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How a Blogger Creates a REAL Full-Time Income

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of December 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Internet Marketers and Bloggers are often seen as two very different types of online entrepreneurs. In this guest post David Risley looks at these two worlds and suggests some middle ground.

One of the questions I get very often when I tell people what I do for a living is this: How do you make money blogging? The readers of ProBlogger have a fairly good understanding of the answer to that question.

However, Darren’s latest poll clearly shows that the majority of bloggers out there are clearly not generating a full-time income. What is the difference between the blogger making serious money and those who are not?

Well, let us look at the stereotype of what a blogger does. A blogger writes. We write great posts, generate a lot of powerful content and then hit the "Publish" button. Stereotypically, then, we’d get paid by generating a lot of attention, getting lots of traffic, then monetizing our sites via various forms of online advertising.

This method of problogging is long and tedious. Many new bloggers become frustrated because it seemingly takes so long to generate enough traffic to make any serious money.

If we look at the most successful bloggers out there, you’ll find a common trait: They are MARKETERS, too.

Two Different Worlds

Herein, we are combining the often thought separate world of blogging and traditional internet marketing. In my experience in dealing both with bloggers and internet marketers, I have found that these two worlds often seem to be separate. The blogger is all about building traffic through publishing lots of really great content for free. The internet marketer jumps right into how to monetize traffic immediately. The blogger is all about the page views. The marketer thinks about qualified leads which he can then convert into a sale.

I have been to gatherings of internet marketers. Many times, they simply don’t GET blogging. In fact, they’re right on the verge of seeing the blog as a waste of time. Perhaps they have a blog, but they’ll use it as a tool in their product launch strategy. Once the product is launched, the blog is all but forgotten. Many internet marketers are only just now catching on with social media.

On the other hand, many bloggers often have a bit of an adverse reaction to internet marketers. They may think that marketers are spammers or that they’ll do literally anything to make a buck. They think of pop-ups, long-form sales letters and lots of hype. Sure enough, the world of internet marketing has lots of these kinds of tactics.

I’ve had my feet in both worlds. I understand the paradigm of both. What I have observed is that the most successful bloggers out there are able to successfully bridge the gap, take the best of both worlds, and turn that knowledge into a little online empire.

The Best of Both

The simple truth is this: The most successful bloggers out there are great writers who employ solid marketing skills on their sites.

In fact, most of the really successful bloggers out there spend time studying the most successful online marketers. I have personally studied the works of people like Frank Kern, John Reese, Jeff Walker, Eben Pagan and many other names which frequent the circles of internet marketing. I make a point to learn about internet marketing tactics. I am also a member of an internet marketing mastermind group. I would venture to say that these are things that a majority of bloggers don’t do.

The principle of creating lots of quality content will always remain true as a blogger. Making real money as a blogger means you need to SELL things. In order to sell things, you need to know how to market them. There is no more potent weapon than being able to build a loyal following in your market as a blogger and then be able to competently sell something to that audience.

You don’t necessarily need many thousands of page views every day to make respectable money online as a blogger. You can make good money with a blog which pulls in significantly less than that. The secret is to know marketing. Know your sales funnel. Know conversion tactics. Then put that knowledge to work to treat your incoming blog readers as sales leads. Like it or not, if your blog is your business, your readers are LEADS.

When a lead (a reader) arrives on your blog, you want them to read your content. You also want to convert the lead into something – a newsletter subscription or a sale. The answer depends on your particular audience and your market. Direct your reader into what you want them to do and place particular effort on improving the conversion rate.

What Do You Think?

Like Darren, I also make a six figure yearly income through my blogs. I do this in various ways, but I most definitely have gotten benefit through consistent learning of internet marketing strategies.

For many bloggers, this may be a paradigm shift. In addition to looking at your blog as a source of great content for your audience, you can look at it as a lead generator for something which makes you money.

Is this a view you already share? Do you find the world of internet marketing to be disrelated to blogging? Do you already spend time learning about marketing?

David Risley is a pro blogger who generates six figures per year in his blogging business. David Risley dot com is a pull-no-punches tale of his life as an Internet entrepreneur and problogger.”

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I agree.
    Learning about marketing is more than important for blogger if he/she want to make good income from blogging.

  2. Very interesting. I have a business background, but never relaly applied it to blogging. I just recently created my first strategic plan using a lot of the principles i learned in school. I hope it works out.

  3. Not to be rude, but I don’t know that this post had anything of substance in it. Some nice platitudes, but I felt like it was written for no other reason than to generate traffic. It’s comical when you think about it.

    I almost thought you were going to give me some incredible insight into the blogging world. What I learned is, you are making money on those who want to make money on blogs and don’t know how. Brilliant.

    Robert The “Oklahoma Libertarian”.

  4. I started as an Internet Marketer, after learning the Google AdWord stuff a.s.o. by Perry Marshall. Now I combine affiliate programs with it and it works very well. It’s in fact a business running on autopilot (but it’s by far not that easy like many scam-sites pretend) on a certain moment so you can focus on things that are more fun, like blogging.

    Of course I use affiliate programs on my blog, but always take care that it matches with the content. This is important. Don’t try to sell a washing machine in the context of a article about the newest sportcar. It’s easy, in fact.
    But in blogging you have to put much more time and effort. This is because your blog is like a wine. It has to become ripe for consumption.
    Don’t think that your Tawny Port will tast like a Late Bottled Vintage after three months.

  5. I think that good content automatically IS marketing. It doesn’t have to, nor should it always be, about smack-you-in-the-face advertising. But good blogging by definition is selling something, even if it’s just you as a great communicator. So it may as well sell something that makes you money! The reality is that when you build a loyal audience who respect what you have to say they will start to look for products or services that you recommend. My blog is only 3 months old but I’ve made an effort to focus my energy just as much on in-built marketing as great content.

    That way as my readers grow the marketing is already present. I think the key is to ensure that the content really is as brilliant as possible though – otherwise you’re just a barely-concealed salesman.

    If you don’t have your own products or services to sell then sign up with Clickbank and search for products that reflect your message; this is what I’ve done and it’s worked well.

  6. Nice post. Marketing holds the key to success for blogging!

  7. where is blogging going in the future with the content conversion setup?

  8. claudio says: 12/21/2008 at 2:23 am

    I think Darren understands the simple fact that blogging and marketing have never been mutually exclusive…….whatever strategy one uses on either camp, it should strongly complement the other.

  9. Great post.

    I started blogging as an experiment about 10 days ago. I hardly knew what a blog was before that. It is very fun to see how I can convert content into money.

    I’m happy to say i’ve earned about $90 in 10 days (~11,000 page views). Peanuts to you guys, but it makes me very proud to make something out of nothing!

    I didn’t realize how much time it takes though. I’m a physician and don’t know if i’ll be able to devote the time required.

    I’ll keep at it and see where things go.


  10. It is definitely easier to make money blogging when you have your own product and have marketed it well. It takes less time, less writing, less traffic. Affiliate marketing is another great way but for me if you can’t sell your own product well, you’ll never be able to master affiliate marketing either.

    And no affiliate marketing is not about writing a product review, its much more than that.

  11. This is a very good article. Thanks for posting it.
    Merry Christmas.

  12. Bloggers face the same quandry that writers have always encountered — Are they writing as a hobby or as a business?

    If the blogger is writing “just for fun,” then the focus is simply on creating good content that the writer enjoys crafting. If the blogger is writing as a business, a means to generate revenue, than he/she must consider all the usual marketing variables: product selection, target audience, price, etc.

  13. “You don’t necessarily need many thousands of page views every day to make respectable money online as a blogger. You can make good money with a blog which pulls in significantly less than that.”

    Can you associate some real numbers with this statement? Just curious. Thank you very much.

  14. Darren, I totally agree with you about “most successful bloggers out there are able to successfully bridge the gap”. I think this is very true, I’ve been trying to reach and close this gap, however you just mentioned the exact problem of what most bloggers missed out. Bravo post!

  15. Nice post, I agree your readers are your leads!

  16. Never the twain shall meet but you are right to point out that the A-list bloggers write and market well at the same time.

    So to earn real income blogging, I think we just got to brush up on our marketing skills.

  17. Superbe!

    I am in the category IM blogger, and I try to blog, while I monetize my traffic with my own products and affiliate products.

    My blog generates anywhere from $100 to $1000+ per month.

    I use it to get traffic, and also to communicate with my subscribers.


  18. Thanks for the info. I found it to be very helpful.

  19. I am not a big fan of high traffic.
    High traffic means nothing if your content is worth millions.
    8% of my readers become clients after reading me for 6 months.

  20. Yeah,

    This had been a subject that had baffled me ever since I started blogging. ‘Can blogging alone make ones living?’.

    I recently started http://www.iPENthisBLOG.com baring this truth to my readers, revealing a blogger don’t have only a blog to his name but a lot many more to make him successful.

    It was difficult to accept and reveal the truth but i wanted to be honest and made the move.

    As a return, now I am able to focus on all that a blogger would need, in one place, instead of multiple platforms to canvas my ideas.

  21. Hello,
    to be honest I’m quite confused. If we have to sell products to make money it means we must have the products. So a blog or a website is no different then other promoting blog/website which offer some products for the visitors. Is it right?
    Anyway, how if we don’t have a product? Can we expect 6 figures money only from the ads (adsense etc)?

  22. Awesome article. It’s a shame when the owner of a highly visited blog doesn’t know how to market and therefore leaves money on the table. It’s not about hard selling when it comes to blogging, but you had better know how to monetize the traffic so that you aren’t just wasting your time. The opposite is true as well. Blogs shouldn’t be just about creating sales either. Thanks for opening up the discussion.

  23. I appreciate all the great content this post has to offer. It is definitely possible to create a full-time income with blogs and you are paving the way. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and inspiration with us. It will definitely pay in dividends down the road. I look forward to future posts.

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