Ok…both David Risley and Nathan Hangen have weighed in. Here are my .02 sense on blogging and making money online. You got a hint of this with ‘Problogging Is Dead‘ (free download…no opt in…hit it up!) where I showed you what it means to be a blogger that makes their full-time income online. It isn’t as easy as throwing up content and getting subscribers. Real, successful, money making blogs are much more complicated than that and based off of traditional business models that breed success. So…as others are weighing in on the blogging niche and where blogging is as far as generating income online, where do I stand and what do I think?
The Harsh Truth About Making Money Online
Everyone is not capable of making money online. If you are not prepared to own a real business that you are going to be 100% accountable for, you are not ready to make your living full-time online. There is no 2 hour work day. There is no income on autopilot. Anyone who tells you any differently…is trying to sell you something. Bloggers that make 100% of their income online are not bloggers. They are business owners that make money by leveraging blogging to attract clients, customers and consumers of their products, services and advertising.
There are business owners who feel like they only work 2 hours a day, but that is because they love what they do…not because they are actually working 2 hours a day.
A blogger is an individual who likes to get their thoughts out online as a hobby and could care less if they make a single dime. It is for fun and they enjoy doing it. More power to them as they are finding a way to express themselves…but with that attitude about online production, they will never make a full time income online.
I see a lot of bloggers that want to make money online, but they bring the employee mentality to their blogging. If you are going to own your own business, your mind does not shut off at 5pm. You do not have a set schedule you can adhere to.
As a business owner, you have more flexibility with your time but you gain that by taking all of the risk and investment. It does not come for free.
Making money online is exactly like making money in the brick and mortar world…the only difference is the low cost of entry attracts a lot of eager “bloggers” all looking to make it big. So what happens? We get a lot of blogs about blogging written by bloggers whose only blog is their blog about blogging (wow…that sentence got repetitive). The “take the journey with me as I figure out how to make money online by copying someone else’s winning formula and regurgitating it in my own words just to give up before my blog hits its first anniversary because I am not making any money because I have zero f’in clue what I am doing” is worn out and is done every 5 seconds in the blogging world. Did I mention that it fails miserably every time?
Most of the massively successful blogs online you never hear about because they don’t have a blog about blogging. A lot of times, they have a terrible design, a pitiful Alexa ranking and they are killing it with a massive amount of traffic and converting that traffic into income streams.
Here at RobbSutton.com, I try to keep any blogging tips directly sourced from how I have success on Bike198.com. The only reason I even started this site was to answer the multiple questions I was receiving about Bike198.com and product reviews/blogging. With that…I saw a need and I filled it with this site and Ramped Reviews. What I found was that I really like helping bloggers like I help cyclist on Bike198.com. So…I run both sites in my business under that presumption…I help people become better at what they want to be good at (my wife hate’s it when I end a sentence with at). It’s the basic principle of business expansion…
So How Do You Make Money Online?
Like I said before, you have to treat it like a real business and stop thinking like an employee. You have to start thinking of ways that you can generate real income and then attract the readers that will need that resource.
Look…all of the controversial posts and pure opinion stuff is fun. It generates a lot of comments, it creates traffic to your blog, but it also attracts a crowd that is critical and ready to rip your ideas/products apart without even laying eyes on it. If you are trying to make money online, is that the kind of reader you want scouring your pages?
Please do not take this the wrong way, but I do not need cheerleaders telling me how great I am in the comments of my posts…I need bloggers and cyclists that I can help accomplish goals. By helping you achieve your goals and dreams, I am able to achieve mine. Successful businesses help more than they receive. Think of it this way…the more your customer sells, the more they buy from you. If your customers (readers/subscribers/members) are not selling more, your business model is going to dry up quickly.
A lot of people would look at Bike198.com and think…that isn’t a lot of comments…this blog must not make much money. But the truth is that the cycling audience is not big on commenting…they are big on buying a hell of a lot of gear. It’s an obsession, so they **ahem** we scour the web looking for more information on the gear we want. Once we find the information we need…we buy! I know what my audience wants…I deliver what they want (honesty about products and tips on how to become a better rider)…and I make money doing that.
Find a profitable need, find the audience and then provide something that offers real value to that audience. There are many ways to generate this income from physical goods to informational goods to coaching. It is up to you to find out what works and what doesn’t. If your idea does not work, you learn from it and apply that knowledge to the next until you find a winning formula.
Stop beating your head against a wall wondering why your incredible articles are not making you any money. Unless you are a freelance writer, you are never going to make money off of just words. Even then, the freelance writers are making money off of the jobs they pull end due to their blogging and not the blog articles themselves. See the leverage?
I know a lot of this sounds harsh and makes some online entrepreneurs (maybe even me included) seem like they are solely focused on money. That isn’t true…they make money by helping people online. To help people, you have to gain their trust and make that connection, but you have to be making it with a person that is willing to consume what you are offering.
Also, there is ‘only right way’ of making money online through blogging. The only right way is whatever way puts money in your pocket on a consistent basis. You can click from blogging blog to blogging blog listening to the way they want you to do things. Some will say eBooks are dead, some will say Adsense is dead, others will say affiliate marketing is a waste of time…the reality is that you need to find the way that works with your audience and light it up! After that…test new ways and continue to diversify! If someone you are listening to is so close minded that they can only think of one way of doing things…they are probably not the person to listen to anymore.
You can be a blogger or a business owner…it is your choice and it all starts with your mindset…