SEO & Blogging Success Story : Diabetes Blog Earns $40K per Year

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There’s an old golden rule in terms of choosing a career or venture which still applies today, even to blogging; love your work. Being passionate about our jobs, entrepreneurial endeavours, or daily routine can make the difference between success or failure.

From a personal standpoint, I’m passionate about growing this blog and covering the search engine world, but honestly, after 4 years of doing so, spending a sunny Friday afternoon onside to write about tweaks to an algorthim can be challenging.

Then, I talk to someone like Ken Savage, and I feel the invigoration of taking my first blogging breath all over again.

Ken’s Blog Story

A few years ago, Ken was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and in an effort to learn more information about the disease, and share that information with others, Ken launched the blog.

A search engine marketer for, during the night & weekends, Ken blogs about happenings in the diabetes research world and the importance of the prevention of Type 2 diabetes via diet & exercise. His wife does a lot of the research during the week, in what Ken says is a motivational tool to keep him on track.

Making Blog Money : AdSense & AuctionAds

What started as an educational project is now bringing in supplemental income, almost $40,000 a year – thanks to Google AdSense, AuctionAds and Text Link Ads.

The revenue generated from is split as follows :

  • Google AdSense : 40%
  • AuctionAds : 40%
  • Text Link Ads : 20%

Ken says that his revenue really improved once installing the AuctionAds advertising spots on BattleDiabetes. Best of all, the eBay product auction generated ads do not interfere with Google AdSense, so both formats can be run on the site at one time, and by smoothly integrating the ads into the site, the click thru rate is higher.

AuctionAds Diabetes

Building Traffic to the Blog attracts 7,000 to 9,000 pageviews on a given day and Ken says that the majority of traffic comes from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and

WordPress is used to power the blog and after some basic WordPress SEO Plugin installs the backbone can be made very search engine friendly. Ken also practices strategic linkbuilding, with sites like linking back to his blog.

But Ken says that one of the most recent jumps in search driven traffic came after he listed in major web directories such as Best of the Web, DMOZ, Aviva Directory and

Ken also takes full advantage of the social media outlets like StumbleUpon, Netscape and Digg to build some of his traffic. Almost all articles are submitted to StumbleUpon, which can drive major traffic if its users give the article a ‘Thumbs Up.’

StumbleUpon actually requests that webmasters submit their own content for the SU community to vote upon, and this is paying off well for Ken, as is one of his biggest referrers.

Submitting articles to Digg & Netscape is done on a more conservative note, as only the most informative and interesting pieces are submitted to each.

To wrap things up, using a balance of passion, education, sharing, basic SEO, link building and contextual advertising; Mr. Savage has taken the diagnosis of a major and life threatening disease and turned it around into a commercial opportunity; while at the same time combatting his own disease and helping to prevent others from developing full blown Type 2 diabetes.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • WOW I didn’t think it was possible to monetize a site that quick. Nice job over there buddy.

  • Tat’s certainly an inspiration. Thanks for posting that article.

  • Wow Ken! That’s great!
    I’ve read your blog a couple of times and knew you were helping others but had no idea you were doing so well with it financially. This is a real inspirational story for me.

  • Very inspiring to hear. Congratulations, Ken. And thanks, Loren, for this article. My father has put in 10 years of sold health research for alternative practices, some of it to help me get past my own illness, and wants to blog about it. (He’s nearly 80.) While I half-assedly started his blog nearly two years ago, I’ve ripped it apart a few times so it’s mostly an empty shell.

    But after reading this article, I have new motivation to help my father get his blog going, and how to approach it thematically. I think it’s important to know, though, that pulling traffic from sites like Stumbleupon makes a decided difference in the success of a blog. Without out, it may be a slow climb.

  • What amazes me is that a lot of ‘probloggers’ now are trying to find a money making niche like the obvious high click subjects out there such as refinancing or travel or reverse mortgages or whatnot; but what Ken has done has been to choose a topic which is not only close to his heart, but also by educating himself and others on the topic – will save or prolong lives.

    Slap some AuctionAds or AdSense scripts on the page and that $100+ per day extra income is not too bad either. Best of both worlds if you ask me 🙂

  • I’m more impressed with the traffic that he can get than the money. Horse and wagon type of issue. I searched diabetes on the big G and he wasn’t on the first three pages. Maybe he’s using another term.

  • I guess he puts extra ZERO 😛

  • Great job, Ken! And thanks for posting this, Loren. Very informative.

    Dave – Ken’s blog has page 2 Google results for phrases like: how to avoid diabetes, help for diabetics, diabetes ac1 test, etc.

  • Dave, I’m guessing his traffic is in the long-tail phrases. Blogs tend to pick up a lot of that since it’s very text-heavy content. Since he knows the subject matter infinitely, I’d guess his use of related phrases and modifiers to “diabetes” would be exceptional. If he was ranking in the first page or two for the primary keyword, he’d be pulling in much, much, much more than 40k.

  • My kung fu diabetes is stronger than your bla bla bla. if you want to talk man to man… 978-590-9225.

    I’ll pove my worth and then pick your brain to gain more knowledge.

  • Thanks for posting this inspiring and motivating story. It can be used as a reference to those who want to start an Internet business and furthermore, it shows that it’s best to build a business around a topic you are passionate about. This can be the difference between success and failure. A great diabetes resource.

  • Now, that’s inspiration story and that is how blog is need to be done.

  • Man, do i LOVE to hear stories of people providing actual value and getting rewarded for it.

    I’m SO worn out from running across blog after blog after blog about “making money online”. In my view, the “secret” is to pursue your passion…not just to “identify a niche” and pretend like you’re interested and have some expertise.

    Folks need to get out more and get some things going on in their lives, then write about those. The compelling stuff is what draws people in. At SOME point, someone has to realize that there are only a couple hundred things out there to be said on the subject of monetizing…after that, it’s just recycling (blog, ebooks, mp3s, DVDs, seminars, etc). Have a passion, grow a resource around it, do it well, let people know…then, you have a halfway decent chance of profiting from your investment.

    Nice post! 😉

  • “But Ken says that one of the most recent jumps in search driven traffic came after he listed in major web directories such as Best of the Web, DMOZ, Aviva Directory and”


  • Yes those directories and some link building on any related blogs and sites I could find so far.

  • I sure it helped slightly in traffic, but nothing major. besides the SE’s what are the major drivers in traffic as far as URLs are concerned?

  • That’s a great story. This is the effect of diversifying in regards to advertising networks and SEO. Ken seem to have diversfied advertising networks (Adwords, Auctions Ads, and TLA). He also diversified his SEO efforts so he ranks in multiple engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask). I believe it would have been difficult for him to make strides and see this level of success if he monofied his campagins. (I know monofied isn’t a word, but you know what I mean 🙂

  • Congrats on the coverage Ken!


    PS: Yes, the force is strong with this one…

  • Great job Ken! There are so many of these stories online, its unbelievable. Definite “thumbs-up” for sharing the insider secrets for monetization. Though, I’m sure, the best secret you could tell anyone is to WRITE, WRITE and WRITE.

  • Wow, how your sites seems to be very targeted and very successful. You have a good future with your website, good job.

  • Great job Ken! Have you tried contacting some of the companies advertising via adsense on your site to maybe see if they want to directly advertise? That might increase your revenue a bit.

  • Great job Ken!

    Definite “thumbs-up” for sharing the first hand information with us. This proves how quality content and search engine optimization can be the basis of a nice online income.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Terrific story. Nice to hear about doing something productive and getting a little ($$) pat on the back. Well done.

  • This is truly a deep inspiration for me as I just started a blog for a health related topic that’s meaningful to me.

    I am mostly writing to share allergy information and help others, but I won’t complain if something more comes from it too!

    Way to go, Ken!

  • This is really impressive! As another diabetic and founder of (a community for people affected by diabetes), I am happy to hear that people touched by this terrible condition can make good money while helping thousands of other people out.

  • Excelent, it’s good to know success histories. Keep us figthing!
    That kind of posting make me a do better esfort. I think to the key for this great goal was the choose for a topic that hi’s passionate about.
    Well, congratulations, my wife has Diabetes, and I’ll read this blog.

  • I think the key to Ken’s success with his website is that it was on a topic he is passionate about. It doesn’t get closer than having diabetes yourself. He as a result built a website with the end user in mind, providing useful information. This is what google wants. More evidence that the best SEO is still having unique, human friendly content
    I am glad that he has had some financial success with the site and wish him good luck in future.

    Affiliate Marketing Introduction

  • i think it is quite impossible to monetize a site so fast.and the value is equal to that of the heavy weights such as paulamooney,kumiko suzuki.nice info though

  • SO fast? Site has been up for a few years? How long should it take constructicle boy?

  • I have success with adsense but have not tried Auction ads yet..
    Will soon try for my new blogs to see the results..
    Thanks for pointing out the actual revenue share

  • Hey guys and congratulations for the success on your site Ken.

    Loren is absolutely right, you need to love and be quite connected with the subject of your blog. If you keep working, are a good writer and know how to keep your audience everything else will come into place.

    I’ve been working with Text Link Ads for a long time and it has worked nice for me, it’s actually my first source of income for advertisement in my blogs, Adsense is a distant second place and I’ve just started using Auction Ads.


  • This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Getting your website crawled by Search engine Crawlers. Thanks for informative article

  • I found your post very interesting, but I guess that DMOZ is not so actual. It is the past.

  • DMOZ is old school but if it takes 2 minutes to submit to, why not give it a shot?

  • I have try hard to DMOZ but no news.

  • I have try hard with my diabetes site to DMOZ it was waste time.

  • DMOZ is actually worth your while. It does take some time for your site to get approved but you have to remember that it is human edited. Because they are so popular, they get tons of submissions each day. Just be patient with them

    Affiliate Marketing Guide

  • damn, a diabetes blog was on my list of things to do for this year.

  • I wish my site made 40k/yr!

  • I have several diabetic blogs and have not seen these results.

  • Great blog dude
    please explain 2 me
    how 2 get succses in blogging

  • Wow, amazing story. Congratulations on your success. Goes to show that being passionate about what you blog about will help you succeed.

  • Nice inspirations indeed. These kind of stories makes us blog beginners continue to fan the flame. May you inspire more newbies like me.

  • wow… this was very impressive! I love these kind of stories as well… Very motivational too!

  • DMOZ is tough to get in for sure!

  • wow, this is really a great successful story. Helping people is really the key, anyone want to be successful like Ken must keep this in mind that he must provide valuable information that can help other people, and he should keep writing, in this way, can someone be so successful.

    I myself also have a blog, and i will do like what Ken did – providing good information to people, hope i can be a successful blogger one day.

  • wow, this is really a great successful story. Helping people is really the key, anyone want to be successful like Ken must keep this in mind that he must provide valuable information that can help other people, and he should keep writing, in this way, can someone be so successful.

    I myself also have a blog, and i will do like what Ken did – providing good information to people, hope i can be a successful blogger one day.