5 Ways My Money-Making Website Changed My Life, Both Personally and Professionally
Over the last few days, we’ve been looking at the amazing world of Money-Making Websites.
We looked at how you can make good money simply by writing about a topic you already enjoy.
Then, we heard that incredible story from Kathy Widenhouse about her “cash cow.”
In this last post I was tempted, at first, simply to summarize the high points of what we’ve talked about so far … and leave it at that.
But I just couldn’t do it.
There is SO much more to say and share about Money-Making Websites!
Instead, I’m going to list five of the ways my website about coffee has changed my own life for the better … both personally and professionally.
Let’s get started …
1. My site has paid me over $350,000 in passive income.
Not bad for what is essentially a hobby site! Because that’s how it started out. I have an interest in making great coffee and wanted to share what I knew with other people.
Over time, as I added more and more pages to the site, I built up quite an audience. And once you have enough people visiting your website — even if it’s a hobby site — you can make money from those visits through things like ads and affiliate links.
And it’s not like I make hundreds of thousands a year. Over a ten-year period, my average has been $35,000 a year.
Not a huge fortune, but not to be sneezed at either!
Particularly when you consider that writing my site about coffee isn’t my job. It’s not what I do during the workday. I spend time on some evenings and at weekends.
Has that money made a difference to my life and the life of my family? Of course it has. Big-time!
Pretty amazing for a hobby website!
And here’s the thing. You DON’T have to be a professional writer to do this. You don’t even have to be a “good” writer. If you can write a Facebook update, you can write a website.
That’s right … YOU can do this too! :) Go here to learn how.
2. My site has made me a better writer.
I make my living as a writer. I’ve been a freelance copywriter for over 35 years now, and I’ve been writing for the Web for over 20 years.
So yes, I continue to learn my craft when working on client projects.
But to be honest, I have learned even more from writing my CoffeeDetective website.
When I’m writing something for a client I get to see, understand, and work within a very narrow slice of their larger business. I’m writing just a sales page, or just a series of emails. And so on.
But when I’m writing pages for my coffee site, I’m doing it as part of the entire site, and its newsletter, and its social media channels.
So I not only get more and more practice as a writer while creating new content for the site, but I’m also developing a deeper understanding of how everything fits together … how it all works in concert.
As a result, my writing gets better.
What’s cool about this is that I’m being paid to improve my writing!! The more pages I write for my coffee site, and the better they are, the more passive income I make from all those new pages.
It’s like taking an MBA in writing for the Web … and being paid for it too!
3. My site has made me a better digital marketer.
Becoming a better writer is just part of it.
I’ve also become a much better online marketer.
Every page I write is optimized for the search engines. As a result, I’ve made sure I keep up with the latest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and apply it to every page I create.
I also optimize my pages for social media and use several social media platforms to support the website … like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. Some of my coffee videos have been watched hundreds of thousands of times!
The result? Working on my hobby site, and earning an income from it every single month, has also made me an expert in social media.
How about newsletter marketing? Same thing. I have a newsletter for my coffee site.
How about improving your photography skills? Check. I have taken and edited hundreds of coffee-related photos.
Each day, I see ads and promotions for improving skills in various areas of digital marketing. And each time I think, “Done that. I learn that every day while working on my own website.”
Truth be told, working on my coffee site has been my #1 source of learning across the board when it comes to copywriting and online marketing.
Beyond just being a source of learning, creating your own website is actually the very BEST way to learn.
Book learning is okay. Learning from an online course is okay. But nothing compares to learning while DOING. When you learn by doing something, that knowledge sticks. You really remember it.
4. My site has provided me with proof of expertise.
When you create a website of your own, you are also creating the ultimate business card or brochure for your online copywriting business.
Imagine if I wanted to do some work for a coffee company, and they asked me if I had any knowledge or expertise in the coffee business.
Errr … YESSS!
This has actually happened to me.
A few years ago, I got an email from the marketing director of a local coffee company. He had heard of me as a copywriter, but wanted to know if I knew anything about the coffee industry.
I sent him a two-line reply that included a link to my Coffee Detective website.
15 minutes later he wrote back and said, “Let’s meet!”
And why not? My website is solid proof of expertise.
A quick look through my site demonstrates that I know the industry, I know what coffee lovers are looking for, I understand the role of social media, I can optimize a page for the search engines … and so on.
When you have a Money-Making Website that is related to the work you do professionally … that site becomes the ultimate proof that you know what you’re doing.
Instead of TELLING a client you can do the job and have the expertise … you’re SHOWING it, with solid proof.
You don’t have to create a Money-Making Website for this purpose. If you want, your site can be a stand-alone source of pleasure and passive income.
But if you have a passionate interest in the niche you work in, and create a related website … that’s powerful proof you can use when reaching out to prospective clients.
5. My site has become a six-figure asset.
I’d been writing my coffee website for about six years before I got the first offer to buy it.
Honestly, I was shocked. It hadn’t occurred to me that someone might want to buy the site one day.
Sure, I knew it put money in my bank account every month. And yes, I knew that working on the website was making me a better writer and online marketer. But still …
The offer? Over $100,000. Wow!
If the time had been right for me, I’d have jumped at that. What an amazing payday!
But what I actually did was grab a pencil and do the math. If I was making an average of $35,000 a year from the site, that income would exceed the $100,000 offer in just three more years.
So I didn’t sell.
But I will one day. One day, I’ll say yes and cash in what is essentially a retirement nest egg.
Yes, over the years I have been putting money aside for my retirement.
But I have also been putting aside time … in the form of the time I put into my coffee site.
That investment of time pays me a nice monthly dividend. But there is also a lump sum there that I can cash in when I’m ready to retire.
And this all springs from a desire to write about coffee!
Wrapping it up …
My adventure with my coffee website has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it … and I’m not done yet.
It’s been about income, about learning, about becoming better and better at what I do.
And this is the same skill set I’ve been teaching my students for many years now.
Here’s the thing … The BEST thing …
None of my students started out as “website building” experts.
They weren’t experts on day one, and you don’t need to be either.
That is what’s so remarkable about this.
This is an opportunity for anyone and everyone. You included! Learn how to make your own Money-Making Website here.
What questions do you have for Nick about creating extra income with your own Money-Making Website? Comment below and he’ll answer them for you.
How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites
Learn how to write an information website in your spare time and earn $1000, $3000, even $5000 a month in passive income. Learn More »