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Reality Check: A Blog Is Not A Business

A blog doesn’t make money. If one wants to make money, you don’t start a blog in order to do it. Here’s some real-talk about exactly what makes money – and how.

This post was originally written in 2010, but was updated in 2019 to freshen it up… because it is still a point which I find needs to be hammered home.

Today, I’m going to be the ultimate straight-shooter with you. Because this is something a lot of bloggers need to hear BADLY.

There are so many bloggers out there who’ve got it all wrong. I see posts from people complaining about how hard it is to make money with a blog. I see dead blogs from people who’ve given up. And I feel like I hammer this point time and time again, yet it is a one-man battle against a raging sea of entrepreneurial ignorance.

Here is the blunt honest truth about blogging for money:

Blogs don’t make money. Businesses make money.

A blog is not a business. All those bloggers who have failed to make money, who have been trying desperately to make more than a few bucks from all their quality blog posts… they all fail because they’ve missed one VITAL point.

… that blogging is not a business model.

Here are the steps most bloggers seem to take:

  1. Get an idea that sounds fun.
  2. Start a blog.
  3. Write a bunch.
  4. Scratch head because few people have seen what you’ve written.
  5. Get the bright idea to make some money with it.
  6. Throw Google Adsense all over the damn place, plus any other ad you can possibly scrape up. Use up all available white space and just PACK it with ads and affiliate links.
  7. Read blogs by people like me, get some ideas, never implement them, keep dreaming about making money from blogging, rinse, repeat.
  8. Write some more.
  9. Check Adsense. Wow, you made a dime. Let’s celebrate.
  10. F**k this. This is too much work for no pay. The gurus are lying, they’re all scammers, and everything sucks.

Sound familiar?

Here is the mistake: That blogger thought that the blog was the business. That if you build it, they will come. No, sir. That just isn’t true.

The days of chucking banners all over your blog and sitting back while the checks roll in are OVER. They’ve been over a long time. Very few people who start out today will get to that position because the whole world is trying. Even some of the big sites are looking a little desperate, if you ask me.

You might think I’m shooting myself in the foot with this post. After all, I blog about making money as a blogger, right? Why would I say it is so damn hard?

Because blogging can be the foundation of a VERY solid online business. The trick (if you even want to call it such a thing) is simple: Have a business backend to the blog.

A blog with a business backend (i.e. products to sell and a method to sell them) is the key to a six-figure income as a blogger.Click To Tweet

I Don’t Make Money By Blogging!

Nope. I don’t. I actually don’t blog very often. I only published 15 blog posts last year. Most of them weren’t even original and were revised and updated posts written earlier. Clearly, blogging isn’t the focus of my actions.

And while I don’t get into income reports for these reasons, I will say that the Blog Marketing Academy has generated over six-figures per year for almost every year it has existed (over 10 years now). And last year, gross income grew by 10% over the year previously. This is despite me publishing only 15 posts.

Clearly, I don’t make my money via blogging.

It is the business machine which sits under this blog which does all the work. All of it based on a business which provides solutions to a market who wants it in exchange for money. For me, my underlying business model is online training and coaching on top of a membership site model.

Blogging – this blog – is merely a marketing medium. But, much takes place that wouldn’t be very visible if one merely looked at this blog.

You will find that this is the case with most blogs that are generating good revenue. In most cases, they have a real business back there, selling real solutions. Sure, they may make some money with affiliate marketing (I myself generate about 25% of my income that way). Others may use banner advertising, but that’s not much of a business model.

If you’re not selling something, you don’t have a business.

If you’re already generating income online, then you already know this.

If you’re trying to use a blog to make money and aren’t selling anything there, then this message is primarily for you. It is 2019 now and it is time to stop playing by the old set of rules.

When you’re first starting out, we’re not “finding a niche”. We’re finding a MARKET and we’re establishing a product/market fit. For more on that, I highly suggest my guide on choosing a niche the right way. You can also grab a spot in my free workshop on niche selection.

When you’re first starting out, you don’t immediately launch into building a blog. No, instead you work on the foundation first. You can catch my 14 step plan to launch a brand new blog here. Building the blog isn’t until step 12 for a reason. 😉

You can also learn about the mechanics of the business machine which sits behind the blog… by seeing the exact business model.

If you’re not selling something, you don’t have a business.

Blogging is not a business by itself. It is only a promotional platform. And as long as we understand that at the beginning, you’ll be a-OK. 🙂

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