I happened upon this post, I Blogged Myself to Poverty on a blog ironically named My Way to Success. In this post the author, Tony, laments his lack of success while blogging and asks, “Someone please tell me the secret.” Well, I thought I’ve give Tony, and others like him, a possible answer to his question. But first, let’s examine what Tony is doing wrong.
Lack of Work Ethic
This problem is common with low entry cost businesses like blogging. Unfortunately, this attitude permeates Tony’s post. He would rather veg out in front of the television than applying some self-discipline and doing some work. It is obvious that this kind of ’strategy’ won’t produce much of anything.
He seems understands some of the basics but doesn’t want to be troubled with implementing them. He doesn’t want to write articles or build links. If one doesn’t want to do that, then why blog at all? Find something else profitable to do.
Sometimes people procrastinate because they want everything to be ‘right’ from the start. I cover how to deal with this problem in this article from my October 2007 200 post blitz: Avoid the “If I only…” Trap.
The Wrong Topic
Yes, as you might guess, Tony is blogging in the infamous “make money online / blogging about blogging” niche. While success can be found in that niche, it’s a much longer term process than simpler niche blogs. Courtney “Internet Marketing” Tuttle is describing how to build a flagship blog in a series right now. He’ll be the first to tell you that building such a flagship around “make money online” or “blogging” is very difficult. I also wrote a somewhat cynical/satirical version of this last month in a series called The Secret Guide to Social Blogging Success.
Bad Monetization Strategies
Tony is using Adsense on his “make money blogging” blog. This is generally considered a bad move. Adsense doesn’t earn well on this kind of blog because the ads typically pay about 3 cents a click. Even worse, using it on this type of blog can result in the entire Adsense account becoming “Smart Priced” thus cutting the earning from all of your Adsense sites by up to 90%. My recommendation? Dump the Adsense on this blog, yesterday.
My monetization advice to Tony, and others like him, is to try something different, as I advised in my Big Honkin’ Ads series. Rotate ads. Try new things that nobody else is advertising on blogs. Watch your stats to find out what’s working and what’s not. Just don’t sit passively by with Adsense and other 125×125 ads that everybody and his brother runs on their blog and everyone sees day in and day out.
Turning it Around
I’d guess that Tony wants to turn things around and really wants to make money online blogging. Assuming that this is the case, and procrastination time is over with and he doesn’t want to live in a van down by the river, let’s look at some ways to do this:
1. Drop the idea of a “make money online blogging” blog if you’re just repeating everything that the big time bloggers have already said. Instead, this is if you want to keep blogging in that area, find your own angle that fits your talents, where you’re at yourself and what you’re doing. Think outside the box and be unique. I describe how to do this here: Sacred Cows Do Make Great Steaks.
2. Re-examine your monetization goals and methods. I wrote this article series, Your Blog Monetization Options, not that long ago that describes some of my own experiences and research. The bottom line is that you are unlikely to make huge sums of money from a single blog or site. You will need multiple sites of various types to begin to see a real income. That’s why Niche Blogs are becoming popular.
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4. You probably should ignore some big time “make money online” bloggers who are either trying to sell you on some expensive training course or ramp up ‘review’ or who aren’t really making much money themselves but only building social fame.
The ’secret’ is in finding your own voice while relying on the experiences of others who’ve been there before. Experience is the best teacher but it’s often cheaper when you learn from someone else’s experiences. Don’t expect instant or easy results. Have patience and wait for your plans to mature. Don’t be afraid to fail. It will happen from time to time. Pick yourself and move on when it does. It’s just that simple and just that hard.
Do you have any advice you would like to offer Tony either here or on his blog? Any thoughts on what I said? Do you know what I did in this post other than offering some advice to Tony? Post a comment and let me hear from you.