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How One Blogger Made $3k a month by Helping People – And How He Can Help You

Posted By Jade Craven 9th of October 2009 General 0 Comments

A Guest post by Jade Craven.

JohnnyBTruantHave you heard of Johnny B Truant? He started writing at ‘The Economy Isn’t Happening’ but recently, he revealed he’s made $10’000 in 3 months. In his Ittybiz column, he told how he made nearly $3’000 in one month. He’s also written a couple of guest posts here on ProBlogger here and here.

What really attracted me to him was that he didn’t earn this money by taking advantage of people or using questionable tactics. He did it by finding out what people wanted and providing them with a solution that benefited them both.

In this post, I’ll talk about how Johnny did it. I’ll provide strategies and case studies so you can apply these tips to your on blog. I’ll even talk about the tactics he used to promote his killer new ecourse, for those who are looking at selling information products from their blog.

Finally, I’ll give you an exclusive discount for that e-course Zero to Business – just skip to the bottom if you want 10% off.

4 Ways To Earn Money By Helping People

Give Free Stuff strategically

strategyImage by Anil Jadhav

How Johnny did this:

  • He released a free instructional ebook about setting up a blog.
  • He did free website setups in return for testimonials

How You Can Do this

  • Barter your services with other skilled bloggers
  • Release an introductory report
  • Do free work in return for references or exposure
  • Do case studies highlighting your skills.

Case studies.

  • Leo Babauta, Skellie and Chris Garret got a lot of exposure because of their guest posting.
  • Neil Creek takes headshots of attendees at twitter meetups for use on their social media sites. He has received a lot of praise over this, both from the local twitter community and international photographers. He has gone on to get many more clients and enquiries.
  • Darren used to do case studies on his blog as an advertisement for his consulting. He no longer offers this service.

Provide calls to action regularly

callImage by kozumel

How Johnny did this:

  • He would frequently have P.S at the end of his post – including a few humorous ones
  • He would simply state “Call to Action”

How you can provide calls to action:

  • In the conclusion of the post, tell the reader what you want them to do
  • Give them an incentive to click through

Case Studies:

  • Ali Hales guest post on Problogger. She talked about the topic of staff blogging before encouraging people to check out her ecourse. As an extra incentive, she gave the readers a discount code.
  • Dave Navarros post on Freelance Folder, where he encouraged the readers to give an example in the comments.

Find your people.


Image by Elvire.R.

How Johnny did this:

  • He got a guest posting slot of Ittybiz, offering himself as a case study
  • He is on the faculty of Project Mojave
  • He has guest posted on the places where his target readership hangs out

How to do this:

  • Find blogs that attract the kind of people you want to target. See if you can guest post on that blog.
  • Seek  work and joint venture opportunities
  • Look for regular writing opportunities

Case studies.

I don’t need to offer any case studies. Look around at your favourite blogs. Do you see the same people being featured? Are the same people interacting? They are the loyal fans.

Are you a loyal fan of anyone? You’ll usually find you tend to hang out in that persons group. You may buy from more than one person. These are the people you want to connect with.

Selling something? Focus on selling solutions.


Image by Doug88888

How Johnny did this

  • He offered wordpress installs at a discounted price. To compensate, he asked that people buy through his affiliate link
  • He sold group coaching to those that couldn’t afford the price of individual coaching..
  • When realizing that people were still needing information, he created a course that was cheaper than getting Johnny to help them through the process.

How you can do this:

  • See if you can offer a service at a discounted rate in exchange for purchasing something through their affiliate link
  • Find creative ways of making your products more affordable without underpricing yourself.
  • Listen to your audiences needs and create products to help them.

Case Studies:

  • Sarah Prout does this in her Twitter Success Blueprint. She realized that businesses needed an affordable way to learn about twitter, so she created an ebook with information catered to professionals, as well as other twitter users.
  • Men with Pens do this with their blog critiques. They offer a discount for ones offered on the blog.

I know many people hate being sold too. Rather than promote his course Zero to Business, I’ll talk about what you can learn from it.

What you can learn from the course

There are three main things I loved about the promotion strategy:

  • He created humorous videos with viral potential.
  • He purposely  avoided hype in his sales page
  • He provided real and useful bonuses

Lets discuss how you can learn from each strategy.

The Humorous videos.

  • He mocked a number of the key sales tactics in the internet marketing niche
  • In his letter to his affiliates, he recommended that people promote the videos rather than the product

So – how can you adopt this to your launch?

  • Offering a quality resource that your affiliates can promote
  • Mock some of the common techniques used in product launches in your niche

Avoiding Hype

  • Johnny repeated several times that this product would provide technical solutions. It not make them rich.
  • He then explained the costs of learning this if you paid his normal consulting fees.

So – how can you adopt this to your launch?

  • Talk about the practical reasons about how your product can help someone
  • Explain to them how your solution is better value than the alternative

Cool Bonuses

  • He provided individual coaching to the first five people that signed up
  • He offered group coaching to those who signed up by a certain date.

So – how can you adopt this to your launch?

  • Offer bonuses that are exclusive and are not freely available to other marketers
  • Offer bonuses that will provide real value to the majority of your buyers

My call to action:

  • If you want 10% off Johnnys e-course, Zero to Business, just use the word ‘problogger‘ as the discount code. Its that easy.
  • If you want to check out Johnnys blog, go on over to his fancy new site.
  • If you want rants about zombies, check out his twitter feed.
About Jade Craven
Jade Craven is a regular Problogger contributor. She wrote the Bloggers To Watch column for four years and currently manages the DPS Pinterest boards. She writes about bloggers doing amazing things at her new project, Bloggers To Watch.
  1. I’m sure it would take a lot of time… but that is however a nice chunk of change for 3 months.

  2. I agree 100% percent we need a change in sales pitches as once people realise its a sales pitch down goes the phone or you hit the back button!

  3. Surely, providing the right solution to the client at the right time is the name of the game.

    This will explain to the client how much dedicated we are towards his work.

  4. Love or helping people is the character of God! Talent, service and mentor is the 3 component of success I have learn from you.

  5. Sharing is a good idea, sharing doesn’t make you poor but makes you even richier.

  6. Great article sharing and helping others is really good.

  7. Very challenging.. hope to reach that kind of amount soon. Thanks for tips Darren, I would definitely implement it right away.

  8. Interesting and informative post … earn money is not a easy task but it always help if you help others .. I like the post …

  9. Nice method to make money

  10. Thank you for this vision, but I don’t think that I can follow his example… Wish things were much easier.

  11. What he is doing is a simple supply and demand play. Starting out he has plenty of time (supply) and little demand (clients). As his time gets scarce, he will charge more and more for his services. I guess it is working out for him. Good for him.

    The only problem I have with what he is doing is that it undermines pricing in the freelance market and drives down wages for the rest of us. The other problem I have is that his client is left with a half-baked solution for $100 and they will either have to pay him more to get it right or they will have to get it done themselves. I prefer to provide my clients a total solution without the game playing. It is a good marketing strategy for him that seems to be working, so I can’t say much else about it. He should do well with the Craigslist crowd because they like paying $100 or less for a web site.

  12. Getting 10,000 in three months by blogging is very high compared to other bloggers. I think he must have used service such as adwords to promote his blog to get higher traffic.

  13. Charles – Not true; I can’t even figure out how to use AdWords. Everything has been done through networking and referral. Here’s a bit more detail, from my approximately-weekly series on IttyBiz. (Language warning; IttyBiz is a rough place): http://ittybiz.com/how-johnny-exposed-himself/

    Doug – My hourly rate is actually quite high. Depending on the application, if I’m charging, I never charge less than $100-$150 per hour. It’s tough because people think I’m cheap, but I’m not. I just find ways to 1) give very fast and easy (but good) projects to people with small budgets and to 2) find ways to get paid from other sources, like affiliate commissions. The goal is to get the highest income – not to get the most from the client.

    I’ve actually done quite a bit of traditional website development years ago, before launching my blog and online identity, and used to average $3000-$5000 for a site. It’s just the case that with these projects (and particularly the “$100 website”) that I’m targeting people who “just want something online already” and don’t need it to be complicated. They’re only so cheap because they take me very little time to do. VERY little.

    I’m really aware of the problem you raise, though. If I were building 10 hour sites month after month for $100, I’d agree I was part of it, but that’s just not the case.

  14. I am a frequent visitor of this site. I found few interesting and useful tips here. But then again i dont really agree for few of your ideas.

    People who needs to start a blog really have to think about blogging there own ideas. Only ideas which are different be success.

  15. OK! now i know i am in the right track.
    Thanks for boasting my Confidence mate!


  16. This is a great example of how to generate positive word of mouth for your business.

  17. Demond says: 10/12/2009 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the introduction to Johnny T. I enjoyed the article, and I like your blog becasue it provides awesome resources.

  18. It sounds awesome. I really like this post very much. Really nice method of making money. For me it’s an interesting and informative post. I found a lot of worthy informations from this post. Keep blogging.

  19. i really loved reading or watching case studies of those who really succeed,thanks for sharing these infos

  20. Great Advice for making money online by sharing and helping others… it would take a lot of time but I’m sure i can do that.. thanks.

  21. Hi there,

    I totally agreed that Givers earn more! And also because of this believe, i have started a Freelance website for designers in my Country (Malaysia). I have faith on Malaysian designers (all sort of designers from graphic designers to fashion designers) and believe that we can produce good quality and creative design to the world market place. India is recognized as a country full of IT professionals and i hope i can help Malaysian designers to reach out their work to the world.

  22. Go Johnny, Go! A sweet round up and lots of new variations on an old theme. Off to find out more:)

  23. Hello, nice idea to make money and I’m totally agreed with Johnny B Truant. Looking forward for more
    information and learning from you.

  24. Hi! Thanks for the innovative post for the womens so I really appreciate this and its one of the informative blog so keep blogging and stay tune with us.

  25. @ Darren (ProBlogger),

    I wonder how the 74 people who took time to leave comment on this post missed out your last “Call to Action” >> If you want rants about zombies, check out his twitter feed.

    Guess, the link attached to the “twitter feed” is somehow with an extra “l” at the ending (http://twitter.com/johnnybtruantl) and thus leading to an invalid and missing Twitter page!

    I hope fixing the hyperlink to point at http://twitter.com/johnnybtruant should straighten things up.

    Nice post anyway. I liked Johnny’s story.

  26. Great post! I try to keep in mind a principle I’ve learned from the very good internet marketer Frank Kern.
    That is to say to your users three things:
    – Here’s what I’ve got
    – Here’s what it’s gonna do for you
    – Here’s what I want you to do

    That has worked amazingly well for me. I hope it helps you guys too..

  27. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  28. I read this post and didn’t comment, as I was too busy putting out fires that day. I did bookmark it, and as part of my New Years resolution, came back to posts that I liked, in order to refresh myself. This was one of the “good” posts that remind me of some of Sonia Simone’s CopyBlogger posts on ethics and honesty.

    Steve Benedict

  29. That’s a flattering comparison, Steve, thanks.

    P.S: Don’t forget Johnny B. Truant’s CopyBlogger posts on ethics and honesty. :)

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