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?
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.
- Selling advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- 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 FOR YOUR BLOG
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.
- You can sell adspace for a set monthly price
- You can place ads where you get an amount of money each time someone clicks on the ad
- 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 McDonald's 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 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 to 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 fewer 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.
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).
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.