Hey there, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here, welcome to Episode 133 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I want to travel back in time and play for you the video that I recorded back in 2010 on the topic of The Secrets of Making Money Blogging.
I get asked all the time what’s the secret, what’s your main secret, as if I’m holding something back. I always find it really difficult to answer that question. What I want to play for you today is my attempt back in 2010 to answer this particular question in which I share seven different secrets about making money blogging. Now, of course, none of these are secret, I put them online in 2010 and a lot of it is stuff you have all heard me talked about before.
I put this video together in response to the question that I got from a friend who is really struggling and who was really grappling with whether he should continue to keep blogging or not. I put this video up on YouTube and it’s one of the most viewed videos that I’ve ever done. It’s not gotten a million views or anything but I think last time I looked about 50 thousand views which for me is pretty good.
The other thing about this video is that it got me banned from YouTube. This video actually got me banned from YouTube for about a month I think it was. I think it was because I had the title Secret of Making Money Blogging which was a little bit spammy I guess in some ways or maybe people thought it was a get rich quick kind of video. You will hear as you listen that it is not a get rich quick video, in fact it is quite the opposite. One of the points actually talks about the long-term value of it.
I do share some things that I think are really important for bloggers of all stages to hear. Whether you are just starting out blogging and you dream of making money from blogging, these seven things I think will help you along that path. Or if you have been blogging for a while like my friend who’ve been blogging for a little while and was struggling with it and was wondering if there was a secret that you didn’t know, these are seven things that I think are perhaps helpful reminders. I will say this one thing that has changed from the video that you are about to hear or the audio that you’re going to hear.
At one point in it, I talk about having four blogs. At the point that I had this video, I did have four blogs going, I had a blog, ProBlogger, I had Digital Photography School, most of you know that because I still have them today. Also, I had a blog on Twitter, so it was called TwiTip and I had another blog called FeelGood which was about feeling better. Those last two blogs are on pause at the moment, I haven’t had them for quite some time. If that is of confusion to you, that is the explanation for that.
Everything else I mentioned in this video I think still really rings true today. In fact, as I just listen to it again, I think they’re really important things and I’ll pick up on a couple of them at the end of this clip.
The last thing I’ll say is that I recorded this in 2010 with no microphone. I was sitting in my living room, on the couch and you can actually view the video if you like, I’ll embed it into the show notes. It is a little bit echoey but I hope you’ll forgive me for that because I think the information that you need is important. Also, I did consider kind of rereading it or re-saying it today, I think it’s kind of nice to hear it as it came out because it did come out of a real-life conversation that had happened just before I recorded it.
Without further adieu, I am going to press play on it and it goes for about eight minutes. At the end, I’ll come back and recap it. You can if you prefer to watch it and I am just sitting on the couch, that’s not a whole lot of visuals in it. You can view that over at ProBlogger.com/Podcast/133 where today’s show notes are. Okay, let’s get into it.
Hi, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here. I had a conversation earlier today with a new friend who’s just started to blog. He’s been going for a couple of months now, and he’s a little bit frustrated. He’s hit a couple of brick walls and he wanted to sit down and just sort of pick my brain on the secrets to making money from blogging and making money on the internet.
It’s a question I get asked a lot particularly in interviews. You know, “What’s your number one secret to make money online?” I always struggle to answer it because ultimately there is no secret and there’s no one way to do this. You can look at the variety of Internet marketers and see a whole heap of different methods to do it and approaches to do it but I began to share with this friend some of the things I guess that I’ve learned, particularly in the last year or two, about making money online. I asked him for his notes because he was writing everything down, so that I could share it in the video. This is kind of the stuff that I said to him.
Number one, I talk about trying to do something online that you really love. Choose an area, a topic, a niche, an industry, that you have some resonance with, some appreciation for, some passion for. There’s a whole heap of reasons for doing this. One, it’s much easier to stick with it for the long term. Two, those who read what you produce and come across you will feel much more drawn to you if you are passionate about it yourself. I just personally find it much easier to make money from something that I actually have a genuine interest in, because I’m able to produce products and blog posts and content that connects with people because I know what turns those people on, I know what will get them reading. I know what will get them purchasing.
If you have an interest, if you have a passion, then try to center what you do online around that. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money from something you’re not interested in or that you don’t like; it’s just a lot easier to do it that way.
The second thing I’d say—and I repeat this over and over again on ProBlogger, but I think it just needs to be said—is be as useful as you possibly can. One of my most recent videos on ProBlogger was about my son telling me, “Tell the world something important.” And really, that is it. That is what it’s all about for me.
Again, you can make money online by doing things that aren’t useful, that aren’t important, that aren’t really enhancing people’s lives, by ripping people off, but it’s much more satisfying if you’re doing something that is actually useful, and it’s much more sustainable in the long term if you want to build a business rather than just make a quick buck, if you actually make connections with people and be useful to them.
The third thing I said was that you need to be confident. Once you’ve chosen something to produce and to focus in on, and once you are starting to be useful, it’s much easier to be confident but you still need to work on that confidence. Many people get online and they feel that they’re not able to sell themselves, they’re not able to sell the things that they do. Look, that’s difficult to do, but you need to learn how to do that. You need to approach this confidently. You need to make offers confidently. You need to approach other potential partners confidently. If you are nervously doing those things all the time, people will sense that.
That doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert and you need to hype things up. A quiet confidence will go a long way for you. Work on that aspect of things. Push yourself forward if you aren’t one of those confident people. Get people around you to encourage you in that as well. Be as confident as you can.
The other thing I talked about with my friend today was diversifying what you do, and not just focusing upon one income stream. This is a bit of a tricky one because if you diversify too much you can end up not really doing anything very well. But what I’ve tried to do over the last eight or nine years now is diversify on a number of fronts.
One, diversify the topics that I write about. Now, I have four different main blogs that I produce content for, four different interests for me. By doing that, I’m diversifying, and if one doesn’t go so well I’ve got the three others to back it up.
But I’m also trying to diversify the income streams. And you’ll have seen, even in the last weeks I’ve produced a breakdown of my income streams over the last couple of months. You’ll see I’ve got eight or nine different areas of income. I’m not just relying upon ad networks like AdSense, or I’m not just relying upon my own eBooks. I’m trying to build in different income streams so that if one falls over, or if one takes a little while to take off, there are other things there to supplement that income.
In the early days of my own blogging and making money online, I diversified by having a real job as well. When I first started, I had three jobs, so I had this diversification, I guess, of the income streams. That helped me to be much more sustainable in the long term.
Speaking of long term, the number five thing that I’d say is that you really need to take a long-term view of this. You can make money fast on the Internet, but it generally comes after years of building foundations. A number of times, I feel like I’ve made a lot of money really fast on the Internet, but as I look back on it there’s usually been two or three years of work, of building relationships with readers and producing content for free that have led to these bursts of income. You do need to take a long-term view of things.
You need to see it as an investment. A lot of the times when you make investments, you don’t get a return on those investments for a number of years, and the same is true on the Internet. See the time, the energy, and perhaps even some money that you’ve put into those things as an investment that hopefully, one day, will pay off.
The last thing I guess I said to my friend was that you really need to treat it as a business rather than just an event. Making money online again, it can happen as an event, it can be these moments where you make money, but most online entrepreneurs actually see it as a business. It’s not just a one-off thing where they make money, and then they go and try something else. What I’ve tried to do is to build a business that has this diversity of income, but is also growing over time. As you release a new product, you need to think about ways of driving traffic back to that product over time. As you do affiliate marketing, you need to build systems that will continue to promote things to your readers using an auto-responder.
You need to think a bit strategically I guess is what I’m trying to say. A lot of people get online, and they produce content, and they think that it will make money by just getting readers. You need to think strategically about how you’re actually going to monetize it. You need to think about it as a business, you need to think about it strategically.
Probably one of the main things for me in terms of building a business rather than just having a job online is to actually build products into what you do. Don’t just rely upon advertising revenue, or marketing other people’s products. Whatever you do, try and work towards having some products that you can sell of your own, and then develop systems around those products to sell them, not just when you launch them, but in an ongoing way.
Those are some of the secrets of making money online that I guess I’ve been thinking about, particularly over the last year or two. There’s a whole heap more of course, but I’d love to hear some of your secrets to making money online. You can leave them in the comments below this video.
I hope you found that interesting, a little bit useful. It’s kind of weird going back in time like that, six years, to hear myself. I guess I sound pretty similar, except for the echoes.
But also to think back some of those things that I’ve learned back in 2010, just to recap. I talked about doing something that you love or something at least you have an interest in, something that you have a passion for. I talked about being useful, doing something that matters not only to you but to other people, that enhances their lives in some way, being confident with what you’re doing, actually approaching it with some confidence.
As I’ve said in that particular clip, I don’t think that means being overly confident. You can still show when you’ve got your doubts, you can show when you’ve made your mistakes that makes you more human but be confident about what you’ve got to say, your story is important, it is your story so tell it with confidence.
Number four was diversifying what you do. Number five was taking a long term view. Thinking about it strategically I guess was the 6th point that I’ve made and then 7th was I talked about products and creating something that is yours to sell on your blog. That may be a product, that may be an information product like an ebook or a course, or it could be a physical product or it could be you, your service and what you have to offer in terms of consulting or speaking on something else as well. I hope you found it useful today.
I would love to hear your feedback on the seven things that I shared in this and any other secrets that you have found along the way, you can find today, show notes including a full transcript of the podcast today, and the video itself. If you want to check that one out over at ProBlogger.com/Podcast/133. If you’d like to leave a comment there, disagree with something that I’ve said, add to something that I’ve said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that as well.
Thanks for listening today, I hoped you enjoyed this little flashback to 2010, also and maybe you could tell us in the comments today what you were doing in 2010 and how’s it changed for you. I’d love to hear from you and I’ll chat with you in the next couple of days where I will talk to you in Episode 134 of the ProBlogger Podcast.
While you’re just listening to silence, maybe you could head over to iTunes and leave us a review of this podcast. I would love to read what you think about the ProBlogger Podcast, it does help us to spread the news a little bit to other people who might find it useful as well. Leave us a writing, leave us a review and I will check it out, maybe I’ll even read it out in a future episode of the Podcast. Again, thanks for listening, see you.