So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger Part 3

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From the desk of Victor Pride

Monday, April 15, 2013

Location: Bangkok

Subj: 3 ways to make money from your blog

Previous entries: So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger Part 1 and Part 2

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Money.

Money is freedom and power. I used to be a bit of an “easy-going, go with the flow” kind of guy. Do you know what happened when I started making money? I started getting things my way and I started saying no a lot more. I became much more demanding. Money is power. What I do now, write words on a computer screen and receive money back, is FREEDOM. In my last gig I was tied to a metropolitan area. I made better money than I do now, and would have become wealthy had I stuck with it, but I was tied to a certain city and I wanted freedom more than I wanted a million bucks.

Now when I look around I am truly amazed at what I have and where it came from. A religious man would say I am blessed. A lazy man would say I am lucky.

I would say I am creative. Not in the sense that I am a great artist or that I’m super talented at computering or that I’m too cool for school. I am creative only because I created what I wanted. If I can do it then certainly a percentage of other men can do it as well. What is that quote?

What one man can do, another can do” – The Edge

Ok, friends. Let’s not beat around the bush anymore, let’s talk about money and how to acquire some of it from your blog. There are 3 basic ways to make money from your blog.

  1. Selling advertising
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Creating and selling your own product

Before we review each step, let me ask you two questions:

1) What is the most important day of the week? Monday, of course.

2) How do you wake up on Monday feeling refreshed and energized? You check your email accounts and see how much money you made while you were farting around over the weekend. The greatest feeling in the world is seeing a bunch of dollar signs waiting for you. And if you don’t have any dollar signs waiting for you when you wake up, it’s time to create some.

ADVERTISING

You get traffic, you place ads on your websites, people click those ads, you make a percentage.

I don’t rely on this model, I hate advertising for other people’s products and you will not see many ads on Bold and Determined except for products available exclusively through Bold and Determined. There are 3 types of advertising you can place on your website.

  1. You can sell adspace for a set monthly price
  2. You can place ads where you get an amount of money each time someone clicks on the ad
  3. You can place ads where you receive a commission from any sale that came from the advertisement

Many people choose to run google adsense, which I believe is a truly stupid waste of time and resources. With google adsense you can only make pennies and you need HUGE traffic to make a living AND you are sending your readers AWAY FROM YOUR BLOG TO A POSSIBLE COMPETITOR. You want your readers to stay on your website, not to be so damn bored they click on an obvious ad to try and find something better. Google adsense also looks extremely ugly and your blog needs to look good. Google adsense is pointless for bloggers.

There’s a blog called Expat-Chronicles which is a perfect example of what not to do. The guy is a VERY entertaining writer but he isn’t doing many things right to make a nice living. For example he had this to say about google ads:

I have Google Ads on this site, and they pay about $100 every three months. That’s $400 / year, MAX. And that’s five years after starting.

He makes a piddly $400 per year on google adwords but, get this, he has google adwords in 3 (THREE!) prominent locations on his blog, cluttering up the layout and making it look like poop. All for a dirty, tiny $33 per month. I make much more than $33 per day and I don’t have any google ads, or even any ads at all. Google ads can and should be REPLACED. Everyone on planet earth knows what a google ad looks like and they aren’t being clicked anymore. If I were the writer of Expat-Chronicles I would yank all the google ads and replace them with ads for my own product. $33 per month is pointless and to have 3 spots for pointless ads is, well, also pointless.

Advertising Tips to Remember

It is best to LIMIT your number of ads, rather than plaster ads everywhere. If you have a choice between chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream that’s a very easy choice to make, and I will have vanilla 10 times out of 10. If you have a choice between 37 flavors of ice cream your brain is overloaded with choices and options. If you see 500 different ads flashing in your face you don’t want to click any, but if you only see one or two it’s an easy choice to click and see what the fuss is about. Simplicity. There isn’t a need for complication. Make things easy, don’t give too many options. When you go to McDonalds you know you’re getting a cheeseburger and fries, when you go to a Chinese restaurant you have no idea what you’re getting, they all have 100 options on the menu. Too many choices = no choice made. Make the choice for your readers, they are relying on you.

If you want to get jacked like ol’ Big Bear then pick up Body of a Spartan. If you are feeling like poop and not accomplishing anything then pick up 30 Days of Discipline and start kicking ass. Those are your two options. It’s not worth those few pennies that google will pay me to take you away from my site.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate marketing is terrific. You refer a product to someone and you get a percentage when they purchase. This model has worked since the dawn of money. You bring someone to me, they buy what I have, I give you a cut. If you like a product, surely a percentage of your readers will like the same product, so if you promote it and some of your readers purchase then you make a percentage of the sale. This is win-win for everybody.

The world’s biggest and best affiliate marketing product website is clickbank.com. I have been using clickbank for a long time and they have never done me dirty and have always paid me on time. This is BIG in the internet affiliate marketing world, making sure you get paid. With many fly by night operations and horror stories of shady operations that never pay you you have got to make sure you deal with reputable companies. If you want a product to promote, you can be sure you will be paid your earnings with clickbank. Some other reputable operations include Commission Junction and  ShareASale.

How do you find a product to promote?

Simple. Only promote what you use yourself. Go to the website of the product that you endorse and search near the bottom for an “affiliate” link. If there is no option so sign up as an affiliate put your game face on and send them an email asking if they have an affiliate program.

In the past I promoted a product called Superdrol. It’s a product that I believe in for one reason: It’s the most potent muscle building hormone on the face of the earth. It is now illegal and if I could go back in time I would buy 50 bottles of it. I feel comfortable promoting it because I used it myself and it worked unbelievably well.

Promote products you use and believe in and you can sleep well at night. I believe in killing with a conscience. When you do anything and everything for a buck you are always going to be struggling, but when you are genuine and believe what you say it will be obvious to everyone else. I’m even swayed by this. When someone who’s opinion I respect speaks favorably about a product I run out and buy it.

CREATING YOUR OWN PRODUCT

This is the best choice for bloggers and the method that I believe in the most. You can create as many products as you want, of course, but it seems to me the few options the better. One or two flagship products works well for me. Your own product is the representative and embodiment of  your website and your philosophy and you should go above and beyond what is available for free.

Creating E-Books

The cool thing amongst the cool bloggers is to say “Don’t sell e-books! That’s so gauche!“. I have seen many of those too cool for school bloggers up close and personal and they are all skinny hippies with dirty hair and their too cool for school nonsense is irrelevant. E-books are books, simple as that, and books are great. Reading and learning is for winners, being too cool for school is for nerds.

The only rule for creating an E-book is that you should know what you are talking about. Walk the walk before you talk the talk.

For some tips about how to create an e-book check out How to Write an E-Book for Fun and Profit (10 Easy Steps to Creating Automated Income). For some tips about how to sell your product be sure to read Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman and The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy.

Creating Technical Products

You can create other things like “apps” or themes, but I can’t tell you how to do that. I’m not up to date and hip on all the new technology. Just last week I purchased a smart phone for the first time in over two years, after my dumb phone stopped working. I used my new piece of technology today to take a picture of myself at the gym and was a little startled to realize the feminist harpies were right, I do look like a caveman, and cavemen don’t give advice about technology. Check out Brian Gardner for an example of a blogger who also creates and sells technical products. The guy creates the best WordPress themes I have seen, see StudioPress, and has a great blog as well.

There are unlimited products you can create and monetize, you are limited only by your creativity. All you’ve got to do is get to creating.

Make your blog exciting. Make the titles exciting. Make people want to read. Give away valuable information. Do your creating, and you will have your own little ATM machine.

-Victor Pride, over and out

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Comments

  1. DUDE great Post! Keep on posting it hypes me up! Also your comments boxes have shrunk you will need to take a look at it!

  2. Once again another great post, really kicking my ass into gear for my own site.

    I also did a bit of Monday killing and quit the soul shackling Mon-Fri commitment that was making me miserable and causing useless stress. Never felt better, time to make some real money.

  3. Tyler cell says:

    Hey I love the info on monitizing a site/blog. And I think one thing you said is super important, promote products you truly believe in and can sleep at night! And RIP superdrol!!!

  4. Haha, good to see I’m not the only one who find Google Adwords ridiculously stupid!!
    Oh, by the way… Do you have an affiliate program? ;-)

    • Victor Pride says:

      I do, but I’m a little neaderthalic figuring out how it works. If you want to be an aff shoot me an email and put AFF in the subject so I actually read it.

  5. I’m the “VERY entertaining writer” behind Expat Chronicles, and I’d like to say thank you for the props.

    Also, the $400 / year figure was before switching that header banner to AdSense. $400 is what I was earning in AdSense when that space was a banner for a local Bogota business. Since putting AdSense there I’m up to $3 / day, which we can estimate at about $1000 / year. Still “piddly” as you say, but just to set it straight.

    I’ve seen arguments against ads for aesthetic reasons, but I don’t give a shit about that at all. Seems like a hipster snob argument. I’ll be like NASCAR for all I care. However, your argument that it distracts from the primary products being sold (or email collection) is definitely valid. And something I’ll have to consider as I publish more books.

    Still, most of the top content websites in the world have ads and even AdSense, including NY Times and The Economist, which has a paywall and its own products. I’ll have to give it some thought, but thanks for calling me out in an area for improvement.

    • Victor Pride says:

      Hello Colin,

      I don’t even think $1,000 per year is worth it, esp. since you have your own product. Those other sites have huge readerships, for a small blog adsense is pointless. Anyway, I don’t care if your page looks like Nascar or is completely empty, but to have adsense in so many spots when it isn’t paying off is, to me, …well, you already know. Good luck, hope it all works out well for you. I always enjoy reading your stuff.

  6. Thank you Victor!
    You’re blog is, hands down, the most motivating site out there, and a huge personal influence.
    I understand that you only post when you feel like something needs to be said, but we want you to post more frequently. Yes, I can speak for everyone. I assume that you are busy killing some other shit, and can only hope that whatever it is, you’ll let us in on it when the time is right.
    Thanks again Victor,
    The Damn Man

    • Victor Pride says:

      BADM, you have my word that there will be more frequent posts on B&D from now on. I was busy with another thing for about 6 months, now it is taking a back seat.

  7. This is awesome Victor . I personally can not wait for the Spartan Entrepenuer ebook .

  8. Bonjour Victor,

    Great article, can’t wait for Spartan Entrepenuer. Where do you get the photos used in your blog? Once my blog is up I want to use vibrant pictures and I don’t want be sued.

  9. Great post, Victor. Very motivating. I like your simple style and how you don’t use 1,000 words to say something that could be said in 500 words.

    I added you to my blogroll, just so you know. I doubt it will make any difference in your traffic, but I only add people to my blogroll when I respect them.

    -Dr. Illusion

  10. Victor, you only make a living off this blog? That’s impressive considering that you only have two products at the moment.

  11. Is that you in the Body of a Spartan photo, Victor? If that is, you’re looking jacked!

  12. Man Reader says:

    Victor, we want more ass kicking posts about kicking ass on Mondays such as by kicking in the door of the gym at 6 AM and starting with deadlifts before going on to kick ass all day in between eating steak and eggs.

  13. Man Reader says:

    I will give Victor some free advertising. I’m not his friend, don’t know him and no homo.

    I purchased 30 days of discipline after a breakup with my ex GF who I dated for 3 years. I pick up hot chicks pretty easily but I have one-itus and I do one at a time. So I’ll admit I didn’t feel real swell after losing someone who was my lover for 3 years.

    So my goal with 30 days of discipline was to re-focus on working out (I’m fit but had slipped a little as happens in LTRs) and “be better with women” or literally to end the dry spell ASAP.

    Here’s what happened: IT TOOK ME ONLY 11 DAYS. Thanks Victor. No joke. And now I’m even working on ending the one-itus a little bit and spinning some plates. Buy 30 days of discipline and then do it.

  14. As ever, phenomenal writing and the education us up and comers need. I’ve been an avid reader of BAB for a while now, and to see that you are genuinely interested in giving others at least a pointing finger in the right direction speaks volumes. True gentleman.
    You confirmed to me ideas that I already had, now I have the confidence to implement them and kick some ass.
    Thanks again.
    T.K

  15. I absolutely love this site. I’m glad I found it… Your articles have great content – I actually went through the archives and read quite a few.. “Obsession is the only thing that counts” is my favourite. keep up the awesome work :)

  16. Hey Victor,

    My name is Marty and I am a bricks/clicks and mortar business owner in Australia (www.ont.com.au). I really don’t know how I found your site (I think I was searching something like ‘why the wealthy are hated’ and one of your posts came up). Anyway, I have found it to be a fantastic and inspirational blog to read about and it has inspired me to create a informational e-precense (grabgrowth.com) to inform other small/medium business owners and aspiring eCommerce traders on how to do it. Its very early days, but I have made a start and am keen to test results to see if a small/big income can be made online by selling my informative tutoring electrons all over the world rather than shipping actual product – the appeal of minimal freight is a big plus! So I dont know if this is the forum to talk about this and sorry for talking off comment, but would like to talk to you more about this…

  17. Great post. Looking forward to the re-release of Spartan Entrepreneur. I hope you can release it before the summertime so we can get a little head start.

  18. daniel ajaxs says:

    fuck the monies… I already have deep pockets… I want to know what drug you’re taking… How much longer do we have to wait..

    • Victor Pride says:

      Eat clen and tren hard, brother.

    • Be careful man, much research is required before taking any shit, and you shouldn’t take any shit unless you are over 25, preferably over 30. If you are then go nuts, just my .02

  19. Victor,

    With blogging, do you recommend folks stay anonymous regardless of what they’re blogging about (even if you’re selling something)? It seems if you use your real info online, all it takes is one, motivated person to screw you over. Thanks.

    C.B.

    • Victor Pride says:

      ^Good question. When I first started I was not anonymous, but I quickly realized after being stalked and harassed many times that ANYONE ON PLANET EARTH can get to you if you aren’t anonymous. Any asshole who wants your info can have it if you don’t have at least some privacy. I don’t think 6 billion people deserve to know so much about you. Like you said, it only takes one person.

  20. signed up today good stuff
    sad that i missed the spartan entrepreneur
    how can i get a copy?
    thanks.

  21. What do you think of backlink services to get more traffic to your blog? Helpful or ripoff?

    Thanks Vic!

  22. Thanks!

  23. Victor,
    You sir are a boss.
    Thank you,
    -redx1

  24. Hey, thanks for your help thus far! Here is where I am with my blog, I still have a ton of content to add:

    http://standuptribe.com

    Just wanted any feedback as to how my basic setup is. Also, since my site will be heavily content based, I’m trying to figure out at what point to I actually start marketing it? I’m a web developer for a living as well as being pretty efficient at SEO, just want to have enough content there so when people see the site they want to return, versus just coming there and seeing it all in one visit. My goal is to make it THE resource for stand up paddling.

    Thoughts?

    Jeff

  25. How much money can you make being a pro blogger?

    Jim

  26. Hey Vic,

    Any advice on posting images on your blog?

    Do you think it’s a wise to invest in a quality digital camera?

    Steve

    • Victor Pride says:

      Steve, if you can take good pics absolutely invest in one. If you’re a noob, no reason to buy an expensive one. I bought an expensive DSLR, I use it approximately never. Stock images will work fine if you don’t have photographic talent.

  27. Vic,

    Thanks for the blogging series posts – great stuff!

    Couple quick question for those just starting out.

    1) I assume you have B&D set up as an LLC, correct?

    2) and for those just staring out, do you think its necessary to up an LLC from the get go or wait till you actually start making money to do so?

    -Christian

    • Victor Pride says:

      1) We’re set up as an IBC, but an LLC is perfectly fine.
      2) Not necessary until you start to make money.

  28. Jane the Grad Student says:

    Dear Victor,

    Would you please shed a little light on what you would consider “quality” vs. “non-quality” blog content? Obviously, we can all cite examples of superior posting and what makes it so, vs. really bad posting and what makes *it* so… but it’s that middle part that gets confusing. Original content, strong writing skills, a voice of your own– I understand that part; but there are apparently a LOT of bloggers who *think* they have this part down, and yet never make it pro. Any suggestions from one who’s been on both ends?

    Best regards,
    Jane

  29. Hey Victor,

    I’ve wanted to ask you this for a while, but always forget; Since Bold and Determine’s creation, how long did it take you to make a couple thousand a month? At what point did this begin? I am going to guess most the money came in once you created and began publishing your ebook(s).

    Thanks!

  30. Raymond Pigg says:

    Hello, Victor pride
    I am a fan of your blog i enjoy straight to the point information. I am able to educate myself on things that i really want to do while sitting at my desk during freetime at work here on your blog. I will be seperating from the Air Force this October. Its a scary thing for me for i do not know exactly how i will survive but i want to be free and independent so the choice is something im passionate about and dont care what happens. I will be starting my blog evolved around personal development and becomming a man. I have learned allot during my two years of reading in the personal development area. I went from reading two books my whole life im 24 years old now to reading over 20 in the last 2 years. Not much to a reader but a big change for me. My question is do you belive i an have a successful blog by October? Any advice for me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance and keep up the good work Pride!

  31. Im not sure how I ended up on ur site however I am glad I did… I thought about starting my own site and blogging years ago,but felt the market was probly over saturated and wasn’t sure how exactly to go about it.ur article gave excellent sites to help someone start out as well as the pros and cons. I may just go ahead and give it a shot using ur techniques.thank u for ur informative and most of all interesting and truthful enuf to read all 3 parts.

  32. Im honestly both disappointed and confused, why do you sell us the idea in Body Of A Spartan that you are natural when you’ve been taking steroids?

  33. New to the blogging world, thank you for all the info! Excellent read, especially while I’m at my nine to fiver… even more inspired now.

  34. raymond chimhandamba says:

    Hi Vic
    Great advise on blogging, thanks. Been reading your stuff on ebooks and blogging for the past week and I think I am ready to make my “differentypeofcheese” ( I liked your example !!) My e-book is based on my expertise to sell hygiene products into low income channels/markets. I anticipate that people who are likely to buy my product in order to learn “how to” etc would in fact be a “corporate” type person and most likely legitimately using a company credit card. How do I ensure that it wont happen that “only one person buys online and makes copies for the whole office” type of thing. One way I know would be not to over-price the product.

  35. Victor,

    Where do you find images to use for B&D (apart from the ones you’ve clicked yourself)?

    Also, do you code for B&D or do you have programmers?

    • Victor Pride says:

      Stock photos at different stock image sites or take them myself. I’ve got a programmer on staff now.

  36. Hey Victor,

    I’m looking to start my own blog but I’m worried about getting spam and virus emails. On webhostinghub.com they have a mcafee protection plan but I have a mac that’s up to date, so I’m not sure wether to get the mcafee plan or not. Can you give me your thoughts on this? thanks.

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