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It’s 9:30 pm. I just got out of the shower and I’m sitting here in my bathrobe and bath towel on my head. Don’t believe me? There is some proof for you below.
I won’t lie, this may come off as a bit harsh. If you’re someone whose feathers are easily ruffled, maybe this isn’t the post for you to read. Come back next time when I’m slightly less charged with passion. But if you’re cool with reading some no bull-shit insight and perspective, I think you’ll enjoy what I have to say. You may even feel gratitude after the fact. Who knows.
Keep me posted on how you’re feeling in the comments section.
So here goes.
The harsh truth: the reason why your blog hasn’t made money yet – it’s not because your blog sucks. It’s not because you’re not smart or you don’t have what it takes.
It’s because you’re focusing on the wrong stuff. You’re distracting yourself.
In a way, you’re doing it wrong.
If your feathers aren't ruffled yet, good, keep reading because it's about to get real.
At this point in my blogging as a business career, I have crossed paths with thousands of bloggers… truly. Thousands. Some of those were paying customers. Others were loyal email subscribers. Nearly all of them wanted to learn how to turn their blog into a profitable business venture. But only a few of them ever decided to do it the “quick” way.
Yes, yes, I know… I’m toeing the line here when I use the term “quick”. It almost sounds like I’m saying there’s an “easy” way to monetize. But stay with me, that’s not what I mean at all.
There are no get rich quick schemes. You know that. I know that. Your next door neighbor’s best friend’s mother knows that. That being said, some monetization strategies are quicker than others.
I’m willing to bet, if you’ve been blogging for a few months, years even, and haven’t made significant income yet, it’s because you’re distracting yourself with tasks and projects that don’t lend themselves to quick results.
And when a blogger doesn’t see results for an extended period of time, often times they’ll jump ship.
In my day (wow that makes me sound old), I've seen many bloggers jump the virtual ship. I’ve even gone so far as to reach out to some of those folks to ask, “Hey, where’ve you been? What happened?” The vast majority have shared with me that they simply weren’t getting a return on their investment (ROI). They had spent too much time and/or money on their blog/business and never saw any of it pay off, so they’re done.
Why weren’t they getting that ROI? Why wasn’t their effort paying off?
Was it because they had a bad idea? Or just because they didn’t focus on the right strategy to monetize that ideas?
Usually, it’s the latter.
Everyone has a different threshold for blogging without results. Some can go forever until they finally do start to see a light out of the tunnel. Most people, though, don’t have that kind of time. Most people have some deadline they’ve given themselves or some external stressor they can’t control- “I’ll blog for 12 months and if I don’t make money by then, I have to quit because [insert reason here].”
And because of that deadline (which is, more often than not, totally unrealistic), it’s so incredibly important that bloggers USE THEIR TIME WISELY FOCUSING ON TASKS THAT WILL ACTUALLY PAY OFF FASTER THAN OTHERS.
Note the all caps, bold and underlined text. That means it’s worth reading twice or even three times to let that message sink in.
The truth bombs continue. Let’s talk about your favorite monetization strategies and why they’re distracting you from actually building a solid income generating blog sooner rather than later…
I constantly encounter aspiring entrepreneurs who spend their days learning about how to install different ads on their site so that they can make some cash. It pains me. Unless your blog receives thousands upon thousands of pageviews per month, those ads aren’t doing anything more than hurting your user experience.
You're probably feeling sad, depressed or in denial right now.
But please please please do yourself a favor and abandon the ad networks, for now at least. You can always come back to them later when your traffic is up and you've build a solid foundation. Ads are just distracting you for now.
And then there are the bloggers who spend countless hours learning about affiliate marketing, how to join affiliate networks, and how to write affiliate posts.
Don’t get me wrong. I love affiliate marketing. I got my start with affiliate marketing. My first few bucks online were made through affiliate links – joyous celebrations, indeed.
But there’s an affiliate elephant in the room – the thing that most affiliate marketing courses don’t teach about, and the reason why many new bloggers struggle to turn affiliate marketing into the sort of income that will help them quit their jobs and change their lives – SEO.. search engine optimization.
Yeah, it’s true. If you want to make real money with affiliate marketing, you need to learn how to grow your domain authority and build healthy links to your site using white-hat SEO strategies.
Though affiliate income is AMAZING, it’s not a quick strategy by any means. It takes a long time to get in Google’s good graces and rank consistently for relevant keywords on page one of search results. If you don't have a pressing deadline to earn income from your site, then the affiliate marketing route is a decent one for you. But if you need to build an income from your website quickly so that you can retire your spouse, pay back debt, quit your day job, etc., etc., then affiliate marketing is not the wisest move for you.
So where does that leave you? What strategies remain?
Well, you could create your own products to sell. Hmm… just a thought.
Building an online business is all kinds of scary and overwhelming that sometimes we overthink things.
But the business model here is this: you create a product and sell it to an audience that you grow.
That’s it. Simple.
There are no prerequisites to selling your own products online like there are for ads or for affiliate marketing. You don't even need a website. You really just need #1 a product and #2 an email list to sell to.
So there you have it. I said it. Creating and selling a digital product and building an audience to sell to is going to be the fastest and smartest way to monetize (quicker than the other monetization strategies out there).
But only if you play your cards right.
Maybe you're reading this and saying to yourself, “Well shit, I did create a digital product, but I still haven't made money from it yet.”
If that's you, ask yourself whether or not you're still distracting yourself with stuff that doesn't actually lend itself to results. Are you publishing nonsense blog posts that don't relate to growing your email list? Are you spending all your time trying to grow a social media presence on platforms that your audience isn't even hanging out on? Are you working efficiently during the time you have allotted to work?
And then ask yourself whether or not you've actually done all of the key elements necessary to building an audience who is ready and willing to buy from you.
Have you created a freebie (aka lead magnet) to attract your traffic to your email list? Have you written a welcome email sequence to get your new subscribers hooked? Have you pitched your subscribers your product? Have you tried out different creative promotional strategies to grow your email list?
I’m not suggesting that creating and selling a digital product is easy. On the contrary, it’s very hard. But it is oh so rewarding.
The journey you’ll go through creating something from nothing and then making money from it… it is the most gratifying experience. So much sweeter than getting a meaningless paycheck from a job you don’t like.
But even though I've just truth bombed the crap out of this post, given a clear recipe for success (create and sell a digital product and build an audience to sell to! That's it!) only some people will actually do it. Most people will still try to do it all. Most people will still work on distractions. You can lead a horse (blogger?) to water… so the real question is, are you going to drink the water? I can't force you, try as I may…
So, tell me… are your feathers ruffled? Do you agree/disagree/hate my guts? Share your thoughts in the comments. I am dying to know what you think.
Oh, and do me a favor, if you think someone else you know may benefit this message, I'd love you until the end of time if you share this post!