Busted Baby Boomer Uses a Blog to Sell Up a Storm
I remember it well.
It was September 31, 2006
That’s when my life changed forever.
It was the day I started my online journey.
But I didn’t start out with a blog. To be honest, I didn’t know what a blog was. But here’s the thing: when I started my blog I made money from it almost immediately. Compare that to the experiences of the vast majority of bloggers.
Sometimes I think they’re like the proverbial struggling artist living in a tiny room in a bad part of town. They love what they do, but so broke they’re eating baked beans three times a day.
Count me out!
So I took a different pathway to most so called bloggers, which is no bad thing. Here is what I did. I started with a product and promoted the crap out of it.
So, my experiences gave me a different perspective on the topic of blogging. And if you’re struggling to make money with your blog, perhaps it’s because you’re looking at it wrong.
See, I’ve got this view that many bloggers (I hate that word but can’t think of another right now) focus on the wrong things. They’re too tactical, and they’re working with the wrong set of assumptions.
Don’t Be a Bird Brain – You’ll Do Your Head In
Look at it like this.
Imagine a bird trapped inside a house. The owner has departed for an overseas trip. Before he left, he closed all the windows but forgot to shut a small window in the attic. Unfortunately, the bird was in the master bedroom – all the windows are slammed shut.
But the bird tried to escape. He kept banging his head against the glass over and over again. Eventually, his little head was so sore, and his body so exhausted, that he quit.
He sat on the windowsill, exhausted, and looking wistfully out at his favorite garden, but was resigned to his fate. Then – after an hour of feeling sorry for himself – he detected a slight breeze. A slight waft of air had somehow found its way into the master bedroom. What to do? Stay put or take a chance and investigate?
Luckily the little bird decided to take a risk and follow the air flow. Soon enough our feathered friend found the room with the open window. Free at last!
Success in business is a bit like that little bird story. We can hit our heads against the wall, and do the same old things in the same old way, over and over again. But unless we change direction, results will probably be the same.
Many Ways to Skin a Cat
And the reality is that there is always more than one way to do business.
A friend of my family used to illustrate the point crudely with this statement: ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat.’ And he was right – there are always many options. The question is – how many options have you explored?
Back in 2006, I wanted to make money online. That was my starting point. But how to do it? I joined an affiliate program.
It wasn’t just your standard garden-variety affiliate program – selling ebooks and cheap courses. This was a big ticket program – their lowest priced product was $1,200.
Why did I choose that option?
Simple – it paid a good commission, and after the sale was made, the moolah was quickly dropped into my bank account. I needed that because my financial situation was dire.
I was living in a million dollar house and couldn’t meet the mortgage payment. I owned a Mercedes and a Lexus and was finding it a challenge to put gas in the tanks.
My traditional business was on the ropes, and I hadn’t paid myself a living wage for months.
Something had to change. And change it did. Did it work? Yes.
Even though I was only doing it part time, I managed to generate commissions of $9,200 in month one and a lot more after that.
As mentioned at the outset I didn’t have a blog. Truth be told, I had no idea about blogs.
Was I into social media? No way. I had no interest in that stuff either.
So how did I find customers? I ran ads – I spent $650 with Google Adwords in the first month. The ads generated leads; then I called them.
If you have chosen blogging as your sole or primary money making strategy, may I suggest that you also incorporate other ideas into your strategic mix?
Another Way to Make Money With a Blog
I didn’t launch my first blog until three years after I started as a quasi-online marketer. So by the time I kicked off my blog I was already making money selling high-end digital products (courses etc.), as mentioned.
The blog was merely another tool that I added to the marketing mix. Initially, I didn’t care about blog traffic. The sole purpose of the blog was to enhance my credibility and posture with my audience. In other words, the blog was a conversion tool, NOT a traffic tool.
Was it helpful having a blog? Yes, for sure. My sales conversions improved and over the next couple of years I scored a hefty increase in the number of easy sales, a benefit that I still enjoy today. Easy sales done dirt cheap – for sure.
Understanding there are many pathways to your destination, I would like to expose you to just one of them here. Is it the only pathway? Of course not, but it might represent a good starting point for you. Take a look:
- Start With a Product. It could be a digital or physical product. It perhaps a service or even a business opportunity would work just fine for you.
- Promote the Product With Advertising and Social Media. Don’t rely on your blog – push the envelope by promoting your products/services elsewhere (your blog becomes a support tool, nothing more).
- Drive Traffic to a Capture Page. This will produce subscribers for your email list. Building a list is mandatory, by the way.
- Produce Some Blog Posts. Create posts featuring customer stories, testimonials, case histories (even if you haven’t made any sales yet, you can borrow stories from other affiliates). Your blog posts should also discuss issues, pain points, problems and conceptual solutions. You can also show people how your product is the answer they’ve been looking for. Finally, if you have specialized knowledge about the product and its application, feature it in a blog post.
- Produce Some Videos. Leverage your text based blog content by creating short videos, then load them to YouTube.
- Send Automated Follow Up Emails to Your Subscribers. Don’t just pitch your product every time you send an email. Send subscribers to your quality blog posts instead.
- Spread the Word. Every time you publish a new post let your subscribers know about it. Also, promote it on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you’re a B2B marketer, consider using LinkedIn too.
The foregoing represents one way to do it. As I said, there are many others, but the point is that the blog becomes just another link in your marketing chain.
After all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, right?
What Business Are Your Really In?
I want to wrap up with a few thoughts on an important strategic issue.
You might say you’re in the business of blogging
I say – tosh!
The reality is that you’re in the business of solving problems and improving lives. Only a good product or service can do that.
So we start with the pain points, problems and hot buttons of our target market, then work forward from there.
Does a blog play a role? Absolutely. The purpose of a blog is to educate, inform, challenge and motivate visitors to take the next step.
But the point is that if you’re crystal clear about the core issues facing your target audience, you should have no problems finding products and developing services which you can promote with gusto. And importantly you’ll develop a game plan that articulates a multi-faceted client acquisition strategy, which will include your blog.
Next Steps For You
I suggest you do some brainstorming. Articulate the problems experienced by your target audience, and how you propose to solve them.
From there you can develop a simple game plan detailing products chosen to solve the problems, as well as other info on how you intend to bring the message to the marketplace and get the revenue flowing.
If you need help let me know
Your Turn – Time to Comment!
What was your biggest takeout from this post?
Does your blog represent your sole income generating strategy?
What other strategies have you developed as a business owner?
After reading this post are there any ideas that you will now embrace?
Make a comment below!
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I will give you 30 minutes of my time (by phone or Skype) for brainstorming, including specific strategies on your USP, customer messaging, and narrative development. That’s a $300 value. I’ll always focus on skyrocketing your income by showing you how to attract clients who pay you top dollar.
All at no cost to you. All I ask for in return is a testimonial and the opportunity to build a valuable relationship.
Results matter, so that will be my focus for you – to give you useful ideas you can use straight away.