Most of the people who read my blog and blogs like it are interested in making money from blogging.
Actually, if we just cut to the chase, they’re just interested in making money online. If blogging happens to be the way to do it, then so be it. Right?
The problem is that I think too many people are following this gig with the wrong expectations.
I had a guy (no names) who enrolled in Blog Masters Club. He was quite motivated. But, he ended up requesting a cancellation before the money-back guarantee period ended. Of course, we honored it. His reason for canceling? He decided to suspend blogging.
Now, this person told me he needed to be making money within 6 months. In fact, he had quit his job in order to pull it off. He’d do whatever it takes, and we had several back-and-forth chat conversations about it. My assistant took care of the matter of cancellation, but his reason sparked my interest and this blog post.
… Because blogging isn’t for everybody.
If you’re just looking to make money online – and money is your only goal – then don’t start blogging.
Blogging is a crappy way to make a buck. 🙂
But, of course, if you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, you know that. I have said repeatedly that a blog is really only a marketing platform for a real business. You need to have a real business with things to sell. You simply use the blog as a way to attract eyeballs.
Blogging, alone, is not a good way to make a full-time income. Ultimately, you simply HAVE to blog with an end in mind. If money is a desire, then ultimately you have to sell something. It could be somebody else’s thing or your own, and the best combination is some of both. Advertising is a slow way to make money, and is usually mistaken for “blog monetization” by too many people.
Trying to make money blogging with ads alone is like trying to drive down the interstate in 1st gear. Sure, you’ll have a seriously high RPM and probably burn yourself out, but ultimately, you’re going nowhere.
Just like with a car, though, first gear is just a short-term way to accelerate the car and move to the next gear. As you accelerate, you must switch to a higher gear in order to go faster. With blogging, you can use ads to get the ball rolling, but the higher gears will be things like affiliate marketing and selling your own product.
Misestimation of Effort
Now, because most bloggers don’t think in terms of real business, they end up trying to operate on the theory that you just write a lot, traffic builds, then somehow money will manifest. It usually leads to frustration and quitting. The reason is because you weren’t thinking in terms of business.
Other bloggers underestimate what it takes to build up a popular blog. This is where building upon a passion comes in, and why I say that you shouldn’t do this if money is your only goal. The beginning days of blogging can feel like like a lost cause. You won’t be making much of anything. If you’re building on a true interest, it can get you through. Otherwise, you’ll likely give up because the money doesn’t come fast enough.
OK, so where does this leave us? What are you supposed to do if money is your primary goal and blogging is just a means to a hopeful end for you?
Well, there are other ways to make money online without blogging in the way that I do.
Alternatives To Blogging?
For example, you can get into affiliate niche blogs. With this model, your purpose is different. You’re not trying to build up an audience or a brand. You’re usually just trying to rank high enough in search engines to attract some people who are in a buyer’s mindset, throw them over the edge with your content to get them to buy, then directing them on with your affiliate link. Do this over and over, with many different niche blogs, and you can build up an income.
I refer to that model as going “horizontal” with your business model, whereas what I do is go “vertical”. In other words, my approach is to go deep in a niche, build a brand and reputation, and a real following. When you go “horizontal”, you really don’t care about building up a brand… you’re just driving clicks on your affiliate links using a network of niche blogs.
There’s also traffic monetization, where you drive PPC traffic into affiliate offers. Work the numbers so that you are making more in commissions than what you pay in PPC.
Ultimately, the entire “secret” of making money online is this:
- Find out what people want.
- Get traffic.
- Give them what they want and charge for it.
There are multiple ways to do either of those steps. Blogging is only one of them.
So, is blogging for you?
Do you have the right expectations?
Don’t get me wrong… this is an awesome business model. But, you’ve got to understand it for what it is and have the right expectations. And I think that’s where a lot of new bloggers fall on their faces.