Can Blogging Generate Enough Income To Quit Your Day Job?
There’s a lot of people these days looking for alternative ways to make money. Some people have lost their jobs and are looking for alternatives. Some aren’t having much luck finding a job and are, too, looking for alternatives. Some just want to make some extra money. And, you have some more who just want…
There’s a lot of people these days looking for alternative ways to make money.
Some people have lost their jobs and are looking for alternatives. Some aren’t having much luck finding a job and are, too, looking for alternatives. Some just want to make some extra money. And, you have some more who just want to get OUT of their jobs because they know there is something better.
In this environment, you’re going to have a lot of people looking for business opportunities. And, those kinds of people are ripe for falling for every promise of a quick buck that is out there. The “make money online” space is rife with promises of easy money with just a few clicks. While most of us like to think we’re smart enough not to fall for it, the truth is that people are falling for it in droves. If the demand wasn’t there, those offers wouldn’t be being made.
It just so happens that blogging is considered by some to be like a subset of the “make money online” space. And, sure enough, there are a fair amount of people out there who look to blogging as a non-scammy way to earn a living online.
But, how realistic is it?
Can blogging generate that kind of money?
Sure, you see people doing it. You see people like Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern, Corbett Barr, Darren Rowse – and yes, me – talking about the idea of making money with a blog. There are a lot of people out there talking about it. Those I name are only a few of the guys I know… there are tons of people talking about it that I haven’t even heard of.
It is really easy, from the outside, to think that that’s all there is to it – we blog and we make money. Yay, everything is awesome. Right?
But, of course, we know. We know that people who are able to eek out livings from their blogs represent a small minority. The ones that come to mind for you are just the guys talking about it. And, surely, there are people out there making good money with their blogs talking about completely different things. You don’t know about them… because they’re not out there talking about it. They just do it. I know, because I was one of those guys up until around 2008 when I began this very site. I was making a full-time living with my tech site before then.
But, again, is it about the blog? Are we really making money by blogging?
It would seem that way sometimes. And, that lends itself to the notion of earning enough money – through the act of blogging – to quit a day job.
Is it truly possible?
More relevant, is it possible for YOU to do it? Or are you destined to be one of the people simply reading about it?
Why I Long Since Stopped Posting Income Reports
I used to be more public about my income. I used to do income reports. And, I know people love looking at Pat’s income reports every month. It is a successful action for him, and perhaps it would be for me, too. That being said, I stopped doing it for a reason.
First, it always felt weird talking about my income like that on such a public platform. Money is one of those topics that can pull a lot of different kinds of reactions from people – not always good ones. So, I figure my exact income figures were best left to myself, my wife, and the IRS during my yearly extortion… err, I mean taxes. 😉
Secondly, because I believe it gives a false impression, and leads people to concentrate on the wrong things. I think income reports tend to place all our focus on the raw output of a business – the income. But, in reality, a real business is a multi-faceted thing. We have expenses – and they can be rather high in some cases. But, there’s also differences in markets, differences in our daily schedules, differences in what we’re willing to do or not do, differences in personality…. just a lot of factors. And, if we get SO concentrated on monetary output, we lose sight of more important things.
Sure, income reports provide credibility. But, it just felt a little “off”. So, I stopped.
Back when I was doing those reports, I released the Six Figure Blogger Blueprint. That report is still available – and you can grab it right here without any opt-in required.
But, around that time, I said You Can’t Really Make Six Figures By Blogging. In that post, I talked about how it really isn’t blogging which is doing it. It is making offers. It is selling things.
In other words, it is BUSINESS.
And, I also created a Getting Started page which made a point to dispell some of the myths about this business. I didn’t want anybody to think it was easy.
Note to Self: I really need to unbury that Getting Started page. Jeez. It just got left back in the archives! Dammit. Anyway…
So, Can Blogging Do It?
Yes, it is possible. But, it is pretty damn difficult.
If anybody comes to me (and it happens), saying they need to make a certain amount of money in a certain time frame… and they’re looking to blogging to be the road out… I wince. And, I quickly try to give them some perspective.
Blogging – as most bloggers think of it – is an ineffective way to make money. So, if you’re sitting out there trying to figure things out, don’t look to blogging as the answer.
Many bloggers probably don’t include certain things in under the category of “blogging”. They don’t think about:
- Making offers
- Selling things
- Building an email list
- Providing solutions
Those of you who have been around for a little while probably think of these things. But, your typical Joe Blow blogger out there doesn’t. In fact, they probably write those things off as evil marketing schemes. They don’t want to be one of those people.
Well, they’re lost. They can enjoy the few dimes coming off the Google Adsense money tree.
In the REAL world, it is those kinds of things that generate money. Not blogs.
A blog is merely a marketing vehicle. The question is… what are you marketing?
If you’re not marketing something – a SOLUTION or collection of solutions to a goal or problem people have – you’re spinning your wheels. If you’re just spending your time talking ABOUT something, you’re spinning your wheels. You’re being naive enough to look at yourself as something special, like a source of media for the world. Well, have fun with that. But, in the real world, you don’t make money unless you’re providing a solution to people who want it.
That’s called business.
So, Looking To Quit Your Job? Start Like This…
Don’t start a blog and start talking about something. Talking about things is just a hobbyist mentality. When you’re doing this for business, you are very strategic about what you’re talking about. It is blogging with a purpose.
What value can you bring to the world? What problems can you solve for people? What are you good at that you could do for others? What can you teach others that would alleviate a pain or frustration that they have?
Identify your problem -> solution first. Before you worry about blogging. Blogging comes later.
Blogging is what comes AFTER you have the business model in place. Blogging is what you do to attract a particular kind of person – your ideal prospect – to your place of business, so as to educate them, so as to get them to raise their hands and partake in delivery of your product or service.
Blogging is to an online business what the yellow pages were to a traditional offline business. It is a form of lead attraction. A form of marketing. You wouldn’t place a Yellow Pages ad for a business which didn’t exist yet, where you had nothing to sell.
Now, there is a way to devise a business plan for yourself, which will THEN lead into a blog which can support a real income stream. A perfectly viable one. And, yes, one where you can quit your day job.
I discuss that system – and walk people through it – inside the Academy. And, I’ve just opened up a lifetime option to join the Academy. That means no recurring fees at all. So, check it out.
I was told recently that some of the advice I give in my newsletter and on my blog doesn’t apply to all bloggers. She told me this as if I had lost sight of that fact.
Truth is… I haven’t lost sight of that at all. Truth is, many bloggers just aren’t part of my target market. Because, they cling stubbornly to the idea that blogging, alone, can generate a lot of money.
I teach bloggers how to build real businesses. And, I teach business owners how to turn a blog into one of the most powerful marketing channels there is – and blogging is insanely powerful for that. It is a wonderful medium.
If you’re looking to do that, I’d like to work with you. If you just want to keep on blogging on the rat wheel, you go right ahead. 🙂 Just don’t quit your day job.
‘If you’re not marketing something – a SOLUTION or collection of solutions to a goal or problem people have – you’re spinning your wheels’ –
This is the most accurate thing I’ve seen in ages! I’ve seen so many bloggers blogging continuously and when they finally decide to market things, they choose things that add no value to peoples lives and thus no one takes it.
The law of effection -‘Impact millions and you’ll make millions’.
I try to tell people this all the time, I made plenty of money with a blog, but I always had a product or service to back it up (usually something in the fence products/installation niche). I have lost more money and time blogging about how to do exactly that, I gave up on actually making money doing it and just write when I feel like I have something to say now 🙂
Site looks great BTW…
It is exactly what I wonder. Becoming a blogger can help you earn amount of money. But how long it last?10 years or 1 year
This is good advice.
It links to something I struggle with all the time… I have so many things I am interested in and actually well developed skills in several diverse industries. When I can get in front of a customer – a properly qualified one – I do very well most of the time. Getting in front of them is the hard part – whether it’s a brick and mortar situation or a digital one.
Creating a functional, measurable structure is the tricky part. That and combining the ‘social’ component with the dialogue. For example, my wife is comfortable in an environment where six people are conversing at the same time – together. (i.e.: either with a bunch of girls talking together or an online discussion. ) Not me.
I’ve never been able to get into forum discussions, for example, and I have tried for years on relevant topics. It is foreign to my sense of communication – and somehow counter-intuitive for me – looking around for relevant conversation and then weeding through the mountains of unrelated remarks, point and counter points and trying to follow the logic of the threads that is hidden somewhere within. I get frustrated eventually and leave. Most of all it is time consuming.
I can not stand Facebook. So I realize that I have to outsource all of the tech and social because it is a necessary component of traffic generation.
And yet in person, I’m great with clients and with strangers at parties or new environments, for example. I adapt quickly to conversations and have learned over the years to be a good listener (which was a tough one).
Somehow – online – I am not such a good listener and tend to be very particular about with whom I want to converse. This is not conscious, it just happens. Just like getting up and leaving the room where a conversation is taking place I am not interested in – at a relative’s house.
My wife always gets lots of likes on her posts and Facebook stuff. I joke with her that many people treat me like the troll under the bridge. The crowd opens a wide swath to let me through – like I’m going to eat their children if they don’t give me enough space to pass.. 😉
So as I read your post, it occurs to me (again) that I must often be talking to the wrong people – which brings me back to all the basics: targeted marketing, strategic and focused language and keyword / topical choices (as in latent semantic indexing stuff), link bait, email capture and sales funnel building.
I have learned in my workshops – and from personal experience – that we can never convince anybody to do anything, they always have to make their own choices. So we have to put people in front of the line who really like what you have and who really get it. We can not motivate anyone. We must, as an old mentor of mine (Bob Schmidt) said, you have to find motivated people in the first place.
It seems that I get trapped in my seemingly endless stream of new ideas.
The Net has changed and so has doing business, in general. Everything is hurry up and wait and there is an overall sense of people wanting push button results – coupled with a lack of patience. I have not done well adapting to the latest series of transitions and I am NOT a coder. I have been studying a long time and buying courses and building sites – and have not given up, but haven’t put the right combination together yet. I sense that I am very close.
I also need to become a much better copywriter, hone my salesmanship skills and become more strategic. I have a voice and a message but I don’t have the audience (traffic and loyal readership).
You speak clearly and I appreciate your approach to teaching and sharing information and I agree with the overall communication on your post.
I have had thesis for a few years and without php skills, the creative is limited. So I have been considering a new WP theme.
Thanks for the info.
Excellent post Dave. I just noticed after visiting your blog today that you no longer had that nice pop up anymore. Is there a particular reason that you took it down? 🙂
i agree, earning from blogging is VERY difficult, but I suspect(!) once you start making money from it, it gets easier to earn more and more… but first you need to attract right readers and find out how to convert them into your clients 😉
Excellent point David,
I think blogging is social media so it’s a good way to meet new people but if you aren’t prepared to do anything but gossip then you’re wasting your time.
It’s about conversion not just conversations.