Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking Imperative

scaredy cat

Your Dead ‘Make Money’ Blog – Why Is it So?

If you’re in the business of blogging (that is, your income generation strategy revolves around your blog), and you’re in the ‘make money’ niche, you may be experiencing these problems:

  • Little or No Engagement
  • Little or No Shares
  • Little or No Sales
  • Little or No Income

On the other hand, maybe you’re getting heaps of engagement, yet you’re still not making money.

You were attracted to this post for one simple reason.  You’re a ‘blogger’ (whatever that means), and it’s not working for you.

You’re not getting plenty of traffic, engagement, leads and sales, right? Bottom line – your blog isn’t feeding you.

Things is grim, eh?

Before you start whacking yourself with an ugly stick, I’m going to give you some comfort.

But first, I want you to know something.  It’s not just you – most bloggers are also broke.  In fact, many of the bloggers you think are successful are finding it hard to pay the rent and put food on the table.

Read on.

The Broken Business Model

One of my pet peeves is that some bloggers in the make money niche teach  a strategy which directs newbies to teach others how to make money with their  blog!

It’s like network marketing.  You join a business to make money.  You’re not making money but to build your ‘business’ you need to find other people who want to make money.  On it goes.

Is that a whacky idea or not?

The Fake It Till You Make It Bloggers

Bloggers who try and make money from their blog (as opposed to those who – like me- just use the blog as part of a sales process) are invariably struggling to make ends meet.

But many in the blogging community think the bloggers they look up to are rolling in the cash.

Look at the ‘evidence’.  They post great content, and they get lots of comments and shares. They MUST be killing it.

Really?

An example of a failing blogger with a good reputation:

Last year I met a blogger who had a good following.  When she published a post, she also got plenty of glowing comments from her many fans.

She was a good writer and knew his stuff.

To my mind, she was a very successful blogger.  But then something funny happened.  She shared her income for the previous three months.

I was staggered.  Her monthly income was around $1,000.  Shocking, right?

Here is a reality:

These folk often display a veneer of success, yet they’re probably as broke as you.

But there’s more.

Over the last 12 months, I’ve witnessed plenty of other prominent ‘bloggers’ disappear off the face of the planet.  One minute they’re in the zone – budding blogging rocks stars for sure – the next, they’re gone.

In fact, just two weeks ago one of my heroes wrote her final blog post – she too had quit. Here was a lady who had a huge following.  She had been dubbed The Engagement Queen by her peers – but despite all the accolades she walked away.

Why?

Too much work, not enough return.

The simple reality is that all the accolades in the world will not pay the bills.  And get this – most of their fans are broke freebie seekers.  How ya gonna make money from them?

But there’s the thing.

I won’t be quitting from blogging.  Blogging helps me make money month in, month out.  How?  I employ a better strategy.

Read on.

How My Blog Helped Me Make More Money

If you check this post’s heading you’ll see I included the words, ‘scaredy cat’.  I did that because some bloggers are too timid.  When it comes to trying different things, they’re not comfortable.

But to get from point A to point B some change will be required.  Sometimes it’s good to think outside the box and come up with different ways to reach a goal.  That’s why I also included three more words in the headline – the ‘lateral thinking imperative’.  So let’s move on and look at a different way to make money from your blog…….

So let’s move on and look at a different way to make money from your blog…….

Look at your blog as a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Because I had already sold several hundred thousand dollars worth of products online before I started my blog, my focus was different.  I didn’t need my new blog to generate traffic and leads because I was already getting a steady flow from other sources.

So when I started my first blog in 2009, I already had some online runs on the board.  Sure the blog was rough and ready, but it didn’t matter.  To me, the blog was simply an add-on strategy.

All I wanted was to establish me as an authority in my niche, so I could ultimately convert more leads into sales.  It was never my intention to blog for the sake of blogging, and my blog has never been the center of my universe.

That said, my blog has helped me make money, more easily.

Another crucial point:

My focus was on conversions.  I figured that my blog would be a credibility booster, and one thing I’ve learned about marketing is that business is easier to do if you have plenty of credibility with your audience.

Now this strategy is entirely different to the strategies used by most bloggers. Their focus is on traffic.  That’s why they engage in activities such as guest posting, blog commenting, post roundups, etc.

But I already had traffic and leads flowing.  All I wanted was to convert more of the leads into sales.

So my suggestion is this: instead of looking at your blog as an end in itself, look at it as a means to an end.  It’s purely one of the players in your marketing orchestra.

Instead of seeing yourself as a blogger, see yourself as a business owner or a marketer. You’re a person who sells stuff.

Make a Frigging Sale Will Ya?

make a sale

A lot of people who enter the world of online marketing struggle to make even one sale. So let’s put the issue of blogging to one side for a short time, and focus on selling.

Make a frigging sale will ya?

Many people spend so much time on blogging and content creation that they forget the reason they’re doing it.  Surely, the objective should be this: to make sales so they can quit their job and build a better life for themselves.

If you still haven’t made your first sale, no worries.  Now is the perfect time to rectify the problem.

How to Sell Products Without Your Blog

Here is my idea for you.

I want you to make some sales without in any way involving your blog.  When you do it, you will restore some balance and give perspective to your blog.  You’ll also pick up some new skills – priceless.

And when you incorporate the new strategies into your blogging program you will be stronger for it.

Here is a simple 3-step process that will work for any product or service, in the ‘make money’ space:

1. Create Your Lead Magnet

If you haven’t already done so, create a potent lead magnet such as a free report.  This strategy will kill three birds with one stone:

  1. Positions You As the Go-To Person In Your Niche.  When I say ‘go-to’ I don’t mean you’ll be the only one.  There will be others, but the point is that only a minority of bloggers and online marketers ever create their own authority building lead magnet.
  2. Will Solve a Problem For Your Target Audience.  When you create the tool (free report) focus on one problem only, then solve it.  And when you solve the problem, show them what they need to do NOW how to do it.
  3. Will Build Your List.  When you offer an ethical bribe, if it’s interesting and relevant people will give you their email address in return for receiving it.
2. Promote Your Lead Magnet

There are lots of ways to promote a lead magnet without your blog. They include social media, solo ads, pay per click ads on Google and Facebook, video marketing, PR, offline ads and direct approach (see below).

For quick results do this: direct approach – contact people in your circle of influence, and also consider using the personal message tool on Facebook to reach out to people in your niche.

If you have an email list (no matter how small) you can also shoot them an email about your lead magnet.

3. Sell Products To Your Email Subscribers

The list is the thing.  That’s where the action is.  When people request your free lead magnet, you will automatically be adding new subscribers to your email list.

Regular emails to your list will get them into the habit of reading your emails.  The two keys: frequency and consistency.  But if you drop the ball they’ll drop you – in a heartbeat.

So, send them emails about your products and services, then include a call to action so they can click a link, review the offer – and buy.

None of these methods are new, and I guess you’ve seen them before.  But the difference is that I’m taking your blog out of the picture for a short time.  Because I want you to prove to yourself that you can make some sales without any reference to your blog.

No Products – No Problem.  If you still don’t have a product to promote, try JV Zoo or Warrior Plus.  They have a ton of products in the ‘make money’ niche.

Hello Blog, Welcome Back

So let’s fast forward a month or two.  Now you’re making sales without your blog.  Good feeling, eh?

Here’s what you can do.  Create some blog posts about your new experiences.  Show them how you made sales and why you recommend this approach.  But this time, instead of being a broke blogger you’ll be coming from a position of strength.

You’ll be leading by example which, after all, is the absolute best way to attract others.

You’ll be developing a powerful narrative based on ‘walk the talk’, NOT ‘talk the talk’, and all that other BS I see on a daily basis in the make money niche.

Nothing succeeds like success and people will always follow someone who is getting good results.  Make sense?

Go for it!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Here are two training products I created (both fit nicely with the theme of this post).  Take a look:

$10k a Month Formula

Make Your First Sale Online

NOTE.  This will be the last time I’ll be writing posts just for bloggers.  I have bigger fish to fry!

Your Turn – Time to Comment!

What was your biggest takeout from this post?

After reading this post are there any ideas that you will now embrace?

Make a comment below!

 ****Special Free Offer****

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.

Schedule a Time HERE

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking Imperative

  1. Hi Kim,
    Man oh man I just loved this post and you are absolutely correct – most bloggers are broke.

    Just today one of the leading bloggers in my niche messaged me about a potential JV deal we have been talking about and he mentioned that he was not in a position to promote this opportunity using paid traffic. We had already planned out a promotion strategy using both free and paid traffic options so this news really surprised me.

    Unlike you I’m a relatively new blogger but like you I have always used my blog, “my place online” to simply build my authority, my credibility and my email lists. I do not promote any products or offers in my blog posts but EVERY blog post has a link somewhere to a relevant topic that adds to my blog community.

    Skype, email marketing and video marketing are my main “selling spaces”

    Actually Kim I have you to thank for one of my most successful lead magnets.

    After reading one of your posts and having such an invaluable skype discussion with you (and I strongly suggest every reader takes up your “Special Free Offer”) I realized that “targeted traffic” was a challenge for many beginner marketers (my target audience) plus with limited budgets, they would prefer to get this traffic for free.

    Sure it took quite a bit of work to create the training video but every day without fail I get at least 4 or 5 new subscribers just to this list alone.

    Thanks again Kim for another truly inspirational post.

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer

    Peter
    Peter Beckenham recently posted…Your First Blog Post – Make It CountMy Profile

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

      I’ve been watching your progress over the last 6-9 months and I must say – I’m impressed. The thing I like about you is that you are very pro-active. You learn about a new idea and you’re prepared to give it a go and implement it, immediately. I guess that helps to explain why you were so successful in your two former lives.

      It’s also great to learn about your success with your lead magnet strategy. As you know this stuff flat out works. All that is needed are people with the strength of character and self-belief to actually take action. Yes it took you some time to create that video, but of course once done, you don’t nee dto do it again – so add it to your ever-growing list of digital ‘assets’

      Good work, mate!

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking ImperativeMy Profile

  2. Hi Kim,

    Wonderful advice to bloggers. I think the main problem is what you mentioned:
    “Many people spend so much time on blogging and content creation that they forget the reason they’re doing it.”

    This I think is the main reason why many bloggers get frustrated and even leave. A blog is a part of a whole in the big marketing machine. This is how we need to see it. Yes…we can have raving fans but that doesn’t pay the bills.

    I see a blog as one way to capture leads among many others. And sure…I love to write to others and give them advice or something to apply to their business, but the buck doesn’t stop there.

    Bloggers need to be marketers first. And that my friend I had to learn the hard way. I spent a long time blogging before I realized this. But I don’t regret it. It was a lesson learned.

    If they follow your 1, 2 and 3 steps, it will come easier. And yes, no product, no problem. There is always JVzoo or Warrior. Now you can write all about it on your blog.

    Great advice and you know I will share it around,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Run Your Blog Like You Would Run A StoreMy Profile

    1. Hi Donna

      It seems – once again – that we are of like mind. You are spot on when you say that a blog is part of a ‘big marketing machine’. Bloggers do need to be marketers more than they’re writers and content creators.

      I know that you and David teach a more all-encompassing approach to traffic, lead generation and business building in general – it’s absolutely the right way to go.

      Thanks again Donna, and thanks for sharing this post too!

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking ImperativeMy Profile

  3. Hey Kim,
    I totally agree with you when it comes to seeing the stuff out there that people write about making money online.I have seen a lot of good stuff and I have seen a lot of empty, rehashed and re-gurgitated stuff that makes you wonder why people blog. I guess because they are told to.

    I love blogging and vlogging for the sole purpose that it gives me a ‘voice’ to share with those who are looking for the niche I am interested in. I am like you in the sense that it also adds to who I am so people can see more about who we are and what we do. It’s also an honest approach, that is if people are writing the truth of their lives.

    Hey what’s that I see that you said you are writing your last post just for bloggers?-Hope you are not disappearing too. – Jennifer

    1. Hey Jennifer

      I, like you, love blogging!

      But if people really want to create a business they’ll probably have to embrace other strategies, then blend them into their blogging strategy.

      No, my blog will not be disappearing. But I no longer want to create content just for bloggers. Moving forward my focus will be directed towards ‘real’ businesses with real problems. The post I’m working on now is called ‘How to Use Authority Positioning to Crush the Competition’. It will be published next week – look out for it!

      Thanks for dropping by

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking ImperativeMy Profile

  4. Excellent real world advice as usual Kim!

    There is just so much practical advice in what you’re sharing here!

    Bu another issue you are referring to, is definitely deep into the mix as well,
    it just not be as apparent, until some serious digging and soul searching is
    being done.

    Sadly, far too many newbie online marketers, including newbie bloggers, are really reluctant employees, trying to pose as online entrepreneur marketers!

    Translated, they really are opposed to selling of any kind! And it’s one of the main reasons they constantly struggle! They don’t like and are uncomfortable with the entire
    sales process!

    And it’s one of the main reasons they constantly resist and struggle with having to do so,
    via on or offline!

    The proven process you’ve carefully laid out, definitely will and does work, for practically any serious business owner and or service provider, that doesn’t have a disdain or phobia for the overall sales process!LOL!

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of employee minded type that initially dip their toe in the water, to try their hand at online marketing/blogging, they simply don’t like the selling process!

    And as a direct result, they will probably continue to struggle and or starve altogether! Great and extremely revealing post!

    1. Hi Mark

      I think you hit a bullseye with this statement:

      “Sadly, far too many newbie online marketers, including newbie bloggers, are really reluctant employees, trying to pose as online entrepreneur marketers!”

      You also hit on a big problem that a lot of non-entrepreneurial types face – they’ve got a real hangup about selling. But as you know selling makes the world go around. It’s the way we get paid. nothing happens till someone sells something. So the question I have for newbie bloggers and marketers is this: Will you make the sale or would you prefer to transfer the responsibility to someone else? Simple choice.

      I know what my answer is, and I bet yours is the same!

      The fact is that when someone is in looking mode they ARE going to buy from someone. The only question is – who will it be?

      Thanks for your insightful comments, Mark

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…Scaredy Cat ‘Make Money’ Bloggers and the Lateral Thinking ImperativeMy Profile

  5. Hahaha Kim I’m so glad I stopped by to read this!

    Truth be told, I was going through and cleaning out CommentLuv links last week and as you could probably guess, a huge chunk of the make money online bloggers’ links were now 404’d. They’re gone. No shock there.

    I think a lot of people discover blogging, are told to write about something they’re interested in, see other MMO bloggers bragging about how much they’re earning, and then think this is the space for them. Unfortunately they have nothing new or unique to bring to the table so their content is junk. On top of that, it’s one of the toughest markets to compete in so they don’t get any decent volume of traffic either.

    I think people really don’t have any business trying to teach something they’ve been unable to do themselves. When I started Help Start My Site, I had already reached massive success in the market I was working in previously. I left it because I knew I had hit a ceiling and couldn’t make more money in that market. Was I a total expert when I moved into this space? Not exactly. But I knew more than the people I was trying to teach, and I had something unique to bring to the table.

    The big switch for me was when I started doing as you said, and stopped trying to make money from my blog directly and instead used it as part of a system. My first online income was from Adsense so the solution was always more traffic, and the only way I knew how to get more traffic was more content. So I churned it out, and churned it out, and churned it out. I get less traffic now than I used to from other sites, yet I’m making way more because I finally know what to do with that traffic and how to make the most of it.
    Sadly Kim I’m not sure the cycle is ever going to stop, with so many gurus selling ‘the dream.’ We all appreciate you keeping it real and telling the honest truth.
    James McAllister recently posted…7 Areas To Reinvest Blogging Profits IntoMy Profile

  6. So straight in through the front door – Kim! So many ‘bloggers’ are just a tweak away from getting it right, but simply need to turn the telescope round the other way. If you don’t target your readers and guide them in, they wander off. For the blogger, the question has to be asked – why am I writing this? Does it work? Do I simply love the sound of my own trumpet, or am I trying to make a living on line here?

    A difficult question for most people to answer honestly, because it may require a change in direction and maybe admitting you might have to do some actual work and learn some stuff, and if there’s one thing that fateful 90% of people hate above all else – it’s change and work. The reason the 98% or whatever fail isn’t because they have the wrong Affiliate link, or because their opt-in form is on the fold, but because they want it to work their way.

    It came to me last year like a stick of dynamite – ‘Free Content Marketing’ – we are all great at the Free Content part (the person you referred to in your post is an expert at high value content posts) but we mostly suck at the MARKETING. I was originally taught to give and then give some more until it hurt, and they would love me and buy my stuff! I say ‘HA’ to that nonsense. I spent so many hours writing what I thought they would love to read. Did they heck. Now I think about what the typical visitor is looking for, and endeavour to provide it. Why did they turn up to read my stuff? It’s time for some ‘Honesty Marketing’ and I love the way you and so many on here provide exactly that!

    Keep it real
    Richard
    Richard Seaton recently posted…12 Traits of the Successful EntrepreneurMy Profile

    1. Hi Richard,

      Great to see you here again and thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      I have no problem giving – I do it all the time. But my idea of giving is this: give with intent, give with commercial purpose. I’ve seen people create blog posts galore and fail. But they didn’t have any real purpose or clear intentions when creating all that free content.

      The main reasons I write content for my two blogs are to build credibility and establish competence. If I also generate traffic and produce a lead – fine.

      I do believe that bloggers should use other traffic strategies so they’re not overly reliant on their blog.

      Thanks again, Richard

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…How to Use Authority Positioning to Give Your Competitors NightmaresMy Profile

  7. Hi Kim. Thanks for some straight, honest words about blogging and making money. Like you, I added my blog afterward. It isn’t my primary money-making activity. I starting out just using honest SEO practices to get traffic from the search engines, then added my blog later to improve the SEO with new content targeting more keywords and building internal links. Then I grew to enjoy doing it and reading other blogs. I have used some email marketing to keep in touch with my existing customers and am now looking at it as a way to grow my business in a new direction as well.

    Using a blog as just one of many tools to grow your business is excellent advice. Thanks for writing the post.

    1. Hey Ben

      Great comments!

      It’s good to see that you have prospered online. Like you, I came to the blogging party well after I started my online business. You mentioned SEO. This is where the blog has a clear advantage over a static website. As you say you’ve been targeting various keywords through your blog posts, then building internal links. Other than that blog content (if formulated correctly) can be a powerful way to educate and persuade visitors to take the next step.

      Great to see you’re in the health niche. I have an interest in that niche, so will check out your blog

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…How to Use Authority Positioning to Give Your Competitors NightmaresMy Profile

  8. Hi Kim, awesome post here mate, really awesome. When I discovered blogging, I was unfortunately sold on the prospect that you could make money from writing lots of content and do nothing else. I did that and failed miserably.

    There are far too many blogs, and yes popular ones too, glamorising blogging for what it actually is, and giving new folks false beliefs that they can find financial freedom, and live the dot com lifestyle with blogging to some degree.

    If you think long and hard about it though, blogging is actually no more satisfying than working in a factory shop, backing cardboard boxes. It’s repetitive, can get pretty boring and feel pointless at times, and takes an enormous amount of time and resource to get anything out the other end.

    I’ve come across countless blogs in my time from folks teaching how to make money, when they themselves are yet to make a single cent. It’s just the way it is I guess. And like you say, it doesn’t matter how much engagement you get, or how much traffic you have, or how many social shares your post has, if no one is buying, then the point it what exactly?

    I definitely agree, blogging should be seen and approached as a business, and a blog should be used as a powerful tool to build a great audience and customer base, so that you can market either your own products or services, or third party products to that audience. That has always worked for me in any case, and I’m pretty confident it will continue to work for many more years to come.

    Love your strategy for making money without using your blog.

    Once again great post mate, have a great rest of the week.
    Fabrizio Van Marciano recently posted…40+ WordPress Design And Development Tools & Resources For Savvy BloggersMy Profile

    1. Hey Fabrizio,

      Great comment. Lots of meaty bits!

      I reckon the reason so many disappear from the blogging space is because they’re not making money. It still shocks me that even some of the high profile bloggers are not prospering. Clearly blogging as a career move is probably not a smart option (especially when the blogger is teaching others how to make money from blogging! It’s crazy.)

      Frankly I think the people who can get the most benefit from a blog are good old fashioned ESTABLISHED businesses. So much upside for those businesses.

      You’re spot on with this comment: “a blog should be used as a powerful tool to build a great audience and customer base.” If people are not succeeding with this blog, they shouldn’t quit. What they need to do is change their strategy which must start with a change in thinking.

      Great stuff, Fabrizio

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…How to Use Authority Positioning to Give Your Competitors NightmaresMy Profile

  9. Hi Kim

    Missed this valuable post while I was on holiday, so doing the rounds now and catching up.

    Yes it was a shock when that lovely blogger quit like that – but I’d always looked at the many hours she must have put into her blog and wondered if I was missing a trick.

    I agree with James – you’ve no business teaching people to do something if you can’t do it yourself. I have tried my own product creation, but it was mega-hard work for little return, and I felt a fraud because I just knew there were people out there who knew more than I do, and it felt like a disservice to promote my own products over some of the very excellent products “out there”.

    That said – having seen “commission leak” with my own eyes – finding a well run product to promote isn’t easy.

    I’ve been in several blog commenting groups and we all have a wonderful time telling each other what marvellous posts we’ve written, but – lovely as it and kind as the participants really are – I’m not sure how productive it all is.

    OK – the word we’re reluctant to say…. how profitable it is. Well, I lie – I DO know how profitable it is…. not very 🙁

    As you may remember, I’m a part-time blogger, so my online marketing is done in the gaps left over from the time I spend running a successful and profitable offline business.

    So, “After Dark” I’m learning to build an online business; because the offline business can’t go on forever, and I want to replace the comfortable lifestyle the offline business provides, with an equally comfortable one when the offline business melts away. A few stress-free holidays would be pretty nice too 🙂

    Currently – I have to confess that, however much I enjoy blogging (and I really love it) the blog itself isn’t a massive income generator.

    I feel it’s important to keep it, but there has to be a better way!

    I’m sending you an email with a few questions 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Lead Generation Process InfographicMy Profile

    1. Hi Joy,

      Lots of meaty material here!

      I’ll deal with a couple of your points. First, creating products. I’ve created several digital products as well as hard copy manuals and cd sets. I use these products as ‘loss leaders’ to build my list. Higher value services and products can then be sold to customers who buy these entry level products (one of my product sells for just $7!)

      Blog Commenting Groups. I employ a simple blog commenting strategy for four reasons:

      1. I meet nice people
      2. Engagement on my blog is good for credibility (social proof)
      3. I get some traffic
      4. There’s an SEO benefit which ultimately leads to more traffic.

      I don’t see blog commenting as a way to directly find customers. This is because most of the commenters are either broke or have a different agenda.

      That is, they leave a comment because they want reciprocation, not because they are interested in my services. This is fine. It doesn’t worry me – because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

      Nevertheless, a blogger who expects to create a direct income from commentors, will be very disappointed with the results.

      Thanks for your excellent comment, Joy

      Kim
      Kim Willis recently posted…14 Marketing Mistakes That Most Businesses MakeMy Profile

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