In the previous lesson I debunked the myth that you need to be everywhere, on many different platforms, to succeed with a blogging business.
If you have not read it, begin here:
Now in part two we continue to explore a better model to grow a blog that makes money, with an equally important and controversial statement…
Here’s the thing – most bloggers follow a formula that is modelled after the publishing world.
I’m guilty of following this model too, and did so for many years.
The publishing model is what magazines and newspapers use. Pretty much all old-school media formats, including radio and television use it too.
It’s a simple formula – get as many viewers/readers/listeners as you can and then profit from selling advertising.
To win using this formula you need the most eyeballs, the most people watching your channel or reading your magazine.
You make more money when you have a larger audience because you can charge more for advertising.
Sadly, nearly all blogs follow this same model.
For a very very small handful of the very very top blogs that’s okay because they can pull it off.
The super big blogs like Huffington Post, Mashable, Techcrunch, Elite Daily, Business Insider, and The Verge, plus a couple of guys I coached, Mitch from SportsChatPlace.com and Alborz with CarAdvice.com.au (the first two featured interviews in my Exclusive Interviews Club), profit because they have millions of readers, and thus millions of page views to sell ads on.
To succeed at this formula you need A LOT of content. We’re talking ten to twenty to even fifty blog posts a day, covering all the latest news and reviewing everything that relates to your industry.
Between my two older sites we produce 2,500 to 3,000 unique and original articles every month – Mitch Wilson, Sports Chat Place
It’s an epic undertaking on par with the workload of large newspapers. In fact these blogs ARE the new newspaper, but instead of daily updates they are upping the ante offering up-to-the-minute updates.
Phew, I’m exhausted just writing that.
Let’s state the obvious. You should NOT try to emulate this model.
Covering news as an individual blogger and attempting to BE a magazine or newspaper all by yourself is a recipe for 16-hour days spent in front of your computer writing blog post after blog post.
It might have worked for a select few individual bloggers years ago, but it’s even harder (almost impossible) if you start today.
Let the large companies with huge payrolls to cover all those journalists and editors use that model.
The problem is that even if you don’t aim to replicate the content model from the publishing world, most bloggers still replicate the same revenue model.
That model is making money from advertising.
For many years I made good money with advertising on my blog. I also taught other bloggers the power of using advertising.
It’s a reasonably reliable income source that can be quite passive once you have some steady traffic.
But there’s an insidious aspect to advertising income that you don’t clearly see because you are blinded by the cash coming in.
Advertising has an inherent flaw – by its nature it’s designed to send people AWAY from your blog.
What’s wrong with that?
Think about this – in order to keep making money, you need to keep the traffic coming in. You need fresh eyeballs so they click your advertisements, which then sends them away.
You spend all this time to attract people to your blog, only to send them off to spend money on someone else’s products and services?
Can you see the flawed logic there?
On top of this problem, if you really want to make good money from advertising you need A LOT of traffic.
Realistically if you are going to make enough money to quit your job from advertising income alone, you will need a BARE MINIMUM 3,000 visitors per day in most niches. In some niches even 5,000 visitors a day won’t be enough.
Most blogs fail to reach even 1,000 visitors a day.
Advertising is NOT the answer.
Affiliate income is another potentially lucrative income stream, one that I have personally used to make thousands of dollars.
Despite this, I argue that today your core strategy should not be affiliate income either because it has the same inherent flaws as advertising –
I have nothing against using advertising or affiliate programs to make money. I continue to do so as side income streams right now. However, I believe you will struggle to make consistent, significant income, especially today with so much competition, if you rely on these methods as your main sources of income.
You should not create a blog that is dependent on advertising or affiliate income as your core business model, especially if you are just starting out online.
If you do, you will probably never earn more than a few hundred dollars a month at best and it will take you a year to reach even that point.
There is a better way. There is a smarter way to blog.
Here’s the root cause of all the misdirection out there that leads to so many bloggers following the wrong path, one that rarely leads to making significant income.
…And don’t worry if you fell for this trap, I did too, and I stayed there for a good few years before I tapped into a much better blogging model.
The problem: Most of us when we start out read other blogs written by leaders, people respected who teach how to make money from a blog.
I may even have been one of the leaders you followed years ago, who preached the wonders of advertising and affiliate income.
Times have changed, the environment we blog in has changed, and thus, my advice to you has changed too.
You probably read income reports, or see people hold up pictures of how much money they made from Google’s AdSense advertising program, or received a huge amount of affiliate commissions from selling other products or services.
This is inspiring stuff, and I have respect for people who achieve these results.
But there’s a problem here…
When you see people do this, you believe by copying them you too will have the same success.
The truth is these people are OUTLIERS. They don’t represent typical results. Only a tiny percentage of bloggers can ever earn those kinds of results using the advertising and affiliate income model.
The reason why is you need tremendous amounts of traffic to make that model work.
The only way you can sell hundreds of copies of affiliate products, or make thousands of dollars in advertising income using a blog is to have tens of thousands of daily fresh visitors.
That’s just not easy to do. It’s a long road to walk and most people who try fail.
Let me ask you, do you know anyone who makes good money with advertising an affiliate income who doesn’t have a ton of traffic?
It’s just not possible.
So if that is the case, which model should you use? What is the smarter way to make money with a blog today?
Here’s the secret to succeed with a blog today: Leverage.
Yes yes, I know, that’s one of those buzzwords you hear people use. What exactly does it mean?
For us bloggers, it means we can have a successful business and realistically earn $100,000 a year and even use the same model to grow to millions of dollars, without a huge team of full time employees and without needing incredibly large amounts of traffic.
I believe you can succeed with just 500 visitors a day, or even just 300 a day (in the next article in this series I break down the numbers behind how you can make $15,000 a month with just 200 daily blog readers).
How do you get leverage with a blog?
…You build a system that does the opposite of what other revenue models like advertising and affiliate income do –
Here’s a secret that normal companies have known for years that bloggers never get the chance to tap into –
The real money is made selling more to existing customers.
If you’ve ever been in business you know this is true. It’s always easier to increase your profits by marketing to existing customers. Offer more to those who already love and are willing to pay for your work.
Can you see the problem with traditional blogging models?
They don’t have repeat customers to offer more to!
They don’t even have customers!
You can’t gain leverage if you send the main source of income away when they click an advertisement.
You can’t gain leverage if you don’t sell something of your own so you can strike up the kind of relationship you really want – a CUSTOMER relationship.
Bloggers get so stuck up with “relationships” and building trust and engagement with their audience.
These things are great, but what’s the point if you don’t make money! You can’t continue for long if you don’t profit.
The kind of relationship you want to nurture is a customer relationship. One where you continue to offer value to a small core group of people who BUY everything you have.
That’s how you can make serious money from a blog that does not have much traffic.
There’s an unfortunate habit in the world of blogging. We aspire to vanity numbers as a sign of success.
A vanity number is for example, having thousands of daily blog readers, or podcast downloads or video views, or hundreds of blog comments, or social media likes and tweets.
None of these metrics truly matter if you don’t actually have a profitable blog.
What’s the point of having ten thousand email subscribers or an incredibly engaging comment dialogue with your readers if you don’t make money?
…And if you think I am focusing too much on money and not enough on helping people for the sake of helping, I argue you can do A LOT more for people and give more away for free, once you make a full time income or more from your blogging business.
Leverage leads to resources, and resources means you can help more people.
You can’t succeed if everyone you attract just wants more and more free content and time from you and they complain if you try and sell them something.
I’m all for community and supporting people – it’s one of the most fun aspects of having a blog – but I’m here to run a business too, and a business has to attract buyers. There’s no other traffic that matters for profitability.
You now know a better model for blogging that doesn’t require nearly as much traffic.
It’s your tribe, your small group of truly dedicated super-fans who love what you provide and benefit the most from it, which drive your business.
Now you just need to build that tribe, one person at a time.
To continue this process, I offer my next level of training, to help you grow all the traffic you need to run a successful blog business – your first 1,000 daily visitors.
This guide will give you the foundation to attract the traffic you require to run your entire blog business. You might not even need 1,000 daily visitors, but that’s a great goal to shoot for.
In the guide I reveal 100 proven traffic techniques that you can selectively test until you find the one that works for you. Just follow the process and you will have a platform for a profitable blogging business.
Here is the link with all the details –
In part three of this series I present you with the numbers behind how a low amount of traffic can result in a big amount of income.
You will be surprised to see how the formula works and excited by what that means for your own blog business.
Continue on to the next lesson here:
And learn how to build a better blog.