged our relationships to capture and distribute an amount equal to almost the average per capita income in America! In this wretched economy, I’m proud of our ability of doing what we can to create our own wealth!
$100,000 IN INCREMENTAL REVENUE A MONTH
The dream is to have a tight group of 100 Yakezie Members each make an incremental $1,000 a month in online revenue by the end of 2011 largely due to the Yakezie Network. Sounds ambitious, but why not shoot for the moon? There are literally billions of advertisement revenue in the world for our taking. Why can’t our team capture some of the flow? We certainly can!
There are some Members of the Yakezie who already make thousands of dollars a month. I’m impressed, and I still think we can harness the Yakezie further to do even better and help every Member. If we do get to $100,000 a month, we can then grow our Yakezie Writing Contest to easily $5,000 or more a month given our scale.
Get your Alexa ranking down to below 200,000 and then to 100,000, continue networking with your fellow Yakezie Members in the forums and each other’s sites, and I’m sure you will grow your revenue over time. We will also promote the mozRank rating system given Google Pagerank has stopped updating so advertisers can recognize a newer blog’s true ranking. If we continue working together, there’s no stopping what we can do. The Member Forums are there to make the magic happen. Continue to harness this great repository and think of ways to make information flow better with the relationships we’ve developed within and outisde.
Are you guys ready to build the best personal finance and lifestyle blog network on the web? I know I am! Happy Thanksgiving!
* mozRank: For those of you who are dissatisfied with your Google Pagerank, it behooves you to write a post about mozRank and its benefits. Budgeting In The Fun Stuff and Investing It Wisely wrote a couple good posts and so should you. Crystal/Kevin and others, you may want to even write a longer post on mozRank right here on Yakezie.com to help us all given we have adopted the ranking system now that Google Pagerank no longer update.
* Yakezie Articles: Yakezie.com is also open for Member Article contributions. Feel free to share your stories, and if you have any promotions, projects you’d like to highlight such as an eBook you wrote, feel free to write about it here in a tasteful way. The Yakezie.com platform is here for you to utilize! We are going to use the Belts of Honor point system as tie-breakers in case of too much demand for any particular campaigns.