When I began my first homeschooling website, Unschooling in Alabama, I had no intention of turning it into a business. It was a labor of love, brought forth from my excitement and interest in homeschooling. We were in our third year of homeschooling (unschooling) and I was sure I was already an expert, with words of wisdom to share with the world.
In 2002 I purchased the domain LeapingFromTheBox.com and began to move information from my personal site to that site, adding and expanding over the years. In June 2006 I decided it was time to begin receiving some monetary return on those hours and hours of labor invested and I added Google ads to my sites, and some time later, I added Amazon books. Income growth was slow, but somewhat steady and I was pleased with the results, for a while. And then the recession hit, my time invested in expanding the sites plummeted, and income stagnated.
This past year, though, has been one of positive growth. I have not spent the time I needed or planned to on expansion and updates, but it is obvious that the website is providing needed information to homeschoolers, since my Google income has increased quite nicely, especially in the last half of this past year. I still maintain the old personal site as a marker to the new site, simply because it has such high Google search standings. The occasional click-through on the old site really pays back well because of its age and Google ranking.
I had planned to have the Leaping website changed over to CSS format by the end of 2010, but that has not happened. I will be working on it during the first few months of 2011, hoping that the change will enable the site to be viewed better on all the newer platforms (cell phones, netbooks, iPads, etc).
I have been successfully blogging more frequently, a goal for 2010, although my personal blog (Musings, Mischief and Mayhem) has seen much more activity than the Leaping blog or my NASCAR blog. I also gave all my blogs facelifts and did some reorganizing with categories and tags, although this personal blog still has some final cleaning in that area to finish.
I had some new blogs planned for 2010, which did not happen, but I have the domains purchased for the, so you should see them unveiled this coming year.
So I have a lot planned for 2011! It’s time to get these blogs and websites making money for our retirement!