A couple of weeks ago I found an unexpected payment in my bank account. It was a pretty big one too, totally unexpected and more than a little baffling.
The details didn’t seem to make much sense to me and for a few hours I thought perhaps someone had made a mistake.
Even though I was just about ready to snatch it and buy something sparkly before the bank called to tell me there had been some terrible error, I refrained, and started to look into whether it was a genuine payment.
With a little amateur sleuthing I discovered that it came from an affiliate program for a small group of sites I had completely forgotten about.
I’d been promoting these sites on two blogs, very briefly, which I’d started a couple of years ago with good intentions, promising myself that this time I would develop these great sites into something spectacular.
You know how it goes, you have an idea and you buy a new domain, set up a site and spend a week or two dedicated to it. Then something else takes over and before you know it that new project becomes a distant memory that you keep meaning to get back to.
Eventually, after months or perhaps years, you remember it exists and discover it was hacked a year before, or you didn’t pay a bill and it’s now gone completely, or there’s some error you have no clue how to fix so you just choose to procrastinate some more and distract yourself with something else.
Well, after discovering this payment and seeing the sales, I realized that these two old blogs I’d forgotten about had suddenly started making money. I don’t know what caused it, but perhaps a competing blog had shut down somewhere and left mine as the best result for Google to offer, or maybe a fan had found the posts and started sharing them.
Without delving deeper into the cause I got right back into posting on both blogs, and since then the sales have continued.
Having been in this business for a few years now I know how common it is for an affiliate to have a few dead blogs laying around out there. Most of the time they’re abandoned because time is far too precious, something more profitable interrupts our momentary grand plan to develop the next big blog.
I’ve been in this position several times. Being entirely responsible for our own income we have to go where the money is. If something comes up to offer us an opportunity to earn we drop whatever side project we were working on and dive right in. Over time, these forgotten projects stack up. Many of us abandon them completely later, giving up domains, selling projects on, or just letting them expire.
After my experience over the past month I would urge you to look back through your sales, check the sources of those sales, and browse through the list of old sites you’ve forgotten you own. You might be surprised to see that one or two of them have been making you money without you realizing it.
What would happen if you jumped back in there and gave those old sites a swift kick up the butt with some fresh content?
Don’t have the time to keep those old blogs going? Send me an email, I might be able to kick that blog back to life and start making you some good extra income while you get on with your next project.