I don’t care if you’re looking for a second income or if you are retired and interested in creating a new revenue stream. Either way, if you want, you can make money with your blog. It can be a great small business idea — if you do it right.
It will take time and work. But if you are patient and willing to put in the effort, it can be very rewarding. One of my clients has done this and it’s working great so far.
My Experience Blogging
I started blogging about three years ago as a way to promote my books. Sadly, I didn’t have the resources that are available today to help newbie bloggers. After working my tail off for two years (without selling many books or making any money), I changed the direction of the blog. My goal now is to educate people in personal finance and make money too (not just sell books).
My 5 Biggest Mistakes
1. I wasn’t clear on my goals.
When I started, I didn’t know what blogging was. I just did it because my book agent suggested I do so. I didn’t know anything about developing the blog or making money from it. It took me a lot of time to figure that out.
2. I didn’t understand the three ways people make money blogging.
I knew that if I was going to put the time in, I better make some money. There are three ways to do that. You can sell your service or product. You can sell other people’s products. Or you can sell advertising. I spent a lot of time creating a product (Money Academy for Couples) before trying to monetize other ways. This was a huge waste of time. I should have first worked on growing traffic. Then I should have started selling advertising. After that it would have been smart to create products.
3. I didn’t understand what people wanted to read about.
For the first year, I wrote about stuff I thought was important. Even though I am a CFP, writing with the attitude of “knowing what people need to know” is rather self-centered. Once I started focusing on what readers wanted to learn about, I did much better.
4. I didn’t tap into the brain trust of successful bloggers.
The world of personal finance bloggers is really wonderful. Most of the folks I meet are very kind and helpful. They are honest and responsible. And they’re only too happy to help you out. I took too long to tap into that resource.
5. I wasted way too much time.
Here’s the thing about blogging. There is so much information out there you could make a career out of learning about blogging before you start doing it (let alone make any money doing it).
With all these obstacles, how can you start blogging and make money?
The good news is that since I started blogging, people have developed resources that make this business very doable and easy – even for people who aren’t that tech savvy. I believe you still have to be somewhat tech intuitive, but you don’t need to be a complete tech nerd in order to succeed in blogging.
The most exciting tool that recently came online is the Blog Your Passion webinar program created by Bob Lotich and Jonathan Milligan. Bob is a gentleman who runs one of the most successful personal finance blogs around. He wrote a piece called “How to Make Money Blogging,” which I read several years ago. Once I read that post, everything changed for me.
What does Blog Your Passion do?
The webinars are pre-recorded workshops that answer the key questions on how to be a successful blogger.
There are five major obstacles to making money blogging:
1. Getting started
2. Knowing what to write about
3. Managing time effectively
4. Getting traffic to your site
5. Making money
These are the top five reasons why people either don’t start blogging or stop six months after they start. (I read somewhere that 90% of bloggers quit within six months of starting.)
Bob and Jonathan overcome these obstacles one by one.
They have created a set of five webinars that walk you though each step and answer your questions. They provide great and unheard-of resources to help you get started, find topics to write about, manage time, build traffic and make money. Even though I’ve been blogging for several years, many of these resources were new to me and I’ve already started taking advantage of these great tools.
The first webinar walks you through setting up a blog. Following their easy instructions, a beginner can get their blog up and running within an hour. They provide checklists to make sure everything gets taken care of.
For writing posts, they give you insights into how to come up with ideas and do quick research to churn out quality articles in no time.
(The managing time segment was one I thought I wouldn’t need. But actually, I found this to be amazingly helpful. Bob and Jonathan really opened my eyes during this segment.)
Blogging Your Passion’s next webinar instructs you on how to build traffic. This is the most important foundation of any blog. Without traffic, you aren’t going to make money, so I was especially pleased to see this segment. The tools Bob and Jonathan introduced me to were simply amazing. I was embarrassed to say that I had never even heard of these tools before. I was glad I took the time to go through the webinar and take advantage of their wisdom.
The last webinar is where the rubber meets the road. Monetization. Without making money, you’re going to lose interest in blogging fast. This segment was super exciting for me. Even though I already make a respectable side income from my blog, I am excited about the future. I’m convinced that I’ll double my income from blogging over the next 12 months.
What I liked about Blogging Your Passion
First, I know Bob and have complete faith in his integrity and thoroughness. I wasn’t disappointed by what I got in his program. He and Jonathan break this business down one step at a time. Even experienced bloggers can gain a lot by going through the course. I know I did.
I learned a lot and discovered new tools that I expect will have a significantly positive impact on my side blogging business. I liked the fact that I could come back to the webinars and listen again whenever I wanted to. Convenient.
What Bob and Jonathan could have done better.
Each webinar was extensive like I said. The course provides two-hour segments. They are jam-packed with really good information. I would have preferred 10 one-hour segments instead. I found it difficult to carve out two hours at a time to watch each segment.
Also, I believe they could have created a nice summary page to highlight the resources and main ideas at the end of each section. That would have helped me tie it all together.
This series of pre-recorded webinars are a steal at $247 – and the good news is that Bob has offered my readers a $50 discount simply by putting “wealthpilgrim” in the discount code box at the checkout.
Had I owned this webinar series three years ago, it probably would have saved me over 400 hours in learning and wasted time over the last several years. What could you do with 400 extra hours?
So if you ask me if the course is worth it, I think you have your answer. Oh…and by the way, I expect to make up the cost of the series in about one week simply by using the tools Bob and Jonathan present.
Bottom line? If you are serious about getting into (or developing) blogging, you have no excuse for not taking advantage of this great program. I’m not sure how long this course will be available so I’m glad I went through it while it still was. What are you waiting for?
Loved the post Neal! When you blog about your passion, your enthusiasm shows in the post!
Before I write a post, I ask myself, what does this post offer that’s not already out there. I think that has been my key to growing traffic and keeping readers coming back.
Neal Frankle says
First…thanks! Coming from you these are very kind words. And your tip about asking yourself what can you add to the conversation is a great one. It’s something I try to do as well.
20 and Engaged says
It definitely isn’t easy making money online with your blog but it’s so worthwhile. I’m working on it with a few different courses.
Neal Frankle says
20 and Engaged — I’m with you. It is rewarding once you lift off from the runway. Keep us posted on your progress!