I began around 2009. I built my first blog, BlogStash, I worked hard and after about a year or so, I ranked for all my major keywords and started getting traffic. I monetized with Adsense, CPA offers and selling ad spots.
My Big Mistake
Almost a year and half into my journey, I was making between $3000 to $$7000 a month. Of course, I got comfortable. Until Penguin Update arrived and hit me hard.
Mind you, when I had started originally, I didn't even know what SEO stood for. So, as you can imagine, I was building all kinds of crappy links and back then that was one way to rank your site.
Long story short, Penguin hit me and I went from 3-7 G a month to around $1000 and some months even lower than that.
I always thought I was diversifying my income by using different monetization methods. But I failed to realize that I needed to diversify how I was getting traffic, and add more sites and ways to earn money.
I was relying on 1 site and one traffic source. Once the traffic source was gone, my site's earning was gone too.
A few months later, I started picking up the pieces. Long story short, I now have a few different sites, each getting traffic from different sources (social, PPC, Organic), and I also have other means of earning as well (Selling services on Fiverr, building sites for others, etc).
Today, I am making even more than what I was making in 2012 and 13. But I am still building new sites, learning new traffic generation techniques, adding side income opportunities to my income source portfolio.
Mind you, I still have my day job which I love. Of course you can always quit when you get to a good spot, but with my depression and the fact that I love my day job, I see no reason to do that right now.
So, I can now say I am diversified to some extend. So, if today I lose one site, or one income source, I have a few more to keep me going.
I guess what I am trying to say is, Diversify!