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Making Money Blogging Without an Ad in Sight

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of May 2006 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

Money-Blogging-3One of the distinctions that I’ve made previously about blogging for money is that there are Direct Methods and Indirect Methods for doing so. Direct methods are where blogger makes money FROM their blog and Indirect methods are where a blogger makes money BECAUSE of their blog.

ProBlogger.net tends to focus more upon direct methods but I’m increasingly finding examples of bloggers who are using indirect methods.

Probably one of the most prominent examples of a blogger making money because of his blog (among other things) is Seth Godin.

The most recent indirect money maker for Seth is a couple of seminars that he’s running in June. The first seminar is a 12 seat seminar (very exclusive) which costs $3995 (USD) per person. The second seminar is a 60 seat seminar at $950 per person (discounts for multiple attendees from the one company).

Now Seth’s ability to hold seminars that attract people willing to pay that much for his time doesn’t only come from writing his blog (he’s written numerous books – many of which he gives away free online – and regularly speaks at conferences etc) but his blog is part of his approach to raising his own profile which results in many income earning possibilities.

The only ‘ads’ on Seth’s blog are for himself and the products that he sells. No AdSense, no affiliate programs, no banner ads – just Seth.

Seth embodies the ‘give it away‘ strategy that many bloggers making money indirectly from blogs use. In giving useful, unique and free content to his readers in his books, e-books and blog and by encouraging his readers to pass it on he continues to expose his ideas and personality to more and more people. Along the way the income generating opportunities arise and he’s able to sustain himself for the next round.

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. Seth Godin is a good example of indirect blog revenue. But still it isn’t practical of most of the regular bloggers, and they must use the direct methods of earn from their blog.

  2. That’s an approach i’d be willing to take when i’m 26, with 10 years in blogging and a good major in my profile already, i think i’d be able to produce worthy blogging-related content =); I think i can do that now as a teenager, but i prefer blogging my own interests from now and leave it to Darren until he goes on pension =P. (i never want him into pension though, hehe)


  3. The problem with indirect method is that you actually have to WORK to earn money… HEHEHEHEHE

  4. In my naivete I put ads on my blog almost as soon as I started it (back in September 2005). In a month I think I’d earned 30 cents or so and concluded that I was putting the cart before the horse.

    I’ve since removed the ads (actually installed them twice but ultimately removed them due to non-significant traffic).

    I wouldn’t mind benefitting from the indirect method as long as I could call the shots of when and where I worked (I was stunned at the figures you cited, $4g per seat, 12 seats max… and $1G per seat, 60 seats max… that’s over a hundred grand for the year, and it’s for two conferences??? Wow, where do I sign!!!).

    At any rate, I appreciate you making this direct/indirect distinction; gives me food for thought.

  5. One of the blogs I keep is indirect. It’s an outdoors blog which brings in people looking for information on anything I write about but the aim is to get people into my wife’s camping shop. I try and write about a wide variety of outdoors related subjects but also put in a plug about new products or lines that she’s got into the shop. It works quite well and feedback shows that my wife has made quite a lot of sales through people finding the blog first then being led into the shop.

  6. I have an indirect blog, which generates quite a bit of interest for my company. I’m a big believer that the more value you provide to people for free, the more they’re willing to pay for the services you charge for. You’re basically giving them a free preview, and then they’re not only motivated to purchase your products/services, but they’re also more willing to refer people to you.

  7. I’m possibly in a minority here as I don’t have much intention of making money via the direct method, but I’m fascinated by the potential of blogging as a marketing tool for my ‘real’ business – i.e. coaching and training.

    Since adding a blog to my website I’ve noticed a significant increase in traffic, repeat business and new client enquiries. I’m not Seth Godin (yet!) but the same basic principle applies – by using my blog to showcase my ideas and interact with visitors, I’m giving people a chance to ‘try before you buy’ – once they have some idea of where I’m coming from and how I work, it’s not such a leap in the dark for them to consider booking a coaching session or inviting me into their company.

    In ‘Big Red Fez’ Godin wrote that a website is basically trying to get visitors to do something – for direct blogs, its clicking on ads and buying things; for indirect blogs, it’s enquiring about services or engaging in some other way with the blogger. And both blogs have the common aim of wanting people to come back soon and tell their friends.

    The most encouraging thing I’ve learned from Darren’s posts is that what keeps people coming back for more is quality content – I think this is the crucial thing that direct and indirect blogs have in common. And to produce quality, you need to enjoy blogging for its own sake – if the blog is simply a means to an end, people will notice fast and won’t hang around.

    Maybe the choice between direct and indirect depends on whether you already have a ‘something else’ that you want to offer people, in which case indirect blogging makes sense. I can see how it could become all-consuming though…

  8. […] This relationship should hold true regardless of whether your site runs ads or is monetized by some other means. However, the change in revenue may not be linearly proportional to the change in web traffic. You may not even be able to calculate the actual relationship because it’s likely to be changing on a daily basis. […]

  9. I do something very similar to Seth except I’m definitely not charging the same prices. $900 for an exclusive, $750 for a group workshop.

    I’m a relative newcomer to my industry (the Dating Coach / Pick Up Artist) becoming commercial after several years of in field training seducing women. So I definitely do a lot of “give it away” for free advice and tactics and stories while at the same time marketing to a rather exclusive niche (ie Asian men).

    I do have Adsense and some affiliate links. In time, I hope to produce e-courses and ebook, but that’ll take a while. One, I’ve been traveling so much around the country helping my Asian bros out. Two, I’m just a really lazy dude, LOL.

    The direct methods have been adding a little pocket change, but not that much. The indirect methods of real life teaching are forming the bread and butter though it is still far from a full-time job. Not that I even need one at this point, it’s just fun traveling to different cities, helping my bros, and picking up women.

    Anyways, did some quick calculations last time I commented and like DR pointed out, I’m a 5 figure blogger baby! Still, all those air miles can be rough.

  10. This would take longer and more talent to do, but can make you more money!

  11. When I started up Paul’s Tips, I decided to try a couple of strategies for generating revenue. I’ve got AdSense ads on there, and paid premium content. While I’m not getting rich from it just yet (the site is pretty new), I’ve been surprised that quite a few people are signing up for the premium content. While a lot more people click on the AdSense ads, I probably make about as much from the subscribers each month.

    When (well okay if) the site gets more popular, it will be interesting if this trend keeps up. Even back in the early days when I was only getting about 30 visitors a day, I usually got someone signing up every week or two.

    Anyway, something for all the probloggers out there to consider.

  12. I think this is exactly what blogs should be used for… as a marketing tool for either self promotion and/or business promotion. A blog offers search engines something to crawl regularly (so keeps your site up in the search ranks), it provides your human visitors with some useful information… and most importantly, potential customers can see from these posts whether or not they can trust the person behind them and their products/services. A greater personal connection can be established between the blogger/business and his/her potential or returning customers

    So a blog provides a great marketing tool in that sense, and I think Darren you should be telling people this point a lot more often. As let’s face it, blogs have already saturated the Internet and so it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find that niche to start a blog in and make some money.

    Darren’s success with his blog/s is a rare case and yet many bloggers who write great content (perhaps Yaro from http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com ), struggle to make a decent income from their blogs.

    Tip: Don’t chase the dollars directly when it comes to blogging. Build a sustainable business and utilise blog technologies to exponentially grow that business.


  13. Blogs are in fact a great marketing tool. Even big companies can use blogs for indirect advertising, but it can’t work for every blogger.

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  15. Blogging is turning into making money whether it is direct or indirect. THe example of Seth Godin is good one. Even big companies r doing it. But it is not going to work for the regular bloggers.

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