Last week I wrote about the experience of almost losing my online business as a result of having too many eggs in one basket and then followed up with a post on what I did to diversify the traffic sources coming into my blog to become less reliant upon Google.
Today I want to continue talking about diversification but to switch our attention to diversifying income streams.
Back in 2004 when I almost went under, I not only was too reliant upon traffic from the Google Search Engine – I was also very reliant upon Google’s AdSense Ad Network as the main source of income for my business.
AdSense had been very good to me up until that point (and it continued to be for years after), but by focusing so much of my efforts upon it I now see that it left me exposed and in a risky position.
As I suggested last week, a great question to ask is:
Is there a single thing that could kill my business right now?
At that time, AdSense accounted for 95% of my income – losing it would have had pretty devastating consequences.
I had already been experimenting with a few extra income streams in 2004 (including Amazon’s Affiliate program, some small time direct ad sales, and some other affiliate programs) but had become a little lazy in these experiments – mainly because Adsense was already doing so well (I was pretty much at a full time income from it).
As a result of almost losing it all in December 2004, I came to my senses and decided it was time to get my act together and to begin to grow some serious extra income streams.
How I Diversified My Blogging Income
Other Ad Networks
My first experiment was to try to find another advertising network that might work like AdSense. I tried a few (Yahoo had one at the time, for example) but none really converted as well as AdSense for me until I found Chitika (aft).
Chitika blew my mind. I remember the day I came across it and was impressed with it because, like AdSense, it was just a matter of copying and pasting code into my blog to show the ad – but unlike AdSense it showed ads with product images IN the ad unit. This was particularly good for me because my blog at the