Back during the early days of this blog I used to write income reports on a semi-regular basis. John Chow made the idea of reporting your blogging income popular, and before him guys like Darren Rowse and Shoemoney would show pictures of checks they had received from advertising programs like Google AdSense or affiliate programs. Today guys like Pat from Smart Passive Income keep the trend going, though most of the other guys have stopped reporting now.
There’s no doubt people are inspired by seeing how much money others make (I certainly was before I started earning much online), and for the person sharing their details, it’s great for the ego to talk about how well you are doing. It’s also beneficial as a practice to report income to monitor your trend growth rates and also see if you can sustain a level of income significant enough to live off long term.
I’ve often had people, especially those who work “normal” jobs, question the practice of revealing your income online. How much money you earn is considered one of the most private things you don’t tell even your friends or family, let alone the entire planet through the Internet. I personally don’t think income levels should be hidden, it could be a force for better wages if the knowledge was public, so I’ve never had a problem talking about how much money I generate. Plus it’s fun to report back your successes when you have them, even if it does seem a lot like bragging, which I think it is, but it’s great for social proof too.
It’s amazing for me to write this, but during the last two years I’ve generated over a million dollars in revenue online. What’s even more amazing is I did this without any full time staff and only one regular contractor.
In Australia the tax year runs from July to June, and in the 2008-2009 tax year I made over half a million dollars in revenue doing what I do online. I was expecting the next year to be less because I wasn’t launching as many new things, but it turned out that I actually surpassed the previous year (just), though the profit was less (I bought a new BMW – that tends to hurt your profit a bit!).
Obviously profit is different from revenue, so I didn’t keep the million dollars I made over the last two years. For my business, tax compliance (the cost of setting up a new tax structure), outsourcing to contractors and affiliate commissions are the largest “expenses” I incur. In general I make about 70% profit (and tax comes out of that), which is incredibly high compared to most offline businesses. That’s what is so good about online business – the low cost structure.
Before the last two half-million dollar years I was making a solid six figures a year, so I actually surpassed a million dollars earlier. I feel comfortable saying now that I’ve made more than a million in sales and kept more than a million in profit in the last five years running my current online business.
Obviously it’s nice for me to be in this situation and I’m incredibly grateful I can live the life I do, working on a few hours a day, make what I make and do it by helping others through sharing words, but I know what you really care about is how can you replicate my result.
There’s no simple answer to that question, however I’ve met enough millionaires to notice what they do differently, not to mention had my own experience becoming a seven figure blogger.
Here’s some key points as I see it to help you reach your own million dollar result –
7 Tips To Help You Make A Million Dollars
1. Although I don’t have staff, I couldn’t get this result without some kind of leverage generated by other people. The best two examples I can give you from my experience is my partnership with Gideon Shalwick, who co-created the Become A Blogger program with me, which is responsible for a fairly hefty junk of my income in the last two years, and my affiliates, who have helped me reach a much larger audience than I could alone.
2. Repetition of what works. Although I’ve done many different things over the last ten years, when I found something that worked and I enjoyed doing it, I stuck to it long enough to get a result much higher than the average.
3. Choose a business model that has the potential to make you rich. This might seem obvious, but many entrepreneurs are smart enough to know that working a job won’t make them rich, but then make the mistake of choosing a business model that won’t do it either. If you can’t see how your business could make you a million dollars, then you might want to think about changing your model.
4. Isolate your core strengths and then build on them. I mentioned it’s important to find something you enjoy, and what you enjoy is always a strength, so if you can find a business that allows you to express your strength, develop it through repetition and reap financial rewards from it, you’ve hit the holy grail.
5. Tap significant sources of traffic/audience/customers. Most people I meet who are millionaires have access to large amounts of people. Yes you can make a million dollars without needing distribution (like through property or shares), but for those who do it with a business, they generally have a means to access lots of people. It might be having lots of physical stores in retail, or a large email list or popular website online, or affiliates/joint venture partners, or money to spend on advertising, or some kind of media like a television or radio show, or magazine or newspaper. Whatever the case, you need thousands of customers to make millions of dollars, unless you operate in a high profit-margin market (see below).
6. Pick an industry with significant profit margins and high demand. Profit is a function of how many sales you make and the money you keep from each sale after the cost of providing the goods or service. Obviously the greater your margin, the fewer sales you require to make a million. While you might have trouble starting a business where selling just one or two items can make you millions (for example, selling jumbo jets), it is possible to be calculating when you choose what you are going to sell, so your path to millions is quicker and more likely.
7. When something is not working or won’t take you where you want to go, quit. This is probably the biggest reason most people will never make a million dollars – they are too afraid to change. If today as you read this you have no potential to make a million doing what you do – and you want to make a million – then start making changes so you can.
You don’t necessarily have to quit your job or close your business, but you will need to tap on some kind of potential million dollar system to what you are doing. For example, investing in property with your business profits, or starting a business on the side if you’re still working a job, or finding someone to partner with to start a business so it doesn’t require all your time. If you can’t see how it will happen then how on earth will it ever happen?
And one last tip –
Bonus Tip: Many millionaires are created when one significant event occurs - you sell your business.
You might spend the entire life of your business making a low and steady income, but if you can turn your business into a machine that keeps that income coming without much input from the owner, then you’ve got a sellable asset.
Create a business that makes a few hundred thousand a year using a smart, hands-off business model, and you’ve got yourself a million dollar asset. If that’s daunting, consider starting by creating a five figure business and then selling it for six figures. Do that a few times over a few years and you’ve made your million.
The options are there for you to take any time you decide to go after them. Just spend a little time reading the archives of this blog for a blueprint of a million dollar blogging business, if you’re willing and able to do the work. If blogging is not your thing, then keep researching and testing until you find what works for you.
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Million Dollar Blogger