Tim Bonner is a 40-year-old online entrepreneur who builds online income while caring for the kids at home. Tim has been making an extra income online for over 10 years. In the following interview, Tim tells how he earns money as a blogger and niche provider.
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Success Port: You have been earning extra income online for over 10 years. Please tell me how you have generated income in different ways.
Tim Bonner: When I first became interested in generating income online, I started out with branches. Therefore, I have set up several sites with data feeds, which are incorporated by some UK partner networks. Over time, they generated a pretty good additional income. My main blog earns money through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing and other services I offer. I've also set up a few niche sites that generate passive income from affiliate marketing and advertising revenue.
Success Port: How do you find sponsored blog posts and product review opportunities?
Tim Bonner: I've signed up for some companies offering sponsored blog post opportunities. However, I do not want to harm my PageRank if posts contain paid links. I use a few sites that are search engine friendly. That way, I can post sponsored posts with nofollow tags that do not pass PageRank. For product reviews, I usually write about products that I use or test myself daily. In some cases, I was also asked to write product reviews to get a free copy of the service software. In these cases, I will accept them if they are of benefit to my readers and if I have full editorial control over the writing.
Success Port: Which websites, tools or forums do you use to find suitable affiliate programs for your website (s)?
Tim Bonner: I mainly use ClickBank for my niche sites. I also use JVZoo and the Warrior Forum to find other relevant affiliate programs. I apply for most products tim-bonner.com I use Shareasale.
Success Port: Why did you discontinue your online stores after changing the Google algorithm instead of continuing to fight?
Tim Bonner: At the time, I had no idea Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I did not know anything about linkbuilding or keyword ranking. I have set up the pages and luckily they have started to generate income. As that income wore off, I did not understand why and what I could do about it. I did not notice that it was a change to the Google algorithm. It was much later that I learned the reason for my decline in the rankings. At that time, I had already discontinued the sites due to lack of sales.
Success Port: When you started the timbonner.com blog, what were your expectations?
Tim Bonner: I started the timbonner.com blog because I attended a course on writing an eBook. Part of the training was to set up a blog to promote the sale of the eBook. My expectations were not high, because I had no experience in writing, but had nothing to lose.
Success Port: Was blogging just an experiment, a hobby, or did you know from the beginning that you wanted to make it a business?
Tim Bonner: At the beginning blogging was an afterthought about the training course I mentioned. I started my blog in May 2012, but it took several tries and deletions until I was satisfied with the first posts. I had given up employment in the pension industry at the end of 2011 to keep Father at home. I thought I could earn extra income by selling eBooks, but I found blogging much more fun than writing eBooks. At that point, I started blogging as something I could build a business for.
Success Port: What is your process to research and identify appropriately Affiliate niches to then create sites?
Tim Bonner: I use CBEngine to check the statistics for potential products to be advertised on ClickBank. It helps me to determine if it is worth exploring a product further. After doing my first research on CBEngine, I use keyword tools to get more information. The tools I use are Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro. They both do similar things, but I think they often offer different keyword combinations. I then check how much competition from other websites exists for keywords and how many people search for them monthly. Using both keyword tools, I can see if I can get a good ranking on Google and especially on the first page of search results. If all goes well, then I will buy the product and make sure I'm happy to advertise it. Without the product, it would be difficult to build a niche site around it!
Success Port: How did you start monetizing your blog?
Tim Bonner: I started adsense and banner ads. They were the easiest to install, and then I went over to product reviews and sponsored posts.
Success Port: How many visitors did you have at the beginning of your monetization?
Tim Bonner: When it came to Adsense, I put ads on my blog right away because the training I've given has shown that this is the best thing I can do. In retrospect, that was not good advice. You need a lot of traffic to earn money with advertising. It does not hurt to place banner ads and Adsense on a website right from the start, but they are unlikely to be well implemented.
Success Port: What are the most effective ways for you to monetize your blog?
Tim Bonner: I monetize my niche blogs by writing posts on a partner product based on keywords I researched. All contributions are then linked to my evaluation of the partner product. So far, I've been able to rank with Google without much work and achieve a passive monthly income. I also use Adsense in these niche blogs to generate extra income. I use affiliate marketing and sponsored posts in the tim-bonner blog. I no longer use adsense or banner marketing because it was not worth it. I also decided that it did not fit the message I wanted to present on my blog. Over the last few months, I've been more involved in providing services like installing WordPress and plug-in help. I intend to continue to develop this so that other services will be added in the future. That's how I intend to monetize my website in the future.
Success Port: What were the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site when you started?
Tim Bonner: The most effective way I discovered early was blog commenting. By leaving meaningful comments in other blogs in your niche, you can generate referral traffic. You must agree with this and comment on at least five blog posts per day. The good thing is that you can also build strong relationships with other bloggers.
Success Port: What are the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site?
Tim Bonner: My goal is to diversify the traffic sources so that direct, mediated, social and organic traffic are equally captured. One of the most effective ways to get traffic to my website is to use social media. I use Twitter and Google+, but I also want to use more of Pinterest. I also use keyword research to help organic traffic from search engines. As often as I can, I use long-tail keywords to believe the main keyword in every blog post. I use Market Samurai to help with this. Blog comments are still part of my strategy to generate traffic, but less so today. I use it now more to build relationships with like-minded bloggers.
Success Port: Can you give us some concrete examples of marketing to attract more visitors to your blog?
Tim Bonner: One way I experiment with is the use of email marketing. Subscribers are a great way to generate traffic because they've already indicated by signing in that they like your content. I'm setting up an autoresponder series to generate traffic from my subscribers to some of my archive mail. I also test a 5-3-2 strategy with social media sharing. Out of 10 messages sent, five are content from others, three relevant content from my blog and two personal ones. It does not have to be rigid in the 5-3-2 model, but it helps me stay organized. So far, the results are promising as traffic on social networks has increased dramatically.
Success Port: How many different ways can you monetize your blog today?
Tim Bonner: I use affiliate marketing and sponsored posts on my blog to generate income. I also help people with their own blogs behind the scenes. On my niche pages I use adsense and banner ads.
Success Port: How much traffic does your blog get in a month?
Tim Bonner: This depends on how much I've advertised for my blog, but about 2,500 to 5,000 visitors per month. It grows as I spend more time on content and marketing. At the same time, my role of being a father at home is manageable.
Success Port: Can you give me some details about using social media to increase your access to your website?
Tim Bonner: One of my favorite tools to get traffic from social media to my website is Triberr. It's amazing how big your reach can be when you join tribes and participate in it. Above all, it helps to bring traffic from Twitter. I also engage extensively with social media and look for relevant questions that people have. By giving them the answer and referring them to one of my blog posts, you can increase traffic and attract returning visitors.
Success Port: Which is your favorite social network and why?
Tim Bonner: Twitter is by far my favorite social network. I find it easier to reach and connect with people who use it than other networks. There are also many useful tools to analyze results and find influential people.
Success Port: What advice do you have for those who could not monetize their blogs?
Tim Bonner: If I had started again, I would not have followed the advice for the course that got me on my blogging journey. In my experience, you have to think beyond adsense and banner advertising. Unless you create niche sites, you do not just have to rely on affiliate marketing. I would have thought more about what I can help others and what result I would like to achieve. It is important to think about the value that you can bring to them. It is best to examine the niche you have chosen to make sure there is a demand before you do anything. This also defines what your potential customers need and want. I would have thought up either a coaching program or a service that I could charge my customers for. Only then would I set up my blog and post to achieve the valuable result I wanted to deliver. I do that now with the services I offer, but it would have been much easier if I had found that out right from the start. It is also important to collect subscribers' e-mail address from the first day through a registration form. Subscribers are a great way to bring traffic to your blog. As they have already signed up to receive e-mails from you, they are also pre-qualified. It's important to add value to your subscribers instead of constant marketing. Otherwise, they will not stay long on your list!
Success Port: What do you think bloggers should use their time to be successful with?
Tim Bonner: They can have great content, but if nobody reads them, it's a waste of time. I think bloggers spend most of their time promoting themselves. But that's not all. We need to address influencers in our niche, share their content and build relationships. A recommendation from an influencer has a positive effect on the generation of traffic, branding and credibility.
Success Port: Where do you find popular topics that you can write about?
Tim Bonner: I have a lot of blogs I follow about Feedly, and I add new ones regularly. The blogs that I follow usually inspire me a lot. I use BuzzSumo and Topsy to see which blog posts have done well on social media. I also find inspiration from the posts I see on sites like Swayy and Triberr, and Quora questions.
Success Port: How can you improve content so that it's better than what's there?
Tim Bonner: I search for other articles on the topic I want to discuss, and then look at how many websites are linked. I write something better by making my contribution longer, more up-to-date, better and more thorough. I also check the comment section to see if there are any open questions that I can cover in my post.
Success Port: What is your biggest win as an entrepreneur?
Tim Bonner: I'm networking with some of the most influential bloggers in my niche and get positive feedback. I also earn a residual income with my niche sites and create my blog with the services I can provide now.
Success Port: What is your biggest loss as an online entrepreneur?
Tim Bonner: Time. My family comes first as a dad who stays home, and my blog comes second. Often there are not enough hours a day to get things done.
Success Port: What is your goal for your blog?
Tim Bonner: I want people to come here to find valuable information, talk to me, and network with me and others. The ultimate goal is to build a successful and thriving business around my blog, based on the services I can offer to other bloggers.
Success Port: Is there a question I did not ask you?
Tim Bonner: Yes, what's the best part of having your own blog?
It's fantastic to help people by sharing my own blogging journey. I want to teach them what I'm learning in an easy-to-understand way. It is interesting to meet so many people and get in touch with them.
Say hello to Tim tim-bonner.com,
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