If you build it they will come.
I built it. They never came.
At least not at first. But I kept hearing it over and over and over. Be consistent. Keep building. Keep creating. So I did it.
And they started to show up. It was a trickle at first. Somewhere along the line some of my articles ranked well on Google. People started finding EntreCourier. And the traffic grew.
Is it time to start earning?
For months, I just put up content. I built the website. No ad, no affiliates. No money.
Other than the money I was putting into it. Fortunately, you can get a website going pretty inexpensively. Hosting doesn’t cost much, at least not at the entry level. I paid a bit up front for a quality WordPress theme, and I pay a little bit for stock photo subscriptions. There’s hosting for my podcast. So there’s a little investment.
And a LOT of time investment. It takes time to write the articles. To put together social media and to format and re-format the website so it looks good.
And I gotta tell you, there are times you wonder, is it worth it? Where is it getting me? I could spend that time going out doing some gig economy deliveries and bringing in real money. Or cleaning the garage.
Okay, making money wins on that one.
But I heard enough good advice out there, I just plugged away.
Adding my first affiliates.
I remember someone posting something, I think in a Facebook group, where they said they loved the information I was putting together, and the fact that I wasn’t selling anything.
This happened right as I was looking into some affiliate programs. It really made me wonder if I should stop. Some of that is also because a part of me doesn’t want to pollute the site with too many ads. How do you balance it all?
Some of the best traction I was getting on EntreCourier was with some articles related to insurance for delivery drivers. That’s where I added my first affiliate, a website that directs people to commercial insurance providers. At the same time I added an Amazon affiliate account to promote some items.
Here’s the thing with Amazon. You get pennies for any sale. Maybe dimes, sometimes dollars. I’m not promoting high dollar items because high dollar items don’t really fit with my audience. That kind of thing can be discouraging when you first start out. The insurance site has been a little better, in that at least I’m getting enough to pay for the cost of running the site.
But what’s the potential?
Starting to see an upside
I mentioned in an earlier article, talking about building EntreCourier, that it got its start from me doing delivery work for gig economy apps like Grubhub and Uber Eats. I realized there was a space I could fill providing information for other couriers that wasn’t effectively being filled. That’s how the EntreCourier site got started.
One thing I love about doing delivery is there’s a lot of time you can utilize between all the stops. I found podcasts and ebooks. And I got inspired.
I also discovered there were some tremendous opportunities once you’ve got an audience. I saw someone in a similar niche making seven figures from his website.
Seven figures. And no, the 2 numbers right of the decimal aren’t added into the seven.
Now when you’re between 2 and 3 figures, that seems out of reach. Heck, I’d be happy with 6. I might even be content with 5. Let’s not get greedy here, even 4 figures is an improvement.
The thing is, I’ve got an audience. So what can I do here?
I’ve started to explore different monetization strategies. I’m starting to brainstorm a bit. I have a little bit of an outline of where I want to go, and things I want to do with the site.
But how many times have I spun my wheels? I’ve poured some effort into promoting some things and they fell flat. I looked into different programs, such as advertising. How do you determine what way to go?
The beautiful thing about the internet is there’s a ton of resources. The challenging thing about the internet is there are so many resources it’s hard to wade through them.
I find a lot of articles out there telling me this is how I should go and why. Sometimes they’re really good and helpful and sometimes, nah, not so much. But that’s okay, I’m really enjoying the process.
And I’m excited. I’m seeing potential.
And that’s why yet ANOTHER blog.
As in this one. The RonLWalter blog.
I’m seeing incredible potential in where EntreCourier can go. It’s like I’m right at the base of that potential. Or maybe in the foothills a little.
I don’t know HOW I’m climbing that potential. I have ideas. There’s a lot I don’t know. There’s going to be challenges but victories.
And somewhere along the line, I thought maybe sharing the journey could help someone.
And even if no one ever reads any of this, I thought at least it helps me process some things, you know?
In some ways too it helps me unite these very different sites that I have. Up til now I’ve put information on Paradigm2 in my personal profile on LinkedIn and Facebook and such, and kept EntreCourier at arms length. Yet, while these are different, there’s a bond. One relates to a personal passion and the other is something I see as a means to build the first.
And both of them are a big part of who I am and what I do. So that, in a nutshell, is what RonLWalter is all about.