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How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Five Week Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers are letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 4-5 weeks with how to start a blog business. 🙂

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

The new stats are following the slash mark behind the ones when they began.  They are based on the results from https://www.check-domains.com/website-analysis/website-analyzer.php.

Weird About Money

Weird About Money is owned by Brett.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:

Brett had not started blogging yet.


He still really hasn’t started blogging yet.  He created a site but didn’t get it going from there.  Sometimes you can really be excited to start something new but that can be overridden by the rest of life.  So good luck Brett!  I know you were getting really busy at work, so I hope that settles down soon!

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:

Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.


The most fun part is the inspiration that comes when I hit on an idea for a post.  I had a phone call from a friend a few days ago, and she’s going through a serious issue right now.  After helping her do what I could, it occurred to me – her situation was a perfect financial blog post.  It’s amazing how many things a person can run across in a regular day that will translate into a blog post of some sort.

I have had some issues with plug-ins, but by uninstalling and reinstalling I finally got things to work.  I also have an on-going issue with the plug-in I am using to share posts – the pictures selected when sharing to Facebook, for example, still aren’t working right.  I thought I had it fixed, and it worked for a few shares, then started messing up again.  I’ll be changing that one out as I can’t spend any more time on it.  I made a post to the blog last week, and when I hit publish the whole thing crashed.  I was able to get things back up as they were, but it took me all day to fix it, and I did lose some material I had recently added to a few of the tabs.

(Crashes suck.  Period.  Sorry it happened to you too!)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0
  • Moz Rank – 0 / 0
  • Domain Authority – 1 / 14 (Yay!)
  • Page Authority – 1
  • External Links – 0
  • Total Links – 0

Contented Momma

Contented Momma is owned and run by Helen.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:

Helen had bought the domain already but hadn’t started blogging yet as of the beginning of July 2012.


I am having the most fun with writing about whatever I want, especially about parenting and homemaking. I just love taking care of my family and home and can’t wait for comments to pick up and get more discussions going! I am also enjoying the spam comments! haha

As far as issues, just knowing how to change design and other things. Like my share buttons (FB, Twitter, RSS).  I had to figure out why they were so big and how to adjust them.  But I have been able to set up Google Analytics, AdSense, and my Facebook page.

(Yeah, some things just take time to figure out.  Glad I could help you with those since we used the same plugin, lol.)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0  (but my estimate is 3? how often does Google update this?)  Your guess is as good as mine on that, sorry.  It seems to be every few months.
  • Moz Rank – 2.57 / 3.76  (Yay!)
  • Domain Authority – 10 / 16  (Whoo-hoo!)
  • Page Authority – 22 / 30  (Yay again!)
  • External Links – 0 / 5  (Woot!)
  • Total Links – 10 / 16  (Cool beans!)

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:

Madison just started on June 24, 2012. She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.


Things have been going pretty good for me so far. No problems or concerns have come up. After the last update, I went and upgraded my wordpress theme to paid theme called Thesis. It was the theme I liked the best of various ones I have seen around the internet recently. It was fairly easy to install and customize. One question I have is about layouts. For you bloggers, did you create your own graphics or did you have someone else make them for you? I’m not very good at Photoshop, so what I did create for my layout isn’t that great. Any recommendations on where to go for custom graphics?

(I sent over my contact’s name from Fiverr.com who created my eBook art and HIMMB website banner – he goes by “nisha”.  And I have also heard that Thesis kicks butt.)

I’ve spent the last few weeks finding new blogs to follow. Since my blog is mainly a personal blog, I’ve been trying to find other personal blogs written by people that have similar interests or writing styles. And this is probably the most fun so far. It’s been so cool reading about these different people and getting to know them through their writing. My goal was to find about 20 blogs that updated a couple times a week and that I liked reading. Now that I’ve found a good number of blogs, I plan on commenting on 3-5 each day to start my networking. I’ve also signed up for two blogging networks: Better Blogging Network and RevolutionizeHer. I’ll also plan on posting on both of their forums once or twice a week which will hopefully help me connect with other bloggers.

I’ve noticed on various personal blogs that they offer ways to sponsor or ad swap with their blogs. Nearly all of them do this through Passionfruit Ads. Passionfruit Ads opens a small little ‘shop’ on your blog where people can purchase an ad spot, upload their own banner, and send it to you for approval. Once approved, it shows up on your blog. I’ve started ad swapping with a couple blogs already. Hopefully this will increase my traffic and help make my blog grow a little faster. I’m not necessarily looking for money at this point, just looking to network with other bloggers and hopefully have some more readers. 🙂 Has anyone heard of Passionfruit ads? What do you think of this whole idea?

(I let her know that I haven’t heard about them and to be a little careful in case they are seen by Google as inorganic link building.  I will only take that risk when money is involved, lol.)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0  (Sorry Google sucks)
  • Moz Rank – 0 / 3.77  (WOOT!)
  • Domain Authority – 1 / 15  (Yippee!)
  • Page Authority – 1 / 29  (Whoa!)
  • External Links – 0 / 5  (Yay!)
  • Total Links – 0 / 15  (Whoo-hoo!)

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:

Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.


The most fun part so far is interacting with other bloggers through the comments they post and through email.   And I have a quick question. What is the difference between External Links and Total Links?

As far as your eBook, I loved it! I like that it’s short and sweet, which makes it much easier for me to go back and look for a particular section. I really liked the action plan as well. I do wish there was a calendar outlining what should be done in what time frame to be most effective and successful. Maybe it’s just me that would like something like that!  Haha.

(And I had to add this part of her email in because I love the calendar idea and will see what I can do in future editions…)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 1  (Yay!)
  • Moz Rank – 4.27 / 4.43  (Woot!)
  • Domain Authority – 23 / 29  (Yippee!)
  • Page Authority – 33 / 38  (Yay again!)
  • External Links – 9 / 45  (Wow!)
  • Total Links – 158 / 387  (Holy Moly!)

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward! I am really excited to see what happens!  We’ve already seen that continuing a blog isn’t for everyone, but a ton of progress can be made when you dig in!

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging. Ready to learn how to start a small business at home?

Any advice for the challengers? Any answers to the questions they mentioned?

8 thoughts on “How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Five Week Update”

  1. Michelle

    Looks like everyone is doing great!

  2. William @ Drop Dead Money

    Thanks for the update – never despise small beginnings, I’ve always been told.

    Here’s a stupid question from another newbie: where do you get those page rank stats? Other than an Alexa rank, I’ve never seen any stats for my site.

  3. Savvy Scot

    I have been watching the progress of these sites for a while now. They just need to get over that initial hurdle and they will be flying!

  4. Jacob @ iheartbudgets

    I think it’s great that there are some that are reading your book BEFORE launching. They will have an amazing advantage 🙂

    Thanks for posting the progress, love watching this from the sidelines 🙂

  5. John @ Married (with Debt)

    Goes to show that the first step is the hardest. These folks will hopefully be able to avoid the mistakes we all made, but having Crystal as a teacher is definitely the secret sauce.

    Once they get to the point where people are saying “Man, I see that guy/girl everywhere with commenting” then we know the wheels are really turning.

  6. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Just a plug for my graphic designer friend, Yosh: https://www.yoshinig.com/ She does amazing work.

  7. Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

    Glad to hear about these new bloggers. I will try to drop by their sites later. Good luck, everybody!

    BTW, Google updates page rank every three months.

  8. First Gen American

    This is a great idea. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s progress.

Comments are closed.