FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven't tried ACTUALLY making money online yet, but I have spent quite a bit of money so far. Essentially I've decided to start from scratch with a brand new website instead of trying to monetize any of the sites I already own, making this challenge just that much harder to get something off the ground.
For the purpose of this experiment, I won't be telling you what the new site is until I finish this challenge — and possibly longer depending on how well the site is running. The reason being is I want to properly gauge organic traffic without sending my DonDoes30 traffic flooding the report.
I can say this, though: The site has taken more time than I realized to get off the ground. This partially had to do with the fact that I bought the domain at auction (more on that in a minute) and had to wait for settlement before I could access the DNS server to start working on the design and layout. [Note: if you have no idea what I'm talking about, keep reading anyway]
Let's Start the Breakdown
This the route I'm taking to save on time, but like the old adage, "there's no such thing as a free lunch" so be aware that this will cost you monetarily instead of time.
Hosting - $5 a Month
Luckily I already have a hosting account through GoDaddy that takes care of DonDoes30 and a few other side projects I have, but if you don't have an account yet, then you can usually pick up the cheapest package for $5 per month.
New Domain - $25
I decided to buy a domain at auction (using GoDaddy Auctions). There are quite a few reasons to do this. First, you can sometimes find domains that have GREAT backlinks that certainly will help you with SEO off the bat. Second, a lot of people buy great domains that resonate with the customer for the sole purpose of auctioning them (Goddamn squatters). Meaning if you're trying to come up with a great name off the top of your head and everything is taken, check out the auction section to see if you can snag a good deal. Third, sites at auction can be sold for a number of reasons, and a site that has longevity might start giving you traffic right off the bat if it was a previously well-known site.
Writing - $25 (so far)
I write everything here on DonDoes30. Mostly because this blog is about MY experience and my experiences ONLY. But for this challenge since I'm getting into a niche that I have relatively no idea about and I want to make sure the information is correct and accurate, I'll hire someone else to do the writing for me for that site. It's not that I don't enjoy writing, it's just that I don't want to have to do with the hassle of all the research that's going to be involved when I can pay someone else to write an article for $5 a piece. Personally, I use iWriter and have had a great experience with them so far.
I'll definitely be spending more money on article writing, website template, graphic design, and advertising as we get closer to the end of the month. Keep coming back!