I finally hit the $100 threshold from Google to receive a payout. While the temptation to go out and have fun is strong, you need to be smarter when it comes to securing a financial future. Besides, if you make blog money while maintaining a full-time job, it’s as good as finding it on the street. What is the best way to use money from your website?
Using Blog Money to Improve the Future
OK, so it took me more than eight years to finally see a pay out from Google Adsense. In reality, I could have made far more if I would have put in the effort from day one. But life is full of random events and bad decisions. Let’s not dwell in what could have happened but look forward to what will happen.
I learned a powerful lesson dealing with a demon from my past. It’s better to reinvest the money from an opportunity to make it grow into something even greater later on. Otherwise, it could leave you stagnant within indentured servitude under the guise of “helping.”
Anyway, what are some ideas to boost blog money when it finally hits the bank?
1. Improving the Website
Aside from paying for the domain name and hosting each year, I haven’t spent a single dime on website development. In essence, I use the free versions of everything and scrape by. However, there are some things the sites could use that would improve traffic – thus increase monthly income.
For one thing, I am going to start buying into SSL certificates. Not only do these protect your users from those trying to hijack data, it also improves search results. This is because Google puts a higher priority on sites that have the “https://” prefix.
Better search results equals more visibility. When your site is using Adsense and affiliate links, visibility for a target niche is vastly important. Even though I do not store user information on this site yet or run eCommerce currently, the SSL is worth the investment just in possible traffic alone.
A few other ways to improve the site include:
- Paying for premium themes to expand what can be done on the site for visitors.
- Buying Pro versions of plugins to give more ability and possible engagement.
- Paying for social sharing apps to access even more of a target market. Personally, I like Buffer for sharing content.
The point is investing into the website has vast potential to increase your income over time. It’s all about what you can do to help the site grow into something that can replace a full-time income, right?
2. Investing in Stocks
There’s a lot of reasons to put your money into the right stock. Whether it’s saving for retirement or building financial security, don’t start too late to build a portfolio. I am kicking myself in the ass right now as I could have retired at 40 if I would have put in the effort back when I was running my own computer business.
Things like ETFs and REITs are great for generating a bit of that security. I like ETFs because they are based on the performance of many companies in an industry instead of just one business. This means there is less risk involved. Using REITs is based on real estate, which usually means a much higher dividend yield…but a bit more risky.
I like to find stocks that have a good track record and decent dividend payout. I’m not concerned at the moment with “buying low and selling high.” If a certain stock is forking out a decent amount of cash each month or quarter, it’s worth holding on to.
Everyone has their own strategies for investing. The point of this is to start investing as soon as possible. Getting your money to work for you opens the doors to more possibilities later.
3. Hardware Improvements
Whether you’re blogging or making YouTube videos, investing in hardware is investing in your future. At the moment, my computer is stable enough to keep writing blogs and producing videos. But it would be so much easier if I could buy tools like Premier or boost my memory.
The best part about investing in hardware is that most of the time it’s tax-deductible. So, you may have to record income from Google if it reaches a certain dollar amount, but then some of it can be reduced as taxable income because it’s purchases that go towards your “job” as a blogger or video creator.
Start with elements that have an exceptional chance of improving your blogging. For example, my computer needs nothing to improve how I blog. As a result, I don’t plan on spending any money on hardware improvements this time. The money would be better spent on something like the SSL for the site or perhaps software to improve my YouTube videos.
Be smart about what you’re buying and try to refrain from things that look “fun.” Sure, I would love a faster processor. But the blog money would be better spent improving my monthly income in other ways.
4. Savings Account for Big Purchases
Savings accounts are good for saving up for larger purchases over time. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to keep more than a few hundred dollars in savings because of bills or other emergencies. Sometimes we emptied the account simply because we wanted something fun.
However, there is value to a savings account if you leave it alone. For instance, I would love a new computer. Putting some of my blog money into savings until I have enough to build one would be ideal. The problem is I have poor willpower when it comes to saving that much money.
The point of this one is to keep the money set aside to buy something you need to improve your blogging. Now, a new computer would make blogging easier due to performance issues, but I mainly want it to produce YouTube videos and get back to streaming on Twitch – both have possibilities for income.
It’s OK to save for something like a new car or a vacation. I prefer to save for something that will help me improve monthly income to the point where I can blog and make videos full-time. For this purpose, I’ll probably use something Like Smarty Pig.
Be Smart with Your Money
I only received $104 of blog money from Google, but that doesn’t mean it’s too small to help. My purchases will include the SSL for my top producing blog, an intro for its YouTube channel and $50 worth of investments. It’s not a lot, but it’s a start – and that’s what matters most. A night out on the town is nothing compared to improving the income each month.