You Don’t Need As Much Traffic As You Think

By Yaro Starak
53 Comments

You Don't Need As Much Traffic As You Think

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…

You Don’t Need Much Traffic

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.

How On Earth Can An Individual Blogger Do This?

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.

What’s Wrong With The Advertising Model?

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 Marketing Has The Same Problem

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 –

  1. It sends the visitor away from your site to buy someone else’s product or service
  2. You need a constant high volume source of new traffic

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.

The Problem With Blindly Following Others

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?

Get More From Less Traffic

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 –

  1. You sell products and services of your own, so you keep your visitors in your business
  2. You amplify the results you get from a small amount of traffic

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.

Don’t Focus On Vanity Numbers

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.

The Next Step…

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.

Click Here To Download Blog Traffic For Beginners

Blog Traffic For Beginners: A Step-By-Step System To Grow Your Blog Traffic From Zero To 1,000 Daily Readers

[ Click Here To Download ]

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 –

Coming Up Next: A Practical Example Of How Low Traffic Can Result In Big Income

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:

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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53 Comments

  • When I first started blogging full-time, several years ago, I made almost all of my income from ad sales. I did pretty well but I was fortunate to have a high-traffic blog in a popular industry with a lot of advertisers. Traffic was the number one thing I used to measure my success and growth. Then after a few years I moved in to some other monetization methods, like selling products, and I can absolutely agree with your points in this article. Once I changed my focus away from traffic I found that I made more money, even with less traffic, and I didn’t always have to worry about what would happen if my traffic levels dropped.

    • I’d just like to note that I did not pay Marc to leave that comment even though it sounds like I did, haha!

      Seriously, thanks for reinforcing my point Marc – let us know your website address too so we can see the site you are talking about.

      Yaro

      • I sold that blog last year, and unfortunately I can’t share the details of the site because of a confidentiality agreement in the contract.

  • Great post Yaro. As bloggers, we are trying to build influence and authority within our niche and with our readers. Having a product (our own product) not only helps us to monetize our blog, but also helps in building that authority. Plus, by selling our own products we can set up our own affiliate funnels, which also will increase traffic. I also agree that people need to get away from worrying about traffic and focus more on the ROI of the time and energy they are focusing on to build their blog.
    Cheers!

  • Good stuff Yaro.

    I’m currently doing CPC, CPM, CPA, and my own product teaching folks on how to negotiate a severance package and walk away from a job they hate.

    I think I need to seriously up the marketing efforts of my book. But because I think it’s a no brainer to never quit, but get laid instead I don’t market enough.

    The CPC income is finally becoming significant to live off of (~$4-5,000/month), but it takes traffic!

    I encourage everyone to diversify as much as possible because CPA constantly disappears.

  • I’m also a firm believer in direct sales over affiliate advertising. Regardless if it’s a blog or ordinary website.. I estimate direct sales can easily increase profits by 5x and in many cases much more than that.

    I’m a new blogger so I don’t receive much traffic but I have several websites, some that I have sold products directly and some where I only focus on affiliate advertising .. both have been profitable but the profit margins on direct sales are unachievable.. Once I am able to build some traffic to my blog I intend to sell directly vs. affiliate ads..

    This article is great advice – something I stumbled upon trying to learn more about blogging which confirms my beliefs & years of experience of direct sales vs. affiliate marketing.. extremely valuable info usually only picked up on after years of experience using the old traditional ways of making money… Thank you!

  • Yaro, great post! I agree with you about selling to the people who have already bought before or those on your list…your prospects.

    And it took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that it makes so much more sense to sell my own products and services instead of someone elses. It seems pretty common sense now.

    Crazy what you go through to get to where you want to be.

    LeslieZ

  • Great points Yaro!

    I like the mixed approach; sell my ebooks, ask people to join my gifting team and use affiliate marketing and Google Adsense to draw in passive income streams. In any case, more is not always better. More, targeted traffic, rocks, and more than anything, created keyword rich value on daily basis draws in readers who will click your ads and buy your stuff.

    I found this post on Kingged.com, and Kingged it :)

  • Aurther

    Thanks Yaro this is just an awesome post and very helpful in view of were I am with my blog.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Great tips! So far, I’ve been relying on Affiliate sales. Well, I must admit that to thrive in affiliate sales, one needs a flow of new visitors. The more that kind of traffic, the better the sales will be.

    The prospect of getting more revenue from less traffic is an exciting one. Recently, when my vacation started, I put up a ‘hire me’ section on my blog. I’ve been getting some content writing work from it. I guess to make the most of selling that service in the coming days. Also, I plan to increase the scale of increasing this service selling activity.

    I’m getting around 400 visitors each day, still getting good enquiries. Now I think I should have started selling this service early on, rather than relying on ads and affiliate sales.

    Found the link to this post on Kingged.

    Arun

  • Hi Yaro,

    Yes, you’re right. Times have changed and we should adopt new ways to make the best of the new scenario. You know it’s really good to know that you can earn more even if you’ve less blog traffic.

    I’m of the view that bloggers who’ve build an audience and community creating relationships hold an advantageous position, so there effort doesn’t go in vain. It just requires a change in your mindset and strategy, right?

    I agree metrics do not matter much but sales do. Your series is getting interesting, and I look forward to reading the next part. :)

    Thanks for this great post!

    ~ Harleena

    • Hi Harleena,

      Yes community is great and I know bloggers love having people to talk to, who read their blog posts and could happily do that without even worrying about money.

      I’m of the belief that people who focus more on community are often people who don’t like selling and want to stay as far away from anything that looks like copywriting or a sales video – things that make them cringe. The beautiful thing about a community that trusts you is you need less overt selling to convert. People buy because you have spent so long building a relationship.

      However there is nothing worse than spending months or even years fostering a community and then when you go to make an offer you realise no one wants to buy or you don’t have a large enough community to make profit.

      The smart thing is factor in strategy when deciding on what to offer and where to build your community and validate the business viability FIRST, before going on to spend a year or two fostering a community.

      Yaro

  • […] Part 2: You Don’t Need As Much Traffic As You Think […]

  • Hi Yaro,

    I agree and it does make sense that if your end goal is to make money, then you need to factor that in your strategy from the beginning and develop a receptive community.

    You’re also right that having a community does not mean that they’ll be willing to buy anything you offer, though you might have a little advantage of the trust factor.

    I’d suggest bloggers to be optimistic and even if they’re late in making up their minds to make money, they can levarage their existing community using appropriate strategy.

    It all depends on the mindset of the blogger; if there’s a will, there’s a way! :)

    Harleena

  • Great post, Yaro. Makes sense.

    I have a friend in the UK who sells affiliate products by creating a pre-sell page on his blog and driving paid traffic. Usually, with this method, you keep your blog visitors separate to the customers who buy affiliate products.You build a list as well.
    I was wondering if the traffic strategies you have in your e-book,”Blog Traffic for Beginners” can be used for other business models like e-commerce?

    • Hi Owen,

      That’s a pretty good strategy your friend has if he doesn’t want to deal with product creation or fulfillment, especially if he gets commissions on all products he promotes up the funnel. Often affiliate programs only pay out on the first front end purchase, not the back end, hence you are missing out on all the high end sales.

      The techniques section in my blog traffic guide (the second half of the PDF) are universally applicable internet marketing traffic generation techniques, so yes, very applicable to e-commerce as well. The first half of the guide is somewhat blog specific, in terms of structure, although since most e-commerce sites include a content marketing strategy which is delivered via a blog, it’s all relevant.

      You can of course check it out and if you find there is nothing relevant for what you are doing then you have my 30-day refund guarantee to protect you.

      http://www.ejinsider.com/traffic/

      Cheers,

      Yaro

  • Yaro, I couldn’t agree more with you on this. If the readers and followers just want free things and complain when you try to sell them something or when you include advertisements on your site then maybe they’re following the wrong blog. A blogger, at the very least, needs to eat in order to blog. :)
    But we need to be creative and come up with new products for our audience instead of copying existing products… But if you know your audience well and ask them the right questions, they will tell you what they want and that should make it easier for you to create products that will help them. Great article. Thank you very much, Yaro.

    • Yes great point Emile about creating innovative products. I think some bloggers hate the idea of just offering yet another ebook or another membership site, so when they read an article like this they don’t resonate with it.

      It’s important to note that a product funnel can be a software program or service, or physical goods, or live events, or anything you can think of. The principle is that you have a much better chance of having a real business with a blog when you have customers and a range of products to service the different levels of customer needs.

      Yaro

  • Hi Yaro,

    Now a days it’s not about making money. All we need to make human relationships with readers. Bloggers try to learn more about driving traffic to their blog but these tricks fail when they concentrate only at making money from their blog. As you have mentioned about affiliate links, it is a good source of earning money but some bloggers don’t prefer it as a good way. Readers seek every blog which can provide them better service. It may not drive much traffic instead readers will search other blogs for affiliation links which would provide good discount to them.

    The main motive of a blogger should be to drive traffic only with the power of networking and quality content. With this blogs will attain regular visitors.
    All the points you have described are really helpful.
    Thanks for the post.

    ~Ravi

  • Awesome content! Gary Vaynerchuk has lead me to read more blogs and understand the importance of building a brand using social media. Great site to learn more info!

  • Hi Yaro.

    I am from Italy. When I first encountered your blog, I was very suspicious. To me it seemed like a car selling shop (don’t ask me why, that was an initial sensation: maybe your “smiling” pic?). You know what I am saying… those shops we are used to see in the beautiful american movies… with sellers ready to win costumers. Lights, flags, words, and all similar stuff. We don’t have those kind of shops, here in Italy!

    Then I read an article, and liked it. I read another one, and liked it, too. Now I am addicted to your posts. They’re full of personality, love for this “weird wide web” job. And they are really, really interesting and true.

    Thanks for sharing everything you share.

    Keep going on!

    • Haha, that’s the first time I’ve ever had my photos likened to a car salesman Mattia.

      I really do think back when I had long hair that look was probably better for my image, at online here at my blog, than the more clean style I have now.

      The clean style seems to work better for me in the real world though, haha!

  • Hi Yaro,
    Its indeed a great privilege to be here.
    I just finished reading/listening your interview you had with Harleena Singh today.
    That was indeed a new experience to me and I benefited a lot out of it.
    I listened your podcast downloaded today, I am mentioning your page and podcast in my latest post.
    Good to be here :-)
    Nice to note that I found a wonderful personality in the world of Blogging. :-)
    Thanks Harleena for the great intro.
    May you have a good and profitable weekend.
    ~Philip

  • With product blogging I agree completely with this. I have one site where I sell my own product and, although it doesn’t make $100,000 a year, it makes more than I used to earn as an employee on an average if 4 high end sales per month (31 in 2008 up to 60 in 2013).

    Over the years that’s an average of around one sale a week, but when that sale is $997 it really adds up.

    Most of my income however is from affiliate sales, and I sell these on blogs and not micro sites. I’m a firm believer in automation where it is ethical and works. Apps that get to my social profiles, open them, format my posts and X post to several at once (like Posterous used to and Hootsuite sort of does on a very small scale with very few platforms now) are massive time savers. I find keeping 5 or 6 audiences on different platforms in the loop takes only 10-15% longer than posting to one.

    All that being said, when I examine revenue streams, then for high end products (those over $500 say) then there is a real pareto going on where 80% of the sales come from 20% of the platforms. Trying to hook people into product sales costing close to $1000 via Twitter seems much harder that doing it via an authority blog in the niche in question or even Facebook.

    Great advice Yaro, good to see you are still offering value after all these years. You were one of the first bloggers I followed 5 or 6 years ago.

    Paul Rone-Clarke

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your input and also sharing some numbers. I am curious what niche are you in? Also given your affiliate sales are so good, have you considered creating your own products rather than affiliate products since you get a better margin, or are these the sort of products/services that are difficult to replicate?

      Yaro

      • My old niches, ones I’ve been in for years are Car rental, motorbikes and scooters (mopeds) and golf holidays.

        The golf holiday site dates back to 1996 though it really started making money in 2007. Online marketing has been my sole source of income now for just under 6 years and ran alongside my job (with not a fraction of the success I might add) for almost 10 before that.

        I’m very lucky to have cracked the car rental and golf holiday niches so early and to have just “stuck at it” for years.
        Getting a couple of hundred bucks a month to go alongside my salary seemed a real win. My employed work was very easy, and I was pretty much autonomous at work for years and could create content for much of the day – and (until the firewalls went up) even FTP it from work to my site when I started.
        I worked for Bosch as a production planner for an arm of the company that made central heating boilers for much of this time. A great company,
        When I left for a big pay rise at another company, then got made redundant soon after… I decided to give marketing online a go full time. A couple of years later I started my SEO blog – not least because I realised I’d been in the game for 4x longer than many of the experts out there.

        Product creation?
        Yes – that is something I want to invest in. It’s the next logical step. I read your $100,000 a year figure and see those guys who make a million plus from a single launch, and that dwarfs my income now… many times over. It’s something I need to research and invest in.

        Thanks for replying Yaro – that is appreciated.

  • Yes yes and YES. Oh these articles are so refreshing to read. Yes, what good are “vanity numbers” if your tens of thousands of readers don’t respect you enough to support you financially?

    Last year my blog went hugely viral and I had tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of comments. It was a huge amount of work. It distracted me from making sales. And many of the commentators weren’t even respectful.

    That’s a big no thank you from me. I’ll focus on the people who value my time and give back, and this has made my business successful in ways other people thought were “impossible.”

  • Hi Yaro,

    Great read and valid points.

    I do agree with the whole logic that sending traffic away from your blog makes it vital to have a massive amount of traffic in order to succeed income-wise.

    However, if you look at it from another point of view, this traffic away from your blog doesn’t necessarily mean that the visitor is gone.

    In my opinion it is about becoming an authority and if you succeed in this the visitors won’t vanish through the affiliate links every time, but perhaps just explore the new opened tab and return to the blog.

    Fx, my site Stayclassy.dk is a mens fashion and lifestyle blog where I write about mostly high-end products that I myself really like. I write about the products in a colorful and engaging way with a subtle reference as to where the visitor can find this product if they do wish to purchase it.

    Added to this, I don’t write articles with affiliate links all the time. It is perhaps 50/50 as I don’t want to push products afters products on my readers even though I feel I provide value to them.

    Don’t you think this combo is a legit way of building relationships with your visitors as well as earning money, as the idea is to make the visitors returning customers? And do you think it is a good way to do business from a long term pov?

    Finally, the bonus of affliate marketing is naturally the 30-45 days cookie time – at least for me. I have found this to be all-important in terms of my income as I primarily use affiliate programs from businesses with high marketing budgets (tv-commercials, online ads etc).

    The first month of my blog I was able to make 100$ in affiliate income along with 400$ from sponsored articles (relevant to my niche of course).

    If I were to follow your advice in selling my own product(s), would you have any recommendations as to what? Selling clothes myself would not work in my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Joen

    • Hi Joen,

      There are no “wrong” ways so to speak. If you find the effort you put into creating content and the income you make from affiliate offers is good enough and growing, then keep doing it.

      It’s always a smart idea to test options. You could come up with a product or service you sell yourself and offer it to your audience and see how it goes. One thing doesn’t have to replace the other. I have products, but I also have advertising and affiliate income too. It’s just very clear to me which direction I want to go given my goals and how I want to run my business.

      My main point in this article is especially for people who are not really making any money yet and they hope by spending months and months producing content eventually they will earn rewards from advertising or affiliate sales. Sadly in most cases that does not happen. For many people they will do better following the model I outline in this article series.

      It’s not a one size fits all solution by any means, but as long as people are aware they have options my job is done.

      Good luck with your project Joen and thanks for the comment.

      Yaro

      • Oh, and for a site like yours, you don’t necessarily have to sell clothes – how about a style guide information product? Or a shopping assistant service? Or a discount club card? There are plenty of avenues to explore, especially if you already have an audience to test with.

        Yaro

  • Des

    Hi Yaro
    How long did it take to write that post? I’m at the end of my day and before I shut down I thought I’d read what you had to say. Glad I did.
    Because it got me thinking … a lot. What Harleena said, and your reply to her about “community”, is what my strategy has always been about. But I flunk!

    Allow me a small indulgence.

    I’m not a salesman’s bootlace, but I DO like writing and educating and creating products ( I have a dozen or more). And because of my other “projects” I only write one blog article each week + autoresponder article + newsletter (bi-monthly) at my part-time home biz site. These are all free of course, but I’d love to get more into my community. Seriously, I couldn’t ever be a full-time blogger; it just looks like running a marathon with 50,000 others and you’re doing your best to get a PB!
    Too crowded and congested!

    I’m heading over to grab your “Blog Traffic”.

    Time to shut down. Love your writings.

    • Thanks Des, I’m glad to hear my article has made you think.

      It’s a difficult balance to find your sweet spot. Some people spend all day making offers. Others spend all day fostering community. You have to find where you fit within that spectrum so it works for your business, for you and of course for your audience.

      Yaro

  • Nice article Yaro.

    You’ve the wrong mindset if you’re even thinking of visitors to your website as “traffic”.

  • Yaro, thanks for a very informative article. I have been a subscriber for a while now and I have been going through a process of thinking about what my next step forward is for my travel blog. I am at a stage where my numbers are increasing nicely but I don’t think I can realistically add options to earn any significant money from it at this stage, without starting to have to head down the ‘soliciting for free/paid travel stuff’ option which I do feel somewhat uncomfortable about, plus it sort of takes some of the fun out of the whole travel experience.

    It has been a great option to learn the ropes of blogging, and as a result of doing some experimentation on the blog I have now been able to come up with an idea to set up a second site which I aim to use to follow your (and others) advice on how to build a site to earn an income. I aim to set the new site up as a subscription site which will also sell some digital / services products and using an email focused list.

    I am looking forward to putting your (and my) ideas into practice and see how they work out!

    • Hi Anne,

      Did you hear the interview I did with Lance Nelson?

      http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/13233/lance-nelson/

      He makes money with his ski blog by partnering with companies that sell ski packages and ski equipment. He doesn’t have a huge amount of traffic either, but it sure is targeted!

      I’ve always thought the best way to make money with travel blogs is to offer travel related packages, flights, accommodation, sightseeing, experiences – that sort of thing. You find the suppliers and then earn a commission when you sell the packages to your audience. You could even run tours yourself, a great way to get paid to travel :-)

      Just some thoughts anyway!

      Yaro

  • It’s all about multiple income streams, advertising in 1 of 20 for me but a real nice one, and while I like all of the comments here, I think there is nothing wrong with a lot of traffic, it opens a TON of doors, but I agree with Yaro 100%, it isn’t essential and I see people make a pretty nice living with not what I would consider a lot of traffic, in fact I get jealous of them seeing how much less work they have to do and how much less their costs are.
    I see many of the different ways they are doing it (and I am always open to new ones) and I try and just add those to the income streams I have, some like advertising you need traffic, some like the newsletter, a small, double opt-in real list of a few thousand is going to perform way better than a a list of 500,000+ names you buy from some scam artist which is going to wind up with you getting on the Black List anyways. Also, as many have said, if you are loyal to your audience and put yourself out there, the key word being yourself, your audience will be loyal to you and will have zero issue paying less than what they pay for a cup of coffee or what they charge for a print newspaper to access your premium content. As a wise blogger once taught me, if you show them value in what they get for free, they will be dazzled by even the idea of what you will offer them as a premium paid service, or something like that.

    • Oh for sure Mitch, I wish we all could have blogs with the kind of traffic you do (maybe I should be careful what I wish for?).

      Like in your case, with such a large audience, advertising is a huge income source, but like you do, you can make even more by expanding into other income streams. For people with smaller blogs, advertising is just not going to deliver the income required to earn a full time living so they HAVE to use a different model if they want to survive.

      That’s me included. I don’t have the traffic volume to do nearly as well with advertising as I do with products and potentially services.

      Yaro

  • You make pretty good statements in this article. Selling own products makes totally sense to me. But what if I just start out with my blog and still want to make some income? Isn’t affiliate marketing the best thing to do in the beginning?

    Cheers from Germany
    Aljoscha :-)

    • The best thing is whatever works and meets your goals. You can test them all, but only one method gives you a customer of your own.

      Yaro

  • I interviewed Mitch from SportsChatPlace. His sites have 1.7 million visitors per month, very impressive traffic numbers.
    Mitch is creating a ton of content, though, 3000 posts a month is something :) It’s not something you can pull off without some help.
    Good point about advertising. It does send people away. 3000 visitors a day is a big number, but sounds doable. Do you know what percentage of blogs ever reach 3K/day traffic?
    Neither is affiliate marketing?
    Interesting most of the bloggers I interviewed make most of their revenue through advertising and affiliate programs.
    Personally, I would much prefer to drive revenue through my own products and services. I think building my own brand and sell my own stuff should be the way to go. What do you think?
    I like the concept of shooting for 300-500 visitors/day. Those numbers sound much more doable than the numbers we hear.
    Your write about selling our own stuff which I really like. What do you think about turning your site into a paid membership site?
    Thanks for the post, Yaro. You should come on my podcast someday.

    • Hi George,

      No I have no idea what the average traffic number for blogs is – I doubt you could ever find that out, although Google know doubt has numbers on blogspot blogs and wordpress.com knows about their users, and same for Yahoo with Tumblr – but there are just too many blogs to ever get an accurate answer.

      Do you mean whether I think it is a good idea to turn a blog into something you charge access for? I’m not sure how well that would work unless you had another source of traffic to find customers with. Why not create a membership site and use your blog as a way to sell memberships. That’s worked well for me.

      Yaro

  • Really enjoying this blog series Yaro. I already follow this strategy with my own tiny blog (200 uniques per day) so I know it works! I do often wonder just how much better it could be if I put more effort into traffic building though. I found you years ago when I first got started. Not sure why I stopped reading. Anyways, great stuff and thanks :)

    • Glad to have you back Nathan. Are you making a living with your 200 uniques per day?

      Yaro

      • Yes I am. Nowhere near the income figures that you suggest are possible with 200 uniques per day in the next article in this series, but a living nonetheless. No complaints though, best job in the world!

        • Awesome! – Are you selling products and/or services then I presume? You’re a poker coach right?

  • Yes, I released a book 2 years ago and I have another one about to be released soon. I also do private coaching, make videos for a membership site and find time to still play the game on occasion as well.

    • If you feel you’re in a position to tell your story Nathan perhaps you’d like to come on my podcast sometime?

      Yaro

  • Times have changed and we should adopt new ways to make the best of the new scenario. It has been a great option to learn the ropes of blogging. As a result doing some experiment on the blogging have become easy.

  • Thanks Yaro,

    I really respect the fact that you have told us that the affiliate marketing and advertising you promoted previously is no longer the way to go.

    It’s a bit like my other field of nutrition. One minute there’s one set of recommendations – all in good faith, and then there’s a new discovery and something else to learn.

    But if we stop learning we stop moving forward.

    My own blogging journey is short compared to yours and I still have a lot to learn, but it’s good to find someone who will tell us when what he used to recommend is no longer the best way.

    Joy

    • Hi Joy,

      Affiliate marketing and advertising are still good options of course – just harder to turn into full time income streams without large sources of traffic.

      I still get a check from aweber in the mail for my affiliate commissions, which has been coming to me since 2007 every single month. You can’t complain about that :-)

      Yaro

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