Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a trend among bloggers who used to write about how to make money with a blog. It seems as though enthusiasm is dropping off and people are less likely to begin jumping into this particular niche. I’m not really sure what is killing it, perhaps it’s because of all of the sites that keep looking spammy and desperate to get people to buy their product. I suppose that’s just the nature of the beast.
I’ve even veered off course. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that the past five years or so have been really bumpy. In the time I’ve spent away from running this site, I’ve been doing all sorts of things. I’ve learned a lot about running a business, I’ve gone back to college, I started a band, and I’ve discovered who I am…which is probably by far the most rewarding of all of these things. Except maybe the band…that’s a lot of fun.
Given that everybody seems to be off doing their own thing, what is the future of the ‘make money online‘ niche? Does it need some CPR? Should we just put it in a box and call it a day? Looking around at some of the old blogs I used to follow, it almost seems that way.
But I’m not done.
Is blog marketing dead?
The fact of the matter is that you can still make money online. Even though ad blindness is a big thing, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are still ads on websites. There are still people trying to start blogs that need to learn how to monetize them, if for nothing else to help cover their costs of ownership. There are still people writing eBooks about how to make money online with very little effort (which is usually crap).
Let’s look at these things for just a second, because I feel they are very relevant.
1. Advertising still makes money! How do I know this? Because if it didn’t, everyone would abandon it. Okay, maybe Google changes and tweaks to AdSense rules have made it more difficult. That doesn’t mean anything. You are a blogger. You write content hoping people read it. Some of you probably spend hours tweaking away at your keywords hoping that you get a good search engine ranking and someone will like what you have to say. So what are you working for, really? Just hoping that someone sees your post? Great. Trying to make money? Well, if you aren’t making that traffic work for you, then you’re doing it wrong. You should set up your AdSense account, you should join an affiliate network like Centerpoint Media, and you should start setting goals, at least do SOMETHING to monetize your site.
2. Writing an eBook makes money! There are two ways to leverage an eBook to help your pocketbook. The first one is something that you probably already know if you’ve been reading make money online blogs…and if you don’t know this, you probably have noticed this. Many sites give away a free eBook in order to build their mailing list. How does building a mailing list make money? Easy…if you’ve never opted in for a free eBook, go try it. Get your free eBook and then pay attention to the follow up emails that you get…they will have other things for you to try. These are usually affiliate links. If you write a good enough eBook or sales copy, people will follow your links, and you will get paid for their purchases, opt-ins, or whatever. You may have heard people refer to this as a ‘sales funnel’. The second method, and this is something that many people might not quite see, involves selling your ‘how to make money’ product. Remember that eBook followup email? That link you clicked that took you to another ‘amazing training product’ makes the person who sent the email money, but when you purchase that product, you give money to the writer of whatever eBook you are purchasing.
Speaking of eBooks, you can get my eBook, The eBay Partner Network Primer here for just $0.99! (Psst…if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s free…)
Here’s the dirty little trick that those eBooks won’t tell you.
These gurus are making money and turning it into passive income through affiliate marketing!
Here’s an example: let’s say that I write an eBook and decide to sell it for $5 (I actually sell mine for $0.99). I can do that all day from my blog or squeeze page, but I’m limited to my own audience. If I recruit affiliates and let THEM do the promotion, I open myself up to a much LARGER audience. If I pay the affiliates $3 per sale, I’m still going to make $2 per sale off of that eBook…AND I DIDN’T DO THE WORK beyond writing it in the first place. What does that mean? That means the income becomes passive rather than active.
Let’s also assume that I can only reach about 1,000 people through my blog. At five bucks a pop, that’s $5,000 in sales provided everybody buys one (which won’t happen). But if I recruit 5 affiliates, and THEY have audiences of 1000 people each, that’s a total of roughly 6,000 readers (including my own). Let’s just make this easy and leave me out of it…so assuming 5,000 readers. If every one of those affiliates sell 1,000 copies and earn the $3 affiliate payout, they each make $3,000. What about that extra $2 per sale that I would get? Well, $2 x 5,000 = $10,000 that I didn’t have to work for!
Although these numbers were chosen for ease of math, you can see how affiliate marketers REALLY make their money…by developing their own product and recruiting other people to sell it for them.
Do a bit of research. You’ll see that people are still making money online, but the trick is to figure out how the system actually works…that’s the difference between a normal person and a pro.