make money blogging

Make Money Blogging: The Bootstrap Guide To Monetizing Your Blog

So you decided to start a blog but aren’t really sure how to make money blogging. I was once a member of that club, and I’m here to help you leave it.

Understand that blogging isn’t what it used to be. Most people can’t just start a blog writing about the things that they love. That isn’t the key to getting traffic to sell ad space for thousands of dollars. In fact, the ad space for thousands isn’t realistic for any novice blogger.

But there’s another realistic method.

These days people have to treat their blog like a business. You need to sell actual products and services through it. There is a way to automate the sales process so you can just write your heart out, if that’s what you really want to do. But you can’t get around at least selling products to go blogging full-time.

The best thing about selling products and services through your blogs is that you don’t need a ton of visitors to make money blogging. You just need the right visitors. Quality over quantity is what’s allowed the blogging for business sect to thrive.

Here’s a break down if you have no idea what the steps are to undertake this.

Target Your Ideal Reader

Targeting starts with setting your focus. Who are your ideal readers? What are their pain points and desires? Where do they congregate. How do you get access to their congregation area (Facebook Group, LinkedIn, etc.).

All of these questions need to be answered, with clarity, before you proceed. Your blog and the products you sell won’t be for everyone. They will effectively repel just as many people as they attract.

Simply put: if you’re attracting vegans you won’t sell many fishing rods.

Your efforts will be for naught unless you target well.

Attract And Engage Them

Now that you know where your audience congregates, go get them. It’s time to generate some traffic. This can happen in several ways.

You can stay active on social media in your target audience’s congregation areas, use networking online as a tool to pull in traffic from complimentary influencers, or pay for traffic.

Once you attract them you have to engage them. Use social media and email lists to send them valuable post after post after post. These places are also where you’ll redirect them to your blog.

Relying on RSS readers isn’t the best choice anymore. So few readers spend time on them frequently enough. But everyone’s on Facebook. Engage your audience where it’s most accessible.

Free Training Video
Click here to watch my free training video about how to get targeted traffic to your blog without using a social media following or SEO.

Find Out What High Ticket Products They’re Interested In Purchasing

While you’re spending time with your target audience creating value and visibility (also known as brand awareness), validate product and service ideas. Find out what they are willing to pay for. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you want to avoid failure here. Model from what’s already working.

Focus on high ticket products first.

Validate your product ideas by asking your target audience flat out what products they’ve paid for and would likely pay for in the future. When you get a resounding yes, create a bottom barrel version to see if they put their money where their mouths are.

Then scale.

I recommend selling products even though I sell services. They’re just easier, especially if they’re digital/information products. (I’m actually in the process of transitioning to product sales).

By the end of this step you should have a clear idea of what your target audience is willing to pay for.

Choose Elements Of The Larger Product To Create A Value Ladder

Break down that high ticket product into smaller pieces that you can repurpose and offer as a value ladder.

A value ladder is the stepping ladder customers take to find and purchase your high ticket offer.

If a guy you barely know says “Hey, give me $10,000 per month and I’ll turn it into $1 million in 6 months” would you? Probably not.

But if he says “Hey, I have this free checklist that will help you learn to grow money” you’d be more willing. And if you like it –which he’s betting you will — you’ll probably then take him up on his $12 book. Then, if you like the book, you will purchase his $100 video training, and so on.

Value ladders build rapport, and customers need them to trust you with their hard earned cash. The key here, though, is to make sure the smaller products of the value ladder all compliment the high ticket offer at the top of the ladder. This is the key to getting those who would be interested in actually purchasing the high ticket offer, up the ladder.

Choose a company with a full value ladder in place if you’re going the affiliate marketing route. If they don’t you’ll have to create your own, which you can easily do by combining products from multiple affiliate programs. It’s just easier for brand consistency to go with something like ClickFunnels that has an entire range of free to top-dollar products.

Either Create The Products Yourself Or Become An Affiliate

Now its time to either create the products yourself or find an affiliate company that has already made them.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Signing up for an affiliate program and selling those products has a turnaround time of under an hour to launch. Making your own products could take months if not a couple of years with varying levels of focus, motivation, and life occurrences.

Affiliate products are also tested, and it’s pretty easy to research which products are already selling so you can set yourself up for success. Yours will have to go through the growing pains of testing that affiliate products have already been through. It might not sell.

On the flip side, there’s one thing affiliate programs can never give you that you might be able to give yourself — lifetime job security. Even in a niche that sustainable and lasting companies go out of business and get shut down. Someone else is always in control of when you’re done, and you might not even be ready.

There’s also the perk of grossing 100% of the sale rather than making a comission. More money for fewer sales is always a great thing.

On that note I recommend starting with affiliate products while you create your own, ultimately giving you the best of both worlds.

Now, Make Money Blogging

It’s time to start selling.

Start showing the people you’ve attracted how your products and services can change their lives.

Start by launching the lead magnet. Your free checklist, free webinar, or whatever the case may be.

When someone opts-in to download the lead magnet they’ll opt-in to be sold on the next step in the value ladder. Your $12 option.

Once they buy the next product they’ll be transitioned to the next step and receive that sequence, and so on, until they hit your high-ticket item.

This can get really complex if you don’t know what you’re doing, but there’s a free book by that genius millionaire dude Russel Brunson that breaks it down really well in my opinion. You just pay for shipping. Click here to check it out.

Sell Ad Space To Boot Once Your Traffic Is High

Once you start getting about 10,000 hits per month you’re in a good spot to start practicing selling ad space. The revenue won’t be much, but it’ll be a good amount of cash to pay for Facebook Ads and the like to help boost your email list opt-ins and get more people up the value ladder to that money making product.

Next, click the image below:

What Trump Taught Us All About Marketing (Even If You Hate Him)

I love marketing because it’s like having super powers. It’s the closest thing to mind control us muggles will ever experience, and it’s up to us to decide to use those powers for good or evil.

Regardless of our opinions of how evil, good, or excusable Trump’s incentives and actions have been, not a single one of us can deny that he’s pretty damn good at tapping into the minds of people and getting them to behave in his favor.

He executed a well laid plan with excellence, and any marketer who doesn’t observe and learn from it is doing themselves a disservice.

I’m not alone in saying I sure as hell wouldn’t work with him, but we can all learn from him.

Choose The Target Audience That Will Show Up For Game Day

The Number One key element between running as a republican or democrat: republicans historically have a higher voting turn out. So I don’t care who you are, when you run left you’re automatically setting yourself up to have to work harder than your opponent to get people off of Facebook and to the polls.

Frankly, judging by the past three primary elections this point is especially valid if you are a white male, which is only the tip of the iceberg he offered up on the podiums throughout his campaign. 

Which brings me to my next point: people don’t buy products, they buy solutions. He knew that his target audience (republicans) would buy the solutions he’s selling.

Lesson: Choose the target audience that is more likely to actually show up and buy into what you’re selling on game day.

Polarity is Crucial to Visibility

As a president I hope Trump becomes much more well rounded, but as a marketer this worked for him and every massively successful business on the market.

He didn’t gain popularity as a candidate because he sought to make everyone happy.

He gained popularity as a candidate in doing the exact opposite: he actively sought to make those who stand in opposition of his target audience unhappy and proudly announced his lack of fucks when met with said resentment.

He tapped into everything his audience was feeling victimized by, named his opposition the antagonist, and ran with that point of view as hard, loud, and proudly as he could, sparking controversy across not only the nation but the entire world.

And he did so with such bravado that people couldn’t help but talk about it.

It worked. He dominated headlines. He dominated social media. He dominated conversations throughout his entire campaign. He even helped control the conversations by planting ammunition in every interview and speech he gave. No matter how those conversations turned out, one fact remained: everyone has something to say about Donald Trump.

He broke the theory and proved, more than anyone ever has, that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

Where you tap into polar opposite viewpoints you create discussion and debate. Debate begets controversy, and controversy creates an audience that is bound to grow and take seats on one side of the aisle or another.

He could surely have been much more civil about accomplishing this, but make no mistake that in the classical sense this is how word of mouth marketing is born. 

Don’t Just Appeal to Them. Vindicate Them.

After gaining popularity you have to create more and deeper loyalty in your target audience. This is what many marketers refer to as your “1,000 true fans”.

Trump relentlessly sought to gain as many “true fans” as he possibly could in the time frame he was given.

Because Trump understands that there’s a difference between those who say “I like that sweater” and those who say “I’m buying that sweater”.

He took a group of people who had concerns and issues he understood thoroughly. He vindicated those concerns by going to bat for them, he offered himself up as the solution, and he took the first step in crusading for them before they even knew he was an option for pain relief.

They crusaded for him in return.

Don’t just appeal to your prospects’ pain points. Be their ride or die. Promise to relieve that pain, and fight for it. The harder you fight for them, the harder they fight for you.

Summary

Be wildly focused in choosing the right target audience. This is the foundation of your success. You make the wrong move here and you’re effectively setting yourself up for failure before you even start.

Inspire people to converse and debate by creating polarity. While you’re making some love you, you should also be actively turning others off so there’s something about your brand that people can’t help but talk about.

Vindicate the concerns of your audience. Understand them so thoroughly that you can tell them you know exactly how they feel, how deep their pain is, and offer yourself up as their champion with conviction and purpose. Crusade for them, and they will crusade for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why So Many People Buy Into Religion, Relationships, and Family

Have you ever wondered about that? Why society takes to these concepts, many of which seem so inorganic and out of place in humanity if you really think about it.

Little about science agrees with religion.

Little about our natural behavior patterns as a species abides with the notion of one life parter.

And I don’t know about you, but I celebrate and share more with my friends than I do my cousins, aunts and uncles.

The answer: people buy into religion, relationships, family, and anything that’s being sold because it relieves pain.

Some of the biggest industries to learn marketing from you probably didn’t even realize were industries, but Churches make money, Wedding Planners make money, and Family Counselors make money (as do hotels during reunion time). And none of these are “trends” or “fads”. They’ve been here, and they’re staying. You should learn from them.

People invest in religion because it offers a result that relieves a profound pain. The fear that everything just goes dark in the end. Feeling like you could spend your entire life making something of yourself on earth for it to be worthless after death.

Whether it’s reincarnation or Heaven, religion tells you there’s more to your existence than this life you’re living now.

People invest in relationships because they offer a result that relieves a profound pain-loneliness. You look around at all your friends in relationships. You see the cure to loneliness they’re getting and gear up to pay the same price they pay without even considering an alternative.

Tack on the long term goals–the human aversion to growing and dying alone–and here lies the ever common longing for marriage.

People invest in family because it offers a result that relieves a profound pain. Your family is the group of people that’s supposed to accept you and love you no matter what. Even the best friends turn out to have love for you that’s flaky and conditional. But you make it home for Thanksgiving and the same cousin is there that gives you shit and threatens to fight anyone else who gives you shit.

There’s something safe in that, something warm that feels like home. Family is a code a group of people abide by that helps you feel like you always have someone, even when you have no one.

You don’t sell a product or service because it’s cool, because it’s pretty or based on what the benefits are. You sell a product based on what pain it relieves. You disrupt a market because you’ve helped a massive amount of people with a similar pain point, not because you thought of the coolest idea.

How are you relieving pain?

 

The Market Didn’t Kill Your Business. You Did.

Every business flop is a result of a lack of resilience.

 

Your business didn’t fail because of a crap product, or bad service.

 

I think that’s what a lot of people have a hard time understanding. What their business is founded in:

 

Your business isn’t your product or your service. Your business is the result you bring to people’s lives.

 

Which means your business doesn’t die unless you stop engineering results for your market.

 

So you dreamt up this big idea for a product that you didn’t validate. You create a business based on this invalidated product, you take it to market and it doesn’t sell.

 

And to you, that means your business is dead. It’s actually those words coming to fruition in you that kills your business.

 

Wake up.

 

Your business didn’t spontaneously combust in opposition with your best effort.

 

Your business is too young to not bend to your whining and giving up.

 

There’s a difference.

 

You still have room to learn a lesson and execute the original intended result for those same people who told you no before.

 

How?

 

You go back and test other products that deliver the same result, validate it. Model your success from what’s already succeeding in your market. You launch again, and you sell.
 
If you lacked resilience in your execution the market didn’t kill your business.

 

You killed your business.

 

6 Pro Tips for Seeing Profit During Your ClickFunnels Trial

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-34-05-pm

If you’re anyone who’s anyone you’ve likely heard some great things about ClickFunnels by now but aren’t really sure how to get started.

Dipping your toes into that 14 day trial to get a taste of automated income is pretty tempting, but honestly most people make the huge mistake of jumping in too early, ill prepared, and end up paying for the full service before they see the results.

I’d like to change that.

It’s best to go into the 14 day trial fully prepared to hit the ground running with your first funnel so you can start making profit (or at least break even so you can make profit after) before the trial is over.

Here are some pro tips to getting started on the right foot so the day you sign up for the trial will be the day you launch your first funnel–getting you started on a great foot.

Pro Tip #1: Map Out Your Funnel Before Signing Up

You don’t have to be inside the software to know what you want your funnel to look like and how you want it to function.

In fact: ClickFunnels will give you 6 free pre-made, highly effective funnels during the trial so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Take a look:

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-33-09-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-38-11-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-38-19-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-33-35-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-33-30-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-33-24-pm

These are just the landing pages that your leads will land on to opt into whatever you’re selling. ClickFunnels also incorporates the email sequences that come thereafter. They recommend seven–or seven points of contact before people are happy to purchase–but you can use as many as you want.

Figure out what lead generation you want to use (my preference is Facebook Ads), what pre-made funnel you want to use, and how many emails you want to have. Map out what benefits and value you want to offer in each.

You should have an excellent idea of what your funnel’s going to look like before signing up for the trial. If you sign up for the trial and then start mapping, you’re wasting valuable trial time that could be used for launching and automating some income.

 

Pro Tip #2: Create ALL of Your Content And Have it Ready to Plug-In

This is due to the same lesson as you learned in pro tip number one–you don’t want to waste precious trial time backtracking, like so many new subscribers do.

Now that you’ve mapped out your funnel it will be easy enough to just start executing some content. Set aside a couple of hours every morning until everything you’re going to plug into ClickFunnels is already created.

 

Pro Tip #3: Have Your Lead Generation Method Ready For Launch on Day 1

This also generally means prepping it early.

There are plenty of lead generation methods people use, but I’m going to talk about Facebook Ads because they’re the most trustworthy, equitable, and effective in my experience.

Design your Facebook Ad, from headline to copy to image. Plug it into the power editor, target your audience, and set your ad spend and dates, before you start the trial.

It’s like saving a blog entry for publishing. Once you get into ClickFunnels and plug all of your content in, you don’t want to then have to go create an entire ad campaign in addition to that, or order Solo Ads, or whatever the case may be.

This is all about getting the foundation set up before you start the trial so you don’t waste trial time, but the following tip takes it to the next level.

Pro Tip #4: Set Up Your Affiliate Funnel on Day 2

Once you sign up for ClickFunnels you are automatically given an affiliate account so you can make commission from promoting ClickFunnels.

(Yes, I am an affiliate and my affiliate links are being used in this pos so that we all benefit financially–together)

The cool thing is that ClickFunnels already has some pre-made, starter content templates (in addition to those remade funnels up there that you can easily get a little creative with), so making a standard affiliate funnel that will at least net you what you’ll be spending on the service is easy as pie. 

So, while you’re waiting for the results to roll in from your first full day of your main funnel you would be leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of 40% recurring commissions you’d get with the affiliate funnel (not to mention they’re currently offering a free car to anyone who signs up 100 people).

Keep in mind that once you set up the affiliate funnel it runs on autopilot too. The income is automated, so it’s simply DUMB not to at least set it up for the trial.

Pro Tip #5: Get Your Own Affiliates to Promote Your Product or Service Right Away

You can set up all kinds of different operations with ClickFunnels, but one of the no-brainers to get started with is to set up an affiliate program to get someone else to sign up to.

Think of it this way: you probably know someone who is a low level influencer and can hook you up with a few buyers. Why not ask them to help you out?

For instance: If you’re running a home remodeling service you probably know a busy Realtor who wouldn’t mind passing along his affiliate links to his clients. If you have that kind of help it just helps you break even and make profit even faster.

Post on your Facebook Page and ask if anyone is interested in making commissions by posting an affiliate link for your funnel. You’ll be surprised what happens.

Pro Tip #6: Use These Guides to Educate Yourself on How to Persuade Your Leads Every Step Of The Way

Beginner’s Guide to Running Facebook Ads That Convert by Neil Patel

Your All In One Guide to a Successful Webinar Funnel by Stephen Esketszis

4 Landing Page Hacks That Create a Flood of Conversions by Neil Patel

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson (FREE BOOK–order it now and it’ll be at your doorstep before you sign up for the trial, so you can go back and tweak your funnel after skimming through it or during testing)

 

Click Here to Sign Up For Your ClickFunnels Trial Now