8 Months Into Your Blogging, And Still No Idea How To Monetize? (And Why I’m Pissed Off)

I heard a story about a woman who was a member of another blogger training program for 8 months, and STILL had no idea how she was going to make any money with it. Whuh?

 

I want to tell you a quick story that had me… pissed.

See, I was talking to Tony Teegarden the other day, who has been working with some people privately with his High Ticket Blogging program. And, Tony told me about a lady who recently signed up with him.

This lady had been working on her blog for 8 months and was still trying to figure out how to make money with it. Still struggling with what I consider to be the basics.

But, here’s the kicker…

For those 8 months, she has been a member of another membership site which is geared toward bloggers. I’m not going to directly name this other site, but I simply found it amazing.

How could she have been a member of this other training site for that long and still have no idea how to make a buck? I mean, that’s practically a freakin’ CRIME!

She was telling Tony about her efforts to “monetize”. And, Tony stopped her right there and basically BANNED her from using the word “monetization” ever again.

Sound familiar? I would hope so if you’ve been a reader of mine (or a student of mine) for any time now. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think “monetization” is a misleading word and leads blog owners down all kinds of dead-end roads.

PISSES. ME. OFF.

Honestly, what this does is motivate me to do a better job of getting my message out there. To be blunt, this lady would have been a lot further down the right road if she had joined the Blog Marketing Academy rather than that other site.

In all fairness, there are a lot of factors that go into this. Perhaps this lady wasn’t really executing on the information inside that other site. I really don’t know.

But, one thing I do know is that most training for bloggers is geared heavily toward “monetization”. And this is why so many blog owners can go through various blogger training courses and still be just as clueless on the other end of it as they were going in.

[Tweet “The whole premise of “blog monetization” creates false expectations.”]

Problem with it is that it starts with the blog. The blog isn’t the most important thing here. The blog is just a form factor. It should START with the outcome you’re in the business of delivering, and END with the blog.

Here, let me illustrate this clearly here….

The “Blog Monetization” Formula (as those other sites seem to teach)

It goes something like this…

  1. Start a blog talking about your passion.
  2. Tweak your theme for months on end.
  3. Blog, like, almost every day.
  4. Share across social media constantly in the hopes of growing your traffic.
  5. Try to figure out how to make money with it by injecting ads and affiliate links all over the damn place, or by making some low-end e-book.

… and while it might not be a part of the official formula, you could just as easily add a step 6, which would be to sit there several months down the road, wondering why you’re getting little to no traffic, and contemplate giving up on the whole idea.

There you have it.

If you wanna go pay some other site to guide you through that, you go right ahead. But, I’m telling you point blank… it doesn’t work.

Well, it might work in the land of Silicon Valley, where somehow a “business” can float along for months without making any money whatsoever. But, they can only so that because of venture capital funding. Even then, eventually, many of those outfits fail because they had no business model. They didn’t PRODUCE anything. So, they die.

So, try this approach…

The Formula Which Works

First off, FORGET ABOUT YOUR BLOG. Your blog doesn’t freakin’ matter at the outset. If you’re starting a business, you wouldn’t pay for advertising if you didn’t even know what your business was yet, so why the hell do people do that with blogging? The blog is just a marketing vehicle, but the question is, a marketing vehicle for WHAT exactly?

So, here’s a different formula…

  1. Decide what valuable outcome or transformation that you want to provide for others. What VALUE will you bring to them?
  2. Verify demand and learn what your target clientele truly needs and wants.
  3. Plan out your first offer which will fulfill that need. Shortest path would be a coaching program of some kind, or a service. It can be leveraged into information products later, but there is no sense creating some honker info product when you haven’t yet verified demand in the way that counts – by collecting money.
  4. Set up your blog, but with a keen eye on your call to action. Keep things fairly simple.
  5. Create pillar posts planned around the outcome or transformation. Don’t fall into the hamster wheel of thinking you need to blog every day. That only leads to burnout. Your client isn’t Google, its an actual person. Once a week is a perfectly fine blog schedule. Spend more time marketing than writing.
  6. Get the word out. Yes, guesting posting and social sharing is all well and good, but realize it is the long way. Very long way. In fact, it doesn’t work nearly as well as it used to. Today, the shortcut is to engage in paid native advertising on social media. But, you should be spending maybe 20% of your time on content creation, and the rest attracting new people.
  7. Deliver.

It goes like this…

[Tweet “If you want to build an online business, then build a BUSINESS, not a blog.”]

I’ll End With This

Everybody is looking for more.

More traffic.

More content.

More email subscribers.

More followers.

We think the answer to our “monetization” woes is just to get more of all these things. Somehow… magically… it will all work out. And if you sit on the outside and watch the “blogging gurus”, it would be easy to get that impression that the answer is always… more.

But, the answer isn’t always more.

The answer lies in the SYSTEM. An end-to-end system. One which contains a good offer, made to people who want it, and with the backend processes in place to make it work.

If you’ve been chasing “more” for awhile and still haven’t gotten anywhere with it, then you already know there’s something missing.

If you can’t already tell, everything I do here at Blog Marketing Academy is based on the larger view. If you would like to get onto a road which works better, then I have several training courses to choose from, and a couple of services if you want more direct help from me.

There’s also the VIP membership. That lady was paying for 8 months of that other training site and hasn’t gotten anywhere. That wouldn’t happen inside the VIP… not unless you literally sit on your hands and don’t do anything.

Plus, for a limited time, there are lifetime memberships available for the VIP. That’ll be ending real soon. As in, a matter of 2-3 weeks. News is pending on that. But, now is a good time to lock in your VIP membership.

.

Times have changed. You can’t follow the old “blog monetization” strategies taught 4-5 years ago and still expect them to work the same way. They don’t work nearly as well anymore. The answer is to switch to a different gear. A different strategy.

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Responses

  1. To the point and precise. David, thanks for this! I do have a few ideas but still no clear concept of how I’ll manage to sell more of our novels to people from our web shop. A blog is probably not the answer for this one.

    1. You can certainly sell novels using a blog. The important part is how you do it. I checked out your site just now and it seems highly UNtargeted at the idea of selling novels.

  2. This is really a ‘wake up’ and do something different moment for me. Although I have not invested lots of $$ on my “business” I have invested a ridiculous amount of time and effort on my blogs, without a clear notion as to what I’m wanting to spefically accomplish! (And with no continous income to speak of.)

    Thanks for the wake up! I’m going back to the drawing board to see if I can find my core reason for wanting to start a blog in the first place. I have a couple of those ‘low end’ ebooks, which were actually fun to write, but are not really targeted and/or drawing customers…perhaps because I haven’t yet identified who that is!

    Yep. I’ve been reading your blog and gone through the 30-day BMA now it’s time to actually focus. I too used the same lame excuses as others – I’m too busy working; I’m too busy writing’ I’m too busy… to focus on this. It’s clear that I’ve been treating this as a hobby and not a business.

    Okay – so now I’m pumped (and between jobs) so no more excuses!

  3. David,

    I don’t know if there is a “third way” among the solopreneur business development gurus (not necessarily blog specialists), but here is the pithy advice of one highly renowned one:

    “Write blog posts filled with content and experiences that give the reader time to absorb and consider—and then share.

    Write emails that move people to action—and then buy.”

    One box for this, another for that in his framework, I guess. He wouldn’t even think “monetization” was relevant to a blog. Comments appreciated.

    Kent V

    1. Yeah, more or less. Sounds like he simply has another way of stating the same thing, not necessarily a different approach. The one thing it leaves incomplete (although I’m sure he’d go into it) is… “buy what?” That’s where many fall short, because they’re so overly focused on monetization.

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