I created LifeofJustin.com as a way of broadcasting my life to everyone on the internet. Social networking is a hobby I enjoy doing along with web design. I also enjoy writing, photography, and creating videos. So I thought, why not try and make a living doing this?
I have always used other social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and many more. But what I find appealing about my own website is that I can incorporate all of those into one gigantic portal. Plus I can keep as much personal information to myself as I so choose, unlike some of the other sites. No longer do I have to worry about invitations to applications I do not even want. The biggest perk of all however, is monetizing the traffic vs. giving all of it to other sites. The social networking giants make millions in advertising, which is why you see so many ads on MySpace and millions of applications on Facebook. So why not try and get a little piece of the pie?
Using my hosting account, WordPress, and a domain I have purchased, I have managed to build a pretty handy site that is starting to get consistent traffic day in and out. At last check, I have had visitors from 32 states and 11 different countries. At the pace I am at for March already, I should easily hit the 10,000 page view mark this month. Not bad considering the site is pretty much brand new despite a few older posts I rolled over from my old blog. I have shared it with all of my friends from other social networks and I have heard a lot of good feedback.
The main part of my website involves the blog itself. I try and write daily about things I do, pictures I take, or simply informative articles about blogging to help others follow in my footsteps. I have embedded Google Adsense into each post and find that it does not distract the reader from the post at all. This is the easiest way to generate some income from blogging. So if you run a website and are not currently using an advertising program, I highly recommend Google Adsense.
Unlike a typical blog, I have also added a lot of features that make my site feel more like a social networking type of site. I added some easy to use Friend Me links on the left sidebar that allows visitors to easily find me on the other major social networks. And this does work, because I have had friends add me that said they found me through my website.
I also have a subscribe section which allows my readers to sign up for my RSS feed as well as receive E-mail updates whenever I add a new post.
My favorite part is that Flickr has been incorporated into my Photos page, which is actually easier to use than the application Facebook offers. I love that the tags, titles, sets, and collections all get rolled over into my site. What is nice about this is that I can now email my friends and family links to my new photo albums and they will go directly to my site.
Why is this a good thing? If I were to send them a link to say, my Facebook album, how would I make money? Now, every time a image is viewed, I get a small Google Adsense impression at the bottom which gives me a potential of getting a click. Plus there is a chance my pictures get picked up by search engines, which could lead to more traffic coming to my site.
And last but not least, I have taken the strategies I learned from “Get Google Ads for Free” and applied them to my site. The sponsors section contains 6 image ads that I can sell on a month to month basis. This creates more income from the site which I eventually hope to live off of.
The site is nowhere near done, it just went up mid-February so it has come a long way in its short time. I plan to add more features including a YouTube section where I can display my YouTube channel and hope to bring more traffic in.
Please comment if you had any feedback or suggestions.